Simi Esiri, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of SCHICK Magazine recently celebrated the first year anniversary of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine, created specially for the African woman. Simi shared some lessons she has learnt in her first year of business and her 10 year journey in fashion world.
Be intentional: It’s so important to be very aware of yourself and your environment. Be very intentional about your goals and timelines, track yourself. I remember when I wanted to launch SCHICK Magazine, I set a deadline, it wasn’t easy because I had just become a new mum but I held myself accountable by telling the people closest to me and buried my head in planning for a great magazine.
Follow your passion, don’t follow money: When I started SCHICK, I didn’t think about money, of course having a business making money almost immediately is good, but I strongly believe following your passions, will serve you better in the long run. Running a business takes up more than 70% of your life, find something that is worth the time, grit and commitment. Money WILL come. Just remember an “overnight success” story usually has at least 5 years of full commitment, not necessarily chasing money.
Make good connections: It’s not always about networking, sometimes it’s about making good connections with like-minded people at. Don’t limit making conversations with people to only when you’re at a work function, it could be a wedding, the salon, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, in a lift. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation, walk up to the person of interest and talk! And yes, you may have tried it several times and it didn’t work, try again! The more comfortable you are, the more this will come naturally to you.
Keep asking questions: When I first started SCHICK, I went around and visited as many industry professionals as I could and asked so many questions. I was curious why the publishing industry in Nigeria, wasn’t doing as well as it could, the information I got was priceless! Today those “random” questions helped shape the way we do business and has helped inform our decisions for our target audience at SCHICK. Nigeria has its peculiarities, engage as many people as you can, ask questions to do your bit at cracking it!
Pay close attention to your choice of mentors: I have a ton of mentors! Mentors are not only the people you have access to, it could be someone you admire and watch closely, for example, PepsiCo’s CEO, Indra Nooyi is my mentor although, she doesn’t even know who I am, don’t be afraid to pick from such leaders. When I started I had a particular mentor, who told me that we can’t get paid adverts in our first of year business, well we did. At least more than 10 businesses have trusted us to push their campaign messages through our platform. So, it’s very important to pick your mentors wisely and sieve out all information you’re given. Find people who have the life you want in 20 years, study them and implement their strategies in your life.