Over the years, the United States Government has funded a number of agencies and platforms to support African companies to do business with both the U.S. government itself and with the U.S. private sector.
To provide more clarity on ways in which the U.S. can assist in growing African businesses and entrepreneurs through trade, investment, and technical assistance, Africa.com is organising a one-day Virtual Summit – if you are a Motherland Mogul looking to expand your business into the United States, this is not the one to miss!
This Virtual Summit will bring thousands of c-suite executives and decision-makers of African businesses together with high ranking U.S Government and business officials. It will be held on Wednesday the 14th of October 2020 with the following panel sessions:
Panel 1: View From The Very Top The Summit kicks off with keynote remarks by the highest-ranking U.S. government official responsible for relations with Africa, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, The Honorable Tibor Nagy. Then, the Chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (President and CEO of GE Africa) Farid Fezoua, will deliver keynote remarks from the private sector perspective.
Panel 2: Hear It From The Agency Heads A panel discussion featuring the Chief Operating Officer of Prosper Africa, a new U.S. government initiative that brings together the resources of over 17 U.S. Government agencies to connect the U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities. Joining this panel are the ‘Africa heads’ of some of the key U.S. Government agencies that do business with Africa, including the International Development Finance Corporation (formerly OPIC); The Export/Import Bank; USAID; and the U.S. Africa Development Foundation.
Panel 3: Hear It From African Business Heads The third portion of the summit is a panel of very senior African business leaders who have done business with the U.S., who will provide their perspectives on their experiences and guidance to those who seek to follow their footsteps. Panel 4: Views From Ambassadors Country-by-Country The fourth portion of the summit is a panel of U.S. Ambassadors to several key African countries who will speak about the resources available specifically in their markets to support African businesses.
This event is free so don’t miss this opportunity to take your business international!
Not everyone owns up to their purpose especially when it takes you from one continent to another. Ugochi left the United States to pursue purpose in Nigeria.
Ugochi is the founder of Reliance Clinics. She’ll be sharing insights into her life as a medical practitioner, health tips, the numerous challenges she faced and how she was able to overcome them.
Who is Ugochi Nwosu?
I was born in Nigeria and lived there until I was 7 before my family immigrated to the United States. That was where I did all my schooling. After my undergraduate degree, I did my residency training in the States also until I returned back to Nigeria in 2019. This kick-started my goal to start a business that provided quality private healthcare services.
What are you passionate about?
Healthcare! I really want to live in a world where everyone has full access to adequate healthcare. In Nigeria, the rate at which people in their early 40s and 50s die is really alarming. All of these can be avoided.
I just want to help people live healthy and productive lives where they get to see their grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Although this would be beautiful, it’s not easy. If people want to live till their late 80s, it starts from now. So, I want to keep educating people about this.
What ignited the spark to start Reliance Clinics?
For me, the inclination to work in healthcare came since my undergraduate studies. I learnt about the possible challenges, the requirements and mapped out the areas to make an impact. It was important to be properly grounded in what I was planning to do to avoid making any silly mistakes.
I also worked with a whole lot of NGOs to ensure I had a feel of what I was about getting myself into. I didn’t really plan to start a business for myself. The decision to do that came after I kept searching for an NGO to work with but couldn’t find any at that point. This made me start looking for other possible opportunities.
During my residency training, I met people who were interested in digital healthcare services and connected with them. They encourage me to just do what I need to do because no one makes actual change by talking and observing. It was great for me because I didn’t see myself as someone that could take up that level of responsibility upon myself. The plan had always been to work for someone who was already doing the things I needed to do. That’s basically how the business came alive.
How was the startup phase of your business?
I’m not going to deny the fact that everything was new to me. Firstly, we had to scout for a suitable location, then we had to figure out a way to get supplies for the clinic and basically test these supplies yourself because everything had to be reliable 100%.
For funding, I met the founders of a health insurance company during my residency training so things sort of worked out for me in the sense that they needed a trusted clinic that they could send patients to so they kind of gave me the initial funding for the clinic.
What business challenges have you faced and how have those challenges shaped your mindset?
One major challenge has been hiring and training staff. For those in healthcare, the quality of services offered has to be nothing but excellent. Most times, doctors, pharmacists, nurses etc expect some things to be done in some certain way based on what they’ve seen before or something which might not necessarily be the right thing.
When you tell this category of people that there’s a standard that should be met and we’re not going to overlook that standard just because we’re operating in Nigeria, it turns into a situation where it feels like you’re telling them that they’re not properly trained or something so that was a major challenge for me.
Another challenge we had, in the beginning, was dealing with patients and staff who were used to things being done in certain ways and then we do them in totally different ways. For instance, most patients that come to our clinic are used to being given so many drugs even for not so serious cases. When we give them just 1-2 drugs, they feel like we’re not treating them the right way or we don’t really care about their wellbeing which is why we’re given them little amounts of drugs and that’s not the situation at all.
What have you learned so far from running this business?
When it comes to hiring, you have to ensure that those people actually have the skills they claim to possess. It’s mandatory that you do. I’ve learnt over time that you have to be very intentional when deciding who to bring on board, how to evaluate their skills and how to train them so that from day 1, they can actually deliver.
Ugochi is a participant in the High Growth Coaching Program 2020. Catch up on her business journey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Your goals are the key to success in your career or your business. As you get closer to achieving your goals, the chances of truly finding yourself increase immensely because you’re constantly breaking barriers and getting to know who you truly are.
“My goals define who I am!” Ayomiposi isn’t taking chances when it comes to achieving the impossible. She’s the founder of IdeaBud and is breaking boundaries in her business.
Who is Ayomiposi Ogunti?
I’ve lived in Lagos almost all my life till I went to the University Of Ilorin for my tertiary education. Before I started Ideabud, I had worked with two management consulting firms as a research analyst and a team lead for performance monitoring and evaluation. I did this for a while before deciding to start my own business.
I’m really passionate about people’s development as regards their careers and personal growth. I’m also passionate about entrepreneurship and creativity. One thing about me is I get excited about new things. It could even be something old that’s done in a new and refreshing way.
What ignited the spark to start IdeaBud?
Deep down, I always wanted to help people bring their ideas to life. No matter how scary or tasking those ideas are. I just enjoy helping people out with whatever it could be. People would always say, “Ayomiposi has the answers!”
After numerous conversations with top executives, colleagues, friends and the likes, I discovered that most people had brilliant ideas but couldn’t bring it to life. They were always stuck at the implementation stage. I saw a void and decided to fill it.
The heart of IDEABUD is passion. Let’s track back a little since I started working with corporate organizations, I had always wanted to see people excel in their respective fields and businesses. Not everyone has the luxury of time to monitor a project from the startup phase until it gains ground and becomes something spectacular. This is where my passion comes in.
What business challenges have you faced and how have those challenges shaped your mindset?
Most businesses that operate in the field of consultation experience a very similar challenge which is getting clients. Without clients, a business cannot operate. You can discuss with clients over and over only for them to change their mind when you think the project is 95% ready to kick off.
Another challenge I’ve faced is how to create content to drive IDEABUD. This might appear like a minor issue but it was a major stumbling block. The thing with consulting is you have to be careful how you project your content to your audience because it tends to become technical rather than relatable.
It got to the point where I needed to take a step back and reevaluate the situation of my business and map out ways I could reach out to people better. It was during this evaluation stage I came across a guide from SheLeadsAfrica’s Facebook page about storytelling. It really helped me in so many ways.
These challenges have helped Ideabud become a business that people can actually relate to. It put us on a path to being the best at what we do.
What have you learned so far from running this business?
I learnt at the early stage that establishing a standard operating procedure goes a really long way. This procedure has served as a guideline for me when dealing with clients, because, before then, I just dealt with clients as the spirit led. It really messed up a whole lot of things for me and the client. So, you should always have a standard operating procedure that helps you identify what needs to be done at specific points in time.
Ayomiposiis a participant in the High Growth Coaching Program 2020. Catch up on her business journey on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Practising social distancing and working from home as a mother of a one-year old has meant I have to be intentional with taking the time to rest and making time to be present with my family.
It has also allowed me to revisit some of the things which I’ve been meaning to do. You know, those things we hang on the ‘I will get to you when I have time’ shelf? Yup, things which we have been putting off for months now.
With the increase in online activity filled with Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings, it came as no surprise when every other day I would have a friend or an acquaintance texting me for feedback on their website or requesting tips for self-care regimens. It was always this or the other odd thing, which they have started taking on with all the free time we seem to have at our disposal.
I don’t mind getting on a call so that you can pick my mind on an idea you would like to try out or give input on a concept you’re testing. I equally have no qualms about connecting or plugging you to a great resource base to make things happen for you.
Where it gets a tad tricky is when I am asked to work on something and use my resources and expertise, without compensation. There is a super thin line between helping someone out because you’re homies and selling yourself short because of your ride or die ties.
The issue with being a free labour ‘YAAAAAAS’ queen
I am sure you’ve had acquaintances and colleagues asking you to proof-read their work and offer feedback on proposals or creative projects. Or friends who have asked you to work on their business plans or hustled you into a last-minute brainstorm sesh on their projects and because this is the sisterhood of the ‘each one help one’ mantra, we show up and shake it up.
At what cost though, do we continue to tap dance to this thankless tune of free labour? If you’ve been here, you know that once you’re done, some don’t even have the inclination to acknowledge the time, expertise and resources that went into helping them. That is a post for another day entirely.
This, however, is about how I have decided that my free labour has reached its quota. I am not available to perform these ad-hoc tasks unless I am getting paid for it. Sis, fatigue ain’t cute and I am not open to overextending myself any longer.
Make ‘No’ your ultimate BFF
We need to normalise handing out our rate card when asked to offer our expert advice or do work for friends and family. There is nothing wrong with this, we’re all trying to get our coins, Queens. Let’s not abuse each other’s generosity for self-gain, plus, it’s disrespectful.
Not only will taking a stand on how you spend your time and allocate your resources ensure that you do not overextend yourself, but it will bring you peace of mind.
A big part of self-care that we often overlook is knowing how to say no. No, is extremely liberating and it also makes sure that people do not take advantage of you.
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I am not saying be selfish and not leverage off of each other’s knowledge and skills. These are the tenets on which sisterhood and community are built. We look out for each other and put one another on. What I am advocating for, is being self-FULL. Stop treating yourself like an afterthought, be intentional about prioritising yourself. Give yourself the respect which is due to you.
Saying yes to a strategy and brainstorming session which will require research from you and will be resource-intense without compensation.
Do not consult on a project or provide feedback for work that will be remunerated but you receive nothing.
Say no to friends and family requests to do free work that you ordinarily get paid to do.
Many won’t be happy with the decision I have taken to cut free labour. The beauty of this is that it isn’t about what people say, it is 100% about me. I will be happier for it; my relationships will be healthier as a result and my coins will stay popping. Surely, this is a good look! Remember that the work you do is important, and you are equally important.
Want access to more resources and articles to get you ahead in your career? Visit SheLeadsAfrica.org!
“Inside Global Citizen” is a limited series that will run during the month of August. It will pull back the curtain and highlight members of Global Citizen staff who are key parts of the organization’s advocacy, impact, and more.
Be part of our community of outstanding women by joining today.
The United Nations estimates that a quarter of the world’s illiterate population lives in sub-Saharan Africa. With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic further crippling Africa’s already fragile education systems, the challenge to develop the future of Africa remains a daunting task. At Global Citizen, Chebet Chikumbu is leading an all-women team focused on youth development across Africa to solve this big education and literacy crisis. CHEBET’S JOURNEY INTO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Chebet’s passion for seeing growth in Africa started at a very early age. When she was 10 years old, her parents whisked her away from Kenya to boarding school in South Africa where she developed an appreciation for Africa’s diversity.
While she initially wanted to become an accountant like her father, her goals shifted as she began to learn more about countries across Africa, and noticed the prevailing inequalities that were similar across the board.
With this new awareness, she found herself leaning more towards humanitarian work than accounting.
Today, Chebet works as the Regional Director for Southern and Eastern Africa at Global Citizen and identifies herself as a Pan-African woman with roots inKenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“I have really come to understand our similarities as Africans but also the nuances in a way that has given me a very profound appreciation for what it means to identify with a Nationality like a singular place.” – Chebet Chikumbu.
INSIDE CHEBET’S JOB: SOLVING A MAN-MADE CRISIS To create sustainable and practical solutions to the problems of youth development and education, Chebet’s team identifies governments and corporations that can support priorities around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), develop campaign strategies, and mobilize support across sectors.
With her all-star team, Chebet oversees Global Citizen’s campaigns and ensures that commitments made through the Global Citizen platform are delivered and have a real impact on the intended recipients.
“It became clearer to me that a lot of what we see is man made. And, if these are man made problems, it means that there are man made solutions. And if we collectively put our heads and our hands to work, we can come up with the necessary problem solving that is required to address the world’s most pressing problems.” – Chebet Chikumbu.
BeyGOOD: A SUCCESS STORY IN AFRICAN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Chikumbu has had great successes with her team at Global Citizen. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s passion for youth development and education, as well as his legacy of empowering future generations, Chebet and her team launched the Global Citizen Fellowship Program Powered by BeyGOOD.
The Global Citizen Fellowship Program Powered by BeyGOOD is equipping young people with the skills they need to play a role in social justice, helping their communities achieve the SDGs, and amplifying causes that they believe in.
Now, the Fellowship program is kicking off for its second year — with an extraordinary class of 10 young people. Designed to empower young people with work experience, the program is not only supporting the vision of a South Africa that nurtures its youth.
Each fellow will also have the benefit from personalized mentorship from leaders in entertainment, business, government, and civil society — all aimed at enabling them to realize their potential to become global agents of change.
Chikumbu encouraged young people to apply and engage in the paid, year-long fellowship aligned to one of Global Citizen’s four pillars of activity: creative, campaigns, rewards, and marketing. The next application period would be in 2021.
ADVICE: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MENTOR
The mentorship program is an aspect of The Global Citizen Fellowship Program powered by BeyGOOD that Chebet is especially proud of. With a career that has spanned over 15 years, she emphasizes that an effective mentor can create an open environment for young African women to express themselves and be heard.
“I can attest to the fact that mentors have really helped me shape my career in my 20s, and especially now in my 30s because I am thinking more broadly around how do I deepen my thought leadership and how do I truly become the light that I want to be and that I want to see in the world.”- Chebet Chikumbu.
To find the right mentor, Chebet advises that you look for somebody who believes your intentions and is invested in seeing you be great without any strings attached -the key is you have to ask!
SOLVING A CRISIS DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
The pandemic has not spared Chebet and her team. According to Chikumbu, prior to the pandemic, Africa had been making progress to meet the 17 goals. Now, even those targets where that had almost been hit are under threat of having decades of progress wiped out in a matter of weeks.
“Due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods …we know that people of colour are disproportionately affected and we know that on the continent it means that the majority of those people of colour will be young and under the age of 30.” – Chebet Chikumbu.
The UN says global school closures have kept over 90% of students worldwide – 1.57 billion pupils – out of access to education, and among them, 370 million children are missing out of school meals that they depend on. For those without access to internet and computers at home, remote learning is not an option, meaning almost no education for the duration of the crisis.
In short, if we thought it was real out here, COVID-19 is teaching us things can be a whole lot more real with existing inequalities and injustices.
THE FUTURE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION IN AFRICA
While progress might seem daunting, all hope is not lost. Chikumbu and her team are making a collective response to the pandemic, which can serve as a ‘warm-up’ for their preparedness in revamping the progress they had previously made.
“What we are now having to, I suppose, absorb as a shock but beyond that, that’s why we are gathering stakeholders around now to try and think of ways to turn that around and ways to immediately find effective solutions in the spirit of catching up,” says Chikumbu.
Interested in learning more about Global Citizen? Visit the Global Citizen Twitter Page.
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.
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!
Summer or no summer, you MUST live your best life.
You are a boss and keeping up with the trends in the digital world is the major key!
You must have come across the term Hot girl summer over the past month. If you’re not sure what everyone is on about, we’re serving you the tea in this article.
What is #HotGirlSummer???
The phrase #Hotgirlsummer was coined by American rapper, Meghan Thee Stallion. She used the term to tell women (and men) to be unapologetically themselves and fiercely go after their dreams and goals.
It simply means that summer or no summer, you MUST live your best life.
The term first appeared on Twitter after one of her fans posted a photo with the caption “I hear it’s a #HotGirlSummer”. Since then, the term has since caught on like bush fire.
Men and Women around the world are now posting fun and happy photos of themselves on social media with the same caption. The phrase represents women living out their best lives at their own terms, to make it the best thing to ever happen to them.
If you are looking to have your own Hot Girl Summer season like the Motherland Mogul that you are, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Review and Define Your Goals
In order to live life unapologetically, there must be a goal or vision that you are looking to achieve.
It is important that you have a vision of where you are going and come up with a plan of how you will get there. This may involve improving your current skill set or going back to school.
In most cases than not, it will take time to get to your dream job/businesses/bosses and/or clientele.
While you are building towards your goals and dreams, it is essential that you grab every crucial opportunity that comes by. The journey to achieving your dreams is a culmination of all the work and effort that you are putting in now.
Use your current position to build a richer network as this will make your journey much easier.
To achieve anything in life, you must be willing to put in the effort and work required to get where you want to be.
It is also important to ensure that your voice is heard in meetings and in boardrooms. As you put in the work and effort, it is also very important that you are taking credit for your achievements.
You are much more memorable when your voice is heard, therefore, going forward ensure that you are the lady who takes credit for her work, contributes ideas and always have engaging thoughts in any meetings and conferences.
An organization or client will always value someone who adds value. Your work is then to add value.
4. Have Fun While Doing It
Girl, work hard and play hard while you’re at it.
Going after your goals and choosing to be outstanding is definitely not always fun.
There is a lot of unseen hard work and in some cases, you are your own biggest cheerleader.
But, how about making it fun for yourself by having a weekly gratitude list?
Each week, write down something you are grateful for and also tick off a goal that you have accomplished. It is the consistent cumulative effort that eventually pays off and keeps a smile on your face.
5.Take a Selfie and Don’t Forget to Hashtag #HotGirlSummer
Lastly, while putting in the work and securing the bag don’t forget to take a bomb selfie as you live your best life, on your own terms.
It is always relaxing to get the perfect selfie and keep the movement going for all the women who are making it happen for themselves and their communities.
Have yourself a Hot Girl Summer.
Join our Facebook Live on August 22nd to learn how to drive social change through your business/ Career. Click here to sign up.
iDare.NotDread is a social Enterprise promoting innovation, creativity, and enterprise in Nigeria.
Our focus is primarily to build women communities and empower them with creative and innovative skills for business growth.
What’s one business tip you wish most business owners knew and could wield to their advantage?
Network. Meet people.
That money you want is in someone’s account. That unspoken challenge can be solved by someone. Attend workshops, events, and meet people. Most people don’t bite.
How can entrepreneurs begin to understand the power of conducting market validation, and collaboration with other SMEs?
I believe in collaboration. This is why I try to build communities. We started the Abuja food community in May, and its amazing to see how much collaboration has happened in a group full of women.
Yet, we probably thought women prefer to fight. No. The moment businesses understand that collaboration first means ‘here is what I can give you’, before ‘give me what I want’, they will lead better businesses.
With a lot of fake business coaches around, what makes your brand different?
We didn’t just arrive. We’ve been here a while. In 2013 we started with creating a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories and inspire others.
Over time, we realized stories weren’t enough. Capacities needed to be built.
So we went all in to try to understand the real needs of the entrepreneurs we wished to serve, and since 2016, we started contributing to conversations around digital technology and creating a good impact in the digital space.
Since then, our efforts have birthed super brands.
In the past 3 years we have successfully trained 4,000 entrepreneurs on digital strategies as well as provided opportunities for business visibility.
Many thanks to the opportunity Google granted us through the Digital Skills for Africa programme and a host of other partners who have trusted us to work with them.
Why should SMEs understand their target markets before making an entrance into the market?
Because if we don’t, we would be hitting our heads on rocks. Hard rocks.
You can’t sell to everyone, and this is why research is key to identifying who your market is.
We are currently on our 3rd cohort and it’s been amazing!!! Every 2 months we launch a new set of authors who are super proud of their achievements. It feels great to empower people to create wealth with their knowledge.
We are looking to expand the community beyond eBooks to help more women create diverse digital products and generate more income.
How does the “Do It Afraid” catchphrase relate to entrepreneurs who don’t like taking risks?
We all have fear in us. It’s an emotion. I am still learning to tame my fears. And we all should. The best way to go about it is to go ahead and do that very thing you fear.
I have coached a number of businesses and one of the areas I tend to focus on is to help them fight those limitations – the little voices and beliefs that make them feel less of themselves and limited.
It’s important we act despite fear. Accept your fears but act.
What’s the worst that could happen? Failure? Then show me one person who NEVER failed.
By ensuring that your goals are S.M.A.R.T, you set yourself up to experience the thrill of an achievement that will become a motivation for future successes.
Did you know that you can give 110% effort and fail miserably, even with a good business idea?
I’ve seen it more times than I can count. An eager entrepreneur has a brilliant idea and quickly forges ahead, only to come back disappointed that things did not work out.
By the time they come to that realization, they have likely invested a lot of money, energy and time that they will never get back.
Entrepreneurs going through this experience usually assume that they are simply not cut out for entrepreneurship.
It is at this point that I dig a little deeper into their execution process and I find that the real problem was that the idea or goal was underdeveloped, leading to poor execution. It was a set-up for failure from the start.
I then have the task of talking the entrepreneur off the ledge by explaining that there may have been nothing wrong with their effort, resources or intentions. The reason for the apparent failure was likely that the goal was an inherently bad goal.
When it comes to execution in business, a good goal is not just noble in its intention, but it also S.M.A.R.T.
It is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Ensuring that your goal meets these criteria increases the likelihood of success.
It eliminates wasted time and hones in on the best strategy for success.
Specific goals break down your general goals into manageable pieces so that they are easier to achieve. A great example of this might be to increase your annual revenue.
“Increase revenue in 2019” is a noble general goal.
An even better goal is to “increase revenue in 2019 by identifying profit leaks and creating monthly marketing campaigns in order to obtain new clients.”
Using that example, it’s easy to see how an entrepreneur can go from casting a wide net and taking a chance on what sticks, to identifying a specific strategy for success.
Even that specific goal can be further developed as you think about other factors that will affect the outcome.
By adding metrics and changing the goal to “increase revenue by 40% in 2019, by identifying profit leaks and creating monthly marketing campaigns in order to obtain new clients,” the direction and initial action steps are even clearer.
This way, there is little room for wasted resources and time.
The attainable and realistic factors in the S.M.A.R.T. formula are subjective factors determined by the individual’s readiness to start working on their goals.
An entrepreneur who does not have a marketing budget needs to first raise the money or create a budget for marketing before embarking on the goal above.
It seems obvious enough, but many entrepreneurs still do not count the cost before they set their foot on the pavement.
The last piece of the formula is timeliness. This ensures that the person setting the goal has a sense of urgency and can fend off complacency when working toward their goal.
It is easy to overlook this final piece, but it is just as critical as the others because it has two extremes: too much time allotted for the goal, and not enough time.
When there is too much time, it is easy to fall into traps of procrastination and complacency. These are traps that force individuals to believe they have more time to do the work than they actually do.
They lose their sense of urgency, which opens the door for others to leverage their ideas, or for a competitor to get to a product launch before they do. The other extreme is not to give yourself enough time.
Every person struggles with how to deal with people better. In business especially, the struggle is even more challenging as you not only need to win customers over but also make profits.
Dale Carnegie observes in his book How to win friends and influence people that…
“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”
This is to mean that we are more likely to win people over by treating them better. Instead of criticizing, the legendary writer, Carnegie, says that the only way to get people to do anything is by giving them what they want.
With this background, business people should thus ensure they provide what their clients and employees need.
Here are three ways to increase your likability among your employees and clients.
Don’t kick over the beehive
Do not be obsessed with getting what only benefits you alone. As an entrepreneur, it is very rewarding if you shift out of focusing absorbedlyon yourself and what you can gain from others.
Instead, be genuinely concerned about those you are in contact with irrespective of their rank or background. Be open to other people and listen to what they say keenly and with curiosity.
To be a good listener, try slowing down and look into your employees or colleagues eyes, and be truly concerned about them and what they are saying. It will not do you any good if you are the kind of person who only focuses on the goal without paying attention to the process of goal achievement.
As a leader, drop the ‘just get it done’ approach. It leaves those you socialize with feeling drained and used. Additionally, the ‘expert’ role among entrepreneurs breaks the line of communication between them and their employees/colleagues.
Playing an expert makes you big headed and closed minded to other people’s opinions, thereby stealing from you the opportunity to grow your business to the next level.
We cannot all be the same. It would be unexciting to work or socialize with clones of yourself. Embrace diversity and differences, as it is through them that you learn who you are and what you want to become in the future.
Engaging with those that are different from you sets you to becoming a better person, stronger and richer in knowledge and skills.
By being open to diversity, business owners can be more tolerant, understanding and respectful of other people’s perceptions, practices and who they are.