Tito Philips, Jnr. is a result-driven entrepreneur, writer, speaker, business consultant and life coach with over eight years entrepreneurship experience and proven business development capabilities who specialises in helping businesses and people become significant and useful. He spoke to Valour Digest on various issues ranging from his upbringing to career and family life.

Excerpts:

How was growing up like?

Growing up was a humbling experience as I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. I am from a family of four – dad, mum, my sister and myself. Apart from the financial struggles we had to contend with for the most part, I had an awesome childhood, thanks to my parents. They didn’t have much in terms of money, but they had so much time and life lessons to give which really formed the basis of my character early on in life.

What particular event has shaped your upbringing?

Not being born with a silver spoon really made me to start pondering the very meaning of life and our human existence from a rather tender age of 10. The hardship really made me a more disciplined and focused individual, rather than chicken out on life; it made me more resilient to succeed.

What informed your decision about your profession?

Very early on I discovered that I really loved to learn, think and write, and because of my humbling background, I also loved to help people get what they want. So, my initial thought of a profession was so sure, except that I wanted to be a philanthropist. Only much later did I discover that my passion for learning, thinking, and writing can be channelled into helping people solve business related problems. And this was when I knew I had to become a business development consultant.

What was the secret behind your career progression?

An unrelenting quest to learn as much as I can about people, business and life backed with a strong creative mind to apply what I learnt in solving practical problems all around me. In other words, a combination of learning, thinking and doing.

What was that major event in your life that caused your transformation?

Meeting an American lady who was much older than me through the internet in 2005 who helped me to further confirm my innate abilities to use words to connect with people, uncover their problems and proffer practical solutions.

Which book has inspired you the most?

The Plus Factor by Norman Vincent Pearl, it made me know that there was more to me than just my physical self. I had something to contribute that the world needed. That “something” he called the plus factor – your God-given purpose.

From your experience, why do you think some men are not taking their rightful place in God’s plan for their lives these days?

Men who don’t quite understand that there’s more to life than mere existence will never take their rightful place in God’s plan for their lives. You need to first realise that the life you call yours, is never really yours in the first place. You have only been licensed to use it for a reason and that reason is not centred on your own selfish interests. The moment men get this truth, that each of us is just an instrument in the hands of the Creator; men will begin to seek out their place in life to be used for something significant by God.

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How can men discover their purpose and take their rightful place in God’s agenda?

A good way to start is to identify a problem around you; this has to be something you don’t like about the world you live in. And by this, I mean your immediate environment and not necessarily the whole world. You cannot begin to tackle a global problem when you haven’t first conquered the local ones around you. We are gifted for our immediate environment. That you are so close to the problem is a clear indication that you have the solution hidden within you.

This problem must be bothering you to the point of discomfort. It must be painful enough to you such that when you share it with others; they can literally see the fire burning in your eyes and the anger brewing in your heart.

Once you’ve identified this problem, your life purpose is simply finding a solution to this problem for as many people who have it. And if you can’t find a solution, your life purpose is the creation of a solution to this problem and finding the best possible way of getting it into the hands of those who have these problems. So long as you’ve identified this problem, have created a solution, and delivering it to those who need it, your life is on purpose and you’ve found your place in God. As many people who use the solutions you’ve created to solve their problems, as their lives are better off because of your solution, the more thankful they are to God for creating you. And by then, the almighty God can declare in heaven to you, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

What advice will you give young people that are hoping to achieve your level of success?

You owe it to yourself to do something SIGNIFICANT (meaningful) with your life. And until you find that thing that will give your life meaning, never stop searching. Because finding it and doing it is what will lead to your success in life.

When is the right time for a man to start making plans for marriage?

That is a very personal decision. There’s no right or wrong time with regard to age, there’s only a right and wrong time in regard to character and capacity for marriage. And by character, I mean a man should only think of marriage when he’s disciplined enough to stand by his words, commitment and values no matter what. And by capacity, I mean a man should only think of marriage when he’s capable of providing not just for himself, but also for his wife and unborn kids.

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Divorce rate is on the increase, what are the major reasons?

Again, going back to my answer above, character and capacity. Men who don’t have sufficient character will only cause trouble for their wives and women who also lack character will do likewise to their husbands. Also, both a man and woman should have the capacity for marriage; the family is not just one person’s responsibility.

Can a man live a sexually pure life in this age and time?

Absolutely. And I do not mean total abstinence here; I only mean abstinence till you get married. Once married, please unleash yourself as much as you want on your wife and stick to her only.

That being said, I will like to add this, we live in an increasingly sexually active world. Sex is on every direction you turn, so there’s a big tendency for sexual desires to creep into your mind every now and then. Your responsibility is to guard your mind always by controlling what you see and what you hear.

How have you coped in the corporate world, combining family commitments?

  • By defining my priorities: I always clarify what I need to be doing per time.

 

  • By honouring my commitments: When I make a promise, I strive to keep them.
  • By being flexible enough to accommodate emergencies: When situation demands I change my priorities due to an emergency, I don’t hesitate.

In times like this when the hearts of men are failing due to the hard economic situation, what is your advice to them?

Staying true to what is right because in the end, everything else will fail, but principles, values and character will stand. And only on these things can we begin to create the preferable future we all so desire.

It’s not always going to be easy. There are times you will want to surrender to the whims of life and the society we live in, but then; pause to ask yourself this: “If we all fail, who would save us?”

It doesn’t take a multitude to create change; it only takes a few unusual men. Even God doesn’t need a crowd, or an army, He only needs a few. Our role as men, is to always strive to be among the few who would answer the call to make a difference when the time comes.

African men have been accused of not being romantic, do you agree and how can men spice up their marriage and be more romantic?

I will not lie here, I also find myself guilty of this love crime most times. Romance is a very physical act and to be more romantic, both parties must be open to adventure. Repeatedly doing the same thing or going to the same place, or performing the same routine activities will bore both of you. To spice things up, you have to try new things together, visit new places, learn new things, and embrace change.

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What is your position for men whose wives occupy powerful positions in public or in corporate ladder and it’s affecting their marriages?

I honestly think and believe men who feel inferior because of their wives’ position in public are not really men. They are boys. A real man doesn’t get moved by position, or material possession, they know themselves and the role they are on earth to play. This knowledge of the function supersedes any external position.

So if my wife is being celebrated in public, it’s only an indication of how much impact my presence in her life is making. It’s not for me to be jealous or feel inferior, but rather a time to feel fulfilled like every great teacher whose student does well.

And lastly, remember you are the head and should lead your family. So if your wife is doing so well in her career, rather than feel intimidated, rise up to the challenge and let her success inspire you to improve yourself. After all, isn’t it what it means for iron to sharpen iron? Let her success inspire you also to the top!

What ethical values do you hold strong both in business and as a family man?

Purpose, mutual-respect, discipline, integrity, focus, and excellence.

What do you think is men’s greatest fear?

Not being able to cater for their family.

What is the solution to it?

While living today, never forget to plan for tomorrow. That means, don’t live your life in the false assumption that tomorrow will take care of itself. Always be doing something today that will take care of tomorrow.

What’s your view about joint account for couples?

Joint account is about transparency and accountability. It’s good for the couple. I totally support it. That’s how my parents lived and I saw how it helped them develop trust for one another and put the family first above self interest.

What’s your favourite holiday spot?

Never been on a holiday yet, still chasing the dream. So I can’t say for now.

How do you relax after a hard day’s work?

I watch movies to relax. I am essentially an indoor person.