5 Simple Steps to finally launching your business idea

Was one of your new year’s resolutions to finally get that blog, podcast or business idea off the ground? Well, if so, I’ve got great news for you!

I recently sat down with the amazing Tobi Olujumni who shared 5 simple steps that you can take to turn this dream into a reality.
For anyone unfamiliar with her, Tobi is the founder of the WTALK, a Multiplatform Entertainment & Faith Network which empowers Women to explore Faith via entertainment.

W360 is the membership streaming service of WTALK set to redefine Faith within global entertainment.

Tobi Olujumni

She is a powerful communicator and sought after preacher of the Word of God. You can read the tips that she shared in our interview below:

1.  Start small but do something

First of all, I would say, start small. Start small but do something. I think that in the day and the society and the culture in which we live now, everyone expects you to have ten thousand followers or a hundred thousand followers, or what have you.

And you’re almost deemed unsuccessful if you haven’t attained that. All of these things are just massive distractions. If you have something on your heart to create, I would say start small. If you want to start a blog, start writing. Start writing on your notepad.

For example, it’s so funny because someone asked me about how I do status updates. Well actually, some of my status updates come on the train and I put it in my notepad. Then I get a kind of a nudge a few weeks later and I think “Oh, that’s for this time!” and I post it.
So first, I would say, start small but do something. That’s big! Because, you know, I have a lot of people that come to me and they’re like “how?” or “what should I do” and I’m like “just do something!” It doesn’t have to be fantastic.

I am a perfectionist but sometimes that can work against me because sometimes some things need to go out.

Some things need to resonate. It’s not about the camera angles, it’s the message that needs to reach the person who needs it most. So that’s why I would encourage whoever it is to start and do something.

2. Be consistent

And then I would say, be consistent. Be consistent because people like to trust that you’re going to be around. That’s how you build a community.

That’s how you build a following- if people trust you; that you’re going to be around. And, if you think about it, if we look at any of the big, massive brands, we trust that they’re going to work.

For example, if I log onto Netflix, I trust that the shows are going to be there. That’s because of their consistency and I think, as you show up and you’re consistent, people will build a trust towards you. People will build a trust towards your voice.

3. Know your voice

The third one I would say to everyone is, what’s your voice? It’s incredibly crowded. It’s incredibly noisy. People are getting notifications left, right and center.

So, what is your voice? It goes back to knowing your identity because I think your voice flows from your being. For example, I’m not creating anything today that doesn’t flow organically from who I am.

You only have got to spend about an hour with me and you’ll know that’s true. So, I would say, what’s your voice? I hear people say they want to be the next Oprah. Good for you but Oprah exists and she doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere for now.

What’s your voice? Because your voice will resonate to the place it’s supposed to be sent.

4. Be persistent and be determined

And, after consistency and knowing your voice, be persistent and be determined.

Your idea is not going to grow overnight. If you get it overnight, you’ll probably lose it overnight. It’s about legacy. It’s about building deep roots.

Like at this moment, I’m not overly concerned with having millions of followers but what I am concerned about because we’re in our infancy at this stage (we’re under 5 years as a company), is building deep roots. Roots that are so deep our infrastructure is laid and it’s tight so we can build upon that.

If your infrastructure’s dodgy, if the foundation’s dodgy and you’re trying to get to 100 followers, the whole thing’s going to collapse. The fact is, if you don’t want the long endgame, I would challenge you to question why? What is your why?

If you just want to make a little bit of money- you can do something else that is less stressful. If you want it now, I would challenge you to question your why. If you get your why, then you’ll know it’s definitely a long run.

5. Be passionate

You must be passionate about what you’re doing because you have great wins and you have days where you’re just like “oh my goodness!” And I just think, the thing that keeps me going is my why and my passion.

It’s the passion- seeing who you’re hoping to help or who you’re hoping to bless or who you’re hoping to communicate with, it’s those things.

Having a little reminder on your phone is really helpful too.

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Lebogang Motlalekgosi: You need these qualities to start a crocheting business

Its evident that nowadays, our young moguls are doing what they are passionate about, rather than what the status quo dictates to them.

After completing her BA in Humanities, with a major in sociology and environmental science, Lebogang Motlalekgosi struggled to find a job, but that did not break her spirit as she decided to use her crocheting skills and follow her passion.

She became a mogul at 27 years old when she started a crocheting business, and she seems to be doing quite well. “Being able to crochet things people can use in their daily lives is what gets me falling in love with it every day”, she confesses.

Ms. Motlalekgosi states that she does not limit herself when it comes to her crocheting business. She makes a variety of product that suit a wide range of audience, from baby booties, blankets, as well as wearables for kids and adults.

Motlalekgosi says she draws inspiration from everywhere, but she started this business because of her sister who is one of the people who believe in her.

“I learned how to crochet when I was about 9 years old Click To Tweet

Which four qualities does one need, in order to venture into this unusual business?


1. Patience: Crochet is about math which may mean counting tons of stitches and it can be quiet exhausting especially when numbers are not your friend like me.

2. Creativity: Possibilities are endless with crochet. There is so much one can make from clothing to décor items. You just have to be willing to keep re-inventing and learning.

3. Determination: Like with any other business, you need to be determined to make it a success through research, investing your time, and energy.

4. Love: I believe by pouring your heart into everything, fall in love with your craft and others
eventually will.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Inspiration is everywhere but I started this business because of my sister Johannah, who is one
of the people who really believed in me sometimes more than I believed in myself.

I am also inspired every time I finish a product because it not only boosts my confidence but it inspires me to want to learn more and make more products.

Work hard and work some more: Believe in your craft more than anyone else. Click To Tweet


What are the four tips you can give to someone who wants to venture into the crocheting business?

Research: Buy books and find other resources that will help you improve your craft.

Experiment: don’t limit yourself to just one product, try other things as well, it will do wonders for your confidence.

Don’t give up even when you feel like it: Especially when the math doesn’t add up, as it usually does when making a new product.

Work hard and work some more: Believe in your craft more than anyone else.


How do you overcome challenges?

Some of the materials are not easily accessible, but I overcome that by working with what I have and making the most of it.


What is your most outstanding achievement so far?

For me, every single order is an outstanding achievement. Nothing is more fulfilling to me than

watching a customer smile when trying out a product I made and telling me how much they love it because I pour my energy, love and time into every product.


Describe your typical Monday morning.

Haha, my Monday mornings are random in terms of activities. On one Monday I could wake up
and head straight to the couch and start crocheting while others begin with a little workout.

My evenings are usually characterized by preparing supper for my family, watching my favorite
series while crocheting.

Do you know of any entrepreneur with an unusual business idea?

Share their story here.

Advice from the Accelerator Moguls: Tailoring a foreign concept for Africa

crystal ikanih sla accelerator

Ever had been inspired by a brilliant idea, then immediately dismissed it as impossible for the Nigerian market? We’re talking about those ideas that people deem “too foreign” for Nigerians to patronise or appreciate. These foreign concepts may actually end up being  your ticket to being a Motherland Mogul.

Two women who have pushed through in their attempts to introduce concepts and made profit doing so are Tokunbo Sotinwa of Bubble Tii and Crystal Ikanih of Art Splash Studio. Tokunbo and Crystal show us that it is possible to replicate something from the US and Taiwan in Nigeria. They are also both currently participating in SLA’s Accelerator program.

If you’ve never heard of bubble tea before, it is flavoured tea with tapioca pearls. The idea for bubble tea was born in Taiwan and subsequently the trend spread to other Asian countries before gaining popularity across the world.

Tokunbo is credited with bringing the bubble tea phenomenon to Nigeria to surprisingly good results —Bubble Tii has managed to expand locations to a second store within 12 months of launching the first.

Art Splash Studio organises painting classes for grown-ups in Abuja. The idea came from when its founder Crystal Ikanih was visiting friends in the US. So what do both women say about tailoring a “foreign concept” to the Nigerian market?

Creating a demand where there was none previously

You can expect that this will be very challenging. For Tokunbo, people did not know anything about bubble tea in Nigeria. She overcame this challenge by first starting off by appearing at outdoor events. This helped introduce her product to her targeted demographics. Bubble Tii also appeared at pop-up events where people were offered to taste different flavoured bubble teas.

While there was no specific demand for painting classes in Abuja, Crystal saw an opportunity in the demand for alternative entertainment. You’ve surely heard people complain about how Abuja can be boring. Crystal is tapping into this market with Art Splash Studio and her Paint Nite, where people paint while drinking wine.

Another important way to create demand is through social media. Social media is a very effective tool to create buzz.

Sharpening your marketing tools

Already knowing that introducing the concept of a paint class wouldn’t be easy for the Abuja crowd, Crystal took the time to draw up a marketing plan. Be like Crystal and find ways to develop a very informative marketing plan to actually ensure that people are willing to invest their money in your idea.

You may start by introducing the concept to your networks and gauging how people respond to it. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter if people don’t understand your idea, if it’s a good one, you can trust that once you launch, it’ll take a life of it’s own.

toks sla accelerator bubble tii
Tokunbo Sotinwa, founder Bubble Tii

Getting people on board with your idea

Now people have heard about your foreign concept and are interested, what other ways can you get them on board with your idea? The most simple way to do this is through word of mouth. It’s worked wondered for both Bubble Tii and Art Splash Studio.

For Tokunbo, once one person had the bubble tea experience, they were happy to tell other people. Word of mouth has also helped Crystal grow her business. She’s reached a point where now when she’s telling someone about Paint Nite, they’ve already heard about it.

Imagine if your customers are so pleased with your product, they spread the word. So you want to start a café that only sells tea. Someone may caution that Nigerians don’t really do tea, who wants to drink tea when the weather is hot etc. But if you set up that café and wow your customers with different flavoured ice teas and tea-themed cakes, they’ll definitely come back and bring their friends too.

Unusual business ideas: Sell your friendship

shehive london she leads africa

Friendship isn’t easy. We’ve all been in situations where we needed someone by our side but found ourselves alone. Maybe you want to start gyming but all your friends are too busy to join you. Maybe you’re like me and travel solo but are too paranoid to venture out on your own at night.

Who says money can’t buy friendship? Three smart Singaporeans have started a company, Pally Asia which provides friends for hire. Through Pally Asia, people can rent “fake” groomsmen, bridesmaids and sports buddies. Customers can also rent friends, or pallies as the company calls them, to take them for a night out in town and even to meet their parents. Different types of pallies come with different prices from $15 for a 15-minute phone call to $1,000 for 12 hours (and a speech) with a groomsman or bridesmaid.

Japan is thought to have been the first to start companies offering this kind of service. Now, such companies are found in countries across Asia and in the U.S. I need them to come to Africa. What’s more, with the help of my friends, I’ve thought of ways a friend-for-hire service could work for us.

naomi_jourdan gifShopping for you

Imagine you can conveniently hire out friends to go to the market for you. A busy career woman still needs to eat and if you’re keen on local dishes most of the ingredients and spices you need to cook can only be found in the open air market. Through this imaginary company, you can hire a friend who you can trust will get things at the market for you at the real price (the friend has to know how to bargain very well).

Moving on, there are some women who don’t trust their sense of fashion, but also don’t have the time/money to get a personal stylist. In this case, why not hire a friend to go shopping with you? She will be the fashionista with a keen eye for things that suit your looks and figure.

Dodging marriage

Some of us are at that age where uncles and aunties remind us that we’re “ripe” for marriage. This doesn’t mean all of us are ready to walk down the aisle. As an African girl, you don’t want to hire a friend to go on dates with you or pretend to be your boyfriend in front of your family. First of all, we haven’t reached that level. Secondly, that can easily veer into a sugar mommy situation and nobody has time for time.

gene wilder dodge blow kiss young frankenstein

But, what about getting a  friend who you hang out with once every four months or so for lunch? This is the friend that can be used as diversion when your parents come calling about marriage.

“Ah, but mum, Joe and I are just friends jo, if it happens, it happens.”

When Joe is a constant, the marriage-mongers will ease off. This way, hiring out a fair-weather guy friend can be useful.

Organise my life

Sometimes, you just need someone to organise your domestic stuff. It can be finding help to wash clothes, if you don’t have the space or can’t afford a washing machine. Or it can be getting someone to clean your house if you’re too busy or just hate cleaning. I’ve heard friends and family attest to the difficulty of finding great people to help organise their household. This African friendship company will be the go-to for such services.

The company will also have a guy. Everyone has a guy and everyone needs a guy.

My car broke down, there’s a guy.

My DStv isn’t working, there’s a guy.

My sink broke, there’s a guy.

I need to navigate the complicated bureaucracy of the system, there’s a guy.

A lot of people find themselves stranded when they need help and then have to make several calls to get things done. Imagine if you only had to make one call? An African friend-for-hire company should be that guy that has guys.

Information is key

Living in any city in Nigeria (and I’m tempted to say in Africa) as a girl is a constant trade of information. You’re only as good as your personal network.

“I want to do braids, where do I go?”

“I need a natural hair place, which one is the best?”

The African friendship company will have at least one reliable person for each issue. It will combine several networks into a master-one. Whether you need a Mr. Solomon that will be the one calling you to hurry you up for work, even though you’re the one paying for the taxi ride. Or letting you know about the lady who is the best loctician in town and only uses honey and shea butter to loc hair.

Take me out!

This one needs no explanation.

I want to know the best place to eat out, new places to eat out and shops that sell great stuff at bargain prices but I don’t know where to start. I’m in the mood for some buka food and want to go to the best buka in my area. I heard there is a new club opening in town but don’t have anyone to go with. A close friend was recently in India and hired a friend to take her to hidden food spots in Delhi. I personally want a food tour of Accra, Nairobi, Luanda, Addis Ababa…

This friendship company will not only have the answers to all these questions ready, they will also provide a friend to take you there and make sure you have a good time.


Hiring a “friend” through a company is definitely more reliable that doing so through one person. Like Pally Asia, our African friend-for-hire company may want to screen the people whose services are hired out. It’s also necessary to have no-go areas like kissing, sexual services, taking photos of people hired, flights abroad, etc.

Will selling friendship work for African? Is there already a friend-for-hire service thriving in an African country that I should know about?

What kind of “friendly” service are you willing to pay for? Some say this sort of business makes a profit off lonely people, do you agree? I’d love to know what you think!