Lagos: the gift that keeps on giving!
I never got round to sharing about ActualiseLagos, the most rewarding of all ActualiseHQ events yet. The vibe and the energy was different! A microcosm of entrepreneurs eager-to-learn and implement afrocentric business strategies. Truth be told, when I walked into the room and saw people twice my age, keenly waiting with their pen & pads, I quickly sped back out to calm down and pray lol. But really, it was amazing!
I came to Lagos to give back to a place that has given me so much wisdom and gusto; only for Lagos to best me at my own game. I left with more gems that I will always hold dear and apply as I continue my sojourn:
- Ja ara e: (Translation: Don’t be sleeping on a bicycle haha) If you’re not street-smart, you might still end up at your destination but your pocket will be a bit lighter than when you embarked on your journey. This is not to say that people are out to swindle you out of some money. Nigerians are some of the most honest people I know. However, you have to be cautious of the fact that some systems just cannot be relied upon. This can be a rude shock for people who don’t reside in the country. Using a system that delivers in 2 days? Order it at least a week ahead. Hiring a videographer? Get them to upload raw footage asap otherwise you might end up with no video. Real life story that I can finally laugh about now. Maybe I’ll tell you more about it someday. But for now, ja ara e!
- Good Branding is good but it is not equal to Good Marketing: I love branding! It is in the heart of everything I do and as a self-diagnosed-and-on-the-verge-of-recovering-perfectionist, I am so attached to my projects that I seldom unveil the collateral items for marketing in good time. As long as it looks great, ey? Lagos taught me otherwise. I mean, we were still oversubscribed for the event three times over, thankfully, but it could have easily gone left. It took Lagos to finally understand this point.
- African problems need African solutions: After my session on Branding for SMEs, I was inundated with questions from the audience about how to make things work for them in their own niches. Listening to those questions and dissecting the pressure points from which they emanated, it continually dawned on me that “no size fits all”. For instance, a young Nigerian who is trying to start a side hustle does not need to have a full branding suite; he can start off with a Google site for free and social media; while self-curating value on canva using his phone. And this is applicable to every aspect of every sector – we cannot just adapt western systems and expect them to troubleshoot & solve our nations’ issues.
*in the voice of a Primary 4 pupil* With these few points of mine, I hope have been able to convince you, and not confuse you, that this will not repeat itself.
Lagos is the place to be! I will most definitely keep polling resources and value to make sure more people know better and do better. Who knows what set of lessons Lagos will give me next?