Why Every Nigerian Girl Should March

We March so that the girls who come after us can walk freely, and run without being chased.

If 2018 was a chapter in a history book, it could be titled The Year of Female Activism, and aptly so.

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements raised awareness on sexual harassment in workplaces for women worldwide.

2019 was the year of Serena and the catsuit, and the Women’s March Anniversary.

It was the year that women in Saudi Arabia were legally allowed to drive, and even closer to home. It was the year Ethiopia and Rwanda and South Africa both named their first 50% female cabinets.

‘Good things arrive in multiples’, just as movements worldwide were being transformed from ideas to action.

In Nigeria, on the 20th of October 2018, @MarketMarch opened a twitter
account, and its first tweet –

‘The loudest way to tell women that they don’t really have a place outside homes is to allow public spaces to remain so unapologetically unsafe for women’ – @MarketMarch Click To Tweet

…sounded like something straight out of a UN document.

The Twitter account – a creation of Brand identity designer Damilola Marcus, immediately blew up, receiving massive support from popular activists on social media, celebrities, and regular citizens who could either relate or at the very least understand why the Market March needed to happen.

It also received support from groups like YALI, Whole Woman Network, and
several media houses.

Marcus, when interviewed previously, stated that her prior attempts to galvanize action from law enforcement officials on sexual harassment in markets, were met with the reply: It was not a ‘common problem’.

Going to the Market in Nigeria is sometimes a war. Your armor is comfortable footwear (for ease of movement), covered up clothes, (to avoid sweaty fingers) and if you’re a woman, definitely no short skirts, unless you have a ‘strong mind’.

Purchasers are often dragged, and upon resistance, insulted with sentences often chock full of sexual innuendo. And yet, it is not uncommon to find the traders leading a protest to our protest.

The first #MarketMarch took place in December 2018 at Yaba Market, Lagos.
Marchers then, just like us, were called prostitutes and lesbians.

Just like us, they were injured, manhandled, heckled, thrown at, cursed at, for protesting the rights of female to walk unobtrusively in a public place.

Public transport in Enugu Nigeria requires fortitude.

A journey time of 30 minutes is easily tripled once you factor in wait time in bus parks, constant stops, and roundabout journeys.

Nevertheless, I and three of my friends set out on a journey from Agbani -which for all intents and purposes is on the outskirts of Enugu- to Ogbete Market to participate in the Market March on Saturday the 23rd March 2019. With approximately 40 marchers, male and Female, indigenes and visitors, united by a common cause.

On my first trip to Ogbete, the tour guide proudly informed me that it is the biggest market in the State, abundant in all, and lacking in nothing – a shoppers haven.

The market march reached its climax at the clothes section of the market, populated by predominantly male vendors. One man called us Lesbians, and others then pitched in to deliver a fervor- filled ‘Holy-Ghost fire!’. Repeatedly.

All the while making lewd remarks at us. In some other quarters of the market, we faced passive aggression. A man stroking the arm of a marcher holding a big ‘No Touching’ sign, all the while looking her directly in the
eye, smug smile intact.

Or a wheelbarrow pusher deliberately and quickly driving his machine through our midst. But it wasn’t only the men.

A woman queried us softly in Igbo ‘Are we not human beings too? Why should we not touch you?’ and another, still in Igbo lowly snarled

‘You should tell the girls to dress better when they are coming to the market’

But it was not all negative. We received thumbs-up signs from some female traders, quiet nods from the male vendors, and the occasional ‘Well done’ or ‘Yes!’

Some, in solidarity, chanted back at us ‘Nwanyi bu Ife’ or ‘Nwanyi Bu ike’ which in its simplest translation means ‘women matter’.

The market leaders, predominantly men, wore our shirts and marched with
us. They led chants and spoke with the traders at different parts of the market, as they guided us to open spaces where we could address crowds. They largely acted as chaperones.

On three different occasions, when the chants at the Market March turned rhythmic, the market women danced with us. It is not often that ‘twitter activism’ results in real-world action, and yet, the March has defied all rules to become a national movement.

Testimonies from the first March at Yaba started pouring in almost immediately after. Too many to name, they all echoed the same sentiment:

The March had changed something.

My fellow Marchers were not particularly special people. We were University Students, traders, women’s rights activists, and white collar workers.

Some of us did not speak Igbo, but we learned the chants to perfection on that day.

We were united by sweat and a common purpose.

In Nigeria today, marching is more than a sport. We March so that the girls who come after us can walk freely, and run without being chased.


Naomi Michael Adenuga: The Boss Lady of Talent Management

Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is a challenging reality for anyone, but thriving in the said industry can be done, and it can be done well. I had the privilege of speaking to Naomi Michael Adenuga, a successful female talent manager in Nigeria about her experience being one of the very few women in the entertainment management industry. During our conversation, she candidly shared the realities of the struggle, and how she negotiated it to become one of the most sought-after agents in the space. So, who exactly is Naomi? Naomi is a multi-award-winning brand strategist and talent manager committed to helping people identify their purpose and monetize their talents. She is the founder of Naomad Talent Management Agency, which represents gifted individuals and visionary brands passionate about their craft and meaningfully connecting with their audiences. She and her world-class team of professionals help clients hone their skills, develop confidence in their capabilities, and strategically build and position them as viable brands with longevity. She boasts of over 9 years of experience and is unapologetic about taking her “seat at the table.” Her sharp intuition, a penchant for over-delivery, and exceptional ability to connect to her clients have gained her the apt moniker of “Boss Lady”. She has a true heart for people and believes that everyone comes into the world endowed with certain talents given for the purposes of earning a personal living, sharing with others for social good, and impacting the world.  A few notable awards she has won during her career include Talent Manager of the Year, Entertainment Personality of the Year, and the Young Achievers Award. She has most recently been nominated for Nigerian Entrepreneur of the Year by Nigerian Teen Choice Awards and Entertainment Personality of the Year by Nigerian Achievers Award.  With such a compelling set of accomplishments, I was eager to have her share her story and perspective on how to “kill it” in a male-dominated industry.

 How did you discover your purpose and passion?

I found my purpose when I started my passion filled talent management journey. Talent management means building up a person and guiding them to their highest potential. I call it King making, some people are Kings and some others are King-makers. As time went on, I had people come to me for advice on general stuff and work stuff. The more people I spoke to and worked with to help build them up, the more fulfilled I was. My purpose is to help others find their purpose and become better versions of themselves. By doing so, I not only build myself up as well, but I get to do what I am passionate about and fulfill my purpose.

What was it like initially trying to break into a male-dominated industry? 

It was tough I had to constantly prove myself, work harder and smarter. My purpose is to help others find their purpose and become better versions of themselves - @NaomiBosslady Click To Tweet

How has your experience been since then, and how do you navigate challenges? 

It’s honestly not as bad as it was in the past. The industry is evolving, and I noticed the change when women and men started being nominated in the same award categories. A few years ago, it was: Best Female Talent Manager or Best Female Artist or Best Female DJ; now, it’s Best Talent Manager, Artist, or DJ. The gender bias is reducing. When I have challenges, I talk to God about it. He always gives me a strategy (laughs). I also have a few people in my Industry I go to for guidance. I look at women who are breaking boundaries in male-dominated sectors and I draw strength from them. Women like Ibukun Awosika, who currently serves as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria; Kemi Adetiba, who is a leading music video director and filmmaker. She directed The Wedding Party, which is one of the highest grossing films of all time in Nigeria. Finally, Tiwa Savage, who is one of the biggest names in the African entertainment industry. She goes toe to toe with the men and comes out on top of her game. She sells out venues like the men and is a mother. These women and a couple of others have consciously and unconsciously laid out the blueprint for the next generation of women to break into and thrive in male-dominated industries. I draw strength from them by reminding myself that they too must have faced similar challenges and more but keep pushing. This tells me that I too can do it, survive, thrive and beyond.  I look at women who are breaking boundaries in male-dominated sectors and I draw strength from them - @NaomiBosslady Click To Tweet

Why did you choose the entrepreneurship route over working for someone else?

I didn’t have a choice really. The last job I had working for an entertainment company ended because the CEO dissolved the company. I had to make ends meet, and so I started working independently. I began by writing proposals for people, coming up with strategies, consulting here and there for upcoming artists and small brands, while moonlighting as a manager of a nightclub and serving as an event planner. I was working by myself and just winging it. Along the line, I realized, “girl you really can do this”. I never applied for a job with any company after that and continued working for myself. I also discovered that I am a natural born leader.  The entertainment industry is evolving and the gender bias is reducing - @NaomiBosslady Click To Tweet

Can you share a little more about the non-traditional route that brought you where you are today? 

First off, shout out to my uncle and mentor who gave me my first shot, Efe Omorogbe. I was basically doing nothing with my time and getting up to no good, and so my mum insisted that I reach out to him. He is the CEO of Now Muzik and is an entertainment industry powerhouse. He gave me a job as his personal assistant and was always extra hard on me. I felt it was pure hell. I was basically his shadow, going from business meetings to strategy sessions, taking minutes of staff meetings, etc. I didn’t even realize I was learning anything. And boy was I stubborn! He fired and re-hired me a few times. But, during my time working for him, I learned a lot, though I still had no idea of the potential I had to become a great talent developer and manager. Long story short, here I am, doing what I love and absolutely killing it if I do say so myself. If you know Efe Omorogbe, you know he is a tough man and you get the highest level of training with him. I am a product of that high-quality training.

We love the fact that you acknowledge you are absolutely killing it. If you had to sum yourself up in 5 words, what would they be? 

  • Strong
  • Resilient
  • Loyal
  • Adventurous
  • Passionate.

What is your greatest accomplishment or the thing you are most proud of in life? 

I was raised by a single mom who did everything you can possibly think of to raise me. It wasn’t easy, and we had really difficult times. She slowed down on work when I was in my early 20’s due to health issues, and I had to find a way to fend for both of us. I would say my greatest accomplishment is being able to now comfortably take care of her and give her a better life than the one we had while I was growing up. 

What are some of your biggest challenges as one of the very few women killing it in the talent management game in Nigeria? 

 My biggest challenge was not being taken seriously because, 1. I am a woman, and 2. There is a misconception about talent management. It seemed to many like it was all about the glitz and glamour [with little substance]. I was seeing a guy once, who said to me “If I take you home to my parents, what will I tell them you do?” Looking back, I am thankful for that moment because it motivated me to put in more work, refine my work, and strengthen the ethics around my work.  @NaomiBosslady talks about breaking boundaries as a talent manager in Nigeria. Read her story here... Click To Tweet

What tools and tips can you share with someone looking to start their own talent management agency?

  • First of all, if you cannot serve, you cannot lead. (This applies to anyone about to start their own business). You must put the needs of your clients before yours. You need to believe in your clients and their abilities. 
If you don’t, you can’t properly position them and monetize their gifts. The result is that your agency will crumble.
  • You need to have a moral compass. A moral compass because your agency and clients’ output depend on the choices you make with them.
These choices affect the overall performance of your clients and your agency. Everything they do reflects on you regardless of who originated their choices: you or them. 
  • You need to study the market and identify what makes your clients unique. In doing so, you will know how best to position them, market them, and monetize them.
  • Negotiating—which is the hardest part. It’s something some people are naturally good at, and others become great at with experience. Knowing your client’s value always helps.
  • Lastly, your agency/business should be based on loyalty and integrity. You should under promise and over deliver! 
Referrals are the best form of advertising for your business, so keep that in mind. If you adhere to these tips, past and present clients will definitely refer your agency to others who will become future clients.

What are some of the most critical lessons you’ve learned over the course of managing your business and your clients?

I learned that your client is your boss and you are your client’s boss. It’s important for both of you to be aligned and have the same goals for the brand as well as have similar principles.  It’s also important to be patient with the process, most especially when the client is new to it. You must sow into the client before you reap, and the client must undergo a development process before your work starts to bear fruit that both of you can enjoy. So, patience, patience, patience. 

What advice do you have for other women looking to break into an industry that is dominated by men? Are there things that helped you?

  • Be strong, be resilient, be positive. Place no limitation on yourself, and make sure the women around you are strong, loyal and supportive.
Even if you are confident, your supporters will help boost your confidence even more, and this goes a long way.
  • Always be on top of your game. It’s important to know your onions. What you have in your head and your heart will help you break boundaries and glass ceilings and earn you the respect of your peers – both male and female.
  • Find a mentor and study women who have thrived in a male-dominated industry and have added value to the society. And God, carry Him along. He opens doors no man can shut. 

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Quick Maths (1): How to generate income to start a business with FDSH Asset Management

Smart moves early in life can pay BIG long-term…..

Now, what’s the point in looking good and slaying when your bank account isn’t smiling back at you? Listen. This is the year to SLAY 100%, and we’re ready to show you how to make money moves the right way.

So, are you ready to cash out like Cardi’s got nothing on you?

We are partnering with FSDH Asset Management Ltd to share with you a 4 part downloadable guide to enable you to boost your finances. We want to make sure that every Motherland Mogul is prepared to master the money world. 

Learn how to generate funds to start your business with @FSDHCoralFunds. Click here for more: bit.ly/FsdhGuide1 Click To Tweet

Topics this 4 part series will cover:

  • Seed Money: How to generate income (capital) to start a business.
  • Diversifying: Different ways to save and protect savings (for low and high-income earners).
  • Bottom Line: How to use your business net income to your advantage
  • Emergency Funds: Why you must have some investments.

Now let’s talk about you.

You’re about to start a business but you need capital to begin?  Girl, we’ve got you! In this first downloadable guide, we’ve done some Quick Maths for you, highlighting how you can generate capital for your business or launch your new project.

First, you need to understand that money does not come for free, as a MotherlandMogul, you have to know what your options are, and work towards them.

After reading this first downloadable guide, you’ll understand what moves to make to get closer to your money goals.

But what’s next after you get that capital and the bills start rolling in? We have more juice coming your way.

To continue learning basic principles that will lead to a happier and healthier financial you, get prepared for our next guide. Because girl, we’re going deeper.

FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD  – FSDH AM is a wholly owned subsidiary of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. They are one of Nigeria’s leading asset management and financial advisory firm.

FSDH AM is versatile in financial transactions and investment strategies that meet the need of investors in an emerging economy like Nigeria. They recognize that today’s investors need the services of dedicated and expert professionals to provide them with intelligent investment counsel.

Therefore, their strategies are dedicated to preserving investors’ wealth while maximizing the value that they receive.

Once you’re through with this guide, visit FSDH Asset Management Ltd to know more and get all your pressing questions answered.


 Getting access to this guide is easy: just fill out the form below to join our community and get access to this guide, remember this is only part 1, there’s more to come – so stay updated. By joining our community, you also get to enjoy our AWESOME weekly content as well.

Francisca Ogunlade: My Scars are My Strength

Francisca Onyinye Ogunlade is a car crash survivor who decided to make her second chance at life very impactful and interesting.

She is also known as the “Side Business Queen” because she helps corporate employees leverage their strength to start and grow a profitable side business in 90 days or less.

She is a banker with 12 years experience, a founder of an event tech company and a business coach.

In this interview with Francisca, she talks about surviving a car crash, and how she got into the business of event planning and management.


Your location should not be a hindrance to your dreams. The internet has made life easy Click To Tweet

Having being involved in a car crash, what impact did this have your life and business?

The car crash turned my whole life around. I had two fractures in one leg and also a cranial injury. As if that’s not enough, I had to carry my pregnancy to term on crutches and a cane.

The biggest blow was that I lost the use of one eye – imagine having to be very careful when applying eyeliner because you only have one eye!

This accident taught me that life and business are always full of twists and turns. Sometimes, you lose almost everything (like I almost lost my life) and you are left with deciding either to remain conquered or rise up to fight the storm. For me, I chose to live and live well. I charge you to do same.

From your experience, how can young women maximize their locations?

On July 16, 2017, I changed the narration of the events and wedding industry in the Southwest of Nigeria. My team and I planned and hosted a beauty and bride exhibition, and this event has created so much ripple effect within and outside the many states in Nigeria.

The interesting thing about launching out from your location is that you are probably one of the few people with that idea and boom, you are in the limelight. In the last year too, I created Nigeria’s first events budgeting app on the Google play store (Eftinzz Events and Budget Planner).

All this taught me that your location should not be a hindrance to your dreams. The internet has made life easy. Make your dream clear enough and your location will be your Launchpad.

How do you create a balance between your day job and your business?

I must confess that this has not been a box of chocolate. I had to identify my support system and carry them along with my plans. They are a part of life.

On my part, I had to make some sacrifices which include reducing my social life. Unfortunately, I lost some few friends who couldn’t understand the new direction I was going but we are now on the same page.

What are some key lessons from your journey you’d like others to learn from?

I could never have imagined that I would go through some of the things that I have been through. However, through every experience I learned the following lessons:

  • Your scars are your strength
  • Your dreams are valid
  • You must be crazy enough to believe in your craze
  • You are human – it’s okay to ask for help

What advice can you give young ladies building their careers or businesses?

I won’t tell you it will be easy because it won’t be. But the good thing is, even if it is easy, you can do it. Be true to yourself. Never be scared to dream and make sure you live an enjoyable life because your dreams are valid.

 


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Kelechi Udoagwu: Moving Fast and Breaking Things

From Tinsel to Technology. Kelechi is changing the narrative of African women in the tech world.

Kelechi Udoagwu is an Accra-based Nigerian tech entrepreneur/consultant, presenter, advocate, student, and writer. Up until 2017, she was the full-time communications director at MEST Africa. She is also the co-founder of Skrife and produces and hosts the web series- Tech Roundup with Bitnode.

Her work revolves around empowering through mentorship, edutainment, speaking engagements, multimedia content, and connecting to new opportunities.

In this interview, she talks to us about her growing passion for technology and the need to empower more women and girls to venture into the tech industry.


You’ve switched your career many times. What inspired your journey?

It’s always interesting to be reminded of how varied my career has been. For me, it’s all been work, work, work – the different ways I earn money and contribute to the world. I started modeling while I was in the university. It was just for fun at first, then I graduated and focused on it full-time.

That was when I got the Tinsel gig and I was fortunate to work with other big brands as well – Samsung, MTN, Haier Thermocool, Lipton, Vitafoam, and others. These early experiences prepared me for “adulting” as I learned to manage my money, deal with people from all walks of life and build a professional persona.

After NYSC, I got my first 9-5 job as a Fashion Brand Manager but resigned after six months because it wasn’t very fulfilling. I then decided to explore a new industry. I was fascinated with tech entrepreneurship because it seemed like an easy way to make quick bucks.

I got into tech in 2014. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life yet. I love the industry, I love the variety and I love the fast pace. I worked as Head of Communications at MEST and founded my startup, Skrife in 2016. I also started creating multimedia – video and written –  content – for brands, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders.

African women are a special breed. We do so much with a little and stay strong even when the shit hits the fan - @kelechiudoagwu Click To Tweet

What part do African girls play in the next generation of technology, and how can they harness these potentials?

 

It’s time, however, that we stop limiting ourselves to manual labor and start working smarter. It’s time we leave what we’re used to and conquer new mountains.

They say “when you educate a woman, you educate a whole community,”. Imagine what we can do for Africa if we join in the global progression and conversation around technology. We don’t all have to be programmers but we can all be a part of the industry.

There are branding, marketing, HR, design, community management roles available. If we do this, the next generation of African women will have role models who look like them and they can build on what we started instead of starting from scratch like we are.

How has your journey been moving into the tech space?

My journey has been interesting. I’ve never been one to ask for permission to make a move and that has helped me navigate the various industries I’ve been in, especially tech where “move fast and break things” is a mantra.

Now is the best time for us to be involved. The industry is welcoming and there are a lot of opportunities directed at women specifically. It’s not always going to be like this so it’s wise to take advantage now.

What principles and work ethics have played a role in propelling you further in your career?

My ability shake off rejection easily greatly helped my career. Believe me, I’ve been rejected a lot of times. I believe getting ahead is a numbers game and for every 100 no’s, there’s one yes that makes it all worth it.

My entire life, not just career, revolves around keeping my word. If I say I’ll do it, I do it. If I’m not sure, I say I’ll get back to you and think about it some more. This has helped me a lot at work – keeps my mind clear, keeps me happy with the people I work with and also keeps them happy with me.

Tell us about your new book ‘Living Everyday like its Saturday’. 

I’m super excited about it! I have had so many ideas for books to write but this is the most relevant to me and my audience at this time.

The book will chronicle the lessons I’ve learned being a freelancer from Africa – how I structure my day, deal with clients around the world, brand myself, use technology, etc.

I can promise everyone in advance there will be no fluff in this book; only hardcore, real life, actionable advice.

As a creative, what impact does quality content have in telling the African story for mainstream media?

When we started Skrife, our goal was to build a platform and writers’ community that is synonymous with quality. If a client ever complains about a job done via Skrife, we refund their money or rewrite it at no extra charge.  

Creating content is like real-time documentation of our everyday experiences and it can be the difference between an economy that prospers and one that fails. Every time you read a book that was written ages ago, you step into the mind of that person.

With technology changing everything around us, it is very important that we document these early days so the next generation continues from where we stopped instead of starting all over. “To forget is to throw away.”

Also by creating more positive content, we can change the narrative of Africa. We can stop close-minded and sheltered foreigners from thinking we don’t read books or use the internet. Chimamanda Adichie was recently asked if there are libraries in her country.

We stand on the shoulders of great men and women who have passed - @keleichiudoagwu Click To Tweet

Isolated from the rest of the world, headphones on, what’s your jam for days?

Haha, I love this question. I’m one of those people who can’t get anything done without earphones on. That one song that never gets old is All Things Go by Chiddy Bang. Go listen to it and think of me 🙂


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

Taxify awards 5 women with drive to celebrate international womens day

At @taxify.ng, we believe in empowering women to become small business owners Click To Tweet

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, International transportation network company, Taxify brought together women driver-partners and invited guests across Lagos Nigeria, as they celebrated International Women’s Day on Sunday, the 18th of March 2018  at the Backyard Grill and Bar, Lagos.

The event was attended by women driver-partners, celebrity influencers, media and members of the Taxify team.

Guests listened to a passionate speech by ex-Big Brother Nigeria housemate, actress and music artist, Uriel Oputa, while broadcaster Adenike Oyetunde also spoke about the value of Women Entrepreneurs in the press for progress.

Taxify has created work opportunities for hundreds of women since launching in Nigeria and is looking into creating thousands more in the next few years.

With Taxify, women can drive whenever they can or whenever they want. Driver-partners can set their own schedules while maintaining a steady, independent source of income.

Taxify’s Brand Manager, Terver Bendega also addressed the women present at the function. 

“This women’s month we decided to pay tribute to all the women across Nigeria who have shown an extraordinary drive. There is no harder working woman as the Nigerian woman. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked Nigerians to nominate inspiring women who have shown drive in various fields for a chance to win a Kickstarter package. Within this package is N100,000 cash, N50,000 in Taxify credit and access to a network of women across various fields,” she said.

At Taxify, we believe in empowering women to become small business owners and equipping them with the network and finances they need to scale these businesses. We also want to show our appreciation to the amazing women partner drivers, working on the Taxify platform, who go out of their way every day to move thousands of people across their cities whilst providing for their families,Terver continued.

At the event, driver-partners and guests engaged in speed networking where they were asked to share what they were driven by, including their passions, dreams, and goals.

The event ended with a presentation of cheques to 5 winners of the Taxify Kickstarter package. Winners were young women with businesses ranging from consulting to confectionary, fashion design, and art. Top female driver-partners were also rewarded with cash prizes.

The Taxify app operates in over 35 cities across Europe and Africa is available for download on the Apple IOS store and the Google play store.


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5 ways to Enjoy Your Wack Contract Job

Quit thinking the reason you’re not doing well right now is that you don’t get so much pay Click To Tweet

The most common jobs in Nigeria right now are ones gotten from a third-party company that is signed to provide employees for various employers.

While I worked at one, I found that the reason employer companies choose the option of contract staffs is to reduce its expenses and improve profitability.

A full-time employee may get a 50% raise from your salary, including HMO(Health) benefits. This is even more annoying for contract staffs because they do more of the work but have fewer benefits, up until the length of days to go on leave.

However, there’s always a way to have the life you want regardless of the situation presented to you.

The vision you have for yourself should drive your passion for what you do now Click To Tweet

Know who you are

This is nothing about your desires or visions  – at least not for the purpose of this article.

What makes you tick? Deep down your heart, what’s the core of your strength? The real test to enjoying your job, and your life, is to know who you are.

Although the search of identity may be an ongoing process, there’s a core of you that reveals your truth in whatever situation you find yourself. Everything you believe yourself to be should not be dependent on anything else but you.

Once you can identify who you are, it would facilitate the emergence of what you’d like to experience.

The true value of your job is not dependent on your position, but your personality. Click To Tweet

Change your cognitive experience

The natural cognitive of man is attracted to negative situations that appeal to his senses.

So for example, you get to find out the extra benefits due to full-time staffs in your company and it freaks you out (it should), it is only normal that you begin to take it out on your daily routine, colleagues and even your line managers.

Two years after my experience as a contract staff in a financial institution, I was appraised and suggested to be converted into a full-time staff.

I was excited when my line manager hinted me on this new development and was waiting for the big announcement. To my greatest disappointment, when my appraisal form got to the office in charge, my group head was summoned and asked, “Who would you like to be retrenched in order to approve Adesewa’s conversion?” Confused, she responded, “nobody”.

“Well, because the company cannot afford the cost for another full-time employee,” they disclosed. It was a great consolation to have known that the reason for the default was a lack of the company’s capacity, not mine.

If this happened to you, I know you would freak out, and probably drop your resignation notice to go somewhere you’ll be ‘celebrated, not tolerated’.

Just calm down! LOL!

The quality of the delivery of your duties should be influenced by positivity. Contract jobs hardly come with motivations. Thus, you must always find a way around it. While you have a plan to quit, be deliberately positive about your daily dealings.

The more positivity you exude, the greater the attraction for more. If it doesn’t happen for you in this job, it would somewhere else.

Create value for your personality

One of the many reasons people want to be in the full-staff cadre is so that the company can place value on them. The true value of your job is not dependent on your position, but your personality.

Quit thinking the reason you’re not doing well right now is that you don’t get so much pay. Your pay may not equal your plan, but it does not necessarily influence the core of you, except you want it to.

So, during a knowledge sharing session at your company or a proposal pitch, you have the platform to ‘show yourself’. Yes! Flaunt the stuff you’re made of! This is not PRIDE; it is PURPOSE-ON-DELIVERY.

Always look for opportunities to reveal who you are asides from being the “front desk officer” or “cashier”. Profer solutions to problems. That’s what employers want to see.

Even though it may likely not buy your conversion as a staff, it would increase your value as a person. You are first a person before being someone’s staff. Work at it!

Work experience is in phases, enjoy this one

A young entrepreneur who also works as an employee reached out to me one day. She shared all her frustrations as to how she was not getting fulfilments with her job. She mentioned how she knew this was not what she signed up for her life and all.

The truth is, at every point in life, we get bored. This is not just a contract thing, stop blaming it on the job. Because guess what, even if you were full time, you would still get bored.

All days are not the same, and all work experiences are in phases. You have to learn the art of enjoying the phases by creating systems that work for you.

At the financial job experience I told you about, every week became annoying because there had to be something new to do – things that were way out of the initial job description(JD).

Whichever way I felt did not matter to the company, the job had to be done anyway. And the only way to be happy with your job is to be happy with you, knowing that this is only a phase. You would get involved in better things and greater opportunities, so if you want to make your life count, you have to do it right.

Always work with the end in view

You know, many times, we are motivated in the present by having a vision of what’s to come. Doing your job with the end in mind is one sure way to enjoy what you’re doing currently.

So, pending the time you find something more ‘ghen-ghen’ (out of this world), let that ‘ghen-ghen’ thing inspire the not-so ‘ghen-ghen’ one.

The vision you have for yourself should drive your passion for what you do now. You may not like what you do now, but when you look at the experience later from the inside in, you’ll see it was necessary for your journey.

See the end in mind, Live the present, Create your future.

It’s okay, being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone

You know how some women profess to never having felt that maternal urge or instinct and they just know being a mum isn’t for them? Well, not everyone should be an entrepreneur either. I believe more women need to hear this. In this day and age, it almost seems like if you’re not thinking of running your own business, with the whole uncertainty in the job market bit, then something is off with you. Maybe not. At the end of the day, if you see yourself as more of a technocrat for instance, that’s fine. There are certainly other ways to make your mark in the world.

So don’t stress, and don’t get pressured if building your own business is just not your cup of tea. Click To Tweet

Let’s be real. Being an entrepreneur is a lot. It starts with having a clearly-defined vision of what you are looking to accomplish, and then requires working tirelessly to achieve that. It really is okay if you are one to help others build their dreams. Some people are leaders, some are builders, some are followers, some are supporters. Being able to identify who you are at all the different stages of your life is gold.

Besides all that, there actually is a difference between being self-employed and being an entrepreneur. Think about it. Some people prefer to work for themselves because of benefits such as flexibility and independence. However, it does not necessarily mean you are cut out for taking on huge risks that come with starting a business.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s focus on what you can do to continue Slaying:

Discover Your Strengths

build a team

If you’re not entirely sure what you’re good at, you could ask people who work closely with you to point out some of your strengths. What are those things that come naturally to you? It could be things like negotiating or communicating, or maybe you’re good with numbers or mediating issues. As soon as you discover your strengths, you should capitalize on them to help you stand out and propel yourself in your career.

Acquire the hottest skills on the job market

 Keep on top of your game by updating your work skills. Make sure you’re marketable and an asset in whatever capacity you operate in.

Make wise investments

 

Your youthful years are a great time to make investments that you can fall back on in the future. We know Instagram and Snapchat are brimming with what might seem like the good life, but remember it’s more important to spend your income wisely rather than try to keep up with the Kardashians.

Look out for a great savings plan which offers good returns. You could begin looking at taking out a mortgage or investing in real estate, stocks, bonds and so on. Be sure to do your research and speak to a financial adviser before you get your feet wet.

Moral of this story? You’re a hot commodity all on your own, so don’t let people tell you any different. It’s so okay, being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.


Do you have an interesting career story to share with us?

Let us know more here.

5 Tips To Make The Most Out Of A Job You Don’t Like

Let’s be real, sometimes you just hit a rut. You could be at a job for 1 year going on what feels likes a 100 years; or all of a sudden your boss is no longer easy to work with; or the dynamics are no longer favorable for your growth and bills still have to be paid. As a Motherland Mogul, this should not get you down for too long, there are creative ways to help you better manage a job you don’t like.

 

Focus on what you like

Not everyone enjoys writing reports and paperwork. So instead of focusing on the areas of your job that do not interest you, put energy and focus on areas which do. It’s likely that your perspective is solely focused on parts of the job you hate, instead of the aspects of the work you enjoy.

Make a list of the work tasks you actually like. This won’t be easy and your tendency will be to look at your work with negativity. However, you brain cannot think of the positive and negative at the same time, so commit to actually looking for positives and focusing on that instead. In doing this, you will bring a more positive out look to your work.

Challenge yourself to have a gratitude mindset and in no time you will find more things to be grateful for.

 

Bring “you” to work

We bring our Slay queen characters to other areas of our lives like fashion, our hair or clap backs on twitter. Bringing the same enthusiasm and energy to your work could help you do your work more creatively, and change the dynamic and approach you currently have.

For example, if outside your 9-5 work you happen to be a blogger, you could add value to your work by working with the social media team and on the company website- with their blogging platform. These are ways you can bring yourself and character to your work, instead of separating yourself from your work.

 

Work towards your goal

While waiting for the next big move, commit to actually working towards your ultimate goal. So you are not enjoying your job? When was the last time you worked on your CV, sent an application or took up a course?

Nothing changes unless you apply your energy to it, and align yourself with the work you see yourself doing. If it means taking up classes, or reading up on what it takes to move up the career ladder, it takes effort and consistency. Look at at your job as a pit stop towards your final destination.

SLA has amazing resources to get you started, so keep working at it until it manifests.

 

Invest in your relationships with your work peers

Work can be stressful and your boss might be Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.

miranda- raise

Your peers at work might be the wealth of support that you have been missing out on. Invest in your relationships, as these are the people you spend majority of your time at work with. Identify people you can learn from, who are not negative, and can encourage each other to do better at work whilst still sharing memes as well.

 

Your job does not complete you

Just like when we realized that Tom Cruise saying “You complete me” might not have been as romantic as we thought, it’s also very likely that sometimes we put unreal expectations on our jobs.

Whilst you are supposed to derive some happiness from your work, it is not the end all and be all of your joy. There are passions and interests outside of work which you might have neglected because you have put the pressure on your work.

Go back to those interests outside of the 8 to 5; like, exercising, writing, art, dance, poetry or giving back to your community. Investing in those interests might give you the fuel to keep going at work, even on days when it feels like you can’t.

Stay slaying, you are doing a great job!


What tips do you have for making the most out of a job you don’t like?

Let us know here.

Jacqueline Nwobu: I Am Proud Of The Changes We Have Sparked In The Wedding Industry

Jacqueline Nwobu is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Munaluchi Bride Magazine, the leading and nationally distributed wedding magazine and online wedding marketplace; which caters to multicultural couples and serves the $200 billion wedding and events industry.

Since the launch of Munaluchi in 2010, Jacqueline has grown the brand into an industry leader with a robust multi-cultural marketplace and social media influence of over 600,000 followers worldwide.

With a strong and focused vision to champion diversity, Jacqueline has successfully disrupted the industry to influence positive change and inclusiveness. Her TEDx talk on “Reshaping an Industry, One Like at a Time” has received rave reviews.

Jacqueline obtained her B.S. degree in Medical Technology and has worked for major pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, including Johnson and Johnson. The rapid success of her magazine has landed her interviews on NBC, ABC and WPIX NY.

Jacqueline resides in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

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Why choose to start a bridal magazine publication?

I initially started out as a photographer shooting alongside my husband. In the first year that we began shooting weddings, we noticed a void in the wedding industry. Weddings, like the ones I was attending and shooting, were not being featured in mainstream magazines or blogs.

From that point, it became my mission to launch the first nationally distributed wedding magazine, catering to women of color, and that was how Munaluchi Bride Magazine was born.  I did a TEDxtalk in 2013 describing in more detail how we got started.

Did you acquire any training to help run your business?

My background is in Science, specifically Medical Technology.  I worked as a QA Scientist at Johnson and Johnson, and then a Technical Specialist for a major Diagnostics Company, so publishing a magazine was not something I studied or had any training in.

In fact, it took me 6 months to tell my proud Naija parents that I had quit my very well paying job, to launch a bridal magazine while we were in the middle of a recession in the United States.

When my husband and I decided to launch the magazine, I taught myself InDesign and Photoshop via the awesome website Lynda.com.  I used my newly acquired InDesign and Photoshop skills to layout the magazine and build our first website.

Everything I learned in business was truly through trial and error – and a heavy dose of faith!  Truthfully, Google was my BFF. There is nothing you can’t learn online. You just have to put in the work and be committed to it.

 

Were there times you doubted your business decision? How did you snap out of it?

Of course! Leaving a great career in the middle of a recession (with two children under the age of two, and pregnant with my 3rd) to launch a bridal magazine, when print was being considered “dead”, was not a seemingly logical decision.

So there were times when I would wonder if my decision was the right one. Those thoughts, nevertheless, were very short lived because I had an extremely strong belief that what I was doing was necessary and important.

I knew that it was going to be hard work, because nothing good comes easy.  But I was faithful to God that this idea and blessing wasn’t given to Chike and I haphazardly.

Moreover, it was given to us because He knew we could handle it.  At the end of the day, there was no opportunity for failure, because every action deemed as a “failure” by many, was instead an educational component for us. It was an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow a stronger brand.

 

Your co-founder is your husband; can you share three (3) points to note before starting a business with your spouse?

 

1. Ensure that the marriage is on a solid foundation

The last thing you want to do is get started in business, without understanding the sacrifice that a solid marriage takes. If your marriage is suffering, a new business will not necessarily bring you together.  On the other hand, a new business can cause strain in your marriage if you aren’t discussing openly the number one thing that causes the strain, money.  Have the “money talk” regularly and openly with your spouse.

 

2. Understand your strengths

If you want to succeed as a team, you’ll need to recognize what your strong points are, and those of your spouse. Make sure your roles are defined and you both have an understanding of who’s responsible for what.

You both will be wearing many hats when starting out, so you’ll need to know what those hats are,  to avoid conflicts along the way. I’m involved in the Editorial, Marketing, Content creation and visualization; while Chike focuses on Partnerships, Advertising and large-scale growth. It works out beautifully because we aren’t blocking each other’s lanes.

 

3. Have respect for your spouse and a little time for fun

When you run a business with your spouse, you never stop working. It goes from the office, back to your home and the business becomes front and center.  Remember to respect one another at work and try to keep your personal life at home.

Take some time out bonding time. This is where you do something that doesn’t involve the business, or where work isn’t allowed. For Chike and I, we love to stay home and watch movies. It’s simple, but it works for us and gets us away from talking about work, even if it’s only for a few hours.

 

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What has been your proudest moment so far?

Wow. I can’t say there is a “proudest moment” because I am genuinely proud of what Chike and I have built.  Every.single.day!

I am proud of how far we have come. I am proud of the changes we have sparked in the wedding industry, totally transforming the way multicultural weddings are viewed and admired.

I am proud of the team we have in place, that help propel the brand to greater heights.

What do you love most about weddings?

I love the ceremonies; the walks down the aisle, the vows, the facial expressions, the tears, and the joy; all of it.

 

Do you see yourself ever returning to the field of medical science? 

I miss and still love Science, but I most likely wouldn’t return. Things have changed so much since I was in the field of Medical Technology.  It’s great to have it as a backup plan, but we won’t need that because answer #3.

 

What is the first luxury item you would buy if you got a million dollars now?

This is a hard one! I live a very simple life.  Can I pick a luxury service instead? If someone was to give me a million dollars right now, I would put it back into my business.

But, in the spirit of this question, I would use it on a new house for my parents- fully equipped with rooms for each of their grandchildren, extra rooms for future grandchildren, a basketball court, a grand dining room (cause my mom loves to cook and entertain and we love her okro soup!).

Creating family memories is so important to me. After all is said and done, family will always be there for you, so it’s important to enjoy your family as much as you can.


Do you have a career or business in the wedding industry?

Let us know more about you and your story  here.