So, it was International Women’s day this past week and the week was loaded with countless events, conferences and more to support the womenfolk. It was the perfect time for the Wimbiz (Women in Business, Management & Public Service) Annual Lecture. As one who also never misses the Wimbiz Round Table meetings and with Key note speaker being Mo Abudu, CEO Ebony Life TV, the date was on lock down for me.
She didn’t give a speech, she simply told us her story. She reminisced on how she returned to Nigeria with her then husband and held a good job at Exxon Mobil for 10 years. She talked about her failed business ventures on which she incurred heavy set up costs and made no money. She, in fact, had to pay off her debts for a while after it shut down.
She noted: People in Oil and Gas don’t leave! But she did, and set up her consulting Firm, Vic Lawrence Associates and other ventures for which she had to reach out to find funding. At any rate, we came away with the following key points, which I deliver to you bite sizes, as I usually call them.
- No matter what you are doing, you must learn to sell, you’re always selling something, yourself, your skills, your products etc.
- Not everyone will buy into your dreams. You will always have Dream Makers and Dream Killers You need to have them both because you need to listen to them. The dream makers are surprisingly strangers who will help you. Dream killers are usually people who know you and will poke holes into your vision, you need to listen to them so you can fix all the loop holes in your plan.
- Never think that you’ve done so much and you can’t do more, always build a team who can execute without burdening you.
- Networking is key , don’t stay in your house and hope that your dreams will magically come true. She worked with so many people, new and old friends to move her dreams along.
Lessons from the Wedding Party.
- The Casting made all the difference, your team makes all the difference in your success. The cast was star studded. They paid them something upfront and offered to pay post release if the movie made money. We took a risk on Keri Adetiba who had hitherto made great music videos and this was her first feature film.
- Marketing- how relatable is your product or story? Are you making enough noise about it? Are you investing in building your brand?
- How credible is your business? You need to build recognition, and credibility worldwide, the movie was entered for international film festivals..
- Keep the funnel full of business contacts, leads and efforts full, so business can eventually trickle down to actual profit.
- Testimonials are so key…word of mouth.
- Your audience is the most key. You need to know what they want.
On what made the difference between Fifty and the Wedding Party,
Partnerships and spending less made. Local talents were used in the Wedding Party. You need to partner with people with different strengths from you. Set up those partnerships and have legal documents to back it up.
Her speech concluded with 10 Tips for success
- The biggest secret is God. Put Him first. He puts things in place.
- Know your DNA, your Unique Selling Proposition, your strengths and weakness. If you know yourself , you can so you can fix your weaknesses and grow your strengths.
- Have a vision, which is the cornerstone. if you can think it. You can do it. Sometimes those dreams can be really big and scary.
- Planning and execution. You have to break down exactly how you will make it happen
- Retain your femininity, employ women who are capable. Women have special gifts.
- Spend more times with friends that encourage you.
- Never underestimate your competitors , be prepared because they will always seek to outdo you.
- Share your recipe for success with others… don’t be afraid to, they cannot execute exactly as you.
- Success can create enemies but keep succeeding, don’t sleep. Look for innovative ways to grow .
- Learn to say sorry, be human in all your dealings
Photo Credit:Vanessa Odofin
She left us with a quote from Colin Powel here is a excerpt of it: “the less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve… Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. ….”
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