Monday Blues

It’s now scientific to have Monday blues. Yep, you know have a legitimate reason to feel like crap on a Monday, irrespective of how your day is like.

But really, why do most people hate Mondays?

According to scientists, there are numerous reasons why people hate Mondays; the obvious ones are that Mondays reminds us how we were less than healthy at the weekends – we tend to over-indulge – so we ‘face the music’ on Mondays; also the day reminds people how much they hate their jobs.

Personally, I think it’s a waste of time beating myself over the foods I eat.  I must admit, my weekends are for indulgence, I eat less healthily on weekends and I make sure I enjoy every mouthful😊 and if I go overboard, I make up for it during the week by exercising more and eating more salads and vegetables.  Whatever happens at the weekend, stays at the weekend.  End of. 😊

There’s a quote that goes ‘If you don’t like your life, change it’.  That saying might seem simplistic because you have bills to pay and responsibilities, but it’s very true.  You are responsible for your own life and the decisions that you may.  Don’t give that power to anyone or anything else.

If no one is holding a gun to your head to stay in your job or your career, then you CAN change it.  It may not happen overnight, it probably shouldn’t happen overnight, you should take time to make your plans to prepare (but not procrastinate).

So, what do you like doing?  What brings you joy?  What are you passionate about?  Who can you serve and bring value to?  How can you make it a career or business?

Who has done it before?  There’s nothing new under the Sun, so it’s very likely that somewhere out there, someone is generating income from it.  It may mean you’ll need to do research, study or take a course, but there’s always a way.  If you take time out and start planning.

You’ll find that once you plan and taking small steps towards making your dream a reality, you’ll feel better.  It won’t be easy but it’s definitely NOT impossible.

If you want to make money, you have to serve people, bring value to them.  The more people you serve, the higher the value they place on what you have to offer, the more money you make.

I know of someone who’s job is to taste chocolates; yes, chocolates!  I also heard of another person whose job it is to check the quality of hotel resorts.

So nothing is impossible.  Your life is too precious to be controlled by Monday Blues.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you’re living your dream; jumping out of bed every Monday, every day rearing to go?

I am living my dream; yes, there are challenges but I’m loving my life and you can too 😊

Have a fabulous Monday, whatever you’re doing.

b756589854092f880981f20a2d0bc430

Information Worth Paying For

An-investment-in-knowledge-pays-the-best-interest-Benjamin-Franklin

There’s a lot of free information available on business – from how to start a business, how to sell your products/services, how to market your business, digital marketing, you name it, it’s out there.

As a result, most people have some level of knowledge about various aspects of being in business; which is great.  But if we have this knowledge about owning a successful business, why aren’t there more successful entrepreneurs?

With all the information online about becoming an expert of some sort, or about the ‘X number of things you need to do to be successful or to earn six figures, rich entrepreneurs should be a dime a dozen.  Right?

I use to wonder about this a lot then I realised that you can’t be successful on only information you get for free.

The information that will help you be successful, that will take your business to the next several levels, is the one you have to pay for.

All the free ‘how tos’ are just teasers and tasters.  The real pearls of wisdom are in the books you buy (and read), the courses, seminars and webinars you pay for – all of which are worth their weight in gold.

Free information will only take you so far.  To get the juicy, wealth-generating nuggets of wisdom, you need to open your purse or wallet and be willing to pay for it; knowing that it’s an investment in your future.

Once you invest in yourself, take what you’ve learnt and consistently apply it to your business.

If you don’t do this, it then becomes a waste of money; like buying a pair of shoes, leaving it at home and going out in bare feet.  Pointless.

The right book, course, seminar and webinar can generate, in your business, over 10 times the amount you paid for it.

When new clients approach me, they come with a lot of passion for their business.  They know their products and services, most know their ideal client, their sales, marketing, etc.  They may have read a lot of different things to do with business, including their industry, but may lack depth of knowledge and structure that is crucial to the business.

This is a problem that can cause a lot of pain, frustration, stress and overwhelm for entrepreneurs because they can’t seem to figure out what the problem is.

I then take them through my programme modified to suit their specific business needs, including the steps they need to go through in their business; looking at their current business model, the things that are working, the things that aren’t, how we can improve all areas, and many more.

At the beginning of the programme, I tell clients about the milestones of each module, what they should be able to do after each module.  I believe in being able to measure your goals.

Irrespective of clients’ reasons for taking my programme, it nearly always includes the business making more money, so that becomes a measured goal.

One of my clients has gone from selling a few natural-fibre drinks a month to amending her business model, providing a higher value service and earning over 6 times the income from each client, all of whom are now more eager to buy her products.  She’s on her way to earning 6 figures and hasn’t finished even the programme!

I know that not all courses are equal but as I said earlier, some are worth their weight in gold. 😊

Back to the Drawing Board

 

Starting-Over

There’s nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board.

Nothing wrong in admitting to yourself that maybe you got it wrong; that the results you were expecting didn’t quite pan out; or that maybe you didn’t take enough time to figure out what you really wanted, what direction your life, your project, your business should take.

The fact that you’ve spent a substantial amount of your time and money working on something that either didn’t work out, or is no longer something you want to do, should be punishment enough.  Mentally beating yourself over and over again accomplishes nothing and ends up being counterproductive, because it prevents you from learning the lesson(s) you need to learn and move forward.

You must look at the positives in every situation, the lessons that can be learned.  At least you now know what isn’t working or rather that something isn’t working; this means that you can now focus on turning things around.

Being afraid of being called indecisive or even a failure isn’t enough reason to continue on a path that you’re not 100% committed to.

Starting over can be a blessing, you know what to look out for, what works and what doesn’t.  You know better.

im-not-giving-up-just-starting-over-quote-1

Everybody wants to be an Entrepreneur

 

be-your-own-boss

Most people dream about being their own Boss.

That’s the first thing they dream about, probably before they decide the type of business they want to have.  We tell ourselves that if we have our own business, we’ll have more control of our life, our time and our money.

We’re convinced that the reason we’re not happy is because we’re in a job we don’t like, possibly working with people we’d rather not work with, working long hours, and all for a salary that in no way reflects the amount of work and time we put in.

We think, being an entrepreneur will solve a lot of our professional and maybe even financial problems.  And we dream, and dream…after all Napoleon Hill said ‘whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’.

The day-dreaming period of most ‘would-be’ entrepreneur may take months, years or a whole lifetime; until a decision is made to take action and investigate whether what you love doing can be made into a profitable business.

It’s an incredible feeling knowing that you can be paid to do something you love.  It’s like you’re walking on a cloud.  All you’re thinking about is that thing you’re passionate about, your time being your own,  and the money you’ll be making.

You can’t figure out why any entrepreneur can ever fail if they just did that!  You think, ‘how can they fail if they’re doing what they love and there’s a market for it?’  ‘Maybe their customer service was bad?’  You’re convinced that your life will be so much better and stress-free from now.

Most new entrepreneurs don’t realise that having a business is much more than doing what you love and getting customers.

If you’re not prepared, having a business can be brutal on you and your family.  Remember when you thought your time will be your own?  No, your time will be for working on your business.  You’ll be reading, learning, researching, doing, and more.

To give yourself and your business a fighting chance, you must get your mind right – you must believe that you can, will and deserve to succeed.  You see, most of us have been playing below our potential for so long that having a business scares our minds, which wants to protect us by making us doubt ourselves – I know, it doesn’t make sense.  So you need to study books on mindset, business strategy, marketing, etc.

You must have your goals – starting a business to be your own boss is great but you need more solid goals.  Where do you want to be in 3 years, 5 years or X years’ time?  Where do you want your business to be?  What’s your Action Plan?  How are you going to achieve those wonderful goals?  The wonderful thing about conceiving and believing goals is that you’ve got to work to achieve them.

Whilst you’re reading about how you can be a success and what you want to achieve; you must also become mentally tough and resilient, so you don’t give up.  This is very crucial because that day job will seem like child’s play compared to the challenges you’ll face as an entrepreneur.

Now we’re on to your business – yep, it’s where the fun starts.

How do you want your business to be?  What’s the business structure?  What’s the business model? Is it product or serviced based?  Have you got a business plan – doesn’t need to be a War and Peace write-up.  How much will it cost to set up?  Do you need staff, will you outsource when required or do it all yourself?  Are you self-financing, borrowing from friends and family, getting outside investors, or from banks?

How do you want to brand yourself, your business? Yep, branding is a must if you want your business to be successful.  What about marketing strategy?  Have you got one?

Are you going to leave your job or do both?

Being an entrepreneur is tough, with long hours and constant challenges.  To be successful you must not only learn how to ride the waves but master them.

The above and more are the kind of questions my clients tackle in our coaching programme to ensure they’re well-prepared for the challenges ahead; irrespective of whether they’re already business owners or are about to take the leap.

The beautiful thing is that by the end of it, they all say the same thing,”I wouldn’t change it for the world “😊

Goals…Who Needs Them?

 

Goals Pic 3

Goals…

‘So, I’ve written down my goals, now what?’’  This is one of the first questions my clients ask me after their initial consultation.

They normally vocalise their goals in the first consultation, and then I tell them to go back home, in a chilled and relaxed environment, no TV, no distractions; maybe after the first sip of wine, take a paper, a pen and dare to dream.  I ask them to think about what their business and life goals would be, if money was no object.

I find that asking this question and getting clients to write their true ‘dream’ goals in a relaxed, non-judgemental environment, releases them from an invisible chain or mindset that seems to hold people back.

When doing this exercise, I remind clients to, for the moment, not think about how they can achieve their goals.  The aim of the exercise is to make them bring out the dreams they hide from others, or even themselves.

There’s a lot of talk about doing what you love, following your passion or purpose; whether it’s starting your own business, changing careers, or even taking your business to the next ’scarier’ level.

Some people might roll their eyes and years ago I was one of them, but I’ve come to realise that it’s a valid statement.  As humans are living longer, we’re working longer and these longer years should be spent doing something you love.   Doing something you don’t love makes for a shitty life, I should know, I use to hate my well-paid corporate job.

Life, as they say, isn’t a dress rehearsal, you can’t afford to not do something you love with it!

So, avoid a life full of only daydreams and wishes, give yourself permission to have goals and achieve them.

Your Why

Now, write down your goals.

Have you done it?  Good.

Why?  Yep, I asked the question.  Why do you want to achieve those goals?

Writing your goal is great, but you must have a ‘WHY’; a reason.

A reason which becomes the propeller that makes you find a way no matter what; come rain or shine, to achieve your goal.  A reason that keeps you going when you’re knackered and feel like throwing in the towel; when the long hours and challenges seem to overshadow the joy of working towards that goal.

No matter what your goal is – starting a small business, leaving your job for your side-hustle, or even taking your small business to the next level; your ‘WHY’ must be BIG enough to cross the Wilderness of Challenges to get to the Promise Land of your Goal(s).

Because once you can do that, then the fun begins…😊

So…whats-your-why

Are there any business goals you want to achieve but don’t know where to start?

Do you want to start a business but you’re unsure how to begin?

Or, if you need help with your goals, finding your ‘Why?’, make sure you drop me a line and I’ll tell you WHY. 😉

 

Back in London, But Catch Me Worldwide

No Excuses

I apologise to my readers for taking this long to update my blog.  I constantly tell my clients that their blogs and other social media must be active and updated, so my blog shouldn’t be months old!   I don’t accept excuses from my clients for not updating their blog (I may allow personal or family health-related issues); so I won’t give one. 😊

A very short back-story for new readers, I decided to go on a business adventure to Nigeria to set up a new business and an office base – previous posts will update you on my experiences, such fun!!

Nigeria – Only the Brave

The past few months have been quite intense.  Setting up business in Nigeria is only for the brave, especially if you’re self-financing like I am.  Remaining sane while putting deals together is a real testament to the human spirit, hats off to all of us who do it!

That said, although the country is tough, the rewards can be HUGE, more so than most countries in the West.  Well, that’s one of the reasons I’m doing it – I’m not completely crazy.😊

Doing business in Nigeria has taught me a lot, namely, patience, perseverance and focus.  It’s so easy to be distracted by the ‘next best thing’ when the results you’ve been working towards seem to be taking too darn long; but I can attest that if you keep your eyes on the price you will achieve your goal(s).

Pic 1 300817

Same Services More Global

Since I started my business I’ve been fanatical about providing a more personal and tailored service to my clients, which has included a lot of face to face meetings.  Unfortunately this has meant that my clients in other parts of the world may not have received the same level of service when I wasn’t physically available; not something I would ever want for them.

My time around different parts of Africa while dealing with my African-based clients has taught me to think bigger and more global, ensuring I find ways to provide the same level of service to ALL my clients around the world.

Too Close To See

As a business coach and consultant, I pride myself on knowing how to help my clients navigate the labyrinth path to success in their businesses and somehow it’s taken me a bit longer to find a platform where I can provide value to all my clients at the same time!

Working closely with my clients has shown me that irrespective of where you are in the world, as long as you’re in business – whether you’re an entrepreneur or career professional – you’ll have similar challenges in the areas of marketing, business growth, increasing customer base, etc.

So, to put what I’ve learnt into practice and cater to you, my wonderful clients, even better; I’ll be offering bespoke courses, videos and webinars to address the challenges that you all face in your respective businesses.

You’ll find the videos and other information I’ll be uploading on my site to be useful for your business and of course, fun.  While we all know that business isn’t easy, there should be some fun added to the mix…otherwise, what’s the point, right? 😊

So how about you?  What experiences have you had in your business, where you had to change strategies?

How long did it take you to change strategies?

Please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts on this new avenue I’m using to reach you.

You can send an email to me on aydaonthego@gmail.com

Remember to subscribe to my blog!

Failure is Your Friend

You must fail.

It’s very important for you, for me, for everyone, to fail at something.  Whether it’s at school, at work, in business.

This is because you learn more in failure than you do in success.

Failure separates the weak from the strong; the ones who give up easily from the ones who are determined, who dig deep and keep at it.

Failure builds character.  You learn incredibly important survival traits in failure, like commitment, perseverance, resilience, resourcefulness and many more.

I’ve known this for a while; however, it’s one thing to know it on an intellectual level and quite another to experience it.  I can definitely say that I’ve experienced it a lot lately; several times😊.

Failure gives you the opportunity to take a step back and do an autopsy on your idea, your business, your project; to go over and understand the what, where and why of the failure.

To ask yourself what went wrong, how (if) you could have done things differently and what you can do to make things better – because the only person you have control over, is you.

I’ve had to do autopsies on a few projects I put together.  Although they haven’t failed, they’ve been quite (very) slow in coming to fruition; which to some (and my previous self) may feel like failure.

I would never have anticipated that it would have taken this long; however, the delay has given me time to take a step back and see where I could have done things differently to avoid being affected by the inactivity of key players.

Now I know there’s a quicker way and I know where the less lucrative ‘low hanging fruits’ are that can be worked on whilst waiting for the ‘bigger’ projects to be processed.

My everything has been and is being tested.  I’m currently having to dig deep on my reservoirs of commitment, perseverance, resilience, resourcefulness and many more; and you know what?  It’s not that bad, not a piece of cake but it’s not impossible and I’m still here – fabulous as ever 😉.

Now if only I felt the same way about the power cuts……

 

 

The Octopus

 

octopus-3

As any entrepreneur or career climber knows, networking plays a large part in building a business or career; even more so when you’re new to a place.  Networking plays a huge part of my life here, not only because of business and to build my contact list, but also because I love meeting people and you never know when you’ll be invited to a snazzy social event…a girl has got to have a banging social life  :-).

I was invited to an event and introduced to an alleged leader in the training business, while rubbing shoulders with the leaders of various industries.  We got on quite well and discussed a possible collaboration.

Months later we met again at a Tech event in Lagos, caught up on our respective businesses and arranged to meet in Abuja.

Weeks later, I had a meeting with the leadership entrepreneur.  First of all, I was impressed by his office, which was a substantial building in the heart of Abuja – where property prices are ridiculous – a female employee greeted me and showed me into his office.

When I got to his office, he was very welcoming and quite affectionate.  I thought ‘okay, you weren’t like this before, maybe you’re just pleased to see me’.  I asked after his business, he showed around the building and introduced me to his staff – turns out, the female employee is his wife and business partner whose office is next to his.

Anyway, we got back to his office to start the meeting and he became touchy, feely…way too touchy, feely.  Now, I value my personal space so anything more than a superficial air kiss tests my boundaries and level of diplomacy (which in this country is being tested daily).  So, my first thought is ‘a swift uppercut to his jaw will keep him in line’, but of course that’ll be very unprofessional, so I just smile and take a few steps back.  Have I mentioned the man had a severe case of halitosis?  Seriously, if you’re going to try to seduce someone, abeg try throwing some mint in your filthy mouth hole.

tom-jerry
My exact sentiment

Every time I took steps back to widen my personal space, he took steps forward into my personal space, touching my shoulders, wanting to hold my hands and saying how smart, intelligent and beautiful I am; like a surreal version of the ‘Carry On’ TV show.  Have you seen those old-school Benny Hill sketches where he is running around a table or a tree chasing a woman…this was exactly like that.  Yes dude, I know my shit doesn’t smell but get out of my personal space, your wife is next door and your breath can wake up the dead.  Do you really think I have any interest?

Needless to say, I made a hasty exit.

One has to have a thick skin to do business, you can’t take things too personally.  In Nigeria and as a woman, this is even more so; where it doesn’t seem surprising to be propositioned in other to get the business – as if it’s a fair exchange.

The sad thing is, it’s not even seen as sexual harassment and an abuse of power.  To them you are woman, made to be desired by man, how dare you think otherwise.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard stories of women who have fallen prey and succumbed to such abuses; most of whom have had their reputations tarnished, because these men talk, and are no longer taken seriously.

A male friend of mine once told me that as a woman I should see doing business in Nigeria like a game of boxing; pacing round a ring throwing punches (my deals, business proposals) to my opponent whilst dodging his punches (sexual advances).  I initially scoffed at him as I found it distasteful, now I understand.

I’m no longer ‘outwardly’ outrage, I’ve become an expert in the business ‘boxing’.  I’ve learnt how to ‘duck’, ‘dive’ and walk away if needed…believe me I throw a mean punch if I need to.  I have focus, I want a seat at the table, and when I get there all bets are off…watch me go full Laila Ali on their asses.

Please Get Me Out of Here!!

I booked a DANA Air flight to Lagos for the next day as I had a meeting with the P.A. of the CEO of an organisation.

Someone I had just met introduced me to the P.A. via phone, so the P.A. and I arranged to meet in two days’ time; and hours later I booked a ticket to Lagos.

This is one of the reasons I love doing business in Nigeria – as long as you get out there and network, you’re always couple of contacts away from a business deal you want!

Next day on my way to the airport I was a bit apprehensive about flying with DANA Air as a friend of mine commented (after I bought my ticket) that she hasn’t used the airline since one of their planes crashed a few years ago.  I replied ‘surely they’ve sorted out the problems that caused the crash?’, but inner me is thinking, “oh crap, this is all I need!  My flight is in a few hours’ time and the ticket is non-refundable!”  You can tell the inner me is an optimist, can’t you?

I know my life is irreplaceable, so I’ll just have to do some serious prayers before the plane takes off; like the passengers did in Kevin J’s flight…

Got on the plane, the pilot’s announcement was in Queen’s English and then pidgin English.  That was unexpected.  I’ve used other domestic airlines for travel between Abuja and Lagos, and I have never heard the flight announcement being made in pidgin English, so I’m already wondering what the deal is with DANA Air.  I don’t mind pidgin at all, but this is not what I need when I’m hoping for a serious person who wouldn’t crash the plane!

Then he starts singing.  The pilot is singing.  No really, this is happening right now.  The pilot of the plane I’m on to Lagos for a business meeting is singing.  Can I get off?  No, I can’t. The plane is already moving.  I suppose attempting to jump out of a moving plane may be regarded as a tad…panicky, or even crazy.

Now see, I don’t care too much that the plane has crashed before, I know it’s nowhere near my time so I’m safe; but this ‘nails-on-a-blackboard’ noise disguised as singing, makes me want to jump off the plane!!  Why, dear God???  Why is this happening to me!?!

The pilot is singing about the airline, thanking us for using it, that we’re the best customers ever and that they’re grateful we’re using DANA Air.  I’m wondering why he couldn’t just say that, I’d even happily hear it in pidgin but I guess it wouldn’t be an experience if he did.  But why did he have to go on for so long??

I look around me in disbelief as other passengers are laughing, laughing very hard; some are saying it’s so nice that an airline is expressing their gratitude this way.  Others, like me, aren’t so amused.  I keep telling myself ‘in 50 minutes you’ll be out of here’; then I realise something…I’m no longer thinking about their safety record!

Score for DANA Air!!

You’re Not In London Anymore

Finally in Abuja, had to hit the ground running as there’s lots to do.  I made a list of all the organisations I wanted to work with, submitted the proposals and 2 weeks later I was ready to follow up all of them.

The Submission Stage:

This stage is straightforward – go to the organisation, explain why you’re there, they direct you to the registry office, your letter is recorded and stamped, your copy letter is also stamped and you go on your way.

Side note for the unfamiliar:  If you want to do business with any organisation in Nigeria it’s always best to go with the original proposal or introductory letter and a copy of the proposal/introductory letter.

This is because the registry office will record your letter in a book ledger, stamp both letters and return your stamped copy letter to you.  Why a book ledger, you ask? Well, how else will they be able drive you mad unless by using an ancient system that makes no sense.  As ridiculous as it may seem, do not under any circumstances lose your stamped copy.  Don’t do it, unless you’re no longer interested in working with the organisation.  If you do lose the letter, you’ll have to start all over again.  The never ending loop that will have you pulling your hair out like a crazy person (you see that picture below?  Yes that!).  Abeg, don’t say I didn’t warn you o!

The Proposal chasing Stage aka the FFS Stage:

There are lots of public organisations here in high-rise buildings and only a few of them have lifts; this means that there’s lots of walking because the offices of decision makers are never on the first 3 floors.

I had an experience where I went to the registry office to follow up my proposal and I was advised it had been passed to another registry office (yes, there’s more than one).  I got there and no one was around so I had to wait and wait, and wait.

One of the security guards had to help locate the person in charge of that office but I ended up waiting for 2 hours to then be told that my letter was passed to another office, got to the 3rd office, waited for another 30 minutes and was directed to yet another office – you’re thinking why did I wait, right?  I wanted it to be over and done with, didn’t fancy doing that again!!

Anyway, I then got to 4th office (you read right, 4th), and the staff there were very busy making jewellery and chatting to their friends.  I patiently explained to them what I wanted and I was looked on like an inconvenience.  The lady actually gave me the ‘how dare you interrupt me with your nonsense and expect me to do my job’ look.  I longed to strangle her with her badly made necklace…ok, maybe the necklace wasn’t bad but how could I appreciate beauty when I was trying to suppress murderous thoughts whilst giving a sweet smile on the outside.

 

angry-young-woman-pulling-her-hair-out-000047301084_small

I spent about 6 hours in heels, walking round a building with no power and sweat dripping down my back and my face…with one nagging question – seriously though, why the f*** do they record letters in book ledgers when they have computers on their desk???