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A successful transition into marriage requires a good amount of work before the wedding day.

Getting married to your man is an exciting event to look forward to, but before you say your “I dos,” you need to do four things to ensure your relationship will last.

  1. Travel together

Going on a road trip will put you and your future husband in close quarters with each other for a long time. You will start to recognize different aspects of your relationship when you are stuck with him. Little annoyances, like singing loudly and off key to every song that comes on a radio is tolerable for the first 20 minutes, but after three hours in? Maybe not so much. You might discover that traveling with your man makes you or him more irritable with one another or more tolerable.

Being able to communicate during stressful conditions like getting lost or losing hotel reservations will help you solve problems together in the future when money is tight or your children have broken something expensive. If you can get through a long road trip together and look back on it with fond memories, consider it a green light for your marriage.

2. Discuss expectations

You most-likely have an expectation of how your marriage is going to operate. Perhaps you expect him to split the household chores evenly and for both of you to work full-time when you have children. On the other hand, he might expect you to stay home when you have children and do all of the household chores since you are a stay-at-home mom.

Before you get married, tell each other about your expectations for necessities like money, children, jobs and household duties. Most importantly, discusses your expectations for each other. You need to know what he expects of himself and of you. He needs to know what you expect of yourself and of him. Then compromise with one another.

3. Spend time apart

You love each other and therefore, you want to spend every moment together, but now is actually the time to spend time apart. Someone once said distance makes the heart grow fonder, which is true, but distance also make a relationship healthier. Men and women need companionship in friends and family. As much as your future husband loves you, he might not understand your need to talk for hours about everything under the moon, but your best girlfriend totally understands that need. Don’t be afraid to have a girl’s night without him.

If you don’t trust your man when he is away, you must learn to do so. Make expectations clear when it comes to talking to people of the opposite gender. Something to him may seem like a innocent action, but it could look like cheating in your eyes and vice versa.

4. Disagree with each other

If you always agree with your future husband, take a step back and think about your relationship. Disagreements, arguments and different opinions are important in a healthy relationship. Sometime down the road you are going to disagree about a course of action, so before you get married, it is vital that you learn to compromise.

5. Discuss expectations

You most-likely have an expectation of how your marriage is going to operate. Perhaps you expect him to split the household chores evenly and for both of you to work full-time when you have children. On the other hand, he might expect you to stay home when you have children and do all of the household chores since you are a stay-at-home mom.

Before you get married, tell each other about your expectations for necessities like money, children, jobs and household duties. Most importantly, discusses your expectations for each other. You need to know what he expects of himself and of you. He needs to know what you expect of yourself and of him. Then compromise with one another.

These four things will shed light on all aspects of your relationship. Understanding every side of your future husband will help your transition smoothly into your married life.

The co-convener of the “Bring Back Our Girls” Movement, Aisha Yesufu, known for her fearless stance on National issues, is the latest cover lady of Guardian Life Magazine as she talks about being a girl child in Northern Nigeria, feminism, religious faux, marriage and being a “BBOG” warrior.

Born in Northern Nigeria, where the female child is expected to keep mute on certain issues, little Aisha Yesufu was already breaking the rules by speaking out whenever there was injustice.

Read excerpts from her interview:

On growing up, she says:

“Even though my parents or adults were angry at me for speaking up especially when it does not favour them; when they had that need to have someone that was unbiased to look at issues, they would call me.”

“I have the gift to look at issues from both sides even when I am involved and when I am not. I am able to tell people, “okay look at it like this”. My mother would always say, ‘nobody wins in your court’, but in that same court when they want the issues to be told plainly, they would come.”

On Feminism and Marriage:

“I am very, very lazy. My parents used to say, ‘Is everything book?’ Even when my husband proposed, I told him, I am lazy and I hate housework, I hate cooking and he was ready to go with it.”

“I set systems in place to work for me. I hire and pay people to make me jobless. By the grace of God, I will never work for anybody so I have time on my hands.”

“Being brought up to expect that a man that will take of you, it was my husband that taught me to be financially independent so that I can have control over my voice and not be dependent.”

On being a Bring Back Our Girls warrior;

“Growing up, the average Nigerian was taught that you should not question elders. They grew up with how not to question authority and it went on through school. Now that they have become adults, they have used government to replace parents so they don’t question authority.”

“Fortunately, we are seeing more movements like BBOG inspire them to stay on course. They are realising that the office of the citizen is actually the highest office in the land. They are realizing that we don’t need permission from the police to protest but protection.”

“Whatever I am doing today, I am fighting for that little girl that I was that yearned for help, that begged to be helped with a textbook so that I can read and pass my exams. If I ever give up that fight, I will be giving up on myself.

 

Funkola is the Co-founder and CEO at DIYlaw – a legal technology company committed to empowering Nigerian entrepreneurs through the provision of accessible and affordable legal services and free legal and business resources, Funkola is also the Corporate-Commercial and Intellectual Property lead at The Longe Practice LP (TLP), an entrepreneur focused law practice. Funkola is able to identify with her clients having been involved in various entrepreneurial pursuits, including founding a grocery e-commerce business.

She has a background in commercial & corporate law firm practice with years of in-house counsel experience in investment banking. Funkola’s legal experience prior to founding TLP and DIYlaw cuts across capital markets, investment advisory, compliance and securities.

Funkola has a Masters in Finance and Financial Law from the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London in addition to her LLB from the Lagos State University and BL from the Nigerian Law School.

In 2018, Funkola represented DIYLaw and Nigeria at Pitch@Palace Commonwealth which took place during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. She pitched to an audience which included Prince Andrew, The Duke of York and various Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries and emerged one of the winners.

In May 2019, she led the DIYLaw team to the United Nations and presented and exhibited at several different forums during the Science, Technology and Innovation Forum. She is an Obama Leader, having been chosen as a 2019 Obama Africa Leader and also an Innovating Justice Fellow of The Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law (HiiL). In her words “Entrepreneurship is the most sustainable solution to unemployment”

She shares her inspiring story and some legal nuggets with me in this interview

Growing Up

I grew up with my 2 sisters in a family where both our parents are entrepreneurs. Transitioning from secondary school to university and during university holidays, we had to work for my parents. That was the only guarantee to getting a flight ticket for summer holidays.

This taught us discipline and the value of hard work and I will also say that it exposed me to entrepreneurship. I guess it’s not surprising that my sisters and I have various entrepreneurial pursuits.

Inspiration  behind DIY Law

Our vibrant and hardworking youth demography in Nigeria is our biggest inspiration at DIYLaw. Things have really shifted and the youth are breaking away from parent-pleasing that makes them unhappy. We now see a lot of professionals who are in sports, entertainment, hospitality and are generally following their dreams. Even a lot of people with 9 to 5 jobs have “side-hustles”, vlogs, tech companies, you name it.

These are the people who need accessible and affordable legal services; they are constantly on-the-go building the next big thing and can’t be bugged down with complexities.

Why I am focusing on Entrepreneurs

My co-founder (Odun) and I realized in 2014 that the sector was underserved and that was really all we needed to quit our day jobs and start a law firm focused on entrepreneurs. Prior to that, we were both informally advising entrepreneurs in our circles like our family and friends and we had seen all kinds of missteps, bad decisions and lost opportunities because entrepreneurs didn’t have their legal affairs in order.

Knowing the contributions of entrepreneurs to job creation and the economy, it would have been a disservice to do nothing and so I have now made it my life’s mission.

Being an Obama fellow with ties to other notable Organizations

Being recognized by these various organisations validate the work that we do. Beyond money, it’s the fuel that I need to keep moving. Knowing that someone somewhere values the work that we do and believes in the changes that we are trying to spark, helps me keep head above water on the not-so-good days.

Also, some people don’t take you seriously enough until they realize that someone else or a notable organization does. I am grateful for these coattails I have been able to ride; they have opened some doors and given us access to other opportunities.

Women who Inspire me

There are too many women who inspire me. If I had to mention just one, it will be my mother – Oluyemisi Ani; even though she is 65, she still works extra hard. She is never satisfied with yesterday’s achievement; she sets new challenges for herself everytime and she just goes for it.

If I had to mention more though 😊, it will be Serena Williams for her determination and rising above her challenges with going back to work and giving her best after having a baby; Michelle Obama for everything that she stands for and Sara Blakely for being a constant reminder that being dogged, knocking on every door and having fun yields good results.

Nigerians and appreciation of female lawyers

I honestly don’t think we are treated any differently from our male counterparts. Law is such a prestigious profession and I think we are all accorded the level of respect we deserve whether male or female. I haven’t ever walked into a meeting or a courtroom and been silenced because I am female.

I think being female is a gift that all women should try to take advantage of. My co-founders and I never hesitate to tell people that we are “an all-female founded” tech company and we get people ooh-ing and aah-ing and showing more interest when we use that line.

That being said, I won’t deny that generally there is workplace harassment and that there are small-minded people who don’t take women seriously or show them respect.

Challenges

I can’t think of any. Just like I think that we get our due like our male colleagues, I think we equally face the same challenges but I can only speak from my own experiences and I won’t say that as a matter of fact.

On giving up

Too many times; it is really difficult being an entrepreneur.

The number of “no-s” that I have received, shut doors, emails that begin with “unfortunately…”, “we are sorry to inform you…” make me want to just pull the curtains and say “show is over”. Having a great support system such as co-founders who remind you why you are on the journey, family who let you cry on their shoulders and care about your welfare and employees who step up on your off days, keep me going.

There are too many things that make running a business very challenging in Nigeria, like epileptic internet service and stand-still traffic. Those little things that distract us from our focus also have the tendency to make us want to throw in the towel.

Being a woman of Rubies

I honestly don’t know what makes me one. I just strive daily to be an excellent leader, excellent co-worker, excellent wife, excellent mother, excellent daughter, excellent sister, excellent aunt and excellent friend. If I fail at any of it, it wouldn’t be from not trying.

Advice for Entrepreneurs, from a legal perspective                       

Getting it right from the beginning is very important. Put your books in order, file your tax returns, honor your agreements. Don’t wait until your big break is around the corner before you start scampering to do the right thing. The cost of non-compliance is more expensive than complying.

 

Sometimes, all a lady seems to just want is a husband material, the type of man that comes with the right values, etc.

Then, when such a man seems to come her way, she realizes that he is a husband material quite alright, just that he lacks that “swag”, that sexiness, that “fine boy” edge…that excites. And he ends up being roundly abused!

Therefore, a man who has only treated a woman well ends up being paid back with ingratitude. All these and more have simply taught me that some of us are simply victims of our emotional damage. When a man is not mean to them and has not treated them badly… they don’t feel complete. Playboys seem to hold a permanent magnet of sorts on them. A decent guy is not easily appreciated by them.

Even after going through a harrowing experience in the hands of a man that has been mean to her, as soon as she catches her breath…she finds her way back to him-for more experiences.

The proclivity towards bad boys has a strong hold on most women. Yet we all know that it takes stability of (attitude) for a relationship to succeed…anything contrary leaves a trail of heartbreak and tears behind.

There are men that deafen one’s hearing with “wife material requests” but the moment a decent lady comes their way-they get bored faster than fast and begin to yearn for the wild ones. People, to whom “goodness” is lost on, get their kicks from being saddled with unpleasant characters.

One of my friends had been on my neck to help find him a wife.

When it seemed to me he was serious enough, I decided to show him some pictures of a few friends that are still in the singles market.

I didn’t bother asking him too many questions about the qualities he wants in a lady because experience has taught me that some of them can tell you all you want to hear-just to impress and make you conclude they’ve got their heads properly screwed on their shoulders-even when their body language is pointing to the things (freaky in nature) that are left unsaid.

So, I decided to come to my own conclusion by watching him. I observed that CHARACTER was not in the picture (yet) for him and he bluntly confirmed my worst fears by telling me that once he is OKAY with a lady’s looks-he can easily tolerate her character…

Interestingly, his past failed relationships have a similar trend (IN YOUR FACE looks –amongst the ladies), judging from the pictures of his EX (es) that he showed me. My only worry is that he continued to let LOOKS be the sole determinant of his choice of a marriage partner.

I expected him to veer from this norm for once and see if he can get a different outcome. That is my opinion, though!

He has made his choice and I have never stopped praying for the success of that “setting” because my humble neck is seriously at stake here-should anything go awry. I am the one that’s going to receive “you are siding with him/her’’ bullets from both sides, when things get out of hand and one has to intervene.

However, if you find yourself frustrated that all your niceness has not yielded results in your love life, please don’t fall prey to the mentality that you have to give up “being good” to attract someone.

Being less than yourself won’t fulfill you. Also, perish the thought that whom you love should love you back. Actually, no one owes you their affections because you feel you are good. Everyone’s heart is theirs to give at their own discretion and it cannot be demanded.

A friend once said: “Most Nigerian ladies don’t appreciate a good or gentle man because most times 99 per cent of men and women carry the baggage of the last bad relationships to the new one. They already expect the worse even before it happens. Yes, experience is a good teacher, but we stick more to the past and destroy the present and future in our relationships. Another thing is the attitude of “I will get and take what I can immediately first and forget about tomorrow’’. A wise man once told me and I quote “life and happiness is a journey and not a destination.”

But, this concludes it for me: ‘’Nigerians take everything as a destination, our life, our job, our family and love life, all as a destination. The situation in Nigeria has also changed the dynamics of relationships, most guys see women as commodities and women see men as opportunity to get and better their lot. We should look at relationships as a selfless venture for the one we love.’’

The International Women’s Day which is celebrated on the 8th of March every year is set aside to recognize women, how far we have come and to highlight how much work there is yet to go when it comes to gender equality. The theme this year is Balance for Better. I do not like to jump on trends without understanding what we are really highlighting. So I have been asking how women can balance for better and deal with the maternal wall.

Are you a woman married with children who suddenly got a superwoman cape? The average woman is expected to just carry on the way she was before children. Her job expects the same deliverables from her. In reality though, if she is a first time mum the increased demands on her time and emotions cannot be quantified. She might have a boss and team members who welcome her back after her maternity leave and see her as the same person who can deliver the same things. The other option is that she eventually experiences the maternal wall; the stereotypes, biases, and discrimination, both overt and silent that face a working mother.

What does Balance for Better really mean then?
For me, it really means that we must balance all our demands better. A working woman still carries the majority of the demands when it comes to caring for the home and the family. She is meant to give her all at work and give her all at home. The guilt is massive and constant. She feels guilty as a working mother who will miss some of her child’s activities or the first step. Movies really need to stop portraying this scene by the way; guess what your child will take a million steps. She feels guilty as a stay-at-home mum because she wishes she was more financially “balanced.”

The first thing to balance better is to accept that life is about sacrifices. We need to stop this narrative about having it all, at the same time, all the time. You see the argument about whether work-life balance is a myth or achievable will probably always be a topic. Depending on who you ask, it is either yes or no. I believe work-life balance is possible, you just need to know what balance looks like for you.

When you ask the average working mother what work-life balance looks like for her, she is probably comparing herself to some unattainable ideal, or cannot tell why she feels that she is not finding her balance. You cannot achieve what you cannot visualise.

More Balance All Around
We need more balance in the homes, on the job, in our finances and in the opportunities that we take.

Mothers need to be comfortable asking for help and be okay with not being able to say Yes to everything. It is okay to say No without apologizing or feeling bad! I read a life-changing book, called Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. My biggest take away from the book was that every time you say Yes you say No to something else.

This has been my life goals since then and helps me to strive for balance in all areas. If I say yes to something, I accept that there is something else I am saying no to in that moment or season.

Life is truly in seasons, the children need you when they are babies, they need you when they start school, they need you when they are choosing secondary school or jobs and need you when they start dating. The point is that your children will always need you in some shape or form, but will not always need you the same way or with the same intensity. How do you balance all the demands in your life? Be comfortable making sacrifices, saying no sometimes, so you can say yes to the things that matter to you.

Focus on what is important for you. Do not put your ladder against someone else’s wall! Is picking your child from school everyday more important to you than a demanding job that won’t give you flexi time? You have a choice to make. Are you in a job that is not paying you as much as your male colleagues? Make a case for an increase in salary without fear or guilt of seeming greedy.

Flexibility
When a woman becomes a wife and has children, she needs flexibility. I really believe working mothers need flexibility and yes, longer maternity leave.

The flexibility is, however, needed both at home and in the workplace. On my weekly radio parenting talk show today, a husband called and said he chose to sacrifice his job so that he can be more flexible and be a more hands-on parent; while his wife who is an engineer continues to rise in her career and go back to school for a higher degree. He said he takes care of most of the needs at home so she can focus on her job.

In the evening when she is too tired, he even pops out to buy her food from the local restaurant. This is what you call couple goals!

The real balance we seek as working women and wives starts with our spouses and the home first before we even talk about the workplace.

Balance The Stress and Demands
A working mother gets more added to her plate without adequately offloading her other activities to make up for the increased demands. She seems to be in a constant juggling act, with the demands on her time, work and demands of home and family. If not managed, this leads to a lot of stress.

Many women start home businesses to have more flexibility and to tend to the needs of their families. However, if you are not managed carefully the mumpreneur, carries the same stereotypes to her own business as well. She feels the need to prove that she can do it all and this just adds to the stress and demands without the benefits of the flexibility she was seeking. The difference now is that she is working even harder, and not earning enough, so money becomes a new stress point!

Work-Life Balance for Better
Work-life balance and the search for it will always be a thing. As a child, I remember my mum telling me that her dad always advised her to either be a teacher or work in the Government so that she will have adequate time for her family. I was a 9 to 5-er turned entrepreneur. In my quest to get more done, I announced to my daughter that I could no longer pick her and her brother from school everyday, to which she said “sorry I thought you were your own boss and so your time is flexible?” Said with such clarity at 11 years old! What difference a generation can make.

To all the women out there who want to balance for better, remember that balance starts with you. It starts with being honest with yourself, knowing what you want, what you can truly achieve and accepting that life comes with sacrifices. While we are at it we need to raise boys and girls who understand the need for balance and equality.

Source: Guardian

 

People can dislike someone for a number of good and bad reasons. Sometimes a person will act mean because they’re jealous of someone else. Are you constantly getting picked on or left out? Have friends who were previously cool suddenly become hostile or passive aggressive? Or maybe you just can’t manage to feel welcomed by a group of people no matter how hard you try to befriend them.

There is a difference between feeling threatened and feeling intimidated. The difference is fear. When a woman feels threatened, she is afraid that you will take (or try to take) something she has (including her man, her confidence, her best friend, the role she has established in her group, etc.) or something she wants (like a promotion, a future boyfriend, etc.). In any case, these threatened feelings usually stem from our own insecurities. People don’t fear losing the things they are secure about. When a beautiful woman walks in the room, we may feel intimidated or jealous, but we won’t feel threatened unless we are insecure about our own looks. Feeling threatened can bring out the worst in us. We may shut down or lash out when we let insecurity get the best of us.

Overcoming Insecurities and Building Bridges

Don’t be self-righteous or act like you’re better than someone who feels threatened by other women. Everyone has insecurities, and everyone will feel threatened sometimes. The best way to overcome these feelings is to recognize that you feel insecure and examine why you feel that way. When you take an honest look at yourself, you may be less inclined to be hurtful to someone else.

If you’re being ostracized by other women, let me offer my condolences to you. It’s tough being singled out. Even if your positive traits alienate some people, you still have your striking beauty and outstanding I.Q. as consolation prizes. All jokes aside, I hope that you will move forward with a newfound awareness of your appealing traits, and I hope you will practice humility, kindness, and gentleness with the women around you. If you feel that you’re being unfairly judged for your positive qualities, consider going the extra mile to prove that you are more than a pretty face, and that your life is not as perfect as it seems. You need and deserve good friends just as much as any other person. Envious, insecure people may pick on you out of fear, and people who act that way probably dislike parts of themselves more than they could ever despise you.

Ten Traits That Make a Woman Threatening to Other Women

  1. You’re Beautiful

Whether or not you believe you’re beautiful, if other women around you think you’re prettier than them, you may struggle to connect with them. People of any age, body type, or size can be confident or insecure about their appearances. If someone feels that their appearance deviates from societally imposed standards of beauty, they may project their insecurity onto people who fit the standard more closely. It’s possible that other women may feel threatened by your beauty and your mere presence may make them feel inadequate. If they are single, they may see you as competition for romantic partners. If they are married, they might see you as a seductive temptress who is plotting to steal their spouses.

My advice:

Short of bodily mutation (that was a joke, not a suggestion), there is not much you can do to change your appearance. You can try to down-play your attractive features, but ultimately, you shouldn’t have to hide your good qualities to assuage someone else’s insecurities. If people seem threatened by your appearance, it may be helpful to offer sincere compliments about their appearances to help them feel more confident and less threatened by you. Don’t be excessively complimentary or self-deprecating, but be kind and encouraging. If you’ve demonstrated that you don’t consider yourself to be better than others based on appearance and you’re still being treated with hostility, consider distancing yourself from that relationship.

  1. You’re Smart(er Than Them)

It’s okay to be smart, so long as the people around you aren’t reaching for a dictionary to translate your last sentence. The bigger the words you use, the smaller your audience may feel. Until you know the people around you, keep the conversation and the mood light. Most people just want to have fun. Make sure that you’re a fun conversationalist when you communicate with other people.

My Advice:

Brainiacs should be smart enough to know that giving a lecture on some obscure topic can be alienating for the people around you! You don’t have to dumb yourself down when you talk to other women, but if you’re a very smart person, try to refrain from using your intelligence to make other people feel stupid. Don’t show off or act condescending, but don’t hide your intelligence either. Get comfortable with being yourself and let other people know the real you too.

  1. You Work (Too) Hard

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom who cooks every meal from scratch with organic ingredients grown in your own garden or the professional woman who performs every task above and beyond the call of duty, your hands-on approach to life can make some people feel insecure about their own work ethic. I know you’re probably thinking that lazy, bare-minimum bums need to rise to the occasion or just let it go. Unfortunately, the only thing they will want to see go is you.

My Advice:

If your accomplishments and drive seem to make other people avoid you, try to avoid bragging, and don’t offer unsolicited advice to people about their initiative or lack thereof. Save detailed conversations about your goals for friends who similarly have a lot going on.

  1. You Don’t Fit Into the Pecking Order

There are some women who try to bond with others by creating power imbalances and social hierarchies. One way to maintain a power imbalance is to undermine some people and make them seem inferior. This can be accomplished by putting other women down or by gossiping about them. Other members of the group will follow the lead of the more powerful person in the group so they won’t get ostracized by everyone else. Some people will contribute to and participate in unfair power imbalances because they want to, and some people will participate to avoid being placed at the bottom of the pecking order. These kinds of people are judgmental, critical, and mean.

My Advice:

If a person is willing to engage in petty gossip with you, they will probably also gossip about you. The most critical people are often the ones who have been the most criticized. Take pity on gossips, but don’t get too close to them!

  1. You’re Confident

My grandma used to say, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” Well, don’t. It’s okay to know yourself and like who you are as long as you aren’t egotistical about it. When you walk into a room, does your presence say, “Here I am!” or “There you are?” Some under-confident people will feel threatened by another person’s confidence. Make sure that you are being confident and not arrogant when you interact with people.

My Advice:

Learn to like yourself and love others at the same time. You can be confident without being arrogant, and you should encourage your friends to be confident in themselves too. Keep in mind that it’s not your job to make someone else feel good about themselves. You can be the most supportive and encouraging friend and still encounter other people who will treat you as if you’re doing something to undermine them. In addition to unabashedly owning your confidence, seek friends who can sport theirs without expecting you to shine less brightly.

  1. You’re Always Dressed to Impress

To some women, a pair of high heels is the same as sporting a pair of fishnet stockings and a tramp-stamp. Don’t ask me why, but a well-dressed woman can strike fear into the souls of all your flip-flopping, ballet-flatty, tennis-shoe-sporting friends. Maybe you just like to play dress-up, but the insecure women around you won’t care. They will question your motivations until their insecurity eats both them and you alive.

My Advice:

Know the dress code and don’t over-do it. There is a thin line between flashy and trashy. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and attractive, but be aware of how you’re presenting yourself and what kind of outfits are appropriate for each occasion. If your friends complain about your clothes, consider what they’re saying and why. Feel free to let them know that they’re welcome to change the way they dress if they want to enhance their style or get a different kind of attention.

  1. You Have a Strong Personality

There’s a difference between being strong and being overbearing. A strong person is usually firm about who they are, their boundaries, and their beliefs. When a woman is strong, she typically doesn’t need obedience or approval from every person she interacts with, and she can accept that she and her friends may disagree on some things. However, an overbearing woman has an opinion about everything, and she usually insists on sharing that opinion. She always has an answer to every question, it just may not be the right one. She could be far left or far right, extremely spiritual or an extreme hippy, but no matter what she believes, she can be extremely annoying when she forces her opinions and perspectives onto other people. Which kind of woman are you?

My Advice:

If you are the sort of person who embraces a black-or-white perspective try to recognize that most of the world operates in shades of grey. It’s okay to have opinions or beliefs, but remember that other people may have different perspectives. Try to respect that other people will have their own ways of viewing the world and don’t force your opinions onto other people.

  1. You’re Competitive

You know that girl who always has to win? The one who views every aspect of social interaction as a competition, and the one who will use your heart as a stepping stool to the top? Well, she may win the game, but she will lose her friends in the process. And what good is victory when you have no one to share it with?

My Advice:

Don’t let a sense of competition cause you to mistreat others and don’t maintain friendships with overly competitive people. Even if you’re a naturally competitive person, try to avoid treating all aspects of your social interactions as competitions. Constantly trying to out-do others will make it hard for people to be vulnerable with you. It might be a good idea to examine why you feel the need to compete with others.

9.You’re Affluent

The wealthier you are, the more out-of-touch you may be with average people and their problems. Women can connect over their weaknesses as much as their strengths. Your mansion and your luxury cars may be overwhelming to the most down-to-earth ladies. Being wealthy may eliminate some types of stress from your life, and some people may resent the fact that you have so much when they have less. Unfortunately, even if you can hide your car in the garage, you can’t hide your Gucci purse, your designer jeans, or your wealthy lifestyle. Money talks, and in this case it may be saying, “I’m too good for you.”

My Advice:

Don’t flaunt your wealth or brag about the financial blessings you enjoy. Nobody likes a braggart, and it is hard to be friends with someone if they use their wealth to make others feel jealous. Try to be discreet about your capital—especially if your friends don’t have the same financial background as you.

What’s your take on the article , share in the comment or tell us your personal experience….

By: Christy Stewart

The African Women in Technology (AWIT) Conference is making its debut in Nigeria this month.

The African Women in Technology (AWIT) is a network of African women who are creatively redefining the technology space in Africa and becoming key players and trendsetters in the World’s creative and innovative industries.

Founded by Anie Akpe, it has become a platform for technological advancement in Africa and beyond. The AWIT conference is scheduled to hold at Zone Tech Park in Lagos on March 29 and 30, 2019.

It is a yearly conference that brings together stakeholders and trendsetters in technological advancement around the world, with the spotlight on African women in technology both at home and in Diaspora.

The platform serves as a vehicle to push forward innovative ideas and encourage African women to step forward and get involved in the technological development of the continent, while providing support to propel their careers. It is a space to learn, unlearn and relearn relevant practices and acceptable business tools that will ensure success in their chosen professions.

Serving as a platform of inclusivity for all women in the African Technology Space, this two-day conference will provide an opportunity for extensive networking among women at diverse stages of their careers. Participants will learn, exchange ideas, interact with industry experts, and have the opportunity to speak with representatives of various tech companies, synergize, get insight on problems in African technology, and propose applicable solutions to these problems.

Heralding the launch of the third industrial revolution and the evolution of technology, digitisation has become a prominent part of our daily lives, thereby making technology indispensible. This conference will serve as a landmark event for recognising the available opportunities and mapping out strategies on how to grow as African women in technology.

Aptly themed: The Techazon Within You, the conference conveyers have expressed excitement about how much the AWIT network has positively impacted the lives of African women who are getting involved in the advancement of their technology sector and promoting growth in their communities, while advancing their career growth in the process.

This is why to further aid this developmental process, the conference boasts of insightful sessions like Tech Trends, Upgrade Your Skills, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, and other creative sessions that will serve to awaken the techazon within the participants and spur them unto greater professional breakthroughs.

As part of the networking session at the conference, participants will stand the chance to get group mentoring that will be sustained even after the conference, find internships and employment opportunities, meet people in their local communities who share the same interests and take advantage of the fast, affordable and reliable financing available at the conference.

Application to attend the conference is totally free of charge as all intending participants can now apply and reserve their seats by registering on the AWIT website.

Zone Tech Park is a Technology Park located in Gbagada Industrial Scheme, Lagos, which serves as a free co-working space for start-ups with an in-house engineering team of over 20 software developers and designers, legal, finance, marketing and fundraising teams. It was established by The Workforce Group, which is rated as Nigeria’s leading Human Resource Company, according to Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa.

Since 2016, the African Women in Technology conference has held in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique and the United States, and has impacted the lives of over 1000 participating women. Since its inception, the conference has also received notable partnerships and sponsorship from Google, Flutterwave, Renmoney, Ibom LLC, Innov8tiv, ABAN Angels and other private bodies.

Source: Guardian

 

 

Your voice can be described in different ways, the most common definition is the sound the is being produced when you speak or sing, however, your voice could also be what your opinions are and how you are perceived. It isn’t just the sound but the message embedded in the sound of your voice.

In the corporate world, a career or professional voice may be described as how this message being conveyed in the sound of your voice can be of benefit to its owner.

This article will therefore highlight what you need to know about your professional voice and it’s applications.

The professional voice

Finding a professional voice is the first step in categorising your voice for the workplace. It provides you with the ability to have your personal voice which you use in informal meetings, gatherings or places and still be able to switch to your business or professional voice when necessary. (This improves your social and professional identity). The importance of having a professional voice is that it makes you credible, authentic, organized and it gets you coordinated for a presentation, job interview, business meeting, as well as impromptu meetings. It could be developed by using appropriate words or sentences, having a stable and comfortable pitch or speaking with a comfortable pace. Developing a Professional Voice will improve your ability to engage, connect & persuade when communicating to internal & external audiences. The Professional Voice gives you the confidence, techniques & skills to deliver your message effectively & achieve results. Based on my experience and research in social identity complexity (as related to the work place especially when an individual has various roles) one of the ways to categorize your identity is to develop these professional voices;

The unapologetic voice

The unapologetic voice enables you stand your ground against all odds in a meaningful yet respectful manner. The unapologetic voice make you voice out your values and beliefs in order to set boundaries. Finding this voice gives you confidence in your beliefs and helps you communicate in effectively. This does not mean you have to be rude, it is just being able to know what your values are, what you can and can’t do and being able to say it out and not keep it within you because if you do, you will be able to tolerate anything which may not be healthy.

The appealing voice

When it comes to finding the right tone to ask for a favour, we may all seem to have it but have you ever thought of that tone being misleading? The best way to go about it is by being straightforward about what favour you need and also concentrate on asking for the favour with more percentage of your voice rather than your body language. So, how is that done? With a softer tone and pleasant words (please, can you, I will be grateful, thank you, I’d really appreciate if you could.. ) these words help in conveying a direct message.

The approachable voice

Many people struggle to maintain a good first impression but what about a lasting impression? Your approachable voice should make others feel comfortable to have a discussion with you without having to think of how they might need to please you first. Using words like Hello, it is a pleasure meeting you, how may I help you,  lastly, having your concentration on the person you are communicating with and not being distracted by your PHONE.

Leadership voice:

As a leader, your major goal will be to get your followers to work together to achieve a common goal. Over the years, leaders have adopted various styles that can enable them achieve this fundamental goal. These leadership styles therefore can be seen as either an active voice or a passive voice.

Active voice: participating and coaching style is when a leader is actively engaging in the duties of the team either by joining in working with the team or helping the followers overcome the obstacles and challenges they are faced with by coaching them.

Passive voice: directing and delegating style. This style involves the leader assigning duties to each of the team members. Usually, leaders start by being actively involved in the teamwork and when the leader feels they are ready to work on their own, the passive voice is used to direct and delegate.

Remember, your voice is most effect when the message in the sound of your voice is unambiguous, clear and concise.

 

About Grace

Grace Asemota is a Business Psychologist (M.Sc) and a Certified Life Coach. She has partnered with Organizations and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands and has coached students and staff in different institutions and organisations.

She continuously coaches and trains on the importance of goal setting, happiness, team management, personal development and self- confidence in a wide range of organisations (in Nigeria, UAE and US) and institutions by motivating staff to develop a collaborative culture and identify key factors that can enhance personal growth.

You can get in touch with her on

grace.orisakiya@gmail.com

LinkedIn @Grace Asemota-Orisakiya

 

Like most years, this year is already racing with full speed as the first month comes to a close.

At the beginning of each year or towards the end of the previous year, we make plans for the new year and set goals of what we want to achieve. A couple of years ago, after setting and not achieving my goals, I quit setting goals!

I decided to just focus on the moment, visualize what I want and go with the flow. That worked well for sometime as I did not feel like I was in competition with anyone and I was able to listen to my instincts. The problem with this approach was that I spent more time visualizing and creating my vision board than actually taking action!

That’s when I knew that there had to be a balance and I made up my mind to find it.

Fast forward a few years later, working with our clients at Tale Alimi Global, we usually start the year setting our intentions for the year we want and creating corresponding goals.  As we work with clients, I have observed that some people are better at articulating their goals than others. However some people are only able to articulate averagely, but once they had clarity, they did a good job executing.

Our most successful clients are ‘doers’, they massively execute on the strategy we develop and achieve great results. I am big on strategic thinking and planning, but from my experience, I have to say that an average strategy with massive execution trumps a great strategy with poor execution.

If you are a planner and visualizer like me, its time to start doing more! And I have themed this year, ‘My year of doing’ because it reminds me of Shonda Rhimes ‘Year of yes’ and because I spent the last year exploring and visualizing.

To encourage us(yes we are in this together) to do more, I came up with five reasons why we should execute more this year.

The more you do, the more you know how to do

The sickness of planners is trying to create ‘perfection’. You want to spend all the time looking at various options, doing scenario planning and projecting outcomes. However, all this is theory until you start doing! I spent almost six months agonizing over the title and content of my next book. I will go on long runs, get inspiration about titles and a few days later I would begin to doubt its relevance. After going round in circle for too long, I put my foot down in October and decided to start writing. Surprisingly, the more I wrote, the more I had a better sense of direction.

So stop agonizing and trying to get things perfect and watch the months fly by, start doing and more clarity and ideas would come to you.

Execution is a cure for self doubt.

Another curse of perfectionists is self doubt. You never feel good enough to do what you know in your heart you are meant to do. Or you tell yourself you don’t have the resources or the time to do it. I was speaking to my team member some weeks ago about leading a segment at our year end event. I noticed she was hesitating and when I asked her why, she said she did not think she was qualified to stand before the calibre of people we were expecting. I immediately debunked her self doubt and told her about my mentor in my Social impact fellowship in the US who was a decade younger than me.

I told her to just do it and she did a great job that created a positive atmosphere at the event. When you begin to doubt yourself , don’t dwell on it, get up and execute. The more you execute on something, your self doubt disappears and you become more confident in your self.

When you execute, you make your own luck.

How many times have you looked at people and thought how lucky they are? Most times the so called ‘lucky’ people are busy executing on something. If you have been waiting for a lucky break and it doesn’t seem to be coming, maybe it is time to get up and execute so you can make your own luck. Yesterday, I saw a news headline that Kim Kardashian was expecting another baby, I decide to ‘keep up with the Kardashians’ as I hardly watch Television so I am not up to date about them. As I read the news, I realized that they were always busy doing something! From having new babies to starting beauty companies. They were making their own luck by executing.

This is the year to make your own luck. If you want to create a multimillion business, start grinding.

Execution builds your focus.

You need focus to execute. When you decide to execute, you cut out distractions. When I decided to start writing my new book, I started blocking out time and cutting out things that might distract me like excessive social media watching the lives of other people who were executing!

Execution is what brings dreams to life.

My favorite past time is imagining and day dreaming. My imagination has 3D capacity! I like to see things in my mind first because I believe creativity starts internally before it manifests externally. However after you are done dreaming, you have to take some action to see the dream come to life. If you have been seeing yourself as a millionaire in your dreams, or married to the person of your dreams, then make it a reality by taking action to bring your dreams to life.

Now that I have themed this  ‘Our year of doing’, I am determined to lead by example. Some of the things I will be doing includes finishing up my new book before the end of Q1 and I am co-founding a new Company to address the milestone funding challenges that a lot of small businesses face.

If you are a small business that has had funding challenges, please fill this survey to help us understand your needs better. And if you have an interest in investing in small businesses , please fill this survey, so we will also understand your requirements.

I want us to hold ourselves accountable to our year of doing, so lets connect on Instagram so that as I share my progress, you can also share yours with me. Lets start doing!

Feel free to blame it on the spur of the moment. Everyone is excited and feeling like they can take on the world. At this point, we can promise God anything.

We’re gearing towards that time of the year again, the time for New Year resolutions. I hope you had a jolly Christmas, with plenty rice and chicken? Good, because it’s time for a blast of the naked truth.

We’ve all done it. Promised heaven and earth on New Year day. God, I will stop smoking. I will read my books this semester. I will serve you more this year. No sex for me this year. I’ll give all my time and energy to my business idea. Blah blah blah.

9 out of 10 times, we don’t even keep our promises till mid-January. After the first few weeks, everything flies out the window. It is okay to want to be better, set goals, turn a new leaf, but I think the concept of New Year resolutions is overhyped. I’ll tell you why.

If a person truly desires to make a resolution about his or her life, I don’t think they would wait for January first to do it.

So in 2019, instead of listing those things you know in your heart you probably will never do, why not set a definite goal? Don’t call it a resolution, call it a goal and map out strategic steps to achieve it.

A goal is the ongoing pursuit of a worthy objective until accomplished. Ongoing means it’s a process because goals take time. Pursuit indicates that a chase is involved. There will likely be some obstacles to overcome. Worthy shows that the chase will be worthwhile, there’s a big reward at the end to endure the tough times. Until accomplished suggests you’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish the set goal.

Instead of our usual litany of things to do and stop doing, why not choose one goal and give it all your energy?

Another mistake we often make is creating unclear goals, vague goals. I once had a New Year resolution to buy a car. I was 14 years old and in junior secondary school. Was it a reasonable goal for a 14-year-old? I think so. We’re supposed to dream big, right? But if you asked me then, how do you intend to accomplish this goal, I would have mumbled a bunch of good sounding gibberish because I always had an answer to everything. But I wouldn’t have had a clear answer. In creating goals, use this trick: Be more specific. When you write your goal down, tell yourself, Be more specific, then write your new answer. Keep repeating this until the goal is crystal clear and measurable. There are no such things as unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames. If I had said as a 14-year-old, “I’ll buy a car before I’m twenty-five,” that would have been more realistic, wouldn’t it?

Last tip for setting your 2019 New Year resolution (goals): What can you create using your unique talents? What do you do that other people find difficult? What opportunities exist in today’s marketplace for your area of exceptionality? I don’t know about you, but the New Year is about working smart, not hard.

About Chisom Winifred

Chisom Winifred is a creative writer with a flair for freelance articles. She’s currently a content creator for Blueafric Media where she also heads campaigns that focuses on brand introduction, positioning and promotion of its clients.
A red carpet and TV host, she was the red carpet host for Blueafric media at the just concluded 2017 AFRIFF. Reach out to Winifred on Chisomwinnifred.cw@gmail.com or her blog http://blueprintafric.com/