I’ve called 2019 the year of global distinction, and I believe we are in the most exciting period in recent history. In fact, I’ve called this the era of creative distinction knowing to birth and leading with your innovation is a key to global distinction.
One of the things which distinguish the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Facebook is their local influence and global impact. So, as an entrepreneur, leader or employee who now has to be entrepreneurial minded, how can your distinction be felt locally as well as globally?
From my message of Cutting Edge Distinction, I combined excellence and branding then created my 3 V’s of branding. So from now, anytime you see the word excellence, it actually represents your vision, your values, and your voice.
What are you going to do in the next seven days that will cause your vision to be recognized, respected and regarded locally and globally?
“Dear Entrepreneur. With the growth of social media and the global market now local, now is the time to grow your leadership brand. ~ Onyi Anyado”
In this era of creative distinction, social media now represents your personal brand, your CV, your business card, your website, and résumé too. So, with this truth, if I went to your Twitter account, do your last 20 tweets represent cutting edge leadership or blunt ended leaderSLIP?
One of the things which distinguish the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Facebook isthe constant sharing of their vision, values and voice across social media knowing if they’re not doing that, their competitors definitely are.
It is estimated that there are 7.7 billion people on planet earth. The components include different races, languages, cultures, and religions.
But, isn’t it fascinating that an entrepreneur in Madagascar and an employee in Malawi both have to use their iPhone to login to Facebook to discuss why there’s such an issue of ordering products from Amazon. (Did you catch the irony?)
So there you have it, we are now in the era of creative distinction, the global market is now local so, with this truth, how are you going to serve your vision, values, and voice with a global perspective? As a leadership speaker and workshop facilitator, there’s no way I’m not going to practice what I preach, speak and teach.
“Dear Entrepreneur, it’s time to wave goodbye to average and say hello to a new wave of distinction. ~ Onyi Anyado”.
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Late November last year, I spent time at Aunt Olivia’s vineyard. After a week of living in luxury, I was forced to review my life and identify opportunities for change. I was on a mission.
I narrowed down my goals for 2018 and subconsciously carved out life just like Cindy’s, Aunt Olivia’s daughter. Prioritized on my list were:
Quit Karte Carbon and become my BOSS.
Move to the U.K.
I was pumped.
As January 1st, 2018 rolled around, my resignation letter was prepped and ready to be sent. Plus, the advertising industry was so not my thing.
Drowning in my misery, I booked a late lunch with an old friend, Dorcas, who had just flown in from New York. To keep this story short, lunch with Dorcas taught me a few things that changed my life forever.
For too long, I had compared myself with online/Instagram personalities, which is probably why Chike left me for Suzana, but that’s another story altogether.
I was so desperate to shine that I hadn’t realized that my light was hidden in my purpose. If I lived within purpose, building on my passions and sharpening my skills, I’d shine in my own “little corner.”
However, if I chased glam, copying everyone else, I’d never be the best but at best, second best.
When I finally figured out that pottery was my thing, I still couldn’t take action. Think about it for a second – Who was going to buy my pottery?
After that initial experience, I began to chase a new dream. I mapped out my vision and set goals for myself. Today, Karte is history, and I’m living a life I always dreamed. Listen, Oprah, Beyonce, Jim Carey and others who have visualized their success never lied.
Visualize your future. Pencil it down and watch it become a reality.
“Stop comparing yourself to others. Your magic is like none other. Start chasing your dreams and thrive in the presence of fear.”
Adedoyin Omotara is a Beauty Entrepreneur, Women’s empowerment advocate, Speaker, Life Coach, Business Coach and the leader of the unmask your beauty movement.
Born in Manchester, UK to Nigerian parents, her passion to live a fuller and more expressive life made her leave her successful Corporate Engineering career to become an entrepreneur.
Seeking the spiritually creative fulfillment missing in her successful corporate career, she was determined to resolve the concern that beauty today, far from being that poetic ‘joy forever’ is, unfortunately, a source of insecurity, shame, and stress for countless women.
She promotes beauty, inside and out, to an audience of women at all stages of life. Adedoyin believes in investing in the dream of girls and in the strength of women.
In this article, she talks about how she’s fought against the odds of being an immigrant and built a beauty brand for herself in Canada.
What would you say is the innovative idea behind Adoniaa Beauty?
Adoniaa beauty started from having a deep hunger within me to fully engage with who I was, my hunger for living a fuller and more expressive life. I was doing great in my career but felt dis-engaged with myself and the world as a whole.
I felt I was born for more so I decided to start a company for women doing what I love and fulfilling my purpose while doing it.
It was founded on four fundamental pillars: To uplift, validate, equip and inspire women to be their best selves at every stage of their life. We do this by using makeup and skincare products and services as a platform to connect with women.
How have you been able to maintain your brand consistency?
We have only one vision- To connect women to their individual and unique beauty through our brand. So everything we do aligns with the vision.
It’s easy to be consistent when you have a vision. It is the same vision I sell to my staff and the Adoniaabeauty tribe.
How have you grown your client base?
I have grown a tribe of women as my client base by focusing on why I started my company, which is our vision to connect women to their individual and unique beauty.
We have different vehicles to get to our vision, and we naturally attract women that want more out of life, women that want to re-write their stories and women that do not want to fit into society’s contrived image of beauty but create and define their own.
What challenges have you faced that are unique to your business idea?
Starting a business in the beauty industry is very challenging. The beauty industry is run by billionaires that own big companies.
People constantly ask me how I intend to compete with Sephora, Loreal, Mac and the likes, my response is that those are not my competition.
Makeup and Skincare are the physical products that we sell and that’s what people see, however, for me, makeup and skincare is only a vehicle or a platform to reach the Adoniaa women that want to unmask their beauty.
Where there challenges owning a business in a foreign country?
Starting a new business as an immigrant in Canada has definitely not been the easiest of things. It’s easier to get a job and work 9-5. But this is not just a business for me, it’s my vehicle to fulfilling my purpose and changing the world.
I have embraced all the challenges and focused on my vision.
At times, I tell myself that if I were in my home country, I wouldn’t need to work this hard to be profitable. What I have done though is to change my mindset and focus on the vision.
I have also tapped into so many resources that the Government has made available to immigrants.
Do you believe in Feminism?
My take on Feminism is simple… It is the Adoniaa dream -The Adoniaa dream is a dream that is deeply rooted in every woman’s heart.
I have a dream that girls and women will have the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential.
I have a dream that girls and women will live free from violence ·
I have a dream that girls and women all over the world will have access to good education·
I have a dream that there would be equality in the workforce.
I have a dream that child brides will no longer be a thing.
I have a dream that female genital mutilation will become history.
I have a dream that girls and women will stand in their power and be empowered to defend themselves.
I have a dream that gender-based violence will stop be it domestic abuse, rape, or sexual trafficking.
I have a dream that women will embrace their fears and be courageous enough to shine as their most beautiful self.
I have a dream that girls and women will no longer need to fit into society’s image of beauty but create and define our own beauty.
I have a dream I believe that we can only achieve this dream by taking action!
I recently came across a TED talk by Natalie Case and Freya Estreller. They are co-founders of CoolHaus, a company that creates architecturally designed Ice cream in the U.S.A
I found their passion and drive for their business fascinating. They started their business with an old postal van, which they converted to an Ice cream truck.
In less than a decade, CoolHaus has grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise. It now has over ten trucks, two scoop shops and is being distributed in over four thousand groceries stores across the U.S.
They currently oversee seventy employees and they plan to broaden CoolHaus to the number 1 recognized Ice cream brand in the world.
Bringing this home to Africa, with the entrepreneurship buzz going on right now, I began to look at the reasons for the springing startups we have right now, especially the businesses founded by women.
Why do women want to be their own bosses? What makes entrepreneurship exciting and interesting right now? I asked around and found answers like:
I. More income will help me take care of myself and my family
II. A business will help to beat the recession crunch
III. It will enable me to be independent of my spouse/ partner
IV. No one wants to be a stay-at-home mom anymore
V. I want to be respected and admired as a capable leader
All of these are great motivating factors but are these all there is to entrepreneurship? These do not have the ability to project a business to global standards.
It is important we know the motive for creating a business because of this, in most cases, determines how far a business will grow.
A woman may want to augment her spouse’s income. She may start a business to achieve this and this will determine the kind of business she goes for and what her vision for her business will be.
If her trade achieves that goal in a few years there might not be a need to expand the business any further. While earning enough to cater for her family is important, having this mentality about the business may stifle it.
If we survey all outstanding businesses, we would discover they were created by people who had a vision of making their companies prominent in the world. This factor may be deficient in Africa’s startups.It is imperative that African women entrepreneurs must first begin to develop a different orientation towards startups.
Building the right business starts from the core, but the right questions need to be asked. Why is it being started? What motivates an individual to start a business?
If these questions are answered correctly, this would change the way African women entrepreneurs approach their businesses. Sadly many entrepreneurs do not know the ‘WHY’of their business.
This crucial step is neglected AND camouflaged with reasons like “Everyone swears by it onInstagram“, “It’s what brings in the cash” and “It just seems like the best thing to do now”
The ‘why’ of a business also establishes if a business is the right thing to do. Does it really meet a need? Does it emerge from an undeniable conviction in the entrepreneur’s heart?
Listen. There are two ways to go about it.
1. Find a passion to turn to a business or find a business to turn to a passion
While a business is something entrepreneurs should be passionate about they shouldn’t be delusional about the relevance of their business. Every business should satisfy the needs of people while accruing profit.
2. Striving onwards
While being financially liberated may be a reason a business is started it should not be the sole reason a business continues. 50% of the United States GDP comes from small businesses employing less than 500 people.
African women entrepreneurs should seek ways to come together and build a conglomerate enterprise that can employ young people from every scope and status in Africa thus helping young entrepreneurs off the streets.
Women should be encouraged to dreambig and start businesses that can grow into mega-corporations in their lifetime. This indeed is possible.
Choose what to improve, continue or probably stop doing, it’s important to go through the year consciously.
Here’s a routine to help you get your business off to a good start…
1. Review your financials to determine how well your business is doing or not doing…Take a close look at your financial records and ask yourself these questions.
Is my business making profit or loss?
Is my cash flow positive or negative?
Do I have loans from the business to repay?
2. Review your business operations
How have you been delivering goods/services to your customers/clients?
What can you do to improve on that?
How will your business serve customers/clients better this year?
These are questions you need to ask yourself and provide answers to, before moving forward.
3. Review your customer base, profile your existing customers, determine the ones that bring in the most income and the ones that can potentially bring in more.
With this information, you can get more out of the market, and you’ll be able to know what kind of customers you should be advertising more too, how you can provide more value and sell more to them.
4. Service your most vital equipment(s), put them in order. This can be a good way to reduce sudden breakdowns during the year.
5. Sort out your personal/ company taxes; so many opportunities these days are tied to taxes, its best to have it sorted so you don’t miss out on great opportunities.
6. If you did not already do this at the end of the previous year, create your vision for the year ahead (you can do this using a vision board); based on your vision, set goals, write down your action plan and ways you intend to implement these plans as you go through the year
In all, stay positive, keep an open mind and don’t start the year without a plan.
Cheers to a great business year!
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Ever seen the look of surprise when certain men hear that you are the Managing Director or CEO?
Most women are generally content and more likely to take a back-seat when it comes to leadership roles. However, being a woman shouldn’t hold you back or alter your chances of success. It all comes down to personality.
You need to develop confidence and a fiercely independent attitude for determination to succeed.
Read on to learn more about the important qualities that prosperous businesswomen possess and how to develop them.
Being successful is not only about being an expert in your industry, but also having the desire to see the bigger picture, and play a greater role in society.
A successful entrepreneur has a vision and can see the path ahead and be able to inspire others to help them turn a dream into a reality.
2. Entrepreneurial and hard-working
Women can be extremely resourceful. We are able to identify opportunities and develop the relationships that are needed to get work done.
Hard work is our secret to success and to be successful you has to learn to sacrifice most of your spare time to build up your business.
Successful female entrepreneurs have a passion for what they do because they tend to develop businesses through the things they enjoy doing.
Women have been stereotyped as emotional leaders by men, but really we are just passionate about success and excellence. What you need to do is find your own passion and once you believe in it, turn it into something you can really be proud of.
4. Optimistic/Positive attitude
In the face of adversity, you need to be bold enough to stand the test of time. The tendency to look on the positive side of events or conditions helps you maintain a hopeful outlook.
With an optimistic perspective, one expects the most favourable outcome, and as such, is more likely to get that favourable outcome.
The ability to analyse situations, see the good side of projects and the results showcases a person’s attitude and level of confidence. This trait is contagious.
One of the defining characteristics of being successful is confidence —the ability to understand what you are capable of. A confident personality is essential to win the hearts, respect and earn the trust of clients and build a profitable business with a solid reputation.
There is no point in starting a business unless you are confident and believe that you are destined for success. To be a successful Motherland Mogul, you need to stand tall and hold your head up high.
Whenever you are around and engaging with other people, smile, shake hands and always maintain eye contact.
You also need to be straightforward and confident in our communication with others to enable them to seize new opportunities. You’ll be greatly respected for this.
In order to express your ideas, values and abilities you need to be assertive and confident. As a woman, when you are are self-assured, your peers will treat you with respect. Be fearless and learn to speak with authority and purpose. Remember though to also keep calm and deal with criticism rationally.
Being aggressive doesn’t necessarily mean fighting all the time. It involves bringing constructive energy to projects to make sure that things get done.
You can enhance this personality trait by developing a determined attitude to make sure you see things through until they are done.
We all get tested and life knocks us down now and again, the secret is in remembering to get back up when we fall. I have one motto, to always remind myself why I started even when I face challenges or opposition.
Starting something is one thing, but keeping it going and making sure it’s a success is another. You need to learn the power of persistence and never give up.
The business industry is always changing, so you will constantly need to keep up and remain innovative. Successful Motherland Moguls understand this and are willing to put in the extra work to learn and improve.
Read books, attend workshops and learn from others. Remain humble and don’t ever be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything.
Chasing a business dream requires a deliberate and focused sense of concentration on set goals.
Don’t you hate-love those successful people who make success seem so easy? Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring their magic to your own life? Imagine walking into a multi-million dollar event to a standing ovation. Everyone is clapping and the spotlight is on you, the bombass CEO of your own company. Sounds like a dream, right? Snap out of it! It’s time to live that dream.
First, there’s the parody of that person who takes the giant step of starting her own business. Now, years have passed and the enthusiasm has dwindled because she’s held on to the same approach. Don’t be her. If you must make the leap, be sure the potential rewards are huge and satisfactory. Otherwise soon, you’ll be complaining like Jane who went into selling clothes because Maryann’s boutique was blossoming.
It’s a simple, sad fact that the vast majority of entrepreneurs would rather invest in whatever business idea is currently trending than create their own dreams. Yes, we all need inspiration but success doesn’t come by pursuing someone else’s dream. You want to become the next Oprah Winfrey? Cool, but you need to learn to do what you love better, faster and more often.
Where am I going with all of this? Simple.
Define your dream
Do you have a business idea? How big is your goal? Think back. How long have you nurtured this idea? How sure were you in it, when it was birthed in your mind? It’s so easy to look around at people who have achieved business success and say, “Oh she achieved that height because she’s special, it’s just the way she was made.”
Okay, saying this may make you feel a bit better, but like Lupita Nyong’o once said, “Your dreams are valid too.” Yes girl, they are!
The idea, big or small, must be laid out in detail. Achieving your dreams does not have to be easy, but you need to be able to know, at any moment, where you are headed. Set goals with timelines.
Here’s my example, by January 13th, 2017, I shall have set up a firm on the 14th floor of East Grove Towers with a portfolio of 120 clients. Time to werk.
Get to work
The nature of the idea must require an intense sense of concentration. An example would be a goal-driven SLA contributor. Ideally, she is a brilliant lady who is detailed, pays attention to research and is not afraid to be sassy. This is someone who can devote the energy required to get the work done. Now apply that to your business.
You must be willing to make the best of resources to get work done. If you have the innate abilities of a genius kid, beautiful! (Also, lucky you) Otherwise, leave the work to experts. This is especially important in sensitive areas like sales, finances or technical implementation. That dream of you wearing 20 hats and running everything yourself should remain in lala-land. You’re awesome but you’re not Super Woman.
Send yourself future letters or emails
This might sound crazy but stay with me. There are great websites and apps that allow you write yourself emails due to being delivered say, in three months. I love starting my letters this way,
“Dear future me, by now you must have scored that East Grove Tower office and earned enough for a holiday in Maldives. Where are we at now?”
See, not hard. Believe it or not, these letters are a great source of motivation and accountability.
Share your dream with 5 people
You need regular enough feedback from sincere people. This way, you can constantly adapt and make progress toward your goal. These people should call you out when you fail on your business plans. They should challenge you to be the best you can be. Choose the No BS’er friend who will taunt you to action.
Finally, if you must be successful, you’ve got to work hard, very hard. The way you go about it is the difference between good and top-of-the-ladder great. While working hard, remain positive. Positivity is a virtue common to successful people. It’s that cultivated sense of success.
We have Walt Disney to thank for this quote, “Dreams come true… only if we have the courage to pursue them.” What steps are you taking in achieving your business dreams?
I completed another course in leadership & management earlier this year (boooyar!) Much of the work involved researching and understanding the purpose of business and decision-making strategies. I won’t lie, some of it was boring as hell and I found myself browsing Facebook when my assignments were due in. But in true fashion, I slayed that course! Whilst busy slaying, the course reminded me of the importance of strategies in our lives overall.
The word ‘strategy’ sounds so serious. It sounds like something connected to business plans, maybe world domination, but let’s break it down and keep it real. A strategy is a plan or path as to how a certain goal or objective will be fulfilled. It’s a plan that takes you from A-Z.
What is a career strategy?
Your career strategy outlines the steps that you’ll take in order to achieve your career goals. Simple!
It starts with your vision
A career strategy starts with what you see yourself doing in x number of years. It then goes on to outline the steps that you’ll take in order to realise your vision. These steps may involve practical things such as gaining relevant qualifications. It can also cover intangible areas such as, dealing with any negative beliefs you hold about your progression and re-evaluating your values.
Your strategy doesn’t have to be perfect
You might not know each and every step that’ll get you from your current role to the one you desire. Yet, as you begin to pull it together, you’ll see where there are gaps, which are areas where you may need to call on others for support.
Pick up a current job description for the role or similar.
Carry out a self-assessment of where you are right now, in relation to the requirements of the role. Recognise your strengths and be honest with yourself around areas you need to develop.
Identify your transferable skills. Check this article to learn how to do this if you’re unsure.
Discuss your career progression goals with your manager to identify potential ways that you can develop any skills that may be weaknesses right now. This may include on the job training, taking on additional responsibilities or other development opportunities. Consider external influences that may have an impact on your career, e.g developments in industry standard qualifications.
Consider realistic timelines for reaching your goal.
Invest in yourself. Hire a career coach or mentor who can support you in your development & help you stay on track. Why go it alone when you can make progress far quicker with someone unbiased, who’s 100% in your corner?
Find opportunities that will enable you to develop supervisory/management skills, such as leading a team. Learn about different management styles and motivating others.
Review your progress within a realistic timescale.
Seek feedback from those around you, especially your manager.
When you feel you’re ready, apply for supervisory/management roles.
If opportunities for progression within your organisation are scarce, look at other employers in your field.
Be proactive in seeking feedback on your applications.
It can be this simple.
As with business, your strategy may change as things change unexpectedly. Life happens. The main thing is not losing sight of your overall vision as this will inform just about everything that you do, work-wise.
Why you need one
It can be so easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of going to work and trying to have a life outside of work, that time just passes you by. Before you know it, a year has passed and you’re exactly where you were 365 days ago.
Having a career strategy helps you:
To focus on your end goal
To get through those trying days where you wonder why you bother
To recognise just how much progress you’re making
To actually fulfill the vision you have!
Having just one of these benefits is great but create your own career strategy and you can have them all.