Live the Life You Want: Become a Successful Remote Worker with these tips

Do you like having a flexible schedule? Want to be able to attend a yoga class in the middle of the day? Do you like wearing your PJs until 4 p.m.? Do you want to be able to travel and two weeks paid leave is simply not going to cut it?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider working for a remote company or on a remote team.

Personally, I have chosen this lifestyle, and I am building a remote company called Baobab Consulting. My team spans four countries (USA, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa) and even people based in the same country do not see each other very often.

.@lizgrossman87 shares some tips on how she's living her best life as a successful remote worker. Learn more... Click To Tweet

This structure has allowed the company to grow sustainably, cutting costs like office rental and transportation, which can allow for more exciting company retreats and meetings surrounding our projects.

While there are clearly many benefits to working remotely, there are certainly challenges too. Here’s how to set yourself up for success, produce results and make your mark in a remote position.

Be a self-starter

If you are someone who needs constant reminders or supervision to complete your tasks, you should find an office job. Remote work means you will not have coworkers eyeing your screen, and you will not have office chat or visible competition that will push you to get your work done.

You have to be able to motivate yourself to get up out of bed on time without an official 9 a.m. clock-in. (Although you can always check in from your bed when you work remotely!)

Be able to work random hours

Especially if you work on a global team, you will need to be prepared to take calls at strange hours. When everyone is home, our team time difference spans nine hours, and it gets even more tricky when we are traveling.

In order to make meetings happen, someone usually has to get up extra early or stay up very late. It is not uncommon to receive work calls/texts at midnight. Just make sure to balance your personal/work time and set yourself limits that make you and your family feel comfortable.

Have exceptional digital communications skills

 My team is constantly connected via WhatsApp, Google Suite, email, you name it. We are building systems that will allow us to all remain on the same page and keep our productivity.

If you are someone who prefers oral communication or hates texting, you will need to flex the digital muscles to be successful on a remote team.

Be disciplined and force yourself to have a routine

When you make your own schedule, it can be easy to have weekends flow into weekdays, to take long breaks in the middle of the day and work late hours in the night.

This is one of the major perks of remote work, but it can often be a trap that decreases productivity. Even though some remote companies may maintain a standard 9-6 workday, they do not build in a routine.

Decide on one that you can stick to that makes you feel professional and productive, but will allow you to live your flexible life.

Build a community at home

Most of our friends and family in more traditional office jobs are around other people for a minimum of 40 hours a week. It can become easy to rely heavily on them for normal socialization or to discuss work-related issues.

We are not trying to put too much pressure on our loved ones, so it is critical to find another social or professional outlet.  Go to a local coffee shop and meet other remote workers, join a co-working space, or even join social clubs to build relationships with like-minded people.

Build a community with your remote coworkers

At Baobab, we predominantly use WhatsApp for this. We send birthday shoutouts, selfies, articles and news that relates to our company values and team.

Also, the team uses social media to encourage one another and to share news about our team and teammates. We also plan biannual team retreats, where we bring as many people together as we can for work and recreation

Remote work is the future, and I encourage everyone to consider the benefits, but also the potential pitfalls.

If you are interested in joining a remote team, Baobab Consulting is always looking for talent, so please check out our website for more!

Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Transferable skills: What they are and how you can detect them

So many of us want a change of jobs and we feel our skills will not fit. That isn’t entirely true Click To Tweet

Have you looked through a job application and your initial thoughts are that you haven’t got any required or essential skills necessary for the job? Don’t panic just yet, we have the scoop to calm your career nerves.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are talents and abilities you can take from job to job or career to career. They are skills you have acquired and can implement in any future career settings.

They are categorized of more soft skills than technical skills.

How are they acquired?

Transferable skills are acquired through volunteering, internship opportunities, apprenticeship, training (formal and informal), hobbies and any job, task or role you were or still involved in including parenting.

The key thing is that you have every opportunity to develop your skills & learn new ones Click To Tweet

What set of skills are transferable?

Interpersonal and people skills

Simply put, it is a skill that shows how well you relate to others. Top tip is how you communicate (written and verbal), empathy for others, conflict resolution and willingness to get along with others (team player), to ensure a common goal.

Organisational skills

This set of skills requires the ability to use your energy, resources and time in an efficient and effective way. Top tip is how you are able to follow through, manage your time, prioritize your work, planning and of course, meeting deadlines.

Leadership skills

The ability to influence a set of people to achieve a goal or move to a particular direction is essential as a leader. This set of soft skills is developed over time. Top tips are how you can effectively communicate, indispensability, integrity, commitment, problem-solving, initiative, decision making, evaluating, delegating and managing.

Communication skills

This set of skills cannot be overemphasized enough. They require the ability to articulate, explain, persuade and speak in public settings (meetings, work presentation or informal settings). Top tip is how well you are understood either through an email or letter or through your speech.

Information technology skills

The use of I.T skills is more than essential in our everyday life. However, you need to show an ability to use formal I.T skills in a work environment. Top tip is having the ability to use Microsoft Office packages.

Research and analytical skills

This set of transferable skills has the ability to search or look for information or data, organise them, interprete and make inferences, theories and decisions or solutions based on your findings. Top tip is the need to want to solve problems, by thinking, creativity, and curiosity.

You already have transferable skills. You just need to list them out now and apply them Click To Tweet

How do I know if I have them?

Get out your pen and a paper and begin to make a list of skills and talents you have acquired thus far. Reflect on the roles you have done in the past (even in an educational environment) and as you go through this set of skills, create a list of your own set of transferable skills.

5 things to do to get the corner office

Working your way up the corporate ladder? Take a look at how to get there with ease! Click To Tweet

After reading the book, “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office 101” by Lois P. Frankel, I felt it was only best to share some of the best tips that I learnt from this book! The book offers a bunch of no-no’s that we tend to overlook but actually, play a huge role in our professional careers.

As Black women, it is already an uphill battle as it is! We all know the steps we need to take to be successful, but how about we look at it from a different angle? Let’s take a look at what a Motherland Mogul should NOT be doing in order to reach the top.

1. Asking permission

It should be clear to people from the get go that you do not need approval from anybody! Go after what you want and be confident. If you are asking for permission, especially for simple things, you downplay the position you are in to make decisions.

Instead of asking your boss, “May I work from home today?” rather say, “I will be working from home today, I will be available via email or cell”. This shows that it is important for your boss to be informed, yet you can make your own decisions when it comes to yourself and your work.

2. Needing to be liked

Everybody wants to be liked and it can play a huge role in your success but, you have to strike a balance. If you are overly concerned with being liked, that means you are easily swayed by stronger personalities.

I was thrown into an industry I knew nothing about. I knew I was capable of doing the job, but I felt I needed to be liked because it was my first time at the rodeo. I became a “yes” woman and ended up doing other people’s work. I learnt that I need to stand my ground – new or not.

Not having a backbone meant that nobody was giving the respect I deserved, but at the same time, I was not showing anybody that I deserved it because I wanted to be liked so badly!

Click here to see what you should NOT be doing to reach success in the office. Click To Tweet

3. Holding your tongue

Society has been conditioned to believe that if a woman is being assertive, she is being a bitch and many women do not speak up as a result. This happens not only at work but in our personal spaces too.

A friend of mine told me about a superior who shoots down all her ideas, yet uses them as his own in important meetings to take all the credit. She let this happen for a while, but this made her realize that her boss is only stunting her growth in the long run. My friend kept all her ideas to herself until it was time to brainstorm in a meeting.

She received some great feedback and because of all the great work she put in over time, she was promoted. This also allowed her to gain the respect of her superior, keeping him from stealing any of her ideas! It is ok to disagree, and being assertive means people will respect you, not walk all over you.

4. Minimizing your work or position

Women tend to downplay their positions at work. Often you will hear, “Oh, I’m just a secretary, nothing special”. This is wrong! Whether you are a secretary or manager, each position plays a role in the growth of the company you work for.

My new transition into the finance industry was not the easiest as I learnt about everything from scratch. This made me downplay my role when people asked “what do you do?”, I just wanted to avoid the topic completely because I was ashamed of the fact that I was not in the field that I worked hard and studied for.

People did not take my expertise seriously because of this. I taught myself to snap out of that habit and acknowledge the fact that I am amazing at what I do and I should be proud of it. If you act like your job is not serious, then people will not take you seriously.

Check out how these office faux pas can stop a #MotherlandMogul from getting that corner office. Click To Tweet

5. Failing to define your brand

Personal branding is all the rage, and for good reason! Ask yourself how you want people to see you, what your expertise is and what you want to be known for.

You may be working in finance, but ultimately you want to be a writer. What are you doing to make sure that people know you as a writer? What are you bringing to the table to make sure your expertise is communicated well?

Ask yourself these questions. A lot of people make you feel like you should be following one path. But as a Motherland Mogul, it’s ok to be a jack of all trades or take on many interests. Show people what you got and you’re well on your way to success.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chika Ilang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chika Ilang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s certainly starting a business.

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

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

Would you move abroad in pursuit of the career of your dreams?

shehive new york she leads africa move abroad
Adulting is a journey of OMG laced with moments of YAAAAAAS and degrees of ‘I can do the thing’ Click To Tweet

I’m pretty sure many of us reach a point in our lives where we reevaluate some of our life choices. We finish high school and get accepted into tertiary institutions and study what we think we would like to be for the rest of our lives.

But who knows what they really want to become when they’re a teen choosing their core subjects whilst dealing with puberty, boy drama and growing pains?

Adulting and its woes

Adulting and traversing the world of work is a journey of OMG laced with moments of YAAAAAAS and varying degrees of ‘I can do the thing’.

So when the going gets tough and mind starts racing, one does consider that the grass may be greener on the other side. Releasing guilt and embracing our efforts as enough, and mistakes as lessons is often our biggest challenge and triumph.

If I was granted the opportunity to go abroad in pursuit of a career that I want, well…wpid-img_20150423_125212

Bye Felicia

We have all at some point felt like everything is working against us and not with us. A lot of us align ourselves to the internalized propaganda that exists in order make us doubt our intuition and the choices which we dare to make.

We can no longer silence the need for new and greater possibilities that exist outside of our paradigm. Presented with the opportunity to go abroad I would defs jump onto that bandwagon.

Presented with the opportunity to go abroad I would defs jump onto that bandwagon. Click To Tweet

Don’t need no hateration, holleration

There is absolutely no place for nursing prolonged feelings of doubt in this vocation dancery. For the longest time, women have continuously denied themselves the opportunity to flourish because they can.

There has almost always been a reason why one should think things through and why one ought not to go ahead and flex on that new portfolio. We need to block out the negativity and the trolls that continue with the ‘pull her down’ syndrome. For this reason, we also ought to take time for small consistent acts of self-care and self-kindness which will grant us the daily ability to can.

When one has opened oneself to the endless growth opportunities at their disposal there are a few things one needs to look into. These include what is more pivotal between a remuneration structure and job satisfaction? What are you willing to do regarding the roles and responsibilities which may come with the position? Will you be able to handle the responsibilities which come with the chosen career path?

We need to block out the negativity and the trolls Click To Tweet

We are reminded over and over again, the importance of setting boundaries and respecting our limits. But sometimes we ought to push just a little harder, for a bit longer. Sometimes we must just be strong and pull ourselves towards ourselves until we conquer the proverbial Mount Frustration-Doubt-Anxiety.


‘J’ is for job; but also for jet setter

So if I were offered the opportunity to go work abroad and pursue an accolade-worthy career, I would not think it through twice!

Even if there may lie challenges ahead and irrespective of the adjustments I would have to make and despite any reservations; I am sure of one thing. It. Gets. Better. This doesn’t even warrant an explanation. Then the only thing left to do would be to… WERQ!

I am sure of one thing. It. Gets. Better. Then the only thing left to do would be to… WERQ! Click To Tweet

Conscious growth and dedication to a cause may require all of the patience, trusting the process and effort 100%, all the damn time! The understanding that sometimes we may not feel like doing the work, but we will anyway and the effort will be worth it —tenfold!


At the end of it all; we will feel more enriched and empowered than we ever thought we might be. So, if you have a chance to move abroad don’t even think twice. Go get that career of your dreams!

The struggle is real: Keeping it together in the growing phase of business

Take a deep breath and find at least one thing in your business to be grateful for Click To Tweet

It has been said a million times already, starting a business is not easy. Worse still is the tendency of the initial thrill to fade away in the face of early-day challenges.

Most times, your entire life is focused on your business and you have no time for something else. The early days are hard, so here are some tips to tide you through the them.

1. Remember why you started


A daily reminder will do and if not everyday, often. Every successful Motherland Mogul has stories to tell about early days. Each person’s experience is different from the next but one thing is common. The struggle to keep up during the first few months and the importance of keeping their eyes on the goal.

Be enthusiastic, think 'I've got work to do! Time to pray and SLAy' Click To Tweet

When you wake up in the morning, the slight (or heavy) trepidation and anxiety should be replaced with curiosity and excitement. Wake up with, “I am doing it! This is my dream!” rather than “Here we go again”. Be enthusiastic, think “I’ve got work to do! Time to pray and SLAy”.


When you think back on all the planning, the first eureka moment, the excitement when you were laying down the plans, you realize that this is it. You are right where you want or need to be (or maybe not, but you are on the right track).

2. Seeds will grow if well planted

Once you’ve set a solid foundation, all you have to do is wait.

Waiting is harrrd, yes. But just as feeling of fulfilment washes over you when you eat freshly cooked corn harvested from your garden with your hands (gardening or farming folks will get this), so it feels when all the patience and hard work starts to pay off.

fierce gif

You literally eat the fruit of your labour but you have to go through the waiting period first. You have to wait for the seeds to first sprout, then grow and become ready to produce fruits.

That is a very long but worthwhile wait. So here is a virtual truckload of patience because it is highly needed at this stage.

3. Water and nuture

I know, enough with the fruit analogies but, that is the closest situation to what you are going through. While you are waiting for your business to grow —which should be the natural course of things, you have to prune it, pamper it, water it, sometimes cajole it and nurture it to grow.

I totally just gave your business a personality. Yes it has one. If it doesn’t, it should and I will call it ‘she’. And like a woman, you have to pay attention daily to the details of your business. While you watch it grow, a business mani-pedi is always needed.

I totally just gave your business a personality and I will call it she Click To Tweet

You will constantly have to make changes, remove old things that no longer deliver, stick with tried and trusted routines. Wait, that is basic skin care! Well. As I said SHE needs the attention.

You have to keep your hands on the pulse of the business and watch your down-line. Don’t worry we are getting there.

4. Faith


Belief in your dream, in the big picture, in your self and in God is the seasoning in the dish.

Remembering why you got into this business, pulling yourself up each morning, working late into the night, skipping lunch and having more microwaved dinners than is healthy for you…all these are peppered by faith in what you are doing.

When I have a dream and I somehow get stuck, my first thoughts are full of doubt. I question the idea, the goal, the direction. But God doesn’t let me fool myself for long. The idea is reinforced and I snap out and push.

That is what faith in your dream will do for you. Especially when no one seems to get your idea or you don’t have the support you need. You need to hold on strongly to your dream and to your God. You are going to need it for what I call the, “Oh what am I doing? Am I sure this is it?” days.

You need to hold on strongly to your dream and to your God. Click To Tweet

5. Count your blessings

If you don’t who will? I mean, I know you are not there yet, but girl you did it! You started. And as Rona Wigs said the first step is to start! You have give yourself a pat on the back.

pat-on-the-back gif
Try hard (really hard) not to dwell on what isn’t. Dwell on what is, plan for what isn’t and most times, take a chill pill. Make only healthy comparisons only if you have to.

Dwell on what is, plan for what isn't and most times, take a chill pill. Click To Tweet

Be your number 1 fan and blow your trumpet when needed. Girl I am proud of you, you have made it this far and you are going to go higher.

So, each day, especially on the days you want to rip into something, take a deep breath and find at least one thing in your business to be grateful for.