Why Your Business Ideas Aren’t Working

By ensuring that your goals are S.M.A.R.T, you set yourself up to experience the thrill of an achievement that will become a motivation for future successes.

Did you know that you can give 110% effort and fail miserably, even with a good business idea?

I’ve seen it more times than I can count. An eager entrepreneur has a brilliant idea and quickly forges ahead, only to come back disappointed that things did not work out.

By the time they come to that realization, they have likely invested a lot of money, energy and time that they will never get back.

Entrepreneurs going through this experience usually assume that they are simply not cut out for entrepreneurship.

It is at this point that I dig a little deeper into their execution process and I find that the real problem was that the idea or goal was underdeveloped, leading to poor execution. It was a set-up for failure from the start.

I then have the task of talking the entrepreneur off the ledge by explaining that there may have been nothing wrong with their effort, resources or intentions. The reason for the apparent failure was likely that the goal was an inherently bad goal.

When it comes to execution in business, a good goal is not just noble in its intention, but it also S.M.A.R.T.

It is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Ensuring that your goal meets these criteria increases the likelihood of success.

It eliminates wasted time and hones in on the best strategy for success.

Specific goals break down your general goals into manageable pieces so that they are easier to achieve. A great example of this might be to increase your annual revenue.

“Increase revenue in 2019” is a noble general goal.

An even better goal is to “increase revenue in 2019 by identifying profit leaks and creating monthly marketing campaigns in order to obtain new clients.”

Using that example, it’s easy to see how an entrepreneur can go from casting a wide net and taking a chance on what sticks, to identifying a specific strategy for success.

Even that specific goal can be further developed as you think about other factors that will affect the outcome.

By adding metrics and changing the goal to “increase revenue by 40% in 2019, by identifying profit leaks and creating monthly marketing campaigns in order to obtain new clients,” the direction and initial action steps are even clearer.

This way, there is little room for wasted resources and time.

The attainable and realistic factors in the S.M.A.R.T. formula are subjective factors determined by the individual’s readiness to start working on their goals.

An entrepreneur who does not have a marketing budget needs to first raise the money or create a budget for marketing before embarking on the goal above.

Without a budget for a robust campaign, attempting to increase revenue by creating marketing campaigns will prove futile.- @andrena_sawyer Click To Tweet

It seems obvious enough, but many entrepreneurs still do not count the cost before they set their foot on the pavement.

The last piece of the formula is timeliness. This ensures that the person setting the goal has a sense of urgency and can fend off complacency when working toward their goal.

It is easy to overlook this final piece, but it is just as critical as the others because it has two extremes: too much time allotted for the goal, and not enough time.

When there is too much time, it is easy to fall into traps of procrastination and complacency. These are traps that force individuals to believe they have more time to do the work than they actually do.

They lose their sense of urgency, which opens the door for others to leverage their ideas, or for a competitor to get to a product launch before they do. The other extreme is not to give yourself enough time.

No goal is perfect, and neither is every process, and there is room for imperfection. – @andrena_sawyer Click To Tweet

By rushing toward the goal, entrepreneurs stand the risk of sabotaging by not properly assessing the risks and all of the factors necessary for success.

After all, there’s value for the entrepreneur in trial and error and even failure.

However, by ensuring that your goals are S.M.A.R.T., you set yourself up to experience the thrill of achievement that will become a motivation for future successes.

Here’s how you can jumpstart your career and business in 2019!

New year, new you right? 2019 is all about turning ideas into goals and turning concrete goals into actual results whether it’s in your career or business. Here are 5 ways you can jumpstart your 2019 and keep winning all year long!

Set goals!

I love setting goals at the beginning of the year because it’s a wonderful opportunity to take a break, think about what you’ve accomplished so far and where you want to go in the future. This SLA article gives you a step by step guide to setting goals in 2019.

Look the part

I remember in one of my first jobs after school, there was a colleague who never wore makeup and people definitely clowned her. They would say she didn’t look professional or always looked tired. Hate it or love it, in the professional world, how you present yourself can be the difference between you getting that opportunity to shine and people overlooking you for not looking the part. Makeup is not compulsory to look the part but looking neat, clean and pleasant will. This Forbes article explains how savvy business women should dress for success.

Jumpstart your career and business this year with 5 tips from She Leads Africa's co-founder @helloafua! More in this article. Click To Tweet

Fail forward

Failures and setbacks in life are inevitable! Even the most successful people have failed at something. To fail forward means to become better because of your mistakes, you can only do this by acknowledging your mistakes, and learning from them. Here’s a great article by a Google employee, Tanuja Ramchal on how to fail fast and fail forward.

Be accountable!

The key to achieving your goals is ACCOUNTABILITY. This can be in the form of a Vision Board that you check every week or in a club where you share your goals out loud. However you choose to do it, accountability can make or break whether you see real progress in your goals this year. The SLA team has pulled together resources to help you set and achieve your goals in 2018. Visit sheleadsafrica.org/2019 to find out more and jumpstart your 2019.

Don’t forget to take out some time for yourself

Don’t forget to take out some time for yourself! When it comes to self-care; the main lesson I’ve learned is that you have to control your life so that you don’t wake up one day and not recognize the person you’ve become. Be mindful. Be thoughtful. Be present so that you enjoy every single experience on your journey to becoming a better you. As Nigerians say, I can’t come and kill myself! In this article, Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post makes the argument that you should sleep your way to the top! She means sleep, catch actual zzzz’s. Here’s wishing you an amazing 2019! See you at the top.

Visit SheLeadsAfrica.org/NewYearGoals or OkadaBooks.com to learn how to jumpstart your 2019.


She Leads Africa is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting young African women and their journey towards professional success. The organization has been featured on CNN, CNBC Africa, Black Enterprise and Fox Business and has more than 600,000 community members across Africa and the diaspora.

 

5 things you need to start doing to grow your business online in 2019!

When Yasmin Belo-Osagie and I decided to start She Leads Africa in 2012, we had no office, no team, just a shared vision. We didn’t have fixed plans, but we both had a strong passion to help young women do better in their careers and businesses.

Since then we’ve built an amazing team, grown a community to more than 500,000 women across 135 countries, been featured in international media like Forbes, CNN and CNBC, generated hundreds of thousands of dollars through partnerships with global brands like Facebook, Samsung and Google, and was even invited to ring the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange!

Afua Osei: Co-Founder, She Leads Africa (Photo Credit: NYSE}

Here are 5 lessons I have learned along the way:

Set goals

At She Leads Africa, our goal has always been to create a platform to help millennial women create their own version of success so it’s exciting to be able to design experiences and opportunities to help them get closer to it.

This goal is broken down into many smaller goals and tasks that help us achieve this overarching goal.

Create content that stands out

There is such a significant need for interesting and creative content from diverse voices that there is no niche that has been overdone.

Those who want to be successful must move beyond creating content and discover how they can create community, experiences, and commerce to build a sustainable business. Develop a brand layout or creative guidelines so your content looks consistent over time.

5 things you need to start doing to grow your business online in 2019 from She Leads Africa's co-founder, @helloafua. Learn more. Click To Tweet

Think beyond social media

Make sure you’re creating a brand that goes beyond social media and these algorithm changes. Be able to connect directly with your customers, fans and industry decision makers without relying on someone else’s shine.

One of the ways you can do this is by growing a mailing list.

Help your team members develop through feedback

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important responsibilities to your team members is to give them feedback.

When your budget is tight, you can’t always afford to hire people with the most experience so you and your team will need to learn and grow together. Honest and consistent feedback is the way to make that happen.

Network

Find like-minded people in your community who can help you grow, and who you can help. Business relationships should always be symbiotic. Go to networking events. As an introvert, my go-to method before any networking opportunity: Breath. Research. Practice.

The digital economy provides one of the most significant opportunities for young women to generate their own independent income and monetize their skills and personality to a global audience. Previous economic transformations required significant capital or permission from gatekeepers. That is no longer the case.

The SLA team has pulled together resources to help you set and achieve your goals in 2019.

Visit SheLeadsAfrica.org/NewYearGoals or OkadaBooks.com to learn how to jumpstart your 2019.


She Leads Africa is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting young African women and their journey towards professional success. The organization has been featured on CNN, CNBC Africa, Black Enterprise and Fox Business and has more than 600,000 community members across Africa and the diaspora.

A case study from The Safety Chic on How to crush your 2019 goals

It’s a new year and you’ve set those amazing goals that will propel you to your next level. How do you go from being a novice to getting international recognition?

How do you go from your current great level to the higher rung on the ladder of success?

I would be sharing with you a few tips that worked for me while building “The Safety Chic” brand from zero to almost a hundred. I am not at my destination yet but I am a good distance from where I started.

Even though I’m still a work in progress, I believe you can pick a thing or two from my experience.

In my opinion, there are 5 major things that you’d need to consider to ensure you go from zero to influence or from the level you’re on currently to the next.

How do you go from your current great level to the higher rung on the ladder of success? Learn from - @TheSafetyChic Click To Tweet

Preparation

What do you have in your hands right now? Do you have some training or certifications in a certain area? Do you have work experience either paid or unpaid? How about requisite soft skills and good behavior?

What life experience do you have which has charted you on a certain path?

These things are tools available to you that if used correctly will prepare you for your next level.

As someone with a communications background, I later got interested in the Safety profession but had to ensure I was qualified by getting the right certifications and gaining work experience through volunteer work.

While working for free, I put my best foot forward with good behavior and that led to my bosses recommending me for jobs that paid and took me out of state. Based on your set goals, what do you think you can begin to do NOW to prepare you?

It’s never late to start

Grit and Consistency 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

As motherland moguls, you need to decide upfront that you’d have staying power no matter the disappointment or challenge you face.

What would you do when friends disappoint you or when no client shows up? What will you do when no one is reading your blog, watching your videos or listening to your podcast?

Would you still continue?

There was a time it felt like no one was seeing all the work I was putting in. There were times friends I asked to give me a shout out on social media did not do it.

At a time, I had no customer. I had to keep doing my bit because I knew this was just a phase that would pass - @TheSafetyChic Click To Tweet

When you stay consistent, even though your audience is unresponsive, you’d have what we call a top of mind awareness and when something comes up in your niche, you would be the first person remembered.

There were many times safety situations came up in the country and everyone would be seeking my opinion on social media. This made me appreciate my consistency. More importantly, I honestly assessed what I was doing and decided to seek help in areas where I needed it to ensure I achieved my goals.

Seek knowledge 

He that knows not and knows not that he knows not is a foolish man. If you know you do not know something, seek knowledge centers. There are many ways to acquire knowledge in today’s world.

Besides Google, there are thought leaders in almost all subject matters. Read and listen to what they say, pick up what is relevant to you.

Do courses online and in-person. Find mentors and coaches. There are a lot of mentors you can learn from by watching them, they do not need to be in your DM for you to get it. I learn a lot from reading Strive Masiyiwa’s posts on Facebook but he does not know I exist yet.

When my business needed redefinition in 2016, I took Steve Harris’s Mastering the Business of your Talent Course. That exposed me to the path to tow, increased the number of quality people in my network and he linked me to my current Coach Rotimi Eyitayo who works in the Education space.

Prepare yourself for success by doing courses online and in-person. Find mentors and coaches. - @TheSafetyChic Click To Tweet

This placed me on the right trajectory because I needed to break into the education space. I’m also very selective of the people I listen to on social media and the groups I join.

There is a great Facebook group with so much knowledge being shared regularly that has helped me tremendously. It’s called Headstart Africa. This is a good way to get informed. Look around you, how do you plan to acquire knowledge for your desired goal?

Remember, you can get this formally and informally.

Execute the tasks

Whatever thy hands find to do, do with all diligence. There are so many coaches, mentors and courses can do for you. If you do not execute, you will not move an inch. Put your learnings to work. Create products, organize events, write blog articles, shoot videos, record podcasts, write a book, collaborate with others etc.

Basically, step out in faith and do what you need to do. Do not lose focus because of what people are saying. You must also be your own PR agency.

It is important you have a digital trail so that when a search is done, you and your work will pop up. - @TheSafetyChic Click To Tweet

As you execute, talk about your work and document digitally on your social media for a start. As you go, you’d eventually get mentions in blogs and other media. It is important you have a digital trail so that when a search is done, you and your work will pop up.

This is really important most especially if you want your work noticed on international platforms. It is also important that as you execute, you share your learnings and help others grow. We need one another for the future we desire.

In my case, I created the school safety poster packs, wrote the child safety storybook series, organised the annual School Safety Summit, visited schools to teach children through my Train Them Young Initiative (#2TYI).

I’ve been featured on different platforms like She Leads Africa, Bellanaija, Tony Elumelu Foundation amongst others. I also took up other roles to increase my value and boost my network. Being the YALI Network Lagos Coordinator, helped me use my leadership, organization and communication skills to execute projects.

This increased my visibility and showed that I was a diligent person who produced results. What things do you need to begin to do to move to the next stage? Do not shy away, start doing. This is the only way you’d progress consistently towards your set goals.

Start doing.

Expand your reach/capacity

With great blessings come great responsibility. You will be stretched and if you did not build on the right foundation, you would crash.

New levels will try your emotional, mental, physical and intellectual abilities. When you work hard, you will definitely reap the benefits so you need to be ready for the work ahead.

It will not be good for your blessings to meet you unprepared. You need capacity and that is why you need to do the necessary groundwork. However, you need to know when to automate, delegate and outsource certain functions so you can focus on your core competencies.

It’s also important for you to seek opportunities and platforms that will expand your work. Fellowships, Grant opportunities, scholarships are great ways to build your network and push your work out there.

In 2018, I got the Tony Elumelu Foundation grant and I became a Mandela Washington Fellow. These two opportunities increased my reach across Africa and the US. As a matter of fact, some of my moves for 2019 are as a result of these platforms.

Therefore, seek opportunities that will propel your work. A word of caution though, do not just apply for all opportunities. Instead, seek the ones that align with goals you want to achieve and throw your weight fully behind them.

There’s an app called Youth Opportunities that you can check out. We also have opportunitydesk.com and opportunity for Africans.

Are all these easy? No.
Is it worth it? Yes.

Start, and before you know it, you will just keep growing from one level to the next

Wishing all my fellow motherland moguls an explosive 2019!


 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

FACEBOOK LIVE WITH TAFADZWA BETE SASA: DEVELOPING AN ACTION PLAN FOR YOUR 2018 GOALS (May 3)

Its quarter past 2018 – let’s talk about the goals you set at the beginning of this year!

Have you slayed any of them?

If you have, a big SLA kudos to you! If you haven’t, don’t panic – you still have enough time to smash them and end the year strong like a bawse!

In the spirit of Q2, join us on Thursday, 3rd May, as we host a Facebook Live Chat with Tafadzwa Bete Sasa, who will be sharing practical tips on developing an action plan for your 2018 goals.

If you’ve read the I wanted to get more things done and be a goalgetter feature or watched her webinar on creating routines to maximize productivity, then you know Tafadzwa is not a stranger to our SLA community.

Smash your 2018 goals with actionable tips from @taffybete on May 3rd at 12pm WAT. Visit http://bit.ly/TaffyBete to sign up! Click To Tweet

Tafadzwa has several accolades under her name and has also been named a Global Shaper by the Lusaka Hub – an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

She has also designed numerous trainings that focus on various efficiency skills, which include creating routines & schedules for productivity, as well as creating & nurturing tribes for productivity, including this goal getters guide to creating a schedule for your productivity.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • The process: steps to smashing a goal
  • The price: what you should sacrifice to achieve your goals.
  • The people: ways to overcome negativity from naysayers
  • Strategies to overcome discouragement and setbacks when the going gets tough

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Time: 12pm Lagos // 1pm Lusaka // 2pm Nairobi

Watch here:

She Leads Africa Facebook Live with Tafadzwa Bete – Sasa, Managing Consultant of GoalGetter Consultancy who is practical steps to developing an action plan for your 2018 goals. Join the She Leads Africa community by visiting SheLeadsAfrica.org/join!

Posted by She Leads Africa on Thursday, May 3, 2018

About Tafadzwa

Tafadzwa Bete Sasa is a productivity trainer, consultant and speaker specialising in personal efficiency and team performance.

She is also the managing consultant of GoalGetter Consultancy and the creator of the organisation’s flagship product – the GoalGetter Planner, a customized daily organizer that helps users translate their dreams and resolutions into SMART goals and develop action plans to achieve these goals.

Outside of her professional work, Tafadzwa is involved in community service as a member of Junior Chamber International (JCI)  where she is currently serving as the JCI Zambia Executive Vice President.
Tafadzwa has been recognised for her outstanding service and leadership as a Global Shaper and as one of Africa’s most outstanding emerging women leaders by the Moremi Initiative. In all her roles though, Tafadzwa is all about building the capacity for people to get things done.