How to rise above disappointments like a boss

There is this weakness that comes with disappointments or failure. One cannot really tell if it’s that kind of ‘general body weakness’ or something that goes beyond that. Something inexplicable.

That kind of feeling that makes one feel static, with little or no zeal to move forward. No doubt failure is often accompanied by disappointments and a lot of pain, which leads to unfulfillment or even depression.

Here are some ways to deal with and rise above these situations


Never Give Failure Power Over You!

It’s important for us to note that failure only has as much power as we give it. No! This is not saying you should immediately be filled with joy, slot in your best song and start dancing like nothing happened. (Well, you can do this if it works for you)

However, the point here is, the day we determine to deal with those failures and move on, is the day we actually move on.

Dealing with failure entails dealing with the dark clouds of disappointments, and the pain that comes with it.

Until this is done, every other thing will seem stagnant, as one may not have the drive to move on to the next phase of life.

Life is a Teacher! Take Notes

We see books on ‘Secrets To Success’ here and there, but I think there should also be books on ‘Secrets To Failure’.

This is not to guide one ‘into failure’ but ‘across it’. Knowing the bumps, as well as dos and donts of getting across where true success lies.

When we know the secret to failure in a particular field, it will be easier to either avoid or overcome it. For now, life remains the one school that teaches all, with no exception to failure.

This is the reason, moving on doesn’t just require leaving a particularly rough phase without taking anything along. Most failures leave us with nothing but lessons.

Whether these lessons are positive or negative doesn’t matter. What matters is for one to take note of these pitfalls, in preparation for the next phase of life.


Learn To Move On!

There is never a time life would take a pause because of one’s disappointments. So, the greatest evil we can do to ourselves after experiencing failure is to hold on too tight to it, that life leaves us behind.

Yes, bring it out! Pour out the emotions even if it means letting the tears escape your eyes, but after all these, move on! Even if you have to start inch by inch.

Change Your Narrative Now

Life happens, but how often do we happen too, after a particular setback in our relationships, businesses, careers or just our overall private life.

Often times what we do when life happens negatively is sit in the pain, perhaps in the midst of sympathizers and wait for things to keep happening to us, as it pleases.

The table can be turned around when you join the league of people who change their narratives. They may fall at some point, but they choose the better option of rising again.

They take their lives in their own hand with a sense of purpose.
They do not remain ‘nouns’ in a world that is a ‘verb’ itself. They move!

Success has no tribe, race or gender. Ironically, failure is even one of the major factor binding the history of most winners all over the world today.

When you fall, there are two choices- either you sit on the ground (till a good Samaritan come to pick you up) or rise and move on.

Moving on doesn’t mean one won’t feel the pain or shame of falling.

Moving on only indicates you’re in control of life, rather than life being in control of you, and this will definitely facilitate reaching your intended desired result.

Start happening! Stop waiting for things to happen. Change your narrative and live again!


This month of October, our theme is Girl Talk. We’re touching all topics relating to your personal life, mental health and so much more. Got something to discuss with us? Send us a DM to ASK SLA here.

Chiedza Museredza: Making the move from Zimbabwe to Canada

Moving to a whole new country, a whole new continent may seem like the scariest choice you could ever make. Will you like your job, will the move be worth it, or what if you never manage to settle in? These are just a few questions you may ask yourself. On the upside, what if it becomes the best decision you will ever make, what if you find a great group of friends and your job is the best career choice you could have made? Chiedza has previously detailed her experience on immigrating to Canada to be a lawyer. Starting as a Masters student, she got an internship at one of the biggest law firms in the country and currently is completing her articles at McMillan LLP. She details below her experiences moving countries to kickstart her career There are various ways you could immigrate to a new country – as a student or as a professional. The choice may lie with your experience and qualifications. Professionals who qualify have the option of applying for an Express Entry Visa into Canada whilst students have the opportunity to qualify for a post-graduate work permit. Consider what your best option could be.

Making the move…

Going in blind when making such a seismic change to your life requires preparation. Moving to a new country takes a lot of research, time and money. Plan what you need to do to, how you’ll do it, then take the huge leap and DO IT! Sometimes it means finding new ways to create opportunities for yourself and opening doors through your own initiative. Chiedza describes the experience of moving to another country as challenging. In particular, moving to a country where she did not know anyone. It felt like starting all over again. “To prepare for my move I connected with people on LinkedIn who had made the same move as I wanted to make. They, in turn, connected me to other people. I was very lucky to connect with helpful people.”

The power of networking…

Qualification and experience from back home may not always be recognized by potential employers. Some may prefer someone with Canadian experience and those with prestigious work experience or attended Ivy League or Oxbridge universities may fare better on the job market but not everyone has this experience. Networking has a major impact on the impression you could make to your future employer. Before approaching someone to discuss opportunities it is definitely worth it to research the company and anything else you can find out about the person off LinkedIn (i.e. Google them). This helps you determine how to approach them- what do you have in common and more importantly what do you specifically need help with. “I found the best way was to network with someone in the company/firm/organization and they would recommend me. Most companies trust recommendations from their employees. I have noticed that broadly worded networking emails are not very helpful. Being specific with emails always shows that you know what you want So in essence what makes one the best candidate as a foreigner is effective networking that will result in getting recommended for the job you want.”

Be mentally prepared…

The job hunt is one of the hardest processes you could go through, but remember, perseverance is key.

“You have to have a thick skin and be resilient. You will be told “no” more than “yes”. Don’t take it personally – just keep going until you achieve your goal.”

Nobody deals with rejection well, but one small setback does not necessarily mean you should give up. “I believe that what is meant for me will be for me and that rejection is not a denial of my dreams. So, I keep it moving. In terms of managing my expectations, I hoped for the best and prepared for the worst.” Managing the corporate world has been extremely busy. “I struggled with impostor syndrome the first days. I had to remind myself that I worked very hard to get where I am so I deserved to be at the firm just like everyone else.”

Chiedza shares the key lessons she has learned from her immigration to Canada:

  • Failure is the best form of feedback because it forces you to change and grow – so failure works for you and not against you;
  • Don’t let your achievements set you back. It is very easy to relax after getting successful at something; and
  • Be grateful. Each time you want to complain (even when the complaint is valid) – just think of what you’re thankful for. This is one of the best ways to deal with stress.

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Nobuntu Webster: I let go of the parts of my business that were not aligned with my purpose and values

Nobuntu Webster is Director of African Pursuit, a social enterprise using media and story for economic and social development and Avad Media, a content production, content distribution, and content marketing company.

She has extensive leadership experience in development organizations such as the International Women’s Forum, Businesswomen’s Association of SA and KZN Youth Chamber of Commerce.

She holds a BPhil Honours degree and postgraduate qualifications in Strategic Leadership and International Trade Management.

Nobuntu Webster expresses her joy of living out her purpose through her business and career and contributing to meaningful work on the continent.

In this interview, we asked her how other aspiring Motherland Moguls can use their businesses and careers to do work that fulfills them and impacts lives.


 What is your purpose and how are you using your career and business to fulfill it?

I’m a storyteller and I am moved by injustice. I want to see economic justice, economic equality, and social justice.

You’ll find me using stories to create narratives for justice and to bring in new thinking and ideas. I develop Media strategies and content for social justice and economic inclusion through African Pursuit.

I am also perturbed by distorted narratives. With Avad Media, we create content that challenges people to question the narratives that we have been taught.

My heart is for Africa, so we create platforms and content to engage, grow and build Africa.

We are building towards an Africa that has enough for its people - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

What steps did you take to turn your career and business to fulfill a purpose?

My faith drove me to pursue purpose. The first step was looking to God and growing my faith.

The second step was to sacrifice. I had to let go of the parts of my business that were not aligned with my purpose and values.

The next step was going for it! I discovered that where my purpose would be fulfilled is in Media. I had to make the bold, courageous steps towards Media.

Go boldly into what and where your purpose is. Be humble and willing to learn from others if you’re getting into a new craft.

Learn the technicalities of the craft, and know what your specialty is. Also, know what the business model looks like in that craft and then think about how you turn that craft into a profitable business.

Using business for a purpose is a long journey, you have to be willing to be in it for the long-haul. It is going to unravel layer by layer, you just have to keep taking the steps as you discover them.

Learn the technicalities of your craft, and know what your specialty is - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

What meaningful work on the continent have you been able to contribute to and which have you found most fulfilling? 

One of the projects I am working on currently is Abundant Africa. We are building a narrative for a restorative economy in Africa; saying, ‘how do we create an economy that is influenced by our own unique African values?

How do we go back to Ubuntu and create an economy that is good for people; to making sure that the poor are given opportunities to pull out of poverty?’

I am part of building teams that create content that moves from policy ideas to stories that people can relate to. We are building towards an Africa that has enough for its people and that protects its environment.

How does one discover their purpose and identify meaningful work they can contribute to, as a business?

The clues to knowing your purpose are in the things that you do without trying hard; things that you would be willing to do for free.

To identify meaningful work you can contribute to, you have to know your calling. Ask yourself, ‘what moves me?’ What can you not ignore? What do you want to change?

There is so much need on the continent and that need is an opportunity - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

How do we grow from a survival and profit mindset to a service and purpose mindset?

There is so much need on the continent and that need is an opportunity, and you can still have a profitable business. Every entrepreneur should have a service and purpose mindset.

As Africans, we are people of ‘Ubuntu’. If we go back to who we are and we go back to the need around us, we easily move to a service and purpose mindset and build sustainable businesses that contribute to the continent.

How do you turn your business to fulfill purpose without losing profitability and your current clients?

I had to let go of clients whose work did not align with my values. There is always a risk in these kinds of bold and courageous steps. The greatest rewards in life come with sacrifice. There are things that you are likely to lose.

How do you secure your team’s buy-in into the new purpose and vision of your business?

A great leader is someone who is able to bring the people that they lead with them on the journey and get them to buy into the vision and own it.

People though are also on their own journey. Give them the option to come along on the journey or not. The new direction of the business might not feed into their purpose and career.

I had to relocate anyway so I had to start new teams that are passionate and that buy into the new vision.

Go boldly into what and where your purpose is - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

“I have the blessing of living my childhood dream… It looks completely different than I thought it would but it is so much more meaningful!” – Nobuntu Webster 


How are you growing and glowing this month? We want to share your story! Click here to share.

Still haven’t set your 2019 Goals? Read this…

This year I have chosen to try something a little bit different. Instead of writing down resolutions, I have decided to set goals for the year.

What’s the difference?

Resolutions are a decision to do or not do something. It could be giving up alcohol for the first month of the year, or resolving to go back to the gym after a few months of slacking.

Goals, on the other hand, are an aim to achieve a specific result. This could be to run a marathon or take an online course.

So why pick goals over resolutions?

Well, resolutions really don’t seem to last that long into the year and they are usually founded in some displeasure with your current state of being/ living.

Now don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with setting out resolutions. More often than not people seem to struggle to keep them or even remember them by mid- January.

Goals are more proactive, its a determination to achieve something.

Stop making New Year Resolutions. Set Goals Instead. Read this article to find out why. Click To Tweet

So, Motherland Mogul, how do you set our goals for the year? First things first…

Write it down!

There are a couple of ways you can do this, journaling or if you are more of a visual person you can create a vision board.

If you write your goals down somewhere you can see them everyday it helps you stick to them, a constant reminder isn’t to make you feel bad but more to remind you what you are working towards.

A vision board is not only fun to make but can enable you to see your goals as an actual reality making it much easier for you to stick to them.

Think of the short term and long term

Set out goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year, by a certain month/ date.

This means you can work on consistent goals as well as focus on the short term. This means you are not only waiting for the end of the year to see results but throughout the year you will have bursts of success that will continue to motivate you to achieve your more long term goals.

So what falls into each category?

Short term goals could include taking an online course in a certain month, running a marathon, reading a set number of books per month.

These goals require you to train/ learn/ work to achieve them within a certain time frame, so get to work!!

Long term goals such as the 52-week saving challenge, launching your own business, changing jobs or even volunteering on a monthly basis.

These are goals that require consistency and usually take longer to achieve. The rewards may take a long time to reap but just imagine how it will feel to finally achieve a goal you have been working long and hard on.

Categorize your goals

Not all goals are the same, sometimes you have to realize what part of your life you want to improve or change.

Personal and professional goals are the obvious categories that we can turn to but do not forget other aspects of your life that can give you joy.

You can set out goals to travel to a new country (or a few), to complete a crafts project, grow herb garden or practicing daily gratitude. This helps you focus on your creative side and develop healthy self-care habits.

Put in the work

 Each goal you set out is going to require a lot of work and determination by your part. what is important in realizing your goals is identifying what you have to do to achieve them.

Let’s take the marathon for example. You can’t wake up on a Saturday morning and just run the marathon, you need to train in order to run the race.

This would require you going for more parks runs and working out to build the strength and endurance needed.

So you set a mini-goal, for example following a training program that guides you over a period of time. These mini goals help you determine what you need to do on your part to achieve your goals and provide small successes on their own.

Be realistic

You don’t want to run yourself into the ground trying to achieve your goals. They are not meant to tear you down or make you feel worse about yourself. Focus on goals that help build a better version of you, whether professionally or personally.

Don’t set out goals too ambitious or far fetched, but also do not forgot to throw caution to the wind. It is not time to sit back but rather to step up for yourself in the aspects that matter. If you really struggle to hold yourself accountable, why not find a goal buddy? This person will remind you of your goals throughout the year and check how long it is taking you to achieve them. They may also provide you with great advice and be a support system when things seem hard.

Reap the rewards

I do not know about you but sometimes I need an incentive to work on something.

And considering there is no one to hand out badge saying “Well done”, it’s up to you to set out your rewards. So let’s say you have finally managed to start your open your own business, why not throw a small soiree to thank those who helped you achieve your goal or even just to launch your business.

Again, such rewards make the achievement of a goal so worth it, so why not reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in.


 Got some advice that can help others succeed in 2019? Click here to share.

The Deep Rations of a Mental War: How It Affects You and Your Career

 Triggers are not always pulled, some are attended to by planting seeds where the soil has no intention to grow or build - @go_itse. Click To Tweet

As a content creator or simply a writer, you would think that the only thing that one has to deal with is pen and paper. The conception of an idea and putting it to paper, and then once you’re done, it defines you.

However, we tend to forget that our career or business is a journey.

If at any point you find yourself thinking of quitting, changing the name/industry of your business or switching careers and starting afresh, remember these points coined from The Art of War.

Discovering

The author of The Art of War, Sun Tzu, would say,

Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security, open ground and narrow passes, the chances of life and death.”

Mental health, depression as most would relate to, takes us to the depths of fighting between small and great distances, vis-à-vis, that we would want to take ourselves to, especially with our business and career goals, with the same breath try to balance it all with the personal ones.

And what I’ve learned and still I’m still learning is that it brings great danger than security. Allowing narrow passes over open grounds, bringing about confusion and a high risk of certain aspects of your career lying dormant.

In Point 21 of Laying Plans, Tzu explains,If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.”

In as much as we take the detriment of mental health as sickness, it is more psychological as it is. The more we allow the elements to grow greater than our will to succeed, the more we are aligned to derail.

 

To evade is an individual mystery, which is aligned as to how we got there in the first place. As we go through this state in a unique way that in some cases, no mantras can maintain let alone anti-depressants.

It is more like trying to evade the police in Need For Speed Most Wanted. Wherein this matter, we are trying to evade the state of being “less wanted” by the essence of life and you’re either marching, running or sinking in the art of war with your mind.

The best thing about knowing and acknowledging the state of our own mental health is through self-mastery - @Go_Itse Click To Tweet

Uncovering

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s substance to be drained away.”

Waging War, The Art of War.

Defining what we go through as a mental illness whereas it’s a result of unattended life aspects that stack up, cause friction and then the heat goes to the head.

That’s when we start to wonder why life sucks and then the idea of being stuck sucks life away from that which we love. From managing people, careers to a detrimental state of not being able to manage the major key to all, ourselves.

 

A high price to pay that I learned by the means of losing a job, as you couldn’t talk to anyone.

You see yourself as the go-to person and the happy-go-lucky person with a great beautiful smile. Failing to deliver on time and lack of communication were the failures derived from this state.

We define what we go through as a mental illness whereas it’s a result of unattended life aspects that stack up, cause friction and then the heat goes to the head - @go_itse Click To Tweet

Recovery

”If equally matched, we can offer battle, if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy, if quite an equal in every way, we can flee from him”

Attack by Stratagem, The Art of War.

Triggers are not always pulled, some are attended to by planting seeds where the soil has no intention to grow or build.

The energy it takes for an attack or a relapse to occur, (as some deal with it well enough to know the triggers and some don’t), requires one to have an equal or greater strength as the infirmity.

Be it consistency in therapy (talking, writing etc.), yoga, meditation or exercising. Trying to avoid such a state can be easy at an early stage by doing the most with therapy and other forms of it, from someone who discovered at a very early age.

Mastery

”One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.”

– Tactical Disposition, The Art of War.

We may read all the self-help books to gain knowledge on how to break through an anxiety/depression state. But the will of the author of the book and of another individual may not correspond.

The best thing about knowing and acknowledging the state of our own mental health is through self-mastery. From that point of perspective and execution will we be able to master other things, even when there are triggers.

Then we can become effective motherland moguls and not be faint-hearted.

5 Take Home Points from The Art of War on Mental Health

  1. “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow. A decision, to the releasing of a trigger.” – Energy
  2.  “Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something that the enemy may snatch at it.” – Energy
  3. “By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy must be divided.” – The Weak Point and Strong
  4.  ”So in war, the way to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.” – The Weak Points and Strong.
  5.  ”In order to carry out an attack, we must have means available. The material for raising fire should always be kept in readiness.” – Attack By Fire

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Webinar with Chevening: How To Get Into The 2019 Chevening Scholarship Program (OCT 23)

Imagine yourself receiving a fully funded scholarship at your fave UK university that offers you a chance to achieve your academic goals and gives you the chance to develop yourself professionally or network extensively?

Guess what? Chevening is bringing you a chance to realise that dream and more with their global scholarship award program!

Want to know more?

We are inviting you for a Webinar with Jibike Faborode, Program Officer at Chevening Awards, who will be dishing out tips on how to apply for a scholarship with Chevening on Tuesday, 23rd October.

This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss ’cause you sure won’t find any of Jibike’s tips on Google! Yes, we went there…

Join SLA & @UKinNigeria for a webinar on October 23rd at 4 pm to learn how to get into the Chevening Scholarship Program @cheveningfco! Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • What you need to know about the application process
  • Do’s and dont’s for writing a quality application
  • Preparing yourself for a successful interview process
  • Scholarship troubleshooting

Register below to access this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Jibike to answer.

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Time: 4pm Lagos // 5pm Joburg // 6pm Nairobi

Location: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch the webinar here:

About Jibike

Jibike is a project management and strategic engagement professional, with over 4 years of experience working in the public diplomacy and international development space. She currently serves as the country programme officer for Chevening in Nigeria and also as Co-Chair of Her Majesty’s Government Women’s Network in Abuja.


Chevening Awards is the UK government’s flagship global leadership programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.

Young leaders are awarded merit-based scholarships and fellowships to study at any UK University of their choice, after which they are required to return to Nigeria to assist in the further development of their home country.

The alumni network is structured to maintain lasting positive relationships with the UK and help to advance foreign policy objectives.

Approximately 38 – 53 Nigerians and about 300 Africans are awarded are awarded annually. The Prime Minister recently announced an additional 100 awards for African leaders, starting in the 2019/20 cycle. Chevening in Nigeria aims to grow the representation of women on the programme from 39% to 50%, hence women leaders are strongly encouraged to apply.

Kene Rapu: Find something that makes your brand different from everyone else

Kene Rapu is the founder and CEO of ‘Kene Rapu’, the No.1 Nigerian footwear brand championing local production, established in 2011.

Her brand has played a significant role in changing the face of ‘Made in Nigeria’ footwear. Kene is a fully qualified lawyer with an LLB law degree from the University of Bristol, UK and a Masters Degree in Fashion Entrepreneurship from the London College of Fashion, UK.

In 2016 she was selected by the Tony Elumelu Foundation as one of 1000 African Entrepreneurs who’s idea could “change Africa”, in 2017 as one of 100 ‘Most Influential’ women in Nigeria by Leading Ladies Africa and most recently listed in the prestigious Forbes Africa ’30 under 30’ class of 2018, in the business category.

All Kene Rapu slippers are proudly made in Nigeria for the global community.


Dream big but start small, grow as organically as possible - @KeneRapu Click To Tweet

What vision did you have when you started out, is it different from what you are experiencing now?

Our vision was to be the No.1 Nigerian footwear brand championing local production, and it has
remained the same.

We are excited about the progress we have made so far, and are looking forward to getting the nations wearing KR.

What is it like making it to Forbes 30 under 30 lists?

The journey so far makes me more excited for the road ahead. I’m passionate about what I do, and it is humbling and encouraging to know that something I started 7 years ago, has morphed into a business that is recognized globally.

How has this exposure impacted your brand?

Having a world renown brand highlight your business as one of 30 emerging brands in Africa, is definitely gratifying for a business owner, increases consumer trust and opens you up to a new network of professionals and investors.

How can an entrepreneur build a solid brand?

 

In whatever area you want to go into, do your market research. Find a unique selling point, find something that makes your brand different from everyone else in that market.

Know your customer, define him or her, have a clear vision of where you want your brand to go; stay focused and remember why you started.

Having come this far starting out in 2011, what important lesson can aspiring entrepreneurs take from your journey?

Dream big but start small, grow as organically as possible.

Understand that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Hard work pays. Consistency and integrity are important. Provide value; a quality product will market itself.

How do you deal with gender biases you encounter as a woman running an enterprise?

As a female in business, sometimes there are unnecessary issues you have to deal with, that
should not be the case. However, challenges make you stronger, whether gender-related or
otherwise; deal with them head on and move on.

When you jump past hurdles, it is a testament that indeed you are a survivor. I also believe surrounding yourself with the right company is helpful. I have female friends in the business, and we spend time discussing how to resolve our common challenges. Having strong ladies in your corner certainly makes the journey easier.

What message do you have for women who need the courage to follow their passion?

Go for it. The road is not easy, in fact, it is difficult, but it is certainly gratifying when you begin to break through. Seize the moment and start now.


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JOY PHALA: On switching careers and starting afresh

“One gets to a point where you feel as though the work you do is not fulfilling. When one dreads getting out of bed to go to work, you pretty much know something needs to change!”

After years of being a Management Consultant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Joy Phala left the security of her job to venture into what captivated and excited her, in a whole new industry.

She switched careers from management consultancy to landscape design and growing fresh produce. She is now a landscape designer and founder of Organic Kitchen Gardens.

We got into her psyche and asked her for some pointers on starting afresh.


 Tell us about Organic Kitchen Gardens and what you do for your clients.

Organic Kitchen Gardens is an edible landscape design company for chefs, restaurants, and private residents through a design, installation and maintenance process. We create organic edible exterior spaces that reflect our client’s style and personal aesthetic.

The concept came about as a result of wanting to create edible gardens that would fit into the urban and suburban environment without the typical farm look associated with fruit and vegetable gardening. Gardens that would reflect sustainable food production while demonstrating good landscape design.

 

How did you know it was the right time to switch careers and how can one be sure of when to take such a bold step?

For me, it was more a case of circumstances forcing me to take a particular direction in life more than it was timing.  But if I was to generalize, I believe one gets to a point where you feel as though the work you do is not fulfilling. When one dreads getting out of bed to go to work, you pretty much know something needs to change.

There’s no surety when it comes to making a change. The biggest risk is that it might not work, and that’s ok because it leaves room for one to gain a deeper understanding of who they are and where their creative genius lies.

It’s ok to be completely terrified because so is everyone else who starts out on the road less traveled. Click To Tweet

What advice do you have for those who want to switch careers, perhaps to a completely different industry too, but are too intimidated? 

It’s ok to be completely terrified because so is everyone else who starts out on the road less traveled. The realization that doing work that matters to me is more important than the fear that I’ll fail is what keeps me going.

The only way to know that your venture will work is how the market responds to it. So I literally just started... Click To Tweet

 

What steps did you take to prepare for entering a new industry and being successful in your new venture?

It’s a great idea to understand the legal framework that governs the industry one is embarking on. It’s also a good idea to understand the existing market, the possible competition, and how the industry works, as long as we don’t use this preparation as a reason to hide from doing the work we know we are capable of doing.

The nice thing about being an entrepreneur is that you just start. No one other than the marketplace has to qualify or validate your venture.  I was one of those that did not get their ducks in a row before introducing my service to the market.

The only way to know that your venture will work is how the market responds to it. So I literally just started.  I did not learn about the industry while sitting on the sidelines preparing to get in, I learned while on the job and discovered there’s so much more to learn still. Also, I took informal courses and studied Landscape Design.

I want to remind Africans that we were practising organics before pre-colonialism days and way before Organic became a trend... Click To Tweet

 

What is your vision for Organic Kitchen Gardens? Do you see yourself changing the landscape of agriculture in the rest of Africa in the years to come?

I want to create exterior outdoor spaces that people love to eat from, but also enjoy living in, outdoor spaces influenced by design and the lifestyles my clients lead

I want to also remind Africans that we were practicing organics before pre-colonialism days and way before Organic became a trend and we need to pick up where our ancestors left off and take center stage when it comes to issues of sustainability, biodiversity, and organic land care.

There’s no surety when it comes to making a change. The biggest risk is that it might not work, and that’s ok... Click To Tweet

Let’s talk about ‘Grow Organic’, your organic gardening course. What does it offer students?

Grow Organic is a three-part course consisting of a fundamentals level, an Intermediary level, and an Advance level course.

The aim is to educate delegates on how they can create their own edible oasis with organically grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs in an urban setting while supporting the development and success of the ecological environment around them. For now, the classes are conducted through a face-to-face interaction.

You have two lovely boys; what is your fondest, and perhaps funniest memory to date of you, them and getting your hands dirty in your home garden?

My boys are always experimenting with tasting leaves of herbs and edible flowers. My fondest memory is when I had asked them to pick and taste the flowers of Pineapple Sage Herb. It was the first time they had these edible flowers and they exclaimed, “Mommy, it tastes like sweeties!”

I remember thinking how honored I am to be sharing this part of my life with them. Hopefully, they’ll pass it on to their children and children’s children.


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How to overcome the fright of starting a business

If you have decided to ignore all the advice of well-meaning individuals and friends and have still gone ahead to start a business this year, you must have some real guts. Starting a business is no easy task. There are endless challenges that often discourage you from even starting. 

When looking at all the challenges entrepreneurs face, it’s easy to question how your business would thrive. If your business was a soft, supple, newborn baby, your goals as a business owner is to see that this business survives its first years. 

But how do you achieve this and start your business like a boss?


1. Face your fears

Spending nights rolling on your bed, worrying about your business goals won’t make you cause you to achieve them. Unfortunately just thinking about your business will not turn it into reality. You may have several doubts about the likelihood of people getting your products and services, but until you put your business out there you won’t know for sure.

Start by creating your sample products, sell them to family and friends and get feedback about them. With every action, you take you to become less and less afraid.  Every action you accomplish will help your confidence grow and you’ll begin to see your fear diminish.

2. Surround yourself with positive people

Surrounding yourself with positive people can make a huge difference on the success of your business. There are people who would do nothing to encourage you and will not give any positive feedback. If you stay close to such people, you will begin to doubt your ability to reach your business goals. 

The truth is, the people closest to you may be more susceptible about your business than strangers. Expect it. They may not believe in your ability to drive your business to fruition, you shouldn’t make it your aim to prove that point to them.

On the other hand, having a supportive people chip in a suggestion or two will stir your faith in your business, you’d start to believe in this brand becoming tangible as you hear them talk about it like it already exists.

3. Be Patient

If there is one thing you will most likely encounter, is roadblocks! And when you do, you will need lots of patience. When things get tough, don’t through your hands in the air and shout “I don’t have time for this”.

Firstly, try and understand that the problem you face is not always your fault. If you cannot go through the problem, find a way to go around it. Do not compare yourself with what you see on the news and social media. Seeing everyone move on a much faster pace may be discouraging. 

When you do his a roadblock on your journey, figure out how to deal with it while putting other aspects of your business in track. You should always be ready to take off when the roadblock is removed.

4. Dance upon disappointment

As an entrepreneur, managing disappointment is a skill you can’t afford to live without. So what if things do not work out as you plan? What if a key team member decides to leave at the last minute, or a trusted supplier fails to supply your ingredients on time? What would you do when people fail you?  

You cannot always control all circumstances when working with people. When things go wrong, you shouldn’t beat yourself over. Try and come up with new alternatives. Though this may be tough, it will become a lot easier if you stay positive about it. 

Take a break, play some music and dance away your disappointments. You can also create a warm environment where everyone can come together and decide on the next steps for the business will be.


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Ekemini Dan Abia: I decided to help people identify potential abusers through Abuse survivor

Ekemini Dan Abia is a legal practitioner who got inspired by her work in the criminal justice system to create a community which supports and educates victims of domestic abuse through her Instagram page, Abuse Survivor

Abuse survivor aims to create awareness of the damaging effects of domestic abuse by educating members of the public, using Narcissism as a subject.

She believes that helping individuals understand narcissism can greatly reduce domestic abuse in the home and its result in the larger society.

Through Abuse Survivor, she identifies potential abusers and identifies abuse dynamics. She also provides materials and support for the recovery of survivors and counsels victims of all forms of abuse.


 What has been your biggest achievement as a prosecutor?

Watching adults, children, as well as pre-teens who are victims of sex offenses, look their abuser in the eye and testify against him or her in open court.

I am filled with a sense of accomplishment because I know that the person is taking back his or her power and getting out of the abuser’s control.

What prompted you to start the platform Abuse Survivor?

I was deeply shaken by the death of Ronke Shonde in 2016, who was allegedly murdered by her abusive husband. Reports of spousal abuse/homicides seemed to increase in 2017, and I recall asking myself “why couldn’t they heed the red flags before walking down the aisle”?

So I decided to help people identify potential abusers and also highlight the long-term effects of remaining in abusive relationships on adults and children.

I came to realize that a large percentage of those convicted for violent crimes are products of dysfunctional home environments and are people with unresolved childhood trauma.

The pain and anger they carry around makes them gravitate towards crime or other anti-social behaviors. Knowledge of the above facts propelled me to create Abuse Survivor.

Are you an abuse survivor yourself?

Yes. I have been a victim of malignant narcissistic abuse.

How do you vet the authenticity of the stories people send to you since its all done virtually?

Most stories sent to us are accompanied by imageries which are very compelling with the victims pleading for their anonymity. I ask certain question which aims to validate their assertions without leaving them feeling we disbelieve them.

It calls for tact and sensitivity, else we could leave a victim of abuse with invalidated feelings which is against everything we stand for.

Would you consider yourself to be a social entrepreneur and if so, what would you say is the most challenging part of this role?

Yes, I do.

We live in a society where an in-depth discussion of abuse is given a passing interest, thus accessing funds to have more impact has been really challenging. Like most start-ups, this is the biggest challenge I have faced so far.

You use NARCISSISM as a subject to educate your community. How has this impacted them positively?

Lots of people have undergone narcissistic abuse without knowing it. As a result, they lived in utter confusion, depression and other health complications which is characteristic of victims of narcissistic abuse.

Watching some members of our community gain clarity, stop blaming themselves and take control of their lives has been very fulfilling.

Since starting the platform ‘Abuse Survivor’, have you had any support from anyone?  And how has this contributed towards your success?

A survivor of narcissistic abuse, who is also a member of our community reached out to me sometime in February 2018. Although living in the UK, she volunteered to build a website for our community.

I am very grateful for this gesture.

She has also become one of our resource persons. She is always on standby with brilliant and innovative suggestions. Having her as a support system right now propels me to keep doing what I do.

What is the one motivation that gets you up every morning?

I wake up every morning with the zeal to put out more information in order to reach more people. The knowledge that far too many people in our society are ignorant about narcissism motivates me.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman suffering from domestic abuse?

I would tell her that she is stronger than her abuser is trying to make her feel. All she needs to do is to see herself the way God sees her and learn to love herself.

Only then will she have the strength to walk away for herself and to provide a better environment for her children (if she is a mother).

How do you juggle your full-time job with managing your platform?

To be candid, it is very tasking. However, it is easier because I am passionate about this topic and my full-time job inspires me too.

I make time in the early hours of the day from 4 am to 6 am to plan my content. That way, members of our community never experience content drought.

You currently run Abuse Survivor solely on Instagram. Any plans to move it to another platform? (Website, blog etc).

Right now, we are working on our official website. We plan to make use of other social media platforms while retaining Instagram as our primary means of reaching out to members of our community.

Do you ever meet with the women whose stories you share?

The vast majority of those who share their stories in our community are impossible to meet geographically because they do so from all over the world.

However, I have met a handful of them and they are the most resilient women I have ever met.

What future plans do you have for ‘Abuse Survivor’?

My vision is for Abuse Survivor to become the number one support system and resource outfit for victims of any form of abuse in Africa. We plan to innovate along the way.

What’s your favorite book / Ted Talk of all time?

My favorite book is Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Purple Hibiscus’. I think that is where my interest in domestic abuse was aroused. I was 19 when I read that novel.

My favorite Ted Talk was given by Warren Buffet. If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.


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