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Today on Episode #18, The Sage Executive Podcast, join our host Fernando Corona and his guest, Malcolm Ilogu, as they talk about the value of delegation. Malcolm is the co-founder of Midland Digital Solutions, a full-service tech and growth engineering company. By operating in five different locations around the globe, they help clients by envisioning and designing their ideal software platforms. Fernando and Malcolm talk about his experience transitioning into a new continent and a lesson he would tell his younger self. Stay tuned!
Finishing What You Start
All companies have difficulties like everyone else. Everyone has challenges. From a one-bedroom apartment in Twin Cities to five different countries, Malcolm and Midland Digital Solutions have had ups and downs. When you lead a big company like this, when the going gets rough, you can’t just throw in the towel. You have to continue to do the work! You can take a nap, yes, but you have to get up, rally the troops, strategize, and move forward!
Delegation at the Core
Focus on what you’re good at and have others do the ones you’re not-so-good at. That’s going to keep you working on the business and not in the business. Of course, when you’re starting the company, you might be in a position of burnout, wearing different hats, but once you get through it through hard work, you have to acknowledge that you need help from other people. Ensure that you find the right people, ones you can trust that will do the job right. Of course, remember to pay them well!
About Malcolm Ilogu:
As the co-founder, business growth consultant, and lead digital strategist of the vibrant growth marketing, software development and technology firm Midland Digital Solutions, I know what it takes to dominate the digital landscape across different countries, continents and cultures.
Our story began 10 years ago in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment in the twin cities. From there, armed with the digital savvy and knowledge I gained from the great Valley City State University and my time running digital operations for a silicon valley powerhouse, I founded our firm with the vision of providing clients with a team of specialists equipped with a broad range of competencies across the digital sphere. We've come a long way since then, boasting 5 strategic global delivery centers!
I have gained years of extensive field experience, not only from overcoming my own obstacles to digital success, but from helping companies to identify and conquer theirs. From outdated tech to no growth marketing infrastructure and a lack of digital know-how, I've seen firsthand how our technology and growth services enable our clients to work smarter - not harder!
By leveraging the latest technology and our intricate growth marketing infrastructure, we will simplify and streamline your internal processes. This focus on digital business growth and optimization generates an immediate ROI by attracting, converting, and retaining new customers!
Today, our passion for progress is evident in our comprehensive growth marketing, website design and development, custom software application development, mobile application design, blockchain technology, big data, cloud migration, business strategy and consulting, IT staff augmentation, and eCommerce services. No matter your industry, collaborating with us will allow you to enjoy the endless benefits of digital success, without needing to employ full-time staff of your own!
Outline of the Episode:
- [00:00] What does Malcolm Ilogu do?
- [02:56] Being able to finish what you start.
- [04:02] Embracing the culture and knowing the options available in client acquisition.
- [05:22] Becoming a thought leader in the space.
- [06:36] The value of delegation in leadership. Focus on what you do best.
- [09:00] People that made the transition to a new continent better.
- [12:05] Good old eat, sleep, work, repeat.
Connect with The Sage Executive Podcast!
- Website: https://www.flyingvgroup.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flyingvgroup
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/flyingvgroup
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/flying-v-group/
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- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC392lHtfhrWgJWG68huueQA
Fernando Corona 00:02: Hey everyone, thanks for hopping on to the Sage Executive Podcast. I'm your host Fernando Corona. And with us today we got an exciting guest who's got some solid stuff been around for quite a while. And let's see, let's see what he's got to share with everybody. Without further ado, why don't you go ahead and share who you are and what you do?
Malcom Ilogu 00:21: Thank you for having me. My name is Malcolm Ilogu. I'm the co-founder of Midland Digital Solutions and we are a full service tech and growth engineering company. Five locations around the world, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Portland, Oregon, Mississauga, Ontario, Lagos, Nigeria, Oslo, Norway as well as Singapore. And what we do is that we help our clients envision, design, and develop the ideal software platforms. And then once those platforms are developed, we leverage that finished platform to generate leads sales and revenue through our engineering strategies.
Fernando Corona 01:04: And now is that through the app so so you create the app first. It's not website design necessarily. Is it an app development first and then you generate leads through the app?
Malcom Ilogu 01:16: It's a combination of a little bit of everything, right? Sometimes clients come to us and they want an app. So yes, we will develop the app from scratch design, envision, deliver it. But then on the flip side, once that's ready, then we engage in app marketing, which is to get it on the first page of the app stores to have highlighted social media channels. And really, the goal is not just to build a platform, but to also help the client recoup that return on investment, whether via the mobile app, via the website, ecommerce platform, whatever it is we build for.
Fernando Corona 01:58: Now that's huge, because We say the same thing with website development. I mean, people can build the most beautiful websites in the world. But if you're not running any traffic to it, and you know what, it doesn't matter.
Malcom Ilogu 02:09: No, it doesn't. And we're at the point now with everybody's so digitally focused, it's not enough to just build a pretty website. Is the website mobile friendly? Does it convert your visitors? Are you putting them through a funnel to nurture and grow the relationship? Because nine out of 10 times people don't buy on the first visit to the website. So there has to be an infrastructure in place really, to nurture that relationship along the way. So it's much more than just putting [inaudible] picture.
Fernando Corona 02:47: Yeah, no, I totally agree. Yep. Yep. So how long is your company's been around? For how many years now?
Malcom Ilogu 02:54: It's been around for 10 years.
Fernando Corona 02:56: Yeah. 10 years, man. That's solid. So what's been the best part about being a leader, as you've developed, you know, from the first year to the 10th year?
Malcom Ilogu 03:06: I think the biggest, the best part about it, or in this 10 year journey has really been being able to finish what you start. We've had difficulties like everybody does. We've had challenges. We've had ups, we've had downs. We've gone through a lot of iterations. This business evolved from a one bedroom apartment in Twin Cities, to five different countries, five different cities and it's just finishing what you start. As a leader, you don't get to throw in the towel. When things get rough. You don't get to- maybe you could have a little [inaudible], you can take a nap, whatever, but you get up, you rally the troops. You strategize, you figure it out, what we do.
Fernando Corona 04:02: Big time. No, I love that. I love that. And so in your process of acquiring clients and pivoting, probably moving different spaces, especially in being in different countries. I'm curious, how is your client acquisition strategy changed over time or changed by geography?
Malcom Ilogu 04:25: The big thing with having multiple locations is really that you have to embrace the culture, wherever you are. Once you open to embracing the culture and adding value, it's really the same universally. Human beings like people who like them. So that's the first rule. The second rule is that they have so many options. It's important to differentiate yourself through thought leadership, I think once you to create value in terms of educating your prospects. Over and over again, coupled with, whether it's through a blog or newsletter, and also coupled with empathy for what they're going through in their businesses and seeking to genuinely help. It really positions you as a go-to resource and solutions provider. So we'll turn this [inaudible] actively seek you out.
Fernando Corona 05:22: Yeah, God so you're saying so I guess Could you elaborate a little bit about how you become a thought leader in your space?
Malcom Ilogu 05:32: I think for us, a lot of the stuff I did initially once, mentoring and leveraging social media, to really position our company from the standpoint is who we are as what we do, but we're not 100% serious all the time. So definitely our quirkiest moments were captured, but mostly engaging people and talking to them, as opposed to talking at them, they have so many people talking about them on all their social media platforms that it's so good to be the ones of reason, and not necessarily try to sell but try to inform. And I think that once there's a genuine, authentic approach to informing it does come through and it naturally opens up- leads to compensation towards [inaudible].
Fernando Corona 06:36: Yeah, and that can come in through information, through education, through offers. I mean, there's different ways of doing that. All right, no, no, I totally get that. So this is an opportunity now to really share some of your advice that you've developed over 10 years to other execs, other aspiring entrepreneurs. What do you got to say to them, so that maybe they don't make some mistakes that you've made or just you know, giving them a head start.
Malcom Ilogu 07:05: So, me, if I was giving advice to me 10 years ago, I would say, delegate, delegate delegate. Focus on what you're good at. and stuff that you're not good at, pay people to do them and pay them well. So that you work. You'd say you're working on the business and I'm working in the business.
Fernando Corona 07:32: Yeah. What story do you have? What were you working in before? You were the graphic designer?
Malcom Ilogu 07:40: You know, I wore a lot of hats the first year, and I approached the place of burnout because I was everything to everybody. I was the accountant. I was a developer. I was a graphic designer. I was a business developer. I wore 200 different hats, simply because I didn't ask for help. And the minute I asked my college roommate for help, because we studied the same course in college, and he knew what I was trying to build. And I just said, Hey, Gary, do you want to help out? Do you want to take on some projects, and I had my first employee [inaudible]. Strong. So it's important to really focus on your strengths and leverage. Be able to delegate and trust and hire people that you can trust to deliver on their end of the bargain as well. So delegate, delegate, delegate, free up your time, so you can work on business not in it.
Fernando Corona 08:45: No, absolutely. And so you can take naps.
Malcom Ilogu 08:47: Yes. You gotta get your nap set. Very important. That's my favorite thing to do apart from eating.
Fernando Corona 09:00: So Malcolm, and if we're talking about, you know, other top leaders, and you've mentioned one, I think, a partner that you kind of joined in, you kind of mentioned that briefly. But who are some top leaders, you'd love to acknowledge that you're saying, Hey, bring this guy on your podcast, have him share a ton of his knowledge, got a wealth of knowledge, and you know, who could be an inspiration to others? Who would you like to kind of recommend?
Malcom Ilogu 09:24: So in our most recent iteration, we expanded to Africa. And we opened an office in Lagos, and it was probably one of the best things we ever did, apart from our current civil rights, things going on in the US, it was just good to see how much they embraced us from the welcoming standpoint. And so I think, if I was going to recommend a few execs, they would always be the people who made a transition smoother in Africa. Roy Napier, the founder of Napier Consultancy Services, amazing guy, just a good soul, leader of man best man to have in the trenches with you when you expanded into a whole different continent and country.
Malcom Ilogu 10:22: There's a gentleman by the name of [inaudible] I hope I said that right. He's the founder of Hawaii Technologies. And he adopted me as a mentor, brother and introduce myself, my partners, my company. There's so many amazing people both business wise and personally made the transition so much smoother. Ah, another gentleman that comes to mind is Preston [inaudible]. Preston is one of the founders of [inaudible] Nigeria, which is literally the blue Africa, as far as data and information. So impressed with the quality of their products, so impressed with what Preston and his team are building. Yeah. [Inaudible] as well is doing a great job in steering that shift. So that's awesome. Two other people that come to mind. Chris [inaudible]. He is the Dean of value creation and this man is a walking encyclopedia, lawyer, entrepreneur, business consultant, strategic leader, and all-round good guy. And last, but definitely not least, [inaudible]. He is the technology superconductor of Lagos. If you're into technology and you don't know [inaudble]. You don't know anybody. He'll open the doors and make sure you're in the right rooms. Right conversations. All these people I've met have definitely made our transition a lot smoother.
Fernando Corona 12:05: That's a solid. I'm excited to reach out to them too. All right, so Malcolm, last question we asked before wrapping up is just how do you show your team appreciation or show yourself appreciation in the way that you celebrate? And you know, if there's a way that you guys celebrate together or on your own. What do you do after a win?
Malcom Ilogu 12:32: I mean... We're techies, right? We're not really the rah rah rah bunch.
Fernando Corona 12:42: You're not the party animals?
Malcom Ilogu 12:44: No. We're not really... in a different life, yes. Now I'm just good old eat, sleep, work, repeat. And so even after winning at the era of COVID back to my favorite thing to do is just shut it down for the night.
Fernando Corona 13:00: Take a nap like spread your arms out. Get in bed.
Malcom Ilogu 13:04: Netflix and chill.
Fernando Corona 13:06: Oh, yeah.
Malcom Ilogu 13:10: That's how I celebrate.
Fernando Corona 13:13: All right, Malcolm that's awesome man. And if other people- so now that we start wrapping up, for others want to get ahold of you. They want to learn more about app development, or they want to reach out to your company because now they need to market their app. Right? Or they need somebody to help them build it. Where can they get ahold of you? How do they get in touch with you?
Malcom Ilogu 13:33: Okay, so we're on all social media platforms Midland Digital Solutions. Oh, with an "s", Midland Digital Solutions. Our website is wwwMidlandDigitalSolutions.com and you can also email me personally, Mel, M-E-L @MidlandDigitalSolutions.com
Fernando Corona 13:55: Awesome. And then on LinkedIn, I know I can drop your LinkedIn URL too if people want to connect with you. So there's a few different ways to get ahold of you, right?
Malcom Ilogu 14:06: Yes, I'm definitely active on LinkedIn, Malcolm Ilogu on LinkedIn. I'm not much of a Facebook guy, but I think LinkedIn and the website and my email would be the best places to have a conversation. And you know what, see how we can add value. I'm always open to have a conversation.
Fernando Corona 14:24: All right, sounds good, man. Thank you. I appreciate you coming on Malcolm. For anybody else that's looking to see some more of our podcasts, hop on to FlyingVgroup.com/podcasts and you'll be able to check us out there. Thanks for tuning in to the Sage Executive Podcast. Peace.
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