My biggest professional challenge I'd say is not making a solid financial plan in my first year of business. If I had planned better and invested more time doing research, I would have minimized my losses much better. I learnt from it, meticulously worked on my financials forecasting and was able to bounce back.
Your time is precious, don't sweat the small stuff.
Prioritization is essential to growth, know what and who comes first.
Know your why, remind yourself why you started. This will help you put in extra hours on days you don't want to.
I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Growing My mother and father divorced when I was about 2 years old so I grew up with my mother, her 6 siblings, my grandmother and grandfather. My childhood wasn't very pretty, there were days I'd be kicked out of school because of my inability to pay the complete tuition, but one thing I know is I had a mother who showered me with love so much so that I didn't feel the absence or lack of the things we didn't have. My mother would spend all her earnings just to make sure I attended the best schools and got a good education. I graduated high school at the age of 14 and got into university that same year. I'd say my mother definitely played a huge role in shaping the woman I have become. She introduced me to modeling and pageantry and also enrolled me for an apprenticeship with a fashion label as a teenager when I didn't know how far I would take any of it.
I modeled professionally in Nigeria and South Africa, and also represented Nigeria at the Miss Model of the World pageant in China in 2009. Shortly after that, I moved to New York with a dream to become a business owner. I spent my first months in New York sleeping on an aunt's living room floor and waking up to horrible body aches but I was excited to take on the city. I later moved to Miami in 2010 and got introduced to this amazing world of bikinis and resort fashion and I knew right away I wanted to be a part of it, but I also wanted to put my purpose and life's mission at the forefront of the brand I would create. A mission that I think was stirred up by seeing the things my mother went through, and also the women I grew up around. My first few years in Miami I modeled full-time, I rode the bus and trains and did 2hr walks to get to bus stations just to make it to castings. I think those times helped me develop the grit I have and use for business now. In January 2015 I have saved up enough to start my business and the journey with Eido Swimwear began. So far I have gone from showcasing at Miami Swim Week, to Las Vegas Swim Week, to Ecowas Fashion Week in West Africa, to Esmeraldas Swim Week in Ecuador, and now I put on my own events with the Eido Swimwear Wonder Woman Initiative. With each phase of the growth comes challenges, but I know that the best is yet to come, and I was built for this.
I think my biggest personal challenge was growing up asthmatic. It was challenging not only because during each attack I'd feel like I was drowning and like I'd lose my life, but also because I could see my single mother's pain and struggle as she put me on her back and ran to hospitals that sometimes wouldn't accept to treat me because she couldn't pay a required deposit. One night, I had another attack and this time I thought I was dying. My mother put me on her back once again and we ended up at a Church instead of a hospital. I remember laying on the floor and somehow, a 9year old me grew much faith and prayed that night would be the last time, and I promised to journey on whatever God's plan was for my life if I was spared, and indeed 17 years later, that was the last time.
That I successfully gave, loved and lived, and I opened the eyes of others, helped them see themselves for who they truly are.