(Lessons from 12 years of friendship with Hafiz Akinde, an Award-winning Writer, Content Strategist, Author, and Tech Startup Founder)
Someone taught me the business of writing. He taught many others too.
Today, many of his students conveniently earn six figures doing what they love: Writing.
I’m still working towards that anyway. And I’m humble.
Who am I talking about? It’s no other than Hafiz Akinde.
There are humans, and there are superhumans. Hafiz is a superhuman.
He taught me and many others the business of writing.
He encouraged us to enter writing contests from our undergraduate days, and many of us won.
If you’re not close to him, you’ll never know how value-packed this guy is. He doesn’t talk much. He has an exceptional personality.
Boss doesn’t talk much. He just does wonders.
Hafiz is a digital publisher, online business trainer, software product owner, marketer, and tech startup founder. He’s an all-rounded online entrepreneur.
He’s trained over 1000 people on topics spanning blogging, digital publishing, affiliate marketing, freelancing, and working remotely. He is also a great speaker with several speaking engagements badges on his shoulders.
With 1000 projects writing projects, and counting, his impact on digital technology only shows that one person giving out value could relieve the world from pain.
And with the numerous challenges he faced, from being a field officer in a telecommunication company to quitting his forage into remote work and freelancing, you should imbibe his qualities, just as I’m doing.
Here are the six qualities I picked from Hafiz.
Entrepreneurs frequently need to multitask when starting a firm. Hafiz hadn’t worn the entrepreneurship hat when he started multitasking. Working as a field officer in a telecommunications company, he started freelancing while on his job.
Testing that new waters, he would write during travels from city to city and did a great job delivering exceptional pieces for his clients.
His growth mindset made him feel no flinch in progressing under challenging conditions even when his stressful job kept him out of shape.
The way he adapts to changes gave me the strength to do the same when switching to freelance writing.
Hafiz wasn’t just doing his things. He has a target for everything. When he tells you that he’s writing a book, you can be sure that he’d publish it at the set time.
When he wrote his 5th published book, “Finding your Purpose,” he told me he would make sure every nook and cranny of Nigeria felt the book’s impact.
And do you know what he did?
The book launch was, first, a success. Then the marketing was massive on Facebook, and there isn’t any timeline that doesn’t know that masterpiece.
The best news is he sold out before the set time.
That’s Hafiz’s power of crushing set goals. I learned this from him, and I’ve been intentional with crushing goals this year.
A simple way to be like I and Hafiz is to determine what you want to achieve and establish your future vision. Then, to direct your actions, define a goal with a timeline.
This will assist you in tracking your progress and keep you motivated to achieve your goal.
When Naval said, “Learn to build, learn to sell, you’ll be unstoppable.” You would think he was talking directly to Hafiz.
That’s what he does most. He builds, he sells.
He’s obsessed with this, from selling articles to books, courses, and SaaS products.
But selling is challenging, as much as building is.
How did Hafiz crush every sale?
His persuasion skills.
First, he learns about his audience and adapts to their personalities to improve his persuading skills. Then he uses tales to connect with them emotionally and demonstrate enthusiasm.
I learned this from him, and I became able to relate to people’s narratives on LinkedIn. I formed bonds with many people, and it developed into loyalty.
How did Tech With Africa come about?
Hafiz knew he would own a data and tech journalism company, but he didn’t know when. All he knew was that he would have one.
So when he reached out to me to be his co-founder, he already had all the paths in place. All I did was “plug” my data journalism experience into the concept, and together, we pressed “play.”
These are by far the best lessons I gained from Hafiz. I call it strategic foresight. Now, I know where I would likely be in the next 5 years, yes, by God’s grace. I’m just reverse-engineering the process.
Learn to perceive a large vision that you want to achieve, which motivates them to work harder. This will inspire and drive you to strive toward success. You’ll thank me later.
5. Product Knowledge
Fuelled by a pain point in the Facebook marketing loop and leveraging his vision for product success, Hafiz bought Friend Convert, a chrome extension that allows you to automatically build your friend’s list with the right people, so you can grow an engaged audience and connect with them on a much deeper level.
When you install the Friend Convert extension, you seamlessly build an audience from any Facebook group you are a member of based on your preferred keyword, time limit, and delay.
Another push I got from Hafiz is that you should continue to learn about your industry and understand what consumers need. This will help you grasp the qualities that set you apart from competitors.
It would also help you maximize your product knowledge’s positive impact.
Hafiz is creative.
What more can you say of a solid writer, published author books, an anthology of poems, digital publisher, and online course creator?
Put a concept in front of him, and he would spot the possibilities, come up with new impactful ideas, and present solutions that would benefit humanity.
I learned from Hafiz that if you want to be creative in everything you do, just continue to do it.
When you develop consistency in practice, you will boost your creativity.
You should also consider what inspires you to be creative, whether meeting new people, reading, or other activities. Then dedicate a set time during the day to brainstorming fresh ideas.
Fresher ideas every day make you creative.
I met Hafiz with just my writing skills. I became a sought-after content marketing professional and a proud co-founder of a data and tech journalism platform with Allah and his support. What more can I say than thanks?