We often hear it said “the dream is free but the hustle is sold separately”, but what if the hustle didn’t have to be so expensive?

It has been a dream of mine to visit Lagos, Nigeria for a very long time. I am happy to share that I recently visited Lagos, Nigeria to explore opportunities that may be available for Lawgistics Legal Consultants. A legal consultancy that I run based in Johannesburg.

Also, I had to keep a promise I made to myself and very publicly in my last post on What To Do When You Hit A Wall. 

Nothing can replace hard work, commitment, and sacrifice in order to be successful but I want to explore other practical measures I took to make my Lagos dream come true so that you also can Cheat The Hustle.

In order to Cheat The Hustle, you have to hustle! - @TeyAni Click To Tweet

 

Image result for the dream is free but the hustle

Here are 5 effective ways to Cheat the Hustle:

1. Network

In May 2018 I had a coffee meeting with Moyo, she was visiting Johannesburg for her brother’s graduation and a mutual friend put us in touch.  She is a content creator and PR genius that is based in Lagos and we spoke about all the ways I could expand my brand.

Moyo also invited me to the Flourish Africa conference that was happening in July 2018. I previously did not know anyone in Lagos, but after 1 coffee meeting and a loose invite to Lagos, I started planning and a few weeks later I was on the ground.

Meeting Moyo helped me Cheat The Hustle because I now had a contact and she organized several meetings for me in Lagos with people in positions I could barely imagine connecting with.

The Flourish Africa conference is the brainchild of Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, who needs no further introduction and by virtue of the one person in my network, I was able to personally meet Mrs. Alakija and even appear on Channels TV station.

Build your networks to help you Cheat The Hustle and this is a 2-way street, you also have to be willing to help others in their feat to Cheat The Hustle.

Being part of the She Leads Africa community is a killer way to Cheat The Hustle because you get access to a great network of women and events around you.

To Cheat the hustle, you need Value, Visibility, and a Voice - @TeyAni Click To Tweet

2. Partnership

 

When I did my research on accommodation in Lagos, the places I would have liked to stay at were out of my price range so I decided to approach South African brands that have a presence in Nigeria. The first on my list was Tsogo Sun which owns Southern Sun Ikoyi and I asked them for sponsored accommodation – to my shock and pleasure they said yes!

Working with a big partner can give you leverage so that you don’t have to hustle too much to make your dreams come true. The key is that you show them value! When you send that cold email to make your ask, study what they do and how it can tie in your message.

Brands want to work with someone that shows them Value (by understanding their value), someone who can create Visibility for their brand (this doesn’t necessarily mean you have 100k followers on Instagram but that when you tell your 1000 followers something they engage) and someone with an authentic Voice!

The value I showed to Southern Sun Ikoyi, with the help of Moyo, I was able to secure a spot on Bella Naija to invite entrepreneurs to a Cheat The Hustle Brunch. I created visibility.

I also had several meetings which I shared online to showcase the venue as Southern Sun Ikoyi has private meeting rooms that can be used for presentations, meetings, small book launches, etc.

During my time in Lagos, I had a radio interview with Tunji Andrews on Nigerian Info FM. We spoke about ways in which entrepreneurs can Cheat The Hustle because entrepreneurship is not just a passion-  for me, it’s my lifestyle so I use for voice to speak on it!

How can you put these 3 V’s in place for you to partner with a big brand?

You cannot Cheat The Hustle with a helter-skelter mentality - @TeyAni Click To Tweet

3. Being Organised

My new saying is “What you don’t have in intelligence, make up for in being organized.” If you are organized and plan well, it can make look really smart.

I learned the hard way that the yellow fever vaccine must be taken 10 days before you travel. Fortunately for me, I got my shot the day before my trip. It could have been easy to blame my travel agent or other friends who travel to West Africa for not telling me earlier- but this could have been avoided by a simple Google search.

You cannot Cheat The Hustle with a helter-skelter mentality. I am still learning this one because I suffer severely from procrastination, general disarray and doing things “on the fly”.

Being organized may not sound sexy because its so basic- but the results of an organized life are very attractive!

4. Mentorship

 

I swear by mentorship and currently have 3 mentors who have been fundamental to help me Cheat The Hustle. Mentorship can be so misunderstood and this affects its impact. If done right, your mentors can help you see opportunities and overcome obstacles. Mentors serve in the space of the tension between  “running a business for the present and building a business for the future.”

I recently read a great article by Dr. Ola Brown, who I met at the Flourish Africa conference, where she talks about the difference between a mentor and political godfather. She also highlighted something to me- that I can help my mentors! They are human too, and still, have their own goals they want to accomplish. However, I may be able to serve as the plug for them!

Invest something, and all the other elements will come together to help you Cheat The Hustle - @TeyAni Click To Tweet

Cheat The Hustle Brunch with Founder of FabWoman @mis_mercee

5. Hustle

In order to Cheat The Hustle, you have to hustle. What I mean by “Hustle” is – show up, commit, sacrifice, pray, believe, serve, work, pitch. Hand out those business cards and take the risks. It will be hard to Cheat The Hustle if there is no Hustle coming from you.

In February 2018 I wanted to come to Lagos but I didn’t want to pay for my air ticket. I tried to hustle by emailing every airline that flies from Johannesburg to Lagos but I was not successful.

When the opportunity came around again, I put my money up and bought my ticket on Kenyan Airways. I invested something and all the other elements came together to help me Cheat The Hustle.

In some Shark Tank and Dragons Den episodes, investors want to know how much personal funds entrepreneurs have invested in the business. This comes before they give a cent of their money. You must have skin in the game!

Ps: I absolutely loved flying Kenyan Airways, can we shout out to #AfricanExcellence! It reminded me of flying Turkish Airways, except everyone was black 🙂 I loved it! From October, Kenyan Airways will be flying non stop from Nairobi to New York. And I am here for it!

Let’s give our hard-earned coins to our African businesses as they also Cheat The Hustle!


Have you have been able to Cheat The Hustle? Click here to share your insight and experiences with us.

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