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  • Writer's pictureAlex Young

Advice for life and work: Emmanuel Oyemade - Young Innovator Award Winner

Emmanuel is the founder of Modomise and winner of this year’s Young Innovator Award.

He's in the process of bringing his first product, tower, to market (a modular desk tidy which can be personalised based on whatever it is you have on your desk). You can probably tell from this alone that Emmanuel is somebody who not only loves to be organised but also wants to make the world around us an easier place for people to thrive in.


This episode highlights the power of asking people if they can give you what it is that you want even if they haven’t advertised it as available

We only live once and so as Emmanuel says: we don’t want the fear of missing an opportunity to be something that we have to carry with us.

No matter what stage of your career you’re in, see what happens when you focus your energy on building positive relationships with those around you and asking, without expectation, how you might be able to use their support to get where it is you really want to go.


Find out how Emmanuel has used curiosity and confidence to lead him places others haven't considered.


Listen here on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.



Find Emmanuel's life and career advice below.

 

Emmanuel's life advice


01. It’s okay to say: ‘That’s Monday’s problem’


We’re conditioned to feel as if everything we have on our plate is of equal importance and needs to be ‘tackled’ or ‘solved’ or ‘ticked off imminently. What we as humans pack into our days is becoming more and unmanageable. Working hours feel as if they’re always increasing (in fact, the average day of work went up by 2 hours when we started emailing from our phones!), social media is constantly demanding our attention, we have life admin that piles up, activities for our mind and bodies that we want to prioritise to avoid burn out, travel plans we’re desperate to make (especially after the pandemic) and of course, the undeniable desire to spend quality time with our loved ones is ever present. Throw into the mix that we also want to sleep and according to experts, should be aiming for 7-9 hours a night. How the heck are we going to get ‘done’ everything we want to?!


Well, the answer no one wants to hear at first is: we aren’t. And you know what? That’s something we need to become at peace with. Life is unpredictable and we can create a plan for our day but the world has a way of showing us pretty often that we aren’t in control of what’s coming our way. So we need to accept that it’s all well and good to aim to tackle some pressing things in the 24 hours we have each day but equally, we’ll need to reprioritise accordingly when things crop up that are more important to us


Emmanuel’s saying ‘that’s Monday’s problem’ is beautiful in its simplicity. Said in a lighthearted tone, it’s about embracing life’s unpredictability and acknowledging that as long as we are guided by what matters the most to us, then we’re doing our best and that’s all that we can do. We’ll be much more likely to be proud of what we do achieve if we spend dedicated time on it, put passion behind it and wait until it’s the right time to approach it in the first place. Follow your intrinsic loves and don’t be afraid to move something from your to-do list for the day to another day, be that a Monday or not, if it means you’re going to experience greater joy in the present and be able to put better energy into the task you’re pushing back


We can’t do it all at once, if we try, we’ll be spreading ourselves too thin. Be kind to yourself and know we’re all in the same boat here, juggling lots of balls and wearing an array of hats. If something can become Monday’s problem then make it so, and trust Emmanuel when he says: quite often, Monday comes around and tells you that the problem you gave it is no longer a problem. Life can be pretty magical like that!


02. Look after your ideas


Whether you identify as an entrepreneur or not, you are the creator of your own ideas


Your ideas are precious and they deserve to be handled with care. Picture a budding flower when you think of your new idea. It requires time to develop, water and sunlight to grow in strength and then, as woo woo as it sounds, it will thrive more than expected if you showed it with positivity. If you treat your own ideas in this way, with patience and by showing them love and building them up, they’ll be most likely not only to survive but to shine. Be careful with who you share them with. Would you trust whoever you’re opening up to to care for something living that belongs to you? If not then perhaps hold off giving them the opportunity to see and touch your ideas early on


Whether you’re thinking of a new plan for a step in your life or working on something for your business, try out this concept, treating your ideas with immense care, as you would any other living thing that you care for deeply. Chances are you’ll reap the rewards as lot more than if you don’t do


03. Love the process - learning is key


We learn so much from when things don’t go to plan. Emmanuel talks about how he enjoys the process more than the outcome of whatever he’s doing. Instead of becoming frustrated when complications arise, he has a mindset which enables him to be grateful for the opportunity to learn something unforeseen


Most self help books echo this. True happiness doesn’t come from outputs, it comes from gratitude felt in the now. Next time something crops up that wasn’t part of your ideal scenario, look for the good. What can you take from this? The coolest thing about training your mind to see the good in all things is that you can add a dose of pride to being able to do this, too, so then you have a double whammy of goodness

Emmanuel's career advice


01. Create your own opportunities


Emmanuel found out early on that there are 2 ways to land opportunities:

1 is to follow the conventional route: apply as you’ve been told, follow the rules and hope for the best

2 is to stand out: go out of your way to introduce yourself to people, place importance on the connections you build and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want

If you’ve only ever applied for an opportunity through traditional means, this may seem overwhelming and that’s understandable. We aren’t taught to think outside of the box through our educational system, in fact we are often punished for doing so. Remember though that we have just 1 life (that we know of) and the only guarantee in life is that it’s going to end


We have the opportunity every day to put ourselves out there and make the most of what life could offer. Some of the most ‘successful’ people in the world didn’t follow the rules. What does that tell us? Surely it’s a sign that there are other options there for you, ones that you haven’t been prescribed. Breaking this down further, if you have a big goal but don’t know how you’re going to get there yet and perhaps some of the things you’ve tried aren’t working, try something else


It’s a busy world and there is a lot of competition but no one can ever be better at being you than you can. Work on identifying your key strengths and your most important beliefs. Once you know yourself well, you can use your uniqueness to position yourself as someone who can be trusted through your authenticity


Start small if you are new to breaking rules. Perhaps reach out to someone who you think can help you with your journey via LinkedIn and ask for any reading recommendations or for a call to pick their brains. You could then attend events to meet others who might be able to support you. You could build a social media platform about what it is you want to do so that those you want to have on your side can see how genuine your passions are. You can write, paint, make music, take pictures or create in any form to demonstrate your interests and be proud of yourself for dedicating energy to your present desires and future mission! If you’re being you (without the pressures of what others might expect) and channeling time, thoughts and actions into whatever it is that you want to be doing then trust that the right things will happen


02. Match your ambition with your talent


Emmanuel is straight up when he says that your ambition and talent being used together is going to be incredibly powerful. Take a moment each month to identify what those 2 things are because they will likely evolve and so it’s key to stay on track of where they’re both at. Assess how you can bring them into greater harmony to really get what you want out of your next steps. It’s often as easy as developing your talents further with reading, listening and talking. Don’t underestimate the power of alignment!


03. Befriend your calendar


It’s so helpful to use certain tips and tricks to keep your calendar running smoothly, and therefore your to-do list being thought through and not taking on a life of its own! This is especially true if you’re trying to juggle many aspects of your life and you know some unexpected changes might pop up along the way


Check out Canva's ideas for designing and utlising a calendar here. Emmanuel swears by his calendar and puts being able to multi-task final year of uni with starting a business, entering awards, socialising, playing football manager and more down to befriending his diarised to-do list!

 

Sounding good?


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Check out Emmanuel's company on Insta: @modomise_


Big love, thank you for your support


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