Female entrepreneur in Nigeria

This year we set out to shatter those business and personal goals and take names. We are also raising kids and taking them to school. We also need to ensure our housemates and husbands and family are fed and dressed appropriately. Sometimes we even need to come home to make sure the kids do homework we have to accomplish all this while sticking to these goals no excuses.

It’s hard and overwhelming.

Here are some coping mechanisms that are practical and useful for the Nigerian Woman Dragon-slayer (excuse the pun).

  1. Plan: I know you hear this lot but it’s only the woman with a plan that can get these thing going. This is a bankable mechanism to cope. Sundays are for the Lord and the kitchen (if you HAVE to cook). You will be prepping means you will have an avenue to make a plan.
  2. Build a support system:  if you are in a commuted relationship and you have a partner who is supportive then good for you. You may like a majority of women struggle with this then I will encourage you to get help. Make friends with neighbours and even build a rapport with others in the church or mosque or shrine. Create a system around you that you can properly monitor communicate with that can help you do things. Even if it’s a support group on WhatsApp or Facebook or anywhere, much sure you don’t alienate yourself.
  3. Talk about it: a lot of people especially here in Nigeria find it hard to discuss their businesses with others. They are either afraid of getting copied or stolen from. I will say if you are not talking you are not doing. Talking helps you clarify your ideas and ensure your stay on track. If you can’t trust a group, then, have a confidant who can keep you accountable.
  4. Be about it: like you know talk is cheap and that’s no lie. While I want you talking I also want you doing. Don’t just sit and make plans and talk, also take action. There is a philosophy called the 5-second rule by Mel Gibbons, it’s simply that don’t let more than 5 seconds pass between when you have a thought and when you take action on it. To be more adaptable to our needs I will say don’t let more than 5 seconds go-between when you say you would and when you actually do. Even if it’s just 1 simple action that leads you to that goal, don’t wait, do it now.
  5. Take time out: I don’t care whether you drink Zobo or pinot noir, or you drink tea or brandy or both mixed together take time off with a glass or whatever it is you love to do; put your feet up and stare at the TV, the wall or read a book that doesn’t teach you anything.
  6. Make sure you are staying true: Nothing and I repeat nothing will stress you out more than trying to be what you are not. I am not talking fake it till you make it I am talking all out fakeness or trying to copy or be another person. If you are trying to copy or be someone else you will have wrinkles and high blood pressure. Stay true to you, give yourself a chance to fail, to learn and start again.
  7. Be kind to yourself: I know you are a dragon slayer and you handle things like childbirth like a nosebleed but please be kind to yourself.
  8. Collaborate: What one can do, two can definitely do better together. Collaborating opens doors for you that even you could not imagine. Collaborate with both men and women collaborations open up different networks of people to you to help you grow in whatever business. So if you are a tutor, you can collaborate with a school, if you are a freelance chef you can collaborate with a restaurateur. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and make sure you are adding value to any professional relationship you find yourself in, nobody likes a parasite.
  9. Outsource: I can’t overemphasize this. Most business people are bogged down by things that don’t matter because they want to be everything and do everything. Let’s break down into figures shall we:

According to Various studies carried out:

82% of SMEs use outsourcing to grow their business

28% of companies use outsourcing to help them maintain customer centricity

44% of businesses use it to control their costs

15% use it to accelerate the completion of their projects

15% use it to gain access to management expertise.

The list goes on. No need trying to slay your goals alone. Someone may be better at it than you-you can outsource and collaborate.

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