The Life of Meaning

When I was a teenager, I experienced an accident which stayed with me for many years. I went to visit my uncle in the city of Akure and while walking on the road, an accident happened right before me. A bike man carrying a passenger lost control and ran under a moving truck and instantly, both lives on the motorcycle were lost. That day, I realized how fragile life is and I made a decision to live a life of meaning.

Recently, I lost a very close family friend. I had spoken to him the week before he died and suddenly, I got a call that he was dead. It was so sudden and I was devastated. Till date, I find it difficult to believe that he is actually gone. But, such is life and what this reiterates to me once again is that life is too short to not live fully and go after your dreams.

Yes, we say this over and over again – live your dreams, go after what you want, face your fears – but, the fact is it is not as easy as it sounds. Yet again, when you think about it, you discover it is that easy.

The million-dollar question would be – if you leave the world today, would you be happy with the life you lived? Would you be content with the things you achieved? Would you be happy with your life’s journey? If not, then you know it is time to change things up.

It doesn’t have to be something so complicated. It could be learning a new skill, learning to speak a new language, finally writing that book, or just asking that girl out. It could be putting together that online course, connecting with that mentor you watch from afar, or just deciding to have more fun. These simple actions could have a domino effect and lead you to a path you never imagined.

Whatever you do, just make sure you are living your best life.

Yes!!!

Yes!!!

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Richard Branson

“Never say No to what your gift says YES to.” – Steve Harris
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I remember vividly the first time saying ‘yes’ changed my life and determined the course of my career.

It was the year 2012. I had just graduated from the University and I needed to do something with myself. I didn’t want to be idle, and I was ready for any opportunity, including marketing even though I had never marketed anything before in my life.

I got a marketing job at a jewelry company in the city of Ibadan. When I went for the job interview, I had no idea what it entailed, but because I was determined to work, I jumped at the opportunity. I remembered clearly how I combed the city of Ibadan looking to sell pieces of wire jewelry ( a type of jewelry which was very unknown at the time). I persisted and kept at it though and that led to the second opportunity which I said yes to and which permanently changed the trajectory of my life.

It was still the same company. The company had a jewelry arm and also a magazine. At that time, I already discovered my talent and love for writing but I had not fully explored it. The manager for the company then approached me and pitched writing for the magazine. I immediately jumped at the offer (at least it beats roaming the streets in the sun). I said yes happily, even though I had never written professionally and I had no idea what I was doing. That single positive response changed my story.

From that point onwards, I started recognizing the power of my talent and how I can milk it to live a full life. Today, that is what I do fully.

A lot of times, I have said yes to opportunities even though I had no idea what I was doing and this had given me access to a lot of people and expanded my horizon. The first time I was approached to write a children story, the first time I was approached to transcribe, the first time I was approached to ghostwrite a book, the first time I was approached to speak at an event….there have been many firsts and those firsts have helped me explore who I am to the fullest.

Saying yes can lead to success and it can also lead to failure, but the joy in life is in trying and being willing to take risks and fail if need be.

Yes is a powerful word which I am learning to explore in my life. I have discovered that life is too short to be lived halfway.

All in, baby!

The Stables of Knowledge

Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary – Jim Rohn

I have always found a recurrent opinion about people I work and interact with, and it is the fact that they get impressed by the level of knowledge I possess and the words I use when I talk or tell stories.

I could always be found to use unpopular words and sometimes even I get impressed by the type of words I use. By the nature of my work, I deal in words and because of that, I need to constantly deposit into my bank of words. Consequently, I read a lot.

One of the things you’re most likely to see me doing is either writing or reading. From the point when I knew me, I had always had a love affair with books. I started with reading the Pacesetters Series to James Hadley Chase to Harlequin, and now there is a lot more diversity in the content I consume.

Reference Points

What all these do for me is give me a lot of reference points to telling stories for my clients. It gives me the ability to talk about anything without having to first do endless research. If I need to do any research at all, it is to expand the knowledge I already have. This has constantly played out in my work, ergo, clients are impressed by my capabilities.

I meet a lot of writers who say they don’t read and I wonder what they write about if they don’t. You cannot write in a superior way if you’ve not honed your reading skills. There is a lot of competition out there and you need every arsenal in your power to win the battle. How are you different?

Again, if you want to be paid superior fees for your services, you have to be prepared to do something extra, go the extra mile and be better than everyone. That is the standard.

Your fight is different – John Obidi

I urge you today to fight in a way which will guarantee your victory.

The price of ignorance is too high to pay.

Our Services

After my post yesterday, I got some questions regarding the services my company offer. Some folks reached out to me and asked me to explain what these services entail. To this end, I decided to give a brief explanation of each.

Business Storytelling

It is not a secret that the ability to create relevant content is integral to a business’s success today. Again, it is not enough to just create content, but the ability to tell captivating stories about what you do and how you help the world will go a long way in helping your customers make informed buying decisions and go for your products and services. 

At Maggie Smart Media Company, our aim is to ensure that you are able to tell these stories around your brands, products, and services in a way which will connect with the hearts of your intending and existing customers.

Ghostwriting

We know how difficult writing can be for some people and because of that we came up with a package that would make writing a breeze for anyone. Just tell us your book idea and we would take it from there, be it fiction or non-fiction. This is what our team of professionals is trained to do – to handle any topic and do justice to it. 

Transcription

This package will be especially useful for our career speakers and pastors who have a lot of recorded speeches. Do you know how easy it would be to convert all those speeches and messages into a book? Sure, you can sell a bunch of messages but how much more prestigious would it be if those can be packaged into a book and disseminated as a whole? We are just a call away.  

Editing

This one is very dear to my heart because I know the value of a book that is properly edited. A lot of what we see out there is less editing and more proofreading and the thing is that more books need more editing than proofreading.

A good editor has the ability to turn nonsense into something that makes absolute sense while still keeping the integrity of the message and the author’s voice. We are in dire need of good editors and this is what I am offering here.

Other book deliverables (book review, description, and blurb)

Recently, it came to my knowledge that many people find it difficult to write their book descriptions, summaries and blurb by themselves. I have found it difficult to do this for my own books too.

A book’s description or blurb can help a wavering customer make a positive buying decision, so, this cannot be overlooked in any way. Very good copywriting skills are needed here and that is what we bring to the table at Maggie Smart media Company.

All these deliverables are what we offer as a premium package. Just choose your preference and let’s get to work.

Va va voom

Va va voom!

As you aspire to be an author, you should view life itself as a writer would.

All experiences, both your own and other people’s, whether happy, sad, frustrating or tragic should be seen and examined as potential material for you to use. I am not saying you should exploit people’s pain, but your pain and the pain of others could be a good fodder for your books.

I am such a follower of this rule that most times when friends and family are discussing around me, if they don’t want to see their story in my next book, they warn me not to share or write about it (Yes, I’m baddoo like that…lol).

This is especially important for anyone who plans to be a novelist or a fiction writer. Everything around you should be seen as a potential subject for a new story.

In order to make the most of what is happening around you, you should try to use all your senses all the time. Nothing should escape your observation. You should become an inquiring person. Ask yourself questions about why things are being done, the background to
events, the circumstances that surround them and the reaction of both those involved and those merely observing.

There are ideas for stories, if only you can recognize them.

The truth is that even if you write fiction, your story must be believable enough for your readers to relate to. Except you want to go all out and become a fantasy writer, then your stories must have the believability
factor. That way, your readers can relate and bond with your characters.

A reader had this to say about my bestselling book, Beyond Now



“I find it classy and very warming, its more like you are speaking to lives!! Not disgusting, the choice of words are gud and you were diplomatic in choosing places not some random people that will write places that never exited in a City

This is a typical Nigerian life but highly classic
Loads of love, am not just a mentee( not sure if this word exists) but am now a fan🤟🏼😇😇”

You want to get to the level where readers can gush about your books and become instant fans! Create that va va voom effect always. That is the height. That is when you’ve done your job.

In my book, The Smart Writer’s Handbook, I asked some questions which will help you gain clarity in writing your books and turn readers into instant fans.

I leave you with this; “your readers are the tank in your writing vehicle. You want to constantly fill that tank up with quality fuel.”

I have been conditioned

I have been conditioned….

I would have beaten my son black and blue this afternoon, but…

This afternoon, when I got back from church, I decided to have a cup of beverage before food got ready. When I was done, I asked my 4 year old to take the breakable cup to the kitchen. He did so.

A few minutes later, I asked him to take something else to the kitchen and the next thing I heard was the sound of something breaking. I quickly ran in and saw the cup I just used on the floor, in broken shards.

After he explained what happened, I realised it was a mistake. I quickly swept up the broken shards.

While sweeping, a thought occurred to me. In the days of our parents, the child would have been beaten black and blue for breaking that cup, and that is what we have been conditioned with as adults.

Even now, as grown as I am, I still feel extremely guilty when I break things. Why? I’ve been conditioned to feel that way.

That particularly is not where I am going with this. I want to tie this in with failure.

Most of us have been conditioned to feel extremely bad and disappointed in ourselves when we fail. We have been conditioned to see failure as the enemy rather than a helping hand.

Failure, for some of us usually means giving up. When we fail at something, we refused to try again. We see it as the end of the road.

Today, I want to challenge us to a different thought process. What if we see failure as feedback? Failure is just trying to let you know that you can try to do things in another way. You can think outside the box, change your methods, your approach, and then experience a different reality.

Failure is our friend.

Let’s begin to view it that way and it will make all the difference in our approach to our works and how we view life.

Of course, I’m not advocating mediocrity, but sometimes after trying all we could, we could still experience failure. What then do we do? We should see it as feedback and act accordingly.

Does this make any kind of sense? Let me know your thoughts.

Ready to Rumble

I am ready to rumble….

Today, I turn 16 and this is the day I plan to get my very first kiss.

16 is already looking a lot promising than 15. For one, I’ve got my very own Clyde.

I met Tony last week in church. His family just moved into the neighborhood and thankfully, his dad chose my church for the whole family to attend.

We saw each other for the first time during our youth Sunday school hour and immediately our eyes met, I knew he was the man for me.

My virgin heart did a little flip-flop and i had this delicious tingling all over my body. That was all it took. That was the beginning of our roller-coaster relationship.

Tony is such a perfect gentleman. We don’t go to the same school, so it’s not been easy to find time to be together. We try to meet in Onome, my best friend’s house after school. Onome has a room to herself and her parents are usually not home, so that plan works some of the time.

My biggest challenge with Tony is getting him to kiss me. Even utilizing every feminine wiles I possess, he refused to. After much coaxing, he promised to kiss me on my sixteenth birthday, and here we are.

Tony is older than me, he’s 18 already and a part of me still feels he sees me as a little girl. Well, all that will be remedied today. I’ve been practicing with my old barbie doll and I think I’ve got the hang of this kissing business.

Bonnie is so ready to rumble. All I need now is my Clyde to figure that out.

I’m tired of Tony being my imaginary boyfriend. I’m tired of thinking up fantasies in my head.

Tony, don’t you see me looking at you?

I’m 16 now, and ready to rumble.

#fiction
Maggie Smart, bestselling author of BeyondNow.

Love Letter

Love Letter

Dear Maggie,

I have been observing you for long and I must confess, my heart throbs every time I see your face. Your smile captivates my spirit and I live to put a smile on your face.
I can’t but love you. If loving you is a crime, I want to be jailed forever!
Sincerely yours,
Your secret admirer.

I smiled as I finished reading the crumpled up paper. It had been shoved into the tiny opening above my desk. It was the first thing that caught my eye as I sat down to prepare for the day’s lectures.

“What does it say, Maggie?” My best friend, Dammy asked, bouncing up and down on her toes in excitement. I ignored her, trying to figure out where the note came from. Who wrote it?

My eyes made a quick stroll round the class. Could it be Elisha? He had never made a secret of how he felt about me. I saw that he was looking at me funny, but when our eyes met and I smiled, he quickly looked away. No, Elisha was too shy to pull this off.

I dismissed him as I took another casual stroll. My eyes landed on HIM but I quickly looked away.

In my heart, I knew who I wanted it to be, but my mind shied away from the thought cos I didn’t want to be disappointed. I didn’t want the soft fetters of my tentative hope cut off. Could he be the one? Does he secretly love me?

My eyes refused to obey the command of my mind, and it took another casual stroll to where he sat. He was talking and laughing with his friends, paying me no mind. My treacherous heart did a somersault as our gazes suddenly collided. He winked at me and gave me the most beautiful smile. I turned away quickly.

Could he be the one? Does he love me secretly? I’ll have to do a little bit of investigation today to figure out who wrote this letter.

“Oh, let it be Ahmed. Oh, let it be Ahmed.” My heart beat in sync with those words over and over again.

#fiction
Maggie Smart, bestselling author of  BeyondNow

Wishes, Hope and Action

Today, I want to share with you the power of wishes, hope and action.

In the beginning of this year, one of my wishes was to get more speaking engagements. I wanted to hold my own physical events and also be invited on various platforms to speak. I put a picture up on my vision board documenting that goal.

That was my wish, but did I fold my hands waiting for the wishes to come true? No, I took action.

The first thing I did was to invite an influencer in my field over to my city. The influencer posted about the meeting and it drew crowd. Those who didn’t know about me got to know about me through that particular training. That was a strategy.

The second thing I did was to keep feeding my following. I kept sharing and sharing, and sharing, most times, for free without expecting any remuneration. That was intentional.

Did I get those speaking engagements? No, but I was creating a ripple effect. People were noticing.

This December alone, I spoke at two different places, and I have started booking engagements for next year.

I had this to say about the first speaking engagement:

I went, I saw and I conquered

So, I have not shared about my speaking event at The Literary Festival because I’ve been swamped with work, and I also lost most of the pictures I took (story for another day).

However, now I have a little breather, so, let’s gist.

I was invited to speak as one of the panelists on a particular topic. I got to the venue, took some pre-talk pictures, was introduced and I did my thing. The panel was fun and I was thrilled by the opportunity to share my knowledge on starting out as a writer and dealing with some of the challenges we face as creatives.

After the talk, we took more pictures, connected with some new prospects, and I took my leave.

Later that night, I received a call from the convener. I assumed she wanted to appreciate me for coming, but alas, she was inviting me to come and speak again the next day on Self-Publishing. This was not part of the plan, but apparently, I made such an impression, they needed to learn more from me.

On Saturday, I passionately shared my journey to Self-Publishing. I got a lot more prospects and was able to share about my book, The Smart Writer’s Handbook.

Saturday was not the main gig, but it turned out to be the best time ever. I was called back because of how eloquent I was in sharing.

You see, you need to be so good you cannot be ignored.

My first speaking engagement was a hit back to back. I met some amazing people and expanded my network while doing what I love doing.

If you read through, you might have learned one or two things from that post.

Dear, it is not enough to hope and pray, you must take action and make sure everything you are doing is taking you one step closer to your goals.

Be so good you cannot be ignored.

Love,
Maggie.

P.S: before the end of the year, I am going to keep sharing about my resolutions for this year and how far I came in achieving them. Stay alert for my blog posts.