I’m excited about today’s entrepreneur because for the first time in this series, I got to interview an author! I met Nkechi several months ago on Periscope. She is the founder of the a Periscope group that I joined called AfriscopeTV. This is a group dedicated to promoting peace, unity and love among Africans or anyone who identifies with Africans all over the world. AfriscopeTV has been instrumental in getting me out of my shell and in front of viewers from all over the world through its “Share the love” hour that occurs three times a week.
Today, July 25th is Nkechi’s birthday! Happy Birthday Nkechi!!! May your dreams be realized and I wish you long life and prosperity. May the Lord’s hands be upon you and your family always and propel you to greater heights.
Read, be inspired and then take action
Can you please tell us about yourself, what’s your business about and what services do you provide to your target market?
Thank you so much for an opportunity like this Bay. I can’t believe this is happening. My name is Nkechi Ajaeroh and I have been blessed to wear many hats. I am an author in business. A speaker. A humanitarian. A girl child education advocate and supporter. This is why I am donating $1.00 from each sold copy of my new book to benefit #GirlsEducation in my home country, Nigeria. I am also a live-stream enthusiast and the founder of AfriscopeTV, an online pan-African community that provide live-stream support to African businesses and individuals.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and what was your defining moment?
The truth is that I am still transitioning into becoming a full time entrepreneur and I hope to fully transition by the first quarter of next year, 2017. There wasn’t just a defining moment, there were many moments and multiple things that made me consider starting my own business; one of them being the birth of my last child, in April 2015. After having her I realized that I could not go back to a full time job. Sometimes you have to do what you can with what you have.
Relatively, I also wanted to be around to raise my kids because I love to play a prominent role in their lives especially now they are still young. And working for myself gives me an opportunity to do just that. Even though I conceived the idea of starting my own business in April 2015, it didn’t quite take off until December 2015. Periscope was very instrumental in launching my business.
What’s one unique thing about your business and what makes you stand out from others in your niche?
One of the things that sets my business aside from similar businesses out there is that I am on the path of social entrepreneurship. My business is providing a social good to the community. As I donate $1.00 from every sold of my book to benefit girls education, I am helping to solve a social problem, I am creating a change and making an impact in the society. Also in AfriscopeTV community, I provide live stream support for pan-African individuals and businesses, which I think is definitely needed at this time because live video is one of the easiest and fastest ways to build a sustainable brand.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I started on Periscope to tell you the truth. When I got on Periscope last year August 2015 to be precise, God connected me with amazing writing consultants and I started thinking about writing again and as well as publishing a couple of things that I have already written.
I equally started AfriscopeTV on Periscope as well. I noticed a void in the Periscope land, there were not many Africans and/or African businesses that were leveraging the power of live-stream, so I decided to start a community that will support, promote and offer live stream assistance to African businesses and individuals.
What tools did you use to get started to help with productivity?
Thanks for this question Bay. When I started out, social media wasn’t my greatest strength. I needed something that can help me get handle on social media. So both Hootsuite and Buffer have been lifesavers for me. I use them to schedule tweets and Facebook posts well ahead of time. I like scheduling 2-4 weeks ahead.
Other productivity apps/tools/services that I use are Fiverr and Upwork for most of the jobs that I have to outsource. As a mom-preneur, solo-preneur or entrepreneur, or whatever you call yourself. As long as you run your business by yourself then you do need help. Both Fiverr and Upwork provide variety of helps at reasonable price.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur, being a wife, a mum, holding a 9-5 job and everything else in between?
Oh my, oh my. There is nothing like balance really, speaking from my personal experiences, situations and circumstances, I don’t think balance necessarily exists. I have not been able to balance it yet. I try as much as possible to focus on the things that require my uttermost attention at the moment and then I move on to the next. Sometimes I outsource certain services that are not within my area of expertise. But my sister the struggle is real being a wife, a mom, cook of the house, an emerging biz owner and still my part-time 9-5! Na his grace ooooo!
Can you share your greatest accomplishment in your business so far and why you are proud of it?
Hmmm…. I will say that taking a leap of faith to start my business is one of my greatest accomplishments. For years I have wanted to be a published author and for years I have discouraged myself. I was like “oh no I can’t do it” “Oh no, no one will read my book” “Oh no, no publishing company will accept my script” so for long I was stopping myself, please don’t do it. Don’t stop yourself! Back to the question, my greatest accomplishment is taking a leap of faith to start, number one. Number two, people telling me that my book is blessing their lives. Number three, taking a leap of faith to donate $1.00 of every sold copy of my book to support girl’s education in my Nigeria my home country even when I don’t know how much I was going to sell. And whether I will make enough money for my family and me. My greatest accomplishment is being able to understand that this is journey is not about me but it’s about the people and the souls that will be blessed by it.
Can you share a challenge you faced during your journey, starting out as an entrepreneur and how you were able to overcome it?
Challenges are totally real on this journey and in everything we do in life as well. And sometimes in order to move forward and step into your purpose you have to begin to embrace your challenges and figure out how you can work through it.
Having said that, one of the greatest challenges I have faced and still facing is TIME. We only have 24 hours in a day and by the time we wake up around 6.00am or 7.00am in the morning we have already used 6 or 7 hours out of that 24. So what I do is work an hour or more later after the kids have gone to bed and wake up early at least 2 hours before them. That opens up 3-4 hours for me to take care of business.
How have you been able to network and connect with other entrepreneurs, both new and established ones in the online space? You have quite a presence on Periscope and Facebook.
Yes, I have met awesome and amazing individuals online. I never really understood the extent of the online community until becoming part of it. I am glad that I became part of this ever growing online community because I have been able to connect with some of the greatest entrepreneurs and now I am actually collaborating with a couple of extraordinary people.
It is unbelievable how doors are opening to me since I got on Periscope, considering that fact that I never really wanted to use the app in the first place. Lately, I have been making an effort to connect with some of these new friends offline as well.
What’s the next step for your business
The next step for my business is to be able to serve more people that will be my ultimate goal. I want my books to speak hope, power and encouragement to as many as to will read or listen to it. And I want to be able to help as many girls as possible access education. We can’t afford to leave young girls behind because they are the future of the world. Girls grow up to become mothers, wives and custodians of families. Right now, “globally 65 million girls are not in school” that is a H U G E number!!! We have to change that. Remember “educated mothers are more than twice likely to send their children to school”. So the next step for me is to stand in the gap and support girls’ education wholeheartedly.
Additionally, I want AfriscopeTV to be able to reach out and promote thousands of African small-scale businesses online and especially via live streaming. Some indigenous African businesses don’t understand the value of promoting online. I would love to change that and provide a platform where they can connect, promote, and create possibility; a possibility of a better world that we want to see; a possibility of Africa and Africans refusing to be in the back burner anymore.
How do you intend to build a team to support you?
Team is very important for any business or company especially for growth, sustainability and performance. I definitely intend to start building my team soon. My intention is to work with people of like mind. When I am ready to bring people on board I will look for men and women that believe in my goals and mission. The qualities that I look for in a team are dedication, honesty, trust, foresight, support and loyalty.
Tell us about a mistake you made starting out as an entrepreneur and the lesson you learned from it?
Girl I made loads of mistakes starting out, it was not even funny though, it is funny now but you know we learn through it. One of the earliest mistakes I made when I first got online was trying to listen to every online “guru” out there. Remember the online community is beautiful and powerful but it can be noisy too. So when I got introduced to Periscope and I started watching tons of broadcasts and listening to many “gurus”, I began to do and basically apply all their advice whether or not it resonated with me.
I started out trying to become an affiliate for products because “gurus” say you can make tons money being an affiliate. At this point I do not put money first because success means more than money to me. Don’t get me wrong I have kids and I have to provide for them on a daily basis and money is necessary, but money does not equal success. I encourage you to go after your dreams and money will surely come. Find a way to monetize what you love, period. And if think that you want to be an affiliate I urge you to represent products that you know, love and trust.
Please share parting words for emerging entrepreneurs out there or those that are still trying to decide whether to launch into entrepreneurship.
If you are out there still trying and contemplating whether or not you should start your business, I urge you to go for it. Today is a great day to start. There will never be a perfect day to begin anything in life; there will never be a day that is rid of chores, child-care (if you have children), cleaning, phones calls, trials, and other daily challenges that confront us everyday. There will simply not be a flawless day or time so I want to encourage you to summon your braveness and go for your dreams. If you wait until next year, it will still come with its own challenges. Remember what you have is this minute, NOW. Yesterday is gone and nobody is sure of tomorrow. As long, as your intention is to serve your generation and beyond you will be just fine. Remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel but you will never know until you take the first step.
And if you are already in business I encourage you not limit yourself or put yourself in a box. Give yourself permission to try different things, explore new ideas and allow your ingenuity and creativity to lead you. Remember, life is a journey and not a destination, therefore always look for ways to improve yourself and better your world. I will leave you with this quote that I love so much from Mahatma Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.