Welcome to ‘Women We Love’ – our weekly column where we celebrate women doing amazing things in their areas of influence. From the tech & the fashion world to social activism & politics, these women, we think, are definitely crush-worthy. Catch up on all our crushes here!
Today, we shine the light on ‘the bright light’ – Adaora Mbelu!
…. is a Bright Light, Dreamterpreter, and Purpose Driver. She is the founder of Lumination Global Network, an organization on a mission to empower individuals and organizations to live a life of purpose. She is also the author of “This Thing Called Purpose”, a book that helps people understand the true essence of living with and through purpose.
As a brand developer, she has worked on projects with several multinational companies, SME’s, and individuals. Some of these brands include Google, Guinness, Johnny Walker, Microsoft, Pernod Ricard, Pepsi Co amongst others.
She has worked as a content manager on the UNWTO Conference, Nigeria Centenary Awards, and International Conference On Peace & Security. Plus, she was also the Project Manager for Freemantle Licensed TV Shows, Nigerian Idol and Nigeria’s Got Talent, where she managed the business, brand, and production of the shows. Adaora was the Corporate Communications Manager for OSMI during the 2010 World Cup, managing all communications on the broadcast rights for Nigeria. Prior to moving to Nigeria, she was a Credit Analyst at Citigroup USA, where she received awards for organizational efficiency and team spirit.
We had a chat with Adaora on how she started, her work and what’s next;
Tell us how it all started for you?
Growing up, one of my biggest strengths was bringing people together to do great work. I consider myself a bridge builder. Moving back to Nigeria 12 years ago, I realized that there are a lot creative doing amazing and impactful work but they didn’t know how to tell their story and monetize their craft. My background in economics and entrepreneurship allows me to have a creative and analytical mind which allows me to bridge that gap.
What challenges have helped shape your business?
One of the biggest challenges is the environment. Living in Nigeria as a business owner is tough. There are many challenges we face on a daily basis from Infrastructure to people and not being able to control a lot of things. However, this has helped me to improvise and innovate. Nigeria has a way of creating that automatic resilience because you have to find a solution to your problem.
What are the tips you will give a budding entrepreneur?
You need self-awareness. It is important to know who you are before you set up a business. You need to have vision, patience, consistency and grit.
What strategies did you use to scale your business?
The first thing I did was knowing my strengths and weaknesses. When you know your weaknesses, you can get people to fill in for you in those areas. Also, there is a need to productize your business.
What lessons have you learnt from 2020?
I’m leaving 2020 with so many lessons and one of them is connecting more with people. Understanding that people are the backbone of everything has been a major lesson for me this year. The year has also taught me to appreciate people more and be more present.
Do you believe there is such a thing as work-life balance and how do you navigate it?
I think balance is a myth. However, on my journey, one of the things that have been very important to me is quality over quantity. Every moment I spend doing any activity, I try to be present in that moment.
Do you believe entrepreneurship is for everyone?
Absolutely, I think everybody has the tendency to be entrepreneurial. I think that every person was created to solve a particular problem. It’s just left to us to find the problem. Entrepreneurship is something everyone has the ability to do. However, starting a business is a different story. Not every entrepreneur will start a business. Everyone can’t be a business owner but I think everyone has entrepreneurial tendencies.
What is your worst day in business?
So far, I haven’t had the worst day in business. I think that’s because of perspective. I either have an opportunity to learn or to grow.
What is your Key purpose in life?
I am a bridge builder and dream interpreter, very comfortable with being a pillar for other people to build upon. Helping people make decisions to be their best self and put out their best work into the world.