10 Questions with the #LadyBoss – “I want something to be positively different in my environment just because of me.” Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa, Brand Consultant
Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa has a desire to make a positive impact in the world. She’s passionate about seeing businesses, especially startups flourish and she provides affordable brand consulting services to help startups with their branding and marketing needs. Aside from this, Ayodotun is also a Writer, Blogger and an Artiste Manager. She sure wears many hats and in our interview with her, she tells us how she is able to balance it all and live a fulfilling life.
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My name is Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa. I’m a Brand Manager turned Music Biz/Artiste Manager, Writer, Blogger, Content Creator & Brand Consultant for SMEs and personalities. I describe myself as a conservative rebel. I’m an entrepreneur in two dimensions – Business Director, Song23 Productions (a music solutions coy) and Creative Director LifestyleHues.
In my 8 plus years as a Brand Executive/Manager, I discovered that I had two key passions: a love for small, growing business and for presenting information in the best way possible -writing, arranging etc. My years in the industry had me organizing information from briefs to reports to strategy – my favourite part of the job. In search of heightened personal fulfilment, I resigned recently to run our family business with my husband and to blog.
On the family business side, I found myself writing for all manner of reasons – from editorials to advertorials to developing business proposals to prepping interviews to designing graphics. My passions welled up again, this was how LifestyleHues came to be.
I help entrepreneurs who cannot afford an AD/PR agency (there are many of those) figure out their brand, from their logos and brand guidelines to their brochures, fliers, banners to their websites and social media content and press releases and so much more.
My blog www.lifestylehues.com is a fun, lifestyle & inspirational platform where I discuss topical social issues with a slightly eccentric perspective and it’s the main hub of what I do. You will find most of my work there.
I’m also a New Voices columnist with YNaija and a contributor to BellaNaija.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose this path?
Being a female entrepreneur is just like being a male entrepreneur, with a few tweaks. I’m a recent entrepreneur and so I see the contrast between the corporate world and being on your own. You need to remember to be disciplined with your time because it’s what you put in that you will get back. You can’t hide behind a desk like when you’re working for someone.
I chose this path because I wanted to work in an environment where my gifts could find full expression and my every working moment was fully aligned with my purpose.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
The very essence of what I do is innovative. Unlike the Brick and Mortar type agencies which you find out there, my set up is more liberal and certainly more affordable for my clients. Someone has to take care of the young brands too! They can’t handle all their marketing themselves.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
Won’t really say I’m a success yet… still going. My tenacity, consistency and curiosity have kept me on a rising path I would say.
Are there any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face generally?
Well, the most obvious challenge is the fact that the female, when she starts a family as most desire to, has a very personal struggle on her hands. She has to fight for her rights to be as driven as anyone at her career. The odds are usually stacked against her though, she has to think of her family, especially her kids first, she has to ensure the home front is in some form of order. Those things take their toll, honestly, but you need to pick yourself up daily and pursue your dreams and not let them be buried under the rubble of pregnancies, recoveries, weanings, child care, family meals, homework, house work and so on. Your dreams are as valid as your man’s.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
- Principles of value as regards time and money.
- A strong work ethic
- Passion: If you’re not passionate about it, don’t bother.
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
I’ve got Lifestyle Hues because I wanted to pursue a line of work that I’m passionate about and I see so many talented persons and their business not getting enough attention because they don’t have a strong brand or aren’t presented in the best light possible. I hope to help them with this. This is the same reason why I took up managing the family business as well.
What keeps you going when the odds are against you?
The fact that I feel I’ve lost a lot of time and I see a lot of people younger than me making a change in the world. I want something to be positively different in my environment just because of me.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
- I plan to employ more people in a more permanent capacity than I’ve done so far.
- I plan to have brokered even more business collaborations than ever (don’t want to share specifics yet).
- I plan to bring my quota into the Fashion industry.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
- They need to focus and take their dreams even more seriously than the men folk.
- They need to fight to keep following those dreams.
- They need to be business-like in all their dealings.