Mood: Hopeful

There are days I fear I’ll probably break down because I’m trying to keep going and keep my head up.

These last few months have been alot.
From losing everything to starting from scratch.

I haven’t worked out in weeks. Taking one day at a time.

Some days I feel better and other days I just want to sleep.

I keep telling myself “everything will be okay, you will be successful”

I don’t know what is about to happen next. This whole situation has made me angry, bitter, moody and just plain sad!

Coming from a place where we are eager to help people. We’ve housed strangers at no extra costs. And now it’s like the universe is playing games.

You know like “no one is going to help you. I don’t care if you’ve been nice before”.

Hearing someone say “I do not want them in my house because they are Nigerians” is heart breaking.

I try to ask God questions but I’m not getting any answers. Or maybe I’m not satisfied with what He is saying. .

There must be some sort of reward for being kind. I don’t expect anything from anyone because of my kindness but it will be nice for the universe to give me a sign.

From having it all to just falling. I remember the moments people would reach out and my mom won’t hesitate to help. “Don’t pay back, it’s fine”.

Now GHC50 feels like GHC5000.
I don’t bother asking anymore.

I pray for the strength to achieve my goals and keep pushing forward regardless.

“After the storm comes the sunshine…”. I remain hopeful

Featured Image Source: Pexels (Shot by Pixabay).

Self Growth Diary: Page 3- Gratitude

Life comes at you fast. In your moments of pain, anger and sadness, you begin to reflect on your journey. 

Things are rough right now and someday I’ll blog about it. When my mom mentioned gratitude days ago, I brushed it off cause I felt I was truly grateful. I thanked God for his blessings but our conversation this morning made me realise that’s not entirely true.

You see we had it rough in Jos before coming to Ghana. God blessed us but our mindset never changed. There was this feeling of ‘it is not enough’ when in reality, it was overflowing! 

I had to lose it all to see how blessed I was. 

This morning, my mom asked me to move around the house and thank God for everything. For the spoons, the chairs…everything! 

When I started, I broke down in tears. We have so much to be thankful for but the focus was on ‘things that are broken’.

I grew up wishing I had my own room, now I have a room to myself. My little sister has her own room!

I have a Mac book! Something I would see on the magazines and ask ‘God when’. I remember my Sony Vaio broke in Jos and there are days I would switch it on and stare at the white screen. Praying for some sort of miracle…

In our former house (at Regimannuel Estate), I had to craft in my room (it was messy all the time). Here, I converted the garage to my craft room. I was so consumed with the things that did not matter that I failed to appreciate what I had right in front of me.

I always dreamt of living in a duplex as a kid. Walking down the stairs this morning brought back memories of my childhood. 

The staircase I took for granted, climbing up, down, up, down everyday while complaining about irrelevant things, was my wish as a child.

The house we lived in before this one had so many issues (structural). I was consumed by it all. Spent my days complaining.

But it was a beautiful house! We had that pool I always dreamt off (even tho I nearly drowned….story for another day).

I let so much consume me. 

I got angry.

I became sad.

I cried.

And now,

I’m GRATEFUL!

I look back at all God had given us that we took for granted.

We had it all but somehow it felt like we were still struggling.

I look back and realise how those around wished they could switch places with me. Now things make sense!

With my teary eyes, a heart full of so much pain, I say thank you God. You gave us all we ever wanted. You answered all our prayers but somehow we did not see. Even though our reality had changed, the mind was struggling to adapt. 

I’m grateful for being alive. Waking up healthy. I survived a ruptured appendix. I’m still here….I’m grateful!

I’m grateful for my little sister.

I’m grateful for my mother. I remember how she drove from Jos to Taraba State because of government contracts. Many people lost their lives to accidents. Even in all her trials, she has remained healthy and strong. Many do not have their moms. I’m grateful God.

I’m grateful for the house you have blessed us with. Even in this dark moment, I walk around with a grateful heart knowing all will be well. This is temporary. 

I’m grateful for the gifts I’ve been given. I took it all for granted, second guessing myself and doubting my abilities. God would never give me what I cannot handle. 

I’m grateful for everything!

 

 

Featured Image Source: GiftPundits (Pexels)

Self Growth Diary: Page 2- Selling your product

It’s 5:44am here in Accra, I woke up some minutes past four. I cannot sleep (so much happening in my head…).

I don’t want to lay on my bed thinking about the things I could have done better so I decided to continue working on my business plans (yay!).

I’m trying to type but I cannot find the right words to express myself, my vision and my goals :(.

Okay so I’ll blog about something I learnt three days ago, about selling your product even if the client says ‘No’!

This video has opened my eyes to my mistakes and the things I could have done differently. I my defense, I had no idea plus it hurts when you put in so much effort to create a unique piece and a client kills your mood by saying “eh i’ve seen it before or make it cheaper”!

In a master class video by Vusi Thembekwayo, he explains how to get the sale even if the client complains about price.

Vusi Thembekwayo

“… there’s no such thing as a product that’s too expensive. No such thing as a product too expensive. A customer tells you a product is too expensive, you talking to the wrong customer.”

I agree completely. You see when I started KenobyMeu, I underpriced my work! I was making and selling necklaces for GHC60-GHC100. I did not consider the time (takes over 4hours to make one), cost of materials or the effort I put into this work. Even at that price, they still want it cheaper. This can be upsetting! Let’s continue…

“… I never talk price, I talk value.”

Now this is what hit me! Michelle you never talk VALUE! When they underprice my work, I would complain to my family and talk about how much effort I put into this work but never to the CLIENT. I did a quick playback of all my interactions with clients and I never mentioned VALUE. I did not sell the product. 🙁

Once again, “… Never talk price with customers, talk value”.

“Never say no …” *insert: why?*”… ’cause then you walk away from a sale”.

“…what you’ve got to figure out is how to make the customer feel bad for not buying. The minute you say no, they don’t feel bad because they’re like “she’s arrogant”, and they walk away – never say no.”

Ah the table has broken on my head! He’s absolutely right about this. Truth is saying “No” does come off as arrogant or I do not need your money so bounce. In reality I need your money, I’m hurt because you do not understand the time and effort I put into my work.

“No is a word you should try never to use in a sales process. You’ve got to find a way of saying no without saying no!”

Hummmmmmmn

“The price is the conversation people have absent of value. The minute someone mentions price, it means that there’s no value. It means you’ve commoditised what you do.”

This video is an eye opener for me. I’ve made mistakes but it’s all part of the process. No one has it all figured out which is the beauty of life. You learn everyday.

This brings me back to the time I approached a concept store on instagram. Sent an email never got a response (ouch!). But I was determined to push my products to their store. Finally sent a DM and I got a quick response from the page handler. He apologised about the mix up and sent another email address. So I sent pictures of my work and got great feedback.

I was so happy! Finally! He gave me the contact of his boss and I couldn’t wait to send her my work.

Well there is no happy ending in this story, she saw my work and told me…”it looks nice but I’ve seen it before…somewhere around Osu!” Wait a minute, I know where she must have seen it from ’cause I made the piece for that person (who never gave credit to KenoByMeu)!

I felt terrible, I was a bit defensive and I explained that it must have been my work cause I never get credit for it. Then she sends me pictures from google. Tells me I’m talented and all…*sigh*.

I did give feedback to the guy who replied my email and he explained his boss thinks I’m talented and would love for me to make custom pieces for them. I turned it down!

One thing I wished I had done different was I could have handled the situation better. When she said she had seen it before, I could have sold the value of my product and not catch feelings! But would it have made any difference? Let me gain more life experience and I’ll address this 🙂

There was a time I sent a friend a message that I had started making jewelry again and she asked for pictures and price. You should know where this is going 😀

Well she goes “it’s too expensive and people sell it a lot cheaper”. Hummnn. So she sends me pictures of similar style and asks if I could reduce the price. I was offended by her response ( I won’t lie) but again selling the product value would have been the right thing to do.

I’m learning from Vusi’s videos. I love his humor and how he explains things. No sugarcoating, straight to the point! Amazing!

“… So what I’ve had to figure out is how do I make the conversation about value, by the time it gets to price it doesn’t matter.”

Even though I have made mistakes, I cherish them. I understand that life is a stage, and each stage you take something with you. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Note to self: Do not feel bad about the mistakes you have made or the time you wasted. You know better now, so rise!

Watch the full video below (I’ve linked it to the part where he talks about making the sales – 10:07)

Continuation of the series – How to get a customer to buy, when they tell you they don’t have the authority to.

Featured Image source, Pexels (photo by Breakingpic)

Self Growth Diary: Page 1

They say the only thing constant in life is change. The world will not wait for you to adjust or pick yourself up. Time will not wait for you to feel better about yourself! The earth keeps rotating and the sun keeps shining.

I have decided to embark on a journey of self growth and self discovery. I know I procrastinate but I’m hoping I can do better this time. 

I do not want to stand, watching life go by or laying on my bed, wishing I could do this or that. If I do not like something about myself, then I have to fix it. I cannot wish it away, I have to make effort to do better and be better.

Welcome to the first page of ‘self growth’. As an introduction, I want to share these videos with you all. Honestly I have learnt so much and I hope you find them useful.

Anna Bey: School Of Affluence

Guest Etiquette – Dos & Don’ts For Elegant Ladies 
  1. Always RSVP (never cancel last minute)
  2. Ask before bringing a guest
  3. Never arrive empty-handed
  4. Respect the dress code
  5.  Eat beforehand
  6. Arrive on time
  7. Greet your host (do not forget to say goodbye before you leave)
  8. Keep your phone on silent (or preferably switched off)
  9. Stay away from drama (do not fight/gossip/badmouth somebody)
  10. Never stay until the end 

Tracy Hensel

TIPS To Being A CLASSY LADY
  1. Dress for success
  2. Arrive on time (communicate with your host if you are running late)
  3. Sitting and Walking 
  4. Avoid gossip (small people talk about people, and people with great minds talk about events)
  5.  Be a good listener
  6. Give compliments (and learn to accept compliments)
  7. No swearing (watch your speech and language)
  8. Never talk about what somebody else is eating
  9. Be cautious about phone use 
  10. Lending assistance. Classy ladies are always thinking about other people and putting them first

Leave people and things BETTER than you found them.

Parmita Katkar: Blush with me-Parmita

10 Ways To Redefine Everyday Style/styling Mistakes To Avoid
  1. Get a ‘classy’ phone cover
  2. Take care of your handbags
  3. Stay away from single layered, tight fitting sports bra
  4. Get the right bra size
  5. Keep ‘mirrored’ sunglasses clean
  6. Iron your clothes
  7. Wear clean clothes
  8. Keep hair clean and moisturized
  9. Keep makeup minimal
  10. Keep nails clean and well manicured

7 Steps To Gain Self Confidence
  1. Smile (keep it genuine, keep it simple, keep it subtle)
  2. Stay positive
  3. Body language (pull yourself up, open up your shoulders) – make sure you’re not shrinking yourself
  4. Always dress up well, look presentable.
  5. Right undergarment (wrong size bra, panty lines showing)
  6. Slow down (action, speech) – when you speak a little slower, people listen to you.
  7. Smell good (a sign of good hygiene)
How To Improve Communication Skills
  1. Master the art of timing
  2. Find positive answers to your typical everyday questions
  3. Do not memorize what you want to say word for word (register the main points)
  4. Listen
  5. Know your audience
  6. Act – do not let your mood dictate how your day/meeting will go
  7. Set your body language to adapt to the audience
  8. Pay attention to your tone
  9. Use your phone – record a video of yourself in a mock conversation. Record voice memos.

Featured Image source: Pexels (by ATC – Comm Photo)

Still I Rise – Maya Angelou

It’s 10:54 right here (Accra, Gh). I’m lost in my thoughts and I cannot seem to concentrate on what I have to do. The past 2 years has been filled with ups and many downs. I look back and I wish I could have done things the right way or avoided certain mistakes but you cannot change the past.

I think about those who I held close to my heart. You know deep down they really do not like you but you say, ‘we are family so keep trying’. Their words do not come as a surprise. What did you expect?

I believe everyone has their time and in this journey called life, you are your own competition. Maybe it hurts that those you encouraged while they did not know what to do next will turn back and spit at you when you find yourself…lost.

They will mock you for not being able to settle or find direction. Same ones you held up high when they fell flat. As I stare at my laptop, wondering what to do next, I remember this poem from Maya Angelou, Still I Rise.

I have to remind myself, RISE ABOVE IT ALL!

I’m sharing my favorite parts of her poem. Enjoy 🙂

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
 
 
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
 
 
Read the full poem here.

Featured Image source: Pexels.com (Shot by Rawpixel)

Everything Will Be Okay 1

Everything will be okay: Part 1

This is my first article on the site and I’ve been struggling.
I have so much to write about but I don’t know where to start from or what to say.

‘MICHELLE JUST WRITE AND STOP OVER THINKING….’
“Okay…okay… I’ll do that’

Whenever we face challenges, it feels like this is the end. Everything is ruined and you cannot move past this phase.

Thoughts of the future begin to run through your mind. You imagine how everything will finally be over and you’ll be at peace but that tiny voice, self-doubt creeps in ‘you will NEVER escape. NEVER!’
Then you retreat back into your shell, with tears flowing you convince yourself ‘I cannot do it…’

At different points in our lives, we face challenges that makes it seem like this is the end but is it really the end?

I remember writing junior wassce in Nigeria (Jos, Plateau State) and I was scared. The teachers made me feel like there was no way I could ever pass (I’ll write an article about this soon). 

I read my books but each time it felt like I wasn’t smart enough and there was no way I could ever succeed. Self-doubt became my best friend…
“You cannot pass this exam. See your mates they will be promoted and you will remain in the same class. Give up!”

We wrote the exams and started the next class (SS1) but here’s the thing, if you fail, you’d have to repeat JSS3 all over again.
Now image the humiliation of being told to return back to your previous class because ‘You did not perform well’.

I was scared. Each day I had panic attacks. Whenever I would see the principal, my heart will begin to race. 
A female teacher made it worse. I remember she told me not to get comfortable because she doesn’t think I was smart enough to pass the exams.

Results came in and we were asked to go to her office one after the other. I was scared. Maybe I should just go home, there’s no way I’d pass.

I remember a junior student telling me not to worry. His mom brought in the results and I had passed. I did not believe him.

When it was my turn and I entered her office, she already made me feel like I did not make it. 

When she took the sealed envelope, her mood changed and she looked up to me ‘… you passed!’

I was beyond excited.

She didn’t say a word to me again!

She gave me the envelop and I left her office.
(This has to be one of my fondest memories on this journey called life.)

She wasn’t happy but I didn’t care. 
I passed.
I didn’t get straight A’s but I passed and that’s all that matters.

Everything will be okay.
Whenever you face any challenge, remember the ones you have already conquered. 
Remember the times you cried. 
Remember the times you almost gave up.

You are a fighter. 
You are strong.
You cannot be defeated.

You have faced obstacles before.
Remind yourself of the times you thought you couldn’t make it.
Remind yourself of the journeys you have completed.
Remember the hurdles you have jumped and the foes you defeated.

Everything will be okay.
Wipe your tears.
Dust yourself. 
Rise above it all.

I know it’s not easy. 
Self doubt will always be there to remind you ‘it’s over’.
As I write this post, it tells me “No one will ever read your blog!”

But I have to remember the battles I’ve won. 

Everything will be okay.
Everything will be okay.
Everything will be okay.

~MEU

Featured Image source: Nappy for Pexels

NB: pardon flaws or errors in my post. I’m so nervous about sharing my thoughts and life experiences. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

Isaiah 45 – I will go before you

Earlier this year, my mom asked me to read Isaiah 45:1-5 and it has become one of my favorite bible chapters.

I will go before you
    and will level the mountains…

Isaiah 45:2

“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
    and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
    so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
    and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me.

NB: This chapter inspired my new business ‘name’. I cannot wait to share it with you…

~MEU

Image source: Pexels

Make Gifts For People – Comic

Anyone who knows me well can testify that I love comics.

When I discovered ZenPencils, I was amazed that Gavin was able to turn inspirational quotes into AMAZING comics.

I’d like to share one of my favorites with you, Make Gifts for people (inspired by John Green).

Learn more about this comic here.

~MEU