Title of Book: Paying the Price for the Prize
Author: Chuks Ogbekile
Publisher: University of Lagos Press
Date of Publication: August 28th 2021
Reviewer: Vincent Chuks Igbinedion
The book, Paying the Price for the Prize – Leveraging the Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Our Age and Environment to Stardom – was recently unveiled at the University of Lagos and has 10 chapters in all. According to the author, Mr. Chuks Ogbekile, for those who seek self-actualization, this book is out to demystify the presumed challenges that have kept you from a firm grip on that which you have desired to achieve.
While it is not intended to be prescriptive in general terms, Chuks Ogbekile says, however, entrepreneurial spirit shines bright in its margins and letter to give you the courage to dare the fears that have kept you in the same spot, and I agree no less with him, having gone through the entire pages of the book.
In the first chapter, with the title, The Earth: An Uncompleted Project, we learn the main objective of the book which is to bring to man’s awareness the fact that the Creator of all things and man, built into man the capacity and requires man to cultivate the Earth obviously from what He has created. That probably accounts for why when Man invents anything, God would be impressed seeing His creation being productive.
“So the purpose of the book is to demystify the presumed challenges that have kept you from a firm grip on that which you have desired to achieve”, says the author. This obviously accounts for why the author wonders why a country like Nigeria should be grappling with insufficient food to feed her populace when we have the capacity, the population to work and the land to work on?
In Chapter Two, the author sees “Opportunities in Challenges” stating that the world has got enough of those who know the problems; it is now looking for those who would solve the problems. While a few are rewarded and celebrated for knowing the problems; a greater majority is rewarded and celebrated for knowing the solutions. To stay aloof in the face of the glaring reality is not only an injustice to the human race, but also to your own self, he states.
The author uses the opportunity as a teaching moment for students in the University of Life whose campus is sited on every living soul: be part of the solution, be a solution bearer and stop complaining, he says. This is also a beacon for those who desire the light in the thick gloom that seems to have enveloped our country.
For those who complain of lack of opportunity, Chuks Ogbekile shares the experience of the fast food restaurants. The queues you see there are second to only the ones experienced in some commercial banks that went into Retail Banking without adequate infrastructure and preparations. Some are still springing up all over the place with added values that make their brand unique and stand out. Do not be deceived, they are making profits irrespective of their numbers. Do not hesitate to start one if you can add value that will make yours stand out, he challenges.
CHAPTER 3 looks at MAN as AN EMBODIMENT OF INVALUABLE POTENTIALS and admonishes that for whatever it is worth, you are bigger than that 8.00a.m to 5.00p.m job of yours you worship. You are bigger than the current size of your business. You are bigger than your current status, challenging readers to arise and pay the price for the prize.
In Chapter Four, he discusses the topic: WINNING IN LIFE: You are inexcusable, and insists that a winning attitude is the world’s most desperate need. There are no hopeless situations, only people who think hopelessly. The only way you can lose in life is to defeat yourself mentally first, and these are the words of Lee Haney, a one-time winner of America Mr. Olympia
The world is no longer a pleasure garden neither is life a bed of roses. In spite of this fact, no challenge in life is strong enough to perpetually stop the triumph of the human spirit. Men have seen the light, enlightened and pursued greatness harnessing their God-given potential to make their world a better place, the readers are taught in this chapter.
In CHAPTER 5 there are questions that we need to answer and they include: Who am I? Where am I, where do I want to be and what will it take? To get answers to these questions, the author canvasses a thorough environmental scanning as an inevitable sine qua non to understanding the seed we are out to propagate. “Our environment is like the soil in which we must sow the seed of our potentials. Hence a good understanding of our environment is equally essential.
If our potential is the seed and our environment the soil, it behoves us to understand the soil, lest we sow good seed on dead soil.
Understanding the environment we sow the seed is as important as understanding the seed we have., according to him.
His opinion: Parental guidance in an essential tool in the making of career choices for children as leaving them solely to make such important decisions could lead them to make wrong choices but not at the dictatorial level.
On page 59, there is a proposal for a voyage of self-rediscovery of some sort. As it is popularly said, if you are driving on the wrong way, God allows a u-turn. He uses Boluwatife as a case study, a near-frustrated lawyer who turned into a school proprietor and made a success of it. “You need self-discovery and refocus. You can’t be too old to retrace your steps and live a fulfilled life through the pursuit of purpose and vision. You need to pay the price for the prize now”.
The author mentions the five pillars on which human glory rests as: Knowledge, understanding, faith, investment and marketing. Know yourself and your environment (Knowledge), understand yourself and your environment (understanding), believe yourself and your environment (Faith), develop yourself and your environment (Investment) and showcase your talents and your environment (marketing).
On page 80, the author gives a glimpse of the tracks that led him up the success ladder and it is worthy of emulation for those who desire growth not necessarily for growth’s sake but because they have been systematic and focused about it while in page 81, he tasks the reader with the poser: Are you yearning for a new level when you don’t know the next level you want to be? He gives an insight: Where you want to be may have been catalyzed through the scanning of your environment to know the opportunities and needs inherent in it.
Some reasons some of us abhor change, according to the author include keeping the status quo, attitude to Work and complacency.
Complacency, according to Chuks Ogbekile is particularly common with people whom all their life think of themselves alone and think less about others, and as Andy Grove, sees it, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive”. When you are complacent, you are not only satisfied with your present; you will even be satisfied with retrogression. You will explain it away as normal. Parents should repeatedly inform their children/wards that while only the best is the best; the best today may not always be the best tomorrow.
For those who think they have reached their peak because they are the best, there is an advice for them on page 90. According to Dr. Myles Munroe: “that you are the best in class or around you doesn’t mean you are very smart and competent, it may be that those around you are dull”.
CHAPTER 6 captures YOUR UNIQUENESS: An advantage to your World. The opening line here is quite apt and undebatable: Man was created with some measure of uniqueness. No two persons are the same. We can only share similar characteristics which tend to make us feel we are the same. Various scientific research results have proven that man share differences in some ways. Hence the advice from Janis Joplin: Don’t compromise yourself; you are all that you’ve got.
CHAPTER 7 takes us on the JOURNEY TO THE TOP and what you must take along arguing that whichever category you belong to here, one thing is sure that you want to advance. In today’s way of expressing this, you need a change of level. It is worthy of mention here that what brought you where you are now, may not take you to where you intend to be. Then just like a mountaineer, you must take some kits along that will not only enable you to climb or protect you from falling but will sustain you as you forge ahead. The great question before us then is: what must I take along on my way up?
These necessary things we must take along include vision, self-understanding, the right attitude to work, diligence, information-savvy-lifestyle, people management skills and viewing life through a global perspective.
In CHAPTER 8, we are warned to: BEWARE! Beliefs. Fears. Impossibilities with Frank Chapman Sharp stating that if we can once believe that success is possible, success becomes possible. The concept of belief can never be overemphasized in reality because it lives with us every day and could be the major determinant of the outcomes of our actions or inactions. It could be the reason you are where you are today or why you are not where you should be.
The title of chapter 9 is very apt, YOUR LEGACY: Let it tell your story with the reference to the planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any other actions, good or evil. On page 149 is the compelling story of the grandfather who literally saw tomorrow and planted some fruit trees that are today being enjoyed by his grandchildren. This is a challenge for us to do something little that will benefit posterity.
CHAPTER 10 which happens to be the last chapter is titled BEYOND THE PRIZE. In this chapter, it is stated that you are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand, according to Woodrow Wilson.
The chapter highlights how men fell from glory to grass and the causes, adding that the post-achievement life requires some reasonable level of self-discipline; the absence of which has never produced any favourable outcome, and here we are taught that limelight can blind us to the realities around us.
Even when the author recognizes and advises that we all should do something to leave for posterity, or rather go beyond our limits and not be limited by environmental conditions to stay on the ground while others fly in the sky of noticeable achievement, he also eulogizes the non-achievers for their collateral input into the critical mix. He recognizes that without the failures, so to say, there will be no successes, without the backbenchers, there will be no frontliners because at the end of the day, it is the failures of others that emphasize and underline the success of the achievers.
It is important to acknowledge that the book did not come without its fair share of what could be avoidable printer’s devil as some fundamental errors could leave a sour taste in the mouth of the discerning. It could even make you imagine if the University of Lagos Press actually did the editorial work on the piece but that not withstanding, the John Maxwell and Brian Tracys of this world have got a challenger, our own Chuks Ogbekile who uses Nigerian examples to bring home his point.
The youths in Nigeria clamour for the opportunity to grow and achieve but complain of environmental factors that prevent initiative and kill ambition.
However, we can, because we think we can, not minding the potholes and the bumps that are all over the place. What is required is the positive mental attitude for us to reach our altitude and this is the underlying theme in the book – Paying the Price for the Prize – Leveraging the Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Our Age and Environment to Stardom. It is a book for every shelf, for every library and for every intellectual age.
For those who desire growth for growth’s sake, the book, Paying the Price for the Prize – Leveraging the Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Our Age and Environment to Stardom – is recommended as an inseparable companion. It is a book for those who have achieved as well as those who are seeking an opportunity to start up.
The opinion was vividly expressed by Engr. Arthur Osaretin Ushiagwu who chaired the occasion at the unveiling of the book which had a copious endorsement by renowned Management Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Reverend Tunde Lemo.