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Tact and diplomacy are skills centered around an understanding of other people and being sensitive to their opinions, beliefs, ideas, and feelings. 

Effective use of such skills comes from being able to sense accurately what another person is feeling or thinking at any given time and then responding in such a way as to avoid bad feelings or awkwardness, whilst at the same time asserting or reflecting your own ideas and feelings back in a delicate and well-meaning fashion.


All people and all communication situations are unique.  Developing effective tact and diplomacy skills requires practice and good judgment.  These skills are not limited to use in formal communications, such as in the workplace: tact and diplomacy are also important when developing and maintaining friendships, romantic relationships, and relationships in the family.


STRATEGIES FOR TACT AND DIPLOMACY

Understanding what is the most appropriate behavior and in any given situation can be problematic; this is due to the unpredictable nature of communication and of human relations generally.


Sometimes the most appropriate action may be to withhold your opinion, or it may be possible to introduce an idea, or favored outcome, in such a way that the other person can take ownership of it.  In other situations it may be best to take a direct stance, stating exactly what you want and how you intend to achieve it.


We all know people who are capable of talking their way out of difficult situations or who are more likely to be successful at negotiating.  Although a certain amount of luck may be attributed to isolated incidents, long-term success is based on strong communication skills, planning, self-control, confidence, and emotional intelligence.


The following strategies are designed to help you think about how you can plan for and use tact and diplomacy effectively:


When you’re planning a potentially difficult conversation you should first focus on knowing what you want to achieve: what is your favored outcome?


Write it down and think about your reasons. Try to take a step back from your personal opinions and think about the facts surrounding the situation.


See our page Communicating in Difficult Situations for more.


Consider and write down what the objections might be from others.


Think carefully about your answers to their concerns; demonstrate that you have considered their opinions or arguments.


Do not enter into negotiations in an angry or stressed way. 


Try to remain calm and keep an open mind. Find out the facts, as well as what is and what is not possible before you react.


When communicating, listen to what the other person (or people) has to say.


Watch for non-verbal communication, such as body language, and their tone of voice to help you understand their message.  Hold back your own opinions and ideas until you have had the chance to understand the other person point-of-view, and then plan your responses carefully to fit with the feedback you are receiving.


Negotiate. 


If what you seek is in conflict with the other person’s ideas, you may have to discuss how sacrifices can be made to provide a better result for both of you in the long run.  Mutual sacrifice is usually seen as more favorably than one-sided sacrifice.  Aim to reach a compromise which results in a win-win situation.


Strengthen your argument by offering time-scales of when you foresee the benefit of your proposals being reached.


Be precise in giving figures and dates. Favor logic and fact over personal opinion. Have something written or drawn out in advance, if it helps.


If possible turn statements into questions.  Rather than directly voicing your opinion, turn your statement into a question for the other person to think about. 


This not only leads somebody to think along the same lines as you but also makes room for discussion of what interests you and what may potentially benefit both parties.  This is particularly useful if you are not entirely sure what you are able to achieve or exactly what is needed to overcome a problem.  This strategy often allows for more exploration of options – a more open approach than just stating your opinion.


If the conversation gets heated, try to give yourself room to respond in ways that help rather than inflame a situation.


If you can, catch yourself at the moment your gut reaction wants to take over: take a breath and give yourself time. Tell the other person that you need to think about what they just said, rather than feel obliged to answer immediately. 


Take control of a situation rather than becoming out of control and risk saying or doing something you may later regret. Taking control of social situations in a way that leaves both parties feeling comfortable with the outcome is an important part of showing tact and diplomacy.


Keep an eye on the prize! 


Keep your preferred outcome in mind, try not to get distracted, go off on a tangent or get bogged down in irrelevant details.  Remember to be assertive – being tactful and diplomatic does not mean bowing to pressure or giving up on what you want.

Source.

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Have you heard or business plans? You most definitely have and it's sad to think that most new businesses these days jump straight into chasing very short term income than making plans that would land them huge winnings and better investors.

This is why a lot of people have continuously argued that Business plans are dead — or are they? For many entrepreneurs, the business plan is an outmoded document that gets created mainly for the benefit of VCs and bank loan officers. Bootstrappers rarely think they need one to get by. They need it, we all do.

But the fact is that a business plan — even just a one-pager with a few financial projections — can be a valuable internal tool.  A roadmap for even the smallest or earliest-stage idea. It can foster alignment, set the tone for the business and even help you craft your brand messaging.  While thinking up a mad business idea start-up, keep in check that you'd be needing a well-written business plan. 


Top 5 reasons why you need a business plan

1. To avoid big mistakes: The last thing you want to do is work on your start-up for a year, only to realize you were doomed to fail from the start. Many founders learn the hard way that they didn't set aside enough capital to reach their goals, took on partners with the wrong skills and resources, or don't have a viable way to make money. Developing and sharing a business plan can help ensure that you're sprinting down the right path.


2. To counterbalance your emotions: At times during your start-up experience, you'll be manic—so passionate about your ideas you lose sight of reality. At other times, you'll be overwhelmed by doubt, fear, or exhaustion. When your emotions get the best of you, having a business plan lets you step back, and take an objective look at what you are doing and why what you know for a fact and what you are trying to figure out.


3. To make sure everyone's on the same page: Chances are, you are not building a company by yourself. Ideally, you'll have partners, so you can launch faster, smarter, and with less need to pay employees or suppliers. Even if you don't have partners, you'll have family, friends, and advisers involved. A business plan helps get everyone involved in your start-up heading in the same direction.


4. To develop a game plan: At a start-up, execution is everything. That means you have to set priorities, establish goals, and measure performance.  You also need to identify the key questions to answer, like "What features do customers really want?," "Will customers buy our product and how much will they pay?," and "How can we attract customers in a way that's cost-effective and scalable?"  These are all things you'll address during the business planning process.


5. To raise capital. If you raise or borrow money—even from friends and family—you'll need to communicate your vision in a clear, compelling way. A good business plan will help you do just that. An October 2007 study by Babson College found that start-ups with a business plan raised twice as much capital as those without a business plan within the first 12 months.

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Life, they say has a lot of secrets, some bad others good but the biggest secret in life is that there is no actual big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get anywhere if you are willing to work. This is a popular quote from Oprah Winfrey.


We’ve seen different lists about people who have amassed wealth out of ideas, but this short article highlights a few of those who have succeeded without formal education. You may call them dropouts, we call them visionaries, inventors, innovators, and ultimately billionaires. Here is a list, in no respective order, of 7 African CEOs who have displayed immense courage and drive to overcome their seeming lack of formal education to build reputable businesses.



Orji Uzor Kalu, Nigeria


Kalu was once suspended from the University of Maiduguri for participating in a riot against the then Education Minister. He is now an entrepreneur and chairman of SLOK Holding and Daily Sun Publishing, to mention a few. He once served as Governor of Abia State for 8 years. The assiduous politician when later pardoned by the school, refused on grounds of solidarity with his comrades that were not pardoned, sticking to his guns.  With about $35 to his name, which he borrowed from his mother, he began trading palm oil, buying the oil from Nigerian Eastern parts and reselling it in the Northern regions. His business continued to grow rapidly. Kalu established Slok Holdings, a conglomerate that would consist of a number of successful companies, such as the Ojialex furniture co., Slok Nigeria Ltd., Slok United Kingdom, and others.  Kalu also later got a degree from Harvard University and the University of Maiduguri presented him with an Honorary Doctorate.


Anas Sefrioui, Morocco

Anas Sefrioui is considered Morocco’s third-richest person. This real estate magnate’s worth is estimated at $1.3 billion. Anas is also the CEO of Addoha Group. At a young age, he opted out of college to work with his father on a project to create a popular clay for washing a person’s body and hair. Producing this substance would allow Sefrioui to accumulate the knowledge and basic business skills needed to run his business empire in later years. He was able to gather the money needed to form a real estate development group in 1988. Building on that venture, he earned his first billions in 1995 when he was asked to build more than 2000 geared-to-income homes that received subsidization by the government of the late King Hassan II of Morocco.  Today, his affordable housing stint has become a guide to real estate development in the United Arab Emirates.


Ashish J. Thakkar, Uganda

Ashish is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Mara Group. He started his first company at the age of 15. In 1996, Ashish borrowed $6,000 to start his first IT Company where he bought and sold computers. Brimming with confidence, he chose to drop out of school and concentrate on his business which at that point, merely constituted of buying and selling computers and floppy disks; from Dubai to Uganda.  In an interview with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, Ashish stated concerning those early days, “I didn’t have enough working capital to do cargoes and shipments. I would travel to Dubai every weekend. Fill my suitcase with IT stuff. Pay my taxes on Monday. Sell Tuesday through Friday. Get my cash on Friday…That was my cycle for six months. And then I was thinking, “There are so many people coming to Dubai to do exactly the same thing. Why don’t I set up a base to help them? We then set up an office in Dubai when I was 15 in 1996 to actually supply IT hardware into African countries. And the rest is history.”

His company, Mara Group, a 16-year-old pan-African multi-sector business conglomerate with operations in 26 countries spans four continents. Mara’s current businesses operate in a broad range of sectors including information technology (IT) services, business process outsourcing (BPO), a multi-faceted mobile-enabled online platform, agriculture, real estate, hospitality, packaging, and asset management.

Mara Group has received global recognition for its achievements and contributions not only in Africa but also worldwide. In 2010, he was also appointed as a World Economic Forum Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum.


Johann Rupert, South Africa 

Billionaire tycoon Johann Rupert is the chairman of Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont, as well as of the South Africa-based company Remgro. He grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He gained admission to study Economics and Company Law at the University of Stellenbosch but dropped out of the university to follow the money. The rest is history. Rupert served his business apprenticeship in New York, where he worked for two years. He then returned to South Africa in 1979 and founded Rand Merchant Bank of which he was CEO. He started the Small Business Development Corporation in same year (over 600, 000) jobs created since inception.

Described as “reclusive” by the Financial Times and Barron’s, Rupert rarely grants interviews and shuns public events. Without getting any glamorous education, he was able to predict a world economic crisis in 2006 earning him the name, “Rupert the Bear” by the Financial Times. In 2004, Stellenbosch University awarded him an honorary doctorate in economics and in 2008 he was awarded another honorary doctorate in commerce from Nelson Mandela University.


Cosmas Maduka, Nigeria

Cosmas is Chairman/CEO of Coscharis Group of Companies and sole distributor for BMW in Nigeria.  At age 4, he lost his father, which took him into poverty. However, it marked his sojourn into business. Young Cosmas reportedly hawked bean cake (akara) to make ends meet. Like Bill Gates, he was not a dullard but had to withdraw from elementary school because he could not afford to pay fees. Cosmas was sent to his uncle, where he served as automobile apprentice. He didn’t bother to go back to school and decided to fully go into enterprise.  His first major business venture went from 300, 000 to millions within a year. In the early ’80s, humble Cosmas incorporated Coscharis Motors and he was fortunate that his company was the seventh company, among 10 motor companies, that were granted import license by the Ministry of Trade in the 80’s because ‘Coscharis’ sounded like a Greek name. The company is now a multimillion dollar venture and has continued to grow.

See full list.

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Some young people feel attaching CEO to their name is the real deal and a must-accomplished task, without really understanding the sacrifices and hard work involved in it.

Damilola Jegede understands these sacrifices and hard work so well that its become a part of him. The co-founder, head developer of Naira Box and the CEO of SWIPE discloses in an interview with Sunnewsdaily, the long hours he spent in developing himself & skills.


Damilola Rafael Jegede is an innovator with a strong passion for solving problems in the FIN TECH space, a self-taught programmer and a devoted CEO.


His production, Naira Box, is a digital wallet which enables you to shop without the burden and risk of carrying cash. As the world evolves, innovation is bound to occur. Damilola and his team poked about the one thing people would need the most and created Naira Box. 

It was founded by Tokunbo Adetona, Damilola Jegede and Jay Chikezie.


 Damilola Jegede, a financial technology expert, has developed several mobile applications for banks in Nigeria.


In an interview with sunnews, when asked about his education, he explained that he never pursued a university degree.


Well, I never chased a university degree. Once I was done with high school, I spoke to my parents that I wanted to venture into technology and they supported me. They bought me my first computer which I started learning with.  I spent 2 years  learning how to code, so I worked from 9pm till 9am regularly and I learnt to code on my own.
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Sometimes business owners think about competition as the "big, bad wolf" who is only after their customers and is eroding their profit margins.

In reality, the same people you are in competition with can turn out to be one of your most valuable assets. You may not know it immediately but that lady you're always trying so hard to sign in 15mins earlier than may be the reason you're suddenly punctual and so you are in your desk the moment Mr. Investor steps in.

As much as we always feel the need to pick a rival at work, in the family, school, etc. it's also very important to know the importance of competition in our lives. If Mr. A cared less about how he should address customers, you wouldn't try so hard to impress them and you'd most definitely not get that referral you've been looking for.

Doug and Polly White, Guest writers on entrepreneur posited that business competition could be healthy if energy spent in fighting is redirected/recycled into the right channel, and thus 5 ways to promote healthy competition.

1. Teach and promote healthy conflict. 

Competition can create conflict between and among employees. Jockeying for limited resources may cause tension. However, when a team's members understand how to have a healthy debate and share their opinions openly, competition becomes a catalyst for innovation and improvement. Teaching healthy conflict is the first step.

The leadership team of a mechanical firm we worked with met weekly but didn’t accomplish much. Team members didn’t voice their true opinions or hold one other accountable for accomplishing tasks. Members resisted making any negative comments that might cause conflict with their teammates.

To turn this around, we used the lessons from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni to teach the group how to have healthy conflict. It didn’t happen overnight, but the team has since broken out of its artificial harmony and is much more productive.


2. Reward your best performers. 

Nothing will demotivate your best employees more than feeling that you don’t appreciate excellence. If you reward all your employees in the same manner, why should people work hard to differentiate themselves? Rewarding people equally, regardless of performance, will eventually create an environment of mediocracy.

We worked with a large government institution. Its compensation system was designed to reward “exceptional” performers at a higher-than-average rate and one higher than that given below-average performers. However, when we looked at the performance ratings, we found that more than 95 percent of the employees were rated “exceptional.”

Obviously, the system did nothing to motivate top performance. Instead, management rated almost all of the more than 500 employees exceptional, so that the employees would receive the top increase each year. We worked with management to learn how they might give more accurate ratings. In addition, we met with all employees to talk about the new expectations and changes to the system.


3. Set stretch goals.

Your employees should compete not just with others in your organization or your organization’s competitors, they should compete against their previous efforts. Continuously raising the bar and setting loftier goals will help your employees be their best.

We work with a small service firm. Its employees have grown steadily over the past five years. When we became involved with them, we challenged them to push themselves to achieve higher revenue levels. They came back with true stretch goals. We then helped them put together a plan to make the goals a reality.

By the end of the year, they had missed their stretch goals by only about 5 percent. However, they still reached the highest revenue level in their firm’s history and have continued to push for higher levels each year since then.


4. Give honest performance feedback. 

The greatest gift you can give to your employees is your honest opinion of their work. Telling an employee when he or she does well or else miss the mark will increase performance. We have written about this previously. 

Employees need both rewards and consequences for performing well. An environment that is skewed heavily as overly positive or negative will result in dysfunction. We have found that most employees want to be recognized, contributing members of a winning team. To understand how they contribute and achieve such recognition, they need feedback.

We worked with a director of a non-profit who tended to practice conflict-avoidance. She could not give negative feedback to employees. Instead, she would complain to senior volunteers about the things her employees would do that she didn’t like. Sometimes she would get those volunteers involved in passing along her performance suggestions to the employees.

However, most employees had no idea that they were not performing to the director’s expectations. By the time we got involved, the situation with one of the employees was too damaged to save. Despite our efforts to repair the relationship, in the end, we helped the director to terminate this person. Since then, we have worked with the director to improve her conflict-resolution skills. She is making progress.


5. Find opportunities to play.

 Most of us have participated in some kind of sports activity. Whether it is Little League or a pick-up basketball game, games teach us how to have fun competing, how to win gracefully and how to lose with honor.

We have a client who created a series of games to boost healthy competition among his employees. The games take place each year over a two-month period. The activities range from darts, ping-pong and air hockey to golf and basketball. Employees sign up for the activities of their choice. They keep score and post the results for all to see.

At the close of the game series competition, the owner awards the winner a trophy at a companywide meeting. The games are an event that the employees look forward to each year.

Competition, then, is likely important to the success of your organization. To promote healthy competition at your company, follow the five strategies above. You can reap the benefits of competition without destroying teamwork and collaboration.

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Nigerian cross dresser,  Okuneye Idris Olarenwaju popularly known in social media sphere as Bobrisky is fully ready to ride the '2019 money train' as he takes giant financial strides.

Having began the year with a multi million ambassador deal, he moves ahead by gifting himself with a beautiful brand new Mercedes Benz.

Bobrisky, a Nigerian internet personality, cross dresser and skillful entrepreneur knows how to get the kind of deal and attention he wants.

The star personality with an IG follower of 1 million shows off her beauty on her Instagram page and her 'squad' moves to congratulate her on their separate page.


First to congratulate the self-acclaimed male barbie was Tontoh Dike. She posted a picture of the white Benz and captioned it;


@tontolet  -  Congratulations my friend!!

Much more to come!!
Happy for you Honey
@bobrisky222 this is the only kinda noise I wanna be hearing biko Read More

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Competition is an inevitable social norm and can be so very frustrating especially when you're a start-up. Competition though is healthy for business as it prompts you to do better and magnet more customers/clients than your business rival.

But if you want to dominate the market and win, one of the most vital things to do is to tangibly define your distinctive business proposition.

Make sure that you give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than your competitors. Your unique selling proposition should be obvious – no one should have to ask.

However, where little distinguishes your product or service from your competition, as a business leader you need to make sure that your core processes and strategy set you apart from the rest.

Here are 5 easy steps:


1. Identify and solve the pain points of your customers.

Take a survey and list all the pain points of your customers. It is essential to ask open-ended questions to find exactly what your customers want while using your products or services.

The key here is to provide solutions to the prospects and supply them what they need as opposed to selling them what you want to sell. You only need to fulfill the need, not "sell" anything. Your product or service will automatically start to sell more the moment you fill the void that your competitors are lacking.


2. Build your own niche to have more room for your business.

A market that's already crowded has less scope for expansion. It is essential to offer something unique to your customers in order to build your own niche and minimize the existing competition.

Storytelling is a great way to build your own niche by creatively crafting stories around your products. With the help of stories, you can become a part of your prospect's lifestyle, not remain a stand-alone product or service. Burst offers free stock photography that you can use for creating and promoting stories about your brand across social media.

Specialization always leads to a scalable and successful business. A niche market is reliable, and the prospects are easier to target. Moreover, the customer retention rate is good. Start targeting locally relevant platforms where your target customers might be present and adopt a niche marketing strategy for them.


3. Get the pricing correct.

Perfect pricing strategy revolves around marketing psychology. Before you set your own pricing strategy, it is essential to know the competition. You must identify who is offering the best value for money. The price you set should be standard and must have a competitive advantage.

A great pricing strategy does not always mean lowering the prices of existing products in order to win more customers. Every market is divided into three segments – the lower, middle and upper class. The first step is to identify the class you are targeting. Once you get an answer to that, it will be much easier to set a price that your audiences will love to pay. Sequoia's guide to pricing strategy covers all the tactics to help you set a pricing strategy that can beat your competitors.


4. Make innovation your best friend.

Change is the only thing in this world that is permanent.

Urban Outfitters was able to create a powerful disruptive force because it hired artists instead of businesspeople to manage its stores. They had full freedom in shaping the interiors of their stores, and the result was remarkable. Every Urban Outfitter store was unique, while the competitors' stores all looked the same. The company was able to raise revenues by a massive 500 percent to around $3 billion in the last 10 years.

Innovate with your products and services, and don't hesitate to take the risk. For example, you could add enhanced capabilities to your existing business processes using virtual reality applications like Samsung Gear VR.

Giants like Nokia and BlackBerry were wiped out from the smartphone market because of lack of innovation. Always remember that your competitors are regularly innovating and new entrants are disrupting the marketplace. Your business should innovate often and in a manner that the competition finds hard to follow.


5. Improve your customer service.

People love businesses that provide exceptional customer service. If you delight your customers with great service, you'll make loyal customers who will refer your business to their family and friends.

Hire staff who have a good understanding of your products or services. Ensure that they remain patient and provide satisfying answers to every customer query.

Your staff should greet customers with a pleasing smile and must show gratitude. It is essential to boost the team spirit of your staff and hire team players. Remember to reward the team players, as employees need constant motivation to outperform others.

Your customer care team should always remain courteous and respectful. They must always be responsive to customer queries. They should have a problem-solving approach and always ask for customer feedback. Customer-centric companies are powered by dependable staff who raise the level of customer satisfaction.

It is essential to define your brand, set a USP, and stay ahead of your competition in terms of quality, price and customer service. Moreover, you must talk to your customers so that you can retain them for a lifetime. 

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There’s no doubt that setting up and making money from your own business is one of the most rewarding ways to earn a living and can also be the most challenging. You’re in complete control of your own destiny and the power is in your hands to increase your chances of success and outwit the competition. That also means you’re responsible for all your decisions and for tackling whatever challenges that may arise along the way. So it’s vital you get your business on a firm foundation. Better that, than quit your day job straight away! Here are six key steps you should take.


1. Research your market.

Knowing what the competition knows won’t cut it. Go deep. Dive in to your market and study it like an expert.  

Search Google for keywords that are related to your industry. Don’t get discouraged if the market seems flooded. You can use this to your advantage. It means that it is working for those people and you can make it work for you. There is money there.


2. Set a tangible financial goal.

Successful people always set new goals every six months and always stretch my initial mark. Work backwards and figure out what you need to do each day to get to where you want to be. Set a goal that is a stretch for you and look at the steps you need to take every day to accomplish that goal.


3. When you create a website, make the content shareable.

It’s great to reference some the leaders in your space, but when you are developing your own brand, it’s important to create unique content on a single hub. A site that your readers and viewers can reference back to, for more of your incredible content.


4. Build on a list.

Email is best form of currency online and building an email list is one of the most important tools in building a business. As you develop your shareable site, begin building a list of emails of the people that visit your site. Then continue to provide them with value. This will translate into buyers for the future launch of your product or service.

Adding in an opt-in form on your website and having a place to store your emails are the first two steps to building your email list. Free resources allow you to collect email information on your website. To store email addresses, I recommend the program Aweber, which even offers a free 30-day trial.


5. Launch a sellable product or service.

If you have a financial goal that you’ve set out for the next six months, then you have to sell something. Take the time to figure out the biggest challenges your audience is facing and build your relationship with them. Then create something that solves their problem. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s critical. Your leads come from your list, you convert them to customers, follow up and build a relationship.  


6.  Don't wait to have it all, Start NOW and improve as you go.

A lot of people waste time thinking about making things perfect before they launch their business. The logo, the website, the copy -- everything. This is a waste of time. Sell your product before you make it by offering a pre-order. Focus on getting sales and attracting leads. Successful companies launch all the time and they aren’t perfect.  

Think of Facebook and all the changes and improvements it has made. Start with a small product and always be improving.  Launch online you can sell over and over and not have to trade time for dollars.

The most important thing is to enjoy the process and know that you don’t have to make it perfect. Start today. If not now, when?

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Success in entrepreneurship isn’t just about your idea or your money. Plenty of people have interesting ideas or a lot of cash to throw around — and they never quite manage to find success in their ventures.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, take a step back and evaluate whether or not you have the following characteristics. (And remember: if you don’t have these traits now, you can develop them down the road to improve your chances of success.)


1. Self-Motivation

One of the most important traits of entrepreneurs is self-motivation. When you want to succeed, you need to be able to push yourself. You aren’t answerable to anyone else as an entrepreneur, and that sometimes means that it’s hard to get moving without anyone to make you. You need to be dedicated to your plan and keep moving forward — even if you aren’t receiving an immediate paycheck.


2. Understand What You Offer

As an entrepreneur, you need to know what you offer, and how it fits into the market. Whether it’s a product or a service, you need to know where you fit in. That means you need to know when it’s time to tweak things a little bit. This also includes knowing whether you are high end, middle of the road or bargain. Being able to position yourself and then adjust as needed is an important part of entrepreneurship.


3. Take Risks

Successful entrepreneurs know that sometimes it’s important to take risks. Playing it safe almost never leads to success as a business owner. It’s not about taking just any risk, though. Understanding the calculated risks that are more likely to pay off is an important part of being an entrepreneur. You’ll need to be willing to take a few risks to succeed.


4. Know How to Network

Knowing how to network is an important part of entrepreneurship. Sometimes who you know is an important part of success. Being able to connect with others and recognize partnership opportunities can take you a long way as a business owner. Figure out where to go for networking opportunities and make it a point to learn how to be effective.


5. Basic Money Management Skills and Knowledge

We often think of successful entrepreneurs as “big picture” people who don’t worry so much about managing the day today. And it’s true that you might have an accountant or other team members to help you manage the business. However, if you want to be successful, you should still have basic money management skills and knowledge. Understand how money works so that you know where you stand, and so that you run your business on sound principles.


6. Flexibility

To a certain degree, you need to be flexible as an entrepreneur. Be willing to change as needed. Stay on top of your industry and be ready to adopt changes in processes and product as they are needed. Sometimes, you also need flexibility in your thinking. This is an essential part of problem-solving. You want to be able to find unique and effective solutions to issues.


7. Passion

Finally, successful entrepreneurs are passionate. They feel deeply about their product or service or mission. Passion is what will help you find motivation when you are discouraged and it will drive you forward. Passion is fuel for successful entrepreneurship. If you find yourself losing your passion, that might be the clue that it’s time to move on to something else (that stokes your passion). There are many serial entrepreneurs that create successful businesses, sell them, and then create something else.

As you consider your characteristics, think about how to better develop them to help you become a better entrepreneur.

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28 years old Sonia Mugabo is a stern businesswoman, passionate fashion designer, and fashionista in Rwanda. She is the founder and chief executive officer of the fashion label Sonia Mugabo; SM,  which she named after herself.

Sonia Mugabo (“SM”), is a Rwandan-based fashion brand offering an eclectic mix of African trends and contemporary style. SM offers both bespoke as well as ready to wear designs.

A pioneer of Rwanda’s fashion industry, Sonia is setting the standard for Rwandan fashion in global and local markets. Since its start three years ago, SM has cultivated a loyal following of customers who value the brand’s innovative and high-quality designs.

During her early years, she interned at Teen Vogue in New York. 


In an interview with She Leads Africa, when she was asked: What impact the nascent nature of Rwanda's fashion industry has had on Sonia Mugabo and other fashion businesses in Rwanda, she boldly replied-

Most people in Rwanda wear second-hand clothes imported from Western countries, which basically means Rwanda’s local talent is largely ignored. Luckily, with the aim to encourage consumption of local products, the Rwandan government is putting a stop to the importation of second clothes.
As such, local designers are seizing the opportunity to build brands with a strong Rwandan heritage as well as creating jobs and inspiring young talent to pursue fashion careers. I believe emerging markets, like Rwanda, are centres of innovation since they’re compelled to innovate to solve unique challenges.

Sonia was among the 3 young entrepreneurs to make the 2017 Forbes 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs.

She took to her Twitter handle to share her excitement.

“We made it to the 2017 list of Forbes 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa."

As of March 2017, she owned two branded stores in Kigali. She is a reader of the English language daily newspaper, the New Times, and also wrote to the Editor in January 2017, noting that Sonia Mugabo(SM) is an inspiration to the youth.

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