Broken: The story of John Part 2

Broken follows a man named John Briscoe and the events that happen after the loss of his long time girlfriend. In part 2 we explore the days after her passing and how John begins his Journey to becoming whole again

Tick, Tock, Tick Tock was all John could hear as he lay time-stuck with memories of Martha. Tears streaming down his face, the smell of alcohol filled his breath and nothing but a few drops of whiskey were left in the bottle. He didn’t realize that seconds had turned to hours and, ultimately, days had passed. He had ignored all calls from work, friends, or parents and had been wrapped up in a ball, just saddened by the disbelief of what had transpired. The voice of Angelo finally pops up and says, “Mr. John, I sense you are in distress. Is there anything you might need? ” “Can you bring Martha back?” John asks, to which Angelo responds, “Sorry Mr. John, but Ms Martha is recorded as deceased.”An almost thunderous knock and bashing of the front door is heard, to which Angelo says, “Mr. John, your parents are outside. Should I let them in? Sensing the incoming disapproval from his father, John responds, “Tell them I am not home,” to which Angelo responds, “Mr. John, sensing your current state, I think it would be good for you to have some company over.” John, not wanting to have to deal with the upcoming questions but remembering the comfort his parents bring, finally says, “Angelo, let them in”. The doors burst open and in ran both Henry, a 65-year-old, 6’6 towering figure who looked exactly like his son, and Ethel, an equally towering 5’10 woman with nothing but tears in their eyes and sadness in their hearts. They see the almost empty bottle of whiskey, the room in complete disarray, and a shell of the perfection they had come to know as their son. Nothing could prepare them for the sight, but nevertheless, they hurried over to give their son a warm and reassuring hug. “Son, we feel your pain and we know how much she meant to you.” Henry says, and Ethel, sensing just how broken her crying son was, continued “These feelings are fleeting, but the memories you shared will live on in you forever.”We cannot just say everything is going to be alright, but we can, however, say, no matter what, we will always be here for you. ” “Thank you Dad, appreciate you Dad,” James responds as he gets up, trying to switch into a mode that resembles some sort of normalcy. He asks, “Can I get you anything?” To which his parents said, in unison, “No thank you, my love, we just need to know you are OK.” James, still crying, asks to be excused to go at least look presentable for his parents, but his efforts are futile as he collapses in despair after a few steps, unable to pull himself together.Sensing the complete anguish in her son, Ethel beckons Angelo and asks him to begin running a shower, which he obliges. As the water began its descent on the ground, both Henry and Ethel each grabbed one hand and tried to lift this muscular, well-built man into the shower with his feet dragging and tears still streaming down his face. Knowing the task of getting him fully undressed and in the shower would be a difficult one for his capable but fragile parents, James says, “It is alright, I’ve got it from here,” after which he begins to slowly crawl into the bathroom. As he crawls past the bathroom door, he closes it and begins to undress, starting with the same shirt he had laid out and ironed the night before, the day Martha passed. He followed this with his underwear and continued his crawl, this time naked, to the shower and just sat underneath the water, unable to move but still feeling a sense of calm as the stream touched his body. Henry and Ethel stood outside the bathroom door, just hoping their once happy son was beginning some level of self-care and wanted to be as helpful as possible. Ethel begins to help clean up, starting with the finished bottle of whiskey, while Henry, on the other hand, had been drawn to the kitchen to at least make John a cup of black coffee with 2 sugars, just the way he knew his son would like it. Within 5 minutes, the robot vacuum is back at the charging point, the coffee is steaming, and John, in his new loungewear, is walking back into the room. With red eyes and heavy hearts, John, Ethel, and Henry all take a seat on the couch while “Angelo’s programming deduces that some soft jazz would help lighten the mood in the background.” Henry, the first one to finally speak, says, “Feeling any better, son?” to which John replies, “I don’t think I ever will. Time has lost all meaning. Each moment is filled with despair and my heart is filled with nothing but sorrow.” Henry responds, “Drink your coffee and let out all your emotions.” This was a surprise to Henry, who was used to his father being a man who seemed to always have his emotions in check. John continues, “I bought a ring and was going to propose, but now she will never be my wife. I planned trips and we never went because we always had this vision that our careers came first.” He continues, “Looking forward to life was never an issue, but finding the moments to live by looking back was always a problem. We chased and we ran towards goals that, in retrospect, now have no meaning. ” Ethel, wanting to help her grieving son think more positively, says, “Don’t be sad about the times that didn’t happen; be happy about the times that did.” She continues, “Just focusing on the moments that could have been will leave you with nothing but regret, my lovely boy,” as she goes in for a hug. John continues but cannot help as tears slowly begin to run down his face. “It isn’t even that I am sad about times that weren’t, I’m sad at the sacrifices we made that, looking back, we did not necessarily have to.” The times we stayed late at the office to get that last minute document finished or the times we spent, we would postpone trips because we wanted to save money, which now just means nothing to me”. Henry, sensing the frustration in his son, says, “Look, in those moments you did what you decided was best. No-one can predict the future no matter how smart they think they are, but what you can do is now try and do things to help not just keep those memories alive but to help preserve the beautiful life you’ve built together.” I do not believe it will be easy to move on, but I do believe if you continue to try, one day it will be better. ” “Thank you mom and pops,” John says as he cleans the tears from his face. In the midst of all his grief, he had forgotten to make a call to Angelo, to which Angelo replies, “Yes John,” “Call the office,” John says, “a call in the midst of all his grief. As the dial tone echoes across the room, Henry and Ethel become quiet and a voice says, “Clarkson investment management, Jenna speaking”; “Hi Jenna, this is John. I apologize for nothing coming in the past few days without an explanation. I would like to hand in my 2 weeks’ notice, “to which shocked Jenna replies, “Firstly, John, we heard about what happened to Martha and we are very sorry for your loss. We actually have been instructed to give you a 6-month paid grieving break to allow you to cope. Instead of handing in your 2 weeks’ notice, how about taking some time off and when you are ready, come back; our doors will always be open “to which John replies, “Thank you Jenna, but that won’t be necessary as my decision is final. Have a good day.” Sensing the end of the call, Angelo’s A. I automatically hang up and Henry looks at Ethel in shock but does not utter a single word to John as he knew his son would be OK. As everyone drinks the coffee and time passes, darkness begins to rear its head and John, wanting more time alone, respectfully asks for some time and space to collect his thoughts, to which his parents oblige and beckon a taxi to take themselves home, not before giving their son a hug and reminding him that everything was going to be OK. 

Finally, after hours of laying down silently in the darkness, John closes his eyes and his racing mind begins to drift into the calmness of sleep, marking his first rest in days. After a few hours of tossing and turning, he awoke screaming “Martha!” as if the memory of seeing her lifeless was playing on repeat in his mind.his screams were in vain because within seconds of turning over to grab his lover, he remembered she was no more by his side. He remembers she will not be there today for a morning kiss, be there to join him in the shower, be there to help him pick out the perfect tie that would help him tackle the day with the confidence and assured will he needed to go on, and he just lays back down silently feeling alone. It wasn’t the silence of the room that made him feel worse, but knowing that the peace he now felt was only going to be disrupted by the soothing words of his A.I companion Angelo. Coincidentally, as he laid down like clockwork, he heard the voice that was all too familiar say, “Hello Mr. John, would you like a cup of coffee or breakfast this morning?” It was Angelo who, after the latest cloud update, was set into grief mode. This mode, which had been remotely active by Henry, was supposed to help grieving individuals with more menial tasks so as to allow them to be more stress-free. At least that was what the marketing campaign set out by Supercore, the company behind Angelo’s A.I., but all it felt like to John was relieving him from all the tasks that made him forget his current reality for a few seconds. As John slowly dragged himself out of bed, filled with grief and some level of resentment, he put on his grey Harvard hoodie, found the nearest sweatpants, and sluggishly dragged himself out of the house. Darkness still filled the streets, but the glistening lights of the Budweiser logo glowing from the front of the bodega shined bright, almost calling John to get another drink to help remove himself from his current unwanted reality. A few steps down the street, and John was at the bodega, browsing the aisle for the drink with the highest percentage of alcohol. A reach for the whiskey and a few steps out of the bodega and he was back home on the couch, drinking like a man on a mission to finish before the competition. Half way down the bottle, he stops and notices his V.R glasses just sitting perched on the corner of the black coffee table Martha had been so adamant about, which would tie the once newly furnished apartment together. The stress of his hands, tussle with a strap and calling out the words “On” and he was on the virtual reality home screen scrolling for some world to take his mind far away for hours to come. After a second of scrolling with just the thoughts in his brain, he blinks and the world of Livasha appears. You see, Livasha wasn’t just any world, it was a program created to help people grieving reconnect with loved ones through the thoughts they had of them. This means that, by combining photos, messages, and patterns of behavior stored for an individual online on a database, algorithms can create perfect replicas of the loved ones people like John have lost. A great idea, to say the least, but not exactly what John had in mind, and he decided it was too much for him, prompting him to take off the glasses. John, having watched all the movies and books, knew the harm of trying to recreate Martha in a program because, despite the fact that he was sad at the passing of his beloved and trying to escape reality, he still believed that his life would eventually have to go on. Almost immediately after taking off the glasses, he hears Angelo call out “Incoming call from Donald Dukinson”, a childhood friend and confidant of John’s, leading to a response of “Accept”. As the phone connects, Donald asks, “Hey mate, how you holding up?” to which John mumbles, “Doing alright I guess,” sensing the sadness in his voice, although not wanting to highlight the obvious and trying to be careful, Donald responds, “I will be there in 2 minutes, do you need anything?” to which John says, “No thank you brother,” while drinking, throwing a drink down his gullet. As soon as the call hangs up, John lays his head on a pillow, and within a minute, the front door is swung up and footsteps approach John. His red eyes are open almost instantly. It is Donald, running in to provide comfort to his long-time friend and confidant. The usual loud, short, bulky, and loudmouthed Donald, for once, is left almost speechless by what he states. He sees his long time friend, and in his mind, all he can think is “wow, my friend is really broken”.

Broken: The story of John Part 1

Broken follows a man named John Briscoe and the events that happen after the loss of his long time girlfriend. In part 1, we explore the circumstances surrounding her untimely passing.

On Sunday the 15th of February 2027, on the snowy but sunny streets of Brooklyn, New York, started out as any other day would, with John Briscoe a 6 foot 5 bald but bearded dark skinned man was getting up from bed at 4am, checking on his stock portfolio, checking his emails, and lastly, getting a start on his exercise routine. John was a man of routine, as his father had always said, “A man without a routine is a man with a purpose.” These were words John had come to live his whole life around and it had worked well for him up until this very day, because on this very day, John had missed one thing from his 10-year routine and had done it without thinking twice. At exactly 6am, the sun begins to rise, the birds begin to chirp, and John begins to get ready for a long day at his cushy white-collar job at a prestigious investment bank in the heart of the Big Apple. John had come to love his life and, most especially, had begun to finally feel as though his imposter syndrome was finally gone and he could fully embrace all that life had to offer. John had quit drinking and smoking, and today marked the 1-year anniversary of that decision. John had begun to feel like fighting his demons was easier and he no longer needed to try and escape the pressures that came with his current reality. You see, John had always felt the pressure that he was special and any mistakes he made in life would result in catastrophic consequences for anyone involved on the grace day. This has meant John has tried his absolute best to live a life that is nothing short of perfect. What does “perfection” mean? John, during his teenage years, had always studied hard and gotten the best grades possible. He had always been nice to everyone. He had always been selfless and never had a fight or tried to put anyone down, no matter the consequences. John was, as his mother would always tell her friends at their ladies’ nights and book club meetings, “the kind of man any mother would be proud to call her son”. Being seen as close to perfect was always enough to keep John motivated to keep going until the day he met Martha. Martha, 5 foot 9, a dark haired mixed race bombshell wasn’t just your average woman in finance, she was the finance woman who had grown up in a tough neighborhood and was always keen to get out. Martha had developed a thick skin that had catapulted her to the forefront of every man’s tongue in the city that never sleeps. Some called her a menace, while others called her a savant. No matter what you called her, she didn’t have a care in the world. She could hold her own in any meeting, back whatever statement she made with facts and figures, and was already able to speak her mind. When John first met Martha, his first thought was, “How can one person be so argumentative?” However, as John would soon discover, Martha would be the one to reveal what he had never really tried to do, which was live life for himself.Back to the faithful day in question, John, while carrying on with his morning routine about to leave for work, finally remembers to notice before he leaves the house that he had forgotten the most important part of his routine: waking Martha up for a kiss to say goodbye. Since that summer day in July 2024, when Martha and John moved in together, the one who ever woke up first would always make sure to wake the other up when they planned on leaving the house for work or any other activity that would see them not seeing each other for a period of over 6 hours. A rule they strictly adhere to because they have never wanted to be apart since their first date.A date that, by all accounts, was never going to be forgotten by either, as both hilariously recall it as being the worst experience of their lives. Martha had been the one to ask John out, plan the date, and make sure things went according to plan, as she was aware of John’s need for perfection. The date was supposed to take place at the newly refurbished Refinery Rooftop with a private 3-course meal and wine to fill their bellies. The only problem was that the Refinery Rooftop had been closed that night, and they ended up getting a $3 slice from the corner and talking about the Great Recession of 2023. Any passerby would have easily mistaken them for work colleagues or an old marriage couple so comfortable with each other that they didn’t have a care in the world. The events of that day set in motion the beginning of a beautiful relationship in which both John and Martha never saw themselves ever being in and adapting to each other in ways they could never have imagined. As John leaned in to try and kiss Martha good morning, he realized Martha was cold and she wasn’t as responsive as usual. Sensing something was wrong, he cries out “Angelo, scan Martha for signs of distress” and soon enough, the A.I was embedded in the bed and scanned Martha and realized her breathing was slowed, her body was cold, and her heartbeat was low. Before John could react, Angelo called the paramedic and her symptoms had been sent to make sure the right team was on the way. John begins to panic, unsure of what is wrong, and begins to call out for the fiery woman who meant the world to him but never responded.before he could figure out what was going on, he heard a rush through the door. They were shocked but grateful that it was the paramedics and Angelo had let them in. In complete disbelief, he continues to watch as the love of his life is carted into an ambulance and put on oxygen. He sits by her side and never lets go of her hand for the whole ride to the hospital, which under normal circumstances would be 5 minutes, but thanks to this particularly congested day, it was 8. As John continues with the paramedics, all he can say is, “What is wrong?” And “Please save her life.” Within moments of arriving at the hospital, John was told to wait as the doctors needed to analyze the situation and see what was going on. John continues, “I cannot lose her. Please save her life.” Two nurses are left with John as Martha is lifted away to the body scanner as he cries and seems to be more broken than ever before. The results from the body scanner reveal that Martha was suffering from a rare new variant of the Syslopisis virus. A man-made virus which was used during the ongoing wars in Canada specifically targeted people of a certain white blood count, age, and ability to procreate babies who would be deemed of “superior intelligence”. As doctors rushed against time to give her the only cure possible, the virus continued to cause Martha to slowly lose her life. The problem with this virus is that it was designed to kill you in your sleep without you ever even waking up, and the cure was an adrenaline shot to help you wake up. As the doctors rushed to administer the Proning 345, the wake-up drug, Galileo, the hospital A. I announce “time of death: 8:23 am”. Not wanting to give up, doctors continue to try all forms of CPR and resuscitation techniques, which all prove to be completely useless. Galileo begins his post-mortem corpse analysis and says, “If Proning 345 was administered 2–3 minutes before, it would have been effective in assisting resuscitation efforts.” As doctors put the white sheet to cover Martha’s face, a young doctor breaks the news to John. John breaks down, distraught, and becomes emotionless because his greatest fear has become a reality. The one thing that had always been his form of anxiety had finally come true. The one thing he had feared the most had arrived, and he had no way of dealing with it because the one person who had always reassured him that he would never feel that way was no longer with him. almost cold state, John begs the doctors to say goodbye to Martha one last time, and trying to be compassionate, they allow him to go see her as she lays down cold and lifeless in the bed. As John looks down at the woman he intends to propose to next week, he begins to cry, as if he were an infant who had lost his ability to communicate.As Martha is carted away and John begins to leave the hospital, he begins to ponder what he was meant to do with his life now that his reason for continuing to go on was gone. As John starts to walk home, he enters the closet Bodega, picks up the most expensive bottle of whiskey he could find and pays. Still crying and not sure of how to go on, he sits at a lamppost on the corner of the street in the snow and just lays down and takes his first drink in a year. He sits back up, his tears gushing like a waterfall and his mind racing like an endless stream of consciousness, and calls Martha’s parents in California.When they pick him up and see him a blubbering mess with alcohol in his hands, they ask him, “what happened?” John, not knowing what to say, simply says, “I’m sorry I couldn’t save her.” “Save who?” they ask, “Martha,” he cries.Almost like the wave of the typhoon, both of her parents begin to cry out, and John, sensing he couldn’t be stronger, hangs up and continues to drink. As he drinks, he shouts out “Angelo, get me home and please no driver” and within 2 minutes, a fully autonomous taxi parks up beside him ready to go. He staggers in and lays down in the back, still crying and drinking, till he reaches home. As he gets out and walks up the steps, he is reminded of the fun memories they shared, like how he stumbled on a step while trying to chase Martha after a night out at House of Yes and how she would never get the door open on the first try. As he walks into the house, reminded of the times they shared with a bottle in his hand and an ocean of tears on his face, he looks at the home they once shared and truly felt like he was broken. 

An Absence of Peace

In this article we look at the fleeting ability to obtain peace in this ever more connected world

Much can be understood from looking at stress and how it can or was overcome. For a large part of my adult life, I find myself dealing with trying to reduce my stress than actually trying to understand the root causes. Sometimes I wonder why does everyone feel stressed? I understand for some it could as a result of trying to figure out the best path to success in business or love or just life in general but I see myself stopping at the question, will stress ever stop? In present days’ relaxation comes at a cost as outlets that were initially meant to release stress now seem to be the root cause of stress. 

For instance, social media was a fun way to contact friends or stay in touch with the world but now it causes us a lot more stress that we care to even think about from constant updates on wars or a feed filled with negativity to comparison building jealousy.

Another example was trying to go on a nice holiday as a way to relieve the burden of our workload which now is almost impossible with the constant feeling of dread that fills the days as you are reachable, accessible and constantly in need due to the ever growing demands of the modern world.

Furthermore, with the constant pressure to take pictures or create content that excites followers/friends and prove you are having a great time and have made the right decision whether monetary or mentally, how does one unburden themselves and not continued to be let facts such as these weigh down your mind. It isn’t even just as simple as shutting off and relaxing anymore as even a few hours out of the loop could see you missing out on knowing if there could be a war, stock market crash or even a sudden disruption to the sanctuary you envision as home. 

Even the comfort of knowing you can work and retire at old age with money to take care of yourself seems almost an impossible dream to some as a larger part of that now goes into trying to relieve the stress of dealing with the threat of eminent chaos. It isn’t enough anymore to just try and unwind on a normal day with a good book or blog post, now it takes precise planning and accurate forecasting to take care of the most important thing you possess which undoubtedly is your mind. We talk about the growing need for a focus of mental health but should we talk more about the growing need for relieving the avenues that cause us stress in the first place. It is no longer enough to say just cut people or things that cause you stress out of your life because nowadays how do you even do that with constant reminders always available to you. You say I won’t follow them, well they still not have a profile? You say I won’t call them well there’s still email and so many other avenues to keep connected. With the growing connectivity how do you simply remove someone or something responsible for stress from your life? 

Now this doesn’t mean stressful things and situations should be dealt with or treated like the obstacles to true peace that they are but the question is will our ability to deal with stress continue to improve as we become more advanced or will it dwindle into obscurity. People sell this utopian idea of a world where robots will handle all the work that needs to be done and we as humans will just do more of the things we love and let us assume that does happen, is it impossible to think we will have new forms of stress to deal with?

I find the work I do on the day to day provides me with meaning and a reason to continue putting my best foot forward but without the need to do that, is it crazy to think my new form of stress would come from not having or knowing my purpose in life? They say if we can just give people a universal basic income then people can be free to pursue interest and have but what happen after having fun for so long things that were once fun or Brough us joy no longer are?

Do you immediately find something new or do you take time to search for something new and do we then ignore the fact that the time you take to search for something new then acts as a beacon for stress in your life? Stress and effort to relieve it will always be a question to ponder but the real issue is are we going in the right or wrong direction when coming up with ways to enhance the entire human experience when thinking about this ever expanding topic?

Distance: Questions about the future of Love part 1

A look into the future of love with the ever growing choices we have in the world.

In the 21st century, love has never been simpler but more complicated. Why? It is easier than ever to connect and disconnect with people you think you may or may not love but the question is, how beneficial is this? I as a person who has loved, been loved and seen the effects it has on the psyche find some questions I cannot answer. For example, will I ever find a partner for life or will I be lost in a pool of partners who give me fulfilment for the moment but not for moments?

Will the fact I care for someone now mean I will be unable to care for others in the future? Sometimes I ponder on the choices I made while in relationships and wonder if I had no other choices would the outcome still have remained the same? It’s easy to say life goes on and there’s plenty more fish in the sea but with the way life is going today, will the sea continue to be prosperous. Everywhere you turn your darkest desires can be met but what about the things that aren’t supposed to be easy to get?

Everyone screams about a soft and easy life but I question is life supposed to be so simple as the hardships or up and downs build an equilibrium which I believe is essential, so in a world running close to trying to extinguish what makes life difficult where does the new equilibrium stand? Even I am a guilty advocate for enjoying life but in terms of a relationship, I see the need for some hardships and I question what hardships are and aren’t acceptable as we progress in this ever increasingly pleasure filled times.

Does the need for peace of mind trump companionship or are we saying that because it is easy to find a companion, peace of mind is now at the forefront of our decisions? With the flick of a wrist a “companion” can show up and tell you whatever you need to hear but is that companion also ready for the difficulties that come with the tough times? Love when described in marriage vows look at a partnership supposed to last till death but nowadays people are only there for the good and say they didn’t sign up for the bad. It makes me wonder that if the good times don’t last as long as expected due to the ever increasing equilibrium of life and our demands, will the eventual bad times just make partners remember of the ever growing choices available to them?

I don’t think that doesn’t mean people aren’t allowed to change their minds but the rapid need for gratification and urgency in results we are growing to expect scares me because with an increase in this I wonder if people are really prepared for the bad times that eventually result in a form of equilibrium. 

To break it down further I believe it is much easier to maintain a long distance relationship with someone due to how many means of communication you now have, but is the connection stronger or is it just much easier to hide who you truly are? In a relationship where people have to actually connect in a confined space and learn everything about someone, reaction during the bad times cannot just be as easily masked or hidden by tapping a button as we learned during the pandemic.

However, building a longer term connection with someone over a phone can have a certain level of comfort which we can get accustomed to quite easily. It makes me ask the question in the future will people want to just have connections over technology or will they be willing to endure the bad moments or hardships that actually come from being in person with someone for prolonged periods of time. Examples we see growing are financial issues, mental health issues and just a general decline in certain aspects we began to get accustomed too. We understand that as humans we are obviously busy creatures with distinct things that give our lives meaning but what happens when those things now no longer require separation from our companion? What happens when we can go to school, work and conduct all physical requirements from the comfort of our homes? Will we want to be more or less connected from our companions? Will the feeling of being trapped increase and thereby lead us to try and have more choices or will this create a perfect situation and need for having a singular lifelong companion?

Karl’s Guide to making offline sales in the 21st century

A simple how to manual on the proper way to approach people, tell them about your product and close a sales. It covers prospecting, pitching and closing with examples of pitches you can practice.

Why Sales?

Since the dawn of time, human beings have always needed each other to survive because unfortunately the harsh realities of our world leaves no man an island. This means as much as we may feel we are invincible the overwhelming consensus across all of time has shown that there really is strength in numbers. What does this have to do with sales you may be asking yourself?  Well sales at its very core despite what it is currently being portrayed as, is basically informing people about your new way or thing that betters their life. In a perfect world people would automatically just know the best product to use at any given time and we wouldn’t need to tell them about any new developments but unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. This means till that day comes, people will always need to be informed about new products and processes and you after reading this, will be fully equipped on how to best serve them.

How do I get started in sales?

The simple answer is find a product. It may seem overly simplified by the truth is, it really is not that complicated. Have a birthday gift? Try and sell it. Have clothes? Try and sell them. Have a phone? try and sell it. The key however is selling those items for higher than you either original bought or “borrowed” them for. The reason you want to do that is because the difference or your profit can be used to get another item capable of fetching you a bigger mark up. Now you have your product and you have someone in mind who may want to buy your product. How do you get started?

Self employed 101

Is the self employed dream dead or is is the more alive than ever? In this article we explore what being self employed really means

Chapter 1: Risks

Now to begin, being self employed is not as glamorous as most gurus would like you to be believe. To be very successful on team self employed, you might end up literally creating what you were running away from when you decided you don’t want to get a job. The promise of free time is not that true as most times you end up investing way more time to make the same amount you could have made at a regular desk job for example gig economy drivers in the beginning may have made slightly more than the average worker but as more drivers came into the picture, competition led to a reduction in profits. With most Uber drivers making N30,000 – N50,000 per month in revenue if they are lucky, yearly they would earn roughly N400,000. Now this seems great but this does not account for issues that can arise like flat tyres, engine repair and other unforeseen issues like theft and vandalism. Now someone who chooses this path even though they had the option of a desk job may end up making the same but they have to take on a lot more risks like getting a car, maintaining the car, getting internet connection etc. Now they may or may not have more time and more but the first thing to decide before embarking on the path of self employment what is your appetite for risk. This does not mean, are you ready to jump off a cliff or out of a plane or swim with sharks, although it does say a-lot about your personality, it means are ready to possibly not be able to provide for yourself or your family. This is the ultimate factor when considering which path is best for you because if you feel that you are ready to make the sacrifice of possibly being known as incapable to be a provider no matter your race or gender then the decision will be easy to make. 

Chapter 2: Be prepared 

Now you must be thinking “why are we so focused on finding a job when this is supposed to be about to about being self employed?”. The answer is simple self employment in this day and age should be seen as a last resort if we are being candid. Unless you spot a gap in the market through which your new product or process can fill, you have the adequate expertise and resources to properly deliver you are setting yourself up for failure. When trying to set up a business, there are so many variables you need to consider and the honest truth is you can consider them all you want but if it isn’t for you to be a success then it isn’t for you to be a success. To truly have the best chance of succeeding you need to be adequately prepared to at least counter some of the variables that can either hinder or grow your chances of success. This is why when you really need to identify something unique because the world is filled with people who will always have more information and access than you, so whatever little thing that can help you get ahead needs to really be used to your advantage.

Chapter 3: Depression 

Now all hope is not lost, this is not just doom and gloom. If you are reading this and you are still confident being self employed is right career path for you then it’s time to get to work. Now to be self employed in Nigeria, no one really cares about your new ideas that will change the world or revolutionise the way we do things. All those pitches and meeting you went for that were organised by either your parents or their friends or your school or your church, you got really good feedback and they told you how brilliant it was but how many of them gave you money for it? Oh not as many as you thought? Ok how many of them actually bought your products? Not many. Now before you take it personal you need to understand it’s not you, literally everyone who moves back goes through the same thing and it’s common and they know after sometime you will get tired of it because as optimistic as you want to be, you are a no longer in the system you know. Whatever statistics, numbers or thoughts you hear or see about Nigeria, you quickly learn are not the reality in the country itself. You had good intentions with your idea, the best even but let’s face it, the next Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg is not coming from Nigeria. 

Chapter 4: Go Wayward

Now your dreams of glory and super billions and super yachts by 25 have been quenched it’s time to face reality. The reality is you probably live at home with parents, probably have small allowance here and there or maybe you have some money left over that keeping you going. That’s great but you need to stop spending money stupidly, what does that mean? Start eating every meal at home, pack lunch or dinner with you, avoid clubs and for every Naira you decide to spend you must treat it as something you expect you get a return from. This doesn’t necessarily have to be money but it can be whatever you decide or whatever the person can over. What does this mean? If you go to a restaurant you want to build relationships with the bouncers, wait staff, owner or whoever you can and in Nigeria you do that by giving them or dashing them money. Now the trick is you want to match the money you give them to their position in the hierarchy. The bouncers/wait staff usually can be given lower amounts as long as it isn’t lower than 4 digits (accounting for possible inflation in Nigeria) and should be given every other visit. Be sure to get names and possibly phone numbers for next time. For owners you may not necessarily give him money but be sure to compliment him, his establishment, always pay your little bills and offer him a drink. You will need this relationship because when building your business even if you have no idea what it is yet, a space for official or events use may come in handy. 

Chapter 5: Vision

Now a majority of your time has been spent being wayward but if you have any sense you will have been using your team to build connections. This doesn’t mean you should have been telling everybody you need a job or even talking money, no you have started to build new connections maybe through outings or just constantly bumping into people. Whatever it is the people you have bumped into while being wayward will eventually trust you enough to enlighten you on how they make money. Now this is not necessarily guaranteed depending on the people you have built connections with but not to worry you can continue to meet people till they eventually do. The beautiful thing about this country is everyone is ready to make money. 

Chapter 6: Never Fear

By this point you should have realised that everyone in Nigeria is some form of middle man. What does that mean? The simple reason development in Nigeria is sluggish is because everyone wants to be a middle man. What does this mean? No one wants to really produce anything, most people are trying to make money by taking a piece of whatever transaction they can find. It doesn’t matter if they add or reduce value to the country, as long as they are fed everything can go fine. People blame politicians but almost everyone does it. From your local supermarket, to your local tissue distributor most people are in the business of being middle men. Now you understand this you can finally decide, do I want to be a middle man? And if you do what can I be a middle man in? My suggestion is looking into real estate(sales), finance(agent or platform), farming(B2B sales) or any middleman business you can get your hands on. Now once you have found a possible opportunity to be a middle man, the unfortunate thing is you probably will have zero to little experience doing that thing but don’t worry there’s an answer. Lie. Now I don’t mean go and over do, I mean lie and say whatever you can to get the opportunity because the honest truth is you can’t do what you say you can do for the first possible client then that is possibly not the business you were born to do. Never fear however repeat this process until you finally get the opportunity and most importantly show up and give the client absolutely nothing to complain so you can with certainty say, yes I think I can do this on my own. 

Chapter 7: Understanding Value

To begin what is money? To some this a simple question, because they have the answer. The answer will simply be it is what we use to buy and sell goods and services. That’s after all what most people see money as but what we have forgotten in this day and age is money is actually something made out of thin air. This we think is obvious if you have a basic understanding of the banking system but why is it is really important? With the rise of cryptocurrencies it has become more evident people are looking for new types of “money” and finding new ways to supply it but again why is this so prevalent now? Why do people need new forms of payment and ways to make more money? The answers aren’t as simple as we may believe because it requires us to revisit how we ascertain value, a key component in creating a new system of value. To begin with when looking at the value of a product, it is important to remember that as humans first of all we have a will to live. This simply means from the day we are born, we begin a fight to not only live but survive in a new unknown world. This means when looking at creating a product we must first ascertain what is most valuable to us or our customer with at survival at the apex. This means when conceptualizing value or analyzing pricing mechanisms we should always start off with how well will a product let me or my intended audience survive. For example without water for a prolonged period of time we would get dehydrated and die. This means water is key for survival. Other key factors for survival in the 21st century are food, shelter, clothing, energy, security and human connection. This means when analysing value these key components must be present as they assure the survival and continuation of the human race. The industrial revolution/rise of technology/machines has seen us include and almost value the expertise/labour necessary to extract value from this raw materials as more than the raw materials themselves. Unfortunately when looking at the fundamental economic problem which states “We have unlimited wants but limited resources” the issues facing certain countries/corporations begin to show. Now you may be wondering what am I getting at? Well I believe that fundamentally our current way of valuing expertise in Nigeria has to be challenged. What does this mean? It means we need to reduce the emphasis we give on rewarding ourselves for doing absolutely nothing. In certain countries people are in position collecting resources worth a lot more than they are actually contributing to the organisation thanks to made up valueless titles/roles. Now this is not to bash billionaires or call anyone criminals but it is to fundamentally let people understand if we want to genuinely grow as a nation we must do our very best to remember as middlemen you are adding to the inefficiencies in the system. This means although you are now seeing success from being a middleman you must also be able to be as efficient as possible. Now this is very easy in theory because yeah you can decide to be better but will everyone else? A question you may ask along with what are the consequences of my inefficiencies and how far will I be willing to go to remain a middleman. The simple answer in practice will probably be once there is bloodshed depending on your business that’s how far people are willing to go so if you are prepared to go that far then your inefficiencies can continue. 

Chapter 8  The efficient Middleman

By now you’ve probably realised you have to try and be more efficient as a middleman. Well to truly grow and be more efficient we need begin to understand what is really valuable and what isn’t. What does that mean? The population of earth is growing everyday, as unfortunate as it for us to accept we are not that valuable in comparison to most people in the population. You might get a degree that says you are or some nice trinkets or you might even find a way to get something done but until you realise you are not as valuable as you think you will continue to hinder yours and the growth of the human race. What does this mean? This means that as a middleman to truly grow you will need to be more efficient than any one else. What does this mean? Take Amazon or to the peer to peer industries popping up everyday. They are nothing more than glorified middlemen but guess what? People do not care because they are focused on being the most efficient middlemen just like you should.

Cryptopeppers

Set in the wild Wild West, this fiction story starts to look at what could happen if we fully adopt cryptocurrency in our everyday lives

By Karl Idowu

The table is rumbling as Aj hit’s it with anger.

AJ Malone: Who is cryptopeppers ? What do you know about him? Don’t lie to me i will kill you.

Shonda: Bitch if i knew cryptopeppers don’t you think i’d be with him now?.. oooooohhhh you don’t think i wanna be rich too playboy?

AJ Malone: Don’t play dumb. We know you have an Iq of 128 and are a master of disguise.

He grabs Shonda by the neck.

Aj malone: We shall not take it easy with you and your boss. We will get those cryptocurrencies back.

Shonda: Shit… can i have some?

Aj puts the Vicerian brain reader on Shonda and as it falls asleep, we are thrust into the minds of one of the closest known associate of the infamous cryptopeppers.

Shonda met crypto when they where just young boys interested in knowing about bitcoin. It was the 7th of December 2031, the town of Valkrax 1.1 was beautiful and all it’s inhabitants were happy lounging around in their top of the line smart cars which acts as home on the roads, robots are seen picking up the trash, the sun is shining and as we all remember bitcoin 1xx was the hottest thing in the news. Prices were skyrocketing and other cryptocurrencies were falling. Shonda and crypto came together as young 16 year old Level 4 beings just looking to make some money. They had been tracking the markets and it was a warm sunny day when they heard the news about 1xx. You could tell a mile away the excitement in their eyes as they looked on with share disbelief.The reality of their inability to  purchase bitcoin 1xx left them sad as you could only be recognised on your 18th birthday when you reach level 5. They unfortunately were 16. Two weeks go by and we see a young Shonda and after pestering his older brother, we see it running to meet a young crypto.

Shonda: Crypto!!! Crytpoo!!

As he shouted in enjoyment unable to finish the words cryptocurrency. He races through the street and Crypto finally glances over his shoulder and is startled by the words, he yells.

Crypto: Slow down, Shondsss…. I’m chillin’

As Shonda catches up to him

He holds crypto’s shoulder and tries to catch his breathe and points a dark scream to crypto

Shonda: Seeeee

Crytpo: It’s off bro

Shonda realising he needs to knock his device, thinks the code and the holographic out word facing trading figures appears and crypto begins to jump in excitement.

Crypto: You evil genius

They invest the 5,000 bit gold into the account and being to hope and pray. They had each gotten this from work they had done in capital investment bank and this was the only money they had to their names. A week goes by, it is evident the money has been well invested and the investment is worth 17,000 bitcoin gold and they cannot believe it. They wake up

To be continued….

Could your phone keep you safer?

With safety being a major issue in our lives, this article explores a possible solution.

By Karl Idowu

The new-normal, before its emergence had the Old that had by the time of its premature extinction required an overdue mode of fine-tuning which made the new-normal ground rules ‘over’ over-due. However, due to the unprecedented appearance of the new normal, these adjustments are being re-worked still and might take decades to get 100% right. It is then a great delight to note that Nigeria is headed in the right direction with the creation of a preventive mode for the new-normal in the form of safety, security and information, all with the use of technology; on the MyRadar Application. This seem too good to be true, right? Well, I thought so too until I downloaded and installed the application on my device. And then I saw how much power I can wield in my fingers; power in knowing that you just a little bit safer in an unsafe world.As you would find on the ‘about’ of this App, My Radar is exclusively designed to help battle and limit the alarming surge of insecurity in Nigeria. Once you have the app on your device, and provide access to your location, this goes live, but have no worries because this is no way intrusive as it gives you the power to limit the access to your location by having just a much smaller community of people you decide to add into ‘your circle’. So, if you are someone like me who never enjoys picking up the phone to relay your location to ‘your people’ especially when going to new locations, all you just need to do is turn up your location, and voila, your circle knows where you are. If this isn’t preventive security I don’t know what is because as I have mentioned, My Radar is designed to provide plethora of more functions to include automatic access to emergency numbers in whatever location you are in in Nigeria. So, you have access to Fire department, Police and so onThe icing on the cake is that for your much larger community which My Radar also provides, you have the access to follow up with community news, events, traffic news and so on to better stay informed. You become a big part of this community in that you not only have access to get this information, you are also given the ability to provide this relevant information in relation to your location, your neighborhood. My Radar creates one big family of citizens of all demographics that watch out for one another. With My Radar, think daily Communal Dailies, think accessible Neighborhood Telephone Book, think human google traffic maps, think both family online and IRL. Amazing, right? I told you it would seem too good to be true! But, I can tell you for sure that My Radar absolutely delivers. Get it for yourself and your loved ones, available on google playstore.

Conondrum

In this fictional universe, a question on human morality is posed.

By Karl Idowu

As Adam Hampshire a 41 year old, 6 foot, brown cocoa kissed skinned, fairly handsome, 5 o’clock shadow bearded, Hedge-fund CEO from an unknown city wakes up and wipes his eyes. He looks around and to his utterly disbelief he is stuck in a glass rectangular room. He looks up from this foreign feel bed and instead of his view of the city he sees nothing but panels. He panics and looks around to discover he isn’t alone. There’s nothing but a desert and a tar road to his front surrounding  this box like structure right in the middle of what he assumed to be foreign wasteland. As he glances around, he suddenly sees 5 other people begin to slowly regain consciousness.

He looks around and to his amazement he sees Priscilla, his wife, a 39 year old, blue eye, brunette, talent manager to the biggest names in the acting world. She seems to be regaining consciousness and instinctively he races to his spouse’s side but as he runs to her side he also see his mistress Faith. A 31 year old, blonde, blue eyed, Belgian born assistant. He looks shocked but before he can digest the situation he sees his son hunter, a 19 year old some might say younger lookalike university first year student and beside him his daughter Beatrice a 16-year-old Free spirit. Beside them there is another figure. A figure unknown to Adam, a vanilla colored fellow, tall but strikingly handsome and muscular. As he tries to understand what is going on, there comes a voice.

Vuykm: “ Welcome to the cube. I am your host, The Magnificent Vuykm, you have been chosen because you are all filthy and the court of public opinion has deemed your actions immoral. I know, as you are well aware you must face the judgment.

Adam: We have done nothing wrong we are innocent Vuykm

Vuykm: You shall be the judge, I ..

Priscilla: What is wrong with you, you sick bastard

Vuykm: Silence

As the tone of his voice changes she immediately loses her ability to speak. She gasps for the words but nothing. She is without speech. This little show shocks everyone and leaves the stunned room in silence.

Vuykm: Now without interruption i shall continue. You can either be lucky or unlucky today the choice is yours. Your choices in life have led your here but today you have the chance to either survive or die. You must choose one person to die in 2 hours, failure to do so will result in you all dying.

They shriek in panic but without making the faintest of noise

Vuykm stops to see if any wanted to go against his wishes but no one was that stupid.

He Continues

Vuykm: Now to help you with your decision every 10 minutes your sins related to just each other will be streamed on the walls around you. All these misdoings should be considered when making the decision.

Suddenly they hear a loud siren and before they regain composure.

Vuykm: 1

Before they catch a whiff oxyhogen, the solution to carbon emissions, videos showing Adam having passionate intercourse in his office with faith begin to stream all around them.

As they all try to avert their gaze, the bombardment of noises leaves them trapped wishing it to be over. In the video  Adam is viciously bending over and slowly  passionately thrusting into faith, as they both look into each other eyes as they exhibit passion you hear them saying.

Adam: Urgh! my wife will never be as good as you. Oh my God, you feel like heaven!!!!!!!

Faith: I am heaven baby. Forget your wife, she has no place in our new happy life.

As this is looped repeatedly Priscilla regains her voice and begins to scream and cry at Adam for his wrongdoing.

She is in shock and screams

Priscilla: You whore you should die for destroying my family as she races towards faith. I hope you die you disgraceful shit

As tensions begin to escalate, insults are thrown; a fight begins to break out. Panic is all over the room and suddenly the voice of Vuykm shouts

Vuykm: 2

A siren resounds throwing them back into a state of confusion and suddenly another stream appears this time. It is Priscilla in her daughters bed with this man who had been unknown to Adam. In the video we see Priscilla going down on her knees and grabbing Diego the man previously Supposedly unknown to everyone. As this stream plays Adam and the family turn and look at Priscilla in disbelief and he cries

Adam: You hypocritical, lying, good for nothing bitch. how dear you insinuate I die when you have been doing the exactly the same thing.

They seem to be spurred on as everyone begins to choose a side but this doesn’t last too long although the intensity and obvious increased disdain can obviously be felt in the air.

Faith: I told you she was bitch

Adam: I should have believed you

Hunter and Beatrice finally after looking in disbelieve this whole time begin to criticise and curse their parents.

Hunter: You should die for being so selfish and not realising the impact of your actions

Beatrice: I can’t believe this

As they continue to throw accusations Vuykm voice reappears

Vuykm: 3

Streamed across the room Is a video of hunter in a hotel. He is walking towards a room and the Closed Circuit television recording shows a woman open the door and we hear a voice which sounds exactly like faith is heard saying “been waiting for you baby”.

As they bicker faith and hunter deny any wrongdoing but as they try and do this Vuykm’s voice reappears

Vuykm: 4

A stream reappears showing faith and them engulfed in a heated passionate exchange in the elevator of the same hotel.

At this point they are white as milk and grasping for whatever space they can find to escape Adam charging at them. His obvious mannerisms aren’t being led by anger but by confusion. He finds his world crumbling and knows no one to blame and as we are left in his head as he charges to them his thoughts are engulfed with a need to kill faith for betrayal and a longing to kill his wife for being a hypocrite.

Before he is able to digest any of these emotions

Vuykm: 5

A new viewing is shown. This time it is his daughter. The shock on his face is because this time not only is his young daughter having sex. She is having sex with the man with a man in a bed. This isn’t just any bed but it is the same bed this same man had been having sex with his wife As they all begin to despair looking crushed and unable to decide or speak

At this point Vuykm’s voice reappears

Vuykm: 6. Who die and by the way to help with your decision one of you has been unfaithful to the group and contacted a disease. You are dying anyways but you can be cured. This revelation changes the rule. You can now secretly vote for the individual they believe did it and if they get it right they leave but that person dies.

If you get it wrong they all die.

If the person confesses or shows any sign of accepting they all die.

If someone falsely accepts responsibility they all die.

As they ponder who it may be, the lights go down and a timer comes on. This countdown is 30 minutes. As they are sat in silence and disbelief, each begins to think about their lives and how they got into this situation. Questions involved the likes of what do I do? Who do I pick? Should we all just die? Are we all as bad as the other? They look around at each other but hear and see nothing but the countdown to the end of their lives.

To be continued……..

Post graduate

Leaving school can be difficult so in this article we explore what it means to be a post graduate in modern times.

By Karl Idowu

Competition. Commitment. Consistency. It just so happens that all three of those words begin with the letter C. For that reason we will refer to them as the three C’s any post graduate must become familiar with in order to survive the ever evolving jungle known as the real world. Let’s first off establish what world I’m talking about here. Not the world where your parents come in to talk to an official to move you up the ladder. Not the world where your hard work is guaranteed to give you the outcomes you aspire for. Not the world where failure is alright because you can go home to a nicely prepared meal and a warm bed and can try again the next day. I’m talking about the world that will chew you and your ideals up and spit you right back out just because it felt like it. The world that doesn’t need a reason to take away everything you’ve ever believed or worked hard for. The world that doesn’t care who died in your life because time goes on regardless of whether you can.

• Competition: There are many roles to be filled, but there are many more qualified candidates competing for those roles. You must get used to the idea that no matter how far you’ve gone during your job application or how interested the company may seem in you, it only takes a second for someone better to come along and steal your thunder. You WILL be dropped without a second thought.

• Commitment: You can’t fake it. There is no substitute for hard work and passion. So if you think you can postpone writing that cover letter you needed for the position at your dream firm, think again. There’s someone out there who’s looking over her essay twice and putting finishing touches she discovered from a cool website that she managed to stumble upon just because she put in that extra effort. The opportunity won’t wait for you, so I recommend you don’t wait either.

• Consistency: Understand that failure is just as guaranteed, if not even more certain, than success. You can’t let minor setbacks and shortcomings demoralize you. Jack Ma (Alibaba Founder) was rejected from every single job position he ever applied for, including McDonald’s and even the police academy, but not before he was rejected a position at Harvard business school 10 different times. Your mindset is the most important factor in determining if you can become successful or not. When you fail, take notes, acknowledge the feeling, appreciate the experience, then get up and try again. It will go right at some point. I promise.

I wish this was all there was to it. I wish I could tell you that this is all you need to do to succeed. I wish life was this easy and that the real world was this transparent. But I’m not going to sell you false dreams. There will be situations you can’t predict or expect that will knock on your door and let itself in whether you welcome it or not. The only advice I can offer you is this. Focus less on the situation and more on yourself. The way you react, and respond during the most difficult and trying times of your life will go a long way in determining who you will be in the long run. Be a master of yourself first of before you even think of trying to tackle anything else. Your emotions, your habits, and every little detail you can about yourself. Here’s my reasoning for this; if you don’t even know who you are, how will you know how to react when something unexpected happens? The answer is you won’t know. Causing you to panic, which in turn will just drive you down a path of confusion, frustration and anger which will either be directed at yourself or at those around you. You are now well on your way to developing symptoms of depression, which are actually more common in the average millennial than any other generation (please look it up). Now you’re closer to landing a spot in a mental institution than at the company of your dreams. Its fine though. Things don’t have to go that way, and in fact, things most likely won’t go that way, because you’re reading this, good job! So establish what your beliefs are, the type of person you believe yourself to be now and the type of person you aspire to be in a year, 5 years, 10 years, and never let anyone or anything make you doubt yourself. Trust that as long as you are in control, then nothing can go wrong. And when things do go wrong, still have that belief at the back of your mind that you are capable of handling the situation, because you are! If you are successful in doing this, then no one will ever be able to alter your confidence and self-belief ever again, let it be Bill Gates or Barack Obama. So put on your lab coat, your hard hat, your badge, your uniform, or in my case, the suit you’ve kept at the back of your closet that you’ve been saving for your first day on the job, and go out there expecting the worst but praying for the best.

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