By Tony Kwame Ansah, Jr
On July 22nd of 2019, I (Tony Kwame Ansah, Jr or T.A.) had the pleasure of interviewing Chidi Nwaogu (C.N.). A Nigerian young man who is a serial Internet entrepreneur, computer programmer and winner of African Entrepreneurship Award 2018, The Bizz Business Excellence Award 2019, winner of Startup World Cup Nigeria Regional Competition 2019, and first place winner of OD Impact Challenge 2018/2019. The purpose of our conversation was to talk about his personal development as an entrepreneur. Although there’s a saying “to not mix business with pleasure,” our persona influences risk we take as humans, especially for those willing to build Publiseer, a digital publishing platform that allows African artist to publish their content everywhere books and music are sold online free of charge.
Without any further or due, the following written content is the full interview. Read now and be inspired!
T.A.: What would you do without getting anything in return for it, such as money?
C.N.: It would be to make movies. I’ve wrote a couple of films in the past but didn’t pursue producing them. Looking back right now, I think the reason why was because I didn’t really push hard to achieve it. If I had, I would have a couple of movies out now. It just something I really want to do with no payment involved at all. Film making is part of my long-term goals. I’m in love with digital media and film production. Video on demand is a huge industry.
T.A.: What gives you tremendous joy in life?
C.N.: For me, it’s traveling and moving around. When I travel, I get to see other place and other people. I have got to understand that the world is not just about me or myself. The world is about more than me. They’re many people in the world that go through their own problems and they have their own stories. I shouldn’t be selfish about my thoughts. The world consists of 7 billion people. For example, when you’re in an airplane and you look down, you get to see how little you are our in the world. You’re insignificant compared to the entire landmass. There are a lot of people in the world with their own challenges.
For my leisure, I love solving problems using technology. I just love the thrill of it. When I have an idea, I go from vision to minimal viable product (MVP) to traction to scaling. I love that road map. I love doing it repeatedly. I’ve been able to sell 2 of my businesses. I just love creating something out of nothing and things that are amazing. I like watching that thing change peoples lives. That’s what really gives me joy.
T.A.: What is something you would do every day if you could or something you can’t survive without doing it every day?
C.N.: Every day I wake up with music playing in my bedroom. I listen to music every morning. I may turn on my laptop to check emails and have music playing in the background. When I take my shower, I play music. It’s something that I always do in the morning. Music never stops until I leave and go outside.
T.A.: What is your strong Why for the passions you have?
C.N.: For me, I see personal challenges and problems as opportunities to solve. Although other people may see them as obstacles, I don’t. It drives me to keep doing the things I do. It’s about having the zeal to solve a problem. For example, the first time I created a business with my brother was to solve a problem at school. We created a social network for students to register with their matriculation number and email. This was done to figure what faculty people belonged to at our school. At some point, we realized that we had something amazing on our hands.
Although people see Africa as a continent with a whole lot of challenges and problems. I see Africa as an amazing continent full of opportunities and chances to solve problems.
T.A.: What is your special gift or talent that people compliment you on?
C.N.: I can sing, but most people don’t know. The people that do know always compliment me about it. Only people who personally know me are aware of my singing skills.
T.A.: What’s 1 strength and 1 weakness that you have?
C.N.: My strength is I easily get along with people. I’m good at working with people. I don’t’ usually force my opinion on them. I give people the opportunity to say what’s on their mind and express themselves. I help to lead them within their capacity.
For my weakness, I get too emotional about my ideas. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to move passed things, especially when I try to validate, and I realize that it failed my validation test. It’s tough for me to let go sometimes. I’m trying hard to look at things from a logical view. I try not to get attached to things lately. Now, I make sure to be in love with the problem and not the solution. It like being in love with an idea but things are not working, and you choose to keep doing it. I make sure to do things that actual work.
T.A.: What is 1 future goal or 1 upcoming goal that you have right now?
C.N.: One goal that I have right now is to include filmmakers in the loop of things. Like I said before, I always wanted to be a filmmaker. My brother and I want to introduce something called Publiseer for Filmmakers. This will allow our current company to distribute films before the end of the year.
T.A.: What are your action plans to make these goals possible?
C.N.: The plan is to forge and secure partnerships with the video demand platforms. The rest of the plans should naturally fall into place.
T.A.: Do you believe in accountability?
C.N.: Yes. Sometimes we do somethings and we don’t know the consequences. It’s good to have people let you know what you did wrong and the consequences of it. If I realize that I did something wrong, I’m very quick to hold myself accountable. Some people say that I’m too humble to a default. For instance, I don’t see a reason why a person can be too proud to say sorry or not to apologize for doing something wrong.
Sometimes there might be cultural differences. I travel a lot and go to different countries. Somethings that might be considered as normal practices in Africa, but maybe aren’t the same in places like Germany. If I do something there, they may look at me in a weird way. Like why would you do that? It’s normal from where I come from, but it’s not normal here. It helps to have someone let you know what’s normal and what’s not normal in certain environments. Whereby, one can adjust themselves.
I hold myself accountable for my words and actions. At the same time, I expect the same from other people, especially if I don’t know the gravity of what I’ve done.
T.A.: How will you assess your progress?
C.N.: For me, I give myself measurable or quantifiable assessments for things I really want to achieve. I put figures, deadlines, and timelines to it. If maybe I need to get revenue of $500,000, I won’t say that I need to increase my revenue because that’s a pointless goal. It’s not measurable and you can’t tell if you achieved it. Although you can increase your revenue, but that’s not progress. I usually quantify and measure it. I then put it in my timeline. I have a to-do-list and it starts from January to December this year. It’s long. These are things that I must do by a certain timeline. I make sure that I at least achieve 90% of what I have put down on the to-do-list.
It was great having a conversation with you brother. Until we speak again, stay blessed, stay strong, peace be unto you, later. Watch out for a potential podcast interview with Chidi Nwaogu in 2019.
Connect with Chidi here:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony K Ansah, Jr., M.P.A. is a self-published author and a social entrepreneur based in Rhode Island, U.S.A. He has written and published several books and content via poems, quotes, fiction, non-fiction, blogs and articles. Tony is also the founder and owner of Ansah Africa, a consulting and marketing startup that connects donors in the U.S.A. with nonprofits in Africa to solve global problems, which was established in 2017.
Copyright © 2019 by Tony Kwame Ansah Jr
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