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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who are you?

Back to my story, where was I? Aha, the mentoring program.

2012/2013, IBM Women's mentoring challenge.....

The program opened with a bang. Our convener and chief mentor as we christened her, Remi Abere welcomed us and gave us a brief about the program and what to expect. We were introduced to the prospective mentors and had a few sessions with, Peter Evbota and CFA amongst others. CFA, CFA!! This was my first time of being opportuned to listen to Charles Fred Agbata and I was blown away.

The theme for the program was leveraging social media for business. Before this meeting, I would have sworn I had that covered with my plenty facebook page fans and small attempt at twitter. By the time they were through with us, I realized I was still playing. I was merely scratching the surface with my application of twitter and then my Linkedin profile was more or less non-existent! Linkedin was just one of those many sites I joined from boredom and never visited, I didn't even have a profile picture.

I left that meeting feeling rejuvenated with a renewed resolve to go on with Trezorlandia. Before this time I had been hiding my face, not really wanting to come out and present myself as an entrepreneur. Afraid that if I announced myself as a business person and failed, I would have nowhere to run back to. That night however, I got back home, logged on to Linkedin, put up a smart picture and re-defined my title as "Experienced gift solutions provider" and "Entrepreneur"! I put myself out there for the first time and I was not ashamed, not anymore. This was the path I had chosen, this was who I was - Mofolusade Sonaike, the Gift Consultant.

P.S - You wouldn't believe that 50 women were selected for the program and only about 20 or so came through and participated. Imagine.

Life Skills Learnt

  • Define who you are without fear, it gives you wings to fly. Wear it like a badge of honor, there is dignity in business.
  • Myles Munroe wrote in his book, "when purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable". If your family members, neighbors, friends and acquaintances do not know what you do, then there's a problem. 
  • Linkedin is a very useful platform for networking. Join as many groups as are relevant to your industry or business and participate. Ask for recommendations, don't be ashamed to ask people you have worked with to recommend you.

30 July 2013.....

I know I have said this before, but Lagos traffic can finish you! Gosh. Ayam tire. Meanwhile I finally got all my accounts sorted in terms of online access to spool my statements monthly, UBA was the only one outstanding and I finally settled it on Friday.

Guess what happened today? I had purchased this gift card from some Spa Salon for a client's wife's birthday. At the time of purchase I stressed the ladies that attended to me because I wanted the experience to be seamless for my client, so we took time to confirm everything confirm-able under the sun. This is because they had shown one of my clients pepper before, but even more-so because these two were a new pair at the customer service desk, yet again. This is one major challenge with so many businesses, staff turnover is so high and it's not good for business.

With all of that, I still had to answer a distress call from my client's wife today when they were giving her grief at the Spa, telling her the gift card was purchased at their VI branch (Card that I bought from their Ikeja office o! Shioo) and taking forever to confirm the card. What's the point of a gift card if you can't call up the details from the system pronto?!! What did I go through the trouble to ensure everything was properly recorded for? Could this be the rocket science my bosses from my banking days referred to? Hian!

As if that wasn't enough, they now print out the receipt and hand to her at the end of the service!!! Who does that? It's a pre-paid gift card for God's sake. Besides, they already issued a receipt to me at purchase. Awon alakoba. Her hubby didn't find it funny at all, neither did I. But my saving grace was that, I didn't inflate the price and what they got was exactly what I had told her husband they would. I would have lost a client today, because I could have chosen a slightly cheaper treatment, there's no way of knowing really, but I didn't. An extra thousand here and there was not worth doing that for. These people are going to be getting a good lashing from me though. I would cut them off if I could, but for now, they're the best in that area, so we must work this out somehow. Where's that my "Supplier management 101 handout? hehe.

Entrepreneur Tips

  • Do what you say you would. Things as basic as "I will call you back" make the difference between choosing you and the next competition.
  • Think long term in all that you do, don't sacrifice long term profit for short term gains
  • Do something everyday, no matter how small, towards achieving your goals.

Slowly but surely, you will get there.......

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