Writing --- Reading & Everything In -Between

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

THE SMART MONEY WOMAN

It’s a book about money - making it, spending it, investing it and growing it. Every woman that’s aiming for financial stability and independence should read it. Now, you are thinking, ‘oh, not another book on finance,’ especially in these times when many people, who probably don’t know what they are doing, want their names on a book.
Well, this book is different. Even if you are not a habitual reader, this will blow you away. It’s fiction, a story about how women (and men) should manage their finances, with thought-provoking, priority-reordering and action-motivating lessons that will change the way you look at yourself and money. It will draw you in till you turn the last page. The author, Arese Ugwu, was in Warri weeks ago for the Book Signing hosted by Orode Okpu. I was there and here is a bit of what she said about managing your personal finance.

THE TRUE MEANING OF WEALTH
In the African context, to be financially successful, we are told to make money but we are not taught how to grow or manage it. Being wealthy translates into how much you have in your bank account, but in the real sense of it, being wealthy is how much you are able to keep in terms of assets that can pay you an income in the future. That is why people in our society rise from nothing to something and become broke again in no time due to lack of financial management skills.

THE SMART MONEY WOMAN
Though the principles in the book are universally applicable to both men and women, the book targets women because they are more vulnerable. Women are generally viewed by the society as frivolous. Even the disciplined women that save, do so to spend later. Women are groomed to get married and support their family by paying fees, rent etc. These things are not assets. African women should be taught how to build their financial future alongside their husbands.

TIPS ON HOW TO TURN YOUR MONEY INTO ASSETS
Goals
Many people don’t have goals. They make money but cannot articulate what they want the money to do for them. Nine of ten people do not have goals; what they have are wishes. A goal is making plans to get assets, researching on how to get those assets, budgeting, knowing what your limited resources can and cannot afford.
It is important to know that no matter how wealthy you are, your resources are limited. So, you must allocate them appropriately. You must ruthlessly cut unwanted expenses and prioritize your needs.

Income
Divide your income into three parts. 70% for living expenses, 20% for long term financial goals (that is to build your assets) and the remaining 10% towards short term goals like buying a car, a bag, etc.

Grow your business
It is important to reinvest, but drawing the line between saving and reinvesting is knowing that you are a separate entity from your business. Calculate your income from the business, pay yourself a salary and re-invest in the business. The salary will help you to build other assets different from the business. In this way, you are diversifying your risks.
Arese’s book addresses many more money issues like managing your debt, tracking your expenses, having a workable budget and of course investing in your financial future. Honestly, as an African woman, if you are looking for a way up the financial ladder, read The Smart Money Woman.

Grace Olumayowa Aideloje


Grace is a Writer, Editor and Proof-reader. She teaches Writing Classes and motivates young writers to follow their dreams until they see their names on books people rate as excellent. Her passion is to empower people through knowledge sharing. She is the initiator of the Christian WAR Forum.

Publishing Rights: You may republish this article on your website, newsletter, or eBook, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author's name and signature and a functional link to penparables.blogspot.com. No part of this article may be used without following this agreement.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A PASSION STILL STRONG

Prof. Grace Alele Williams
There is a quote that says, ‘people with passion can change the world for the better.’ Well, I’ll also add that to impact positively, passion must be constructively driven. Passion is the energy we need to follow through with our dreams. I think if you don’t have passion for anything, you cannot amount to anything.

I know a woman of passion and I have admired her a great deal since my undergraduate days. An illustrious personality of many admirable qualities; an astute scholar, outstanding administrator and advocate of Girl Child Education; she is a woman worthy of emulation. Her name is Professor (Mrs) Grace Awani Alele Williams, the first Nigerian woman to have a doctorate degree, the first female Professor of Mathematics Education and the first female Vice-Chancellor in sub-Saharan African.
And she did excel in a position which, at that time, was dominated by men. As  VC of Great University of Benin, she was a mother and mentor; her doors were thrown open to everyone including students.
My husband, who graduated from UNIBEN in 1991, was one of the students she took under her tutelage. He told me of how they could go to her home at any time to eat and how the university gave every student a bursary of five hundred naira monthly. Though, a no-nonsense person, she treated the  students like her own children, listened to them and mentored them.

Her footprints on the sands of the Ivory Tower attest to her passion, prowess and selflessness. Her works still speak today, not only in UNIBEN, but in every institution she worked.

Why am I writing about her?
I attended an event where she was honoured recently in Warri, South-South Nigeria. You could tell from her unwritten speech, where her passion still lies. At almost 84 years, still beautiful and graceful, she stood for more than 10 minutes, not only lamenting the deteriorating state of the education sector, but also calling on government to implement recommendations made years ago, at different times, to salvage the system. What brought tears to my eyes was the passion with which she spoke.
Commissioning of a Science Laboratory in honor of Prof. Alele Williams

A passion still strong.

It was from deep inside; the anguish of a mother crying for the redemption of future generations; a mother who had worked so hard with others in her generation to build a virile nation. Oh, the pain of seeing small-minded bigots tear down the good works they have done.

How did it all go wrong? At what point did the rot start?
I observed that the quality of education at the time Mama Grace Alele Williams went to school was top-notch. All the elderly people who spoke at that event proved it. Well-thought out and well-structured speeches were well-delivered with poise, without scripts! They spoke without holding any paper written by ignorant speech writers.
Today, those we call leaders struggle to read speeches written for them. University graduates can’t speak a simple sentence correctly, not to talk of writing it. Many young people can’t define their purpose and vision. The passion they burn with tends to all sorts of perversion.
I think if we must move forward in developing ourselves and our nation, we need to learn from these great people who have gone ahead of us how to make Nigeria a nation our own children will flourish in.
There  should be a passion that must remain strong in us no matter what stands in our way, no matter where we go and regardless of who we become. That was what Prof. Alele Williams radiated on that day and there is no reason why this can’t be your story and my story, only if we set our minds to it.

Mama Grace, I salute you ma.
From Left: Grace Olumayowa Aideloje, Greatman D. Aideloje, Prof. Grace Awani Alele Williams, Mrs Lolo  Aideloje at an event in honor of Prof. Alele Williams.







Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boost Your Business and Career with Writing

Over the years, I have seen quite a number of people who thought they could never write become published writers. When I hear some people talk passionately about a subject, I usually suggest they write a book about it.
The responses I get go like these. 

Image courtesy of paul/freedigitalphotos.net
“I can’t write!”
“Why do you think so?” I would ask.
“I don’t know.”
“I just can’t write.”
“I don’t know how.”
“I had never thought about it.”
With a little encouragement and consistent coaching, some of these people are already published writers, and they are excited about it because of the gains.

If you are reading this article online, then you may already know that writing has become a major tool to promote and sell products and services worldwide. Many are already taking advantage of this very effective marketing strategy, enjoying wide exposure and making great sales.

Writing remains one of the most effective means of communication and a cost-effective way to publicize and sell your business. Almost everything costs money these days and that includes writing. Organizations pay writers large sums to write business and project profiles, advertorials, announcements, etc. No one can promote your business better than you can. You will be saving a considerable sum of money, writing, to promote what you do, in your own words.

You don't have to be a licensed writer to promote your products or services. All you need is the interest, a readiness to write, laced with some resolve and a splash of creativity.
I am very passionate about sharing knowledge and I don’t like to see people say valuable things that are not being recorded for others to learn.  

Writing is simply putting words or thoughts down on paper or a computer. The same way you will talk about your business to a potential client is the same way you write. Just write as if you are talking to someone or save your words on an audio or video recorder, then write out.

Write about your business and all that is associated with it; the problems your business addresses and how you or your product can help with solutions. You can publish your writings as articles in newspapers and magazines and as a book or pamphlet. You can also submit your work to online sites. All these can offer unlimited free marketing opportunities, widen your reach and enhance your credibility.

What is the nature of your business?     
What problem is it packaged to solve?
Why do you think people need it?
What solution is it offering?
How is it used?
Write down everything you think your customers will find useful. Write about other topics and issues of interest that relates to your product or service.

For example, if you are into pharmaceuticals, you can write articles or books on healthy living and drug misuse.

If you deal in shoes, write about how people can take care of their feet and shoes.

If you are a teacher, share your experiences of teaching. Write down tips and skills you have acquired that has helped you become a good teacher.

If you are a pediatrician, you can focus on issues that relates to children. Write a book or article showing parents simple steps to prevent childhood diseases.

If you are a nurse, write a book about the challenges of care giving or share tips on how to juggle night duties and family life. You can also address the temperament of some nurses and the effect it has on patients.
I can go on and on suggesting writing ideas for every profession on earth. 

When you write about your business and career, apart from making a name and money, you are sharing something valuable and recording it for posterity. You can never tell the places your work will get to or the lives it will touch.

Therefore, write about the results your business has achieved. How effective your product is or how satisfactory your services are. Share testimonies of happy clients. Interview your clients and write out their stories. Testimonials have proved very effective in marketing.

You can also write about your personal experiences. How you started the business or career, the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. This information will be useful to others who are interested in the same profession. Through this, you can become a coach in your field, teaching others how to avoid some of the mistakes you made. Before you know it, you will start getting mails from people asking you for business advice and inviting you to come and speak in some conferences.

If you don’t market yourself or your products and services, who will?
If you can’t write and you need to, share your thoughts and ideas with a ghost writer, who will help you to write.

That's one of the things we do at Penparables. We turn your writing ideas into an article or a book. If you need help with getting started, get in touch. We will guide you through, from the idea stage to the bookstores.
E-mail - penparables@gmail.com

Grace Olumayowa Aideloje
Grace is a Writer, Editor and Proofreader. She teaches Writing Classes and motivates young writers to write and publish their works. Her passion is to empower people through knowledge sharing. She is the initiator of the Christian WAR Forum.

Publishing Rights: You may republish this article on your website, newsletter, or eBook, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author's name and signature and a functional link to penparables.blogspot.com. No part of this article may be used without following this agreement.

Friday, December 18, 2015

THE WRITER’S EYES - 2

The eyes are valuable assets to any writer. Yet many of us tend to take them for granted. I have had some problems with my eyes in the past because I didn’t pay adequate attention to taking care of them. But with knowledge came a change in the way I take care of them and I just want them to last my life time, so help me God!
In the concluding part of Dr. Oma’s article, she shared some valuable tips on how you can make your eyes last your lifetime. If you missed the first part, please click on here
Enjoy!
Grace Greatman

THE WRITER’S EYES  - 2
Dr. (Mrs.) Oma Ulu [Optometrist]

I emphasized in the last edition that the environment in which you work must be properly lit. Straining to see or read in a poorly illuminated place is one of the ways to weaken your eyes. Proper eye care especially from childhood can prevent long-term vision loss and blindness. When eye problems go undetected, they can lead to learning disabilities and other behavioral problems. Poor vision and eyestrain can cause frustration and physical pain such as headaches, and inability to write and learn.

So AVOID:

Rubbing The Eyes
Eyes are what age the most on our faces. This is because the skin around the eyes is seven times thinner than the skin on the rest or our face; so it is more dry and brittle. Rubbing, pulling and pressing on them creates a loss of elasticity in the skin, which causes wrinkles.
Rubbing can also cause the eyelid and eye area to appear temporarily swollen. It can break capillaries and make blood clots form. In addition, it can tear the eye lens and cause the retina to detach if it is rubbed hard enough to cause excessive pressure.

Traditional Medicine And Practices
Some of the practices used by traditional healers or untrained people can result in vision impairment. These practices include instilling into the eyes sugar or salt solutions and herbs in treating conjunctivitis or dissolving cataracts, cough, etc. These can cause corneal scars and opacity, lens opacity (cataract) and even blindness.

Poor Hygiene And Lack Of Adequate Treatment
Poor hygiene is not only a major cause of some eye diseases; it also leads to its widespread. And some of these diseases if not properly treated can become more complicated leading to blindness.


CARE OF THE EYES
To make your eyes last your lifetime especially as writers; do the following:

1. Maintain a good personal and environmental hygiene in order to reduce the risk of infection and diseases

2. A good nutrition particularly diets rich in vitamin A will go a long way to help vision.

3. Abstain from traditional practices and do not patronize quacks. Use only glasses recommended by professionals.

4. Avoid reading and writing, working on the computer and watching television in a poorly lit place

Visit an eye doctor for routine eye examinations especially when there is a noticeable change.

Enjoy God's Exceeding Grace!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

THE WRITER’S EYES

Writers have the tendency to neglect their health as they dig for writing  ideas, task the mind on the choice of words and expressions, race to meet  deadlines etc. if you are passionate about writing, you must have subjected your body to some unhealthy practices. Well, as the year round off, we must decide to take care of ourselves, so we can continue to write.
Here is an article a dear friend of mine contributed to my Writers’ Digest a few years ago. It’s titled, The Writer’s Eyes. You don’t have to be a writer to read this.
Enjoy!
Grace Greatman

THE WRITER’S EYES
Dr. (Mrs.) Oma Ulu –Optometrist
Image courtesy of Google Images
The writer’s eyes are a vital asset to him. Without them, he will be utterly limited. Every seeing writer fears to go blind. Yet many do not know how to give adequate care and attention to these organs that facilitates the writing passion. The eyes are a part of the body, the two organs that you see with. This organ of vision measures just 24mm and weighs 7.5 grams. Our eyes allow us to perceive light, dark and color in astonishing detail, revealing the beauty and complexity of the world around us.
The human eye is remarkable. It accommodates to changing lighting conditions and focuses light rays originating from various distances on the eye. When all the components of the eye function properly, light is converted to impulses and conveyed to the brain where an image is perceived. However, some common practices engaged by people are harmful to the eyes and may eventually leave a permanent damage.
Here are some activities you should not engage in when you are in the dark or in a place that is poorly lit.

Image courtesy of Google Images
      1. Reading and writing
      2.   Working on the computer
      3.   Watching television

Doing these three things in an environment that is poorly illuminated result into headache, strain and pain in the eyes. 
Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut/freedigitalphotos.net
  

These discomforting symptoms may cause you to stop reading or working on the computer, thereby reducing your productivity. Although, these effects are just temporary discomforts that go away once you sleep or take a break, the strain they cause may degenerate your eyesight as you become old.

WHAT TO DO
1. Ensure adequate illumination of your environment.

2. Don’t work with the computer in the dark. This is because the contrast between computer-generated light and lack of background light strains the eye.

3. Task light should be positioned to provide direct light for reading and other office work, but not to shine directly on the computer or in your eyes.

I will discuss some other harmful practices to the eyes in the next edition.

Meanwhile visit an eye doctor for routine eye examinations especially when there is a noticeable change in the eyes.

Compliments of the Season
Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

JUST ONE MORE DINNER by Grace Greatman



Image Courtesy imgbuddy.com
“I can’t believe you still want shoes.”
Kate threw her elder sister an irritating glance and returned to watching Joyce Meyer’s ‘Enjoying Everyday Life’ on TV.
“This is ‘The Shoe.’” Tracy ogled the tall Silver shoe on her Notebook. “Take a look,” she nudged Kate with her elbow. 
Kate leaned over to give the shoe an uninterested look.
Standing elegantly on a shinny bejeweled tray, was an ostentatious piece she thought was vain. The only thing she saw was the huge amount of dollars the shoes cost, money that could be put to more meaningful use.
“Look at the diamond stone on top,” Tracy enthused, “it’s undiluted. This is a must have.”
“You have a whole room full of designer clothes, bags and shoes, in all styles and shades and you can only wear one at a time.”
Tracy maneuvered her cursor to zoom in to the heel of the shoe, scrutinizing it with a squint. “This will go best with my wedding dress.”
“That was what you said two days ago when you bought your wedding shoes.” 
Tracy had dragged her to Vintage Store where she maxed out her credit card to buy a very expensive pair of shoes that she claimed matched her over-the-top wedding dress.
Sulkily avoiding her sister’s scolding look, Tracy clicked away from the shoe. Moments after, her shriek startled Kate.
“I did it!”
“What?”
“I’m going to have those shoes.” She beamed at Kate.
“How?”
“Jerry is going to get them for me.” Kate looked like she had been hit on the head. Tracy nodded excitedly and pointed to her screen.
“You've been chatting with Jerry?”
Tracy nodded again.
“You are getting married in two weeks and you are chatting with an old lover?”
“We are still friends.”
“You told me Mark insisted you cut all association with Jerry.”
“Something like that, but Mark can’t afford to give me all I need. He’s just a struggling lawyer. I showed him the shoes two days ago and all he saw was the price tag.”
“But he loves you.” Tracy’s look admitted that much.
No man had ever loved her so unconditionally like Mark. They've been neighbors and friends since childhood and Mark had not stop professing his love for her since they were sixteen. He had seen Tracy go in and out of affairs with men and still had not stop asking her to marry him.
“Only few men can live with your acquisitive habit. If you have a man like Mark still wanting you at thirty-six, I think you should do all you can to keep him.”
“Yeah,” Tracy agreed.
Jerry had told her marriage was not for him. She knew how blessed she was to have Mark. She knew she shouldn't be jeopardizing the beautiful relationship they shared. She needed to get settled and have children. But she still wanted the shoes and Jerry had told her it was no big deal, as long as she would have dinner with him tonight. Just one more dinner with her generous, fun-loving Jerry, before she becomes Mrs. Tracy Mark Aaron. Mark didn't have to know.
“I don’t want to see that guy with you anymore or the wedding is off.” Mark’s firm words rushed to her mind. He had never sounded so stern with her and she knew he was dead serious with that threat.
“Just one more dinner won’t hurt anyone.”
Kate threw the remote on the sofa they sat on and got on her feet, close to tears. 
“For years, we've both been praying to God for you to get married, but you keep frustrating God’s plan with your selfish attitudes. What’s wrong with you? Can’t you ever be contented? Always wanting more of everything? We are supposed to be Christians for crying out loud.” She picked her bag and walked out of the room.
“Good riddance,” Tracy muttered as Kate shut the door. “Now, I can prepare for dinner with Jerry.

*****************

Tracy opened the door to let Jerry in.
“You look ravishing.” He kissed her.
“We shouldn't be doing this.” She pushed him away playfully.
“You shouldn't have sent me the mail.” He pulled her close for another kiss. A shadow darkened the open doorway.
“Mark!” She stepped back from Jerry.
Mark stood shocked, a shinny shoebox trembling in his hands. “I bought you the shoes, but I see you won’t need them after all. Good bye Tracy.” 

"And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Luke 12:15


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TALENT 2

I have no special talent.
I am only passionately curious. 
Albert Einstein

Talent is innate, present from birth; not man-made, but God-given.
It comes directly from within rather than being acquired by experience or from external sources. It is an unusual natural ability; a remarkable, out of the ordinary capability. A talented person has the natural tendency to do something successfully well. He is endowed with a high degree of intelligence and competence in a particular field.
Everyone has it!
Everybody God created has a special gift to do something well. It is just a matter of discovering it.
Why did God in His infinite wisdom give all men gifts?
ð      To glorify Him
ð      To advance His kingdom
ð      To impact humanity
ð      To make a living
So, if you have not discovered your talent, you may be functioning below capacity and disappointing your maker.
Talents are diverse and should not be seen only in terms of the arts. 
For example, a person can be a talented 
Athlete
Hair Dresser
House Builder
Babysitter
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
Baker
Car Maker
Caregiver
Cleaner
Comforter
Cook
Decorator
Driver
Encourager
Furniture Maker

Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev/
freedigitalphotos.net

Humorist
Listener
Nurse
Organizer
Repairer
Salesman
Speaker
Story Teller
Wine Maker


Like Albert Einstein's quote above, being able to be ‘passionately curious’ is a God given ability that enhances creativity. 
Teaching may be a talent; that is, having the ability to explain things in simple, clear terms thereby Imparting knowledge. You may also be good at 
Image courtesy of Aopson/ freedigitalphotos.net
Observing
Analyzing
Investigating
Building Friendships
Managing Crises
Negotiating
Resolving Conflicts

You name it! God furnished people with gifts to manifest in every sphere of life.
What is your talent?

Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace!