Self-motivation is one of the biggest traits every successful entrepreneur has to learn. It helps you keep going when you don’t feel like it and fight against the odds to build your brand.
Previously, we spoke with Mary Magdalene Ekanem on how she builds leadership skills as a beauty entrepreneur. This week, we spoke with Oluwabunmi Fadahunsi on how she motivates herself as an entrepreneur to keep going.
Work role: Executive Assistant / Creative Director of Boom Closet.
Phone: iPhone X.
Best work quote: Don’t every underestimate your ability to learn new skills.
First thing you do every morning: Pray.
Best cloth to wear: A short dress.
For owanbe: A native dress.
What language do you speak when you’re angry: English and Yoruba.
Please tell us about yourself and your brand.
I’m Oluwabunmi Fadahunsi and I am the Creative Director of Boom Closet. Boom Closet is an online retail underwear and loungewear store. At Boom Closet, we sell all things underwear – panties, lingerie, bras and so on for the modern woman. We operate mainly from our Instagram page.
Nice to meet you, Oluwabunmi. What was the Inspiration behind Boom Closet?
Long before I gained admission into the university in 2011, I had always wanted to venture into an underwear business. My aunt knew someone that sold underwear at Oshodi market and when I went to her shop one day I was so encouraged to start the business. I was impressed at how full her shop was even though it was majorly underwear she sold.
I asked her questions and she told me it’s a profitable business and if I put my mind to it I’d love it. Asides from that, I’m a person that pays special attention to my underwear so I change them often and keep them in top-notch condition.
I realised a lot of modern women don’t have the time to go to the market to source nice underwear and loungewear and that was what motivated me to start the business. I didn’t start until after my university education in 2015 because I didn’t want to get distracted at school. Officially, the brand is over 2 years old now.
Currently, I also work as an Executive Assistant at a firm.
Our focus today is on self-motivation. So far, how have you been able to motivate yourself to keep going on?
Since the pandemic, I’ve been working from home so I’ve had a lot of time to focus on my business. Self-motivation was a big thing for me at the start of my business. Having to encourage and convince clients to patronise me and going to source unique items from the market was very challenging for me. I just had to keep going because it is what I love doing.
How do you motivate yourself to keep going on when clients aren’t coming as you’d like them to?
The fact that I love the business has always kept me going. Even when I don’t make sales, my love for it keeps me moving. At times, when it gets tough because sales are not happening, I try to push myself to put in the work.
I like to run ads campaigns on Instagram at least 3 times a month which helps me gain more visibility. Although I spend money on these campaigns, they usually help me gain more followers and make some sales.
I also follow up on my old clients. I reach out to them and let them know that we have new items in stock.
Please tell us about a time when you were not motivated to keep going on and how you overcame it.
I was seriously unmotivated during the pandemic. From April through to July of last year I stopped selling even though some of my colleagues were still making sales. I didn’t even know what to do in that period.
At the same time, however, I realised that while I was away, some people kept sending me messages. They were wondering what was happening and why I was not posting anything because they wanted to buy underwear.
I finally realised that I had to get out of my comfort zone and intentionally go to the market to buy new things. This was easy for me before because I used to stop by the market after I closed from work but now, I had to purposely leave my house to go to the market even though I live far from it.
I left my comfort zone and pushed myself to do what I wasn’t doing before because the business has to grow. So, with the help of friends, my parents, and my fiance, I got encouragement to start selling again. That was how I was able to overcome my unmotivated phase.
Have you ever been in a situation where those around you didn’t believe you could keep the business running? How did you go on despite this?
Yes! I have a lot of them. These people are people that are close to me but have never bought anything from me or referred the business to anyone they know. Instead of referring my business to their community, they would rather refer other businesses to them because they don’t believe in my dream.
With this, though, I didn’t mind because there will always be obstacles in life. There will always be naysayers that don’t think you can make it in life or succeed in business, but I had to look away. I had to look away and ignore them because they don’t pay my bills, they owe me nothing and I owe them nothing too.
I leave them to think whatever they want to about my business and focus on what I’m doing. A few of these people have now started messaging and encouraging me. These kinds of people are bound to be in your life but you just have to focus on what you want to do. That’s what I did.
Have you ever had difficulty believing in yourself as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome that hurdle?
Yes. This was before I started the business. I have a friend that is into the same business, and she has been in it for years. I just felt like it would be awkward for me to do the same business as her in case she started feeling like I wanted to steal her customers. Also, I didn’t have anyone to put me through the business.
I felt so down and I didn’t know how to start it. I told my mum about it and she advised me to talk to my friend about it since she already had the hang of it. She advised that I pray and approach my friend to take me through the nitty-gritty of the business. After I did all my mum advised me to do, I got the courage and asked her and she was very helpful and encouraging.
What are the major challenges you have with motivation?
The major challenge is that most of the time I do not have people to encourage me. It makes me feel unmotivated, but, when I go to my Instagram page and I see the number of clients I have, I am always very thankful. I didn’t even advertise to about 80 per cent of them, they only saw me and trusted the brand. That helps me forge ahead.
What are the major self-motivation tips that guide you in business?
Always believe in what you do even when it looks foolish to people. Also, put in the work your business needs. For example, I follow many digital marketers on Instagram and they help me know what content to post on my page and how to do it.
Also, always make sure that what you do is positive. Some people buy followers and likes and when you look at their pages you wonder why yours is not growing and it makes you lose focus. Don’t focus on them but focus on your business.
So, keep doing what you are doing, believe in yourself and what you do, and remain focused. Challenges will come at you but don’t fret, move ahead of it.
You’ve had fashion designers sew clothes for you before. What’s your opinion of the industry?
The industry is a very big one with so many designers out there. However, out of 100 per cent, only about 60 per cent know their stuff. The remaining 40 per cent don’t know what they are doing. That’s my opinion, but, so far, so good we have seen many go out of their way to improve and make great designs.
What were your worst and best experiences with a fashion designer?
I’ve not had a worst experience. My best was when a fashion designer friend of mine delivered an outfit to me that fit perfectly. It was amazing because she did not measure me, she only saw my picture and was told my size but she got everything right. That was great compared to the ones that will measure you and still sew rubbish at the end of the day.
What is the top advice you have for other entrepreneurs on self-motivation?
My top advice is, do not give way to distractions. They will come but do not give way for them. Also, believe in what you do, believe in yourself and don’t ever lose focus. When challenges come, try as much as possible to get past them and move forward. I’ve gone through so many challenges but I’m still here.
Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you for having me.
What has self-motivation tips have you gotten from this article that will help you grow your brand? Do share with us in the comments section below.