The 2023 International Women’s Day, IWD, is around the corner and there is no better time to highlight some of the money secrets to learn from Ibukun Awosika.
One of Nigeria’s few female powerhouses, Mrs Awosika embodies the saying that women are the architect of the society.
An accomplished entrepreneur, banker, philanthropist and motivational speaker, Mrs Awosika has never failed to inspire young people towards achieving their money goals.
Who is Ibukun Awosika?
The name Ibukunoluwa Awosika is very familiar in Nigerian and global business and entrepreneurship circles. A graduate of Chemistry from the University of Ife, Nigeria, she is an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School.
She also attended the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain as well as Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools.
Her exploits in business earned a fellowship of the African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network, Institute of Directors, and Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria.
After her National Youth Service in Kano, she joined Alibert Nigeria Ltd., a furniture company as showroom manager.
A few weeks to her 26th birthday, she established a furniture manufacturing company called The Chair Centre Limited.
On September 7, 2015, Ibukun became the first woman to be appointed Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. She held the position till 2021.
She also sits on the International Advisory Board of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain.
Money lessons you can learn from Ibukun Awosika
Ibukun, through her projects, is committed to raising a new generation of business men and women.
Over the course of her colourful and still very active career, Mrs Awosika has delivered a good number of motivational speeches.
1. Build for the long term
As stated, in her mid-20s, Mrs Awosika started a furniture company in a male-dominated field, but that did not deter her.
Being different, she said, paid to her advantage.
“There were about two or three of us that were girls who were starting out at the same time. The funny thing is, all the guys who started with us at the same time; those businesses are dead. All the girls are largely still in the business. That says something about the tenacity, the resilience of women to build for the long term. And you must never underestimate it,” she said.
2. Your spouse is a key success factor
Although she was particular about young women, she said that this rule applies to men also.
In one of her interviews, Mrs Awosika encouraged young women to be sure that the man they intend to marry is one who has the capacity to handle their growth, however high they rise.
“It’s almost impossible to tell where your journey would end. if a guy does not have the capacity to grow with you, with your vision as you emerge, there will be problems,” she said.
3. Know your real worth
Knowing your real worth, according to Mrs Ibukun Awosika, is key to determining your financial success.
She said, “Do you know your real worth, or have you been deceived into thinking that your value is in your perfect legs, your straight arm, your figure eight, your beautiful face, your false hair or original hair?
“So, when you don’t see what you think is value in others, you then look at yourself and wonder what God did.”
4. Stay loyal to your goals.
This lesson is particularly directed at women. According to Mrs Awosika, most big businesses in Nigeria and the world over are typically run by men.
As a woman, not staying loyal to your goals is the biggest disservice you can do to yourself, especially in terms of character, competence and integrity.
“You get the opportunity by invitation, but you move forward by your performance. This means when you get your first seat at the table, do you deliver or as a woman, do you play the gender card?
“Showing up means you exceed expectations in terms of your commitment, loyalty, diligence, and ability to do that for which you were invited. When you deliver the results, people notice. Which is why when you get the first opportunity, you must do the best that you can,” she said.
5. Faith plays a part
Mrs Awosika is unashamedly a woman of faith. She never fails to mention her conversion to Christianity and how religion has been her mainstay, even in business.
According to her, the bible has a word for everything you will encounter in business.
“How you deal with your employees, how you deal with suppliers, how you deal with your neighbours, how you handle profit, how you handle pricing, there is every kind you issue that you will deal with in business in the scripture. I made those choices according to the biblical pattern. it was tough,” she said.
6. Money is not wealth
According to Mrs Ibukun Awosika, in the context of the general world, when a man is rich, we say he is wealthy.
But in actual fact, she said, a man who lacks good health, who lacks peace of mind, who lacks joy is not considered wealthy, no matter how much money he has.
“Really, money is a tool. It is useful for many things, but there are also many things that money cannot provide for you. So, it depends on who you are, where you are and your understanding of what is important. Money is part of wealth. but money isn’t wealth all by itself,” she added.
7. Pursue the assignment of your life
One money secret her protégés have learnt from her is the need to pursue the assignment of your life.
“Pursue being a contributor of value to humanity and your community, pursue doing those things that will bring you joy and satisfaction. Ultimately, in doing those things, money will come as a by-product of whatever you do that you do well,” she said.
8. Make that money work for you
Among the important money secrets to learn from Ibukun Awosika is that your money can actually work for you.
Sharing her theory of the sand and the block, Mrs Awosika said that your sand is the money that you are gathering a little at a time.
If it doesn’t amount to much, she said, when the wind comes, it will scatter. If there is a flood, it will just totally disappear.
“But if you are consistent, disciplined and you focus on of your goals, you will have enough sand to mould block. What you would have would no longer be sand. it would become a block.
“The difference between a block and sand is that when the wind comes and everything, the sand can scatter. Until you have moulded the block that will generate your sand, you don’t consume your sand.
“The only way you do that is that you are disciplined, you are determined, you are dedicated to your goal and that you find that kind,” she said.
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IWD 2023 will be marked on Wednesday, March 8. The IWD 2023’s #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about inclusivity and fairness in the society.
In line with that thought, Mrs Awosika highlighted the need for more education about financial literacy among both men and women alike if we are going to achieve true economic equality between genders.
She believes that by increasing our knowledge about money matters we can create a fairer system where everyone has equal access to resources regardless of gender or social status.