Two events in one weekend! I really am growing and sticking with my resolutions – doing good that benefits more people.
At the beginning of this year, my mantra was “do the work and fall in love with the work.” And five months down the line, I’m still close to it.
Last weekend, I found myself with two workshops to facilitate over the weekend, and felt quite excited about it.
First was on Friday, March 25 with my YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) team. As part of our community service project, we spoke to Junior High students in the University of Ghana Basic School about “Getting ahead in their academics using the internet and social media.”
It was a successful session divvied up in one short hour – an introduction to YALI, a keynote speech (which I gave :)), a Spoken Word performance by our contributor: Qubammish, and break-out workshop sessions where we answered the students’ questions up close.
The day went by fast; and at the end I felt truly happy – this high that comes from doing something that matters for other people.
Next event was the next day, Saturday 26th. It was the WomENtrepreners Conference put together by Challenges Worldwide (more info on their website) at the University of Ghana; and I was to facilitate a 1 hour workshop on Personal Branding and Digital Marketing.
The Challenges Worldwide team create a world of opportunities by educating and supporting young entrepreneurs and SMEs around the world.
Did I prepare for it? No. Should I have? Yes. But it still went great. It’s an interesting new development for me to see that knowledge I’ve gained over years as a freelance writer, PR consultant, media host and tech entrepreneur are adding up to useful and sought-after answers and resources for young entrepreneurs and professionals starting out.
It was an interactive session and I found it interesting that even though I had spoken to an audience of 12 – 16 year olds the day before; and was speaking to 19 – 28 year olds on this day, most of the questions were the same: How do I use what I have now to get to where I want to be?, What’s important knowledge and what is not?, What are your short-cuts to success?, Will you mentor me through my academic or professional career?
I think this is what we all seek – to know ourselves better, find a guide who’s been through what we admire, to walk with them to become the best us.
The conference featured other speakers like Dr Charles Buckman, an expert and activist for effective parenting; and Dr Esi Ansah of Ashesi University.
“Swot analysis isn’t just for business! It’s beneficial for your own personal awareness and development. You should know yourself.” – Dr Esi Ansah
In my breakout session, there were 25 participants, and the questions kept flowing. My favourite was from a young lady with a good-to-have problem – she had just been promoted to a leadership role, and was stuck on how to handle her social media accounts and presence. Could she still be herself, LOLing at silly jokes like she’s always done or should she become more professional, more leader-like, be more serious?
I wonder if you know what my answer to her was…. 🙂
Sharing my own story, I adviced her to let go off the past and move forward into the new season in her life. I used to be Kay_Bellybutton on Twitter and other platforms but when I started growing in my career and deliberately building my personal brand, I dropped the kay_bellybutton to become kelechiudoagwu; so a better, a new woman could emerge.
My thinking is we all have no idea what our future could lead up to, but we’ve been through our past. We sometimes delay what is to come by holding on to who are or have been.
All in all, it was a great weekend, and with the feel-good hormones still popping – I know I’m going to do more of these events as the year goes on.
I love helping people, especially the young ones who are still curious and teachable. If a word I speak or write, can send someone on a better path than they would have lived, then yes! I will speak and write those words.
There’s something inside every one of us that someone else needs. And when we don’t share our gifts, others suffer.
Here’s to falling more in love with the work and doing it till the impact is undeniable and admirable 🍻