Someone once said that when you have a business mindset, you see business opportunities in everything you look after, touch, and or experience…. of course that was paraphrased
Boy, were they right! At least for me, that rule couldn’t be more factual.
I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I had remained a Daddy’s girl. That is, if the cold hands of death didn’t snatch my first love, source of inspiration, provider, and Daddy away from me on that fateful morning of July 24th, 2006.
If you have came across a few of my articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos, you surely realise by now that I always mention the loss of my dad. Well, that’s because I strongly believe, now more than ever, that his passing led me to all the experiences from which I draw inspiration to write and speak to you.
This photograph of me was taken sometime in the first quarter of 2011. I had travelled to Durban, South Africa, for a few days to “enjoy” a break from months of hard work as a finance manager for a company that was rather tough and unconventional to manage.
𝑾𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝑰 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒎𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒖𝒑𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅-𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒋𝒆𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝑺𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝑨𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒘𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒂𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑫𝒖𝒓𝒃𝒂𝒏.
Although I fell in love with the colours and the art, I also saw an opportunity to blend my social time with some business time.
I wanted to know where to source the beads at a much cheaper price and to access a wider variety.
After looking around, the treasure hunt was fruitful! We found someone who’s prices were not tourist prices
Coming from Cameroon, I knew the women in my country would scramble to each have one.
𝐒𝐨 𝐈 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 $𝟏𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡, 𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞… 𝐈 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡.
However, I made sure to get the following clearly and correctly, at least in my mind: There wasn’t time to put pen to paper. I had to decide whether or not to buy them before heading back to Pretoria the next day.
So I figured out my customer avatar: women between age 20 and above who love nice things and can pay good money for them….lol, that was my 21 year-old brain figuring marking out.
My marketing strategy: take pictures and share them with all my friends, my sister’s friends, and show them to women in all the offices that I went to discuss business for my full time job—more like using one stone to shoot two birds.
Profit margin: If I invest $1000,
– how many sets do I get?
– How much is my cost of sales?
– What will my gross margin be?
– And eventually, what will be my net margin after any other costs.
𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘸, 𝘐 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘳. BOOM!!!
Super excited about my new business opportunity, I wasted no time in starting to broadcast the news that goods were on the way… Ladies started flooding my inbox to ask for pictures and reserve theirs. Everything happened so fast, and before I even landed at the airport in Cameroon, 60% had been sold.
At the end of the week after returning home, I had my $1000 back, with an extra $2000 in profit… Yesss, you read that right!!! I made a staggering 200% return on my investment in 2 weeks…..
Please tell me any job, or stock market that can beat that, and I am going to leave everything behind and follow you… ahaha
So you see why I bought my first car with 100% cash at only 21?… Next time, I’ll tell you how I did it.
1. There are business opportunities everywhere we go, yet we need to have a shift in mindset, be comfortable to take risks, and also be willing to add value and serve.
99.9% of those who bought my jewellery may never get the opportunity to travel to Durban, however they were very glad that I brought the South African culture to their doorsteps and coloured up their lives
Thank you for reading.
By the way, I felt like a true African woman in green with my gorgeous beads!