Tuesday 27 May 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Adeline Sede-Kamga, Founder of FabAfriq Magazine

In this interview we meet the founder of the Pan-African glossy magazine, FabAfriq, Adeline Sede-Kamga. FabAfriq is a lifestyle magazine which celebrates African achievement in all areas of society. Read this inspirational interview and be motivated by her journey.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

My Business days are different depending on what I am doing or which cap I am wearing. Generally, I will start my day at 2AM. This is the time spent to read and reply emails and read business books online. I also use this time for social media updates. Around 6:30, I start sending out emails from my draft folder and creating contacts I need for my next interviews, meeting, reviews etc. I am usually in the office around 8:30 when I hold skype/ viber or face to face meeting with my team or clients. By 2PM, I am ready to hang out with some friends who inspire me or organising files and folders in some of my numerous online storage devices.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?

When a mother of 2 is faced with redundancy, ideas of what to do next started to manifest. With a previous experience in journalism, a husband who is an amazing web designer amongst other things, my abilities to connect with people, negotiation skills, high level communication skills and a love for all things creative, I decided to start a web business. One year later, it was no longer an ”I” business but a “we” business. With the pressure to satisfy different type of readers, we decided to turn our online magazine into a print magazine and later a magazine publication company into a Digital marketing agency.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

It is very difficult to name one achievement, but the biggest achievement so far has been my ability to influence change in people’s lives. This has been done through my natural coaching skills. As a coach, every positive result gives me great satisfaction and I can’t thank God enough for this gift. Other achievements include the publication of one issue after the other of our amazing FabAfriq Glossy magazine, collaborations with the amazing FabAfriq creative team to host Fashion events, facilitating workshops and seminars and the launch of a FabAfriq branch in Cameroon (Africa)


What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

My biggest challenge has been managing across boundaries. With a team scattered around 4 continents, it is very difficult to manage time differences thus missing some key deadlines.

Further challenges are Funding availabilities. It has been very challenging, raising funds to run the business. As we all know, more than 60% of small 
businesses shut down due to lack of funding. So far, we are still trying to solve this issue but as you all know-where there is a will...

As a woman and a Mother, it is also very challenging to raise little children while trying to run a business (I have 3 kids, 19 years, 5 years and 1 year).

What are your future plans for the business?

We plan to publish every 2 months going forward from next year. This will give our readers an opportunity to enjoy exciting new articles at a regular interval. We have launched our consultancy, which supports businesses in Digital marketing and communication. We plan to grow over the years in human resources so that we’d be able to support our ever growing clientele.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

When I look back at some of the mistakes that I made, I smiled to myself. In life it is OK to make mistakes, you learn faster. I think what I might do differently is to work on my relationship with anyone who has ever contributed to FabAfriq Magazine. Most of them were like butterflies, flying to FabAfriq only to fly away again-chasing other passion, bigger pay cheques and other adventures.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

As we all know, women have been marginalised in the past. Inspiring more women means more women would be in control of their lives. We need to save our continent, statistics show that men are not doing a pretty good job- Inspire a man, you change his family, Inspire a woman, you change her village...just twisted that but you know it is true.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

1- Research

2- Plan

3- Gather a lot of images and articles. Make sure you ask for permission before you re-publish published work and please always include a reference link.

4- Kick start. You do not need all you need to start a successful business. Once you have kicked started your business, other things would fall into place.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

The final products always give me a kick to start all over again. I see every publications as a project, as soon as it has been published, I jump on the next project. Team FabAfriq is a very big inspiration, everyone takes their role as their best friend, delivering on time cost and quality.

My family, who doesn’t like a holidays in The Bahamas? I want to work hard, so that I can take them there every other year.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert camus

+FabAfriq Magazine


Wednesday 21 May 2014

2inspire Network Profile: Meet The Motivational Listener - Noreen Makosewe

On June 28th 2014, at The 2Inspire Ladies Day, Life and Executive Coach and Strategist Noreen Makosewe, will share ways to unleash your personal power, overcome adversity and colour life beautiful so you can live the life of your dreams boldly and powerfully. Read this powerful and inspirational interview with Noreen and motivate yourself to be the best that you can be.

Noreen Makosewe

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

Business days are often planned a week or weeks in advance. With multiple projects on-the-go most days are not the same. Working to a structured time and workflow schedule keeps me focused and minimises distractions and overwhelm caused by the volume of things that require ongoing attention.

Silence, gratitude, prayer and setting a clear intention for the day is how I like to begin each day. These times of quietness keep me centred through fast-paced days and constant change.

I give priority to making or returning calls and sending or responding to emails as that is how I communicate with potential clients, existing clients, JV partners or suppliers. When an upcoming seminar or conference is on the calendar I have regular telephone updates with my events manager who works remotely. I’ve learnt that building a big dream requires building a great team. I’m still learning to delegate as part of the growth process. After emails and phone calls, I then systematically work through the day’s agenda which could include following up leads, scheduling meetings, preparing for a presentation/workshop/seminar, negotiating with venues for upcoming events or writing my book.

Coaching clients or strategy consulting will often take place in a city meeting room, online or via telephone. On work-at-home days I stick to working UK business hours (9 – 5 or sometimes longer) like I would a corporate job. Being self-employed and working at home requires time discipline. If anything, it can require more discipline than working an office job. Potential distractions are many so without personal discipline productivity suffers. I believe entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from treating their own businesses as they would a big corporation, whether working alone or with a team.

What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?

I always knew I wanted to get paid for doing work that makes a difference in people’s lives and the world. My late father made me believe I could achieve anything I set my mind upon. Those words keep me motivated. Also, growing up I saw many women juggling a corporate job, raising a family and setting up businesses. As much as I admired their tenacity, I saw the pressure juggling all of these things put on them, their health or their families. This is not always the case of course, but they inspired me begin business-building early in my singlehood.

The first year of my degree course in Information Systems and Management helped me figure out very quickly that although I enjoyed the technical know-how of IT, I did not want to work with machines long-term – I wanted to work directly with people. Informally involved in music and putting together youth and music events in my early twenties, I toyed with the idea of setting up a music recording studio or a corporate events company. Stints in various client-facing jobs didn’t yield any career options that resonated with my vision. Whilst researching jobs and courses online one day, I came across Life Coaching and discovered there was an entire industry that offered the opportunity to build a career out of something I felt was a strength. A good friend recommended Noble Manhattan Coaching. I liked their ethos and values as a company so I trained to become a Certified Life and Executive Coach, set up www.radicalleap.com and never looked back. I eventually also became a Strategic Partner of Noble Manhattan, helping others become certified life, executive or corporate coaches.

Some of the key steps I took to start operating as a business included:

  • Getting clear about what I wanted to do and how I was going to make it happen 
  • Getting the vision down on paper to keep me focused 
  • Lots and lots of research 
  • Registering the company as a legal entity 
  • Speaking to lawyers and accountants about pitfalls and growth strategies in business 
  • Attending business start-up, personal and leadership development events 
  • Reading business books and books written by those already accomplished in my industry 
  • Setting up the back-end systems and processes I would need for the day-to-day operations of the business. Knowing IT helped 
  • Preparing myself mentally and financially to balance having corporate job while I built a new business from the ground up. I had to be strategic 
  • Setting aside a budget for continuous professional development as is required in my industry – training, courses, events, books 
  • Bags of focus and determination 

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. That’s a whopping 80%! Being around since 2007 and making a difference in the lives and businesses of entrepreneurs and leaders not only in Europe but also in Africa feels like a great accomplishment. We still have a long way to go but I’m grateful we’ve made it this far. The brand has evolved and grown over the years and we’re looking forward to impacting more lives and being a company that creates changes of generational significance.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Juggling multiple projects has challenged performance and productivity. It’s both exciting and adventurous but can put pressure on profits as well as wellbeing. The lessons I’ve learnt over the years have been incorporated in coaching programmes that helps busy entpreneneurs manage their time effectively, and maximise performance and productivity. 
Noreen Makosewe means business!

What are your future plans for the business?

Expansion. Africa has been on the agenda from the beginning and right now there are great opportunities to take our products and services to entrepreneurs and business leaders in Africa. There’s a hunger for knowledge, personal development, leadership development and business development and I’d like Radical Leap to be a part of meeting that need. We have some clients in East and West Africa and are forging alliances with complementary organisations to collaborate on people development projects.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would invest in business and leadership mentoring very early in the business. Mentoring would have helped me avoid certain pitfalls, access better resources and accelerate the growth of my business.
What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?

“You changed my life!”

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” ― Brigham Young

I believe this statement to be true. My experience of working with the Women of Africa charity has given me the opportunity to read as well as hear the challenges women experience, some of them heart-breaking. I believe investing in men is worthwhile too but there are so many odds stacked up against women worldwide and it’s going to take a lot of policy changes to bring about gender balance that will place many women in a position of safety and power to impact their communities with their knowledge and their talents. In the meantime, we should not stop inspiring and empowering the next generation of women who will carry on the work of ‘being the change’ and creating a better world.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

Here are a few simple tips:

· Study the industry. Here are 5 free downloadable coaching reports that might help: http://tinyurl.com/lu79xm9

· Invest in the best professional coach training programme you can find

· Invest in mentors – personal, business, financial, spiritual

· Invest in continuous professional development

· Know who you are and what area of coaching you would like to focus on. Play on your greatest strengths and don’t be distracted by how everyone else is doing things

· Know who you want to serve with your gift and then give them your all

· Prepare to put in the work. It is a rewarding industry to be in and persistence pays off

· Learn from those with experience in your area of expertise

What or who inspires you in business and why?

I believe we all have internal wiring that compels us to pursue our individual life paths. I’m inspired to be the best I can be and fulfil my life purpose helping others fulfil theirs boldly. Things my parents said to me when I was growing up remind me that nothing is impossible. I’m also inspired by the women in my inner circle. The ups and downs of this journey are easier to handle with a good support network and lots of laughter. “No wo/man is an island.”

I’m inspired by the countless women all over the world who feature in lifestyle, inspirational as well business publications like Forbes; women who are boldly living out their purpose and making a difference whilst remaining authentic to their personality and their message.

There are also “invisible women” who inspire me. Women no one knows about but who are using the resources they have to change their world. They work quietly but their legacy will live on for generations. I know about these women through association with various charities. Because of them, light shines in dark places.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” ~ (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


Guest Blog How your business or start-up could benefit from a Virtual Assistant (VA)

Guest Blog post by Rebecca Newenham of Get Ahead VA

Introduction – Why A VA?
As an entrepreneur you have to be an expert multi tasker.  Usually everything falls down to you – there is no IT or HR department to go to.  But this doesn’t mean that you have to do it all alone.  Using a virtual assistant could be the perfect solution to add value to your business, without adding as much cost as you might think.
Virtual Assistance is really taking off: many people are starting to appreciate the great things VAs can do to help all kinds of businesses save money and time, make the most of what they have to offer and focus on the key things they do best.  Small business owners are acknowledging that not only do they need help, they deserve it, too – and they are not putting it off any longer.

What a VA can achieve
Highly skilled experts, VAs can help with email marketing, cold calling, database research, social media management, administration, PR, design, bookkeeping and much, much more.  You may be surprised to find out just how much a Virtual Assistant can achieve in an hour.  Here are 10 examples of what a VA could deliver for you and your business in just 60 minutes:
1.       Call 25-30 prospects
2.       Update Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts
3.       Mail merge 50-100 letters including stuffing envelopes and mailing
4.       Enter 75 contacts into Excel
5.       Edit and proof read an A5 page report
6.       Balance a monthly bank statement
7.       Research travel, hotel and meeting facilities
8.       Submit a press release
9.       Transcribe a half hour of audio
1.   Produce membership name badges

The benefit of working with a VA is that you pay by the hour for exactly the work you need, when you need it.  As a small business owner this makes sure you that you keep the flexibility of being able to work where you want, when you want.  You get to cherry pick the very best experts in the areas that you need assistance on.  No people coming to your house, sitting around waiting for work - no holiday pay or sick pay – just support as and when you need it.

Reaping the rewards
There is so much more to Virtual Assistance than meets the eye – in fact, it can extend to wherever your imagination takes you.  A good VA can be worth their weight in gold.  They can grow your business and help you generate more sales.  In fact, with the right VA, anything is possible!

If you would like to receive our top tips or to talk further about how a virtual assistant could transform your business then please give us a call on 01483 332220.  Here at Get Ahead VA we pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.

Website address: www.getaheadva.com
Twitter address: @GetAheadVA

Monday 19 May 2014

PRESS RELEASE:The 2Inspire Network Ladies Day Event Celebrates “The Strength of Women”

The Founder of the 2Inspire Network, Hazel Chawapiwa is proud to announce the return of the 2inspire Ladies Day which will take place on June 28th at The Novotel Greenwich, a stone’s throw away from the famous Cutty Sark. Much like the Cutty Sark, many of the women in business who will be showcasing at the 2inspire Ladies Day have overcome adversity to become even stronger and more successful.

"Brick to Brick We Stand Firm Together Building Walls to Inspire Others" (Zara-Shola Odeniyi @cocoacabin).  These powerful words are central to this year’s theme of 2inspire Ladies Day which is “The strength of a Woman”. It is an event which is set to bring hundreds of women together from across London.
The event will be a free entry event which will include a children’s fashion show hosted by Isossy Children, free NHS Health Checks, a business clinic hosted by Lorna Stewart and a variety of workshops. Workshop topics will cover health, personal development, branding, sensuality and more.  Workshop facilitators on the day include Yvonne Thompson CBE, Noreen Makosewe, Valley Fontaine, Gail Reynolds and Lillian Ogbogoh.
The event will house up to 40 exhibitors, whose products range from fashion to beauty to artwork, making the event an ultimate one-stop shop for ladies seeking inspiration, shopping, pampering and entertainment all under one roof.  Not only does the event offer a platform that promotes and celebrates the creative talent of women in business, it also provides an arena that empowers and supports visitors in creating a crystal clear vision for both the personal and professional aspects of their lives.
The 2inspire Academy, Young, Gifted and Talented (YGT) musical showcase will also host an entertainment segment as part of the Ladies Day event. This showcase has been integrated into the Ladies Day program to kick start fundraising for the YGT project, which aims to produce a compilation album featuring  the Young, Gifted and Talented performers.

“Empowering individuals and helping them to realise their potential is something that I am passionate about. I believe that women should work together and support each other on their journeys. This belief is the foundation of the network, an organisation that provides social media platforms, events and training that help to empower, promote and inspire women. The strength and uniqueness of a woman can be compared to no other and I salute every woman out there.” says Founder Hazel Chawapiwa.

For more information log onto www.2inspirenetwork.com
Registration link: http://2inspireladiesday4.eventbrite.co.uk

Events photogallery:www.2inspirenetwork.com/eventsgallery

Notes to Editor

In October  2013 the 2Inspire Network celebrated the creativity of women at its 3rd Ladies Day in Stratford with just over 400 attendees and a range of creative performances, businesses showcasing their products and services and workshops for attendees. Free entry to this 4th edition of Ladies Day permits access to the shopping arena, the entertainment and the fashion show.  There is a one-off payment charge of £8 for attendees who want to attend any of the workshops or the business clinic being held on the day. This event is an opportunity not to be missed.


Tuesday 13 May 2014

2inspire Business Profile :Meet The Inspirational £6 Million Pound Mumpreneur Gail Reynolds

Gail Reynolds runs her own independent Avon business  and is one of the top earners in the country, winning the award for the best Direct Seller   With no business background, no qualifications when she left school and no knowledge of the industry, Gail, now a mum of 3, has built an empire with over 2700 team members and an annual turnover of £7 million
Gail Reynolds
Inspirational entrepreneur Gail Reynolds will be facilitating a workshop at the next ladies day entitled "Mind your own Business" where she will help attendees to look at identifying where they are in their business journey so far. Setting their sights high and reaching out for both small and BIG Goals. She will also teach the importance of Professionalism and 100% customer quality customer service at all times. Find out more about this mumpreneur known as the "6 million pound mum" in the interview below:

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I always start with dressing for business I think it is important when you work from home not to wear casual clothes and to make the effort because how you look has a big impact on how you feel and therefore how you work.
I start will getting my daughter organised with her lessons (I home tutor my 9 year old Rosie) and then it’s calls, emails, newsletters, incentives, social media posts and blogs.  This week I am also booked in to travel to Plymouth, Newmarket and Lincoln to deliver a motivational speech and train 7 Sales Leaders on our new Pay Plan.
No one day is ever the same, that’s why I love my business.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I started the business because I didn't know anyone in the new area I had just moved to. I answered and Ad in the free ads and within 3 months I was running a business of my own.  I simply made a call, got appointed the next day and started there and then! It was quick and easy and I didn't have to pay to try it either.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I have a few:

  • I won team of the year in 2008-9 (the most prestigious award within the Avon Sales Leadership business)
  • 8 All expenses paid holidays over the past 12 years
  • 2 Cars, a Mercedes 220 elc and an Audi Q5
  • I wrote a book called Mum’s the word and won an award from the London Book Festival awards 2012
  • Direct Seller of the Year 2013 ( awarded by the UK DSA)
  • I was a guest speaker at Brussels European parliaments in 2012, representing European entrepreneurial woman.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Every turn in any business encompass changes, being able to adapt to the changes has been something I have learned to do and so much so I anticipate the changes before they happen and I have built my creative side to enable me to overcome the changes and challenges and actually make a better and even more successful business.

What are your future plans for the business?
Developing our personal and exclusive training materials for all our team members to use and duplicate.  Developing or website to be compatible with all mobile devices and having team members login area for them to access all training files etc.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing, I would do exactly what I have learned over the past 12 years and I would simply eliminate the mistakes I have made.  In fact if I was to start this business all over again I know it would only take me 5 years to get back to where I am now (after 12 years of hard work)

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
This is what drives me every day.  Inspiring just one woman a year to go for her goals and achieve them with basic business building skills that I can help nurture and develop is what gets me out of bed in the morning. This really is my passion.  Watching women like myself achieve great things is the most rewarding feeling anyone can feel.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Research the leaders in the industry 1st.  Look for someone that you would aspire to be like.  Ensure the team you join is one that you would like to be a part of and emulate.  It is important to be a part of a team that works as a team and enables you to be a part of something bigger than yourself.  Team work makes the dream work!

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I love to follow others in different industries that are successful in their own rights.  People who have built a business from the bottom up, with hard work and pure determination are my inspiration.  Jim Rohn is my favourite speaker and philosopher in life and in business because of who he is and where he got to. 

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
You were born to win, but to be a winner,you must plan to win,prepare to win, and expect to win. Zig Ziglar.

Interested in attending Gails workshop at the 2Inspire ladies day on June 28th then register at: http://2inspireladiesday4.eventbrite.co.uk. Gail will be running a prize draw competition for attendees of her workshop for a signed copy of her award winning book.

Contact Information:

Wednesday 7 May 2014

2inspire Business Profile: Inspirational Business Woman Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE

In this inspirational interview we meet Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE, a renowned entrepreneur who has been in business for over 30 year. As a successful Public Relations guru and one of the founding directors of Choice FM (Now Capital Xtra), Yvonne has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with the world and will be hosting a workshop at the The 2inspire Ladies Day on June 28th. 
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
There is no typical day when you work for yourself.  It really depends on what is going on at the time.  However, I tend to wake up around 5.30 to 6.00am.  I don’t use an alarm it’s automatic whether I’m working or not.  First is a cup of coffee, depending on my schedule for the day either 30 mins of yoga or 90 mins in the gym. My gym opens at 6am which is great.  Exercise out of the way – its then back to emails, diaries, and as necessary off to first meetings.  But basically it is filled with mobile of office based working, planning, seeing clients and or event organising. Sometimes lunch – sometimes not, again depending on the day.  Attending or organising launches, networking events, receptions, dinners, seminars and or workshops. Again depending on the day it can finish anytime from 6 onwards.

What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
I’ve been in business 32 years.  32 years ago, I felt it was the only way of getting a promotion as racial and gender prejudices were far more prevalent than they are today.  I worked at  CBS Records (now Sony BMG) and the music industry was very different then than it is now.  After working in press and promotions and working with high profile singers and performers for nearly seven years, and being  I felt the only way to move up is to move out and that’s what I did.  If I could do it for them I could do it for myself.  With business plan in hand, potential clients already in the bag, support on hand, and a place to work from, I set up my first office in Marylebone High Street, and Capital Radio Music Festival was one of my first clients, who went on to include the Sunsplash Reggae Festival in Jamaica, UK and internationally amongst many others.  I built the business gradually and strategically.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
 My greatest commercial business accomplishment was being a founding director of the UK’s first legal radio station Choice FM, launched in 1990.  Bringing Black music to the mainstream of the UK’s music industry and music charts. It gave Black UK musicians the opportunity to get their music made and heard on radio
bringing them to a wider audience, but also helped black businesses to promote and grow their businesses across London and Birmingham. It was successfully developed into a group covering Birmingham, and London (North London and South London) and later sold to Capital Radio – and now owned by Global Radio
which bought Capital Radio Group and most of the other independent radio stations across the UK.  The name was recently changed to Capital Xtra. Starting my business support networks, including ACBN and the EFBWBL.  Supporting and inspiring others businesses to start up and grow their own businesses and experience the troughs and peaks of being an entrepreneur was also a personal great for me, for which I was recognised on the Queens’ birthday honours list in June 2003 with a CBE(Commander Of The British Empire). In 2004, I was recognised by the Mayor of Houston with an Yvonne Thompson Day 4th January, and in 2005 I received an Honourary Doctorate from the London Metropolitan University for services to small, minority and women owned businesses and marketing, PR and mass communication.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Business growth in the first 12 years of running it was the biggest challenge.  Just keeping the business alive and growing felt like I had a triple whammy against me.  When I started my business, the banks and clients were not used to talking to women, even more so Black women, and even more so talking to a black woman about the business of PR.  Back then PR was not seen as tangible.  You could not say for sure you would get a certain amount of coverage for a certain amount of money paid.  But there was also nothing to say  you wouldn’t get more than you paid for.  It was a big learning curve for businesses in general and also my business. 

What are your future plans for the business?
The radio station has been sold, and I am now retired from the PR company but still working as a consultant.  I think after 32 years in business I have a few books in my head which I am planning to put on paper and publish them.  After that it is to enjoy life, do the things I want to do, see the things I want to see, go the places I want to go, and not have any regrets.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Not much, apart from getting more qualifications under my belt before starting my business, be more global, and aim higher, think wider, travel more and be more selfish.

What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?

I think having a satisfied client base, and getting great feedback, support and compliments  from others.
I have received the best compliment of being recognised by the Queen for my services to businesses, and having the legacy of black music being on an equal stage of the UK’s music industry.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
If you don’t follow your dreams how will you make them come true. They will inspire the next generation, as I was inspired by generations before me.  Not necessarily in business but in the ambition of freedom.  Working for yourself is freedom to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, with who you want to do it with. Women are 51% of the world, we are the majority, but we are the minority in so many things and in so many ways.  Without starting my rant about women’s equality, we have to look to ourselves for our own well-being, but we have to bring the brothers with us.  So good luck with that dream.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
It’s such a different world now to when I started my business.  With the digital age you need practically no permissions, there are no barriers, and you can do practically anything from your laptop these days.  So if its what you really want, ensure you have all your ducks lined up, contacts, networking, media contacts, a database, social media, education – not text speech, people skills, communication, and last be not least and probably the most important, good work ethic.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
As the youngest of 5, I’ve always felt the need to be competitive to catch up with rest of the family.  I’m one of these people who is more interested in working for what I want.  It may be a fear that if someone gave it to me – someone can take it back!  If I work for it I own it and can do what I like with what is mine.  I’ve never depended on anyone to live and God’s will - I never will have to.  My love for work, achieving is the biggest high I can get, and I love being on a high so I strive to keep it going.  If I’m not busy I get very irritable.  I need to work and I need to achieve.  That’s what inspires me.  Who inspires me are the people that tell me I can’t.  Tell me I can’t, and if I believe I can – I will.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

There are so many –Here are a few:-

Seven Deadly Sins - Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Science without humanity, Knowledge without character, Politics without principle, Commerce without morality, Worship without sacrifice." Mahatma Gandhi

Chinese Proverb
"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."

Love Like You’ve never been hurt,
Live like there’s no tomorrow,
Laugh like no one can listening
Sing like no one can hear you,

Dance like there’s no one watching
Enjoy life to the fullest

On June 28th Yvonne Thompson CBE will be running a workshop entitled  "How To Build Your Business Brand Through Your Personal Profile in 7 Easy Steps."
One of the most important tools for advancing your business is defining and using your personal profile to build your business brand. Dr Yvonne Thompson will teach attendees about building your business brand, how your brand is your vision of who you are and what you want your target market to know about you, and what you can do for your target market. She will teach how it is a message that distinguishes you from your competition. It is what makes you unique, memorable, trustworthy, and builds loyalty and connects your audience with you. Defining your personal profile and building your brand is simple using her 7 -step process. Book your place here

For more in-depth information on Yvonne Thompson visit msyvonnethompson.com.

Thursday 1 May 2014

2inspire Business Profile: Strength of a Woman Ladies Day Competition Winner: Zara-Shola Odeniyi of Cocoa Cabin

Zara-Shola Ode was the winner of our Strength of a Woman competition with her slogan: "Brick to Brick we stand firm together building walls to inspire others". As part of her prize Zara will be exhibiting her business at the next ladies day on 28th June at the Novotel hotel in Greenwich, find out more below about this young entrepreneur and her business Cocoa Cabin from her interview.

Zara is 23 years old and first started planning her business in 2010 but was too scared to start as she was defeated by the start up costs. However 9 months ago, she went back to her plan, figured out ways to cut costs and went ahead and registered her business. 

Zara describes Cocoa Cabin as a  Hot Chocolate Company that specialises in whipping up Luxury Melted Dark Chocolate into a delicious drink available in an array of flavours. She  is also keen to promote the health benefits of Raw Cocoa and educate people on how good chocolate is for the body and also the mind!
Zara-Shola Odeniyi
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
 A typical business day for me currently evolves around events that I exhibit at and so it involves getting to a venue, setting up the table and preparing the chocolate and milk.

What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
I started this business because I wanted to change from an employee to an employer and become the captain of my own ship. The first thing I did was a business plan. I started to establish what my business was, what we do, who we were targeting and where we wanted to go.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
 My greatest accomplishment is yet to come as I progress and build my company name.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
 My Biggest challenge has been finding funding for my business in order to do more events

What are your future plans for the business?
 In the future I plan to have franchises of Cocoa Cabin stores

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
 I would have started sooner. Regardless of what it looks like, You do not have to see the entire staircase, just take the first step.

What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?
Somebody saying we do the best Hot Chocolate in the world!

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Women can easily be mislead by society about who they are suppose to be, what is expected of them and what is acceptable/unacceptable. It is important to inspire women to follow their dreams so they are maximising their potential and not being held back by what society feeds them. It is a blessing to be a women and we are so capable. This is an era where we no longer have to depend on men to bring the bread home.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
I would say do practice runs and source your strengths and weaknesses. Get people to try it and note down everything that went well, everything that went right, what can be better, what do you need/lack. This way you have a rough idea of what a customer wants

What or who inspires you in business and why?
 I am inspired by entrepreneurs who reject the path that we are all taught (Get a degree and find a 9 to 5 job for life) and start up a business that makes money for them.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
 If You Believe You Can, You Probably Can, If You believe You Wont, You Most Reassuredly Wont, Belief is the Ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad-Denis Waitley

Register to catch @ Cocoacabin at the next ladies day : http://2inspireladiesday4.eventbrite.co.uk

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