Ps. I did this guest post on the platform of SMART STEWARDS and d3cided to post it here in honour of the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY! It makes me feel vulnerable but i believe someone can use it as a springboard to that next level. Do #ReadRestRelaxAndReflect and pass it on by clicking the like button. Happy reading!
Hello ladies ???? It’s a great pleasure sharing with us today. I count it a privilege and an honour. Sola Shiphrah Adesakin , thank you for inviting me to SMART STEWARDS. I appreciate you.
1. Well, I am Kemi Odutayo and I am the Head of Operations, Me4 Communications, a marketing & publishing outfit. It was a long, uncertain and tedious journey to where I am today. However, I value all the lessons I learnt along the way and I hope you will too.???? Kudos to Ayeni Yetunde, i was blessed and inspired by her session.
2. What most people don’t know for a fact is that I am a graduate of Biochemistry from the University of Lagos, Akoka.???? I also studied SCIENCE LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos before I moved on to Unilag. Amazing???? Isn’t it?
3. I came from a not-poor, not-rich and not-middle class family☺. My parents weren’t that learned and so weren’t able to ‘dictate’ or guide me as to the best course to study at the University. I have 5 siblings of which 3 are girls. My father was however, determined that we must all be educated irrespective of gender.
4. My teachers believed I was brilliant and so they predicted and encouraged a future in the Sciences. Even though I loved the arts, they all believed it will be a waste of my brilliance and intelligence to be ‘stuck’ in the Art class. I didn’t know better. I concurred.
5. I got the best results in Sciences, infact the best result in my Secondary School and everybody was happy. But…I wasn’t. I wish I had just one person who had asked me what I really wanted. I don’t know if that would have made a difference though, since I didn’t know what I wanted too????
6. I had been adviced to do Medicine but I knew I couldn’t stand the sight of blood. The next ‘best’ course was Pharmacy but…I hated drugs with a passion. To placate my well meaning advisors, I chose Biochemistry without an iota of idea of what it’s all about or the prospects therein. In my 2nd year in the university, I ‘knew’ and i finally conceded that there was no future for me in the Sciences.
7. All through my growing up years, one passion remained constant, though people considered it frivolous at the time. I love reading. I love writting. I love pictures. I love stories. I love making people happy. I love justice and can’t bear people to be treated unjustly. I love making people feel better about themselves. I love to help. I hate the limelight, though????. I want to work from behind the scene. I want to make impact. I want my impact to be felt. I love God.
8. After my service year, the job hunt began. Going for my Masters wasn’t an option. My other siblings have to be educated too???? Meanwhile, i listened to several messages during that period and grew in my relationship with God. One of the messages I listened to was IDEAS RULE THE WORLD by SAM ADEYEMI. The words hit me hard. It made me question myself, my beliefs and my purpose. I checked what I was passionate about. I looked at what I will rather be doing if my source of livelihood wasn’t an issue. The message made me evaluate ME. Those things that anger me. Those things i want to correct in my life and in the society. That was when I discovered ME as explained in number 7 above.
9. At that time, i devoured romantic novels. I love the intrigue, plot and suspense. But these popular paperbacks lack basic godly principles that could ensure success in relationships. After reading a particular book, I will sleep and see myself writing a sequel to the novel????. And that’s exactly what I did whenever I woke up. I started my 1st book, a page at a time. However, I abandoned it when I got a job in an Haulage Firm as the Account/Admin Officer. I was thrilled; i wasn’t interested in working in the medical line.
10. I got immersed in the job as I love giving my all to whatever I do. Before long, my ‘advisors’ thought it will be a good idea to formally change to the Arts from Sciences. “Why don’t you go and do ICAN?”, they suggested. “You are brilliant!” Hmmm. Lured by the renumeration i would be entitled to as a Chartered Accountant, i concurred yet again. ????. I did ATS 1 & 2 and passed with flying colours. Yippee! I completed my FOUNDATION LEVEL! Great, isn’t it?????
11. It was at this point i came back to my senses. Why do i allow myself to be push to and fro by peoples’ ideas and preferences even if they meant well? I told them all truthfully that i am no longer interested in ICAN. Though they were very disappointed, I stood my ground. I resigned from my place of work and started a Book/Novel Lending Shop/Business Centre from my savings.
12. My manuscript was typed using a manual typewriter. I learnt a computer will make my job easier. I went to a Computer School and learnt how to operate a computer so I could finish my book. It was here I gave my manuscript to one of my instructors to read. I didn’t tell him I was the writer.
13. I was jittery the next morning. I wasn’t sure if he’s interested in stories like that, especially being a guy. He called me aside and said he wanted to meet the author. I asked him why. He said the manuscript was loaded. He couldn’t put it down. He said he read it page by page and was immensely blessed. I was dazed. I couldn’t believe an ‘outsider’ could see anything good in what I wrote. I have read some exerpts to my fiance then and he had said it was fantastic. I thought he was only trying to flatter me.
14. I raised money from family and friends and added it to my savings. I decided to take the plurge. Today, I have in print SECRET PASSION, SECRET ANGUISH, THE HORRIBLE SECRET and more on the way, by His grace. I registered Me4 Communications, got my ISBN numbers, printed my books, marketed and distributed them to all the bookshops that are interested in stocking them based on SOR(Sales on return). I announced them wherever i have the opportunity to speak. The response was massive and encouraging. The books show cased different real life scenarios we can easily relate with as opposed to the foreign paperbacks. Testimonies abound.
15. You can imagine my amazement when I begin to receive calls from all and sundry. They read my books and were blessed. “I will like you to counsel me”. I was amazed. Me4 Initiatives were birthed. More opportunities to touch lives; to keep doing what i love doing. I printed more copies and it sold out too.
16. Challenges: Some of the bookshops failed to remit returns giving one excuse or the other. They kept promising and promising. I would use my credit to call and call times without number but to no avail. Sometimes, I had had to go and withdraw the remaining stock. I took up another job to assist financially at home. I later resigned after a year or two because i felt frustrated. The pay was good but i wasn’t fulfilled. I had opportunity to travel and meet people…people that matters.???? It was just a job. I felt stifled. I felt there was more to me than what i was doing at the time. I discussed all these with hubby and he said he would support me whatever decision I took. Though it affected us financially. I made do with selling & buying to supplement things at home.
17. I attended Daystar ELC Media Syndicate Session in 2014 where Japheth Omojuwa was the guest. The media was still a passion to me. Through his session, my eyes were opened to the prospects in SOCIAL MEDIA. It was one of the turning points for me. How your phones or electronic gadgets may be all you need to start off a budding online business. I was captivated. I later went for trainings in social media management and read wide on this new ‘modified’ passion of mine. I also went to train as a graphic designer.???? Presently, Me4 Communications have converted my books to Ebooks (pdf versions) for easy distribution to interested fans. I have a MONTHLY MASTERCLASS ON WHATAPP where singles and married are taught basic principles to foster healthy relationships.
18. I didn’t really set out to make money but to be a blessing and to offer solution to peoples’ relationship needs. This, i express via Me4 Initiatives. This is a not-for profit outfit, a CSR of Me4 Communications. Prominent among these initiatives is (a)#ListenUpNG a weekly mentoring event on twitter every Friday by 4pm via my twitter handle @KemiOdutayo. I host men and women of faith, experience, character and expertise in their areas of influence. They come to tweet teach on #RealLifeIssues we face daily, especially in relationships. All compilations of past sessions are posted on my website www.kemiodutayo.com/blog. Ebooks of the Jan and Feb 2015 Editions of #ListenUpNG were published by Me4 Communications and available for FREE DOWNLOAD on the website coutesy of Me4 Initiatives. I have had the singular honor of hosting Sam Adeyemi, Nike Adeyemi, Laurie Idahosa, Chude Jidenowo, Godman Akinlabi to mention but a few. Many other notable men and women of impact (that I can’t begin to mention) have been on board #ListenUpNG.
(b)#ThisThingCalledMarriageNG a support group for married ladies on Whatsapp and Facebook. Here, women come to rub minds, share their challenges and trials with the aim of getting support and godly tips to help them enjoy and not endure their homes. The testimonies of #MindsetMakeover have been awesome!
(c) #DearBaeNG & #DearBooNG are support groups on whatsapp for the single ladies and guys respectively. The aim of these groups are similar to the #ThisThingCalledMarriageNG. We discussed issues peculiar to their single state and how they can navigate the murky waters of the man – woman relationships in preparation for marriage. However, discussions in these groups are not limited to male-female relationships only.
d) #SweetMothers: This is also a Whatsapp Whatsapp Group but for women with married or marriageable children. Its a forum for mothers to discuss how best to manage their involvement in their children’s marriages and lives. It’s also a forum to discuss other issues peculiar to women in this phase of life.
You can check out other Me4 Initiatives on my website www.kemiodutayo.com
19. Numerous testimonies have come forth and it’s been quite fulfilling being a blessing to others. Me4 Communications is actually a ‘strategy’ God gave me to commercialise my passions. Thank you all for reading through. It’s quite a long read but remember, I told you I love stories. I keep going for trainings to improve myself. Being an NLP Practitioner is a big plus too. I have had to omit some facts because of time. I hope these aforementioned points will be a blessing to someone and encourage you to locate your passion, follow it and commercialise it you so desired.
20. I will like to use this opportunity to
i) Invite you to get my books and I bet you, they will MOTIVATE, EDUCATE, EMPOWER, ENCOURAGE AND ENTERTAIN YOU! That’s what ME4 is all about. You can see them on www.kemiodutayo.com or contact me on any of my social media platforms.
ii) Register for Me4 Communications WHATSAPP MASTERCLASS FOR BOTH SINGLES AND MARRIED. It comes up EVERY LADT SATURDAY OF THE MONTH BY 8PM. TIGHT IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME!
I WILL LOVE TO SEE YOU IN CLASS!
iii) Follow me on all my social media platforms