We took Monday off to join Bellafricana in celebrating African creatives. It was a successful event that pulled together veterans in the Nigerian entrepreneurship space as well as the new much younger businesses all doing innovative things.
The tour kicked off anniversary activities at the Plectrum Hub. The Hub was launched fully in April last year and is celebrating the one-year mark with different activities all week long. The sessions held in Ikeja were quite interesting and as usual. Mumpreneurs in attendance today were Toyin Akinlade (Panelist, Founder Plectrumhub) and Damilola Eric-Ojo
I have been down this road before. When I started my first business, I had this big picture of a super e-commerce website that would do all sorts of things. I wasn’t ready to move on till I had it exactly the way I wanted it. Even the designer I engaged advised me to start off with Facebook pages first but I wasn’t having it. So there I was not moving forward because I felt stuck. We went from design to design. I kept putting everything off till after the website.
When my first participant started to mention a particular concept she had hinged on getting a shop in a particular location, I immediately remembered that. She kept saying I have this plan once I get the space, I will do that once I get the space. Now it is good to know what you want and go for it, by all means. It becomes a problem however when it holds you hostage and you put everything else on hold because of it.
Guess what, I got my website eventually, but I never sold one single thing through that website because while I was so fixated on the website and it looks and feel, I totally left out the important part, selling! It was beautiful, just as I pictured, but it didn’t convert.
Have a plan by all means, but don’t be fixated on one particular path. There are many ways to kill a cat. Keep your mind open.
This is specifically for mumpreneurs. Most of the women I have spoken to during the course of this tour struggle with juggling raising toddlers (especially between the ages of 1 and 6) and running their business. One of them who bakes cakes said she has to ensure all cakes for the day are out of the oven by 3 p.m at the latest, so she can do school-run. Of course, once the children are back with her, all major work comes to a halt pretty much.
I know many other mumpreneurs can relate to this. My boys are a bit older now and so it is less crazy for me, but I passed through this phase when I felt my productivity was at its lowest because I had toddlers to nurture. My advise to most of them is summarized below.
This is your reality; accept it. Put yourself on a routine, planning around the children. If you are in business for the long haul, know that the business is not going anywhere, especially if you take the needed time to set up a structure and document your systems and processes, such that any other person can execute.
Your children on the other hand will grow up and move on someday, so enjoy this period with them, and do your part to instill the right values in them. Secondly, don’t hesitate to ask for help. The second mumprener I spoke to said she gets help from her Mum and her sisters when she is overwhelmed. They mind the children temporarily when she needs to attend to other things.
All in all, it’s a phase that will pass. Plan and take one day at a time.
I realize that each time I speak to these mumpreneurs, the learning is both ways. I always come away with something myself.
Mofolusade Sonaike is the CEO of Branded.ng and Creative Director of Mumpreneur.ng, a network of mum owned businesses that delivers capacity building and support. She’s an entrepreneurship advocate and coach as well as an entrepreneurship content creator