How to celebrate Valentines Day – with or without a Boo

With Valentines around the corner, Yes I’m sure you’ve seen the countless teddy bear, red roses and champagne combo begging for your attention.

And being within the self-care era as a reigning champion. What are the options you could consider this Valentines? Single or not, you should have just as much fun as the next Motherland Mogul with or without a boo.

There’s much to do outdoors (if you’re in a warm country) just as there is indoors for all the queens.

You are a Motherland Mogul. And in case you’ve forgotten who she is, she knows what she wants and how to get it done.

As a motherland mogul, you’re running your business/es- being a sister, a mother, a daughter, partner, or a wife. You have a lot on your plate and self-care sometimes falls last on that list.

So how can you apply these strengths to having fun and unconventional day?

Wondering how to spend valentines day - with or without a boo? Here are some ideas... Click To Tweet

Be your own date

You shouldn’t get anxious at the idea of spending time all by yourself. There’s so much beauty in taking a little pause for you.

Valentine’s day is about showing affection, being sweet and thoughtful. Give all that love to yourself.

Treat yourself like a queen, make that plate of pancakes and strawberries for breakfast, take a long stroll around your block and enjoy your company or even take that spa day you’ve always wanted.

Create a vision board

There’s so much power in visualizing the things you want to achieve in your life when you especially feel low- sometimes the anxiety of Valentines Day can leave you feeling some type of way.

You could take a notebook and write down 3 things you’d like to achieve by the end of the week, Give yourself something to look forward to.

So grab the magazines and start dreaming. Do this after work or during your lunch break. Grab your boo or a friend and visualize together.

Doing this makes sure you have someone to hold you accountable on your promise.

Share gifts with your loved ones

The most amazing thing about giving gifts is that you made that someone feel special that day. This good karma will always come back to you when you least expect it.

Try going for the less traditional route of valentines favorites- teddy bears, flowers and champagne. Be thoughtful in your efforts. Write a letter, visit your boo or friends and spend some quality time with them. We all just want to be seen.

Cook a hearty dinner

There’s something about good food that just cures the soul. You don’t need to be a foodie to understand just what I mean. Plus trying to make reservations on such a busy day is a struggle we don’t need, sis.

Go on a grocery run with Bae or on your own. Queue a great show or movie to watch after your lovely dinner and mellow out. You can have major fun taking it slow too.

Book an AirBnB sleepover with your girls

You can never have too much fun with your girls. Especially when there’s a bottle of bubbly involved. Make a great girls night in playing games and gossiping the night away with some wine and pizza.

You don’t need to go too crazy with the budget, find something in your town, just try something new and fun with your friends

Work on your New Years resolutions

New Years came and went, leaving most of us to make resolutions for the new year. Why not try to execute that one thing you haven’t worked on.

Having a better idea of how you feel about 2019 and what you’re trying to achieve. Re-evaluate what you had listed and where you are now, maybe you wanted to go to a yoga or aerobics class or said you’d call your mom more.

Attain at least two of your resolutions and challenge yourself to keep it going for 2019

Pursue your passion

Life can get overwhelming- meetings, play dates, parent-teacher conferences, family. We juggle a lot as motherland mogul and we are the last ones we check on.

The show has to keep running right?

Think of a passion project you have always wanted to accomplish. Write that blog, Start that course, work on that business proposal.

See this as an opportunity to be proactive, a chance for you to do you and feel no guilt.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Boss Lady Series: How to Balance Social Media, Life & Business with Funmi Oyatogun

Funmi Oyatogun is a geographer and experienced designer. Her two identities feed on each other.  She loves exploring the world and sharing her knowledge with others.

She has built her business, TVP Adventures, using social media, primarily on Twitter. With her content and company, her goal is to open up the African continent for the world.

I had a chance to talk with Funmi about how she balances building her business, remote team, and social media following working from her home office.

In this month of #GoodGoodLiving, @funmioyatogun shares how she's balancing social media, life and business. Read more... Click To Tweet

Here is what we can learn from her…

Visual person? Write things down

Funmi has found that writing things down in her physical planner helps her stay on track of her work and relaxed.  The night before, she finalizes what she will focus on, and writes down any new appointments for the next day.

She writes everything out nicely in her planner and arranges them in order of importance.  She also uses symbols to help her categorize her tasks. You can make a routine of writing out your work in planners therapeutic, using fun colorful pens and even stickers.

Work from home? Create a separate home office

One of the first things Funmi learned when she set up her business was that she should not work on her comfortable bed.  She then got a desk and chair in her room but still always wound up in her bed.

She decided that it was necessary that she physically travel to another space in her house.

The physical transition also helps her get into work mode. She finds it easier to concentrate and has fewer distractions in her home office. Funmi also recommends that you put up your goals and or vision board somewhere you can’t escape it.  

As she spends about 8 hours in her office, she has a comfortable swivel chair and a space that helps her stay productive and creative.

Social media critical to your success? Schedule it

Funmi’s business started and relies heavily on social media but she is still learning how best to balance using it with getting her other work done.

She tries to engage with social media first thing in the morning and later in the day, giving herself a large chunk of time in the middle of the day to focus on other work.  Like Funmi, you should try these 4 tips to keep from mindlessly scrolling through social media:

  • Plan content in advance ‘when your brain is fresh.’
  • Try to respond only to important notifications throughout the day
  • At the end of the day, skim and select direct messages to answer.  Not all messages deserve your attention
  • Focus on responding to longer threads and comments at the end of the day

Know thy energy levels

Perhaps the most common theme throughout our conversation was the importance of knowing when to do certain types of work.  

Funmi wakes up very early. Even if you don’t plan to be up at 4:30 am, you can still plan your day around when you do your best work and feel most productive.

She knows that it is best for her to do mindful tasks that require a lot of brain power and creativity in the morning. She finds that the stories she produces in the morning are drastically different from later in the day.  

As her energy wains throughout the day, her brain slows down by 4 pm, she focuses on tasks that are more routine.

If you don’t take care of your body, it won’t take care of you - @funmioyatogun Click To Tweet

Remember to recharge yourself

Funmi spends a lot of time giving out and sharing her thoughts and content. After completing routine tasks, Funmi starts ‘feeding’ herself by reading, catching up with the news and watching documentaries.

She makes sure to feed herself (literally) three times a day. She works out with a trainer in the morning first thing at last three times a week as well.

During our conversation, she warns, if you don’t take care of your body, it won’t take care of you.

How do you balance the creative process of developing content with responding and reacting to posts and comments?  Do you make sure to ‘replenish’ yourself after spending all day posting and giving yourself out?

Want to learn how to build a health conscious routine? Read our Good Good Living Part 1 series w/ Yasmin Kumi.

  Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Boss Lady Series: How to Build a health conscious Routine with Yasmin Kumi

Do you have a routine or a way to approach your day? Setting the tone for your day has a massive impact on how much you accomplish.

This month I will be showcasing the routines of several leading ladies who work on the continent. Learn how they balance working hard with staying on top of their physical and mental health.

Routines are a trial and error process and take time to build - @ynjkumi Click To Tweet

By sharing our experiences, learning from others and deciding what works for us as individuals, we all can have a good life.

I had a chance to sit down with Yasmin Kumi, the founder of the pan-African consulting firm, Africa Foresight Group. Yasmin travels between 3 to 4 times a week and wakes up at 3 am to set her priorities for the day.

She is a problem solver and has learned how to approach her wellness by trying new things and focusing on what works for her.

I put together a list of things I thought others could keep in mind from her experience.

1. Keep your personal goals and routines fluid

No two days in Yasmin’s life are the same.  Given all the work she does the most important thing for her to do is not put additional pressure and stress on herself by feeling bad about not having attained certain personal goals.  

She has introduced ‘if’ rules for different situations that allow her to create some consistency in her head. Try using this phrase to build your own ‘if’ rules:

“If some conditions hold, then this is what I have to do…”

2. Playlists can help you get into or handle a Mood

Yasmin is a very audiovisual person, so she reacts a lot to music.  

When she feels tired, she knows what music to play to get back up to speed. When she needs to relax or focus on something, she has a playlist for that.

She also has a playlist to start her bedtime routine that usually ends with a prayer.  You can use music to motivate you or remind you to do tasks you normally avoid.

3. Understand Your Personality to Maximize Your Output

Yasmin describes herself as a borderline extravert and though she loves her team, she sometimes feels like she can get more done if she spends some time working from home before she gets into the office.

Though not for everyone, Yasmin feels most productive when she wakes up early, at 3 am, to work undisturbed until about 6 am.

 Find what works for you and helps make you feel productive and successful.

4. You are What You Eat

Yasmin is hardly ever home.  When she is traveling, she normally spends part of her evening networking or socializing with clients and her team.  

She always feels so much healthier and efficient when she is at home, this is primarily because she has control over what she eats.  Yasmin believes that with good food, you think better.

She loves to make dinner for herself and while cooking she reflects and feels rejuvenated after a long day.  When eating, reflect and think about how the food you eat makes you feel.

5. Do You!

When some people look at Yasmin’s lifestyle, they assume that it is unsustainable. She encourages people to not get too influenced about what others think.  

You have to find out for yourself, physically and mentally what is healthy and what you are comfortable with.

Focus on how you feel and what makes you comfortable when building your routine.  Don’t be too hard on yourself. 

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

7 Ways to Inspire your Team this Year

As a Boss Lady, I happen to have a lot of mentees and team members look up to me. And by all means, I want to inspire my team and bring out the best in them.

For one, I want to inspire them to keep putting out great work, and secondly, I want to remember that they are not tools for work but human beings. I have to be sensitive to them.

In my Boss Lady life, I have taken a few notes that I will like to share with other Boss Ladies to help them serve their team better. Here are seven ways to inspire your team this year. 😘😘

Don’t Talk Down On Your Team

So, remember we are raising leaders – people who can stand tall with us. The word superior mustn’t necessarily be taken literally in a way that it makes those who work with us feel the exact opposite of that word.

You always want to make your team feel respected as humans with differences. Don’t display any character that puts down people.

For example; Don’t make a joke about a team member’s religion. Everything is about inspiring confidence. Language tops it.

Always be polite even when you are giving criticism. Ever heard of commend and recommend? (Ask a Toastmaster 😉).

Christine Porath in her TEDx presentation on incivility in the workplace says,

“How you show up and treat people means everything. Either you lift people up by respecting them, making them feel valued, appreciated, and heard or you hold people down by making them feel small, insulted, disregarded or excluded. And who you choose to mean everything”.

Show That You Want Them To Succeed

I know we say professionally, “don’t refer to yourselves in the workplace as a family” but to get people to grow an organization with you. You have to be all about the people who are all about your work.

The CEO of House of Tara – Tara Durotoye said she learned very early as an entrepreneur, that for the people who leave their homes every day to come to a workplace there has to be more.

She learned to stop referring to the company as ‘my company’ but ‘our company’.

You have to make people see a greater reason for coming to work. Make them buy into the vision, and show them that you care about their personal affairs.

Ever heard of Linkedin’s Tour of Duty? Where employees are moved up the ranks periodically depending on their career goals.  That’s a way to identify with the needs of the team. Learn more in The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman.

Sir Richard Branson says, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.

Always find ways to add value to your team.

Constantly Give Kudos For A Job Well Done

I read the One-minute Manager many years ago, about effective people management. How the one-minute-manager was able to, in one minute dish out praises, and just in the same vein dish out reprimands, – an intentional leadership style.

Team Leaders have to praise team members as a habit, not only reprimand them. It creates conditioning – that they are appreciated and valued, and reinforces learning.

Many times I have realized I hold the keys to many team members happiness and self-esteem, and the worst thing to do is abuse that privilege.

Many people are going through stuff or trying to believe in themselves. Realize they could use some hope from you.

The toastmaster’s sandwich method of ‘Commend and Recommend’ is the recommended feedback standard, especially when there’s a reprimand coming.

You have to always find the good in a team member’s work first, and commend it before reprimanding. Commend their good intentions, or make reference to their usual good works.

There has to be something to commend. Then move unto how they can do better. Notice I said ‘how they can do better’ not necessarily focusing on what they did wrong. Remember they have to feel good about themselves at all times.

Set High Standards For People Experience

I worked with a friend last year and was so impressed by her high standard of people experience. It inspires loyalty, as even I look forward to working with her again and again.

I like it that House of Tara refers to her HR Department as the People Experience Team because this aptly puts their job.

In fact, I was so impressed by this that at a Managers’ Training on Empathy and Emotional Intelligence I used HOT as a case study.

Now that we have established that incivility is a no-no! And that this whole article is about inspiring team members. We are well on our way to implementing a culture.

  • How do you mark the workers’ special days?
  • What are the benefits put in place?
  • Do you show interest in their work process or just the end result?
  • How do you react at a failed expectation?
  • Do they feel anxiety or inspiration towards work?
  • Do they feel treated better by other work teams/workplaces?
  • Do you deliberately paint them in a bad light before people?

It is when we can genuinely answer these questions as boss ladies, and take action to get our people to experience right, then we will be doing right by the people who work with us.

Don’t Set Unreasonable Goals

Ahan! So, there’s this impossibility fairy who told us doing the impossible means setting unreasonable goals.

The truth is being Miranda Priestly is no longer cool.

Of course, it turned Emily into a go-getter but wasn’t Miranda only trying to get Emily fired at first by driving her nuts with unbearable tasks?

Oh! look at me talking to only those who have seen ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

While we want to keep team members challenged, there is a difference between being motivated and being anxious. You want people to go out of their way but within reason.

Don’t push people.

Don’t set unrealistic timelines, or be overly ambitious, or set unbearable standards. We are all trying to do the impossible, however, let it be reasonably so.

If you put people on their toe all the time, definitely a burnout or rebellion is coming soon.

Teach Them To See Responsibility As Growth

So, we are still talking about inspiration, and growing people through responsibility is part of it.

While work must go on, let there be a growth consciousness. Does the work build capacity? Does it drive them to study and research? Embracing work as a challenge rather than ‘work’ serves as inspiration.

I was so pleased to hear one of my team members say that work means personal development for her. She said “I told myself I have not still attained my goals, so this year my goal for being here is personal development’.

Go for creating a work environment that is inspiring, and learn-by-doing. Don’t ever make people feel that it is all about ticking boxes on the to-do list.

See this Instagram post by Harvard Business Review.

Empower The Team

Speaking of a work environment ‘empowered’ is a good word to think of. Here are some more questions for you to think of.

  • How are you empowering those who work with you?
  • Are you showing trust and not micromanaging?
  • Do you promote them and the work they do?
  • Do they have all the resources to work with? Do you support them to acquire skills or build the capacity needed for the work?
  • Do you inspire confidence?
  • Do you encourage openness?
  • Do you show empathy? 

If you said yes to most or all of the questions then you have an empowered team already. Keep up the good work.

Here is to building people and inspirational leadership in 2019.

Can we go over the list again?

Don’t talk down to the team, show that you mean well for them, constantly dish out praises, set a high standard of people experiences, don’t set unreasonable goals, teach them to see responsibility as growth, and empower them.

This is reinforced learning for me too. I want to look at this list at the end of the year and it is all checked!

  Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

UCHE ENWEUGWU: I want my cosmetic brand to capture and include all nuances of color

The cosmetics industry has become diversified and increasingly competitive with different brands of make-up entering the market every year. Each brand offers a new feature in enhancing beauty in different ways.

Nigerian-born, Uche Enweugwu is a young African entrepreneur who is launching her new cosmetics line after being in the makeup industry for a few years.

She began her makeup career in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada and is now looking to expand her brand/expertise worldwide. Initially, she started out by launching her own YouTube platform – MakeupbySwift and is now launching her own cosmetic brand – CUE Cosmetics.

Her experience in the industry has given her an inside look into the process of launching her own cobrand. She spoke with SLA contributor Esther Manuala Shem, and gave her some insight on her progress thus far.

 When did you first discover your love/passion for Makeup artistry? 

It all started when I was 17. At the time, I struggled with acne and dark spots. I was on a mission to find products that worked for my skin when I stumbled into make-up.

Then I fell in love with how make-up enhanced my beauty and gave me the confidence to face the world. I found joy in doing my make-up and the make-up of others which eventually led to my career in makeup artistry.

Also, I was motivated to improve my craft, so I went to a makeup school where I became a certified makeup artist. It’s been over 5 years and I still feel just as excited and motivated as I was when I first began my career.

What do you enjoy the most about being a Make-Up Artist?

 I love being a makeup artist.  I find pleasure in enhancing people’s beauty.

I remember my first bride. When I was done with her makeup, she looked at the mirror and started screaming. I couldn’t tell if she was happy or angry. I was nervous and too terrified to ask.

Eventually, I summoned the courage to asked her if she liked or hated it? She looked back at me with teary eyes and said, “I have never looked this good in my entire life”.

That statement resonated with me because that’s exactly why I do makeup. It so that people can look at themselves and be marveled by just how beautiful they can become. I left that day feeling grateful knowing that I wanted to continue making people happy through makeup.

My happiness comes from the fulfillment of making people feel beautiful and happy.

What do you think is the biggest challenge in turning your passion into a career opportunity?

My greatest challenge so far has been the entrepreneurial stride that comes with making my passion a career.

Trying to start and run a small business myself has not been easy but I would not have it any other way. It has been a learning curve and I appreciate every bit of it.

How did you manage to dive into the cosmetic industry and launch your own MakeUp line?

It was a gradual process. I worked in the industry for about 5 years before I decided to start my own cosmetic line.  

It took a lot of research and years of identifying gaps in the industry that I felt needed to be filled. After 3 years of research and planning, my dream is finally becoming a reality.

I will be launching my cosmetic line early this year. The first products to launch are the lash series and it launches at the beginning of January.

The beauty of it all was paying my dues by working in the industry before deciding I wanted to create something to contribute to the community.

Tell us about the name of your brand and how you came about it. 

The name of my brand is CUE. It is simply my initials put together. The “U” stands for Uche which means intention. Regarding my brand, I like to think of the “U” as standing for Ucheoma, which means beautiful intentions in Igbo.

I wanted something easy to pronounce that also spoke to my passions and intentions for the brand. I want anyone wearing my brand to feel their best and above all be themselves.

What sets your brand apart from others in the industry, in terms of servicing women of color?

As an African woman, I want my brand to capture and include all the nuances of color. Our goal as a brand is to be inclusive and diverse.

I remember working at a beauty retail store and having to watch a lot of disappointed African women leave the store because they couldn’t find their shades.

I would often offer the option of mixing it with other shades to find the perfect match and that itself is not cost effective. It motivated me to want to do better when I start my cosmetic brand, which is my goal.

With more African women starting businesses in the diaspora, do you plan on offering more selection for women color across the board?  

Absolutely! We cannot be inclusive and diverse if we don’t provide more options for women of color across the board.

That’s certainly the goal and we intend to achieve it. I’m excited about the products in the making.

What is the long term goal of your makeup line? 

The goal of my makeup line is to be inclusive. Nothing would make me happier than to know that I participated in serving a world where women and men come together to have fun and feel beautiful with makeup.

Being able to express themselves while wearing CUE in the beauty community would mean everything to me.

  Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

On setting a solid foundation and staying Rooted to your hustle

As far as you are concerned, you have given it your all. You have been the best version of yourself. You have been continuously learning even after earning the qualifications you require for your job.

You have been networking, after all, it is said that your network is your net worth. You have said yes to a lot of projects so that you can not only gain as much exposure as possible but also enhance your visibility. You have been working really hard.

You are the go-to person at work to solve problems. Being this person fills you with pride but it has not been enough to take you to the place you aspire to be.

You feel frustrated. You want to give up. You ask yourself why you should work so hard, yet there are no visible results. You feel stuck. You feel confused. You wonder if you should keep at it. You wonder if there are some things you should stop doing or should start doing.

And what are those things anyway?

Motherland mogul, don’t give up just yet! It may not be visible to you yet, but all the work you have put in, all the work you continue to put in, is growing you.

Growth is chaotic. Growth is uncomfortable. The growth path is neither clear nor easy; it is ridden with so many obstacles, so many hurdles. The easiest thing to do is give up and settle for the mediocre.

Our growth journeys can be likened to trees. We usually tend to focus on the final product only, the humongous tree with lots of branches that gives us the perfect shade.

We rarely stop to think how the tree got to be that big and strong. We do not stop to think how the tree remains standing tall, season after season, decade upon decade.

It is no coincidence that it takes very many years for trees to mature. You plant the seed; a small seed. You then water the seed consistently so that it can germinate. It germinates and then it takes not less than ten years, to be a sturdy tree.

What do you think is happening during these years? The tree is literally growing, firming up its roots and its trunk so that it can be able to hold up the final product; the mighty tree.

Dear sister, you say its’ been months, even years of hard work with no visible results. If you search yourself, deep within, you know you are not the same person, you know you have grown.

That you have not attained your goal yet, is a matter of time. You are growing your roots. You are thickening your trunk.

You are setting the right foundation, a strong foundation. So that when that opportunity you have been waiting for comes your way, you will not stumble, you will not stutter, you will grab it because you will be ready.  

So keep at it. Evaluate whether what you have been doing is taking you closer to your dream. There are some things you may need to drop. There are some things you may need to start doing.

There are other things that are constants, keep them. But by all means, do not give up!

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

7 power tools every Motherland Mogul needs in her purse to SLAY 2019

What is in your purse?

Every day we see Motherland Moguls go about their bizness in stylish purses and handbags. However, no matter how pretty the bag looks or what the label says, the content of a woman’s purse is a sum of how she takes charge of her day.

The content of a woman’s purse is King!

Every woman has some little essentials and fav things they carry around every day, mostly in a smaller pouch in their purse. It could be hand sanitizer, hand lotion, medicine, perfume, etc. Whatever it is, they help keep you safe and secure to take on each day as they come.

On the other hand, some women carry a lot of baggage around every day, just for the sake of it, which they never use or touch.

#WhatIsInYourPurse? Here are 7 essential tools every woman needs to #SLAY 2019... Find them here Click To Tweet

We’ve put together a list of power tools and essentials every Motherland Mogul needs to conquer each day this year.

1. Cash/ ATM card

Why look like a bag of money if you have no money in Yo bag?

We might be living in a cashless society, but you never ever want to get stranded somewhere without having some cash to bail yourself out.

Even if you’re on your way to the bank, always carry some cash with you (or vex money as Nigerians call it), as well as an ATM card (with cash in it) for emergency purposes.

Another savior for you could be to have your bank app downloaded on your mobile phone, to enable you to transfer money easily.

This is your first commandment to SLAY 2019.

#WhatIsInYourPurse? Why look like a bag of money if you have no money in Yo bag? Always have cash with you! Click To Tweet

2. Samsung Smartphone

Having a good smartphone with a long-lasting battery in your purse at all times keeps you connected with the world and helps you stay organized for your daily routines.

Beyond texting and scrolling through social media all day, there is SO much you can do with your mobile phone. And even much more if its a Samsung smartphone.

(Photo taken with the auto-focus feature on the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018)

With a Samsung smartphone, you can:

  • Take notes and write down fresh ideas in your daily light bulb moments
  • Take the best photos and document live events all day with its outstanding camera quality
  • Create personalized videos and content with the AR emoji tool
  • Collect your client’s contacts by using the SnapBiz app from Samsung Galaxy apps store
  • Keep track of your health and wellness with the Samsung Health app – even better if you add the Samsung Galaxy Watch on your wrist.

In light of our February theme at SLA which is – Good Living, we’re ensuring that all Motherland Moguls have a sound mind, body, and soul.

3. Powder pallet/ Lip gloss

Girl, you never know who you’re going to bump into at the most random place.

Always have some light make-up in your purse to get you fresh-faced for impromptu meetings, or quick drinks with your girls.

In the absence of a powder pallet, let your lipgloss call the shots.

Photo taken with Samsung Galaxy A7 2018

4. Business Cards

Even though you can collect clients info on your mobile using the SnapBiz app on your Samsung smartphone, you might meet some traditional clients who would rather have a hard copy of your business card.

Photo taken with Samsung Galaxy S9

It’s important to always have this in the small section of your purse, for easy accessibility.

5. Notepad + Pen

A notepad or post it pad and a pen equal as back up for your phone. This always comes in handy for when you have to write down contact details or ideas in a moment’s notice when you’re out of your comfort zone.

6. Sanitary towel/ Tampon

Nature always has its way with us, and we really can’t cheat it, but you should always be prepared for the “red robot”.

If possible, have a pad/ tampon in every possible place, like your car, office desk, laptop bag, etc, just so you’re never caught in a compromising situation.

If you feel you have a pattern and are never caught unawares, do it for the culture. You never know, a sister might be in need of this, and you get to save the day.

7. A Book

Just because #WeStayLearning, always have with you a book to pass time while commuting or waiting to go into your meeting.

Now depending on the size of your purse, you could either have a paperback book, or an e-book on your smartphone.

So tell us Motherland Mogul, #WhatIsInYourPurse?

Keep track of your health and wellness with the Samsung Health app - even better if you add the Samsung Galaxy Watch on your wrist -@samsungmobileng Click To Tweet

Sponsored Post

Leave This Shit In 2018…

Happy New year Motherland Moguls!

2018 was a year filled with events and lessons for me. So, I thought I would share with you some of the lessons learned that apply to life, career, and business.

Life is full of surprises and often take unexpected turns. Our successes are a result of how well we respond and adapt to the life changes. My hope this year is that we are all able to embrace change and let go of what is holding us back.

Welcome to 2019!

Now let’s talk about the shit you need to leave in 2018. You don’t need that baggage with you in 2019!

Here are 5 habits you need to let go of this year #leavethatshitin2018 Click To Tweet

Resenting others

Nothing good comes from resenting others. I’m telling you this as someone who is guilty of holding grudges for long periods of time.

I resented the person who took this picture for a while. I blamed them for making me miserable. I wished them all the bad luck in the world because I felt they were somehow the origin of everything bad happening in my life (and it wasn’t the case).

I don’t resent them anymore and I am so much happier for it. Don’t get me wrong, I still highly dislike this person, but as soon as I was able to refocus the time and energy I was spending brooding over the situation, amazing things started happening.

Nothing good ever comes from resenting others. Take it from a champion in the resentment Olympics. #LeaveThatShitIn2018

Snoozing your life away

I am usually pretty good at waking up early and getting on with my day. But every so often I think that I could do with “5 more minutes” of sleep and hit the snooze button for the next 2 hours.


The problem?

When you snooze, you not only wake up more tired than you initially were, but you then spend your entire day playing catch up. You waste time, miss opportunities, and get caught up in a vicious circle. The same is true for life.

I didn’t get to see my grandmother one last time because of this viscous snoozing circle I had slipped in. So now, I try my best to make things happen ASAP.

One of the best trips I had this year was possible because I did not snooze (when I really wanted to). I was able to discover part of Cape Verde, meet great people, and have an amazing experience.Don’t postpone things you can do now.

Finish (or start) that degree you have been thinking about for so long. Take that art class. Visit with your friends and family. Explore the world. Launch that business.

And when that thing you want to do seems impossible, just remember that Rome was not built in a day, it was built one stone at the time. (And stop snoozing that alarm clock!)

You snooze you lose. #LeaveThatShitIn2018

Being a technology zombie

Technology is wonderful. It enables us to take great selfies (and groupies) and more importantly it enables us to connect with each other and the world.

We, however, have to be very careful. Technology is a double-edged sword. It can be a nice distraction. But it is a distraction nonetheless. It is a distraction that turns us into shallow versions of ourselves.I took this picture while I was waiting for my car to get fixed. And I was so glad to have my phone with me at the time. It made the wait so much more enjoyable.

But more and more I find myself scrolling on my social media feed while I’m on the phone or watching TV.

I like to think that technology is not the boss of me. But I have noticed lately that I miss pieces of conversations, movies, and I waste time that could be put to better use because of it.

Be present. Connect with intention. Don’t be a tech zombie. #LeaveThatShitIn2018 Click To Tweet

I feel this negatively affects the quality of my relationships. It turns me into a passive, absent-minded, and monosyllabic individual. And this is not the type of person or friend I want to be.

I want to be a friend that remembers what we talked about. That friend who is attentive, present and listens actively and with intention.

The friends we have and the relationships we build are what make life interesting and beautiful. So, we owe it to each other to be mindful, engaged, and attentive.

Be present. Connect with intention. Don’t be a tech zombie. #LeaveThatShitIn2018

Letting fear cloud your judgment

We often think of fear as this scary monster that makes us do crazy things. But more often than not, fear comes posing as a gentle and wise friend that has your best interest at heart.

Fear is eloquent and charismatic. Fear is (seemingly) insightful. Fear is convincing. In fact, Fear is so convincing that it will have you believe that your neighbor must be dangerous since they do not look like you. It will convince you to stay quiet in the face of injustice.

It will convince you that putting your head in the sand is the best way to solve your problems.

I have been there. Fear had me paralyzed. It made me watch a personal situation getting worse and worse and interpret anything as a sign of improvement.

I was very fortunate at that time to have a great friend who guided me through this fog of fear. But sometimes, you have to be your own guide and ask yourself: what would I tell a friend in the same situation?

Don’t let fear cloud your judgment. Be your own friend. Take fear out of the  equation. #LeaveThatShitIn2018

Traveling someone else’s journey

When we are young, it is the responsibility of our parents, our family, (and, to some extent, our community) to prepare us for life. They make choices for us, take decisions about our activities, our lifestyle, and our beliefs.

They do this hoping that we will be best prepared for adulthood, that we will be equipped to make our own choices and take our own decisions when the time comes. And for this, we should all be grateful.

At some point, however, we have to be masters of our own destiny. Being told what to do is reassuring but it deprives us of the essential ability that is self-determination. When we are used to being told what to do, we often forget to stray out of the pre-established path and look for our own purpose.

You are different and unique. And applying other people’s goals and expectations for your life will only result in heartbreak. Do not watch your life pass by from the passenger seat while wishing you were heading towards a different destination.

You are free to do anything. So, take charge and know when it is time to get out of the car and pave your own way. Don’t be afraid to say no and be comfortable traveling alone (for a little while at least).

This is an adventure. Your adventure. It might be intimidating and scary, but it will definitely be interesting and worthwhile.

Be the driver (and engineer) of your journey. Build your own path. Don’t be a passenger to your life. #LeaveThatShitIn2018

Enjoy the New Year.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Still haven’t set your 2019 Goals? Read this…

This year I have chosen to try something a little bit different. Instead of writing down resolutions, I have decided to set goals for the year.

What’s the difference?

Resolutions are a decision to do or not do something. It could be giving up alcohol for the first month of the year, or resolving to go back to the gym after a few months of slacking.

Goals, on the other hand, are an aim to achieve a specific result. This could be to run a marathon or take an online course.

So why pick goals over resolutions?

Well, resolutions really don’t seem to last that long into the year and they are usually founded in some displeasure with your current state of being/ living.

Now don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with setting out resolutions. More often than not people seem to struggle to keep them or even remember them by mid- January.

Goals are more proactive, its a determination to achieve something.

Stop making New Year Resolutions. Set Goals Instead. Read this article to find out why. Click To Tweet

So, Motherland Mogul, how do you set our goals for the year? First things first…

Write it down!

There are a couple of ways you can do this, journaling or if you are more of a visual person you can create a vision board.

If you write your goals down somewhere you can see them everyday it helps you stick to them, a constant reminder isn’t to make you feel bad but more to remind you what you are working towards.

A vision board is not only fun to make but can enable you to see your goals as an actual reality making it much easier for you to stick to them.

Think of the short term and long term

Set out goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year, by a certain month/ date.

This means you can work on consistent goals as well as focus on the short term. This means you are not only waiting for the end of the year to see results but throughout the year you will have bursts of success that will continue to motivate you to achieve your more long term goals.

So what falls into each category?

Short term goals could include taking an online course in a certain month, running a marathon, reading a set number of books per month.

These goals require you to train/ learn/ work to achieve them within a certain time frame, so get to work!!

Long term goals such as the 52-week saving challenge, launching your own business, changing jobs or even volunteering on a monthly basis.

These are goals that require consistency and usually take longer to achieve. The rewards may take a long time to reap but just imagine how it will feel to finally achieve a goal you have been working long and hard on.

Categorize your goals

Not all goals are the same, sometimes you have to realize what part of your life you want to improve or change.

Personal and professional goals are the obvious categories that we can turn to but do not forget other aspects of your life that can give you joy.

You can set out goals to travel to a new country (or a few), to complete a crafts project, grow herb garden or practicing daily gratitude. This helps you focus on your creative side and develop healthy self-care habits.

Put in the work

 Each goal you set out is going to require a lot of work and determination by your part. what is important in realizing your goals is identifying what you have to do to achieve them.

Let’s take the marathon for example. You can’t wake up on a Saturday morning and just run the marathon, you need to train in order to run the race.

This would require you going for more parks runs and working out to build the strength and endurance needed.

So you set a mini-goal, for example following a training program that guides you over a period of time. These mini goals help you determine what you need to do on your part to achieve your goals and provide small successes on their own.

Be realistic

You don’t want to run yourself into the ground trying to achieve your goals. They are not meant to tear you down or make you feel worse about yourself. Focus on goals that help build a better version of you, whether professionally or personally.

Don’t set out goals too ambitious or far fetched, but also do not forgot to throw caution to the wind. It is not time to sit back but rather to step up for yourself in the aspects that matter. If you really struggle to hold yourself accountable, why not find a goal buddy? This person will remind you of your goals throughout the year and check how long it is taking you to achieve them. They may also provide you with great advice and be a support system when things seem hard.

Reap the rewards

I do not know about you but sometimes I need an incentive to work on something.

And considering there is no one to hand out badge saying “Well done”, it’s up to you to set out your rewards. So let’s say you have finally managed to start your open your own business, why not throw a small soiree to thank those who helped you achieve your goal or even just to launch your business.

Again, such rewards make the achievement of a goal so worth it, so why not reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in.

 Got some advice that can help others succeed in 2019? Click here to share.

SLAYing your productivity from the inside out

In a world flooded with so much negativity here, it’s high time we realized that in order for us not to become like lost balls in the high weeds, we have to maintain certain personal standards and values to keep afloat.

Yes! It is true that teamwork will always create room for a deeper level of productivity. But most times, we tend to forget that there is no great team without great individuals within.

And the level of productivity of any team will be determined by the level of value within each team member. 

All these bring us back to the importance of building ourselves as individuals, whether in our business, our career or even our personal lives.

Following the guidelines below, from John C. Maxwell in his book ‘The 360° Leader’, we can be able to determine where we belong in this pursuit for productivity.

“These seem to be the two main paths for people to get ahead in an organization”.

People who rely on production…

  • Depend on how they grow
  • Focus on what they do
  • Become better than they appear
  • Provide Substance
  • Do what’s necessary
  • Work to control their own destiny
  • Grow into the next level
  • Base decisions on principles

People who rely on politics…

  • Depend on who they know
  • Focus on what they say
  • Appear better than they are
  • Take shortcuts
  • Do what’s popular
  • Let others control their destiny
  • Hope to be given the next level
  • Base decisions on opinions

The big question now is, having looked inside out, where do you think you belong?The Rush!

No doubt the year is sprinting to an end, the clock is ticking endlessly, yet, many personal and corporate goals lie unachieved.

At this point, there seem to be many pointless reasons not to double our hard work, and see to it that no stone is left unturned, but really??

Do you really think productivity is about those who sweat the most?

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”. – Henry David Thoreau

Take a deep breath!

The breath here goes beyond taking out Carbon dioxide and taking in Oxygen.

It’s more about taking deep reflections on not just what we are yet to achieve these past eleven months, but most importantly who we have been, who we have become.

This is the beginning of our ‘inside out journey’.

The Inside Out Journey

This will help us restructure our lives in all ramifications. Taking a deep breath will give us a cue to the direction of our paths the past eleven months.

It will help us see the loopholes within which may include laxity in a particular area or even too much concentration in another. This journey will help us balance our lives.

No one is saying this is the time to start setting new goals and objectives. (although that wouldn’t be a bad idea, at all). However, what is paramount here is that, we already have targets and set goals that are yet to be actualized. The inside-out journey…

  • Give us  a sense of focus and direction
  • Help us set our priorities right.

Yes! It may be called a journey, but its unbelievably right and  quick too!

This journey to productivity is quite different from the others we mat have been through these past months; chasing success and leaving behind every other aspect of our lives, forgetting that even exhaustion reduces the quality of our productivity.

Therefore, this is not the time to keep running in the usual circles. The only circle we should run within at this point is inside of us.

Productivity should not just be something we strive to go through but rather, it should flow through us - Eden Benibo Click To Tweet

That’s the true success!

Like Lisa Nicholas rightly advised “make sure you measure success by the right barometer. Success is a holistic experience. It’s not partial. It’s not compartmental. It’s an entire experience.”

So! Focus on the real deal at this point. Grow into your next level, do not hop into it and watch ‘you glow before your own eyes’!

Slay on!!

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.