Entrepreneurs…Take care of your mental health: Here’s why

I remember the first time I met him at a friend’s house. He was incredibly smart, charismatic and passionate—all the things I believed it took to own a successful business.

As the night when on, I realized my original assumption was correct. I pulled out my phone and did a quick search of the guy that had caught my interest—not in a romantic way, but in an intriguing “I’m fascinated by you” kind of way.

He was the real deal.

According to his digital footprint, he’d been in local and national media, he had thousands of followers on social media, and his business was a real business—systems, staff, and everything. I was impressed.

Wary of coming across as odd, or romantically interested, I resolved to secretly follow his business ventures from that day on.

Imagine my shock, when, only a year after our meeting, I came across a press release that he was going out of business. I read the contents of the press release, and I was dumbfounded.

It went into great detail about his frustration with the lack of support, the personal financial difficulties he’d had to endure, the debt he went into for the sake to maintain his business, and the toll all of it had taken on his mental health.

He was tired, and he was closing shop and taking some time for himself.

At 32 years old, he was moving back in with his parents and going to figure out his next move. There, in an open letter for the world to read, he bravely committed to doing what many entrepreneurs are never taught to do—take care of self first.

Self-management is one of the most critical skills for successful entrepreneurship. It’s something that no school or book can teach you completely- @andrena_sawyer Click To Tweet

The truth is, it is incumbent on you, as an entrepreneur, to get a hold of your emotions, triggers, and mental health, because, at the end, the stresses of entrepreneurship and seeming failure has led some to suicide and on the lesser end, it may lead some to avoidable (and unavoidable) depressive breakdowns.

Whether it’s due to the notorious end of the year burnout, or the hustle and bustle of peak seasons.

The bottom line is that you sometimes get to a point where you realize that you simply cannot continue to fake it until you make it.

In those moments, it is not your business acumen, the number of followers you have, or even your five-star ratings that will save you.

Salvation becomes dependent on two things: your ability to separate self from your work, and how well you’ve developed your self-management skills, which are just as instrumental to your success as any other part of your entrepreneurship journey.

During the holiday season, the temptation is always to reflect on the successes and failures of our businesses, adjust and get right back to work for a successful new year.

 I hope that every entrepreneur adjusts that process slightly and prioritize self-management. Doing so just might save you and your business.

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You’ve got 6 More Months To Slay and Conquer this year

January through June have come and gone. Yes, these past months may have come with lots of setbacks, perhaps in achieving our personal goals and dreams or in advancing in the corporate world.

It may have been six months of moving in circles. Six months of going below both personal and general standards. Six months of bewilderment crawling up in between high hopes and a positive stand.

Here’s my own little story…

Personally, I tasted the true meaning of depression. How or where it came from, who knows? But hey! The good thing is I’m out of it now! Like out for good!

I never even remembered I had suffered from the disease of the mind (as I like to call it) until just a few weeks back, on different occasions, I encountered different individuals slowly sinking in the depth of this same ‘depression’.

Indeed, it’s been a battle thriving beyond all odds these past months and for the first time, I was glad I went through what I went through to better understand the situation of those that came around with the same ailment and help them gradually scale through.

Your confidence is one of the main weapons of emerging as a conqueror at the end of the year - Eden Benibo Click To Tweet

Perhaps this is your own story…

Maybe, just maybe, you had achieved a reasonable number of your goals and aspirations during the first half of the year. Awesome! Have all or majority of your inputs fallen in alignment with your expected result? Great!!

Whichever category you had fallen into, just know there are six more months to slay and conquer.

In duality, we would be looking at two categories in this article. Let’s say – Slayers 1 & 2.

Slayers 1 are the people who went through a relative number of down times during the first half of the year. If you fall into this category, here are a few tips for you:

Regain your confidence

Your confidence is one of the main weapons of emerging as a conqueror at the end of the year. Without confidence, a soldier is nothing but a loser even before the war begins.

Without confidence irrespective of the cash at hand or even your skills within, one will have a very low chance of succeeding.

Face the phase

Of course, it’s good to reflect on the past sometimes, to retrace your steps and know where to improve on, but what we do most times is that we get so engrossed with past failures and pain that we allow a replay of these negativities in the future.

Have the failures of yesterday boxed you in? Or built a shell in which you have crawled into?  It’s time to come out! And face the now. This phase.

Bill Newman rightly said “you must be willing to fail. Don’t fear other people or their opinions. Don’t just sit there and wonder, you should be doing. Act, start today, make it happen”.

He is not trying to say we should set our minds on failure, no! All this is trying to convey is that we should not allow the mere fear of failure to be an obstacle to us succeeding in our business and life in general.

Stop agonizing and organize what you're doing - Eden Benibo Click To Tweet

Newman further stated “stop agonizing and organize what you’re doing. Not to decide is to decide not to.” In other words, not making a decision is a decision on its own. Not acting is a move. A wrong move though. A move of stagnancy. Break free today!

Slayers 2, on the other hand, are also known as the already Slaying Gang!

It’s important to note that no one prays for a ‘bad beginning’, but it’s better to have a rough beginning and a smooth end than experiencing the reverse. Therefore, this is a call for unrelenting zeal to keep thriving. Thrive on!

Ask yourself some questions. What did you do to get you to this point? Build on that.

If possible, I advise you increase your general input, because it is very easy to remain in your comfort zone. Remember, never to be trapped within the confinement of living in past glory. Most importantly, learn something new every day.

Now listen. If inexplicably you belong to the two categories, it’s all good. Here are some tips for you to explore.

  • Breath
  • Break free from the norm. There’s more to explore!
  • Smile and say a warm hello to July and the next few months at your disposal.
  • Remember your future is all in your hands: handle with care.

Finally, here’s a piece of advice from an all-time scholar which applies to everyone, regardless of the level of such an individual at work)

“If you are a senior executive, don’t take yourself too seriously. It is essential to hold on to our sense of humor throughout our lives if we want to remain sane, as has been shown by research into psychological cognition, and especially in the later years”.

So go ahead and break free, slay and conquer it all, starting with your fears!


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How to survive The Big F word — Failure

The moment you hit rock bottom is not a very unique experience. Although the actions were taken after the realization vastly differs from one person to another.

For me, it was while watching a very romantic movie, the kind of movie where the guy races through traffic to get to the airport so he can finally pour out his true feelings to his dream girl.

He just manages to catch her at the ‘check-in line’, runs up to her, grabs her and begs her not to leave. She looks deep into his eyes, doubting him, doubting everything and then all of a sudden.


He gets down on one knee and proposes to her with his Grandma’s wedding ring. Romantic right? And yet, I couldn’t figure out why it was at this exact moment that I started to cry like someone stole my cat or something…

 It was a few light tears at first…then it turned to real sobbing.

At that moment I realized that:

  • This movie is so corny, no guy would make it through traffic in time to get the girl – not Kampala traffic anyway, plus we have only one airport!
  • My tears, these tears, had nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with the fact that I was failing at life…with a capital F!

I was exhausted and starting to hate this dream I’d been pursuing what felt like an eternity. I’d been working myself to the bone, but nothing seemed to be going right.

I’d received negative client reviews, was behind on important production deadlines, my landlord was starting to begin all his messages with scary sentences like “If you do not pay by the close of business today…”

It was hard, really hard but if you’re an entrepreneur, failure isn’t a choice, its part of the game, it’s how you learn and if you’re smart about it, it’s how you grow.

Failure is the big “F” word one no one wants to talk about. The time you didn’t meet a client’s expectations so they decided to go with a competitor. That time you couldn’t make the payment. When you took the business loan and didn’t anticipate how the market would react to your product.  That time your marriage fell apart leaving you with a broken heart and nasty attitude to boot!

As an entrepreneur you need to know failure intimately, take it out on a few dates and study it! Click To Tweet

Much has been said on the subject, some believe there’s only one correct way to fail in business. Fast and hard, get all the pain out as soon as possible and then try again.

As an entrepreneur you need to know failure intimately, take it out on a few dates and study it! Why did you fail? How did you fail? Did you pass the buck or were you just distracted?

Should you be in this business? Are you disciplined enough to handle the responsibility?  Failure isn’t glamorous, often times, it’s ugly and it’s really messy. Kind of like your ex!

So here are a few tips from someone who’s had a taste of it and still has a huge bowl to get through;

1. The x + y = z of it.

The only way to get really good at something is to fail at it enough times that you finally get the formula. When you fail, you must have the courage to distance yourself from it.

You must understand that you aren’t a failure simply because you failed at this thing. Understand that it’s part of the journey to becoming one of the greatest. You must get up, dust yourself off, cry a little, or maybe a lot, and then try again.

2. You must not wear failure as an identity.

I’ve met a lot of people that have failed at something or the other in their lives and have turned it into an identity they walk around with. They pull it out at appropriate times when the gathering is big enough so everyone can see how well they failed.

They have it at the ready to “warn” others who might actually try to pursue that same treacherous path. They have horror stories with examples all the way from China! Do not pay attention to that fear, use those horror stories as markers and pointers for your own journey.

You’ll learn that like in all the Hollywood horror stories, you never ever go to the basement parking lot alone!!! Bottom line is you’ll learn.


3. Failure is evidence that you actually tried at something.

Many would-be entrepreneurs are stuck in the zone between having a really great idea and having the courage to do something about it. For most, the fear of failure is stronger than the possible joy that could come from winning. You tried and you failed, now all you have to do is try again.

4. The F-word means you’re badass.

The people we celebrate, the greatest entrepreneurs the world has ever known built their empires amidst great odds stacked against them, and most importantly, did not let failure stop them.

So, why should you?

 A quote from the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo dedicated to all those entrepreneurs that have faced a few setbacks in the first half of this year and need a little more courage for this next half;

“What you need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way.

It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream.

That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.”

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Chidiogo Akunyili: Be Kind to Yourself for Not Being Superwoman

Chidiogo Akunyili is a woman of many trades. She is the Founder of She ROARs – Reimagining Our Africa Rising. This pan-African platform seeks to empower women across Africa to unleash their full potential. 

As a writer, storyteller and movement builder, Chidiogo is impacting the global narrative with her belief in the power of people affecting change. Having lived on 5 continents and being able to speak 7 languages, Chidiogo’s philosophy is founded on the African concept of Ubuntu and celebrating our shared humanity. 

Beyond her work, Chidiogo Akunyili has been awarded multiple awards. These include ‘100 most influential Young Africans’ by Africa Youth Awards and ‘100 most inspiring women in Nigeria’ by the Guardian. She is also a World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow. 

In this interview, we learn more about She ROARs and the impact it has been bringing. 

What led you to start She ROARS?

After working with hundreds of women across Africa, I came to the realization that we needed more spaces to support women on their personal and professional journeys. Changing a community begins with enabling women to tap into their full strength and potential.

Inspired by this, we started She ROARS. Through this platform, we support women by equipping them with tools to build bridges to fulfilling their potential. We do this by creating spaces for them to flourish, empower each and impact their communities.

Can you tell us more about the impact She ROARS has had?

To date, She ROARs has reached hundreds of women across Africa and the diaspora. Through events, we’ve created spaces where women have been challenged, empowered to realize their dreams and walk in their own truths.

We see in all our gatherings the great value of stepping away from business as usual and truly connecting with a powerful circle of womanhood.

Women have added that this platform gives them confidence and support from the group as a whole. We see the strength of space to connect with self and each other. Even if you take nothing else away, there is already a great power in knowing that you are not alone

@SheROARsAfrica challenges the notion that empowerment is big and strong. Sometimes it is soft and tender, and raises an awareness of oneself. Click To Tweet

What have you learned since starting this platform?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that, if you have an idea that inspires you, just start! What it will grow into is unknown. However, you should trust your curiosity to lead you to greatness.

She ROARs was born out of a Women Advancing Africa Conference where Graca Machel challenged us to empower each other as women. As women shared their deepest wounds, vulnerability, and courage, I felt all that could be when women were given a space to share together.

Though this idea came from an intuition, it soon turned into a business with a name, logo, website, social media presence, launch and finally a team to push things. We then started leveraging women gatherings to offer She ROARs seminars, workshops, events, and partnerships.

What challenges have you faced with She ROARS?

The challenges are real. But the most important thing I’ve learned is to be kind to myself despite not being superwoman. Starting She ROARs alongside a full-time commitment to write a book meant working on two things that needed my full discipline and drive.

Despite spending over 10 years in the corporate world doing strategic consulting, I doubted my potential to deliver without the habitual external deadline. This fear soon morphed into a constant ‘you are not doing enough’ voice in my head. This soon became stressful.

So, I learned to let go and take some time off every now and then. And above all, I needed to remind myself that if I wanted to go the distance, I couldn’t do it all alone. I needed to trust others talents to help me. Finally, I would write down everything I needed to do monthly, weekly and daily. This helped me declutter my tasks and achievements.

Can you tell us more about the book you are writing?

My first book has been such a rewarding project! It started as a simple idea, the story of a mother, Dora Akunyili. My mother is described by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as “radical because she had integrity in a system that was unfamiliar with integrity…kind and vigorous, and when she spoke, she widened eyes as though to better convey the force of her conviction.”

Her life is a story of strength arising from the ashes of struggles — the deeper her scars, the stauncher was her fight and spirit of justice and truth. I want the reader to take away the power of conviction and the courage needed to follow through.

What were the fears you felt you had to overcome with the projects you are undertaking?

The deep fear of failure. Three years ago in the mountains of Peru, on the back of an extended retreat, I was held by 9 sisters as I shook and cried at the recognition of a truth that was calling to me, to leap.

Ixchel, a most treasured guide who was holding this sacred space of sisterhood shared these words, “You keep getting that same message… what are you afraid of giving up my sister? The fear will always come in, when you see it, walk through it, that you may be free, that you might know what it feels like to be free falling from a cliff.”

Dance has truly helped me overcome my fear. Dance is a space where I can explore the connection between my mind, spirit, and body. To me, it means freedom to live the life I want and be in an active space of creation. Dance is a reminder to let life flow.

What is your biggest regret and achievement?

I do not believe in regrets but rather in lessons. My biggest lesson has been to let things go. You find that so much energy is spent sweating on little things. Therefore, I try to always remember that ‘this too shall pass’. I shouldn’t get lost in the struggle, but find peace in the learning.

My highest achievement is letting go of my illusion of control to follow my deepest calling to flow. This included leaving a successful career to follow an idea to write a book. I took the proverbial leap of faith has led to us sharing this moment together. I have never looked back since.

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Edirin Edewor: When failure gives you wings, fly higher

Edirin Edewor is a two-time Amazon Bestselling Author, a Mindset and Author’s Coach, and an Entrepreneur. She works with three types of entrepreneurs to help them publish their books and establish their brands. 

Through Edirin’s Process Publishing System, entrepreneurs are helped to write their books with ease in record time get published on Amazon and become bestsellers. 

She also caters to the AUTHORPRENUERS who want to sell their books profitably as well as create extra streams of income through their writing. 

Finally, Edirin’s 5-Step Process Blueprint helps unknown and underpaid entrepreneurs in the service industry become highly influential and highly paid personal brands. 


How do you think your past failures set you up for success?

In 2011 when I was 20, I attempted suicide.  After that, I have had 502  of my job applications rejected in 4 years.  I failed in 9 out of 11 business in 5 years. I battled with depression and a diagnosis of Early Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 25. With all this suffering, I felt like a failure and thought my life was over.

After much reflection, I began developing a growth mindset which helped me overcome all of these difficult times. I eventually wrote two books; The Productivity Checklist which became an Amazon Bestseller in 2016 and You and Your Mindset.

Understanding that my failures were only learning processes, helped me eventually succeed in life and business. These lessons have helped me effectively start, scale and sustain my business in no time. So, now I help others too.

You do a lot of great work with authors. How important is writing to establishing one’s authority in any given field?

A lot of influential business people today have written books to establish themselves as authorities in their fields. From Robert Kiyosaki, Brian Tracy, to Steve Harris, Arese Ugwu, Nimi Akinkugbe and myself.

Sharing your knowledge with the public shows that you know what you’re doing. It also helps you reach a lot more people with valuable information and grows your value perception.


What tips would you give our young Motherland Moguls who are trying to gain influence in business?

Everyone has to start from the bottom. No one gets to the top of the mountain by falling there. Getting to the top of the mountain of success requires you to climb. It will take some time, dedication, commitment and keeping a positive attitude in the face of obstacles.

One great way to growing influence is getting published and growing your own community. There are many skills and tools to help with this.

Social media platforms have made it easy to grow your influence and build a community of a loyal following today.

I'd like people to understand that life is in processes and you need to master one level to get to the next one. - Edirin Edewor Click To Tweet

From your experience what are the difficult aspects of being an entrepreneur in Africa?

First of all, being an entrepreneur anywhere, male or female, is difficult. However, Africa presents some unique challenges.

The continent is not as technologically and industrially advanced as first world nations. Therefore, there are limited opportunities available to us. This forces us Africans to be creative and create unique solutions to solve our challenges.

Secondly, the African market is still not largely globalized and the ease of doing business on a global scale is still being stifled by the political and economic environment.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs on handling this? 

As stated earlier, we have to create unique solutions to our challenges. While we wait for certain technologies to become available to us, we should maximize on what we have.

This also includes constantly seeking opportunities to partner with global businesses to create more favorable conditions to do business. Here is where building trust and fostering good relationships become vitally important.

From your past failures, what would you advise a young African woman getting set to start a business or career?


Being patient and intentional about learning the lessons even when you fail, helps you learn faster, fail less and fly higher.

Today I have built a multi-million naira business sharing this message and helping entrepreneurs build influence so they can share their stories and impact others.

Refilwe Mochoari: I never lost focus regardless of all the struggles I faced

Failure is not the end. @RefilweMochoari dusted herself up and tried again with her business ventures. Click To Tweet

My name is Refilwe Mochoari. I am a journalist and an entrepreneur from Bloemfontein, South Africa. I am the owner of Bo-Esi Media which publishes Contagious magazine, a corporate lifestyle magazine in Bloemfontein focusing on business, entrepreneurship, finance and real life stories with the aim to educate, inform and inspire. The road to Bo-Esi wasn’t easy as its success if built on the back of a failed business venture.

I started out as a children’s party planner

In June 2011, I was 24 years old and had just started business as a children’s party planner. I thought this was the best decision ever. At the back of my mind, I always knew that I was destined for greatness and the party planning business was only a starting point for me.

When I started with this business, I was also employed so I did not feel the pressure of the start-up. I had a guaranteed monthly salary to rely on and I could still live the life that I wanted to live. Being a qualified journalist, I had experience working for different media companies. For a long time, I continued to be a full-time journalist and a party planner but everything changed in 2014 when I experienced bullying in the workplace. When I was diagnosed with depression because of the workplace bully, I had no choice but to resign.

Refilwe Mochoari - I had to start working extremely hard to make money, but it was not enough Click To Tweet

This resignation was never planned

I did not know that I would resign May 2014, it just happened on the spot with no proper thinking. When I left my job, I continued to run the party planning business but it was difficult because there was no longer a monthly salary to rely on. As a result, I was unable to maintain my lifestyle.

During this time, I was running by business at a loss because competition was increasing. I was struggling to buy more equipment for the business but my resources were limited in an industry that was forever getting new trends. On top of that, I had just given birth to my second child who was in ICU for 5 weeks. I had some outstanding private hospital bills to take care of, so the struggle was real.

I had to start working extremely hard to make money, but it was not enough. Eventually, I had to move out of my own home and back into my mother’s house. I also had to sell all my furniture, which was worth over R100,000 when I bought, it for less than R20,000.

Regardless of all the struggles I faced, I never lost focus. I knew what I wanted so I continued to equip my knowledge on business through various entrepreneurship trainings. I continued to plan on how I would expand my business. Also, I wanted to make my student dream of starting a media company a reality.

Refilwe Mochoari's failed venture made her more clever and knowledgeable on how to run a business Click To Tweet

Launching Bo-Esi and losing my party planning business

I had always wanted to contribute positively to the media industry, especially in my province where I saw a niche for a powerful black-owned media company that will contribute positively to the community. However, I could not start my own media company when I was employed by one because that would be a conflict of interest.

When I resigned and things were going wrong with my party planning business, I put to action my dream of starting a media company, Bo-Esi Media. At the beginning of 2015, I  I started with Contagious Magazine as Bo-Esi’s first publication. Starting Contagious was very exciting and strenuous at the same time because I had no start-up funding whatsoever.

I was rejected at all the doors that I knocked on for a business loan. But now more than ever, I was determined to start so I funded Bo-Esi with the money from my party planning business. After launch, the media business took up all my focus, money and time. This certainly led to the failure/closure of my party business. Eventually, I sold all the equipment I’d bought to improve that business.

In the first year of running Bo-Esi Media, I managed to secure two large clients on the spot. Now, I was more clever and knowledgeable on how to run a business. So with only two clients, I was able to publish Contagious, pay salaries and promote my brand to potential new clients. It was thrilling to see how far I had come from with entrepreneurship and I continued to work hard regardless of all the challenges that come with running a magazine.

Refilwe Mochoari - 2016 is the year of breakthrough for Contagious magazine, it is now starting to grow Click To Tweet

I was more skilful than before

I prayed, I believed and I worked. In addition to that, I ensured that I used each and every skill that I obtained from all my previous employers to make Bo-Esi Media a success. I worked on Contagious magazine for one full year before I could secure more clients. The first year of a magazine is the time where the brand had to prove itself, as many advertisers would simply say the magazine is still new for them to advertise in.

2016 is certainly the year of breakthrough for Contagious magazine. I finally started seeing the results of my perseverance. I went from having two clients to a database of over 20 regular clients. For the first time, the business is able to maintain itself and I know that 2017 is coming with even more prosperity.

Contagious magazine is now starting to grow and I believe that this is the right time to allow the rest of the province to benefit from a magazine that aims to uplift the community.

If you have a vision and are willing to work extra hard, anything is possible

What I learned from my experience with starting, closing and starting businesses is that it does not matter how you start and how many times you fail in business. Although it is challenging, business can be a lot of fun if you do what you love and know what you want. I have not stopped planning and dreaming. I am building an empire.

@RefilweMochoari It does not matter how many times you fail in business if you have a vision Click To Tweet

To ensure that I do not see myself failing again, I took it upon myself to run my business as a business that invests and grows, instead of running a hand to mouth business like before. I have also not stopped learning and equipping myself with business and entrepreneurial skills. I read books, I attend courses and I motivate myself by following powerful entrepreneurs —such my favourite Richard Branson— in order to learn from them and how they master this game.

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Escaping the comfort zone

comfort zone

The comfort zone is a terrible thing. I’ve probably made this statement and tweeted it at least 20 times in the past month. This article is as much for myself as it is for many of you out there.

The comfort zone is this wonderful place where you can sit pretty and be comfortable. In the comfort zone, you have a good level of assurance that despite not being where you are meant to be, you are okay for the time being.

It might be a physical space or a mental one. One thing is certain though, the comfort zone is a dangerous thing. There are steps you should be taking, moves you should be making to put yourself out there. But you’re not.

In your 20s and 30s, you have got the zeal and energy to make things happen. Your mind is fire and you have so much potential you need to explore. So, why aren’t you popping right now? Because you’re comfy…in the comfort zone.

Unfortunately, the comfort zone isn’t where great things happen. You can’t realise your dreams or start the business you’ve been planning for the past six years in it.

Sure, many of us have heard stories of how opportunities literally fell into the laps of unsuspecting people. This model was discovered by a scout as she went about her shopping in the local mall; Rita Dominic accompanied a friend to an audition and got discovered. But let’s be real, that’s just not everyone’s story. And while you’re waiting for the mystery opportunity, the clock is ticking.

Haven’t you noticed that some of the greatest hustlers are those that started from the bottom? With no safety net or comfort zone, there is no other choice but to hustle for all it’s worth.

Prison break

It might be a plush prison, but you’re in a holding cell nonetheless. Girl, you need to step out and the time is now.

its about to get gifLeaving is really scary. You’ve got a myriad of fears. What if I fail? Well, so what if you do? If you do, you pick yourself up and go back to the drawing board.

If you don’t try, you’ll never know and will resent yourself in the future for wasting the prime years of your life saying what if?

So what do I do now?

– Tell yourself you need a change

This first step is very important. It might sound so simple but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the spoken word.

If you aren’t convinced in your spirit that you need to take charge of your life, then it doesn’t matter how many times others tell you. You need to tell yourself this, and you need to believe it.

– Start doing the groundwork and looking for opportunities

Look for opportunities that excite you and scare you at the same time.

– Take a leap of faith!

Go out there and just do it. Take action. It’s not necessarily going to be an easy path but the heat refines the diamond.

Once you get out there, you can really get your hustle on.

Against all odds (bouncing back after a failed business)

bounce back

I recently experienced a failed business and it would have been devastating if not for my support team. The good thing about failure for a positive minded person (which should be the mind set of an entrepreneur) is the ability to use the experience as a learning process.

When a business venture fails there are two most likely reactions from the entrepreneur. You either give up or dive back in again, trying to make it right this time around.

From my own experience, here are some helpful tips on bouncing back from a business failure.

1. And the blame lies…

A whole lot of things could have gone wrong. The first step is to take an introspective look at your business journey and without been biased.

Analyse the venture and pinpoint where things went wrong. You can ask the people who had interactions with your business for their opinions.

Be sure to let go of the hurt that comes from failing at a venture. The altruistic ones will prefer to blame themselves and this might be harmful if you cannot get over the blame game.

2. Decide…

Next, decide if you are returning to that venture or starting a new venture. This is important as it will determine your next moves. The decision to continue a failed venture will rest solely on you.

Consider the reason you started the venture. Was it just a business or a deal with a goal? An ordinary business idea (not that there are ordinary business ideas, but some are conceived based on needs as opposed to those based on passion), is easy to let go of.

With this idea, you can venture into a different line of business, responding to another need. However when your idea is part of a dream, it is harder to dump it and move on.

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3. Restore

This is usually the hardest. If your business was loan funded, it is always a source of grave concern. Many business owners suffer huge financial losses after a failed venture.

Although not easy, making efforts to restore/refund loans can give a sense of fulfillment.

This is not to say that inability to do so should lead to depression rather a well laid out plan for payment may inspire hope. It is absolutely necessary to avoid any form of self deprecating thoughts.

4. Plan

Now that you have decided, begin to make plans in line with your decision.

If you have decided to move on. You will need a fresh new idea and plan according to the idea. In the event that you want to continue with your previous idea, make further research using your previous mistakes as key points.

Go back to the drawing board. Your drawing board will hold your idea, its concept, theme and any previous mistakes. It is time for a new flow chart which will utilise the information gathered from the research you have done.

Tip: If you really need funds at this point, consider crowd funding.

5. Take your time

It is tempting to want to dive right into the deep end when you have found the solution or something new. Don’t do this.

It’s not advisable jump right in. And no, this is not saying you should procrastinate. On the contrary, take time to set out a pace that will allow you notice changes and progress.

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6. Laying the ground work


Now you work, and I must add with a vengeance.

Going from the drawing board to the work table is literally a huge step. This is where every past lesson is put to the test.

7. Faith


Having a strong belief in the success of your venture helps to pad all the hard work you have done.

Praying about your moves and asking for directions divinely can go a long way.

Also a positive mind set is required. Always.

8. Be patient


When you start squatting at the gym, there is a tendency to look at your butt for signs of growth. Disappointment quickly follows when the expected immediate transformation is not seen.

Like squats, your business will need time and constant, continuous efforts to grow and begin to show signs of growth. Be patient. Continue to work at it.

To avoid working blindly, take constant review of your progress. It may be quarterly or monthly but alway take stock. Mark areas that might need improvement or changes. Make necessary upgrades. Get customer feedback.

You cannot know too much. Even after the initial research, always seek expert opinions at every stage. This will serve as a guide along and also a yard stick to measure your progress.

In the long run. Your perception of a failed business is vital to your entrepreneurial life. If you develop the habit of not giving up and taking every failure as practice and a lesson, you will find yourself very soon in a successful venture with lots of stories to tell.




5 R’S to recovering from a career setback

Have you recently experienced a career setback? You are in good company. I sincerely believe setbacks are proof that you are alive and working at achieving your goals. Think about it, if you had no goals, no end in sight, how could you suffer a setback?

Everyone has suffered a setback(s) at some point in their lives, but the ability to move on positively, is what differentiates one person from the other. I have suffered a number of setbacks as a professional (which I have bounced back from) and I would like to share with you my five practical R’s to recovering from a career setback.


Relax emotionally and physically. Cut yourself some slack by relaxing mentally and emotionally. We are often our own worst critic. You might have made a wrong decision, but you still have all the skills, talents and strengths you possessed before the career setback.

Relax physically. Do something you love or something that gets you excited. Read a book, watch a movie or go for a leisurely walk.oprah-bath

Pamper yourself. Go for a pedicure in a nail salon that is equipped with a massage chair. Tres relaxing! While you are at it, get your nails painted. I am pretty sure you will leave the salon relaxed and in a better emotional state.

Reach out

You may also need to draw strength and encouragement from your support team, which typically consists of family, peers, friends, mentors and coaches. So my question for you is: what kinds of support do you need right now?

bande_des_fillesAre you at a point where you feel all hope is lost? Reach out to someone that can lend a shoulder to cry on, but still encourage you to move on. A little comic relief won’t hurt either.

Are you confused and uncertain about how to proceed? Reach out to someone that has an analytical mind and can offer suggestions on how you can bounce back.


You also need to take time to reflect on and learn from the setback. Could you have done things differently? What can you do to prevent or reduce the chances of a reoccurrence? Do you need to improve your skills or take a course?

maya-rudolph-thinkingTry listening to or watching a TedTalk or Tedx Talk for inspiration or seeking advice from a mentor or coach, if you are drawing a blank.


Resolve to do all within your power and reach to bounce back. I am in love with the rubber band person concept by John Maxwell. According to him, a rubber band person is someone who no matter what happens to them, always seems to bounce back. They are resilient people.

kelly-rowlandDeciding to move on from a setback is a conscious decision or a series of conscious decisions. Resolve to be a rubber band woman, a resilient woman!


Re-imagine your future, positively.  Imagine sharing your story, after you have successfully bounced back, with start-ups, mentees or junior professionals in your community and inspiring them. Imagine giving a Tedx talk. Try to paint a positive mental picture of your desired future; it will inspire and strengthen you.

zendaya dusting off shoulderFinally, remember, a setback is exactly what the term suggests; a temporary interruption or delay in progress. Don’t let a career setback define you, learn from it and move on stronger and wiser.

Best of luck!

Are invisible scripts ruling your life?

Scripts are stories that are created from the perceptions of people we interact with on a daily basis. They range from our families, teachers and colleagues to the general community we live in. Scripts can also be developed through our experiences and culture. If you grew up in a community where finishing school was unheard of, then you might think that finishing school is out of limits.

We unconsciously allow our lives to be led by invisible scripts some of which are imposed by other people, while others are self-imposed.

The first time I went for a driving test, everyone I tested with passed. I failed.

The instructor told everyone who was willing to listen that some people are just too bad with machines to handle driving. It was quite a frustrating experience but I chose not to believe him. Instead, I improved my driving skills for a few more weeks and I passed my driving test the second time around.

I got my driving permit two weeks later. If I had believed the instructor’s words, I would never have got the courage to sit behind the driver’s seat again. I would have let someone else tell me that I could not never drive and as a consequence, lived my life according to a script that someone else had written for my life.

Now that has been said, let’s bust some negative scripts.

Script 1: Perfection

How many times have you failed to do something just because you thought you could not do it perfectly?

You wait for the best idea to execute yet, the people who are able to do great things execute ordinary things in an extraordinary way. You don’t have to read all guides about starting a business. There is nothing like a perfect guide out there.

We often let lack of experience or education deter us from achieving what we want in life. By focusing on perfection, we are not able to make much progress.

Script 2: There are no opportunities in my country

The most exciting thing about Africa is that not everything has been done. There is a lot of capacity for new ideas but you keep putting everything you want to do off just because you think there is no capacity to do what you want to.

If you don’t do something, someone else will. So, would you rather take baby steps and see yourself prosper or would you rather wallow in self-pity?

You can find ways of how to connect to your dream. The internet has made almost anything achievable whether it’s learning computer programming or starting an online business. You can achieve your dreams in your country.

Script 3:  I don’t have the time to pursue my passions

We have all used this line at some point in our lives. It’s the perfect excuse when there is something you have always wanted to do but you just have not got down to doing it.

Somehow, we can’t do the things we are truly passionate about. It could be writing a book, pursing a hobby, singing in a music band, or even going for further studies in a field you care about.

The way you spend your time really tells a lot about what you value in life.

Now that we’ve busted these scripts, here are steps to rewriting your life script.

Understand the scripts that you have put on your life

Understanding the life scripts you have placed on your life is the first step to changing them for the better. Be attentive to your thoughts. Listen to how you speak to yourself and to what you say.

Any thought that starts with “You can’t do that” is a red flag.  Write them down and get to the root of them. Ask yourself what could have caused them and how they are impacting your life.

For example, you might think that you will never reach top management level at your company because of a boss you had who broke your self-confidence through very harsh criticism.

This could be impacting your relationships with leaders who are capable of limiting your upward mobility in the company. Make a conscious decision to break free from negative perceptions of yourself. This will take some time but the most important thing is to take steps every day.

Create systems for the life you want

Systems make your life easy and they are what every organization needs in order to be successful. So, why not implement them in your life as a way of breaking free from negative scripts?

Say you want to retire by 35 but everyone else around you says you should work till you’re 60. You could create systems that help you save your money, pay your bills, budget and invest. These will make your goal much easier for you as you will concentrate on other harder aspects of reaching financial independence like earning more money.

If you have heard of the Pareto law, you know that 20% of input will account for 80% of output. You can drown out the noise from negative perceptions by creating deliberate systems.  Every day will be productive, taking you one step closer to achieving your goals.

What scripts have you allowed others or yourself to place on your life? What internal rules have you subconsciously ingrained in your mind and embraced as your reality?