Sometimes, it takes a situation or an experience for us to discover new things about ourselves and for these women, it took their businesses for them to discover the willpower they have. For some of them, their businesses helped build character and strength.
We asked some entrepreneurs what new things they have discovered about themselves in the course of starting and running their businesses and we got 15 responses from these women.
I’ve learned that I‘m a very resilient person. It doesn’t matter how many challenges I encounter along the way, I simply don’t give up.
Everything in life comes with various challenges – even the superheroes in the movies have to fight people, and even their own emotional struggles. I have my fair share of challenges, especially as I work on the client side, but also manage operations. I am continuously dealing with solving people’s problems, and that sometimes means fully immersing myself in understanding the problem first, before I try to solve. I have learned to focus on the objectives, and not worry about the Fluff – there is so much fluff in the consultancy world. The most important thing to me is generating results, everything else is secondary.
Well, I think I’ve discovered a lot but one thing that tops it all is, I’m more intentional about everything I do now compared to when I initially started.
I discovered I am too much of a risk taker, which is a good thing but can also be a bad thing, so I take more time in making decisions now.
Before I started Wangaraufoods, I was an impatient person, I was also a very shy person ( I still am though). Wangaraufoods has made me tolerant and extremely patient.
The first thing I found out about myself was the level of tenacity and strength I had, if I had been told that I would be working on my feet for 18 hours a day, I would not have believed it. Also, conceptualizing an idea to execution, in that I would say my self-belief is at its highest level.
I didn’t think I would be able to handling accounting but when you are paying salaries and not just waiting for a paycheck, you have to watch numbers carefully.
I knew I had good interpersonal skills but I had no idea I could manage a team of people to deliver a common goal consistently. I also have very excellent culinary skills. What is surprising is that I could come up with recipes that will be in demand on a daily basis from a diverse customer base.
I am still marveling at the level of resilience I demonstrate in certain situations.
People that know me could say I didn’t have a drive and I was bound to abandon ship if things were not working out is why I get tired of an employment and move to the next. However, with Elewa, I have learned that giving up is not even an option. I get a No and I am fired up to ask again, that is still surprising to myself!
My strength! I knew I had a lot of brains but never physical strength. My mom and older siblings use to say that all my power were stored in my brains. I could read and write for Africa but I couldn’t work to save my life. Lol. Look at me now. I work for days non-stop, multi-tasking, taking care of my home and my child and yet I don’t break down. It’s amazing! Unbelievable!
I have always been entrepreneurial, but what WellBabyNG has specifically done for me is open my eyes and mind to my ability to truly touch lives, to be a change agent. I have also learnt that I am the only one that can set the pace when it comes to determining the growth and creativity of my business.
This is helping us as we are in the process of rebranding our other business “Crosses and Dots” which is primarily centered on PR/Brand Communications services
I have discovered that I am strong in different ways. I have seen how humble I have become. Entrepreneurship has shown me that to conquer, you need to stoop. You will have no business or clients or partners if you are nasty or arrogant. I have discovered that you need to be honest and have integrity.
Clients know honesty when they see or hear it. I have learned to just be me. I have also learned to ask for help. Never ever, ever be ashamed to ask for help…what you need may just be around the corner. Just open your mouth and ask.
In terms of change, I have discovered how much strength lies within me. I’ve been through so many experiences that should have shaken me but here I am, still standing.
I have also discovered that people’s opinions whilst I should listen to them, do not define me, nor are they always the truth. If you believe in your business and feel like you alone can see the vision, keep going. I didn’t have a clear path of how to realize my vision, nor could I make sense of the jargon at the time, but keep true to my vision and knowing when to pivot has gotten me this far. I have pivoted twice in the past one year, who knows, I may pivot some more.
I have discovered that I am a people person, and this is a very vital business skill.
I never knew about my resilience and fighting spirit. Being an entrepreneur has shown me how to transfer my stubbornness into can-do-it ness. It has also given me an insight into how to help others see the best in them and helping them harnesses their strengths and become their best self.
Understanding that I can turn a solution into a business helped me a lot. Now I see I have a passion for social media, Instagram to be precise. Today we have another instagram coaching business called NAIJABRANDCHICK and it’s doing well also.
In the course of running my business, I began to discover how really creative I am, and with that, I can actually achieve a lot being my own boss. I wake up having so many ideas/inspirations on what exactly I can add or do to make my business stand out.
I recently realized that I also have a great passion to inspire people by helping them achieve their dreams, and turning their ideas into profitable ventures. So, I decided to set up my second line of business, which is Stylemark ProEnterprise. A lot of people have been impacted and have started business by the trainings we organized which they took part and most of the time for free. A lot more have had conversations with me one on one, and were inspired to start their own business.
I went a step further and decided to host a GEW event in Abuja where I launched one of the products of Stylemark ProEnterprise called “SME SpringBoard,’’ a platform designed to assist MSMEs realize their growth potential, have access to market, access to finance, and capacity building. The event was well attended by representatives of government agencies, investors, business persons, start-ups, established entrepreneurs and investment experts.
So mentoring is what I found, as I progressed in my journey of running my own business.
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