My journey as a female entrepreneur in Nigeria has been a mouthful says Aniekeme Umoren our Guest writer.
Aniekeme Umoren(Ann) is an entrepreneur, with a degree in Accounting. After been an Auditor for a year, she is currently the team manager of Partylane Dynamic Concept.
She entered the entrepreneurial world to explore her passion for Fashion and add beauty to human lives. Life to her means family and friends who can be trusted. She is self driven, she takes pride in providing the best products and services to customers/clients.
Here is what Ann says;
Where should we start?
I am grateful for the opportunity given to me to share my experience. Chi, thanks again.
And to everyone reading, I hope we learn from my intriguing yet eye-opening journey as a female entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Having an entrepreneurial vision is interesting, I would lie if I say it’s one of the smoothest Journey ever. Hmm…it isn’t.
I stopped applying for a job when I realised that I was wasting my time doing so.
Are you shocked to hear me say so?
It all started immediately after my National Youth Service Corps(NYSC). I had this poor mindset that after my NYSC program I would find a white collar job.
Well, it turned out to be the opposite.
I kept applying for jobs in different places (banks to be precise) I love Bankers and was obsessed with the banking industry.
Few weeks later, I was called up for interviews at different banks.
I got rejected at the finals due to the fact that I was newly married and they believed I wouldn’t be able to perform my duty as required; such as traveling round the world, working late etc.
Should I say… Fortunately, I gave up my dreams of working in the bank and began reading Brain Tracy’s book “CHANGE YOUR THINKING, CHANGE YOUR LIFE” that was all I needed at that point in time. I lost focus, was depressed and full of negative thoughts that my friends have all made it through life and I’m still stagnated. I needed something to get my hopes high, and all I could think of was reading a book. Thankfully, the book did help redirect my thoughts.
I realized there was something missing in my world and that was FASHION. Fashion has always been my day one dream right from childhood, have always played with colors, pieces of clothes, drawings, threads and needle. smiles
I had to turn my focus to Fashion. But then I had obstacles; financial obstacles hindering me from getting things done immediately. Like the saying “there’s nothing free in Freetown not to talk of Nigeria.” laighs Becoming a female entrepreneur in Nigeria wasn’t going to be easy so I had to improvise.
Something that could actually relate to fashion. To avoid procrastination I had to start somewhere, anywhere and anyhow.
I ordered 15pieces of Ankara fabrics and began selling them to people around me.
Honestly, It was never an easy task. It took me a month to be able to sell out only ’15 fabrics’ laughs.
I didn’t know how to convince people to buy them so it made it very difficult to sell out. I was terrible at marketing. An important skill that would help me successfully be a female entrepreneur in Nigeria. At some point I got scared of what my life has become. It was so frustrating and I was a little hopeless.
After a while, I created a business account on social media( Instagram and Facebook precisely) I bought more fabrics about 15pieces, I uploaded them and waited for response like forever. No one called, no notifications, no DMs. I was frustrated. tears
I went to my husband’s book shelf again, skimmed through the books. My eyes caught Joe Girard book “HOW TO SELL ANYTHING TO ANYBODY”. I read it repeatedly. It took me days to understand and realize that I had a lot of upgrading and trimming to do with my brand and my self.
Who wouldn’t follow up procedures in such circumstances? I had to.
I bought about 25pieces of ankara Fabrics, 16yards of senators, 10pieces of plain and patterns and 12yards of brocades.
And I started selling rapidly. It didn’t take me more than 2 weeks to be able to sell them all, I restocked and kept the process going. I was so happy for a long time. You may see it as a small win but this victory alone got me motivated to do more.
It didn’t end there. As time went by I felt I needed to revamp and rebrand my Instagram page and it was done by Chika smiles she did an excellent job. The rebranding alone brought more clients especially on Instagram. I deleted trash of pictures on my Facebook business page and focused on just my brand and what I could offer.
Today, I can say that I receive calls from people I don’t know before, most of my clients are from social media. The irony. I can now call myself a female entrepreneur in Nigeria. I won’t say that I have blow, in fact, I am just getting started. I’m only at a place where I enjoy what I do.
So what’s my point here? To be called an entrepreneur in Nigeria or an entrepreneur of any kind is very pleasant but the question is are you ready to face the challenges that come afterwards or are you going to listen to people’s negativity or just quit?
It is important to have a true inner desire for your passion. And in business that’s truly what it takes at the end of the day.
6 Tips to help you be a successful male/female entrepreneur in Nigeria
- Just stay focused.
- Test your potentials(i.e passion, self confidence etc)
- Read books.
- Avoid procrastination.
- Redefine your skills to match your business.
- Be self driven (motivate your self, no one will do it for you)
I trust this piece has been of great value to you
Thanks for your time and thank you for having me.
Please leave Ann your feedbacks, questions, kind words and compliments in the comment. She’s right there waiting on you. winks
Our last guest post by Prince James is a must read by everyone
Kemi Ojumobi wrote an article for Business day on some of the most powerful female entrepreneurs in Nigeria and the story Its deeply motivating I must say.