Month: September 2014

Star Search

160-DSC_0364I Ngozi Edozien, Hakeem Belo Osagie, Me, Audu Maikori and Omoyemi Akerele. aka Me with SLA judges after I found out I lost.

Mostly because I am beyonce stan, I now understand how Beyonce felt at age 12, right at that moment when you realise that all your efforts has not culminated in gold!

In 1993, when she was 12 years old, Beyoncé Knowles took the Star Search stage with five other girls as part of the act Girls Tyme and performed a breathy song and dance routine. It was impressive, considering their ages. But they wound up losing to an all-guys rock group called Skeleton Crew, a moment that now lives forever as a soundbyte in “***Flawless,” one of the best songs on Beyoncé’s new album.

“In my mind we would perform on Star Search, we would win, we would get a record deal and that was my dream at the time,” Beyoncé said of the experience. But ultimately, facing Skeleton Crew helped her “realize that you could actually work super hard and give everything you have and lose.It was “the best message,” she added, because it made her more determined than ever.

SLA was a good journey and lesson, that can applied to startup life. Now working on being Beyonce and I am even more determined.

Huge Congratulations to Cherae Robinson, who is bridging the gap between tourism and development with #rarecustoms and the She Leads Africa team, for a putting together a great platform to showcase the best of Africa’s Women entrepreneurs.


Making the “Forbes” List

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So this happened on friday along with the other SLA finalists, I made the forbes list of emerging women entrepreneurs list in Africa. On the same friday, I I spent the better part of the day with my tech team in search of the holy nirvana of power and internet.

With no working generator at Fashpa HQ and impending deadlines, I and the tech team literally fled the office, in our case in the first yellow cab to the nearest hotel/restaurant in search of power. We got there and their internet was also out! It took like three hours to get both POWER and INTERNET and be up and running.

So I guess I am not quite forbes ready or the EMERGING title is very well justified! Great thing I was wearing my sneakers, one needs to be comfortable of startup life in Nigeria!



Starting Up!

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Its been five months since I made the transition from paid employee to startup CEO/Founder.  It took me at least ten years  to make this move and a some additional treacherous months of over thinking and analysing on how/when/if I should bite the bullet. Today I decided to make a Top Ten list, of what I would have told myself in Jan 2014. Its amazing how far I have come and for those thinking starting up, my advice is simple. just do it!

1) You will not miss your old job even by a day. Nope as much as you think you love it now, you will strangely not miss it.

2) You will miss the free food though, the fresh juice and the friday small chops conversations while arguing over which YT video is we love that week!

3) You will love building your dream, you will work till 3am and still be excited to be up at 9am in time to go in the office! yes Crazy

4) You will find that the hardest part is building a solid team, but you will find a few awesome people who think your company is pretty dope

5) You will get upset when your first hire leaves, it will feel like you were dumped when you were 13, everyone will tell you this is silly !

6) You will find People Management and finding talent much more difficult that you thought and wonder why no one talks about it, you will discover a new found respect for your manager and wish you hadn’t given her/him such a hard time

7) You will obsess about your company day and night, all conversations about anything can be linked back to life at fashpa

8) You will wonder how your friends and family put up with you, because you work all the time and you will forget birthdays. Shoutout to YF! I love you sorry for forgetting you and pampers bday this year!

9) You will stretch the truth at interviews about work life balance, because the truth is you dont have one, but that just sounds bad, so you will say you manage the two well!

10) You will genuinely be happy  about starting the F***k up and  building your dream, even on those bad days when you just want to run home and hide