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Choosing The Right Role Models for Success Achievement – What to Look For [Case Study: 21 year old Ibadan-based Nigerian freelance writer/blogger, who earns thousands of dollars writing for international clients AND also makes money from a Catfish Farm Business he started 1 year ago!]

Quick Take Away

As far as I’m concerned, due to the TRULY international dimension of the success he enjoys as a freelance writer/blogger, earning steady income in thousands of dollars by CREATING 100% original value adding content for high profile and discerning international clients, coupled with his successful investment of his earnings to start-up an offline cash-flow generating catfish farming business) 21 year old Ibadan based Bamidele Onibalusi is Nigeria’s NUMBER 1 blogger

That’s why he is the blogging role model I will continue to recommend to my kids, ahead of ANY others. Period.

In case you don’t know him, here are some of the grass to grace achievements already earned between the ages of 16 to 21, by this (fatherless-former-teen-startup) blogger who gained Internet fame for his prolific Guest Blogging:

1. Featured in publications on and off the web:Forbes.com, Digital Journal, Millionaire Magazine Italy, Huffingtonpost.com, The Nations Newspaper, Nigerian Tribune and The Guardian Newspaper.

Screenshot - huffington post article about Bamidele Onibalusi

2. Contributed to top websites like: Business Insider, ReadWrite, Under30CEO, Naij.com.

3. Featured in and/or contributed to internationally published books like: The Writers Market 2014, Engagement from Scratch (2011), 2 Billion Under 20.

4. Took a one year break from writing to invest some of the money from his freelance writing into owning an offline (Catfish Farming) business – and now publishes educational articles (and videos) on Catfish Farming for others in the business and those aspiring.

5. Runs a blog to help writers, that is visited daily by thousands of SERIOUS minded writers/bloggers from across the world (and also publishes a newsletter received by over 10,000 subscribers (including yours truly) – in addition to providing PAID writing coaching for aspiring writers/blogging).

Screenshot - Tayo Solagbade's GMAIL inbox showing newsletters broadcasts recived from Bamidele Onibalusi

Those were the highlights….:-)

Now read the rest of my argument/thoughts below…

Apart from article marketing which attracts buyers for my Custom Excel-VB Farm Business Support software and books, I also get paid to ghost-write for clients (I currently have 2 such projects in hand). That’s something I’m now coaching my older kids to do based on their talents and passions.

In this regard, I’m looking for role models – beyond myself – for my kids.

By this I mean AUTHENTIC achievers whose successes are not only EXPLAINABLE and VERIFIABLE, but also REPEATABLE and REPRODUCIBLE by anyone who follows guidance they (such achievers) offer.

These are successful people who readily offer information, education, ideas, tips and even coaching/training on HOW to do what they have done – and possibly do better.

The challenge in identifying role models like the above, is that so much “noise” is out here about “blogging”, “bloggers” and those “making it” amongst them – especially in the Nigerian space!!!

For the uninitiated, the “noise” can make it difficult to choose right.

Thankfully, for me, no such problem exists: I know exactly what to look for, to choose right!

In the rest of this article, I offer ideas to help interested persons accurately identify the right role models.

My (never ending) search for such role models to complement my efforts towards coaching my kids, has led me to VARIOUS places locally…and internationally, offline as well as on the web.

Regarding the international aspect, where I have since recorded the greatest successes in my searches, it’s all thanks to the Internet:

I struggled to find AUTHENTIC role models that could be reliably emulated locally. So I turned my attention to the web and voila: I found more than I’d dreamed possible!

The best part was that virtually all of those I found online had useful resources (often in form of write-ups and books) that I could have at no cost. That wonderful opportunity was one that I embraced and it helped me grow my business in various ways.

I’ve since paid tribute to some of those mentors in this article titled: Paying Tribute To 5 Experts Who Made Me and more recently in this article about Patrick Meninga, whose blogging strategy I adopted to find success: 10 Valuable Lessons I Learnt About Blogging for Passive Income, from Yaro Starak’s 60 Minute Podcast Interview with Patrick Meninga.

It is instructive to note however, that since most of my adopted role models were in foreign countries (mostly the USA, Canada etc), I was not able to directly transplant what I learned from them for use locally…

I tried to do that several times, but failed woefully each time.

Eventually, the hardships I faced as a result of my failures FORCED me to do more creative thinking in the use of what I’d learned, till I successfully developed adaptations based on a BLEND of all I’d learned, to meet my unique needs.

The above process enabled me begin to build my success to what I now enjoy today. And that experience is what’s guiding me now in the choice of role models to point my kids to!

Today, I’m giving my kids Personal Achievement Coaching to identify and choose role models whose success stories they can VERIFY. In other words, they are being taught how to identify achievers with traceable roots…and NOT overnight successes whose only testimony is what THEY say…!

I seek for my kids authentic successes through whom they can learn how to succeed with honesty and integrity. These would be potential mentors who also LIVE their lives – publicly and more importantly privately – in a manner that reflects the values they publicly claim to uphold.

In addition, I want my kids to look for role models that enjoy the HEALTHY respect and recognition of their peers or counterparts INTERNATIONALLY – evidence of which would be seen by way of MENTIONS they get in relevant high profile circles!

That is what I seek for my kids, and I’ve told them NEVER to settle for anything less.

Every day, I strive to make myself FIT the above description of role models they are to seek…

At the risk of sounding immodest, I’d say I’m not doing badly on that front, for a guy who’d had to climb back up from repeated setbacks and failure in business for YEARS while carrying the load of a wife and kids.

 

Having lived with me all their lives, during the times when I struggled to provide for them (to the point that relatives had to bail me out repeatedly), they KNOW I’ve overcome countless odds to establish my brand.

[Hint: Most people fail to realize it’s easier – MUCH easier(!) – to deal with failure, and grow your success, when you’re single/unmarried and especially if you have few or no dependents to feed or spend the income you earn on. I intend to write a book on that!]

Today, my children  are aware that I enjoy growing high profile international recognition within and outside Africa for what I do. We often talk about how I am increasingly getting opportunities to rub shoulders with some of the best known minds in my fields of professional occupation and interest.

But it’s not just recognition….

On a progressive basis, my work now earns me income in multiple currencies, without my needing to travel. Indeed over 80% of income I earn today is via passive channels for products I create(d) and sell online to buyers within and outside Africa.

I’m now preparing my kids to learn how to do – but with special focus on discovering THEIR own natural God-given talents, passions and abilities.

The objective is for them to leverage those strengths to become competent to function independently in society while still in school-age.

Why make them start earning income that early?

Because today’s world requires kids to be better prepared to meet the challenges it presents.

Fewer job opportunities are a reality more and more school leavers will face. Kids who get the kind of preparation I refer to – especially one based on identifying and emulating the right role models – will stand a much better chance of succeeding – and excelling.

For my kids, the ethos in their “coaching” program is therefore self-employment…

Seeking long term or career paid employment will simply NOT be a priority for them, and will only be considered as a temporary stepping stone to owning their own businesses.

Today, countless opportunities exist for young people to own their own businesses without giving up formal schooling. Especially when PC and Internet technology is involved.

Regarding the above, about 4 years ago, I found a wonderful young Nigerian making waves internationally as a Freelance Writer/Blogger that I told my kids is a worthy role model for them.

Screenshot - Bamidele Onibalusi - Google results page on his freelance writing service

I actually discovered him while on a blog owned by an American Writing Coach familiar with his work. My attention was piqued when his credentials were being raved about this group of high profile freelance writing experts.

Especially because they said he was a Nigerian living in Nigeria and just 17years old but already earning over $5,000 USD monthly, serving international clients in Asia, America etc!

Today, he is 21 years old…and now owns a large catfish farm, which he personally runs with hired hands. He started it by taking a one year break from writing to learn about, and invest some of the money from his freelance writing business into owning a Catfish Farming business.

Photo - Bamidele Onibalusi - holding a large catfish: Today, he is 21 years old, and now owns a large catfish farm, which he personally runs with hired hands

Imagine that?

Such a wise head on his young shoulders.

Robert Kiyosaki advises making your money work for you – and he stresses that Cash Flow Generating Assets (e.g. businesses) are a proven means to achieving that.

This chap learned enough to know that it was better to sink the money from his online writing business, into a lucrative offline venture like catfish farming, to boost his cash flow generation – rather than spending directly from his writing business’ earnings.

But that’s not all he’s done. Remember I said that authentic achievers always display a readiness to share what they know with others?

Well, just as he has done for years, writing educational articles for other writers to learn from, this young man is already writing articles with a similar focus, for other farm business owners and those aspiring, to learn from!

Apart from articles, he’s also creating video tutorials freely available on his Youtube channel.

Screenshot - Bamidele Onibalusi - Google results page on his articles for other farm business owners and those aspiring!

See what I mean when I say he’s an authentic role model?

In case you wonder how he began, get this: He is not the only one who knows or tells his story.

I have read articles about him written by others within and outside Nigeria/Africa (some are top names in international blogging!) which provide details about how he began in his early teens – after losing his Dad, and having to drop out of school.

Google the name “Bamidele Onibalusi” and begin reading to discover the authentic success story of a Nigerian living in Nigeria’s Ibadan City, who over 5 years ago made himself a globally recognized authority in Freelance Writing and Blogging – without any money or connections of any sort.

This young man is an excellent example of the kinds of people we should encourage our kids to adopt as role models – especially towards achieving financial success using just PC and Internet Technology.

In case you missed it. Oni (as most people call him online) built his brand to what it is today, from his early teens, by working thousands of hours in those formative years, under harsh living conditions with a mother struggling to feed him and 4 other siblings.

Today he’s pursuing university education without stress  – but ONLY because he used the web to find financial success to return to school. At his age (21), I was in my 4th years, and got money for my undergraduate studies from my parents, since I had NEVER worked for a single day’s pay in my life!

 

The Yoruba’s have a saying: Ki a ro idi mo aso, tabi ki a ro aso mo idi. Ki idi sa ma pa ofo”

Literal Translation: It does not matter if you tie your bottom around your wrapper or tie your wrapper around your bottom – as long as your bottom is not exposed”

Contextual Translation: Whether you complete your formal education early on in life, or you do so a little later, what matters is that you find a way (income-wise) to get it done.

The moral: Since one needs money on a regular basis to pursue formal education in most societies, you’ll get kicked out of school anyway if you want to continue schooling but cannot pay your fees.

That’s why it sometimes makes practical sense (or circumstances could force you, like the passing away of Oni’s rich dad did) to take a break from school to develop the needed income earning competence to enable you meet the requirements for completing any formal schooling you want.

The above is why I advocate that Personal Achievement Education is a better way to go compared to conventional/formal education.

Wonder what the difference is? Watch out for my new book on due to be published soon.

But briefly, Personal Achievement Education (PAE) is what Oni literally empowered himself with. And countless others who rose from grass to grace did the same thing in different parts of the world, to achieve their successes.

PAE is superior because it incorporates Academic Education while exposing learners to information, ideas, opportunities, and experiences designed to enable them identify and develop their real world relevant income-earning talents/abilities/passions to support themselves through life.

PAE is what I’m giving my kids now, and like I’ve told those who’ve raised issues with my approach, especially relatives, the results they get will demonstrate to MANY parents that it’s the BEST way to go, in this 21st century and beyond.

A WORD  OF ADVICE: No matter how old you think you are, or how much you think you know about Freelance Writing or Blogging, stay open to LEARNING from others…even if they are DECADES younger than you are!!

In my case, within days of discovering Oni’s YoungPrePro.com (now www.writersincharge.com) a few years back, I wasted no time in subscribing to his newsletter (using an email forwarder I setup via my tksola dot com domain to my GMAIL box for my first son), so as to see possible learnings I could pick up, to boost my efforts to win freelance writing clients, and also to coach my kids.

By way of interest, I knew I was 20 years older than him, but my attitude to life has always been to learn from even a 1 year old…if it helps me. Many Africans struggle to scale this mental hurdle and it hurts them!

Accepting to learn from a younger person does not mean you’re inferior to him/her. It simply means you have enough self-esteem to NOT feel inadequate acknowledging that others may know things in certain areas, that you need to learn!

I soon began sharing Oni’s emails with my first son (who had not long before that time just completed a 6 month weekend practical manual typewriting course).

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I was unsuccessful in using most of the ideas I got from reading Oni’s blog to get hired to write.

Try as I could, I was unable to get even one Guest Posting opportunity (maybe I did not try hard/long enough)…

But I knew that was not Oni’s fault. I knew it was not that Oni’s tips were not useful.

Instead, my analytical thinking helped me discern what the likely problem was…

My primary target market (farm business) and audience (farm CEOs), coupled with my multidisciplinary profile makes me a fairly unusual case…and that’s why a more flexible approach to blogging (like the one I learnt by studying Patrick Meninga’s model) was eventually what helped me achieve my goals in blogging.

Patrick's post about me - My multidisciplinary style makes me a fairly unusual case...and that's why Patrick Meninga's approach to blogging was eventually what helped me achieve my goals in blogging. My comment on Patrick's post about me - My multidisciplinary style makes me a fairly unusual case...and that's why Patrick Meninga's approach to blogging was eventually what helped me achieve my goals in blogging.

In line with Patrick’s advice, I focused on writing on this blog DAILY, and to use multiple content syndication tools to propagate it to as many channels as possible, to boost my marketing reach and impact.

That strategy has since worked perfectly for me – leading to more sales leads (for my custom f software, information products and ghost-writing services) being generated via Google’s results pages and other channels.

Screenshot - Patrick Meninga's email reply to me about the transcript I created of his 1 Hour Podcast Interview with Yaro Starak

Screenshot - Patrick Meninga's email  to me after posting on his blog about the transcript I created of his 1 Hour Podcast Interview with Yaro Starak

For instance, I currently have 2 Ghost-writing projects in hand (one for a UK based client, and the other for an Abuja based Farm CEO client) – both came from clients I have NEVER met in the flesh.

And that’s apart from passive income I regularly earn from sales of my products – to online buyers..

No matter how you look at it, even if it did not get me hired in the conventional way, my exposure to Oni’s work at least indirectly benefited me…and I know a lot more about blogging as a result…!

As you can imagine, I’m determined to make sure my kids learn from him as well.

Sadly, so many older persons in this part of the world let their egos and concerns about being “older” than another person (e.g they’ll think and even say “s/he is a small boy or girl”) stop them from learning from – or at least being positively influenced by – those who can help them…

My advice: If you want to get ahead in life, DROP that retrogressive mind set, or you’ll have yourself to blame!

RELATED ARTICLE:

You Can’t Establish Expert Authority with Money

 

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

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