HGCP 2021 Participants: Oghenetega Gbadagri, the wellbeing entrepreneur who founded Nigeria’s foremost on-demand spa: The Mobile Spa

I sat down with Oghenetega Gbadagri, the founder The Mobile Spa to get to know her and her journey as a wellbeing entrepreneur managing one of Nigeria’s most on-demand spa.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

I’m Tega, I am a wellbeing entrepreneur and the founder of Nigeria’s foremost on-demand Spa: The Mobile Spa. I am certified by the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC UK). I am also trained and hold certificates in various therapies including – Massage, Facials, Collagen Induction, Electrocautery and Advanced Dermapeeling.

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line and how do you stay motivated?

I am committed to helping people improve their skincare and wellbeing by making spa services easily accessible to them in their personal space.  

I stay motivated by surrounding myself with positive and supportive people, practicing gratitude, regularly reviewing my goals and progress, celebrating my wins no matter how little, and investing in my self-care & well-being.

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Growing The Mobile Spa brand to include other team members is my biggest achievement. The Mobile Spa travels to our client’s location to deliver spa  & wellbeing services.  In the past, the cost of transportation from our primary location to different parts of Lagos was a huge challenge. Some areas were farther and the cost of travel sometimes matched the cost of the service which left us unprofitable. 

 In 2019, I was able to decentralize our take off points and set a flat rate for transportation, exclusive of the service charge which covers for the cost of travel to and fro the client’s location.  

Currently, most of our therapists are equipped to fulfil appointments taking off directly from their residence across 12 different parts of Lagos Mainland and Island respectively. We make use of the Uber & Bolt Car Hire system.  This has helped us reduce cost and have a predictable transportation cost per location. Thus scaling up and increasing profit.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I enjoy watching romantic movies and spending time with my family

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

 Creating solutions that improve people’s wellbeing!!

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

The Mobile Spa delivers massages, face and body treatments to clients in the comfort and privacy of their space – home, office or event.

We believe that customers should not encounter the stress of commuting to and fro different locations in order to get rejuvenated with spa treatments, so we make high quality spa services accessible & convenient.

We transform their spaces into a spa in a way that is minimally reversible without clogging their spaces or getting in their way. 

The Mobile Spa was launched in 2014, for some years, I was the sole therapist delivering these on demand services. The Mobile Spa now has over 15 wellbeing therapists serving various clients across Lagos.

Where can people find out more about your business?

You can find us on our website at https://themobilespa.com.ng/. You can follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/themobilespalagos/.

You can also reach out to me directly on Whatsapp at +2349029542951, send me a DM on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tegagbadagri/ or connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/oghenetega-itec-uk-24a166b1/. You’re also welcome to send me an email on tega@themobilespa.com.ng.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

We offer a wide range of treatment options cutting across massages, face & body treatments as offered at the day spa. Our clients enjoy the same benefits of a spa treatment in the comfort of their space.  We create memorable spa experiences wherever people want it by transforming their space evoking the physical and psychological effect of getting rejuvenated.

We have set up spa in the most unusual places – at the beach, parties, offices, conferences, fairs,  rooftops, resorts and we have also been to movie sets.  We are the go-to for on demand spa services.

If you were given $1m to invest in *business*, where would it go?

I would use the money to build an aggregator app available in major Nigerian cities that connects individuals and corporations to therapists that are available to offer on demand spa and wellbeing services within 60 minutes of booking. The money would be invested in app development, recruitment, training & development, marketing and spa supplies.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Planning; delegation and the setting SMART goals

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

 The best advice I’ve received is that as an entrepreneurs I should build a business that can thrive without me by setting up relevant systems and processes.

What business-related books have inspired you the most? 

 There’s actually quite a few, but my current favorites are 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; Traction by Gino Wickman and Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrillow.

What advice will you give young entrepreneurs who are just starting out?’

Focus on the things that you’re good at and outsource your weaknesses – If booking keeping, graphic design etc. are not your strength, don’t get stuck on doing everything yourself. Find experts that offer these services for a small fee, it will help you focus on your core business and improve efficiency.

Oghenetega is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program working to grow and scale The Mobile Spa.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Anita Dafeta talks about how her love for the different stories that emanate from ancient folklore inspired Origho Lagos

I sat down with Anita Dafeta, the founder and creative director of Origho Lagos to get to know her and how how her love for the different stories that emanate from ancient folklore inspired her to create  homeware rooted in African heritage.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am the founder and Creative Director of ÓRÌGHÒ Lagos, a brand that aims to connect Africa to the world through contemporary homeware rooted in African heritage.

After completing my secondary schooling at Loyola Jesuit College Abuja, I obtained an International Diploma in Business from Oxbridge Tutorial College and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Sheffield UK. After my time at University, I worked briefly in London as an Accounting and Finance intern for a media company and later returned to Nigeria in 2015.

I have worked with renowned brands in various disciplines such as Tiffany Amber Nigeria, Capital Club Lagos and Ermenegildo Zegna. After returning to Nigeria from the UK I realised that there was a huge gap in the creative artisan sector in Nigeria and began liaising with artisans in areas such as woodwork, weaving, pottery and beading; thus the foundation for what has become ÓRÌGHÒ Lagos was forged.

I am a resilient and dedicated founder who is committed to immortalising our African heritage. I currently live in Lagos, Nigeria with my family.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I love art and music so generally I visit galleries, art exhibitions and listen to music from artists like H.E.R, Snoh Aalegra and Brent Fayaz. I’m a lover of 90’s music as well and I believe that great food is also a great time. 

If you had to write a book, it would be on what and why?

It would be a heartfelt, emotional but sometimes hilarious biography of my life thus far. Like how I got my fortune told at the Cirque Le Soir in London on Ganton Street…, still waiting for that to manifest by the way. But it will also have real, raw moments of hard work, tears and everything in between. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

I think my greatest achievement is starting a business and sticking with it through thick and thin, especially in this part of the world.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Turning my radical ideas into reality. 

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

We produce artisan made interior décor and home goods products that are rooted in African folklore, design and craftsmanship with the aim of connecting the world to our continent and immortalising our heritage in the home.

You can follow our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/origholagos/ to keep up to date with our product launches and brand events.

What was the inspiration behind Origho Lagos?

The business is inspired by our African heritage and craftsmanship. I have always loved the different stories that emanate from ancient folklore and I thought it would be wonderful to integrate that in an authentic but new way through homeware.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

The name ÓRÌGHÒ Lagos is derived from my Itsekiri name Orighomisan which means “My head is good” in the native dialect.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

I believe there are individuals who want to own unique pieces of interior décor from Africa. Our craftsmanship is very well sought after all over the world. However, I believe we are still in the trial phase where we really need to get our brand out there and see what works. 

What is your ‘why’ i.e., bottom line, and how do you stay motivated?

True motivation is generally hard to come by these days especially because we live in a hyper visible era with most people posting about their ‘apparent’ successes but not showing the true hard work that goes on behind the scenes. To keep myself motivated I try to ignore the vanity metrics and re-enforce my personal ideology that great things take time to build. I understand that I have a purpose bigger than just me and it has to be fulfilled.

If you were given $1m to invest in your business, where would it go?

I think the virtual art/NFT (Non-Fungible Token) space is a new but interesting sector to invest in.

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?

I don’t have a lot of tricks up my sleeve (wink) but I believe in listening to your body and recharging when you need to. I also think you should always reflect on the end goal to remind yourself ‘why’.

Anita is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program scaling up Origho Lagos to keep on immortalising African heritage in people’s homes.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Founder of Closer Adenike Bamigbade is all about the impact and value their products delivers to Nigerian women and girls

I sat down with Adenike Bamigbade, the founder of Closer to get to know her and how she’s empowering women to take charge of their menstrual health.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Adenike and I work in the social development space; so I guess you can call me a social worker. I work on ideas and solutions that solve critical issues that affect young people and women. I am working on three things at the moment; raising young anti-corruption champions, improving access to employment for youth and building a sustainable way to end period-poverty in Nigeria. 

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line, and how do you stay motivated?

There are myriads of problems around us and this keeps my brain active. I am always asking; how do we solve these problems? Being an avid reader, I have read about how ordinary people create ideas that change the world, so this inspires me to keep creating, iterating and not give up trying to solve a problem I care about. 

Period poverty is a real issue in our world, though the main problem is poverty. However, menstrual health should not be dependent on how rich a girl is, because she is only obeying nature’s call and it’s not her fault. I have seen lots of campaigns around period-poverty, but I feel most have short-impacts, we need to create a more sustainable solution to solve this big problem. This is purely what Closer is here to address, ensuring women and girls have access to good menstrual health. 

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

Closer is a new business and I am overwhelmed by the acceptance everywhere I had the opportunity to talk about the idea. Working on the idea and seeing the idea come to life is my biggest achievement so far. We took our time to work on the product, identify the best suppliers and ensure the experience is great. For us at Closer, every subscriber is a real woman, and she matters to us dearly. For every profit on each Box of Closer, 10% is used to help a girl from disadvantaged home to be out of period poverty. The smile and excitement on the girl is one I can’t buy. Also, each girl writes a ‘thank you’ letter to each subscriber that donated towards her period box. 

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

I enjoy the fact that I am adding value to people’s lives. Closer is all about our women and our girls. We are all about the impact and how valuable our products are to people’s lives, not the profit at all. As a business, we make profits, but the experience of our women and girls is fulfilling for me as the founder. 

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

As a woman, you ought to be in charge of your menstrual health. Closer conveniently gives women access to the best-selected products specific to their menstrual needs through a subscription-based platform.

A woman’s lifecycle is largely controlled by her reproductive health starting from puberty to menopause. She is an egg-bag and her dreams can be tied to how well she is able to manage her reproductive health. With Closer, we are providing access to organic sanitary pads, organic panty liners and very important products women need each month to be in control of their menstrual health. Closer wants more women and girls to show up whether the red-visitor is around or her belly is pumped with a baby or she is in her grey-old-days enjoying menopause. We deliver the appropriate intimate care kits women in each category need without any worry. 

Where can people find out more about your business?

At Closer, we want to take the stress off you every month. Start your subscription on our website at  www.closer.ng. We also want to be with you all month round, so ensure you subscribe to our mailing list where we unfold the little secrets women shy about.

You can also connect with us on Social Media on Instagram.com/closerng, Facebook.com/closerng

and Twitter.com/closerng

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

Quality, quality, quality. At Closer, we work directly with suppliers who are producing quality products. Our sanitary pads are safer for you and the environment. Our bikini shavers are healthier alternatives. We don’t do normal, we go extra to ensure we provide quality products. 

This has made us distinct. Also, we are in the big e-commerce health industry, but we narrow it down to menstrual health only. This is a niche with low penetration in Nigeria at the moment, the ocean is still blue here and Closer is positioning itself rightly in that niche. 

What challenges have you faced first as a founder and then as a female founder?

Human resource in terms of getting the right people to work on the idea. This would have been easier if there was enough capital to pay people, but I am willing to allow the business to grow and pay people at our own capacity. I do not want to take the risk of paying more than the business is making at the moment. 

If you were given $1m to invest in *business*, where would it go?

Closer is a subscription business solving an important problem. It has the capacity to scale. With an investment funding of $1m, we will purchase more assets to aid logistics and distributions and also increase marketing budgets. With this investment, we can reach 1 million women per month and that means at least 100,000 girls will be out of period poverty every month. 

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

Just start. I can be a perfectionist, so I always want everything to be perfect before I start. Launching Closer in March 2021 was not my ideal way of doing things but I obliged to the advice I got and I started. I noticed that I have learned so much from my customers than from the market research and survey I did in the past. So, I got real feedback which helped me tweak the products better. So, here is my advice to you as well, just start, it will get perfect along the way. 

What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?

As entrepreneurs, we often create an idea that solves our own problem or someone we know. We then believe that other people are experiencing that same problem. When we are building a business brand, we make the mistake of creating a brand we love, not a brand that will appeal to our ideal customers. 

So, I will recommend two things; research and feedback. First, research to understand if this problem is a common thing indeed and how people are already solving it. Also, research on who experience this problem, it is likely that those who experience it are not the ones that will pay for the solution. Also, ensure you get people to help you interpret the responses you get. Get your friends, people with different perspectives and get their insights. 

Secondly, while you build, ask for feedback. Make feedback your food. Ask your customers to rate you, to share their experience and how they are using your product. Pay attention to the feedback and continue to tweak the products or services based on those feedback. 

What business-related book has inspired you the most? (or, what is your favorite book) ?

I love Peter Druker’s books on management. What I have realized having read his books is that ideas are common, but a great manager is rare. As entrepreneurs, we are managing a lot of things at the same time. We are managing our customers, our staff, our finance, our suppliers, our market, etc. Each has its own tactics and ways of dealing with it. Peter Drucker spent most of his life studying management and he has broken it down through his books. 

Adenike is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program scaling up Closer to keep on changing the landscape of menstrual health for women in Nigeria.

HGCP 2021 Participants: Titilayo Taiwo on co-founding Africa’s leading one-stop talent marketplace

I sat down with Titilayo Taiwo, the founder and chief operating officer of Terawork.com to get to know her and how she co-founded Africa’s leading one-stop talent marketplace.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Titilayo Taiwo, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at TERAWORK.COM LIMITED. I oversee TERAWORK’s operations; strategic partnerships and I’m also involved in building exceptional teams and driving revenue.  

I am a Biochemist turned Operations/Human Resources expert with over 10 years of experience that spans Wellness, Oil & Gas, Software Design & Development. I am also a partner and volunteer in various charity organizations. I’m passionate about youth empowerment and I’m very committed to building tools to help people work better together and more effectively. I also enjoy wining and dining with families and friends for relaxation.

What is your ‘why’ i.e. bottom line? 

My ‘why’ is all about the vision and the impact opportunity, I am doing my part by using digital technology to contribute towards solving the long age unemployment problem in Africa. My goal is to see freelancers on our platform earn billions of  dollars while helping millions of businesses of all sizes to grow and achieve their goals. I wake up everyday to ensure that TERAWORK grows into a company that has real impact on the lives of millions of African sellers and buyers. 

On motivation I regularly review our goals and progress because I find that seeing progress is a great motivator in itself, and also goes a long way in improving my self-esteem.

How has your entrepreneurship journey been so far?

As a result of my hands-on experience, I’ve been featured on several entrepreneurship panels and master classes hosted by Enterprise Development Centre(EDC), Webtv, Churches, Schools etc. I was celebrated by Sterling Bank Plc alongside 5 other women nationwide during the International Women’s Day Celebration in February 2020, as a founder and a leader of a company that strives to give equal opportunities to women. I’m also in the 2021 Cohort of  AWS Activate Africa for Africa’s inspiring women start ups founders and leaders.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

I’ve never wanted to be an entrepreneur, let alone a serial one. But I absolutely love it now and would never trade it for another occupation. I love the freedom of being able to be wherever you want, with whomever you want, doing whatever you want to. It’s truly priceless.

I love a constant challenge, and the endless opportunities to learn and grow one’s mind. I also love that as my business grows and becomes more successful, it has different challenges and needs that require me to adapt yet again and grow too.

But for me the best part about being an entrepreneur is being in charge of your own destiny. When we’re born, we’re placed into a custody of our parents. Then our society. Schools. Corporations. Entrepreneurs get to break free and take control of their own lives. It’s exhilarating and rewarding.

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer.

TERAWORK is a freelance marketplace that is helping small business owners by giving them the support and access to any competent talent they need to succeed. We provide businesses with on-demand affordable and quality freelancing services in legal, accounting, social media management, software development and 54 other service categories to grow. From the comfort of their homes and within a few hours, they can hire vetted on demand professionals which enables them to focus on building their businesses and save operational costs by 40%. Our Escrow system ensures that they don’t have to pay for substandard jobs any more. With TERAWORK value is guaranteed or you get your money back.

You can learn more and sign up by visiting our website at https://www.terawork.com/.

How have you carved a niche for yourself in your industry?

We did so by focusing on just one pain point – the hassle of hiring cost effective quality  talent. Our offering of on-demand quality and proven talent with an escrow system that  guarantees value or money back is unique.

What would you say has been pivotal to your growth and success so far? 

My growth mindset; my belief that skills are built, and that new abilities can be developed through practice and effort. I strongly believe in my capacity to learn and grow, and that my intelligence can be developed. I tend to persist in the face of setbacks, take on board and even invite feedback and find inspiration those around me. I see life as an endless opportunity to figure out new things and appreciate that failure is part and parcel of learning and progressing – it’s necessary and therefore not something to shy away from. I also understand that mastery of a skill takes persistence, practice and time.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

It’s actually a quote by Steve Jobs, ”Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you; the aircraft, vessels, etc. And you can change it, you can influence it…, once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again” 

What’s your number 1 tip for anyone struggling to overcome entrepreneurial overwhelm and keep going?

Learn to do less; the first step to dealing with this is to accept that you’ll never get it all done. I know that’s hard to accept and say, but it’s a reality. Once we acknowledge that, we feel less stressed because we have less resistance to trying to do it to all.

Remind yourself every day that it’s not about getting more done. It’s about getting results that matter. “Do three things well, not ten things badly.” Then outsource, that is why we created TERAWORK!

Titilayo is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program hard at work to grow TERAWORK into a global talent marketplace where value is always guaranteed.

Want to map out your own career path? Here’s how!

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Think about a career as a personal journey. How person ‘A’ makes it work, is never the same as how person ‘B’ makes it work. In an industry with hundreds of skilled talent coupled with the rapidly evolving times, how can you craft your own path and remain relevant?

Now more than ever, is the time to be intentional about what you bring to the table; what makes you unforgettable? Case in point- the career journey of popular Nigerian Media Personality, Toke Makinwa – she went from making the big move from banking to being the media star we know today.  The key to her progress has been owning her unique career journey.

How do you map out a career path tailored just for you? The three P’s for writing your script are Purpose, Place, and Plan!

 

No purpose means no perspective!

career path- I see you gif

The secret to a knock-out career is a personal vision. What is your ‘why’ and how can the world benefit from this? Quickly identifying this helps you to know right where you fit in. Think about it this way: without ‘you’ there is no career. So, authenticity is required to create or find the right opportunities for you.

This is what will enable you to be successful irrespective of the dynamism of your sector. So, what if machines took over your sector, how would you evolve to stand the test of times? The answer is ‘you’.

I have always envisioned a world with more women who are relevant and living their authentic lives. This is my personal vision and it translates to the kind of career choices I have made. Through my various roles as writer, administrator and civil leader, my purpose has not changed.

Knowing your place means there is a vacuum just for you

Career path -Chess gif

What are you able to bring to the table? Remember it is all about you, and how you can make everything work in your favour.

What has kept Ms. Tyra Banks relevant until now, is mapping out a career path that only she can execute. What is your place in the industry you are in? Where can you work or not work? The path becomes even narrower.

It takes consistency to find a niche or establish a track record, but when you can identify what exactly it is you bring to the table as well as where you can function in terms of delivering your personal vision? That’s when you know you are off to a great start.

In my case, after identifying how I could add value to the female audience, I developed my niche as a columnist on a lifestyle blog for women. I created a column for aspirational women; for daily motivation and personal development. This was how I started out, which in turn enabled me to learn a lot about myself, and evolve. I have built my career on this foundation.

Draw up a plan for you or go home when their plan changes

I mentioned Tyra Banks earlier. Actually, Tyra was forced to make sustainable career plans when her industry rejected her. If she took the list of designers who said they couldn’t book her anymore and admitted that she was done, she wouldn’t be who she is today. Instead, she rewrote her narrative by creating opportunities for herself.

Having found a purpose and a place, then there has to be a great plan to keep you relevant. Like a custom-made strategy just for you.

In formulating a plan, ask yourself the following questions: What is the right network for me? Where is the right environment? How can I gain more confidence and experience? What is crucial to remaining relevant? In answering these questions, you will be able to craft a career strategy for yourself.

To wrap this up…

I have been able to identify opportunities that re-enforce my competencies, which in turn have helped me evolve in my career. This consistency has helped me to learn more about myself, and envision where I would like to be in years to come.

I first started out as a content creator for women, but I have evolved to channel my passion of empowering women, into development work and not just media. As a key-employee in an organization for women, I have first-hand experience in helping women stay relevant. 

If you are hoping for a Toke Makinwa or Tyra Banks type of evolution, then you need to put yourself at the centre of your career. Not the money, or being on fleek, or the people you are rolling with. Think hard to make the right decisions. Long-standing personal brands are birthed from consistency.


How have you mapped your career path?

Let us know more about you and your story here.

6 ways to break down boundaries to becoming a successful entrepreneur

There is nothing women can’t do.

Surely, there are so many hindrances that women in business face. However, when it comes to race, the number of black women entrepreneurs have greatly increased over the past decades.

According to the Census Bureau, eight million businesses in the United States are owned by people from minority groups, and 2.5 million of these are owned by African-American (which makes them the only racial or ethnic group with the highest number of business ownerships).

Also, in the very recent State of Women-Owned Business Report, the number of firms owned by black women grew by 164%. 

We all know it, there is nothing women can’t do. While the stakes are higher, you can break down the boundaries and become a successful entrepreneur.

How?

1. Embrace diversity

Before you make other people believe in you, you first have to believe in yourself. Instead of seeing it as a barrier, you have to embrace your diversity and use it as a competitive advantage.

Take note that diversity goes beyond gender, nationality, color, or race. We have to embrace our uniqueness, be proud of our strengths, and turn our weaknesses into opportunities. 

2. Be passionate about what you do

When you love what you are doing, you gain the courage to look past the challenges and the discouragement from other people. To succeed in business, you’ve got to have a strong mission.

Why do you want to start a business?

Successful entrepreneurs have many things in common. One is their sense of purpose. Of course, an obvious reason is to gain profit.

But there certainly has to be a reason much higher than that which motivates you to pursue what you do.

3. Accept that failure is part of it

You’ve heard stories about business tycoons bouncing back from their failures and have turned out to be better entrepreneurs.

You won’t believe how founders of giant companies like Twitter, Huffington Post, LinkedIn, and PayPal all went through massive failures, costing them millions of dollars.

Here’s the thing – 75% to 90% of all startups fail. It only shows that failing in business is normal.

At some point, you will commit mistakes, you will make wrong decisions, and you will fail. The secret is to never give up.

4. Plan ahead

Behind a successful business model is a solid plan. You don’t jump into the river without knowing how deep it is.

Create a detailed business plan. Identify pain points. Pool your resources and know your options. For example, where will you get the funding? Will it be from your savings or through business financing?

Will you still need investors? How will you reach out to them? List down all your ideas. Do your research. Invest in knowledge. And be ready to start something.

5. Embrace Change

No matter how comprehensive your business model is, at some point, you will have to make adjustments or perform a total shift.

Changes in business are inevitable. Market demands and trends change from time to time. It is scary to confront changes. That’s a normal reaction.  But you have to be flexible and adaptable. Otherwise, you could be left behind.

6. Don’t Forget that You Are Human too

As you establish and grow your business, you will find yourself devoting most of your time to it.

You will miss some important family affairs for client meetings, endure sleepless nights for endless paperwork, and forego weekends to beat deadlines. The key is to strive for balance.

Drink your water. Eat your veggies. Sleep. Pamper yourself. Get your hair done. Go for a mani-pedi.

For you to keep up, you have to be physically and mentally healthy.

Becoming a businesswoman is not an easy feat. Striving for success is much more challenging especially when people kind of judge you for your race or gender.

But don’t let anything or anyone stop you from becoming a top-notch entrepreneur. Remember, in business success, there are no boundaries.


This article was written by Lidia Staron

Lidia Staron is a part of Content and Marketing team at OpenCashAdvance.com. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic planning and decision-making process. You can find really professional insights in her writings.

Need some more FREE downloadable guides from SLA? 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.


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6 ways to work towards your BIG dreams: DIANA MGENI

They call me a dreamer as I live in the world of fantasy, devoid of impossibilities. Several ideas that constantly run in my mind have not always matured to fruition, and for this reason, they have constantly reminded me to re-evaluate my view regarding the dreams and come back to what they consider as reality.

They laugh at me and talk behind my back that one day I will get tired of dreaming and stick to the fact that I can never make it out. With all these hindrances trying to make me give up. 

I never stopped dreaming. So I decided to do something about it. Here is my strategy…

List down my dreams

I will come up with a table that will contain my dreams, how I intend to work towards accomplishing them, the benefits and the challenges that I would face and how am going to overcome them.

I stand to derive from doing them, complete with the targeted start and end time for each of them.

Tell my friends how I feel

My friends are not going to stop me from achieving my dreams. I will tell them this in no uncertain terms that I am tired of their mimics and nothing will stop me from dreaming big.

I wouldn’t care if I lose them as friends or not because I believe real friends are supposed to give you support or encourage you in what you do.  

I’d rather walk alone believing in myself than walking with people who discourage and see failure you in whatever you do or want to do.

Attribute myself

Going forward, I will put more emphasis on the below attributes as the guiding principles towards achieving my dreams:

  • Believe – I’ve to make the decision to start believing in myself that my dreams will come true no matter how long it will take all I need is to give out my best with full of optimism.

 

  • Trust – It’s written in the good book of life that we need to trust in the Lord with all your heart and soul and He shall make our paths straight!  I have to always put lots of trust in Him and include him in each and every step that I take knowing that God helps those who help themselves.

 

  • Focused – I am going to remain focused on the task at hand towards achieving my dreams and take each step with positivism without wavering. Am never going to stand or turn around and listen to the barking dogs to disrupt my mission to remain focus in what am doing.

 

  • Competitiveness -The current world is very competitive. I am going to remain a life to the challenges that come with it while at the same time be ready to be challenged. The need to rise with every fall, learn from my mistakes and those of others and be ready to change in doing good is also going to be key to ensure my dreams succeed.

 

  • Perseverance – Success does not come overnight and neither is the road to it straight. I need to be able to withstand each storm that comes my way and overcomes it with full of confidence and never accepts to remain down since every successful person has a story to tell.

Research

Constant research on the subject of my dreams is now going to become an integral part of what I do towards achieving my dreams.

The current world is very competitive. Click To Tweet

Reading how the people who had the same dreams as mine how they were able to manage to get through their storm and be able to succeed in what they do. I will seek to find out the best way to actualize my dream and build an understanding of the same with the interested parties.

Ask for help

This help can take the shape of; financial, knowledge base and social input. I wouldn’t be shy to try to ask for any assistance from the people around me or my role model.

This is from the realization that there are other interested parties to the success of my dreams whose input will always remain valuable to me.

A step in the dark

As I embark on the tasks towards achieving my dreams, I need not to be scared of the outcome provided that it has come from my very best of input.

I must be prepared to showcase to everyone my work and be ready to accept both the critics and compliments from them full of positivism bearing in mind that you need them to grow since not everyone will like or support you in whatever you need.

Even if my crowd is small those that will listen to me; it is an achievement and will always appreciate them.

With all these, I believe that I can make my dreams come true!

So let’s keep dreaming!

This article was written by DIANA MGENI.


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

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

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

He was the real deal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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8 Great Ways For Bosses To Treat Employees Better

Everyone wants to be treated well. This is most especially at work – all employers want to have great treatment from their bosses. Nobody wants to be treated as though they are not human. Toxic environments as a result of disorganized hierarchies and office politics make it hard for employees to be productive. 

Therefore, to ensure your employees don’t quite faster than you hired them, you need to make sure that you treat them well. Here are 8 great ways to treat your employees better and make them feel dignified. 


Hire people that are hardworking, have a positive attitude, that will bring positive vibes to your organization Click To Tweet

1. Hire and fire employees on attitude, not ability

We all know that there is no remedy for a bad attitude. No matter how much you invest in training people to change their attitude, it will most likely not happen.

What is worse, is that a bad attitude is contagious. Though it will start with one person, a bad attitude will soon spread throughout your company.

To ensure your company culture remains positive, you start at the beginning. This means hiring people who have great, hardworking and positive attitudes that will bring positive vibes.

2. Treat them as if they are better than you

No one is an island of knowledge. We all learn new things from babies, toddlers, little children, beggars and even from animals! With each new person you meet or each new experience, you get an opportunity to learn something new.

So, treat your employees with the same curiosity and respect that you had towards your teachers. Even if they criticize you, do not be defensive and wield your ‘super boss power’.

Take a step back and really listen to their feedback. If an employee is brave enough to speak up, its because they care about you and your business.

3. Discourage gossip about anyone

Though gossip may start with one person, it can become very dangerous. The first thing is when you spread gossip, the person you are talking to may begin to have a negative perception of your personality.

Once they develop this perception, it may be very hard for them to trust you again with information.

Therefore, to ensure that your employees are the most productive, try to discourage a spirit of gossip in the company. Instead of discussing people’s weaknesses behind their backs, train your employees to have open and safe feedback sessions.

4. Show them what it means to establish a business

How do you do this? Expose your employees to the tough decisions, choices, and situations they need to experience to start their own businesses. Give them a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Guide them to see the importance of adding value to their work and the people around them. Be a source of inspiration and role model for them to look up to. While they might leave you eventually, they will always look back and appreciate you for all you’ve taught and done for them. 

Please treat your employees like you would please a client Click To Tweet

5. Surprise them

Who doesn’t like surprises? Please treat your employees like you would please a client. Surprises can range from monetary gifts to even offering afternoon offs. As they say, it is the thought and effort that matters when it comes to surprises.

Remember, your employees are there to not only increase your wealth but to also help you build on your dreams. Therefore, it is important to show them appreciation and ultimately support them on their journey’s to becoming successful.

6. Teach them how to sell

Your employees need to know how to market products or services even if they’re introverts and aren’t too keen on talking to potential clients. Introverts are most times deemed as trustworthy and professionals by clients/ therefore, bring them to your meetings.

You’ll be amazed at how they listen best and ask more questions. All these are qualities to look out for in the best salespeople.

7. Show them respect

If there is another thing that everyone wants, is to be treated with respect. Respect not only makes employees happy, but it also helps you avoid unnecessary disrespect. Treating your employees with respect begins with common courtesy, politeness, and kindness.

It then progresses towards encouraging them to express their opinions and ideas. While doing so, they should not feel underestimated or insulted because of what they say. Building on this, you can even use and credit these opinions and ideas expressed.

It is also important to be equal and fair in the treatment of your employees. Though they may fail sometimes, do not constantly criticize everything they do. Instead, try and give everyone an equal opportunity to express their ideas irrespective of their characteristics.

8. Picture every employee calling their mother at night

When we were little, our mothers used to ask us how our days were at night. Now imagine if your employees would be called by their mothers and asked: “how was your day at work?” You would, of course, want them to give a genuinely positive response. 

Try to make sure that every day you positively challenge and strengthen your employees. If you treat your employees well, then you can rest knowing their mothers are wishing you well.


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