Chika Ilang: I always dreaded the idea of running a business

Chika Ilang - Besides the money there's that freedom the life you truly desire gives you. Click To Tweet

Cliche but true; if you have a dream or goal, pursue it. It doesn’t matter how terrible your job hopping may seem, doing what you love is all that matters. In most instances it may be that you know where you want to be but you just don’t know how, now that’s when Chika Ilang International comes into play.

This personal development company was launched in 2016 by Chika Ilang. It is dedicated to help women overcome the fear that keeps them from turning their dreams into a reality. Chika believes everyone has equal opportunity to achieve greatness if you show up for yourself. But just like Dr Rob Yeung puts it, “Unless you want to be one of the floundering masses, take the time to identify your vision”.

She’s driven by the desire for career advancement, financial independence and living a fulfilled life. It’s her earnest desire to teach more women how to live a happier, wealthier and fulfilled life.

Chika Ilang, the Clarity Mavern, please introduce yourself to the readers.

I’m Chika Ilang, the founder of Chika Ilang International. A personal growth platform that helps women overcome the fear that keep them from turning their dream into a reality.

Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today.

I’d say mine is a long walk to purpose and freedom. You know that freedom you get when you are finally able to get your acts together. I mean, beside the money and fame, there’s that freedom and fulfilment the life you truly desire gives you.

So in 2015, I started my side hustle because I was tired of desiring to do something besides my 9 to 5…something that I didn’t have a definition for at the time. I occupied myself with that side hustle while I figured out what was next for me. I sold smart kitchen tools, gift items and even did fruit carving and display. Life seemed okay at the beginning but that feeling was short lived. The hunger for growth set in and I felt unsettled. I wanted more.

What this ‘more’ was exactly , I didn’t have an answer to, yet. And like most people I have multiple interests in different things but I couldn’t coordinate them optimally. One thing was rather certain, “I am made for more“. To get this more, I decided to shut down my business and seek what my heart yearned for. This period gave me the opportunity to understand myself better, connect and engage coaches and mentors who guided me, some of which are still guiding me on my journey.

Bit by bit, the vision started forming, got clearer and got bigger. In 2016, Chika Ilang International was birthed, to help other women who like me, desire more but do not know the how to birth this more, to be able to turn that desire into a reality.

Interesting! Can you tell us more about the Fruit carving and display. How did you start and did you have to do a course of some sort?

I started off with gift items and smart kitchen tools. When it seemed like a good venture, I decided to add another item to the list. I always admired fruit carving and my tutor was on my BBM contact. You can imagine my thoughts each time she uploaded her work. Eventually I reached out to her and decided to take a course with her on fruit carving and display.

Chika Ilang

Chika Ilang International helps women who desire more but don't know the how to birth this more Click To Tweet

And Chika Ilang International? What is it and how well is it going in relation to the purpose for which it was created?

Chika Ilang International is a personal development hub for women who seek life and career growth. We work with them to gain the clarity to build the life and careers they truly love and turn that dream into reality. It’s been a fairly smooth ride since inception, but there’s always room for improvement.

So how long were you running the business before you started paying yourself? How did you live through those first few months/years?

The business didn’t start making money immediately. But when it did start, I was careful not to lounge but churn back into my business and build myself up.

Fortunately for me, my 9 to 5 sustained me before I started earning from my business. That is why I always tell people, don’t run to quit your 9 to 5 when you catch the rhythm of your life purpose, because you surely need money to fund your dream.

Don't run to quit your 9 to 5 because you surely need money to fund your dream Click To Tweet

What techniques do you use to increase your clientele? What are your goals for increasing the number of clients you serve?

Referral works for me. I love it when a client says, “Miss A told me you would help me get the solution I seek”.

It simply means, Miss A has experienced me, has achieved positive result and feels the need for Miss B to achieve that result too. I just want to keep helping more women to become more and birth their dreams.

Chika Ilang

Recently on your YouTube channel, you gave a tip to craft a personal  mantra. What is your chant?

I actually have more than one mantra. There was a time I easily got distracted with things that didn’t matter much. I coined a mantra sorta that says “Chika, you woke up to be great, and not because of XYZ”. XYZ here represented the things that didn’t matter much but somehow, they always eyed me and wanted my attention.

I have another from the Bible that tells me “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” … oh this one fuels me when fears and doubts set in. It just takes me back to my source.

I have yet another that says “successful people do what is important and not necessarily what is easy”. This resets my head when I see a task as “difficult”, thereby loosing sight of the importance. Let’s just say when it comes to mantra, I make it very personal.

I have personal meaning for all my mantras. They aren’t just another line of words, or famous quotes, no, not exactly, they speak directly to me in ways that keep me sane and focused.

So Chika you are also an author, what do you think are the common traps for aspiring writers?

For anyone who would want to take up writing, I would say, well done! Don’t fret about perfection, just express yourself in the best form you truly can, but bear in mind that this best form isn’t the least form. You are you either ways, just do you and enjoy yourself while at it.

Nonetheless, the common traps you should know;
They won’t like my work…
Well you cannot know this till you put your work out there. Understand who you are writing for, so as to know the best way to feed  them with useful contents

– Everyone will like my work…
No honey, not everyone reads or enjoys same type of article.

– My work doesn’t make sense…
You probably decided to write because you believe in words, you believe in it because it makes sense to you. If it makes sense to you, there’s a big chance that it will make sense to the next person. So go ahead and write.

Chika Ilang
I am sharing my thoughts bare, as they are in my heart - Chika Ilang Click To Tweet

So with your articles do you try to be original or do you write what readers want to hear?

Personally, writing is a way of sharing with my audience, and expressing my thoughts and concerns. So when I write my articles, I am sharing my thoughts bare as they are in my heart.

It’s entirely my expression, in my element. But again, it has to make sense to my readers. It’s basically getting a message across to the readers that would improve their lives, but in my words.

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

That’s certainly starting a business.

I always dreaded the idea of running a business because I couldn’t imagine putting myself out there, or telling someone to “come and buy” whatever I sell…because “come and buy” was the understanding I had about sales, but now I know better and I do better.

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here

About Rumbie Muzawazi

Rumbie is pursuing a career in Information Technology. She says being in an industry where the gender ratio isn’t in her favour is an opportunity to prove that IT CAN BE DONE and this has been her mantra. After travelling, she is most passionate about fashion and personal development. If not volunteering, the tech savvy lady can be found scouting around for gastronomic experiences.

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