As part of the Mandela Washington fellowship I was posted for an internship at GladRags in Portland to apply skills I learned during the six weeks of learning at UC Berkeley as well as learn how to set up my own factory as we have a similar vision. It’s been two months of learning, work and fun.
Well, some of the things may sound cliche but they are truly what I observed during my stay here and they work! They are listed below in no particular order;
1. Hard work pays off, you have to be diligent at what you do. Nothing comes for free. You have to put your mind, energy and efforts into your work and it will eventually pay off.
2. Be excellent, no one likes mediocre work.
3. Be informed, know what it takes to make things work in your company. Be alert, know current affairs.
4. Build partnerships, you cannot do it all alone. Look for people with similar agenda, mission and vision and work with them you will be surprised by how much you will achieve in shortest time possible.
5. Be hands on. I’ll give an example: my boss is the president of the company and the person in charge of shipping was unwell. There was so much to be shipped that my boss offered to do it herself though the person had said she would do it the next day.
6. Running a company is not easy. Sometimes you will have to sacrifice your time, energy and things you love to make it work.
7. Things I got to appreciate: feedback. I really didn’t know feedback mattered until when I approached new partners to work with GladRags. Always respond to that mail, you never know.
8. Branding, you really have to sell your brand, people need to know what it is that you do. There are cost effective ways of doing it. You can creatively use social media to build your brand.
9. Be creative. Keep in mind simplicity is key.
10. Analytical thinking, analyze before you take any action. Identify options you have at hand.
11. Etiquette. Be nice and kind.
12. Keep a diary, a to-do list to keep you abreast with what you should do. It saves time and helps you know what tasks should be done. Manage your time, remember time is money. There’s nothing like African time
13. Customer is king, always treat your customer well even if they are wrong. Apologize if need be.
14. Always treat your staff well, commend them for a job well done.
15. Always think ahead, nothing should catch you by surprise. Have a plan.
16. Be passionate about what you do.
17. Sometimes take a walk, it really does help to clear up your mind… I will never forget the walk to Dutch Bros for coffee
18. Be conscious of the environment, recycle and reduce waste.
20. Be organized and neat. It really helps to have an uncluttered office.
21. Be open to learn, you can never stop learning. Knowledge is power.
22. Listen to other people’s opinion keenly.
23. Always jot your ideas on a notebook or whichever works for you but have them written down that way they will keep you focused. Do you have your mission, vision and goals written down?
24. It’s OK to bring your pets to work, it’s never that serious I will miss you Riggs and Roger, you helped me deal with and overcome my fears (I feared dogs, I would not be seen in the same room with them) and for that matter I’m getting myself a pug.
25. Not everyday you will wake up feeling awesome and energetic ready to face the world, there are days you will want to sleep in and forget everything going on around you. When you are in that state, get coffee–it works wonders!
26. Believe in yourself. Trust me it’s only you who is keeping yourself from success and happiness. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Finally, give back to your community. Reach out to the poor and vulnerable and help empower them.
I am delighted that at GladRags I was taught, engaged and involved in all activities to equip me to take up my leadership role to the next level.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Have a Lovely read!
About the author of this post:
Maureen runs Donate A Pad Initiative, and is a Mandela Washington Fellow 2014, Young African Leader. She is passionate about empowering young girls to complete education and is a mentor. She loves telling her story to inspire people to reach out to their dreams and be more. “There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”~Aldous Huxley