Using Visioning to Go From Scammer to Business Leader (and Difference Maker)
Visioning has the power to take you from where you are to where you want to be. It doesn’t matter how hopeless. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve veered off the path. It doesn’t matter how desperate you are…visioning can change your life.
In this post, I have the privilege of giving you a glimpse inside the life of someone who has successfully used visioning to completely change his life’s direction. Now he is using his passion to help others do the same. I’d like to introduce you to Tito Philips, Jr.
Q – Who is Tito Philips, Jr.? And what is Naijapreneur?
I’m an unusual Nigerian that is passionately MAD – Making A Difference! A People, Business & Life developer. I write, speak, coach, train & consult on how people, businesses & lives can be SIGNIFICANT – different [unique] & making a difference [useful]. The CEO of MADphilips, an unusual company dedicated to the development of people, businesses and lives. Naijapreneur is my blog where I write about business and entrepreneurship to help unusual entrepreneurs learn how to build SIGNIFICANT, or extra-ordinary, businesses that profit from purpose by changing the world!
Q-What is visioning?
Vision is a picture of a preferable future. It is a thing you create with your imagination and then make visible plans on how to achieve it. Vision involves the painting of a better life for yourself and deciding to do all that you can to bring it to pass. Vision is of your own making; your role is that of a manufacturer creating a finished product; in this case, a preferable future, a better tomorrow. It’s not by force; it’s a choice. It entails making a choice to pursue the preferred life of your choice. It’s not the same as purpose.
Purpose is not a picture that you paint; it’s a call that must be obeyed or answered. It’s not a thing you create; it’s a thing created for you and deposited in you. Purpose is not within your power to create; it’s a thing you discover by asking your Maker. Purpose is your destiny; it is a matter of intention. And intention is not a matter of choice, but a matter of source. The intention of a thing is not in the hand of the invention (the thing), but in the hand of the inventor (the maker of the thing). You cannot know the purpose (intention) of a thing by asking the thing (invention), but rather by asking the maker of the thing (inventor).
God is our Creator and thus the only source of our purpose or intention. It’s only the inventor of a thing that can accurately define and explain the intended use, or purpose, of that thing. Purpose lies in our source and not in our choice. What does this mean? Purpose is something hidden deep within us by the Creator from our very beginning. It is a treasure that is to be discovered. You don’t alter it or choose it; it’s discovered and thus chooses you. We must therefore make a choice to follow or submit to what we have discovered about ourselves. Since we never made ourselves, we can only search within ourselves to discover what the Maker hid in us. Hence, our task as humans is to discover what it is that we carry within us individually.
Purpose is not the same as a vision, for it’s bigger than a vision. Vision is only an instrument of fulfilling purpose. If purpose is the spirit, vision is the body. Purpose is the end, and vision a means to an end. Purpose is seeing life from God’s perspective; vision is seeing life from man’s perspective. We as humans have visions; God as our Maker gives us purpose. Why? So that our vision (picture of a preferred future) can be in alignment with our purpose (what we were originally created to do). Purpose is how the Creator (inventor) sees the life of the creature (invention), while vision is how the creature sees its own life.
Purpose is the reason why the creature exists – the essence of existence. Vision is the dream of the creature – the quest for fulfillment. Purpose is designed from above but discovered here on earth; vision is designed here by man from inside. Purpose is your intended life; vision is your preferred life. One was ordained long before you were made; the other you strive to attain after you are made. Purpose is what you are here to do, your destiny; vision is how badly you want to do what you are here to do, your legacy. Purpose is the essence of existence; vision the extent of your existence. Purpose is what brought you to existence. You don’t exist to choose your purpose; you exist for a purpose. It’s because there was a need that you were created, as a solution to that need. You are a solution to an existing problem. You don’t question purpose; you submit to and obey purpose. No creature questions the intentions of the Creator. Your job on earth is to find and follow your purpose. Conclusively, purpose is the intent of the Creator, and it is to be obeyed and followed.
However, choosing your vision is totally up to you. It’s your responsibility to align your vision with your purpose. Vision has to do with how far you want to carry out your purpose. Vision is a question of size – to what extent do you want to follow and carry out your purpose? How far do you want to go in the direction of your purpose? Vision is painting a picture of how you want to fulfill your purpose. It’s how you see yourself fulfilling your purpose. If purpose is destiny – the end, then vision is legacy – the means to the end. Your vision should lead you to fulfill your purpose. The secret and balance of the two is using your life according to God’s perspective and creating a vision that conforms to that perspective.
Q-How has visioning impacted your life?
Vision has impacted my life greatly as it has helped me to aspire for more from life. Without my vision of becoming the greatest living authority on SIGNIFICANCE –the art of being different [unusual uniqueness] and making a difference [unusual usefulness] – by 2020, my life would have traveled a different path.
Here’s my story – the origin of MADphilips.
My unusual journey into the world of entrepreneurship began in 2005 when in my quest for survival I almost sabotaged my purpose in life. I was heading down a destructive path very quickly. What was this path? I was once an online scam artist! In my country, Nigeria, this is popularly known as “Yahoo! – Yahoo!.” How does this work? Through the internet, relationships are initiated and built between a man and a woman over a certain period of time with the intention of being together as lovers in the near future. One person out of both parties, usually the one being scammed [the maga] is completely honest, innocent and ignorant of the nefarious intentions of the other person [the scammer]. The whole objective of the scam artist [scammer] is to siphon as much money as possible from the one being scammed all the while leveraging on the emotions of love, romance and sex. The real identity of the scammer is usually hidden because a phony name, gender, nationality, location, story and even pictures are being used all through the period of interaction. The scammer can assume any gender, male or female, depending on the availability of pictures.
Precisely on July 2, 2005 I met a 40-year-old woman via a Yahoo chat room. Her name is Victoria S. Jaime. She is an American who lived in Sacramento, California with three kids; Saulomon [male, 13 years old then], Petrapilar [Petra for short, female, 7 years old then] and Enereo [a special needs child; he was 4 years old then]. At that time she was working with Silicon Graphics International [SGI]. I was using the phony name “Timmy Thomas,” a phony age of 31 years, a phony location South Africa and using a phony Yahoo ID “teeblackstone” while in reality I was only just turning 21 years on the 25th of that same month of July we met. We became friends, very close friends from the moment we got to talking and it didn’t take us long to bond eventually as lovers. Just for the record, what I felt for her was absolutely real. If you asked me, I would say everything about us was just so darn unusual.
To cut the long story short, our love for each other grew so strong that she sent me $1500 in August for a computer engineering course I previously had in mind to enroll for but couldn’t due to lack of funds. She called it an investment. We planned to see each other physically in September during my so-called visit from South Africa to see my mother who was living in Nigeria. This was when I couldn’t take it anymore. Meeting physically was against the rules of the game. There wasn’t supposed to be any physical meeting between the two parties involved, because one party was real [the maga] while the other wasn’t [the scammer]. Normally, following the rules of the game, this was supposed to be my exit point. But I did the unusual.
I quit the game!
I came clean and told her the whole truth. During one of our phone conversations, she made a statement that she was always fond of saying, “Tim, you always sound so much older and talk so much wiser than your age. You sound like you are 60!” Right there and then, I seized the opportunity and told her my real age, name, and everything else there was to confess. For about 3 hours, we were both on the phone crying and asking ourselves, why? She was so brokenhearted. I had to tell her the whole truth because I couldn’t stand not meeting her in person. Deep down inside me, I desperately wanted to meet her in person; even now, I still do!
Her impact on my life!
In case you are wondering why I was so keen on meeting her, here’s the truth; this woman Victoria S. Jaime literally changed my life! She is responsible for my rebirth, because she pointed out to me my role here on earth [my purpose]. In her very own words, she said to me,
“Tim, in all of my years, experience and education on earth, I have never had anyone, not even my teachers at the Dale Carnegie Institute, speak to me like you do. Their words never had as much impact on me as yours. Tim, your words are your wealth. That is all you need to be everything you dream in life!”
Those words gave my life a new meaning. They made me realize that I didn’t have to continue with being a scam artist anymore since I had something SIGNIFICANT to offer the world. Why go ahead with a false identity when my real identity still spoke out loudly from beneath the false identity? There was no need to be someone else when I could do the world a greater good being myself. I made a promise to myself to give this new life she had pointed out to me a chance. With the money she sent me, I refused to go for the computer engineering course she had given me the money for. Rather, I asked her permission to go for a 3- week leadership development program I had recently seen advertised at my church. She agreed and so I began the program in September. During the course of the program, I bought as many personal and business development books as possible. I also paid for and attended as many personal and business development seminars, workshops and conferences as possible. I have never stopped, nor looked back ever since.
That’s how I became who I am today – MADphilips. To always remember and commit to my just-found purpose in life, I added the acronym ‘MAD’ which stands for Making A Difference to my surname ‘Philips’ and registered it as my company name. The name stands as a reminder to me all the time of how I escaped the trap of survival and how I must help as many people and businesses as I can do the same. Today, MADphilips is fast becoming a Nigerian brand with a global appeal that is helping people and businesses become dissatisfied with SURVIVAL and showing them how to make the crucial, life-changing transition from survival to significance. I started the blog “naijapreneur!” to teach businesses and entrepreneurs how to be SIGNIFICANT because I have also seen how businesses that focus on survival [making a living] end up as mediocre. Having witnessed personally what focusing on survival can do to destroy one’s destiny in life, I am currently working on another blog iLIVE4CHANGE that will teach people how to say “No” to the trap of survival and make the transition to live a life of significance. And finally, to help more lives become SIGNIFICANT, I intend to build a humanitarian organization called Helpers Of Destiny [HOD] to give hope to many less privileged kids of underdeveloped nations. She knows about this; we even planned on building it together.
The End and another Beginning…
Today, 6 years later, I am still online, but no longer as a scammer [teeblackstone], but as a blogger [MADphilips]. I’m no longer using my gift with words for deception but for inspiration. Today when I speak at events, I still get the same feedback I got from Victoria, “Your words are powerful; how do you know all this and talk so deep at such a young age?” My answer is usually the same – PURPOSE. We are all but instruments in the hands of the Almighty. If, as a scammer, my gift with words was recognized in spite of all the deception, then I leave you with the greatest truth on earth –
“Your purpose can never be HIDDEN, no matter how far astray you might have gone!”
To read the full story, click here….
Q-How has visioning impacted your business?
For me, the greatest impact of visioning on my business is the clear sense of purpose it gives to our entire operation. These days as entrepreneurs, it has become increasingly difficult to really explain with clarity what our business is about, as there are many ‘me too’ businesses out there. But through visioning, I have been able to set my company apart and stand for something very tangible in the minds of my target customers. Visioning is how we chose an unusual business name – MADphilips. It is the single most distinguishing factor of our business. It is the philosophy that drives all that we do. Our business is SIGNIFICANCE – being different and making a difference. Visioning helped us define our business.
Q-With all the tasks and responsibilities entrepreneurs face, should they invest their time in visioning?
As an entrepreneur, you are never too busy to look into the future. If you do not deliberately create the time to look into the future by creating a compelling vision for yourself and your company, there is no way you will survive long. You see, the business world is very competitive and the companies that don’t have a clear vision of where they are headed are easily eaten up alive by those competitors who do. When you don’t have a vision, every destination becomes your bus stop. Every customer becomes a prospect. Every project becomes a sale. Every applicant becomes an employee. In short, without vision, your company, product or services will be just like that of others, with no differentiation.
Q-What’s your process for visioning?
Like I said in my definition of vision, it is critical you first find a sense of purpose for your life. Purpose is your greater reason for living beyond survival. Passion, that thing which you enjoy doing and naturally excel at, is the source of your purpose. Because it comes with you from birth, your purpose was defined by the Creator. You cannot choose your passion either; no one says to himself/herself, “This is what I want to enjoy doing.” We all must submit to our passion; it is a force that consumes and inspires our life work. Once you can tell what your passion is, purpose is the contribution you want to make on earth using that passion.
Vision becomes clearer when you have found purpose. It becomes the extent to which you want to fulfill purpose. Vision is how far you want to go in the direction of your purpose.
So here it is:
Passion -> Purpose -> Vision
Q-Would you mind sharing your vision for your business and life?
My life’s vision:
“To be the greatest living authority on SIGNIFICANCE – the art of being different [unusual uniqueness] and making a difference [unusual usefulness].”
My business vision:
“To be the global leader and authority on SIGNIFICANCE.”
Q-Anything else we should know about visioning and/or Tito Philips, Jr.?
I have written a FREE manifesto titled “The Entrepreneur’s Journey.” It is an ebook on how entrepreneurs can build SIGNIFICANT companies that change the world and profit from purpose. Click here to get your own copy FREE.
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