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Change appears fast and evolving at a dazzling speed. Things appear so different from what they have been. Today- appears hugely different from yesterday.

-Dare Lawal (Executive consultant · Vulcan services)

The world is at the precipice of another World War. Nigeria, a country perceived as not meeting its potential, appears to have moved down on the prosperity table to become identified as the poverty capital of the world and more recently theatre of banditry and terrorism. Akwa Ibom, that backcountry state, has evolved suddenly into a thriving state, boasting an airline! So much change.

Our interest in this write-up today is about fashion. How has fashion evolved? What does change look like? Most importantly, what will the industry look like for us to play actively as it unfolds?

But really, is the present different from the past? Ok, maybe it's different, but is it so hugely different?History and research tell us that 'the past is inevitably part of our present and our future evolves from a mix of both.' So, if we pay attention, we can always understand the terrain and better adapt to the new normal.
This piece specifically is about thriving as an artist. What should we be doing? How can we thrive in the face of this evolution?

So, who is an artist? Sometimes we confuse the artiste with the artist.Artistes are professional entertainers.An Artist is a person skilled at a particular task or occupation or who practices or performs any of the creative arts, such as sculptor, film maker, actor, or dancer.

So, art in general is the practice of any task or exhibition of any gift, and it includes the art of bringing such an exhibition to the notice of the public for consumption.As it relates to the fashion industry, this will include concept builders, process developers, designers, etc. It covers any setup that combines materials, colors. attachments, arrangements and human presentation that delights the eyes, to the skillful expression of ideas and the process of consumption, to the display and parades that enhance how the delivery is viewed and perceived. Interestingly other support services are also part of the industry.Hair care, skin care, financing and investment management and people and facility management etc. 

So how do we identify who and what is thriving?THRIVING depicts PROSPEROUS AND GROWING. These indications of a flourishing practice are measured easily in financial terms.A simple indication is to become rich.To be rich, means you are making money at a higher rate than it costs you to make the money. However, it is more than Finance.If someone, or something is thriving, it is assign that they do well and are successful, healthy. or strong.

So how do we become artists?
WE ARE ALL ARTISTS. To become accomplished is to choose a particular task and become proficient at its execution. It is easier to master a task, if the task requires competences that are natural to us. 'We become excellent only in our area of giftedness.' So, recognising our talents and sharpening it becomes critical.

What is TALENT? Natural aptitude or skill.
The beautiful thing is that WE ARE ALL TALENTED!
Thriving talents simply are those who put their talents to such use, that they achieve prominence and develop the capacity to earn more than they have spent in patting the talent on display. And they can do this in a sustainable manner.

Why aren't we all thriving?
Our first challenge is the inability to recognize, define and build our talents. The other challenge is the difficulty we experience in our attempt to bring the talent to the' podium,' to display our talent to the right audience.Those challenges persist because we chose to stay inIGNORANCE of the right FRAMEWORK to guide our journey. We assume that:
-only those with conspicuously visible talents are sellable.
-the way to thrive is to copy how other talents get to be on stage
-our outcome should look like other people's outcomes.
-Finance is the first ingredient and that intimidates us to submission.
I crave your indulgence to introduce you to a frame work that research has shown works in most situations.

Consider this analogy.
in the preparation of soups, cooks differently mix similar ingredients, and this results in differently-tasting soups.In the same vein, how you whip these talent ingredients together will matter to the taste of your outcome. That is how talent works.

Apart from all the ingredients that you must acquire, a structured process is important in exhibiting your talent.We all know about those ingredients and so I will try, in summary, to introduce you to a framework that can guide the process and how it works.

1.How you define SUCCESS?
Who will come to my funeral?

2.How well you know yourself?
This is a continuous exercise and usually you may not be able to know yourself until you know who you are not.

3.How well you know who the major beneficiaries of the service you offer are - Basically, Family, Community,Customers,Government.

4. How well you adapt the exhibition of your talents to meet these stakeholders' expectations.
To help you in remaining grounded, you need to accept yourself as different from others and accept others for who they are whilst accepting your journey and ensuring that you develop a mindset of no option for giving up on your professional journey.

It may cross your mind that the past was easier,I can assure you that the future promises better opportunities but not easier opportunities. The world of corporate life is yielding to the world of individuals, of choices and risks. There will not be enough number of organisations to take over your risks.

The crave to belong somewhere, either to a group or association, can also be satiated, with choices of association and social media links but I promise you it will not be a comfortable world and the risks will get higher but with better opportunities and more chances than ever to shape our own lives, to BE FULLY OURSELVES.The social media promises limitless opportunities but has its drawback. It creates unnecessary pressure for a bunch of undiscerning individuals. Most of the news and pictures you are fed, are creative pictures depicting fake news and do not represent reality. Try and become discerning in consuming social media content.So, what is your talent? Are you willing to give it all you must to grow the talent and bring it out to benefit others? Are you enjoying the journey and getting better at it? Are you at peace with yourself?Whatever your talent is...

Go for it!

Thank you.

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