Tell us about your journey!
Well mine is a complete miracle so to speak. I come from a remote town in the Brong - Ahafo Region south of my country, Ghana. I was totally oblivious to the world out there, I grew with no knowledge whatsoever of computers, traffic lights, even a swimming pool (did not see one till I was 15 or so) and certainly with no aspiration to build a business because it was unheard of. It is a typical traditional township dominated by farming. When I eventually moved to Kumasi which was more urbanized and could pass for a city, I was then opened to the possibilities of the world at large. I never studied anything on business, I am a pure breed from the street, from the School of hard knocks, I learnt on the job and mastered my failures along the line. Momentarily, I am a Global Business Keynote Speaker, TV Host, Brand Architect, Serial Entrepreneur and a Social Media/Digital Marketer. In regards, to my entrepreneurial credentials – I am the CEO of Mary & Mary Global Partners, a leading communications marketing and PR firm, and also the Co-founder and lead curator of WE FESTIVAL AFRICA. A unique platform dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs who are in the trenches of building their business. Not forgetting, a couple of my babies which I founded and co - founded - Exponential Technologies Lab and Idea Factory Africa, a global African Community and a Social Enterprise, welcoming young people from every discipline and culture who seek to influence the world through NOVEL IDEAS.
What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
I think, I have always had passion re: being an entrepreneur, it has always being a part of me. Naturally, I lead, it comes with my charisma and charm, without effort I always found myself leading, but at the core of that was a holy rebellion within that convinced me that I could never dedicated 40hours of my productive energy and time every week to someone else’s dreams and passions and that was what led me into this journey.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Personality type - PEOPLE were my biggest problems, they just couldn’t believe in the dream, it was too risky, unheard of, no one in my family had built their own business, and that was my greatest challenge – so I have no motivation and negative energy can be so contagious and debilitating.
How I overcame it? I had one support system and that was all I needed, MY MUM. She didn’t have the money, nor the expertise, network or even knowledge but she believed in me, she cheered me on and so I drew all my strength from her and persevered till it started making sense and then the others came around.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I think I answer this question above. My family was my biggest challenge, truly it wasn’t as though they wanted to sabotage or anything of the sort, its just it was too risky and they were risk averse. MY MUM was my mojo and till date still is.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
My ability to learn and relearn. The humility to say “I don’t know please teach me” and essentially learning not to repeat the same mistake twice.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Start with your why? Always start with your why? The money is only a by - product of success in business, the real success comes from the purpose at the very core of your business, FORGET the WHAT, WHERE and The Who of the business identify first your Transformative Purpose, your contribution to Humanity through that idea that you want to commercialize and then the rest will fall in place. People are not enthused by numbers and algorithms, neither are they inspired by ROI or Annual turn overs, people and the best of them want to belong to a Narrative, a purpose bigger than self, a purpose that connects to the the overall growth of humanity. If I knew this, I wouldn’t have made certain mistakes earlier in my journey.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Now more than ever, thanks to technology we can all build global businesses, Andela is a Nigerian Company solving Global problems, same for E-Campus a Ghanaian Company, we truly now live in a Global Village, So Dear Entrepreneur THINK BIG, THINK GLOBAL but START SMALL, start with what you have and grow but most importantly find your WHY! It could make all the difference in your journey.