CEO HACKS from Araba: Being a Multi-Passionate Business Owner "Sometimes the Universe has other plans for your business and if you’re too attached to your own plans, you may fail to spot opportunities." Araba Ofori

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Please tell us 3 interesting things about you. 

I’ve written a book – How to Start a Side Hustle – available on Amazon

I created a first of its kind Adinkra Oracle Deck through my business, Ashe Wellness

I studied in India for 1 month to become a yoga teacher

What’s the one thing that’s helped you to start multiple businesses in a year, much more in a challenging one like 2020? 

I would say it’s having a good network around me. I have a really supportive group of friends. And I partnered with other entrepreneurs and creatives that I could bounce ideas off of.

Starting multiple ventures, what helps to keep you and your team focused? 

I currently work as a team of one, drawing on support from partners and suppliers when it’s needed. Staying focused can be difficult, especially with so many different projects happening at the same time. What helps me to stay focused is visualizing the outcome that I am working towards. This provides motivation and direction, and helps me stay on course even when things get tough.

Is being multi-passionate a myth? 

It’s absolutely not a myth. In my career so far I’ve worked in data analytics, marketing, HR, sales and events in industries ranging from legal to automotive. I’m now a healer, coach and writer, and founder of my own businesses. It’s my interest in so many different areas and my ability to use transferable skills that has helped me get to where I am today. We often get told that having our fingers in too many pies is a bad thing and that we should focus on one area but I think it’s more important to do what feels right for you. Some people are specialists; the idea of working on different projects and having varying career interests stresses them out. They’d rather focus on one role and continue to grow and develop within that. Other people are endlessly learning new skills and researching different industries or career paths, and that’s okay too. 

You moved from the UK to Ghana. Do you think that gave you an unfair advantage for your launch?

When I launched my businesses, I had already been back in Ghana for almost 2 years, and when I first moved to Ghana, it was totally unplanned. In other words, I didn’t start my business with pounds in the bank so there was no advantage in that sense. What did give me an advantage is that I’ve always had a side hustle. When I was in school and university, I had internships and part time jobs. When I graduated and started working, I also started a blog and ran networking events. Later in my career, I started a side hustle business. So by the time I was ready to launch my businesses this year, I had years of experience in managing my time and energy for multiple projects, and was familiar with juggling all the different aspects of running a business.

For Ashe Wellness, another advantage was being selected for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur Programme. This gave me access to knowledge and a community of other entrepreneurs, which helped in the business planning stage.

Did you create a marketing plan before launch?

For Ashe Wellness, I wrote a business plan which included a marketing plan but as soon as Corona hit, neither were relevant anymore. For Self-Care Sunday, I didn’t write a full marketing plan, just a list of actions. As my background is in marketing, I find it easy to run marketing campaigns on a day-to-day basis as I tend to have a longer term plan in mind without the need to get in down onto paper. That said, I definitely recommend writing a marketing plan for anyone starting a business who doesn’t have a background in marketing. Do your research, find out what channels your customers are on and plan how you will cut through the noise to reach them.

In your journey to launch, what has been your biggest lesson?

The importance of agility. Sometimes the Universe has other plans for your business and if you’re too attached to your own plans, you may fail to spot opportunities.

What do you think are the 3 most Important things for a new business owner to consider before launch?
  1. Finance – how much money do you need and where will you get it from?
  2. Realistic – be clear on your vision but also be realistic. The vision is what you’re working towards, it doens’t have to be where you start from. In my opinion, it’s much better to start now, with a scaled down version of what you want to do rather than waiting and waiting because it’s not ‘perfect’ yet.
  3. Ask for help – my friends have been invaluable to both businesses. I’ve also used the help of volunteers for Self-Care Sunday which made a huge difference. Even if you can’t afford to hire staff yet, there are people who will be able to support you, even if just by sharing your flyers with their network.
What was your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it? 

I launched an events based business in January and the world went into lockdown in March. I mentioned earlier that sometimes the Universe has other plans for us. I listened and worked on some products instead, moving the focus of the business in a slightly different direction and so far, it’s working out!

What was your biggest fear? Did it materialize? Was it as you expected?

My biggest fear with both businesses was that people wouldn’t get it. I knew it was an irrational fear but I worried I would put all this work in and nobody would buy or attend events. Of course, that didn’t happen because I believe that the work I do is a calling. My Ancestors wouldn’t be guiding me to do this work if nobody would benefit from it. But these fears do continue to crop up every so often. I just have to remind myself of my vision, recall times in the past when I’ve succeeded and stay open for whatever is supposed to happen.

What piece of advice will you give to someone who wants to launch a business in 2021?

I would say, focus on your mindset. You can have all the ideas, funding and plans but if you don’t work on your mindset everyday, it will be difficult to handle challenges when they come up. And, they WILL come up. So work on your mindset. Make sure you have a good way of dealing with stress, focus on self care and have people around you who help you to maintain that positive mindset.

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