The Affectivity of Knowledge Transfer Among Immigrants and Their Countries of Origin

The following is a response to an article titled “My Encounter With Elijah Ngurare” by Alexactus T Kaure, which appeared in The Namibian Newspaper on June 25, 2010.

Just one thing came to mind quick; the difference between someone living and working in a foreign country and then take that knowledge back, such as what the article says, that most of the Namibian senior government leaders have lived, worked, and studied in foreign countries, is that; there are many foreigners in different countries, but the knowledge they gain may depend on their environment, where they work, live and play.

Especially for most Africans, in foreign countries tend to congregate among themselves, and not venture out and mix up to meet up and network with people from outside their circles who really matters. Also, if your mind only thinks about working and paying your bills and then send money to your family back home, then that’s may be the only knowledge you take back to your home country.

But the most effective method I have learned as an entrepreneur in America for the past 17 years; it’s the people I meet, the challenges I face in developing and growing a business, not a pop and mom street corner shop selling African books but an actual corporation with diversified consumer goods. Yes, do those things, meet up with some of the best minds, attend events such as Global Business Forum, Global Economic Forum, etc., and rub shoulders with the likes of the keynote speakers, interact, network, and talk with the likes of people. Go through the triple edge sword of being an African, black, male, and trying to develop and run a business in America, do that for over 10 years; and tell me what kind of experience you will gain. And then what happens when you go back to your home country; you have the real knowledge; both academically and street skills that you can really take and apply in your home country.

Such as the network of people I have encountered with over the years; if that didn’t happen with me, then I would never even come close to being part of the $5 billion value ecosystem development, we are currently undertaking in Grootfontein, Namibia. It’s through the networking, meeting the right people, develop the necessary connections and then be able to do greater things.

“Hands-on experience, academic and street smart followed by lots of failures, and tenacity knowledge encompassed by the right connections are what matters.” As per LinkedIn.com’s motto; “Relationships Matter”.

However, if you lived in a foreign country, doing whatever odd jobs, but you have really never went out there, face the challenges of running something, then what kind of leadership role and ability can you really take back to your home country if all you did when living in a foreign country is simply get up each morning and go to work and after work, go partying and drinking with your everyday fellow countrymen?

Past Work Experience and Academic Achievement vs. Personable Personality for Getting Your Dream Job

Mistakes that most people make when preparing and going for job interviews is that they base their confidence more from their past work and academic achievement. And, that’s purely wrong.

When I consider hiring anyone for any position, I equally consider both the person’s past work experience and academic background, but most importantly, I look for the personality. It doesn’t matter how much experience and academic achievement you have attained, if your personality (attitudes) stinks, then your whole resume and any possibilities of getting hired are just a dud.

Stinky personality, I meant, don’t be cocky, too overly confidence, or displaying low self-esteem. Just be yourself. When preparing for the job interview, don’t memorize what they may or not ask, or be nervous of what or how to answer their questions. Just be yourself, and answer only the questions as asked. Read between the lines, look at their body language, facial expressions, and eye movements.

If he/she asks you a question, and you start answering it and then, he/she starts moving around, moving papers, reading a text message or typing on the computer, meaning not seems to pay any attention to whatever you are saying, then that’s an indication to stop talking. You are just rumbling too much irrelevant information, and that shows that he/she has no interest in whatever you are saying.

Don’t tell what they don’t ask. Answer the questions just as asked, and pay close attention to how they stare at you as you start speaking. Just tell the story of your life, personal, professional, or academic, just as you know it well, yourself. No one knows you more and better than yourself. Only answer what they ask, make it short, sweet, and straight to the point.

Overall and most importantly, think carefully what to say and how to say it, before you open your mouth to answer the question. But, don’t take too long while you are thinking how to answer the question. Be smart, be calm, be collective, and be creative by reading from their body movements and expressions, and then excite him or her with what you want him or her to hear and know more about you.

Lastly, and very important. When you walk in his or her office, make that office environment to suit you, so you can be comfortable and less nervous. As you enter the office, look around the office, most of the times, he or she has some pictures on his or her desk; perhaps some family photos, or whatever pictures on his or her desk.

Those items on his or her desk can tell you a lot about his or her personality. If the pictures are family photos, then you know that he or she’s a family oriented person, and try to capitalize on that by, as soon as you walk in the office, mention the pictures by complimenting them and then relate to yourself. If you are a family person, then also briefly mention your family. Bosses like to know that you are a family person, because that shows stability and consistency in your personal relationship, social life, and characteristics.

If there are no photos on the desk, then look at the office view, or just find anything that may be of interest to you. May be look through the office window or whatever stands out in that office and then mention it in complement. Doing this at the very beginning of the interview helps you to break the ice, and make his or her office environment suit you, and then use that to your advantage by being less nervous, and that enables you to answer comfortably any questions that he or she may ask.

Don't show up like this!

In summary, don’t memorize what questions they may ask, simply be yourself, calm and collective, and answer only what you are asked.

Stop rumbling words when they start yawning, staring at your breasts, scratching their heads or his crotch (you may want to walk out right then if that happens) or if he or she starts looking around with no sign of interest in whatever you are saying.

And if you are religious, it doesn’t hurt to say a little prayer for God to speak for you, through you so you can answer what they want to hear and that God may open their ears, so they can better comprehend whatever you are saying to them.

It’s the job that you want, go get it!

What’s Your Dream, As Inspired by Clarence

So you have a dream, now what?

Well, everyone else in the world has a dream, in fact, we all have our dreams of the things we want to do in our lives, and the only difference between you and the guy next door is about what you do now, right now, in order to make your dream come true.

If you sit back and simply say; ” I have a dream”, but don’t do anything to cause your dream to come true, then it never will. In fact, 40 or 60 years from now, you will still be saying “I have a dream”, but by then, you’ll be sitting on your patio, if you’d have one, with grey hair, still lauding your dream to everyone who passes by, down the street.

What you do today, right now, may help make your dream come true tomorrow. It’s all up to you to do whatever it takes now in order to make your dream come true.

Stop smoking weed and cigarettes, stop drinking alcohol, stop chasing men and women, stop partying and clubbing, stop the chat, get off Facebook or Twitter for a minute and take a moment, sit back and evaluate yourself, think about the things you need to do in order to make your dream come true and do it, don’t just think about it, make a move and do it. You are immensely endowed with great potential, act to realize yours.

What’s your dream?

Crazy (Rich) Entrepreneur

Julie Sloane of FORTUNE Small Business has made up a list of who she thinks is the craziest but rich entrepreneur. See her full list at CNNMoney.com.

Starting and growing a business from scratch is the hardest thing anyone can undertake, anywhere, it’s even harder than having and raising a child.

But in order to start and grow a business, you just have to hang in there. You need to go banana; become crazy; but you have to motivate yourself not to ever give up no matter what happens, you must have faith in yourself, believe in yourself, and trust all of yourself, and just stay focused on working hard, spending long sleepless nights, and finishing what’ve you started, because in the end, you will still be crazy but happy and filthy rich crazy.

Do you know of any entrepreneur anywhere; who’s more crazy but rich and happy?