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

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.
  Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

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.


 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

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.


 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

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.


Want to become an SLA contributor? Send an email to content@sheleadsafrica.org.

CloudCover is hosting “Women in Business” with Afua Osei and Ore Onile-Ere for Entrepreneurs and Career Persons on April 11

Pioneer of the revolutionary multi-network mobile data services, CloudCover Limited, is hosting Women entrepreneurs and career persons on Wednesday, April 11th at an event in Lagos tagged Women in Business.

Women in Business is an interactive session that brings together women from diverse industries and organizations in order to help address issues specific to women in all areas of economic endeavors. The event also aims to encourage networking amongst businesswomen.

Set to speak at the event is the co-founder of She Leads Africa, Afua Osei who will be sharing insights on Building a Successful Business in Nigeria.

Speaking about Women in Business, Group Chief Operating Officer of Cloudcover Limited, Eleanor Potter explained the essence of the event.

“Women in Nigeria face a host of cultural and institutional hurdles. Despite these obstacles, they still continue to thrive because they are learning each other’s lessons and listening to voices of those who have gone before them” she said.

“Cloudcover’s goal is to open up and connect people in business to increase productivity and ensure our users keep moving up the ladder of success” Eleanor continued.

Launched in 2016, CloudCover has been providing multi-network mobile data services in Nigeria and over 100 other countries using its revolutionary virtual SIM technology that enables users to connect to the most reliable network available.

Women in Business will feature top female executives, entrepreneurs, startup owners and other prominent women in society.

The event will also be hosted by Actress and On-Air Personality, Omotunde Adebowale David popularly known as Ore Onile-Ere.


Sponsored post.

Lola Denga: Intensifying your Inner Beauty

As a seasoned businesswoman, Lola Denga has been in the beauty space managing her own business for the last nine years.  She offers exclusive services that can be enjoyed from either her own home or that of the clients. Her services include Swedish Massages and manicures among others. 

Over the years Lola noticed that these beauty treatments enhanced women’s self-esteem and decided to take a step further. Instead of just focusing on external beauty she decided to write a devotional called G.LO.W (God’s love overwhelms women) to help women intensify their inner beauty. 

In a 7-day devotional, Lola helps women foster a deeper connection with God and in doing so, focus on their internal beauty. 

She believes that beauty has to come from within and by connecting to the maker, God himself you will achieve wholeness.


What inspired you to open a beauty business?

From the time I was 14 years and went and got my first manicure, I have always wanted to be in the beauty industry. After going to beauty school, I’d go to certain places and see the standards were not the same as those taught in school.

That’s literally where my passion started; I really wanted to bring beauty’s standard and dignity back. I wanted to create an ambience where clients would feel like they are getting the best service and are relaxed.

Beauty school focuses largely on the outside. Why did you decide to go a step further with your devotional? 

I realized that after speaking to more women, a lot of them were dealing with inner issues.  Yes, they were coming to enhance their outside beauty which consequently led to a temporary sense of confidence. But, the truth is, only when the inside is in harmony with the outside, do you enjoy beauty to its maximum.

What has opening a business taught you about yourself?

It has taught me that I really love people. It has also helped me showcase my creativity and organization skills. I have managed to pick up a lot of other skills through this experience.

What setbacks have you faced while starting and continuing your entrepreneurial journey?

There’s been a couple. It has taken me longer to get off the ground as I personally finance everything. I’d be saving to try and buy equipment by doing other jobs on the side.

Also, people’s attitudes have also posed a challenge. They are becoming more receptive to luxury beauty but largely it is seen more as an unnecessary indulgence rather than a necessity. It has made me see a gap in the market for education.

Educating people on everything from the healing properties of beauty treatments like a massage. I also educate people on how a good regular self-care routine can help reduce stress levels and create a work-life balance.

Where do you seek encouragement during those moments?

I am fortunate to have a strong support system.  I have my parents, my husband and my friends and definitely my relationship with God.

When I feel like I am about to give up, I remember why I am doing this in the first place. - @lolaruZW Click To Tweet

How important do you think a relationship with God is to an entrepreneur?

Honestly, it’s very important. Number one, it will keep you sane! There are a lot of things you’ll come across that you didn’t expect to come across. Business competition notwithstanding, there are people you expected support from that disappoint you.

Having a strong relationship with God ensures you know that this is not just a business idea. It is actually a gift and you need to understand that you are using it to worship Him and to impact lives.

At this point, your business should have a purpose and should not just be to make money. The purpose part makes sure that you don’t give up easily.

What are your proudest moments during your nine years as a businesswoman?

One of them was when I published my book. I was very proud of that! Over the years I have been involved in numerous photoshoots as a makeup artist. Those were enjoyable experiences.

I think overall, every day has something that makes you feel like it’s worth it. Even the small things like when a client expresses their gratitude are enough for me.

Do you feel that in Zimbabwe there are enough structures put in place to assist women to open businesses?

Until recently no. But so far, it looks promising. There are quite a few women in business organizations that are starting. The government is also coming in with funding.  I am excited to see how this will translate for future business owners.

As a seasoned businesswoman, what are you doing to support women in the entrepreneurial space?

I like to host prayer lounges. During this event, I keep in touch with women in business and keep encouraging them. I also offer career guidance tests if people are unsure of which direction they should be heading in.

I definitely do want to grow these ventures and I have intentions of being a facilitator and speaker in this year.

How do you balance it all?

I’d say time management, though I am not perfect at it yet! Prayer too, because that’s where I get my energy from. I also believe in incorporating things that you love to do even if it’s just reading a book. You need that time to distress and reflect.

That’s how you balance and you don’t end up breaking down or cracking. You have to make sure you get that allocated time for just being you and not thinking about business, not thinking about being a wife and just zoning out.

 

How do you unwind?

I like journaling, sometimes I’ll just journal for no reason. Occasionally, I enjoy either reading a book or watching a chick flick with a bowl of ice cream. I’m simple like that!

Definitely, I do try to spoil myself when I can. I go and get pedicures and foot massages done by someone else.

What are your top five tips for achieving wholeness?

1. You need to discover your strengths and weakness and accept them!

2.To realize your dreams, set goals and timelines for yourself.

3. Check your relationships with God, family and friends. Make sure that if there are any gaps, try to fix them. Also, let go of things that hurt as they will only hold you back.

4. Work on your self~esteem and general image. Once you find your personal style, you will avoid the pressure to follow trends and be a certain person.

5. Do stuff for others. Sometimes when we are hyper-focused on ourselves we can become closed off. Find something you enjoy doing that will bring impact to someone’s life.

Check your relationships with God, family and friends. Make sure that if there are any gaps, try to fix them.- @lolaruZW Click To Tweet

What does success look like at the end of everything? How will you know you’ve achieved your dreams?

Tangibly, it will be when I can see that loads of people have been impacted and there are many beauty shops open.

However, for me, impacting people is more about having a legacy than shops. So when my following has really grown and people come to know who Lola Ru is, then I shall know I have had an impact.

Finally, I intend to take the beauty industry by storm and develop a range of products from beauty school, shops, spas and others.


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

Edirin Edewor: When failure gives you wings, fly higher

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs on handling this? 

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

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

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

 

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

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


Vulnerability: Your key to smashing goals this year

To be Vulnerable means to be open to all of life’s experiences Click To Tweet

Ours is a generation of people striving to make their lives look perfect all the time. We post pictures, we update our statuses, we buy new things with the idea that maybe if it looks perfect enough, it will start to feel perfect.  

We don’t know how to handle feelings of uncertainty, unworthiness, loss, heartbreak; so we post more pictures and look even more perfect…sounds familiar right?

Our inability to accept the messiness of life, the ‘imperfection in ourselves’ and the fact that sometimes we’re all just little kids trying to make friends on the playground has affected our quality of life and our ability to truly engage with each other.

The average 20-something- year- old knows exactly how much money they want to earn, by what age they should be married, how many kids they intend to have, where those kids will go to school…all this with a flat tummy, gorgeous skin and long natural hair!

It’s a lot on any one’s plate and has made life this series of ‘check-list moments’. It’s no wonder new year’s resolutions have been given a bad rap over the years, it stopped being about ‘the magic of new beginnings, the chance to hit the refresh button and start all over again’, and instead started being about self-reprimand, self-hate, and comparison to others.

In her brilliant book, “Daring Greatly”, Brene’ Brown explores how striving to achieve your goals requires an openness to being vulnerable. The ability to stand up and say, “January hit me hard, I wasn’t prepared for some of the things life threw at me, I missed the mark and now, I must start afresh”, can affect your quality of life and ability to truly engage with other people.

Our generation is afraid of vulnerability, and for good reason, we’ve all been told we are too much of something to achieve something bigger than ourselves; too short, too fat, too loud, too broke, etc,  and as a result, more and more people are afraid to even try, and those that do, are afraid to try at things that really matter- those big hairy audacious goals.  

According to Brene’, “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness, will we be closer to the infinite power of our light”. To be Vulnerable means to be open to all of life’s experiences from a place of worthiness and self-love, not self-hate.

You are enough! Click To Tweet

Vulnerability is:

  • Starting over after that first business failed.
  • Speaking up about your relationships so that every abuse you experienced is never repeated.
  • Asking for more money, time, attention…if it is what will fulfill your needs.
  • Saying no to anyone who crosses the boundaries set in your relationship.
  • Committing to going to the gym after having fallen off your ideal weight.
  • Asking for help.
  • Presenting your product to the world and getting no response.
  • Having faith.
  • Saying ‘yes’ to love after a major heartbreak.
  • Admitting you do not know what to do, and then looking for the answer.
  • Letting go of some people because your business cannot afford it.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is about acknowledging discomfort and then using it in a positive way to enhance your life experience.  A few keys to enhancing your ability to manage vulnerability and therefore better able to live a wholehearted life are;

 

1. Be open

Sometimes the goals you want to achieve won’t be achieved in the exact path you expected, but it will always be worth it. You have to keep your heart and mind open to new ideas, a new career, new employers etc when it’s required.

2. Dare to show up

No matter how uncomfortable, unqualified or unprepared you might think you are, always show up. Your current life isn’t a dress rehearsal for your next life! If it’s important to you, you must show up.

3. Set and respect your boundaries

Set boundaries for your time, space and relationships, and after you’ve set your boundaries, respect them. Your goals this year are yours to achieve.

Vulnerability is being able to let other people know when they have crossed boundaries that you never intended to be crossed.

4. Wholehearted living

According to Brene’ Brown, wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. Too many people don’t think they are worthy of love, attention, support, promotion etc. This lack of self-love manifests itself in a myriad of ways that lead to people sabotaging the great things in their lives.

As you go about the business of achieving your goals this year, you must believe that you are worthy of all you are striving for. You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.

For the times when being vulnerable seems like the hardest thing to do, turn to the immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”


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