4 Career Lessons from #LooseTalk Podcast with MI Abaga

Photo Credit: Mi_Abaga Instagram

4 Career Lessons from #LooseTalk Podcast with MI Abaga - Work Smart Nigeria

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Last night, I spent 2 hours 46 minutes watching the #LooseTalk podcast with M.I Abaga, Loose Kaynon, Osagie Alonge & Ayomide Tayo (AOT2). Boy was it intense. Emotions ran high, but the conversation ended on a good note. Watch the podcast below.

Quick bio: MI Abaga (MI) is an award-winning hip hop artist, record producer, and CEO of Chocolate City. MI has been credited with changing the rap game in Nigeria with the release of his debut studio album, Talk About It (2008). He is responsible for bringing out many upcoming (now established) artistes such as Wizkid, Vypa, Jesse Jagz, Ruby, Pype, Tone Ice Prince, and Brymo. MI has been described by many Nigerian hip hop fans as Nigeria's "Hip Hop Messiah".

Context for the podcast: Journalist, Ayomide Tayo (AOT2) wrote an open letter to MI Abaga where he made an assertion about the shelf life of MI's last album, Chairman. MI disagreed and came with the 'receipts' to prove him wrong. Below are four quick career lessons everyone can learn from the conversation.

Know your Stats

Every professional should know their track record. How many years have you been employed/been in business? What are your major projects and greatest accomplishments? How has your work improved the bottom line of your employers? These stats should be the core content on your CV. 

In the podcast, MI used his stats to discredit the assertion that the Chairman album didn't have a long shelf life. He also leveraged his stats to highlight his staying power as an artiste and show why he is the #1 hip hop artiste in Nigeria.

Leverage your stats to build a personal brand that shows your expertise and invites better professional opportunities. 

Related Post: How to Keep Track of Your Accomplishments.

Control the Narrative

What is your professional story? How do you want people to understand the path you've taken towards building a successful career? What struggles and challenges have you overcome? How have they shaped your career? 

Control the narrative around your career story, especially when there are perceived gaps on your CV. Show how your unconventional choices have shaped your approach to work and informed your successes on various projects. Keep the focus on your accomplishments.

MI did a great job of controlling the narrative during the interview by focusing on the one point he came to make: Stats show the Chairman album had a great shelf life. He also challenged journalists to improve the quality of their writing and build together with artists. Throughout the 2 hour conversation, he never wavered from these points.

Related Post: Easy Guide to Writing your CV

Acknowledge Mistakes and Apologize

One of my favorite moments of the podcast is when MI found out that Ayomide Tayo (AOT2) was responsible for bringing Osagie Alonge to Pulse NG. Based on Osagie's rank, he assumed it was the other way around. MI took the time to acknowledge his mistake and apologize to Ayomide, setting a new tone for their interaction going forward.

At work and in business, you will make mistakes. That doesn't take away from your expertise. Rather, it presents an opportunity to learn. While the default reaction might be self defense, acknowledging your mistake gives you a chance to course-correct, learn, build bridges, and mend fractured work relationships. 

Treat People with Respect

You've heard me say the podcast was intense. A lot of cussing, raised voices, and a few sprinkles of disrespect. Throughout the conversation, MI kept a level head and came from a place of respect to the hosts of the podcasts. He disagreed with them and even raised his voice a few times. But he course corrected on several occasions and was quick to give props where due. 

Respect is an essential part of any working relationship. Disagreements with a colleague is not an excuse to be condescending, rude, or outrightly disrespectful. While most people love to say "respect is earned," I personally feel it is a choice. We choose to respect people. 

In your interactions with colleagues, be intentional with your words and actions. Being disrespectful towards someone is a reflection of your character and to a certain degree, emotional intelligence. Be respectful!

You may have watched the podcast for the culture, but there are a ton of lessons to learn from the conversation. Check out the latest post on the Ugo Talks A Lot blog : The Loose Talk podcast: My biggest takeaway from the interview with MI.

If you watched the podcast, let me know your thoughts in the comment section.