Overwhelmed? Here’s How to Succeed in these Times

For a start babe, how are you feeling today?

I know that these past few months have been challenging. Business sales are declining, pay cuts at work, bank accounts are turning red and being indoors is getting the best of us. For some of us, thinking of how to succeed is the last thing on our minds. We’re more about how to survive.

There is SO MUCH going on and I bet we are all looking for ways to stay sane during and after this pandemic. 

But the truth is, bags still need to be secured and money has to be made- pandemic or not! So here are a few tips on how you can succeed in the new norm.

1. Stop feeling sorry for yourself

If you really want to succeed, you will find ways to change where you are right now. Self-pity won’t take you there. If your mood is not right, take a brief meditation break or dance to your favourite song. Shake off that bad energy because better days are here!

2. Create a gratitude journal

Get your notepad and list out a few things you’re grateful for today. Think about your family, friends, things that went well, the growth you’ve experienced and any other positive parts of your life no matter how big or small.

3. Never stop marketing yourself

If you’re a business owner, start treating every piece of communication you send out as another chance to market your product. Show your best pieces and update that Instagram account with your latest products or discounts. Most importantly, remind family and friends about your business.

4. Don’t be stagnant

We’ve been forced to conform to changes that we have little or no control over. If you’re thinking about how to succeed, this is the time for you to re-evaluate your business goals in relation to the current economy. Find ways to thrive girl! The world is evolving and so should you. Don’t just exist. Live. Explore. Challenge yourself.

There are many hidden opportunities right now. You just need to put yourself out there! Click To Tweet

5. Keep the vision alive!

You need to have a vision of who you want to be. Succeeding in the new norm means breaking through the hard shells to come out renewed and rejuvenated. It means doing it your own way and making the best out of everything.  

To build that amazing business or career, you need access to resources that can help you. She Leads Africa has consistently delivered valuable content and experiences for women to live their best lives over the years.

Where did the pandemic hit you the most? A decline in business sales, a pay cut or you’ve exhausted your savings. Whatever it is, you need a strong support system to push you to exceed limits and take on opportunities you never thought you would. These are some benefits of being a part of the SLA community.

 

 


Grab your squad and join the train of successful women in the 21st century. Join the SLA community!

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This woman-led startup bets it can help African businesses grow faster

As Sub-saharan Africa lags behind in the World Bank’s 2020 ease of doing business report, one woman-led startup thinks it can help entrepreneurs grow their companies in this tough environment.

After years of mentoring startups and running businesses in Ghana and Nigeria, Munachim Chukwuma started IB Consulting in February 2019 to help founders overcome operating challenges she also had to face as a young entrepreneur.

Munachim and her team believe they’ve found the recipe to help African business grow quickly with their innovative and affordable service model.


"Never have a business with NO business structure" #RedFlag – @consultingibobo Click To Tweet

Why Nigerian startups are struggling to grow.

According to experts from Harvard University, startups that want to stand the test of time must learn new ways of operating and behaving. This is difficult for a lot of entrepreneurs because these new ways tend to be completely different from their start-up roots.

Most startups struggle to grow and scale either because they do not know how or lack the proper structure and strategy. This is where we come in.

Munachim Chukwuma – Founder, Ibobo Consulting

IB Consulting believes that African entrepreneurs struggling to grow their businesses must realize they are in a different phase of their business life cycle, and therefore must change.

IB Consulting’s growth recipe for startups.

To help entrepreneurs struggling to scale, Munachim and her partners created a service model that combines strategy consultation, negotiation, and content creation.

IB Consulting bets its 3 service tentpoles are what entrepreneurs need to grow faster despite the difficulty of doing business in Africa.

We decided to focus on strategy consultation, negotiations and content creation as a company because we realized most of the challenges most businesses face in today’s society are tied to those three areas in one way or another.

Munachim Chukwuma – Founder, Ibobo Consulting

In addition to its unique service model, IB Consulting promises clients efficiency, personalization, and great service.

Why you should watch out for IB Consulting.

In less than a year, IB Consulting is proving it is not just all talk. The company reports that since February, it has helped over 10 business owners rebuild their structures and execute action growth plans.

It’s also not just about the money for this company this woman-led company. They have done some pro bono work for new entrepreneurs who could not afford to pay for some of our services.

In 2020, the company plans to expand aggressively to reach, help and educate help businesses across Africa.

We intend to grow over the next year of business and reach more people across the continent, as we also reinvent our business and launch more products that can meet the needs of our prospective clients.

Munachim Chukwuma – Founder, Ibobo Consulting

Visit https://iboboconsulting.com/ for more information on how IB Consulting can help your business.


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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.
If you’d like to get featured on our Facebook page, click here to share your start up story with us.

9 Business Lessons from My First Year of Business

Like many people, I was faced with the dilemma of deciding whether or not I needed to attend business school to start my business as I had no experience. However, I finally decided to be brave and start my business without any experience.

In my one year since starting, I have learned the following lessons.


1. Never take things too personally.

When operating with people, it’s often very easy to make arguments, criticism and other relations personal. However, if you want to succeed in the business world, you need to remember that at the end of the day, how you deal with your customers and partners is strictly business and not personal.

2. Separate your business life from your personal life.

When you have a friendly relationship with your clients, it is very easy for the lines to get blurred. Sometimes, this can end up in sticky situations where one party does not fulfill their end of the deal. To avoid these situations, it is important to set the lines clear between your business and your personal life. You need to maintain a work-life balance.

3. Be clear about your job description.

As a service based business, one of my ethos is going beyond and above for my clients. Sometimes, this results in taking up certain duties (aka unpaid labor) that are not part of my job description. This can get overwhelming.

Therefore, it is important to be clear about ALL the services that your offer from the onset. If necessary, you should draw up contracts that reflect your services and your limits.

4. Review your prices regularly.

You might be doing yourself a great disservice if in a bid to come across as affordable you under-price yourself. It is important to review your prices as often as possible. Especially when you’re in an industry like social media where your responsibilities are flexible and subject to change.

5. Be accountable.

In the absence of a business partner or a co-founder, you need to learn how to hold yourself accountable. This can be as easy as setting small, medium and long-term goals and working toward them. These goals are important to give you a sense of direction and to keep you in check.

6. Toot your horn.

One of the few things I still struggle with is putting myself out there as I’d like for my business to speak for itself. But the game has changed and the internet is over saturated. The only way for you to be noticed or to come across as a thought-leader or an expert in your field is if you put yourself out there.

There are no two ways about it. Do you want to be the go-to person for a particular service? Put yourself out there and let people know.

7. Have confidence in yourself.

When you are running a business, you’re gonna need all the confidence you can muster for the tough days ahead. You will face people who don’t believe in your dreams and your plans may even fail. It is important to keep believing in yourself even when others don’t.

8. Find time to improve your skills.

Work/Life can be overwhelming sometimes and before you know it, three months have gone by without you learning anything new. In this ever-changing world, there’s a need to constantly improve your skills.

Thankfully we have the internet at our disposal but finding the time can be a challenge. To fix this, make a schedule maybe during the public holidays and learn something that would directly improve your daily activities.

9. Customer service is key.

Just because you’re not selling a product to a consumer doesn’t mean customer service is any less important. You’re selling services. Treat your clients with courtesy. Referrals are still king.


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

 

5 minutes with SheHive London 2017 speakers: brother and sister team Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick

Chuku’s is the world’s first Nigerian tapas restaurant based in London, fusing authentic Nigerian flavours and the best of Nigeria’s West African culture with the world. Founded by sibling duo Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick.


On founding Chuku’s

The sibling duo’s idea to create a food company, offering a variety of small plates of Nigerian dishes, was born out of growing up in a Nigerian household, and having friends who loved their home meals. This lead them to explore Nigerian cuisine, by fusing traditional recipes with food from their travelling experiences, and their experiences of being part of the diaspora.

 

Running the operations at Chuku’s

Every day is different for this team, with something new to be learned and done each day. They note that creating a routine is one of their main goals in the short term. But, their weeks are broken up into:

  • Shopping days
  • Cooking preparation
  • Events and logistics
  • Administrative tasks
  • Strategizing
  • Marketing

This is one busy duo, as we can see!

Hear the Chuku's team speak at SheHive London 2017: https://sheleadsafrica.org/shehivelondon2017/ Click To Tweet

Long term goals…

Their long term plans include:

  1. Finding a permanent space to offer their food.
  2. Establishing a chain of mainstream Nigerian tapas lounges.
  3. To become a UK household brand name.

 

What trends keeping their eyes on…

  1. The evolution of technology in the food space and how it continues to evolve and disrupt the market.
  2. The rise of healthy meals and food, which their already onto, with their delicious tapa’s.


To learn more about the creative Nigerian foodie duo, get a ticket to our SheHive London event on the 24th of September.

Padebi Ojomo: Business Savvy Chick

padebi ojomo
Remember that whatever you learn makes you and your business better - Padebi Ojomo Click To Tweet

If you follow Padebi Ojomo, you can’t help but fall in love with her vibrant personality. This dynamic entrepreneur is so full of life that you can’t help but smile. Padebi runs the Business Savvy Chick Academy and is referred to as the client attraction genie.

#MotherlandMoguls, you definitely need more clients no matter where you are on the business ladder.


How did you get involved in business?

I’ve been involved in business for about 16 years. It actually started with my mum who sent me to learn hair making because I was causing problems at home. She reasoned that since I had so much energy, I could channel it to better use. I didn’t like it initially because it felt like punishment. But I got fascinated with the fact that one could do stuff and money would get exchanged.

I started buying and selling stuff: Adire, handkerchiefs to anybody most especially family. This experience opened my eyes to business and built my threshold for taking risks. I had never thought of getting a 9-5 job even though I studied Computer Engineering. After school, I continued buying and selling before branching out to other businesses.

I had never thought of getting a 9-5 job even though I studied Computer Engineering Click To Tweet

What businesses have you been involved in?

My first registered business was Nirvana Design, an interior decorating business. I really love interior decoration most especially for homes. The second one was Blue Tangerine which was basically just a shop. I bought things from China and sold them. It was just something I did because money came in from it. I got married and started Purple Signatures with my husband. This was more like training for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

However, in the course of doing my interior decoration business, I realised that most of the money went towards purchasing furniture. Design always needs good furniture and sometimes artisans could be a pain. I started Chic Carpenter and it was a hit back to back. Though it was stressful, it was a really successful business. I had my factory and a good client base. But it got really difficult to combine it with my pregnancy in 2015 and baby came too early. I had to stay indoors for 4 months because of my baby’s health. This lead to some of my businesses going down due mismanagement.

My restless and extroverted nature wouldn’t allow me sit still for 4 months. I had to do something and that was how my online business started: Business Savvy Chick Academy. It has been an awesome experience.

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How would you advise an entrepreneur trying to find her feet?

You need to start with passion otherwise, you would give up when frustration and stress sets in. It is also important to start early. Personally, I started early and it boosted my risk taking threshold. I have done businesses that failed woefully and I have done ones that succeeded. This helps because I have tested it and I see it works so my resolve is strengthened.

When you start at an early age, the world isn’t expecting too much from you. So, even when you get your fingers burnt, it’s not really the end of the world as you just learn from it. For example, I’d lose money in my business as a student but my father would still be available to pay my school fees. But as you get older, you have more responsibility and do not have the luxury to keep wasting resources.

Passion is really important but if it is not profitable you could branch out and still find ways to do your passion, maybe as a CSR.

What do you wish you knew earlier in business?

The importance of having a mentor and supportive parents. If I had more support from my parents, it would have been more helpful but I had to hide most times to do stuff.

As a matter of fact, they wanted me to get a job with one of the oil companies since I’m from the Niger Delta region. But I knew I didn’t want that kind of job.

The major challenge most businesses have is getting clients. As the client attraction genie, what would you suggest we input in our businesses?

Based on experience, people buy from people they know, like and trust. For instance, we might use a particular salon or doctor because of the relationship we have with them. Therefore, to sell you need to be deliberate. Be helpful to your clients, give compliments and be there for them.

Satisfied customers will always speak about you to others within their circle of influence. Remember, they are not just buying your product or service but the experience of you.

To sell you need to be deliberate, be helpful to your clients and be there for them Click To Tweet

What’s your tip for running a home and a business efficiently?

It’s important to have a supportive spouse, be extremely organised and plan ahead. For example, I plan ahead for the food that will be eaten and for cleaning.

In today’s world, it is important to work smart. Focus on the areas you are good at and do it with joy. The others you’re not good at, you could automate. I always stress, “Enjoy, Delegate, Automate or Delete” to my community. If you are good at something, do it with joy, enjoy the process. If it’s not your best task, delegate to someone who would do it with ease and joy. You could also automate the process to make it easier or delete it from your agenda.

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What are your final words for female entrepreneurs?

Do not make your small business make you small minded. Take it seriously and grow it to outlive you. It should not be a second fiddle because you plan to get married or you have a rich father. Get ready to burn your fingers and lose money but be open to learning.

Your business is like a child and needs time to grow, don’t expect it to start paying for all the lovely stuff you desire immediately. Invest in your business and by extension yourself too. Remember that whatever you learn makes you and your business better. If you do not know enough, learn it or pay to learn it. You either grow or retrogress in business so continual improvement is key. Give your business your best shot always.


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

Nozuko Mayeza: The strength of will to succeed needs to be constant in any businesswoman’s mindset

After spending 7 years in banking, Nozuko Mayeza figured it wasn't for her Click To Tweet

Women are generally underestimated simply for being a woman, hence the belief that we cannot perform like men in their work environment.  However, given the equal opportunity as men, we see that many women perform wonderfully in their careers and becoming successful as entrepreneurs.

Nozuko Mayeza is one of the few South African women breaking glass ceilings and navigating her way through male-dominated industries successfully. As a woman of great business sense with a passion to see her business and other small businesses succeed, Nozuko also trains young women on how they too can break through in any industry.

Nozuko is the founder of Tulsawiz Logistics (Pty) Ltd which has operated in the supply chain sector for several years. Nozuko also has her eyes set on expanding her horizon with her successful strategies that have gotten her far. SLA contributor Neo Cheda met Nozuko through a mutual friend who introduced us a few years back and was attracted to her as most strong women are attracted to other strong women! Nozuko gladly took up the opportunity to meet with Neo and to share her story of how she has risen and continues to soar and overcome societal norms and tribulations that try to hinder successful people from exercising their personal power.


So, why logistics?

Well, after spending seven years in the financial services industry, banking to be precise, I figured this was not for me.

From a young age, I had always wondered why there was heavy traffic and so many trucks on the road and what they were on about. I then realized that logistics permeates every field, be it fashion, technology, construction, science and more. There were opportunities waiting for someone with my kind of passion and skills set in logistics. My current role spans client relations, managing diverse stakeholders, finance, and connecting with industry experts. This is what I enjoy.

How did you begin your journey?

There is a lot to learn from men in terms of how they do business –everything from their work ethic, confidence and their strategies to solving problems.

A male friend of mine after attending a networking event, introduced me, to logistics. He mentored me and taught me all about the business dynamics until I acquired my first contract. I even worked as a subcontractor for him until I eventually landed on my feet.

Nozuko Mayeza: There is a lot to learn from men in terms of how they do business Click To Tweet

You’ve been making the headlines and I recently saw a TV interview of you. Tell me, what has driven you to succeed?

It’s mostly about following my passion and proving to myself that I can be more.

I attribute the greatest lessons in my life to the hardships I endured along my journey and credit my mother for my tenacity. Born and raised in a village called Ndakeni/Ntlenzi in Eastern Cape, my twin sister and I had to juggle a home run shop and take turns with the younger siblings. Since then I have been business savvy and pushed to find ways to make things happen. My success in this field was born from life’s hard lessons. I chose to learn “how to be better” from each one and never quit on myself!

It takes a lot of courage and with no money and finance, I had to hit the ground running. Getting big contracts is extremely difficult, but the trick is to never give-up. I was not received well as a woman in the industry but my strategies helped a lot.

How is it being a single mom with a high-powered career?

Though this can all be very challenging, it’s important to find ways to integrate work and life. I don’t approach it as though someone else was meant to help me parent my child.

I’ve taught my son total independence, he knows I won’t make it to all his rugby matches etc, and he is cool with that. Whenever there is an issue (teenage problems) I find a solution quickly to avoid escalation.

What advice do you have for women considering a career in logistics?

Logistics is an exciting and challenging career choice that brings with it a lot of rewarding relationships and lifelong customers. I have witnessed first-hand over the last six years the growth of women in the industry and seen their roles continue to strengthen. Hopefully, in the next decade the term “a man’s field” will no longer exist in supply chain management.

I am very passionate about mentoring and helping other women discover and exercise their potential and at the moment I have a few ladies I mentor as they start their own businesses! Society needs more entrepreneurs to eradicate poverty and make the world a better one. The main challenge however, is the lack of skills in demand, funding, and basic knowledge. This is where I step in and freely provide any knowledge to powerful women as I walk them through their path and start-up phase.

My success in this field was born from life's hard lessons - Nozuko Mayeza Click To Tweet

Any other highlights to date?

I recently traveled abroad for a business trip which enabled me to form partnerships with international companies. This was an experience which has made realize how far I have come.

I also write and have co-authored a book entitled “Share Your Story, Vol. 5”. Also be on the lookout for my new book titled “Plan Your Walk and Walk Your Plan” which should be published by December 2017.

Tips for emerging female entrepreneurs:

  • Dedication- Know what you want and go for it.
  • Network often
  • Keep pushing- Quitting is not an option
  • Get a mentor- I credit mine for contributing to my business success

Failure is never an option and the strength of will to succeed needs to be a constant factor in any businesswoman’s mind-set. Nozuko Mayeza


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