Hiiiiii Everyone…My Name is Hope Allison-Oguru. I’m an Architect and the Founder of MAISON BY INEALLISON. An interior Design Studio based in Lagos Nigeria. 2 Years Ago, I birthed an idea which was hardly even a nucleus ( i.e fully formed) to establish and run my own interior design practice, which I believed strongly was in line with my PURPOSE.
LOL…Purpose Indeed! And so the journey began. MAISON BY INEALLISON was first launched as an online interior solutions store, where I sold decor accessories, ornaments etc. At the time this was my entry strategy to announce the BRAND into the industry.
True Story!!! February 2018 , I lost my job at a Chinese construction firm. Yeahhhhh… Sis got FIRED. Imagine losing a job you were already planning on taking a bow from, so you guessed right I got played…jokes on me. LOL ( Story for another day).
September 2018 I launched MAISON BY INEALLISON totally unprepared and full of doubt. All I had was my passion as a creative.
Was this really enough???
Fast forward 2 Years on and I can tell you the journey has been immensely rewarding, actually more than I could have ever imagined.
And Yessssssssss!!! I FOUND MY PURPOSE.
Today, I have family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances from all works of life reach out to me saying things like;
“ We are so proud of You”
“ Absolutely Love your Creativity “
“ I’ve watched you Grow, you inspire Me”
And I’m so humbled and totally in Awe of all of the genuine support We’ve enjoyed as a BRAND that has come to STAY *Wink*
Although, at the back of my mind I can’t help but think “ You guys don’t know the half of it”. Imagine it’s only been 2 years and we’ve hardly even scratched the surface YET.
Like with most pursuits in Life Entrepreneurship is no JOKE.
There’s a popular saying that states “Entrepreneurship is moving from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm “. A WORD Right there! Trust me that sums up all my learnings in the past 2 years.
To Celebrate Our 2nd Years Anniversary as a brand I’ve decided to share my;
Top 6 Entrepreneurship Lessons I’ve learned running my Interior design Studio
1. Passion is Not Enough
From day one we are told we need to be passionate about our business ideas and literarily Eat, Breath & Dream about it all the time. Scam!!! News Flash… “Passion is Not Enough”. Entrepreneurship is no hobby, your bills won’t be paid simply because you’re passionate.
My advice is simple, prioritize acquiring a business management certification, which would help you understand the nitty-gritty of running a well-structured business.
2. Stay Curious (Learn, Unlearn & Relearn).
Being dynamic is definitely the way to go. I always say there’s no one size fits all. What you consider the best method today may become obsolete within a month or two as we’ve seen with how 2020 has schooled us All. Entrepreneurship is about your ability to keep reinventing yourself. Learning never stops for you and it’s in your best interest to grab every opportunity to learn something new whether or not it’s related to your business.
3. Not Everyone is your Client
I sure learned this lesson the hard way. Many entrepreneurs struggle with defining their target market, especially as startups trying to get the business to take flight. The reality is that not all clients will key into the vision of your brand and your ability to identify this sets you up to be better positioned. There will always be the temptation to take on as many projects as possible but be mindful of clients who consistently undermine your value & insist on unrealistic expectations. Totally not worth it!
4. Be a 100% Professional
You know it’s very easy to get carried away with how promising a new project or opportunity may seem at the beginning. Hmmmm BIG MISTAKE!!!. Never lose focus, it’s best to engage every client professionally. This includes both family & friends. Document every correspondence, payment transaction, and Contract terms. As I’ve seen in the past everything changes once you’re commissioned. Ensure you do your due diligence in ensuring your contract terms is airtight and void of oversights.
5. Team Work Makes the DREAM Work.
The growth of any business is largely dependent on the workforce (Team). “They say if you want to go FAST go alone and if you want to go FAR go together”. Running a one-man business can be overwhelming and obviously not sustainable. For me, a major lesson I learned from recruiting my first staff was “Hire for attitude, train for skill”. You want people that are excited about growing with your brand & are open to learning. And more importantly, the quality of your team is not in numbers but by substance.
6. Pace Yourself ( One step at a time )
Let’s be factual Pleaseeeeee…You really can’t do it all at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
As an Entrepreneur, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to chase too many rabbits at once. I struggled with this as a startup, constantly feeling we needed to do more and expand rapidly. Whewww…this sure left me overwhelmed, burned out, and discouraged. At the end of the day having a detailed business plan, with set milestones is a more effective approach to planning and strategizing for Business Growth.
For me, Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle choice that has afforded me the opportunity to find my PURPOSE. What is Entrepreneurship for you? Is it a lifestyle choice you’re willing to explore?
Let’s Connect in the Comments Section.
Please Drop your Questions and Comments. Cheers to more Wins! xoxo