Life Lessons from Ibukun Awosika

FUN FACTS

  • A graduate of Chemistry from University of Ife, Nigeria; an alumnae of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School; the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain; and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools.
  • Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group- The companies in the group include The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited, and TCC Systems and Services Limited and are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services.
  • She serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards among which are: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Cadbury Nigeria Plc., Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. She chairs the boards First Bank Nigeria Limited and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) – a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria: She was Chairman, FBN Life Assurance Limited; FBN Capital Limited; and Kakawa Discount House Limited.

Source: Ibukun Awosika Biography 

I always thought finance was for the misfits until Arese proved me wrong. She has this series on her website, Money Conversations where she interviews successful business women and this was how I discovered Mrs. Ibukun Awosika.

I’d be sharing some interesting knowledge  I gained  from reading this interview over and over again.

1. Your age is not a determinant factor of your performance level in business. 

In other words, age is just a number what counts is what you can bring to the table. Own who you are, own your experiences, and stop using your age to underestimate yourself because you wouldn’t be where you are if you haven’t earned a seat at the table.

One of my favorite proverbs in pidgin English: “No be person wey first go police de win case”. It can have different meanings according to the situation but for the purpose of this lesson, being young or old is not a determinant factor in the quantity and quality of your business acumen.

  1. All The Glory Belongs to God

What’s your first reaction after something amazing happens? After you receive the call about your promotion? When you receive your offer letter for that dream job? When you pass that interview? When you qualify to the next round of that competition? When your breakthrough is right before you, what is your reaction?

Are you filled with pride in your achievement or humbled by it and go into the mood of Thanksgiving returning it all to He who made it possible?

Many times we get carried away by our achievements. We feel like we’re the “baddest guys ever liveth”,  we’re the G. O. A. T (Greatest Of All Time), we’ve arrived by our own strength. Why do we PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens), and forget to pray another Thanksgiving prayer when the something eventually happens?

  1. The life partner you choose is extremely important.

Marriage in Nigeria these days is one of  the most lucrative businesses to start-up. It requires zero capital, just an investor with huge pockets to finance a lavish lifestyle. You see people getting into marriages for the most shallow reasons that end in “Had I knowns”

According to Mrs. Awosika, money shouldn’t be a measurement when choosing a husband. What’s important is knowing who you are first. Her words from the interview and I quote:

“Women need to realize that they come first and should spend more time nurturing their vision and ambitions.  Every life has an assignment and you are accountable to God to carry out that assignment and when choosing a life partner you want to look for someone who has been assigned to help you fulfill your purpose.”

Flee from a man or woman who is intimidated by you and won’t let you shine. Someone who doesn’t support your dreams and aspirations isn’t someone you want to be with. Be with someone who knows, looks at you, and treats you like gold (or what’s more than that).

  1. Great business idea + Great marketing strategy – knowledge of  financials = Recipe for disaster 

As an entrepreneur,  having knowledge of your business numbers are crucial. Hire someone to put the numbers together for you while you learn how to interpret the figures because your decisions about the business will be based on what the numbers are saying.

  1. Entrepreneurs need to learn not to be scared of what they don’t know. 

Life is a continuous learning process; a man starts to die the day he stops learning. No man is a monopoly of knowledge. So it’s important to keep an open mind to receive knowledge.  Attend trainings, workshops, seminars, take online courses, make Google your best friend

“Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know just ask. Its ok not to know just make it your business to learn what you don’t know”.

  1. What makes a business scalable? 

Any business is scalable but proof of concept is required. Start small and test your idea using a focus group made up of your target audience because there is a difference between what you think the market wants and what the market really needs.

This reminds me of a Steve Harris quote: “You need to sell what the customer needs not what you think they’ll buy”

Have the patience to move in stages. The business will give you learnings for further growth. You can have two business models within the same business

  1. Invest in People Development 

Learn to invest in the development of people and give them time and opportunity to learn. Rome wasn’t built-in a day. There will always be challenges but you can’t give up on developing and training your staff. There’s always a lesson or two to learn from your staff. They will serve different seasons in your business, you need to identify what season they serve and maximize it.

  1. Failure vs. Challenges

Failure is an attitude that shuts you down and makes you think you should give up. Challenges say you are at war and you’re  not going to give up plus it doesn’t give room for any situation to crystallize. Facing challenges forces you to be creative.

There is no one that is at the top legally and has any substance that can say they haven’t faced any challenges. The challenges of your life are your business and the things that help build your character. You will face challenges but don’t let them overcome you.

Tips on financial success for young entrepreneurs 

  1. You have to be able to prioritize investing in yourself and your business. Put your business first. You can afford to delay purchasing your wants (that Aunty Fumni hair, some nice shoes, wristwatches, etc) until your business can stand on its own
  2. Identify your knowledge gaps, what you know and what you don’t know. Then invest in programs that help you close those gaps. Instead of one designer clothing, invest in a designer program. The knowledge you have is your power, nobody can take that away from you. 
  3. Surround yourself with people who are also on a quest. 
  4. You are made up of assets and liabilities. Your assets are your strengths and your liabilities are your weaknesses. Don’t do the things you can’t do well. Find people skilled in that area to do them while you focus on doing the things you do well. Therefore, find people who have assets in your liabilities that can contribute to your success. 
  5. Everybody in your life has a value they bring. You can never pay anyone enough for them to give you what you want; they can only give you what they want to give. The way you manage those relationships is important because the things they do you cannot do for yourself.

If you’ve read it up to this point and you’re still not inspired, read it all over again.

You can read the full interview HERE 

FUN FACTS

  • A graduate of Chemistry from University of Ife, Nigeria; an alumnae of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School; the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain; and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools.
  • Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group- The companies in the group include The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited, and TCC Systems and Services Limited and are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services.
  • She serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards among which are: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Cadbury Nigeria Plc., Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. She chairs the boards First Bank Nigeria Limited and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) – a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria: She was Chairman, FBN Life Assurance Limited; FBN Capital Limited; and Kakawa Discount House Limited.

Source: Ibukun Awosika Biography 

I always thought finance was for the misfits until Arese proved me wrong. She has this series on her website, Money Conversations where she interviews successful business women and this was how I discovered Mrs. Ibukun Awosika.

I’d be sharing some interesting knowledge  I gained  from reading this interview over and over again.

1. Your age is not a determinant factor of your performance level in business. 

In other words, age is just a number what counts is what you can bring to the table. Own who you are, own your experiences, and stop using your age to underestimate yourself because you wouldn’t be where you are if you haven’t earned a seat at the table.

One of my favorite proverbs in pidgin English: “No be person wey first go police de win case”. It can have different meanings according to the situation but for the purpose of this lesson, being young or old is not a determinant factor in the quantity and quality of your business acumen.

  1. All The Glory Belongs to God

What’s your first reaction after something amazing happens? After you receive the call about your promotion? When you receive your offer letter for that dream job? When you pass that interview? When you qualify to the next round of that competition? When your breakthrough is right before you, what is your reaction?

Are you filled with pride in your achievement or humbled by it and go into the mood of Thanksgiving returning it all to He who made it possible?

Many times we get carried away by our achievements. We feel like we’re the “baddest guys ever liveth”,  we’re the G. O. A. T (Greatest Of All Time), we’ve arrived by our own strength. Why do we PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens), and forget to pray another Thanksgiving prayer when the something eventually happens?

  1. The life partner you choose is extremely important.

Marriage in Nigeria these days is one of  the most lucrative businesses to start-up. It requires zero capital, just an investor with huge pockets to finance a lavish lifestyle. You see people getting into marriages for the most shallow reasons that end in “Had I knowns”

According to Mrs. Awosika, money shouldn’t be a measurement when choosing a husband. What’s important is knowing who you are first. Her words from the interview and I quote:

“Women need to realize that they come first and should spend more time nurturing their vision and ambitions.  Every life has an assignment and you are accountable to God to carry out that assignment and when choosing a life partner you want to look for someone who has been assigned to help you fulfill your purpose.”

Flee from a man or woman who is intimidated by you and won’t let you shine. Someone who doesn’t support your dreams and aspirations isn’t someone you want to be with. Be with someone who knows, looks at you, and treats you like gold (or what’s more than that).

  1. Great business idea + Great marketing strategy – knowledge of  financials = Recipe for disaster 

As an entrepreneur,  having knowledge of your business numbers are crucial. Hire someone to put the numbers together for you while you learn how to interpret the figures because your decisions about the business will be based on what the numbers are saying.

  1. Entrepreneurs need to learn not to be scared of what they don’t know. 

Life is a continuous learning process; a man starts to die the day he stops learning. No man is a monopoly of knowledge. So it’s important to keep an open mind to receive knowledge.  Attend trainings, workshops, seminars, take online courses, make Google your best friend

“Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know just ask. Its ok not to know just make it your business to learn what you don’t know”.

  1. What makes a business scalable? 

Any business is scalable but proof of concept is required. Start small and test your idea using a focus group made up of your target audience because there is a difference between what you think the market wants and what the market really needs.

This reminds me of a Steve Harris quote: “You need to sell what the customer needs not what you think they’ll buy”

Have the patience to move in stages. The business will give you learnings for further growth. You can have two business models within the same business

  1. Invest in People Development 

Learn to invest in the development of people and give them time and opportunity to learn. Rome wasn’t built-in a day. There will always be challenges but you can’t give up on developing and training your staff. There’s always a lesson or two to learn from your staff. They will serve different seasons in your business, you need to identify what season they serve and maximize it.

  1. Failure vs. Challenges

Failure is an attitude that shuts you down and makes you think you should give up. Challenges say you are at war and you’re  not going to give up plus it doesn’t give room for any situation to crystallize. Facing challenges forces you to be creative.

There is no one that is at the top legally and has any substance that can say they haven’t faced any challenges. The challenges of your life are your business and the things that help build your character. You will face challenges but don’t let them overcome you.

Tips on financial success for young entrepreneurs 

  1. You have to be able to prioritize investing in yourself and your business. Put your business first. You can afford to delay purchasing your wants (that Aunty Fumni hair, some nice shoes, wristwatches, etc) until your business can stand on its own
  2. Identify your knowledge gaps, what you know and what you don’t know. Then invest in programs that help you close those gaps. Instead of one designer clothing, invest in a designer program. The knowledge you have is your power, nobody can take that away from you. 
  3. Surround yourself with people who are also on a quest. 
  4. You are made up of assets and liabilities. Your assets are your strengths and your liabilities are your weaknesses. Don’t do the things you can’t do well. Find people skilled in that area to do them while you focus on doing the things you do well. Therefore, find people who have assets in your liabilities that can contribute to your success. 
  5. Everybody in your life has a value they bring. You can never pay anyone enough for them to give you what you want; they can only give you what they want to give. The way you manage those relationships is important because the things they do you cannot do for yourself.

If you’ve read it up to this point and you’re still not inspired, read it all over again.

You can read the full interview HERE 

FUN FACTS

  • A graduate of Chemistry from University of Ife, Nigeria; an alumnae of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School; the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain; and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools.
  • Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group- The companies in the group include The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited, and TCC Systems and Services Limited and are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services.
  • She serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards among which are: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Cadbury Nigeria Plc., Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. She chairs the boards First Bank Nigeria Limited and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) – a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria: She was Chairman, FBN Life Assurance Limited; FBN Capital Limited; and Kakawa Discount House Limited.

Source: Ibukun Awosika Biography 

I always thought finance was for the misfits until Arese proved me wrong. She has this series on her website, Money Conversations where she interviews successful business women and this was how I discovered Mrs. Ibukun Awosika.

I’d be sharing some interesting knowledge  I gained  from reading this interview over and over again.

1. Your age is not a determinant factor of your performance level in business. 

In other words, age is just a number what counts is what you can bring to the table. Own who you are, own your experiences, and stop using your age to underestimate yourself because you wouldn’t be where you are if you haven’t earned a seat at the table.

One of my favorite proverbs in pidgin English: “No be person wey first go police de win case”. It can have different meanings according to the situation but for the purpose of this lesson, being young or old is not a determinant factor in the quantity and quality of your business acumen.

  1. All The Glory Belongs to God

What’s your first reaction after something amazing happens? After you receive the call about your promotion? When you receive your offer letter for that dream job? When you pass that interview? When you qualify to the next round of that competition? When your breakthrough is right before you, what is your reaction?

Are you filled with pride in your achievement or humbled by it and go into the mood of Thanksgiving returning it all to He who made it possible?

Many times we get carried away by our achievements. We feel like we’re the “baddest guys ever liveth”,  we’re the G. O. A. T (Greatest Of All Time), we’ve arrived by our own strength. Why do we PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens), and forget to pray another Thanksgiving prayer when the something eventually happens?

  1. The life partner you choose is extremely important.

Marriage in Nigeria these days is one of  the most lucrative businesses to start-up. It requires zero capital, just an investor with huge pockets to finance a lavish lifestyle. You see people getting into marriages for the most shallow reasons that end in “Had I knowns”

According to Mrs. Awosika, money shouldn’t be a measurement when choosing a husband. What’s important is knowing who you are first. Her words from the interview and I quote:

“Women need to realize that they come first and should spend more time nurturing their vision and ambitions.  Every life has an assignment and you are accountable to God to carry out that assignment and when choosing a life partner you want to look for someone who has been assigned to help you fulfill your purpose.”

Flee from a man or woman who is intimidated by you and won’t let you shine. Someone who doesn’t support your dreams and aspirations isn’t someone you want to be with. Be with someone who knows, looks at you, and treats you like gold (or what’s more than that).

  1. Great business idea + Great marketing strategy – knowledge of  financials = Recipe for disaster 

As an entrepreneur,  having knowledge of your business numbers are crucial. Hire someone to put the numbers together for you while you learn how to interpret the figures because your decisions about the business will be based on what the numbers are saying.

  1. Entrepreneurs need to learn not to be scared of what they don’t know. 

Life is a continuous learning process; a man starts to die the day he stops learning. No man is a monopoly of knowledge. So it’s important to keep an open mind to receive knowledge.  Attend trainings, workshops, seminars, take online courses, make Google your best friend

“Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know just ask. Its ok not to know just make it your business to learn what you don’t know”.

  1. What makes a business scalable? 

Any business is scalable but proof of concept is required. Start small and test your idea using a focus group made up of your target audience because there is a difference between what you think the market wants and what the market really needs.

This reminds me of a Steve Harris quote: “You need to sell what the customer needs not what you think they’ll buy”

Have the patience to move in stages. The business will give you learnings for further growth. You can have two business models within the same business

  1. Invest in People Development 

Learn to invest in the development of people and give them time and opportunity to learn. Rome wasn’t built-in a day. There will always be challenges but you can’t give up on developing and training your staff. There’s always a lesson or two to learn from your staff. They will serve different seasons in your business, you need to identify what season they serve and maximize it.

  1. Failure vs. Challenges

Failure is an attitude that shuts you down and makes you think you should give up. Challenges say you are at war and you’re  not going to give up plus it doesn’t give room for any situation to crystallize. Facing challenges forces you to be creative.

There is no one that is at the top legally and has any substance that can say they haven’t faced any challenges. The challenges of your life are your business and the things that help build your character. You will face challenges but don’t let them overcome you.

Tips on financial success for young entrepreneurs 

  1. You have to be able to prioritize investing in yourself and your business. Put your business first. You can afford to delay purchasing your wants (that Aunty Fumni hair, some nice shoes, wristwatches, etc) until your business can stand on its own
  2. Identify your knowledge gaps, what you know and what you don’t know. Then invest in programs that help you close those gaps. Instead of one designer clothing, invest in a designer program. The knowledge you have is your power, nobody can take that away from you. 
  3. Surround yourself with people who are also on a quest. 
  4. You are made up of assets and liabilities. Your assets are your strengths and your liabilities are your weaknesses. Don’t do the things you can’t do well. Find people skilled in that area to do them while you focus on doing the things you do well. Therefore, find people who have assets in your liabilities that can contribute to your success. 
  5. Everybody in your life has a value they bring. You can never pay anyone enough for them to give you what you want; they can only give you what they want to give. The way you manage those relationships is important because the things they do you cannot do for yourself.

If you’ve read it up to this point and you’re still not inspired, read it all over again.

You can read the full interview HERE 

 

What are your thoughts?