Monday, 19 January 2015


Managing risk is an essential part of any business. Business risks may appear in any facet of the business. Risks and uncertainty are realities every business must face. A risk presents itself where one is forced to make a choice between alternatives whose potential outcomes are unknown or where one is forced to deal with an unanticipated situation that could adversely affect the organization. For instance, these risks could be:
• Financial Risks: such as investment choices, inadequate working capital, poor financial calculations, accounting fraud or excessive spending to mention a few.
• Economic Risks: such as interest rate changes, changing government policies, exchange rate changes or demographic movements.
• Production Risks: such as obsolete/ defective materials and goods, continuous technological evolution, product mix and quality, machine breakdown or cost of production.
• Human Resource Risks: arising due to fraudulent employees, negligent/inefficient employees, social engineering, recruitment risks or labor drain.
• Legal Risks: such as judgments from court cases, legal infringements, new legislations or business laws.
• Political and Social Risks: arising from issues such as civil unrest, elections, and unfavorable ideologies of political leaders or corruption.
• Management Risks: such as poor management decisions, insider trading, corporate governance issues, corporate policies and strategy.
• Market Risks: such as competing against fierce competitors, changing consumer tastes or behavior, piracy, distribution and dealership issues or marketing strategy.
To effectively handle these business risks, the following steps should be taken:
• Assess The Risk: To effectively assess the risk the following question need to be answered. Does a risk indeed exist? If it does exist, is there any alternative to be chosen? How much information is available about these alternatives? What is the potential impact of the risk should it occur?
• Assess the Alternatives: What would it cost the organization to pursue each of these alternatives? Note that the cost being referred to include both financial costs, human costs, cost to the organizations image, material costs, environmental costs, competitors reaction to your course of action etc. Alternatives could also present the option to:
a) Transfer the Risk to another party more competent to handle it. (E.g. through insurance, joint ventures and strategic alliances, outsourcing etc.)
b) Mitigate the Risk. I.e. to manage the impact of the risk by minimizing the odds.
c) Ignore the Risk. I.e. brace yourself and accept the impact.
• Implement the Alternative Chosen: Once an alternative is selected, an implementation plan is quickly arranged. The plan should clearly itemize steps needed to implement the strategy chosen. The implementation plan should also have a backup plan for another alternative strategy should the former fail. There should also be a feedback process to handle issues that may arise in the course of implementation.
This article was written by Valentine Okolo. To get more articles or courses such as:
"Strategies for Overcoming Competition in Business", or "Basics of Starting a New Business" amongst others, please visit my blog at

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Thursday, 7 November 2013


Mark Zuckerberg drops to 2nd in the world's listing of top 10 young billionaires.
Inspiring stories of the worlds top 10 young billionaires, their amazing age and figures.
No. 1: Dustin Moskovitz
Age: 28
Net Worth: $3.8 billion
Moskovitz, Mark Zuckerberg‘s former roommate, no longer works at Facebook, the social networking giant that he co-founded. A signee of Bill Gates‘ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, Moskovitz bikes to work, flies commercial, and pitches his own tent at Burning Man.

No. 2: Mark Zuckerberg
Age: 28
Net Worth: $13.3 billion
Few CEOs of any age are under more media scrutiny than Zuckerberg (who’s only 8 days older than Moskovitz). Since taking Facebook public in May 2012, and getting married days later, the hoodie-wearing founder has seen his net worth rise and fall with every fluctuation of the stock price.

No. 3: Albert von Thurn und Taxis
Age: 29
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Albert von Thurn und Taxis first appeared in Forbes’ billionaire rankings at age 8 but officially inherited his fortune in 2001 on his 18th birthday. The eligible bachelor is also a race car driver and tours with a German auto-racing league.

No. 4: Scott Duncan
Age: 30
Net Worth: $5.1 billion
Duncan is the youngest of the four children who inherited the massive fortune of late energy pipeline entrepreneur Dan Duncan, founder of Enterprise Products Partners. Today the company owns more than 50,000 miles of natural gas, oil, and petrochemical pipelines.

No. 5: Eduardo Saverin
Age: 30
Net Worth: $2.2 billion
Facebook co-founder Saverin renounced his United States citizenship in 2011, news of which broke days before the company’s IPO and drew accusations of tax evasion. Saverin, immortalized in The Social Network as Mark Zuckerberg’s onetime best friend, settled a lengthy legal battle with Facebook, apparently receiving a 5% stake. A Brazilian citizen, he now resides in Singapore and invests in startups.
No. 6: Huiyan Yang
Age: 31
Net Worth: $5.7 billion
Yang, the daughter of the founder of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings, is once again China’s richest woman. Her father transferred his stake to the Ohio State grad before the company’s IPO in 2007.

No. 7: Fahd Hariri
Age: 32
Net Worth: $1.35 billion
Hariri is the youngest son of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. He graduated from the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture de Paris in 2004. While still a student, he ran an interior design studio on the outskirts of the city, and sold furniture to clients in Saudi Arabia.

No. 8: Marie Besnier Beauvalot
Age: 32
Net Worth: $1.5 billion

Marie, along with siblings Emmanuel, 42, and Jean-Michel, 45, inherited French dairy giant Lactalis, producers of popular Président brie among hundreds of other cheese, milk and yogurt brands.

No. 9: Sean Parker
Age: 33
Net Worth: $2 billion
Parker is revamping his much hyped start-up, Airtime, with the hopes that the video chat site will have the impact of his other Web companies. At 19, Parker skipped college to disrupt the recording industry with music swapping site Napster. He served as Facebook’s first president at age 24.
No. 10: Ayman Hariri
Age: 34
Net Worth: $1.35 billion
Hariri is the son of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. He’s involved in running Saudi Oger, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction companies, and the source of the Hariri family fortune.

That morning, in October of 2005, Radamel Falcao García Zárate was really nervous. The coach of River Plate, one of the most important football1 teams in Argentina, had just called him to his room.
This afternoon, you are starting in the first team, kid. Don’t be nervous, everything will be OK. But don’t tell anyone. They will find out when the time comes.
It was lunchtime. The boy was nauseous, he couldn’t eat a thing. His team mates gobbled up the classic pre-game spaghetti; he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t help thinking about all the years he had spent preparing himself for this moment: his entire life. Although, truth to tell, the preparation had begun before he was born, in Santa Marta, Colombia, in 1986. His father bap- tized him with his own name –Radamel – and the name of a Brazilian football star whom he admired: Falcao. His father was a professional football player, though his career had not been brilliant. He never stayed with one team for very long, and his family travelled with him to different cities in Colombia and Venezuela, following his contracts. But when his first son, Radamel, was born, he decided that he would be a great football player, and gave him the name of his idol. Little Falcao learned to kick a ball before he could talk. His first memories are connected to football. His father taught him, encouraged him, took him to his games, to his training sessions. And Falcao did as expected: nothing mattered to him more than the ball. When Falcao was ten, his father retired and the family settled in Bogota. There, Falcao joined a football club and he was soon catching the eye of the trainers.
That’s when I got convinced that I could be a real football player. So I decided to give it my all, that my future lay there.
When was that?
When I was eleven or twelve. I began to play for the city team first, then for the Colombian team. That’s when I saw that I had to dedicate all of my time to this. I understood that I really had to live for football.
In Latin America, most boys dream about being football players. And thousands of them can hold onto that dream into their adolescence: they are the best, the ones who get into the youth divisions of the profes- sional football teams. Falcao was one of many such kids until, one Saturday when he was 14, his coach told him to get ready because the next day he was travelling to Buenos Aires: a businessman had organized a tryout with River Plate. Falcao was overjoyed: Argentina was one of his goals. He had always followed Argentine football, one of the most powerful leagues in South America. Besides, his coach had been to Buenos Aires and told him a lot about it. He liked the idea of it:
An old and beautiful football-loving city. A city with different seasons, very warm people, whose way of speaking is so funny. It was always my dream to come here.
Were you scared?
No, I was not scared. My mind was made up, and I was hungry for success. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and, with God’s help, I didn’t want to let it go by.
The tryout went well. They offered him a contract and set him up in a hotel. He had to learn to live alone in a city that was not his own. At the beginning, he was not homesick. Only after a year, when an injury put him on the disabled list for months, did he grow discouraged; there were moments when all he wanted to do was go home and forget about everything. He was 16 years old. At an age when most young people are beginning to think about what to study, where to work, the course of their lives, the football rookies have their fate on the line. Many have to leave their cities, their studies, their amusements, their friends. They know that this is their only shot.
It is a very dull life: training, watching what you eat, going to bed early, seeing everyone else doing things that you can’t. Sometimes it bothered me a lot, it exasperated me. But then I told myself that I was here for a reason that I had to sacrifice everything to make it.
Nine out of ten don’t: at the age of 18 or 19, they consider themselves failures, people who have missed the boat. Falcao did not want to be one of those people, and he found the strength to endure. He trained more and more, learned to be strong and not to fall into temptation, to convince himself that his goal was the most important thing. A professional football player must be obsessed with competition and victory. At the beginning of 2005, Falcao was promoted to the first team, but he never got a chance to play. Until that October morning, when his coach told him that his day had come.
That afternoon, when I was getting dressed, my legs were shaking. But when I hit the field, I was transformed. The stadium was full, people were shouting, and I realized that I felt that hunger, that drive to beat anyone who crossed my path, that adrenalin, that confidence. It is something that you cannot explain, you have to experience it.
That October afternoon was perfect: River Plate won and Falcao scored two of the three goals. The next day, all the news- papers were talking about the great new talent, about the guy that was going to put an end to his team’s losing streak. In the next six games, Falcao scored five more goals. He was becoming a star.
It’s an incredible feeling. Suddenly, from one day to the next, your life changes. You can’t go anywhere, people recognize you on the street, your team mates look up to you.
And you can even make a lot of money...
Yes, it’s amazing how much some players earn. You make a fortune, and they are paying you to do what you like doing. You just have to play and they pay you, though you do have to make sacrifices, you miss out on a lot. But today football players are models for many people. They are in ads for all sorts of things. A lot of people dress like football players, or get haircuts like football players. It’s strange to think that maybe someday there will be kids who try to do the things that I do…
On November 22, 2005, everything seemed to go to pieces: Falcao’s knee was seriously injured, and he would not be able to play for many months.
At the beginning, I was really down in the dumps. I asked myself why this had to happen to me now, why God had done something like this to me. Then I realized that these things happen for a reason. They help you to grow up and mature. They can be for the best. I think that helped me to keep it together, to know that I should not take it so seriously: everything can vanish at any moment. I understood that I had to be strong and present, to stick with it.
Falcao knows that coming back is going to be rough. Many promising young players are injured. Some of them can overcome it; some cannot. He is now eagerly awaiting that moment, while getting on with his studies. Last year, he enrolled in a journal- ism programme at a university in Buenos Aires. Though he does not have much time to study, he says that it is better to do something unrelated to football, to get an education, to open his mind to other things.
In football, you can be lucky and become a big star, you can do OK and play as well as many, or you can be unlucky and not make the big leagues. It’s a lottery. You never know what will happen. You give it your all, but you have to be prepared to lose.
You depend on too many factors: luck, teams, injuries…
Falcao lives in an apartment in a tall modern building in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. From his living room, you can see the river, the River Plate stadium as well as the most brutal concentration camp of the Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s. His father, his mother and his sisters live with him: the boy has become the breadwinner. Throughout South America, fathers and mothers who twenty or thirty years ago would have scolded their sons if they saw them “wasting time with a ball,” now encourage them, because football can offer them a better standard of living than any other profession. The stakes are high, and Falcao cannot stop imagining his future.
I think about it a lot, I have a lot of dreams. I want to go to Europe, to play with the best in the world.
Where would you like to go?
To Real Madrid, to Milan, to the big teams.
Do you think that is possible?
Yes. River sells players to the best teams in the world. Everything depends on how I do.
For many Latin American players, Buenos Aires is a stop on the way to Europe: the springboard from which they can reach, once and for all, the wealth and fame that they have sought since they were children. Since they were very young, most young players from Latin America have one goal: performing well on their teams so that they are “bought” by a European team. Buying is a strong word.
And the idea of moving from country to country doesn’t bother you?
No. That’s the way a football player's life is, always moving, going after the best. In this profession, if you are lucky you can get everything you want, even the greatest luxuries.
What luxuries would you like?
Well, mostly a car. A BMW convertible, that kind of thing …
Falcao emigrated for the first time when he was 14, and he thinks he will keep doing it. He still has a close connection to Colombia: his countrymen can admire him on television, he has played for the Colombian youth league, and he hopes to play for the national team. But he is no longer certain that he will return to Colombia to live.

I used to think I would, but now I am not so sure. I feel more comfortable here, in Argentina. If I go to Europe, maybe I will want to stay there. Who knows if I will ever live in my country again, after all this?

FALCAO has since become greater and more famous, moving from River Plate to Fc Porto, to Athletico Madrid and from there to AS Monaco in France. He has been listed in the FIFA best 11, he has the recieved the Globe Footballer of the year Award and several others, and has also been listed 6th in the 100 best footballers in the world by the guardian.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

When you are multi-gifted and demand places you on a trip to Eldorado and you are compassed about by so great a cloud of discombobulation - you need counselling, but when you are gazed square for square with your goal but lack the mind power to declare veraciously and act sternly - you need inspiration from those who have done it before.

Lecture Room 1
Benson Idahosa University
Benin City.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Heart Attack Symptoms & Warning Signs

If you are having a heart attack, you may feel pain in your chest. This pain might be sharp, or it might be a feeling of crushing pressure. You might only feel the pain in one part of the body, such as your arms, shoulders, jaw, stomach, back, or neck. Most commonly, people report a dull ache in the left arm that becomes stronger and radiates to the chest.
Pain related to a heart attack can range from dull to strong or from mild to severe. You might feel like you have an upset stomach, or you might experience excruciating pain. The pain might be constant, or it may disappear and then return with a similar or different feeling. The pain will persist for more than 20 minutes, and you will find that rest and painkillers may not help.
Many women feel accompanying nervousness and anxiety, symptoms that frequently go ignored. Some people start coughing, and others experience nausea or vomiting. Other symptoms that are common include fainting spells, dizziness, unusually rapid heartbeat, uncontrollable sweating, and difficulty breathing.
Some people might not experience any symptoms at all. People who commonly have heart attacks without symptoms include women, elderly people, and diabetes patients.

Warning Signs
Any heart attack symptom is a warning sign, even if you do not experience chest pain. Symptoms need to be treated immediately using oxygen, aspirin, and nitroglycerin. Without prompt treatment, permanent damage to the heart and brain can result. Such a shock to the body is difficult to sustain, and a heart attack is a medical emergency that should absolutely never be ignored.
If you feel dizzy, stressed, light headed, and nauseous, you may be experiencing a heart attack without traditional symptoms of pain. You should still consider a silent heart attack a medical emergency since permanent damage is a possible result.
Many people experience extreme exhaustion and insomnia for a period of one month before a heart attack. If you experience these symptoms, focus on whether additional symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, or dizziness develop. Keep in mind that a doctor might have trouble diagnosing a silent heart attack and that you will need to communicate any possible factors including medical history, family history, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Silent heart attack patients need follow up tests to confirm whether the heart attack was real.
People who have recurring heart attacks should consider seeing a cardiologist or specialist. Your condition might be very serious, and you might need heart surgery to prevent future attacks.

Original content found at:

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

This is a letter to my true friends, fellow country men, Nigerians, Africans and patriots.

It's time again for us to rekindle the fire that burned out our passion and patritism for the service of the father land. Haven been through the strom, the rain, and the fire, we remain consistently and constantly re-inspired by the laours of our hands, the pains of our brethren, and the vision of the nation we deserve. I urge you with the utmost possible and veracious reality, not to soon be found giving up on us as a nation. We will emerge amisdt the crisis of the hinterland, the strife of the poor peasant and rural farmer, the graduate who payed his dues burning the night candle in the class amidst mosquitoes, roaches and fear but can't be seen to find a job for which he can recieve the priviledge to put to work that for which he paid the dues. I hereby urge you again to rise, and stand straight and tall, in the face of the devastating calamity that befalls us as a nation, rise above the pointification of government without any real progress, above the nepotic and subvert acts of the apparatus' of states and the paraphenelia of govt. Let us countermine the mediocrity of govt forces that seeks to put under bondage and back into colonialism the people of Nigeria to whom soveregnty belongs. Not by guns, arms or forces of evil vices, but by the power of goodwill, in retrospect to the surferings of the talakawas, to the glory of God and of our heroes past. Rise and lets build Nigeria again.

Friday, 4 January 2013

What the heck does this guy mean by the benefit of evil? I know that’s the question roaming your mind now. It’s quite a controversial topic and I understand that. But I just need you to follow me for the next five minutes and you’ll want to give me a paycheck for putting up this article.
Many a times, we prefer to have at our beck and call, the fun, the excitement and happiness of life. Everyone at one time or another desires a life void of challenges and worries, a life void of troubles with everything functioning greatly and smoothly.
I’ll use Nigeria as a typical example in this subject. In Nigeria we are exposed to certain discomforts and “hardships” due to what we often want to term “poor Governance”. This has so engrossed our hearts that nobody seems to be looking away from the immediate challenges to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or to discern what opportunities amass in these multitudes of challenges.
We have since independence in 1960 as a nation seen one form of challenge or the other. From our erratic power supply to poor road infrastructure, from our broken health care system to our compromised judicial system, from our debilitated aviation sector to our wiped away fire service system. Not to even mention the corrupt practices of our past and incumbent leaders which has now become a norm irrespective of the presence of EFCC, ICPC, and other law and anti – corruption agencies and committees in the country.
Somehow some of us have resolved in our minds that traveling out of Nigeria is the only key to solving the problem. But let me break that down for you; Nigeria – immobile and stationary, a perfect and constant geographic location which is an important and primary factor in production (Land). No matter where we travel to and how long we stay there or what we do there, the land remains constant and will only show signs of development or improvement, when activities begin to take place on it (when we choose to make developing the land our business). This tells me that the land is not the problem and success is not a function of location. If you have an outstanding idea with an overriding policy you’ll make your statement nice and easy, irrespective of the land and its challenges. So guess what? the problem is you who thinks the nation has a problem.
Fela Durotoye is a leading business consultant and speaker who from the same Nigeria travels around the world, consulting, coaching and speaking to multinationals. Lancelot O. Imasuen is a media practitioner and one of Nollywood’s best movie directors who started his career from the ancient city of Benin in Nigeria. But today, he travels around the world giving lectures on the same field where we would have thought that the whites (as we call them) have more knowledge than we do. Yet from his office in Benin, he grants interviews on a regular basis to CNN amongst other world leading TV networks.

I do believe that we often spend our precious time that would rather have been invested in more productive and innovative thinking, looking for problems that are not there, and so because your heart is fixed that certainly there has to be a problem – your mind therefore produces a mirage which becomes the obstacle that limits you from your goal. In other words “you are the only valid limitation you have”. If you change your mindset and channel your thoughts to possible solutions instead of problems (that don't exist), you actually would have made a million dollar worth of progress.
In the past few years, the world has come face to face with economic recess and crunch, that has seen many companies and countries including multinationals into bankruptcy, among countries affected were Greece, Spain, and even the United States of America which is considered the world’s power. Affected companies and countries sold off their assets in order to balance their debts, and are even borrowing more and more money, using even the last assets they have as collaterals. Yet other companies are financially firm and even buying over some of the assets auctioned away by the bankrupt companies and countries. Some individuals in the midst of the economic crunch are having great picnic times worth millions of dollars somewhere in the Caribbean or in the UAE. Others are buying and flying private jets, while some others have so much to spend, that they can even lend to bankrupt nations (note that I said; lend to nations not persons or corporations). Steve Jobs’ Apple Corporation is one of the financial giants that withstood this economic recess that even badly affected the U.S and raised her debt by over $16 trillion. Apple by its fiscal status is worth more than the United States of America, which means that it can comfortably donate to the nation to ameliorate its financial cataclysm.
During this economic flurry, Bill Gates, CEO of the Microsoft Corporation was one of the most prominent donors who gave more to charity. As a matter of fact, Bill has given more to HIV/AIDS than the United Nations (UN) has. All of these simply explains that in the midst of challenges, you can still be financially buoyant. If you have read my article on value, it talks about every business rising and falling on ideas. Let me push that at an angle a little bit different from what you read (please check my previous posts on this blog, or get a copy sent to your mail on request). Your ability to sustain your feat financially in the stormy day depends on what ideas you have cultivated at peace times. Apple had a working product, a cutting edge value system (see VALUE; YOUR TICKET TO BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2013) and an overriding business policy that made it impossible for them to go down in the storm. Once upon a time, Apple had a product “Apple Lisa” which Steve Jobs named after his daughter Lisa which also meant Local Integrated Software Architecture, and sold for $595 in 1985. Apple Lisa seemed to be the prime at the time until a new product “the Macintosh” popularly called Mac today was made. Steve Jobs showed up and declared an ideological war between the staff team that produced the Mac and that of Apple Lisa. This caused the great resurgence of the Mac which made it the most popular computer at that time and saw the extinction of Lisa. But today we talk about the ipads 1 – 3, iphones 1 – 4s which are all products of a well cultivated idea rich corporation – Apple. Their innovative ability has kept them relevant in the business and world of technology and of course increased their net worth by billion dollar checks. Once again “every business rises and falls on ideas”.
As bad as the nation seems to be with everybody travelling everywhere but Nigeria, seeking for the so called greener pastures, some dudes are right here making it large and are still relevant in the international arena. The problem is that we are often too short sighted to see beyond the walls, to look into the storm and see that gold mine. We are too quick to conclude and stir our hearts in the reverse bias thus disconnecting from the possibilities lurking around us. However, there is a back door to all of these and you can work around it.
First you need to understand that the mind has been wired to connect the present with the future, but needs you to trigger the mechanism by being counterintuitive.  So "the distance between the limitations you see and the victory you seek are your thoughts”. The mind has also been wired to produce whatever you see (not look), because sight is a product of the mind but the eyes merely look. So your inability to see or conceive that greatness you desire, makes your mind passive and of course helpless irrespective of your location, race or class.
You’ll have to stop seeing problems and see challenges. A Problem is something that is difficult to deal with or understand (oxford dict. 7th ed. 2006). When you think of something as a problem, all you see about that thing is nothing but barriers and roadblocks and blurring. But a challenge is a demanding or stimulating situation, a call to engage in a contest or fight (wordweb dict.). When you see challenges other than problems, you are stimulated to task your creativity to produce results and you will discover in the end that you’re stronger than you were when you first engaged your challenge and that’s because “what doesn’t kill, you only makes stronger” and “Challenges are the platforms innovators need to be champions”. 
Challenges are the bedrock of development in every economy. So when you see challenges you ought to rejoice as it is your opportunity to inscribe your name in the chronicles of time as a solution. “The value of refined gold is in the challenge of the fire and hammer it faced at the goldsmiths’.”
While Some guys were busy shouting down the Government and gossiping about the economic crunch, some other guys were busy in innovation, converting what seemed to be a problem into a multibillion dollar venture. Amidst the economic crunch companies and countries still spent billions of dollars hiring HR managers, financial analysts, and all sorts of consultant platforms to manage their economy and their finances. "While men yet wept about the storm, others flew using the same storm as fuel". in the same vein, as Nigerians are busy criticizing the country and continuously fleeing, do you know that over 14, 000 Chinese visit Nigerian embassies weekly, striving to come to the same country from where we all want to flee?
The benefit of evil is such that it makes you stronger than you were if you’re patient enough to sail through. In every problem is a business. In my article "value; your ticket to business success in 2013", I talked about how that many of the world class businesses were formed out the proclivity to solve a problem and they never eluded the wealth benefits that followed. It makes you a brand name, and you become a leading authority on the subject matter. I urge you strongly to find a problem today and solve it, if truly you want to make wealth. “The beauty of a problem is in the solution”.