I remember standing at the UN in September 2016, completely exhausted, crying and tired with no makeup despite the fact we were going to make history.
Around 11 am on the 20th of September 2016, I was at the UN listening iamtheCODE being mentioned as (the first African movement to mobilize government, the private sector, and philanthropic foundation to invest in STEAMD (Science, Technology Education, Mathematics, Art, and Design) Education. I was so touched and excited for our girls, my team, and global partners. I knew our lives would never be the same again.
In 2017, I was standing at the same spot with my mentee about to enter the UNICEF building where everything was so different and I felt so grateful and took a deep breath in the rainy 42nd Street. I was going to be nominated by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; I could not believe how so many things can change in just one year.
Here are the 10 things that I would like to share:
1-Do not give up
You must never give up even when things are tough and extremely hard. Things will ultimately get better.
2- Use your instinct to identify the good guys and bad guys
Unfortunately, we are living in a very competitive world. Not everyone wishes you success all the time. I know this sounds negative but it is true. Follow your instinct and you will know whom to trust and share your ideas with. Do not waste your time with opportunist and users. Move on to greatness.
3- Be yourself and never compromise your values.
In some networks, you will be judged, humiliated and disregarded, but you must stay put and focused. Never compromise your values and ideals. What is meant to be will be, work hard and never apologize for working hard.
4- Protect your family and your brand
When you care about something so deeply, you need to protect it. I learned to not criticize my son and my team but encourage them. When people have the passion and desire to help you, allow them, always treat people the way you want to the treated.
5- Be grateful you that made it throughout the year.
Life is really tough therefore when things are going well, be thankful. Have empathy for others that did not make it.
6-Ask for help
Do not hesitate to ask for help. When you need help, ask for it put your pride and dignity aside and ask for support. Recognise what you are not good at and let people with the right skills help you with clear processes.
7- Hire the right people to help you
People are everything but when you hire the wrong people, your business will suffer seriously. Have the courage to fire them or let them go amicably. Time is money and they will charge you for their mediocrity. Recruit the right people to help you. It takes only one-week link for your business to be dragged down. Try to have the right team and have the humility to say you do not know when you do not know. There is plenty of help out there. Humility is important.
8- Be Kind to yourself
I know life is tough but do not marginalize yourself. Emancipate yourself from negative thinking.Think Positive. Go and create opportunities for yourself, read books, educate yourself, organize for knowledge and empowerment. Take it one day at the time.
9- Celebrate your achievements
Be proud of what you have achieved and don’t feel shame about it. We tend to feel bad about our achievements but really don’t. If you have worked hard, celebrate, enjoy it because life is too short. If you have something to say, let’s the world hear it. Tell your story and build alliances.
10-Believe in yourself
The world is your oyster. Do not doubt about yourself. I learned that we all want the same thing meanings love, it does not matter where you were born, but we all want it. People will remember your name if they see confidence, passion, honesty, empathy, and determination.
I hope you have a wonderful 2018. Thank you again for all your support.