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made the cover i

October 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Almost two months ago, I mentioned that a former classmate from high school got in contact with me, told me about his plans for a new bimonthly magazine, Deere President, requested to interview me for the premier edition, and asked to me to be the regular contributor on Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship for the magazine.

Deere President was launched and distributed to retail outlets on Monday, October 1st, 2012.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m on the cover! That handsome, young man is yours truly lol.

I was just as shocked as a couple of you may be when he sent me this photo last weekend. It wasn’t our arrangement, and I didn’t request it either. Apparently, there were several cover options to choose from, and after deliberations, my photo was the final pick.

I was initially very uncomfortable with the idea because I love my privacy, but a little publicity never hurt anyone, I hope. Besides, I figured it could be good for business expansion and so on. I know it isn’t Forbes, but it’s a start!

The target market is students and young adults, hence the magazines are mainly being sold in schools. However, orders can be placed and deliveries will be fulfilled via courier. According to him, his primary objective at this time is to continue spreading the word and creating awareness. A copy of the magazine sells in Nigeria for two hundred naira (N200.00).

Find a retailer and buy one or two, I’m sure you won’t be too disappointed. I’m kidding, you’ll like it. In fact, work has already begun on the next edition which should be out December 2012.

By the way, if you like the magazine, have a product/service for its market (students and young adults), you can advertise with them; currently, there are vacant spots and the pricing is reasonable.

Well, a new edition means I have to start writing the next article on the business tips very soon! Take care 🙂

sp campaigns

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

All campaigns involve the participants (students and non-students alike) changing their avatars/display photos/profile pictures to the posters, and also changing their personal messages/status messages to one of the two specific messages (sentences or one-liners) that go with each campaign. Let’s spread the word!

Phase One (December 10th, 2011)

The “You’ve Dulled” Campaign is for CollegeTix

The “You’ve Dulled” messages: “Post Uni Events Online For Free via linkor “CollegeTix has the largest selection of college/university events from all around the world and now students can post their events for free so it’s easier to find and share them with others via link“. Please follow link for visual aid.

Phase Two (December 22nd, 2011)

The “Bored? Pick & Choose” Campaign is for CollegeTix

The “Bored? Pick & Choose” messages: “Bored? Pick and choose from the largest selection of events for college and university students in the world via link” or “Bored? Select events from our vast selection via link“. Please follow link for visual aid.

Phase Three (January 7th, 2012)

The “Second Look” Campaign is for Datlik

The “Second Look” Campaign messages: “Stop losing marks and credibility for inconsistency, poor grammar or spelling mistakes in your essays, web pages and work: datlik.sylverpro.com” or “Say bye to losing marks and credibility in your essays and work: datlik.sylverpro.com”.

 

Once again, thank you in advance if you decide to help. God bless you 🙂

japan ’11 sos

April 2, 2011 1 comment

As part of its social responsibility, I ensured that The SKA Group Inc. made a donation through the Canadian Red Cross today – Saturday, April 2nd, 2011. This donation is to aid the survivors of the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan early last month.

We asked people to get involved by making a donation (or supplementary donation) along with the company by purchasing a “Pray for Japan” button for $5.00CAD from Pearl Kreations; and the response was phenomenal!

All the proceeds were combined with our generous donation this afternoon. I personally like to thank everyone who made a donation, purchase, simply showed some support or even prayed! You are the reason this was such as tremendous success. May God bless us all and Japan, especially.

ska legacy

April 10, 2010 10 comments

Prior to the one year remembrance of my dad, I’ve decided to do something significant. Rather than just look gloomy and reminisce every 11th day of May, I want to honor his memory annually – on his birthday, not the day of his passing. I’m calling it SKA Legacy. I hope to eventually make it a befitting annual celebration of a very remarkable man.

In commemoration of this decision, I will share my final words to my dad with everyone. This is my farewell message as it appeared in the program of his funeral mass on Thursday, May 28th, 2009.

The banner placed over the main gate into our residence during the ceremonies

FAREWELL DAD

There are so many things I wish I could say, but I literally would use up everyone else’s spots so I’ll attempt to make this as brief as possible. Growing up, I didn’t really have him around so I didn’t know a lot about him safe for a few things- he rushed everyone out of the house into the car workday mornings, he loved to watch CNN, he playfully called me ‘Sonny Jim’, we were both hairy, and that we are both Sylvester (which I thought was cool)…later, when I asked him if I was Sylvester Jnr or Sylvester II, he laughed and said anyone I like.

When I got into my teen years, he had retired so I got to see more of him…which was a disaster waiting to happen- a teenage boy and his ‘stay home’ dad. He was practically on my neck half the time- Sola, you’re too conscious of pimples…stop acting like a woman, turn off the lights when you’re not using them, girls shouldn’t be calling you this late, go get a haircut, turn off that television and read, keep to time…don’t be like your mother, learn to save etc. Not to mention the holidays when he would always insist I read ahead for the next session or term, go to summer school or read a book. He hated us waking up late. In fact, the ‘terror’ list is endless. I was certain I didn’t want to be anything like him. I thought he was not cool, mean and too much of a disciplinarian. The only thing we agreed on then was my choir practice because he was in the grammar school choir, and WWF wrestling on Sunday evenings.

Growing into a young man (which is the present), I started getting wiser and began to admire and understand him. The pimples were a phase. Time waits for no one and every second counts. Study now and enjoy the fruits later. The reading helped my grammar.  And now that I live alone, I save on my electric, water and phone bills. I might not have wanted to be like him, but we were alike in so many ways. I started spending more time and doing things with him: going to the barber shop together, enjoying the evening breeze outside together and listening to his life adventures, teasing my mom, listening to ‘Ikan be’ by Akolawole Olawuyi, buying shares etc.

He was a very loving dad in his own special ways. I was told of when he would put me on his laps while he drives so I could put my hands of the steering wheel and drive, sponsoring my formal education and holidays, driving to Ijanikin every month in 2002 just to see me in school along with some lunch, crying bitterly both times I was leaving Nigeria for Canada, giving me the best, and calling me “Mr Buttons” when I started my button-badges business. I also realized he was cool. For example, he had a nickname in high school – he was called ‘Wild Cat’. He was also quite athletic. I remembered the day he chased me around the house trying to cane me for something I did; I thought I was quick on my feet until that day. We both eventually had a couple of laughs after he finally had me cornered though.

All his kids and I will never forget, “Read Hard, Pray Hard, Play A Little, and you’ll succeed” and in the last two days I spent with him, God made me persuade him to give me advise for business, life, relationships and family; and he did! He always drove me to better than the best. He didn’t live to see me graduate, but I know he was proud that was becoming quite the family man (being close to all my sisters), a business man and my new last name.

My dad was responsible, thrifty, intelligent, soft-spoken, generous, good-looking, polished, honest, well-mannered and humble. He wasn’t perfect, but he was pretty close. Well, I think I’ll stop here and say, if I am ever a man worth emulating or celebrating, I owe it to God who gave him to me. Rest in perfect peace dad. I love you.

– Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade

I don’t think we shared the typical dad-son bond, but I miss him. This has a few entertaining stories of my life with my dad, but there are more – more I hope to share in a book called Sonny Jim, by God’s grace. A few weeks ago, a friend said to me, “I know you miss him, so what keeps you going?” I replied, “We miss him, but knowing he’s happy being in a better place, and knowing we’ll see him again is very comforting.”

Contrary to what people say, time doesn’t make it easier, God does. Thanks for reading.

beware of dragons

April 2, 2010 2 comments

A colleague, Amy N* sent me an offline message on March 18th afternoon telling me that Dragons’ Den would be holding auditions at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University for Hamilton-based entrepreneurs on April 1st, 2010 in preparation for the new season in September.

She thought it would be a good idea for me to give it a shot. I was actually touched she thought of me. I guess it goes to show that one never knows all those who’ve got one’s back and always rooting for you. Well, at first, I was skeptical for a few reasons.

The first reason was the date of the audition. It was April 1st, which is we all know is April Fool’s Day and I wondered if it could be a practical joke. I went to their site to confirm if auditions were actually going to be held; and wouldn’t you believe it, it was legitimate lol.

The second thing being the fact that even though I’ve only watched about 3 episodes of Dragons’ Den, I followed the entire first season of the American version- the Shark Tank, so I have a very good idea of what goes down. Even though they offer Entrepreneurs the amount of money banks presently wouldn’t, they usually seek a high stake in your company. I’m talking 50% and higher! Even though I agree that there’s a possibility that I might actually need some financial backing, experienced partnership and their powerful branding, I don’t want to just basically sign over my company to someone just because I could use his/her help. In a certain way, I feel like I’ll be selling my soul lol.

Anyway, within the week that followed, I talked to Amy N* and a couple of other people about my second fear, and the general consensus was, despite the fact of getting a percentage of the company, they feel what I stand to gain in return surpasses any percentage they could request. I get financial backing; their partnership, publicity and support. After much deliberation, I decided not to.

But then, unbelievably, something changed at the 59th second! lol.

So April 1st came and I was at home, bored out of my mind. I decided, oh whatever! I’ll just give it a shot! I rather know than wonder what if. And if I do get on the show, I don’t have to take any of their offers (if they make any), but the nationwide publicity I’d get, priceless! So I headed to school and made a 3-page description of the Pearl Kreations and why it is a viable business. It took me about 2 hours to compile. Once I was satisfied, I went to make 5 copies. I assumed there would be 5 producers at most.

I made my way to the auditions whilst reciting my pitch in my head. So I got there and there were 3 producers plus 3 students (whom I assumed volunteered to help out and make sure everything went well). For some reason, the presence of the students and not the producers made me nervous lol. I walked in with about 20 minutes left on the clock before the auditions were to end. So as soon as I came in, one of the students served me with a bunch of papers I had to fill and sign. Since I‘ve watched the show, I knew what information was relevant and advantageous; hence, I didn’t need to write about my business and its services in the information form because I had all the info they needed in the write-up. I just signed all the legal documents and got up for my presentation. There was even a document for green products and services that would help the environment. Obviously, mine isn’t green so I didn’t have to sign that.

Anyway, I got in front of them, and the lead lady was like, “whenever you’re ready!” I had this puzzled look for a split second ‘cuz I was expecting it to be a “questions & answers” session for some reason. It was when I started talking I realised how unbelievably nervous I was lol. I broke into a sweat, stuttered a little, but I got my message across: “Pearl Kreations is more about the applications of than the product itself. Button-badges aren’t something new, but how Pearl Kreations is different is in our approach, enthusiasm and the diverse, innovative applications we use these simple products for.

Below is one of the pages from my write-up on the various applications Pearl Kreations’ buttons:


I read it later and I discovered I made a couple of grammatical errors (not spellings though) and repetitions lol. I hope it wouldn’t cost me my chance! 😦

Anyway, I could tell they were impressed by electronic and mass media coverage I have gotten over the short duration of running the business, the numerous contractual applications I have come up with for Companies like Warner Bros, Fox Entertainment and Marvel for partnership opportunities. And my boldness to actually write and approach them in the first place; especially since I’m an international student from Nigeria!

I think I got them most interested when I disclosed our Olympic and Winter Olympics contracts as well as Pearl Kreations’ 2008 revenue (I won’t share it figure here, but it was a 5-digit figure well over $30,000CAD). I think I finally eased up when I saw their reaction lol. 2009’s revenue wasn’t as much, as most of the revenue was in Nigerian Naira (a couple hundred thousands) because I spent the better part of that year in Nigeria. Well, 2010 presently has a potential revenue of over $50,000 CAD because of the Winter Olympics sales and potential Canada Day Sales. They were astounded as how we could get so much from $2.00CAD and $2.50CAD products! Well, I have only God to thank! They made a few inquires, and I think I answered satisfactorily. One of which was if I have patents on the names- “All-Me Buttons “and “National Buttons”; and the applications like the “blends”, “frames” and “movie madness”. And yes I do…well it is being finalized. Good thing I thought to do so even though it cost some money. Now, if there’s ever an imitation of the names and/or concepts without my consent and royalty, I’ll be suing the smart ass lol.

When I was done, they told me I would get a call from them in a couple of weeks to let me know if I’ll be invited onto the show! As I packed up to leave, I looked at the students and they gave me a nod of approval. I could almost see the awe on their faces…as if to say: we’re proud of you. You’ve done McMaster proud lol.

As I left, I felt so happy I did it. Even if I don’t get on the show, they’ve heard about me- the famous Mr. Buttons lol. Even though they will hear tons of other ideas from all over Canada, no one will have buttons, and even if they do, none with Pearl Kreations’ style and innovation :-).

Wish me luck!