A warm atmosphere welcomed Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, a multitalented entrepreneurial woman of substance. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika is the CEO and founder of the Chair Center Group, co-founder and past chairman of Women in Business and Management, multi award winning entrepreneur and the first Nigerian recipient of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Award (IWEC), to mention a few of her achievements.
Mrs. Awosika threw light on women empowerment and how individuals can grow their selves in the right path. She spoke mostly about bringing the inner part of you out on the road of discovery.
The program heightened when it was time for questions. The answers opened the minds of the audience to the little things she did that pushed her towards her own success. Below are some of the questions asked and her apt answers.
How did you discover your talent?
Have a sense of you. More of you will be revealed daily but your commitment, diligence and productivity will tilt you towards your path. Discovering who you are is about taking up responsibilities. Don’t do anything you are not passionate about.
How do you manage your home as busy as you are? Any major limiting behaviour/weakness?
Who you marry is the biggest decision you will ever make. Who you marry determines your future. Don’t ever settle until you are comfortable that this person you want to marry has your back and will allow you to fly. Never talk back at your husband when a third party is there, remember, words are eggs. Develop the practice of inclusiveness no matter the level you have attained, that is, include your partner always and decide together. Don’t argue with your reality. How you are economically relevant affects your decision making in the home. Have you earned a right to be trusted? You must be fair, firm and never let anyone intimidate you or look you down, irrespective of your differences. Be compassionate to even the lowest person around you
Is it advisable to start a business with your husband?
You can carry your husband along but you don’t need to bring him into the business. Likewise, do not keep secret because secrecy is the major weapon of destruction but apply wisdom when seeking his advice. At first when you start a business, your husband might seem supportive because he thinks it is just a business to keep you busy.
But as the business becomes successful, he may get scared. He may get scared because he feels that you might become something else. He may have heard so many stories of women who have become rich and are now terrible. He may be scared that you might not be able to balance it all.
You have the power to manage this transition.
Money is a very sensitive topic in a marriage because it can break a home. A lot of ladies take advice from the older generation, forgetting that the generation of our mothers is not the same as our generation. In that generation, not a lot of women were career focused. In this generation, it is the norm for women to be career focused, and hence, the dynamics has changed, and we have to deal with that dynamic.
Choosing a business partner?
Partnership is like marriage. Write your goals/strategies down and make sure the other person does too. Your dreams can seem similar but not necessarily the same. Write down everything and bedeliberate; don’t move on until you both have agreed on a point and have the resolution written down and documented. You must never lose sight of your goals. Learn to accommodate other people’s liabilities and you have the responsibility of taking your friends along. She also advised that everyone must learn to share their blessings.
If everybody is deceiving you, do not deceive yourself, nobody knows where you are going but you. You owe it to yourself to invest in yourself. After you invest in yourself, the knowledge is yours, and you will find yourself in places you don’t feel you are qualified for. It is your responsibility to empower yourself with information that can help you. Be honest with yourself and identify what your gaps are. This is what will separate you from the crowd.
And finally she added; document all your processes. Every time you can reconcile in life, do it. Make the sacrifice in your early days for the benefits of the later days. Discipline yourself to manage your resources.
Her most highlighted points were
- Find a mentor
- Own your success
- The biggest part of you is inside you, never let anyone define you by what they see.
She also spoke about basic business principle;
- Define your assets and liabilities
- Be fair. Be kind. But be firm
- Maximise your strength
- Value people as much as you value yourself
- Have a sense of You
- Don’t be lazy about investing in you.