Business career tips food Germaine Bombande Interviews Jemila Abdulai Sisterhood Matters Start-Ups Visionnaire Series Wellness Women and Girls

Abena Sekyiamah on How to Learn on the Job & Build A Strong Business – Circumspecte

Abena Sekyiamah personifies the go-getting entrepreneur who stands towards the odds to make issues work. She is the founder of Clear Eats Ghana Restricted, situated in Tema and more just lately East Legon. Before that, she was a co-founder of MAKSI Clothing. With about 10 years value of expertise at the helm of each startups, and a seemingly effortless transition from the style business to meals, it is straightforward to see why her journey is exceptional.

Sekyiamah describes herself as a jollof-loving entrepreneur at heart and considers Clean Eats’ ‘Love Potion’ smoothie a should for first-timers. Although she went into enterprise right from her nationwide service days, she largely did things in reverse. Like fellow Sisterhood Matters interviewee Marcia Ashong, she typically found herself dealing with alternatives and challenges with none prior training or sector experience. She has had to not only study on the job, but in addition to pay attention and spot tendencies and potential from afar. Whereas ‘customer service’ could be a misnomer for many Ghanaian companies, Sekyiamah takes it critically. She additionally considers documentation and being attentive to employee wants imperatives for building a robust business and staff.

As a part of our 2018 Sisterhood Issues dialog collection which introduced ladies collectively in conversations about supporting one another, fashion-turned-food entrepreneur Abena Sekyiamah (A.S.) joined our Editor Jemila Abdulai (J.A.) for a Fb Stay Chat. They explored entrepreneurship and building teams in Ghana; healthy diets and staying match; the highs and lows of being Ghanaian ladies in enterprise, sisterhood, and more. Captured under are excerpts of their conversation and responses to audience questions.

Contents

Learning On The Job & Beginning-Up In Reverse

Circumspecte: What has it been like to find yourself continually  learning and having to construct your personal business? How do you deliver construction to your personal life?

A.S.: It means having a brief memory for a lot of issues, because you’ll have encountered a whole lot of dangerous things. A lot of losses which could be massive, relying on the magnitude of danger you’re taking and the business venture. In the event you determine to dwell on this stuff, meaning you are not shifting forward and also you lose focus. You study on the job and have some onerous experiences, but it is about the way you bounce back. It’s important to have documentation so you’ll be able to all the time look back and refer to what you probably did previously and see how you can better it. As an example, in the event you undergo the yr and your sales tendencies maintain going up and down, you could have to work out what the cause is. What did I not do the previous yr that may assist me forestall the loss, or ought to I say a drop, in gross sales the following yr? It’s important to all the time have documentation.

Circumspecte: What are some issues you already know now that you simply want you knew once you have been beginning out?

A.S.: I want I knew all the proper documents that I would wish to guide my enterprise. It will be significant to have an operations guide. It’s also essential to have some tips that bind each you and your staff. You must deal with your enterprise as a business and never a interest. This means abiding by all the proper documentation required by regulation, such us updating your accounts – even if it is simply primary bookkeeping. Fortunately I discovered lots from my first business (MAKSI) so I didn’t repeat mistakes with Clean Eats Ghana. I feel it will be important to have a mentor. It doesn’t have to be somebody out of your subject as a result of once you take a look at entrepreneurship you are looking at people who are entrepreneurs. Who, regardless of hardships, will thrive. So you’d need to have that perseverance and make it half and parcel of you. It’s important to have someone to lookup to. It’s totally different when you already know you lack sure info as a result of then you possibly can go on Google and look it up – what if it is one thing you haven’t any concept about? It is once you converse to somebody in other associated fields that you’ll get a wealth of data you could apply to your corporation.

“I wish I knew all the right documents I would need to guide my business. It is important to have documentation so you can always look back to what you did previously and see how you can better it.” – Abena Sekyiamah Tweet this

Doing Business With Different Ladies

Abena Sekyiamah (centre) after a MAKSI style show / Credit: Nana Kofi Acquah

Circumspecte: Let’s speak about your first business MAKSI Clothing, which you started together with your sister. Why did you begin it and determine to work collectively?

A.S.: When it comes to how MAKSI happened – my sister used to reside in London and she or he would come residence for the holidays and I might be on her about her outfits and how Ghanaian ladies at the moment are so fashionable and love to keep up with the developments. I started styling her and so it began out as a styling enterprise. I assumed, why don’t I’m going into this? But at the time styling wasn’t actually a thing. I didn’t see how I was going to become profitable out of it. So I made a decision to branch into making clothes. It started with me designing garments for her and then we might send it to our local seamstress who would then make one thing for us. Over time we sat down and stated we’d like to launch this enterprise. My sister was glad to help me by being my media and communications individual and that’s how the partnership started.

A.S.: The gorgeous thing about the relationship between my sister and I is that regardless of our variations we never made it intrude with work. We might move proper on from bickering to planning for an upcoming style show. That could be very lovely because of the age difference between us – about 9 years – so I have to give credit to my sister. She has taught me lots about speaking confidently, as a result of typically you start to doubt yourself and that doesn’t make you progress ahead. I might have media interviews and I might attempt to run away from it, saying ‘oh this is your field’, and she or he would say no, you’ve gotten to push your self.

Circumspecte: How has your small business been acquired by other ladies and what is your opinion on the concept that ladies do not help one another?

A.S: I feel what individuals say and the fantasy about ladies supporting one another is a very dicey state of affairs because I feel ladies are very complicated and but quite simple. Our particular person variations typically have us preventing with one another and that’s how come it typically seems we can’t work in the similar area with one another. Even with my sister, we might have our variations however we’re sure by blood. We had to stay in the similar home so we type of made it work. But I can see how that may be totally different if it have been someone who I didn’t have any emotional ties with. It takes plenty of maturity and learning to settle for that her space of expertise and mine are totally different. Typically once we can’t come to an agreement, I just permit her to take that call and when it’s my subject – the artistic facet – she provides me the go ahead. We additionally study from our mistakes. It takes lots of maturity, endurance and respect for one another. There’s also the facet of her being older than I am and having extra expertise in enterprise operations. So typically you simply have to let it go and let her take the lead. It’s troublesome admittedly.

“The beautiful thing about the relationship between my sister and I …We could move right on from bickering to planning for an upcoming fashion show.” – Abena, @cleaneatsgh #SisterhoodMatters Tweet this

Circumspecte: What about coping with rivals in your subject. Did they need to collaborate? Did you are feeling like they resented you being in that area?

A.S.: I have had countless occasions where I’ve felt like I am not needed in certain areas particularly once I was in the style business. With the food business, I haven’t encountered many ladies in my circle so I haven’t instantly had these sorts of experiences. You are feeling the resentment and I feel it boils down to confidence. In case you are not confident with yourself, jealousy and envy come into play. On the other hand, in case you are confident – even in case you are not the place you’re supposed to be – you don’t have time to be taking a look at someone else. You have got to be targeted, and then you definitely take a look at different individuals and admire the place they’ve gotten to. That is something which is troublesome for many individuals. It’s something we’d like to constantly work on as ladies.

Jemila Abdulai (J.A.): I feel that may be a very legitimate point Abena makes; once you feel like someone isn’t supporting you or the individual is making an attempt to upend you – most of the time – they are dealing with insufficiencies in themselves. In my Sisterhood Matters chat with Gloria Buckman Yankson, she talked about how she deals with competition. She principally seems to be at it as, “If you succeed we all succeed. If you don’t succeed, then there is an issue here”.

“If you aren’t confident with yourself, jealousy and envy come into play…if you are confident – even if you aren’t where you are supposed to be – you don’t have time to be looking at someone else.” – Sekyiamah #SisterhoodMatters Click on To Tweet

Circumspecte: How do you help other ladies? Are you selective – solely supporting those who help you – or do you simply help ladies across the board?

A.S.: I feel naturally I am attracted to constructive vibes. If I get constructive vibes from you, I draw closer to you. I am not about unfavourable vibes at all. You’ll be able to attempt your greatest, however you can’t make everyone joyful. In your circle, in the event you discover people who find themselves prepared to settle for you, work with you and study with you, they need to be the ones you move in the direction of. If there are a gaggle of girls in a room and three of them are prepared to hear no matter I’ve to say, I’ll pay attention to the three and depart the seven and see whatever information I can get from that aspect.

J.A.: This entire concept of preserving your circle constructive and watching the power round you; it sounds very metaphysical however it’s true. I began believing the entire concept of watching the vibe you get from individuals from this woman I met at a youth institute in Senegal.  I labored properly with everyone until I met her. For no matter cause – it might be 5 minutes I spent together with her – I would go away extraordinarily drained and tired. I get it: we would like to be sisters and supportive, however we’d like to realise that a part of that is taking good care of yourself as a way to be current for the individuals who want you.

“We want to be sisters and supportive, but we need to realise that part of that is taking care of yourself so that you can be present for the people who need you.” – @jabdulai #SisterhoodMatters Tweet this

Dishing On Wholesome – How Clear Eats Took Off

Circumspecte: You started Clean Eats Ghana –  a wholesome food enterprise. Why did you move from style to meals? Is there a connection between the two?

A.S.: I truly started Clean Eats Ghana while I was about to finish style faculty. Prior to that, I had spent six months all the time making an attempt to create one thing in my kitchen; mainly healthy meals. Anybody who knows me, knows I’ve been an enormous individual from the beginning. I have dealt with managing my weight as well as food intolerances as a result of I used to have continual migraines and again pains that have been uncomfortable. I might go to the clinic or drugstore and most of the suggestions didn’t work for me. I did my research and figured it had to be the meals I used to be eating. So I used myself as a guinea pig. I might take certain issues out of my eating regimen, reintroduce them, and then attempt to work out what impact it had on my physique. I might all the time pay attention to my physique – should you see me in a physician’s consulting room, I already have my symptoms on hand. The doctor is often like, why are you right here or how have you learnt?

A lot of individuals have been serious about the meals I was making. They noticed the modifications and had comparable struggles. So I stated, why not do that? I had all the time needed to do something in the food. That’s how I started Clean Eats Ghana. Once I began, I used to be a bit scared. I used to be additionally nonetheless operating MAKSI. I ultimately put MAKSI on maintain as a result of my sister was out of city and I used to be struggling to manage the two when it comes to production and public relations. The other thing was that Clean Eats was making extra money and I’m additionally about the cash.

“I used myself as a guinea pig…People were interested in the meals I was making. They saw the changes and had similar struggles. So I said, why not do this?” – Abena Sekyiamah on beginning @cleaneatsgh #SisterhoodMatters Click on To Tweet

Circumspecte: How exactly did you go from making an attempt recipes out on your self to opening a healthy meals enterprise and advising individuals?

A.S.: The one thing I discovered is that we are all very totally different. There isn’t any one particular type of eating that applies to all individuals. As an example, I have a high intolerance to entire wheat. According to most people, wheat bread is the healthiest version of bread but is one thing that gave me dangerous reactions.  I’d get migraines and bloating. I did ketogenic and low-carbohydrate diets and none of them would work; both my weight loss would stall or I might endure speedy weight reduction. Even when it comes to how I might feel after I ate certain things like beans, tomatoes – I realised it had to be something personal, relating to me. I had a gaggle of girls I used to practice with; we might do totally different training periods and other people would react in a different way. There isn’t one food plan or health plan for everybody. You will have to find what works for you. Even whenever you go to the clinic they usually ask you on your signs, you’ve gotten to look into yourself and tell the physician. Once I seek the advice of with individuals I inform them to word how they feel afterward. I’d advocate something for you but it might not work together with your system.

J.A.: My sister and I all the time have this conversation about how some well being professionals treat people who come to the hospital. Generally in Ghana, it is assumed that the affected person has no information about something. I feel it’s actually essential for ladies to be in tune with their bodies. I additionally happen to cope with migraines ever since I had my first interval. It’s truly one among the first symptoms of my interval, so each month I have it no less than twice – at the starting and at the finish. Initially, I was like what is going on? Till I began to do my analysis and realised that it was linked to my period. It may be the craziest factor, but I do consider hormones might run our emotions as ladies. There are days when for the lifetime of me I can’t make any selections. I might inform waiters to give me the greatest on the menu and I gained’t put an excessive amount of thought into it.  However these are all belongings you study as you come to know your self and your physique.

“There isn’t one diet or fitness plan for everybody. You have to find what works for you.” – Abena Sekyiamah of @cleaneatsgh on staying healthy #SisterhoodMatters Click on To Tweet

Circumspecte: How do they get to the point where they’re snug with who they are and with how they categorical themselves – via trend for example?

A.S: You want to settle for that you’ve one physique. There isn’t a separate physique you possibly can leap into whenever you want to feel good and look attractive, besides the physique that you’re in. Dressing to fit your physique shape means you will all the time be flattering so long as you realize your body nicely and are dressing for it. You will all the time really feel confident even when individuals say no to you as a result of you realize you’re higher than that and so that doesn’t have an effect on you in any method. I imply there are times if you end up down so individuals’s phrases tend to harm or sting more than they should. So personal yourself and your physique, and understand and respect whatever body you’re in while working in the direction of your aim weight.

With food, I all the time say it is best to make it a life-style. You’ll be able to take drastic measures and lose some kilos, however you then need to have a wholesome relationship with meals. Which suggests choosing a healthy various even whenever you don’t have the healthiest options. That’s what Clear Eats Ghana is about – supplying you with healthy options as a result of food is a part of our lives., It’s our tradition so you can’t run away from it. I do know individuals who don’t go to social events as a result of they may “break their diets” or they will be tempted to overeat. When you realize your limit, that is having a wholesome relationship with meals. One other factor is proper planning with meal prepping for example. That may help you realize where the components are from.

“You need to accept that you have one body. There isn’t a separate body you can jump into when you want to feel good and look sexy, except the body that you are in.” – Abena Sekyiamah, @cleaneatsgh #SisterhoodMatters Click To Tweet

Circumspecte: What are some ideas you’d give when it comes to meal prepping? Why should that be something busy ladies especially ought to think about?

A.S: What meal prepping does is that it prevents you from snacking as a result of your meals are laid out for you from breakfast, lunch to dinner so you’ll be able to keep away from consuming all the unhealthy stuff. When hunger hits, you often need something immediately to fulfill the hunger; if in case you have an entire chocolate bar out there you will simply grab that and eat it. Chances are you’ll really feel immediately glad however that doesn’t relieve the hunger in any respect. But when you’ve got your meals prepped you possibly can simply decide the food out of the fridge, heat it up and eat it. The other thing is you don’t have to overthink meal prep. You possibly can merely chop your vegetables, minimize up your hen and spice it so whenever you come from work you don’t spend an hour doing it.  Meal prep is certainly one thing I might vouch for especially if you need to handle your weight and make more healthy decisions.

Audience Question: How do you encourage your self to eat the more healthy choice when you’re craving something that you realize shouldn’t be good for you?

A.S.: I attempt the 80/20 rule the place 80% of the time I’m eating something healthy and then once I truly crave one thing I can go forward and have it without feeling responsible. Just because I know that with the 80% I am giving my physique what it needs. Typically with hormones at sure occasions of the month, you are feeling like consuming all the things, particularly unhealthy things. So in case you eat wholesome a majority of the time you will really feel less responsible. The other thing with me is I am all the time creating and making new recipes with my employees, for example, we have now an entire range of well being cookies like oatmeal cookies and sugar-free shortbread cookies.  I all the time attempt to provide you with things that fulfill my style buds.

Circumspecte: What has your expertise been getting clients acclimatised to new meals choices? Have you had to persuade any customer about why they should think about more healthy foods?

A.S: Surprisingly, individuals have grow to be more accepting of unpolluted eating.  Before, once you heard that somebody had died, it was often someone of their 80s or 90s. However now you could have very young individuals dying from food and lifestyle-related sicknesses. A lot extra individuals have turn into acutely aware of the things they eat particularly with illnesses like hypertension and strokes which might be immediately associated to the meals we eat and the way of life decisions we make. A lot extra individuals are conscious however they lack information. They know that is good for you, but they don’t know why. What we do in our store is to have the benefits of the juices boldly listed in order you’re taking the drinks you understand what advantages you’re reaping, be it from the beetroots or dandelion and even ginger. That’s what really guides most of our clientele; lots of them interact us in dialog about concepts they usually also question us. We try to cater to all kinds of people, which suggests the customer has to do a little analysis. We will advise you, however you need to look into yourself and know what works greatest for you.

“Clean Eats was making more money and I am also about the money.” – Abena Sekyiamah of @cleaneatsgh on her pivot from the style business to food. #SisterhoodMatters Click To Tweet

Listening to Your Clients & Employees

Circumspecte: How did you cope with the worry of starting a enterprise in unknown territory? In offering to different individuals what you had only achieved for your self?

A.S: There isn’t a method to recover from the worry; you simply have to dive in. You want to prepare for some losses and also you need to have a brief memory. You want to shortly recover from those losses, strategise and move ahead. In case you are as lucky as I used to be, you get a whole lot of constructive suggestions out of your clients. You’ve buddies lending help, as well as family – even your employees. When your employees buys into your imaginative and prescient they all the time transfer with you. As you research, additionally they analysis your ideas. They notice suggestions and work to see how greatest to make up for any mistakes. A lot of our inventions have been contributions from employees. It’s all the time about listening and never dropping sight of what your core values are. Pay attention to them and figuring out how you can make that work.

Circumspecte: You mentioned the significance of operational tips –Are you able to share an example of how such a guide may be helpful? Say, in helping resolve a misunderstanding with an worker?

Credit score: Clean Eats Ghana

A.S: With my business, one among the necessary parts is all the time having good refrigeration as a result of our merchandise are perishable. When the lights go off, the next choice is the generator. If the generator just isn’t operating, what else are you able to do? As a result of that’s the last resort. You’d in all probability stroll into work after perhaps three hours and these very delicate juices are sitting in the fridge which isn’t operating. But there are individuals sitting there watching the drinks once they might have moved those drinks to the freezer which has a cooler temperature and provides sufficient time to resolve the challenge. A few of these issues seem to be widespread sense, however it doesn’t all the time work that method.

When you will have an operational guide it provides individuals no excuse. There are often options and when you’ll be able to’t discover one, the subsequent step is to call me. You’d be stunned to hear someone say, I didn’t know your quantity or I attempted calling you. Or with customer support – they could be making an attempt to attain a buyer who’s unavailable. I all the time say texts don’t lie. Textual content the individual in order that they know you are trying to reach them. If the customer says “your call never came through” what are you going to do? In the event you had texted there would all the time be evidence. This stuff could seem trivial but they go a great distance to save you from massive issues.

J.A.: One among the largest challenges in Ghana entrepreneurship-wise is human useful resource; finding people who find themselves gifted and have the talent you want but in addition finding individuals whose tradition matches your work or enterprise culture. We have a tendency to focus on the first – which is individuals going to faculty for technical expertise – and we overlook the human resource and human nature parts. That’s what I find a whole lot of startups fighting. You will have been in a position to construct a workforce such which you can depart them alone in the shop for a couple of hours when you go and do one thing else.

“When your staff buys into your vision, they always move with you…It’s always about listening and not losing sight of what your core values are.”

Abena Sekyiamah, Clean Eats Ghana

Circumspecte: How do you build a superb staff, when it comes to talent, character, culture and so on?

A.S: I feel finding a very good match might be troublesome; you may find somebody who looks like a great match nevertheless it won’t final. They could begin working with you, realise that it isn’t for them, then depart after a month, during which case you’d be crushed. Or they start off nicely and issues start to change. Often, I want to work with “blank slates” which means I can imbibe all my values in you and you’re also given the opportunity to be artistic, to discover your self. It means inspiring individuals day by day. I’m like a marketer: I am all the time selling individuals my vision and sharing my challenges, in order that they know what I’m going via. I all the time need them to perceive why issues have to be a sure means. For example, some of the massive issues we cope with embrace theft, which is widespread in the workplace. In case you are stealing something value 10 GHC every single day, in a month that’s 300 GHC, and in a yr it is about 3000 GHC. Think about how a lot one individual is costing the company. If I’ve five individuals choosing something value 10 GHC –  as a result of they study from that one individual and assume it isn’t an enormous deal – this is over 15,000 GHC gone annually and that is the magnitude that they don’t see.

I’m like a marketer: I am all the time selling individuals my vision and sharing my challenges, in order that they know what I’m going by way of. I all the time need them to perceive why things have to be a certain method.”

– Abena Sekyiamah, Clean Eats Ghana

I’ve people who have been common kitchen employees and now they are managers. It’s just lovely to see the progress and realise that they get why you all the time need to stay on prime of things. Human resource management is a full-time job involving every day inspiration and being an inspirational individual. It isn’t solely worrying about your company’s needs however worrying about your staff’ needs as properly. Typically it means sitting with considered one of them and having a chat to work out what their wants are. You’d be stunned at how giving a name to an employee who didn’t turn up to work because they are sick can make them assume the world of you. It often doesn’t occur in a variety of workplaces, they might not have their CEOs name in and examine up on them to see how they’re doing.  In a method, it’s just being an exemplary human being.

“My biggest challenge is inspiring the people around me – my employees –  to move with me. It means countless conversations, and moving here and there.” – Abena Sekyiamah, @cleaneatsgh #SisterhoodMatters Click To Tweet

Circumspecte: What are some of the rules you apply to make your clients feel part of your organization, even if they are only coming in to decide up an order?

A.S: It will be significant to be accessible. It isn’t one thing that is widespread in our elements, but do it. Even when it means simply saying hiya. The format of our store is an open area, you’ll be able to actually see my desk if you find yourself ordering food. Whereas making an attempt to get work accomplished on my pc, I say howdy and other people worth that. The truth that you possibly can take five seconds out of your work to greet them is something that doesn’t often happen. It is simply going the additional mile on your customer. Some clients ultimately grow to be pals, but you shouldn’t lose sight of the reality they are clients. Put your clients first and deal with them pretty. We now have a ‘first come first serve’ order foundation, even for my associates, because they’re paying clients as properly.  In my interactions with customers-turned-friends, I pay attention rigorously to suggestions. I do not disregard it or assume they are jokingly complaining. You all the time want to have that professional relationship and talk clearly with clients.

“It is important to be accessible. It isn’t something that is common in our parts, but do it. Even if it means just saying hello…Listen carefully to feedback.” – Abena Sekyiamah, @cleaneatsgh #SisterhoodMatters Click on To Tweet

J.A.: Sure, I feel communication is so essential, particularly when it comes to working in Ghana or simply being an entrepreneur. It may be annoying to ‘over communicate’ or comply with up. But in the event you don’t do it, too many things fall by way of the crack and it ends up affecting you and your corporation, while the different individuals involved appear not to care. You’ll be able to name me on the telephone and I might nonetheless say ship me an e-mail. It isn’t that I can’t hear you on the telephone; it is so that when it’s written down we will see if we both perceive it in the similar approach after which start to have a conversation and make sure we’re on the similar web page. Individuals typically want to meet in individual or speak on the telephone without any paper trail in any way and that is troublesome to work with.

Self-Look after Ladies in Business

Circumspecte: What does self care imply to you?

A.S.: Self-care for me is having the ability to have personal time. It is extremely necessary for me, even if it is simply five minutes. It’s necessary to simply make time for yourself; we have a tendency to lose sight of that. My mother would ask me if I have days off and I’d say no, I take private day off during the day. I take time to do one thing I really love doing, and a type of things is lengthy walks. Even when I wake up at 10 am, I’ll do an hour of walking and through that point I name the people who matter the most to me, before I move on to work. Once you pile your plate it is overwhelming, so you’ve to prioritise. When you achieve some of the main duties you needed to do, you are feeling fulfilled after which you’ll be able to indulge a bit – whether or not it’s understanding, listening to music, or spending time with household. I don’t stay with household so I attempt as much as potential to move by throughout the week and have a chat with my mum or dad. It’s just about being able to handle your time for your self.

Circumspecte: Do you ever really feel responsible for not being current since you had rather a lot on your plate – say for a family member or good friend, or at a social gathering? How do you cope with the guilt?

A.S.: I’ve discovered not to really feel guilty because I have realised that as an entrepreneur, issues simply crop up. I could possibly be at your event and have to depart in the subsequent two minutes. When you’ve gotten people who perceive what you’re doing and what you’re working in the direction of, they provide you an opportunity to make it up to them. They may be a bit disillusioned in the second, but they will provide you with a chance to make it up to them because they perceive the nature of your corporation. Typically it is good to open up your work to other individuals in order that they have a feel of what your every day life is. With my mother and father is the place I might typically feel the guilt; that I wasn’t spending sufficient time with them. Every time I can, I all the time make up for that lost time.

J.A.: This is also one thing that I’ve had to cope with lots, particularly since my work often takes me outdoors Ghana. I completely agree that if those that matter have a way of what your life truly is, it helps. Because entrepreneurship is glamourised, individuals tend to see the hype. They have a tendency to see you when you’re on a speaking panel or if you win an award or when you’re recognised. When you have got began making that money they usually can see you in motion. They don’t see the low moments the place you’re considerably depressed and just can’t get away from bed. The place you marvel, what the heck you’re doing together with your life. You’re coping with so many various issues and till you are able to open that up to individuals, they can’t understand, as a result of – let’s simply be trustworthy – it’s like you’re dwelling in several worlds. In case you are in a position to attain out to other ladies who have been doing it for years, it helps. That is what sisterhood is admittedly about: I have walked that path you’re about to stroll. It doesn’t have to be as troublesome for you as it was for me, because I am there. The individual I didn’t get to have? You’ll be able to have in me.

“I’ve walked that path you are about to walk. It doesn’t have to be as difficult for you as it was for me, because I am there. The person I didn’t get to have? You can have in me.” – @jabdulai #SisterhoodMatters Click To Tweet

Circumspecte: Many women complain about sexual harassment at work. What has your experience as a lady in the business world been? Have you had to cope with such advances?

A.S.: Typically I have the craziest experiences and it is troublesome. Instantly individuals realise that you are not responding to their advances, they take it out on your enterprise. That may be a shame, as a result of it is principally males who do this…A lot of men can’t separate the enterprise out of your private life so whenever you turn down their advances it is either they gained’t patronise what you are promoting anymore or they might go around spreading false rumours to get again at you. So I all the time attempt to hold a distance. I’m very cordial with my clients, I do the regular: I smile and if in case you have an necessary inquiry I will reply to it. But I all the time say, enterprise first. I don’t combine business with pleasure. It is challenging though because I’ll have someone are available and say I am snobbish as a result of he was making an attempt to make an advance and I wasn’t interested.

J.A.: That is what many ladies entrepreneurs cope with: not being taken critically or being taken significantly with a ‘but’ or ‘on condition that X, Y, Z’ –  particularly on this telephone number concern. To make my life easier, I do not put my number on my enterprise card; it has simply my e mail tackle. I first did that because I was dwelling in several nations so it didn’t make sense to have a number on there since it might change typically. However once I realised that I wasn’t getting creepy calls from individuals I happened to give my business card to, I stored it at that…We tend not to speak about this aspect and I feel it is crucial to think about in the event you should determine to go into enterprise or entrepreneurship.

“This is what many women entrepreneurs cope with: not being taken significantly or being taken critically with a ‘but’ or ‘on condition that X, Y, Z” – @jabdulai on the realities of being a lady in business #SisterhoodMatters Click To Tweet

Circumspecte: What do you wrestle with and how do you overcome your struggles?

A.S.: I feel my largest wrestle is accepting help. Typically you are feeling like it’s simply you and no one else since you are the one who gave start to that imaginative and prescient. You appear to be the just one who understands the way it appears like. My largest challenge is inspiring the individuals around me – my staff –  to transfer with me. It means numerous conversations, and shifting right here and there. It gets really exhausting, where you are feeling like you’ll be able to’t stress sufficient on one thing, but day by day it seems individuals are getting into the different path. I have had occasions at work the place I’m literally teary-eyed. I walk out and I cry a bit. Then, I fake that nothing occurred. When the good days come, you attempt to journey with it for as long as you possibly can, because the dangerous days will certainly come alongside.

“Sometimes you feel like it’s just you and nobody else because you are the one who gave birth to that vision…I have had times at work where I am literally teary-eyed. I walk out and I cry a bit.” – Abena Sekyiamah, @cleaneatsgh… Click To Tweet

Circumspecte: Do you’ve gotten any remaining words to share?

A.S.: I’d say we should always study to help as many ladies as we will. I feel like ladies throughout the world are doing unimaginable things, but we often limit ourselves. We don’t see our potential. Often, it takes somebody to come and push you a bit to check the water and see how greatest you possibly can carry out. I’ll attribute mine to my sister who inspired me proper from the beginning by saying ‘I know you can do this.you just need to put yourself out there’. It was troublesome as a result of being at the forefront isn’t really my factor. I favor to be in the background. So, if we might mentor one another in a method. Simply decide somebody in your area to mentor and we could have loads of ladies in enterprise. I am proud to have 13 ladies absolutely on my payroll; it is so exciting to watch the potential. I have had two of them move from primary to managerial roles. Seeing their degree of confidence and the way shortly they’ve been in a position to study on the job with only a diploma. They carry out like university graduates as a result of they’ve taken the work significantly and have decided to study on the job. So that’s what I feel we should always do as ladies.

“When we talk about success stories, we only see stories about where the person is and not where they came from. If we did have a background on person A’s business life you’d realise that some of these challenges are normal and that you just have to persevere and then work hard.”

Abena Sekyiamah, Clean Eats Ghana

Jemila: It’s actually essential for us to study to apply ourselves in no matter conditions we discover ourselves in. Most of the time, those conditions are lower than ultimate. You might assume there is something better you can be doing, but once you grieve the proven fact that it is less than best, you want to get to work. Because there’s all the time something to study. Even for those who assume this is one thing which may not essentially be tied to your grand vision of where you assume you want to be or who you assume you need to be in life –  sooner or later you employ it. There will probably be a use for it and you’ll be stunned like ‘oh this thing I learned from that annoying seminar can actually be used’. So don’t low cost the things that come your means and the belongings you expertise because it makes you who you’re and it often prepares you for the subsequent degree.

“Don’t discount the things that come your way and the things that you experience because it makes you who you are and it usually prepares you for the next level.” – @jabdulai #SisterhoodMatters Click To Tweet


Interview by Jemila Abdulai. Transcription by Germaine Bombande. Initially revealed by Circumspecte.com.

Connect with Clear Eats Ghana: Website /  Twitter / Fb / Instagram