Obviously, the money I was making from corporate training was not enough because I never advertised. I realised that I needed help otherwise I was going to dilly-dally forever and keep postponing my final date of resignation. Here is what I did: I spoke to a few people I knew who had ‘been there, and had done that.’ They all gave very helpful advice on the various options I had at my disposal. One of them, Yawa Hansen-Quao, is actually a Business Coach. She asked me, “What is your monetisation plan?” I had none, even though I needed one badly. She gave me an assignment to come up with a strategy. Yawa was really helpful in that she introduced me to some amazing networks as well as guide me through drafting a winning strategy. I scribbled my first draft down and asked God to give me a sign before I did anything. I was really desperate with a burning desire to quit my job. I needed to be absolutely sure that God was the one asking me to leave, because as a child of God I know with Him in my boat, I will smile through the rain, the sunshine and the storm.
One day, I followed my husband on a trip so that while he was in meetings, I could spend time alone to pray and think, away from my children. I prayed, I thought and oh, I ate jollof! Haha! By evening, I had made my decision and finalized my strategy. I had a discussion with my husband when he returned, and I was fortunate to have his support (Bless him!).
When I returned to work, I finally did the right thing; I tendered in my resignation. Trust me, it felt so good! To make things a bit more interesting, two days before my last day of work as I was getting ready to hand over, I received a call from an unknown number. In fact, I wanted to ignore the call but I realised that same number had called my other mobile line earlier. I thought, “This must be important.” Apparently, the caller was the Human Resource Director of a 5-star hotel, an international brand. She informed me about a vacancy which was literally to-die-for and asked if I was interested. What you would have done, if this were you? Well, I humbly declined because I finally knew what I needed to do and getting another job was not going to help my strategy. You see, I needed freedom to control what I did with my time. I needed to be able to move around to market my brand on and off air. I needed to be available to attend some of the exciting events home and away. Working for someone else 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. everyday gave me very little extra time to do these. I could not leave one job just to jump into another even if the salary was way more than I was getting at my old job.
One of the most important parts of my strategy is continuous personal development. Like I said, I have never run a serious business before unless selling cocoa drink and tangerine when I was a child counts! Thus, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to learn. If there is a seminar on entrepreneurship or leadership, count me in! If there is a book, please I want it! In fact, a friend was kind enough to send me an amazing book, “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. Another amazing sister-from-another-mother, Rosalin Abigail Kyere-Nartey of Rosak Consult, also told me about the YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) leadership course. I quickly applied and got accepted. The experience I had? Well, I will share it another time. But I can tell you this for now, it was definitely worth the 5 weeks away from my family.
To the glory of God, now I have two businesses. Corporate Training Solutions focuses on helping organisations improve their productivity by training and developing their employees. My team and I have trained over 600 participants from various organisations on customer service skills. This is where we make money to put food on the table as well as fund the activities of The Fabulous Woman Network, my second baby.
Since we started The Fabulous Woman Network, we have organised various events for a total of over 450 women, we have shared over 120 inspirational personal stories about women and helped 5 women start their own businesses in collaboration with Ambek Investment Limited. I have also spoken at several events most of which have female audiences and have had the opportunity to inspire others to believe they can be anyone God created them to be.
Now I am sure you are wondering:
- Has the journey been smooth? Absolutely not!
- Have there been times when I had cried because things were just not going well? Yes!
- Do I still have self-doubt and fears of going broke? Yes!
- Am I always this confident? No!
- Do I let the fear and self-doubt stop me from moving forward?
No! Because if I stop moving forward, then I will most definitely go completely flat-bottom broke! You see, I just keep moving with my strategy. I have plan A, B, C…up to Z. And I keep learning.
I strongly believe that women should come together to share experiences, learn, network and collaborate, hence all our activities are geared towards this course. One such is our Executive Strategy Retreat with Yawa Hansen-Quao coming off later this year: every woman needs a strategy for success. And for this reason, we are partnering with some of the best Business Coaches to help women strategize for success.
If you are reading this today and you know it is time for you to move on, then you need a strategy. Whether it is to focus on your own business, to find a new job, take a trip abroad or to lose weight; you need a strategy before you move. By all means, if you need help strategizing, ask for help from a Business Coach like I did.
I would not advise you to simply get up and quit, have a Plan A, B, C up to Z and once you hop onto your “strategy train”, just keep moving. Only take a pause to rest, think and review your strategy. Strategize and move to free yourself from the trap.
Ama Duncan is a Fabulous Child of God, Wife, Mother, Corporate Trainer, Public Speaker, Writer, Radio Panelist, Founder of Corporate Training Solutions and The Fabulous Woman Network.
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