Kemi B

ABOUT ME

My name is Kemi and I am 23 years old. By day between the hours of 9 and 5pm, I am a HR Advisor for a really cool shoe brand, and outside of these hours I run 2 beauty businesses. I have a makeup artistry business where I do women’s makeup for all types of events; I have been doing this for around 5 years now. I also have a 2 year old beauty cosmetic brand called Kem Beauty where I sell my own brand high end beauty and skincare products to ladies that love to feel and look great.

Up until March 2018 I was MOSTLY self-employed – which came with its highs and lows but was an awesome experience. I was studying up until January 2018, when I completed my masters’ degree in International Business Management at the University of Kent. I graduated with a Distinction in November 2018. Being self-employed wasn’t really a choice, I have known since I was in secondary school that I wanted to have businesses of my own and work building my own brand. When I realised that I was good at makeup and decided to pursue it I almost fell into it as people would book me through word of mouth. Eventually I made an Instagram account and it did its own thing from then. For the next 4 years, I would travel from my uni town to bookings every Friday night for weekend bookings. This is how I survived in university and made money outside of student loan and I thank the heavens that it worked out that way. Because now that gives me access to a type of income I didn’t imagine or anticipate.

The second business – cosmetics, was a very conscious decision, I decided in late 2014 that I wanted to start a cosmetics line and worked on it from there. I initially wanted to start a cosmetics line because I love makeup and I couldn’t find an inclusive brand that I loved that had real pretty black-girl friendly lip glosses and highlighters in the shades I wanted. Mac was my go-to, but I was limited in the highlighter and lip gloss shade category. So, with that in mind; I sourced some labs and factories, planned what I was going to do, saved around £3000 and successfully launched in November 2016 with a sold-out launch party in an art gallery in Battersea. As my business has developed, my vision and ethos has developed also, Kem Beauty specialises in inclusive high quality beauty products for all women, all shades and skin types. We believe in real beauty, with and without makeup. The first year of business was amazing and the second was a real learning curve, both years have prepared me for this year. It’s very easy to romanticise the idea of being self-made, being an entrepreneur, self-employed or even a business owner. People often assume that what I do is easy, and it is very far from that, in fact some days it is the last thing I want to do. I have never been one to sell a dream so in accordance with the title of this blogpost, here are some losses have taken over the past few years, some lessons learned and some major keys I wished I had known earlier.

THE DOUBLE L’s: LOSSES AND LESSONS

  • Manage your money effectively; Open a business savings account, separate your money and get an additional stream of income.

I have always been a see-it -do-it type of girl, things manage to work out for me regardless of how much effort I put in. I have never had a retail job for more than 2 months and I have had 2 retail jobs in my life. I say this, so that you can understand how much my makeup businesses were keeping me afloat whilst I was in full time education. My student loan was crap and it barely covered my university rent. The good thing is that I got a lot of client bookings, I also got an impressive number of orders when I launched the cosmetics business. The issue with getting a lot of money frequently is that you don’t always know how to manage money effectively, especially as a makeup artist where I can look at my calendar and see that I am booked out the forthcoming weekend, its easy to spend because you know you’ll make it back. That saying about getting fast money and blowing it even faster is very accurate. I took several losses because of inadequate money management and making bad business decisions. So, upon reflection I would urge business owners to:

  • Open a business savings account and separate your money

This will separate your business money from all your other money, I have two accounts: one for each business so that I know exactly what I am working with and how much profit I have made, what’s mine and what’s the businesses etc. Its easy to spend the money you need to reinvest and that is such a bad move because you will find that you have to save all that money again and make the profit again- it’s a trap and a setback, no growth will occur if you keep doing this. The money is not yours- it’s the businesses, therefore my next point is:

  • Get an additional stream of income.

If you can, try and get job. If you can’t commit to a full-time permanent job then explore your options with a part time job, or a contract/temp role. There are many good contracted and temp roles out there that give you contracts of 3-6 months at a time. They are low commitment in the sense that you know that you are there for a fixed term and you don’t have to accept a contract extension once you have fulfilled your time. The idea of having an additional stream of income is great because it guarantees that you have a solid income coming in monthly or weekly for YOU and your upkeep, this can alleviate the pressure on the business to make money for you survive because trust me there will be silent times in business and it can be extremely frustrating if you rely on your business or personal expenses. It also means that you have money to live off for yourself as opposed to living off the business – because as aforementioned- things can get messy really quickly if you don’t manage your finances correctly.

  • Take care of yourself and take time out when necessary

Sometimes I would overwork myself to the point that I would burn out and lose interest in the artistry business for 2 months at a time. I didn’t understand the importance of self-care for business owners, in a setting where we literally serve our customers, its easy to forget self, especially when there is money to be made! So, it is important to check in on yourself so that you don’t because drained and undo all your hard work because of neglect.

I was super down at the beginning of 2018 which affected my cosmetics business for most of the year. I was sad from life, going through that post-graduation blues, and I was going through my ex relationship issues. This really affected me and my work outside of my 9-5. I was unmotivated and unbothered, it was a bittersweet feeling when people would email asking when I was putting products back on the site or when I would be taking bookings again. I knew I was not in the correct mental space to do so and I needed to get back on my feet. When I did come back it was better than ever, I had mostly sorted out all my issues and my creative juices were flowing.

  • Dedicate a fixed amount of time frequently to grow the business – maintain and grow don’t stay stagnant.

Work on your business daily, this means that you will complete existing tasks quicker, and start new tasks quicker. Have a to-do list and a monthly plan for your business, have a financial plan, creative plan, marketing plan and if it applies, an inventory plan. Look at these daily so you know the next step to take. Try new things, business is about growing upwards as it is about maintaining. Looking at the plan once a week is not a serious mindset to approach your business with if you are serious about making things happen. To stay in your bag, you have to constantly remind yourself of what you are doing and why. The amount of money I made when I worked on my business daily, was significantly more than the amount I made when I worked on it once a week. An hour a day sets you so far ahead because that is 7 hours a week of work dedicated to your brand, if you can give 8 hours a day to your 9-5 then you can give 1 hour to your biz.

  • Invest in your craft and business monthly.

I learnt this the hard way, and this lesson as further reiterated on a personal finance page I follow called @thepennypal. Have a list of things you need to do to improve and do one thing monthly. It is important to invest in your business and self monthly. For yourself you can read a book, take a mini course, book meetings with people in your field sector, meet up with friends in related industries, go to business events or talks, learn new things that can help your brand like design etc. I have always been a DIY person so I always learn new things on Adobe, I taught myself how to build my sites from scratch and edit videos etc.

For your brand have a list of things you want to do to improve it- there are always things to do. For me, quality packaging was always a priority and its didn’t happen until I invested in it, I had to sit down and design it, source accredited suppliers and liaise with them for two weeks before I was happy. It was such a relief getting it ticked off my checklist. I was comfortable without box packaging for 1.5 years before I prioritised it. It was always a want, but it didn’t come into fruition until I made a list and turned it into a need to take my biz to the next level. Invest in new products and designs if it applies, invest in photoshoots for content that you know you have been needing, invest in storage, invest in someone to help you with operations or social media, invest in a better online transaction service. Invest! All in all: this improves the customer experience which will in turn improve customer satisfaction and retention.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief insight into my journey as a business owner and can learn from some mistakes that I have made. 2019 is all about the bag if you want it to be! Stay growing and creating!

Rebecca Tembo

Rebecca Tembo is a self-titled women’s Bespoke and Made-To-Order evening wear brand. I founded the business in April 2015 at the age of 18, after uploading a video of a dress I made, before this point I had never made a dress. It gained some interested and I was quickly asked to create dresses for proms, university balls and special occasions.

At 18 I had no clue on how to run a business, manage money, branding, marketing, customer service and the emotional roller coaster I was about to experience. Now at 21, I could be angry with myself that I’m no where near where I could’ve been considering it’s been nearly 4 years at the time I’m writing this. But I’m so grateful that I made the mistakes at an age where my responsibilities are very minimal. Because of this experience I am very confident I will achieve in 2019, more than I have in past near-to four years.

With that being said, here are 4 key lessons I have learnt on my journey:

Discipline

I recently read that discipline is the highest form of self love. To be disciplined is to do whatever MUST be done whether you feel like it or not. Humans are controlled by feelings and emotions which then effects our decisions and can lead to stagnancy and mediocrity. But if you love yourself enough to give yourself the best life and achieve your grand goals, you will do anything for yourself. Do you love yourself enough to spend 2 hours a day after or before your 9-5 to spend on your business / side hustle? Do you love yourself enough to read everyday for 30 minutes? Do you love yourself enough to build your network and attend at least two industry events a month? It’s a journey which starts off very difficult, but once you master discipline, this is when you see the results because you are no longer talking and planning, you are now doing!

Reading

The average successful entrepreneur reads around 52 books a year. Learn from people who have been there before you and avoid a lot of costly mistakes! These books taught me things such as discipline, goal setting, effective networking, marketing, branding, success habits and more. The books force you to be brutally honest with yourself. But understand that reading can only be impactful if you apply the knowledge. Read, identify the parts relevant to you (no matter how uncomfortable), apply techniques, complete the tasks sets, see the results. In 2018 I read 17 books, my goal for 2019 is 24 books.

Goal Set

Use the SMART rule to create an achievable goal. Focus on a couple of goals at a time before moving to the next. Identify the daily/very frequent tasks you’ll need to do. Create goals which will transform who you are as a person. Pay off debt so you can be a financially smart person, lose 5kg and diet so you can be a healthy person. Let the goals you create not only give your monetary value, but set you up for a long successful life.

Take Responsibility

You are where you are now, because of the decisions you have made. You can argue that your poor money habits were inherited from your parents, but YOU spent the money. Luckily for you, you woke up this morning, and have another chance to rewrite your past mistakes. Your reactions hold more impact than the problem. Once you stop playing the victim, you will discover that everything you need to change your life is inside of you. If you reach December 2019 and have not achieved your most important goals, it is your fault.

Rebecca Tembo

Make sure you’re following Rebecca Tembo on social media, to be in the know with all her collection releases!

Instagram: @rebeccatemboofficial
Twitter: @rebeccatembouk
FaceBook: @rebeccatembouk

Nathan Ziel

Two close friends and I founded Artell Accessories in 2015. The company was born from a dream of creating a world-renown luxury fashion brand. This vision began early on, in my final year of secondary school. However, the dream was too big for us to start at this time due to the high costs of starting a full clothing brand, especially for a couple of 15/16 year olds. We finally embarked on our journey in the summer of 2015 as I consulted two close friends and we decided to start small focusing on accessories. We launched our first collection in the winter of 2015 as we entered our final year of undergraduate studies.

The journey to creating a successful business is a difficult one; this is something we learnt very early on in our company. We launched our first collection with Croco leather iPhone 6 cases and cardholders. Many friends expressed their desire to purchase the products. We put a lot of hope in this to happen. However, it did not. A week after launch, two weeks, three weeks, the orders were not pouring in in the way we expected. This taught us to manage our expectations. This also taught us not to rely on friends and family to buy from you.

Boxing Day of 2016, we launched our second collection. We decided to double down on our dream, and poured more money into the company to create Saffiano leather iPhone cases and cardholders, offer personalisation on the products, do a high quality photoshoot and update our website. We strategized and decided to start sending fee items to social media influencers. We experienced a lot of growth in 2017 and as a result, introduced eyewear into our product range. However, we still had a range of constraints. With all of us working/studying (at this time two of us were in postgrad studies), running a business and juggling normal life can become extremely difficult. However, to become successful at anything, you must be willing to make sacrifices. That meant cutting down on certain social activities and spending to invest back into the business.

Early 2018 we launched our third collection, which included Suede iPhone cases and Cardholders. This year we wanted to work on improving the quality of our products and the quality of the content we put out on our social platforms. It is important that your brand DNA is consistently communicated to your existing and potential audiences. Again, this is not an easy thing to do; creating high quality content can be costly. However, we decided that we would make the absolute most of what we have. We invested in a camera so we would not have to keep paying for a photographer and we used friends or mutual friends who would make good models to keep costs low. In business, if you are constrained for resources, you need to be able to maximise what you can get out of what you have and leverage your connections.

In December 2018, we decided to rebrand our company from Artell Accessories to Maison Artell. This move was made based on our original dream. To create a world-renowned luxury fashion brand. It was important that we ensure there is no confusion with our name when we move into clothing items. In 2019, we aim to continue to improve our company, bringing new items such as caps, bags and some clothing items along with much more engaging content. I hope that this post allows you to see that dispute the obstacles, if you believe in your dream; you will always find a way.

You can shop Maison Artell’s latest collection here!

Monet Lauren-Gordon

I’m Monet-Lauren, I’m 19 years old and I’m currently in my second year of studying Fashion Public Relations and Communication at London College of Fashion. In the PR world, experience is everything to an employer, consequently making internships a huge part of my career progression. Despite the horror stories we all hear about internships, my experience has actually been extremely positive. I believe there have been a few things that have helped me to have these positive experiences and I’d like to share them with you.


Firstly, I started at a young age – I started my first fashion internship at 17 years old. Now, if you are older than this and are only just beginning to think about internships, don’t panic. I just believe that in starting young, I actually put myself into a really uncomfortable position, by being around real adults, doing real life things and then handing little old ME a lot of responsibility. I took this as a challenge and I loved proving myself. I didn’t ever feel like my age, race, gender or anything about me could stop me from being just as good as the big guys in the office. I was thrown in the deep end at a young age and I just kept on proving myself. Therefore, I gained confidence in myself in the workplace very quickly. 


Secondly, I was always a good person to them, but most importantly to myself. Now, I know people walk into internships imagining that they’re in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and expecting to get trodden all over. I believe having this expectation is detrimental to a young creative. If the company treats you like crap, by all means LEAVE but first, stand up for yourself. I always walked into internships with my head held high, I believed I deserved to be there just as much as the other Account Executives in the room. I was always kind to people, but I also set boundaries. As human’s I believe our etiquette, our posture and how we treat ourselves, tells people exactly how to treat us. I’m not excusing the behaviour of many rude and power hungry people in the industry (trust me, there are many) but we have to stand up for ourselves and put ourselves first. Thats why I believe in brands such as ‘findyourintern’ who help young people get internships that are paid etc. I used to lust over working for certain brands that would ‘look amazing on my CV’ but, I also wasn’t prepared to be treated like an Andy and just run coffee’s all day. Set your boundaries, be polite about it – people will respect you. I also believe that the brand you work for will not make you, everyone in the industry talks. Therefore, if you’re good at what you do, the right brand will find you. I have gained all of my internships through people speaking of my good work and vouching for me. Also, its a very good idea to do your reasearch on the brand, look on Glassdoor or contact people on LinkedIn who have worked there before to ask for their experience and see if it is a good fit for YOU. 


Thirdly, I looked for internships in all departments of fashion. My first ever internship was in a pattern cutting room, it was hot, sweaty and not very chic – yet, I loved it because it was a challenge for me, it wasn’t anything I wanted to go into but I got to learn the art of clothing, the conversation, the hard work that goes into it, I think that was the best thing I ever did. The owner got me tickets to my first ever fashion show at London Fashion Week. That one sacrifice led me onto working at a huge high end PR company in Old Street, meeting bloggers like Fleur De Force and Teyana Taylors stylist. I’ve now worked on LFW shows myself, for Agatha Connolly and Khanum’s. All very different but all beneficial. I feel like I know a lot more by being out of my comfort zone. It also proves to future employers that you’re willing to get your hands dirty and will be willing to solve any problems that may arise.


Lastly, MONEY. Internships aren’t easy for people like me who aren’t fortunate enough to live out of the banks of mum or dad but it’s cool, because I did it anyway. My trick was that I work part time. 2 Jobs in fact. I have a babysitting business but, also work in retail. I made this very clear to my internships and of course at first they’re hesitant but I made sure when I went to those internships I gave 100%. I always save, along with my student finance too. When you know you’re in an industry where interning matters we have to sacrifice, we all know these people love to pay our expenses about 6 months later than we expected (no shade) so, try to save in advance. Treat yourself but also think about the times where you may need that money to reinvest into your future. 

Lemsjnr

hey, my name’s femi; i’ve been doing this photography stuff since 2011, only taking it completely seriously this year due to outside circumstances & overall fear of just going for it.

if you’ve got a side hustle that you’re sowing seeds for, make sure to never let up and remain patient, the fruits of your labour will appear soon 😀

Check out Femi’s latest shots on his Instagram @lemsjnr

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DJ PURPZ

Yo guys my name is Rashida aka PURPZ. I’ve literally been DJing for almost two years but never took it seriously up until this year due to my anxiety.

If you have a dream, don’t let nothing stop you and don’t compare yourself to other people. You’re a bad b you got this!

We’ve listed some of our favourite DJ Purpz mixes below, but you can check out all her Soundcloud mixes by clicking here!

The Main Squeeze: Nnesaga

How old were you when you first discovered gaming and comics?

For gaming, I was very young. I would say around the age of 4/5 years old. I saw an advert on tv and I thought to myself “I need to have this in my hands”. I had no clue what I was playing but I knew that gaming was going to change my life forever and since then, gaming has been with me on my hip since I can remember. For comics, I discovered it a bit later, I started watching marvel and dc related shows on tv but I am the type of person that wanted to know more about the characters backstories, I was so intrigued by this fictional world and how well they were created that it pushed me to grab some comics and start reading myself. I believe I was about 7/8 years old around that time.

Where does the name Nnesaga originate from?

NNESAGA derives from my middle name and my love for nostalgia/retro aesthetics in gaming, comics and anime.NNE – Comes from my middle name, “Nneoma”. For those that don’t know, I am Nigerian and it is an igbo name. A lot of people pronounce it wrong but its easier for people to say “Nay” instead of its original dialect “Neh”SAGA – Comes from my love for 80’-90’s gaming, comics and anime. It was a beautiful time in those fields because everything about that era was so care free and mesmerising. I’m a sucker for old skool gaming, comics and anime. So I put two and two together and birthed the name NNESAGA (nay-saga)

Why did you create the Nnesaga brand? 

I created this brand because I wanted somewhere to escape reality. Gaming, comics and anime are all fictional (though can be based on true events) but you can create your own reality because it is all under your control. You can be as free as you allow yourself to be. Unapologetic, care-free and in a non-judgemental space. I wanted NNESAGA to be the first black UK nerd platform to break down walls, beat the stereotypes, allow men and women of colour to come together and celebrate the love of gaming, comics and anime in a safe and non-judgmental way. It is particularly hard for women to be free in their love for this because they are often shut down and not heard because of their sex. Well, its my mission to be the voice and create the path for them so that in future, generations that come after me will be able to walk in a space without burdens. Being a nerd has a negative and weird perception but I want to ensure that it is ok to love what you love and still be involved with society.

How important is it for you to be able to escape from the real world?

I think you need to have breaks from the real world. Whenever I am sad, I watch anime. Whenever I am stressed, I play video games. Whenever I need a break from life, I read comics. All of these outlets are my stress relievers because they allow that separation from the real world and my own reality. They also enable me to have a clearer mind, form new ideas and refocus again. This life is way too short for you to go out in a miserable way because you have spent the majority of your life worrying about what the world thinks and what you have to do. Remember, your mental health and sanity come above all.

How does Nnesaga compare to it’s competitors?

I don’t know how to say this in the humblest way possible, I see no competition. I am my own competition. What I am doing is different to what anyone has ever done. Especially in the U.K. When I am making moves, I am making them because I have stayed in my own lane and I have not looked at what other people are doing. You tend to lose focus and get lost with trying to keep up with everyone else. When you love your brand and believe it in with your mind, soul and body… you are unstoppable and there is no one or nothing that will compare to what you are doing. There is proof in the pudding. A lot of the time, at my events, a lot of guests and supporters of NNESAGA tell me themselves that what I am doing is different to anyone else. I have set a unique vision I plan to carry out and I know that what I have set up is totally different anything one can imagine.

When you’re not the ultimate gaming and anime guru, you’re studying. How do you find juggling business and education?

I am a very spiritual person and what I will tell you this now is that it is God that is keeping me from falling apart. Working, studying and NNESAGA is a lot and it is not easy at all. However, I have wanted this for a long time, I prayed that God should give me the strength, wisdom and knowledge to be able balance out everything. I also believe that if you want to create a successful life for yourself and these are the things you are trying to achieve, you have to be disciplined and form a routine in your life in order to manage every aspect of it. God can’t help those who can’t help themselves.

Did you have any doubts about going into a male dominated industry, especially being a BAME female?

Absolutely, this industry I am in is not only very male dominated, but it is white. Unfortunately, I have to work twice as hard to get to where I need to be. On top of that, being an attractive black woman in my industry, a lot of the time, I have to pass up opportunities because men like to make things more than business. Which is very annoying because I am a firm believer in working hard to get what you want but within the professional way. Not in the way where I have to degrade myself.

Do you feel it is important for women to make their mark in male dominated industries?

Very important. This creates many more lanes for future generations. We have to make sure we stick together because we are the future.

Who do you look up to for inspiration, and which qualities do you feel you share with them?

My mother. She is someone that came from nothing and made herself into something on her own. Her independence, hardworking nature, lifestyle and diligence inspires me everyday. She is now able to live the lifestyle she wanted because she strived for greatness and for that, there is nothing more inspiring than that. 

What has the feedback from Nnesaga as a brand and events, been like from women?And men?

It has been overwhelming. I love each and every single person that has continued to support NNESAGA since day one. Can you imagine people are supporting me because I am a nerd? Who would have thought. The women in particular make my heart so warm. They thank me for allowing them to be more confident and outspoken because they see myself in them and they can relate to me and they see the presence I bring when I am celebrating my love for something despite the stigma and stereotypes attached towards black women in gaming, comics and anime. Then are very respectful and they are awesome! They are so surprised that it is a woman behind it but they are super supportive and they get on board with anything and everything NNESAGA because they love the fact that they can connect to people just like them who are likeminded all because of a platform I created for us.

How did it feel when you received your first invite to a movie premiere/press event?

Till this day, it still hasn’t sunk in that NNESAGA is on radars of some top companies such as; BBC, Comic Con, BFI, SONY and more. I really love the fact that everything has been organic too. This has also shown me that anything I want is within my reach and I want people to know that there are no limits to what you can achieve. How has the support you get from your friends, family, and social media followers influenced your perspective on supporting small businesses?My friends and family know how much I love them for supporting a nerd like me. Every time I think about it, I just think about how much I am blessed to have such a great support system. I don’t deserve them. It also feels so heart-warming knowing that the social media dig NNESAGA. People I don’t know coming to my events, sharing my website, sharing NNESAGA, telling people about this platform. It’s crazy! 

Describe an L you’ve taken, how you overcame it and the lesson learnt

I put my faith in brand and they didn’t deliver when it came to get a venue for my event. However, I was able to get a back up venue in a short amount of time and on top of that, the owners were black too. So it was a win win. I learned to make sure I have options in the future and to always ensure that these so-called top brands that say they are for the people, are really not. Take everything with a pinch of salt. If you have, name a time you wanted to give up. What made you change your mind?Yes, I started off with a big team who believed in the vision and in the end, it ended up being myself to pick up everyone’s slack. It’s funny because NNESAGA is my baby so when someone comes to me and says they want to work with me, I am on edge because of past relations with videographers and photographers saying the same thing and disappearing. What changed my mind was the love I had for this brand. I have a purpose in this life and I can’t just quit because of other people’s nonchalant ways.

What would you tell your 15 y/o self?

Love yourself first. 

Top 3 Games of 2018

Spiderman PS4

God of War

Smash Bros Ulitmate

Top 5 Anime of all time

Sailor moon

Full metal Alchemist: brotherhood

Fushigi Yuugi

Samuari Champloo

One punch Man

Top 5 DCU (films, then comics)

Man of Steel

Aquaman

Wonder Woman

Batman v Superman: Directors Cut

Justice League Flashpoint

Vixen: Return of the Lion

Justice League: Crisis On Infinite Earths

Teen Titans: Judas Contract

JLA: New World Order

Top 5 Marvel (films and comics, specify) 

Avengers: Infinity War

Black Panther

Captain America: Winter Solider

Captain America: Civil war

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe

House of MUncanny Xmen

Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos

Shuri/World of Wakanda (I couldn’t pick)\

What do Nnesaga fans have to look forward to in 2019?

 I’ll be coming back onto youtube

Expanding NNESAGA into films/TV shows

Continue growing the NNESAGA audience

More events: I would like a womens only gaming event too. 

Closing Question – Any words for Frshly Squeezd?

If they don’t allow you in their world, create your own world.


Daryl EI

The 90’s was a fun time, Dial-up internet, Walkman’s, cereal box prizes, Nintendo, and Cassette Tapes, all the good stuff. For the 2000s kids, you’re maybe wondering what ancient traditions I’m speaking of. I’m talking about time period I regard as one of the most exciting in my life.

One of my favourite things about the 90’s was – you guessed it – The Disney Channel! As a child, I absolutely loved cartoons and movies, because they shaped my creativity and ambitions. After watching Mission Impossible 1 (Without my parent’s knowledge) I decided, I wanted to be a spy who worked for a foreign intelligence agency. Spiderman made me sure I wanted to fight crime in some capacity, and Pokémon made me want to chase around cartoon monsters for a living (???) As you can tell, my childhood imagination was very childish creative.

One day, watching the Disney Channel, I found what I believed I wanted for my future, something I hold unto until today. Whilst watching Duck Tales, I encountered the character Scrooge McDuck; an elderly duck, no children, and a guardian over 3 nephews, but what really caught my eye was that he was a multi-millionaire with a personal safe the size of a skyscraper filled to the brim with gold and cash, all for himself. It was at this moment, as a tender 5-year-old that I realised, I want to be successful and rich in the future, all I needed to do was figure out how to achieve this goal.

Growing up, both my parents owned businesses; my father owned a P.R. Agency, and my mother ran a Travel Agency, I figured I had to have some form of business genes passed down to me, so I concluded that my route to wealth was owning a business or some form of self-employment. In October 2012, as a very young man, the first realistic self-structured income source idea came forth. I decided to write a book. I had had some experience writing topical journals, and diary entries, oh and this one Nollywood movie script idea when I was about 7, but yeah, that didn’t go too well.

So, I decided I’m writing a book. I found two sets of contrasting opinions on this ringing in my head from the voices of both those around me, motivational speakers and random people who I came across online. 1. You can do anything you put your mind to. 2. Writing a book is a serious challenge, and you’re bound to face a lot of disappointment on the way. Number 1 was usually said by people who had next to no personal connection with me, and 2 was said by people who were closer to me. I chose to ignore everyone who said 2, and I believed in myself enough to complete the task.

As I began writing down the plot, I realised that there was a lot I didn’t know about writing a novel, for one I didn’t know how to craft the opening line, nor did I know what font to use, or what size the font should be, or what an actual novel looked like. I suddenly realised I had no idea of how to write a novel, I just knew I wanted to write one, suddenly I understood the perspective of the people who told me number 2.

In that moment, I came to realise that my childhood imagination had never left, and it had propelled me unto an ambitious plan, but a bit of childhood naivety had left me thinking that I could reach my end goal without strategically planning each step of the way. A lot of times, we step into industries without knowing how they work; what are the challenges new comers face, how do they typically overcome them, what are the hiccups of every stage of success, and how do I prepare myself for them? When I went into novel writing, I realised how easy it is to believe in a dream, but not plan for it.

What dream do you have? What industry is it in? Have you taken time out to consider and construct a stage by stage plan on exactly what you need to do for the next 2 years to keep on track with your goals? When you listen to the success stories in your industry of choice, do you just get excited about them telling you about their wins, or do you take in their accounts of their losses, and accept that the same struggles could fall on you? And if they do, how do you prepare for it? I know I hadn’t, and it left me with a lot of difficulties, and ultimately there would be a price to pay for my lack of preparation.

In the year 2014, after 2 years of hard work, I finally finished my novel, I put the final full stop on what was at the time, my most creative project, and in that moment, I felt successful. I closed the file, feeling all the challenges that I had faced were totally worth it. A few minutes later, I re-opened the file to admire the piece of work I had just complete, but to my utter dismay, more than half of the book was missing. I kept closing and re-opening it, but the other half didn’t return. I sought help and assistance, but I could never recover the file. It turned out that the file had become corrupted, and only 6 of the 14 chapters were accessible. In that moment, I thought to myself; why always me? Why do I always face struggles in my battle for success? It’s almost as if life was punishing me for daring to have ambition. I felt that successful people had a level of luck I would never have. I swore I would never complete that novel, nor would I write another book again, because what was the point? Life won’t let me win, so why try?

After a few hours of calming down and praying, I came to realise that it wasn’t life punishing me, my failure to anticipate and prepare for the worst-case scenarios along my journey to success had left in a tight position. What I didn’t mention earlier was that whilst writing this novel, I didn’t use Microsoft Word, rather I used a cheaper alternative, which was a risk, one I ignored, and inevitably the dodgy file crashed. Furthermore, writers are encouraged to send their files to themselves online in case of any computer technical failures, another thing I had failed to do for a few months.

After analysing my errors, and accepting that success comes with its own risks, I had one question to ask myself; do I try again? In that moment, a great revelation came forth; failure is an option. When I suddenly realised the pains and risks that come with ambition, I realised that I had a choice to walk away from it all, but the question was did I want to do that? No! Thankfully, I was able to recover a version of the novel with 9 chapters from my Email, and within two weeks, I re-wrote the final 3 chapters, and after facing multiple challenges with editing and publishing, I was able to publish the novel in December 2015, and in July 2016, my novel was top of the UK Amazon charts in its sub-section. All the pain and preparation from ambition proved to be worth it, and now, I’m better prepared to chase my ambition of wealth via numerous streams of income in various industries applying the lessons I learnt from this experience.

Childhood enthusiasm and raw ambition prepares us for the joy of success, and the motivational speakers make us sure that we can conquer any goal, but what we often neglect to do is anticipate failure, or better yet prepare for it. Failure comes in many forms and is inevitable to some degree. However, how much preparation we make for these hiccups will determine how hard we bounce back after every setback.    

Daryl’s novel, The extraordinary account of grace and the Alves’: Faith isn’t simple, it’s supernatural, is available for purchase on Amazon. Click here to purchase yours today!

Gather together, Work better

One of the first steps to take before deciding to collaborate with another person is making sure you are confident in not only your capabilities but there’s also.

Why? Because some people do work best alone and some people are happy to take partial responsibilities on any given project.

Communication. Communication. Communication. Make sure you are happy to communicate with any prospective collaborators using complete transparency. You can use free programs such as Slack, Skype or Email for this. Communication is key as two working styles are merging into one and you would want to make sure this is interpreted as best as possible.

Contracts! Make sure a contract is in place stating the percentages in terms of costs and profits (if required) as well as the terms of product (ownership, intellectual rights etc)