My name is Victoria Victor. I was born in the 1970s. I’m an indigene of Nsit Atai, Akwa Ibom State. I grew up in an average-income family. My parents gave birth to five children, and I’m the third. Both of them were school principals, and they also had side businesses.
Growing up in our home was fun. Sometimes, I miss those childhood days when I didn’t have to worry about paying bills because my parents were responsible for that. However, today, it’s my turn to play the role of a parent, and it has not been easy at all, considering the state of our current economy.
I learned the hard way that to succeed in business, you must keep your emotions out of it
I attended Methodist Primary School in Okoro Atai, Nsit Atai, before proceeding to Immaculate Conception Secondary School in Itak-Ikono in Akwa Ibom State. I was a well-behaved student because I didn’t want to tarnish my family’s image. However, there were times I made mistakes and got into trouble.
I learned some major life skills in secondary school. Most of the students were very intelligent, so I had to work very hard to be among the best. After obtaining my West African School Certificate, I got admitted into Calabar Polytechnic to study Mass Communication.
I’m a multi-talented woman. I work as Marketing Specialist, Food & Beverage Specialist, Business/Relationship Coach, Human Resource Professional, Content Creator and Brand Developer/Manager. Are you wondering how I’m able to do all that? I will tell you.
I’m a single mom with four children. The journey started long ago when I was very naive. It is actually a pathetic story, but I will save it for another day. Not every woman plans to be a single mother, but if you find yourself in that boat, you just have to keep sailing until you take the reins.
Since I have no one to support me financially, I have learned to try my hand at many things. Over the years, most of the businesses I started failed because of the mistakes I made.
I work as Marketing Specialist, Food & Beverage Specialist, Business/Relationship Coach, Human Resource Professional, Content Creator and Brand Developer/Manager
One of the businesses I’m managing currently is called Belly-On-Wheels. I cook and design both local and intercontinental dishes. I work with production houses to make sumptuous meals for the crew and cast. Trust me, it’s so fulfilling when they give you a warm hug after eating your food. These days, business is generally slow, but if you know your onions and if you’ve had a good client base, you can be sure of patronage.
Another area I am really passionate about is creating brand awareness. I combine my failed experiences and expertise to make sure every business I am currently working with reaches its maximum profit level and I get paid for my services. But, aside from the monetary aspect, nothing is as sweet as helping others succeed. My team and I have been able to sign on quite a number of awesome clients.
Life as a single mum
In the beginning, I was very confused. I didn’t even have any source of income, but I kept trusting God to see me through. Honestly, it was not easy. In the past, we experienced both hunger pangs and humiliation. There were times when I gave up on everything, but some good friends pulled me back to my feet with healing words of encouragement.
Achieving success the right way requires God, guts, and time
I have known what it means to abound and abase. I have suffered shame from begging to survive. I have been homeless and carelessly thrown out on the street because I couldn’t pay my rent. I have squatted in the boys’ quarter of a neighbour’s house alongside my children and other dependents.
In all of these, I still trusted God and myself to see me through, and He has been faithful. Honestly, the life of a single mum is not a sweet melody to any ear. While I was going through all that, I never thought of joining the vicious circle just to make it. I always believed that with hard work, someday everything would work out.
In the early days, I had a girl that I trained to be like me. While she was taking care of my children, I was busy working my a-s off to give them quality life. However, the story is different today. My kids are grownups, and they are doing very well in their different careers. They also support my hustle.
This comes in two forms: government-created mistakes and self-created mistakes. As a businesswoman, the major challenges I have been experiencing are the lack of finances and good systems in this country. There are many things I’d like to add to my business to help it grow and solve people’s problems, but the funds aren’t there, and the system is so broken that you can’t go into a bank and ask for a loan.
I have been homeless and carelessly thrown out on the street because I couldn’t pay my rent
The self-created mistake I made was to trust the wrong people. After I placed them in charge of my business, they ended up ruining it. Also, I used to sell my goods on credit, and there were times I lent my capital just to help a friend in need. But guess what? They absconded with my money. So, I learned the hard way that to succeed in business, you must keep your emotions out of it.
Another mistake I made was that I didn’t know how to keep good financial records. Also, I was using my capital to pay for home expenses. I carried many responsibilities, and that sort of slowed down my speed level. Over and over again, I found myself on the ground, only to start something new again. But that’s not the case today; I had to reevaluate and redesign my approach to achieve a better result, and I also made some tough decisions that changed the algorithm for me.
To succeed as a ‘mumpreneur,’ you must be strict with cash. Recognize the difference between a liability and an investment. Know what responsibilities to carry and what not to. Then, be accountable to yourself and to your business.
I have walked through thorny paths and survived all the bruises of life
One of my proudest moments was when I addressed the women in my church. I taught them bookkeeping and how to balance accounts in their various businesses. It was like opening a new phase of their lives, and they are still appreciating it to this day.
My Passion for Public Speaking
I have walked through thorny paths and survived all the bruises of life. So whenever I see people going through some rough patches, I try to help them out. One of the ways I help out is by encouraging them to be strong and hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. So, that was how I became a motivational speaker in church and everywhere I find myself.
Initially, I never knew I could monetize this gift until I started receiving invitations from different people to speak at their events. I’m glad that many lives have been inspired after listening to me.
My Major Breakthrough
After hustling and earning peanuts for years, I got a major contract from Dana Airlines to brand the whole airport for its launch. I was very happy to do the job. Although I studied Mass Communication, I had always wanted to be a successful businesswoman. Thankfully, that dream is gradually becoming a reality.
As a confident woman, I don’t have to put down a man to feel good about myself
Am I a feminist?
Many people have really misinterpreted the word “feminism.” It has become a trend for some women to make make feminism look like a backlash against men. Sadly, I don’t go with trends; I am the trend. I am a confident woman and I don’t have to put down a man to feel good about myself. Our roles are different, so, I stay in my God-given lane.
Awards and Recognition
I have received several awards and recognition from my church. I hope to get more from other organisations in the future.
When I’m not researching or working, I watch Turkish telenovellas to learn and relax. If I wasn’t a businesswoman, I would have loved to be either a teacher or an actress. One person I admire greatly is Michelle Obama, and I would love to meet her someday.
Everyone knows how challenging it is to survive in this country. Sometimes, I cry and beat myself up, but one thing is certain: I will never ever give up. I owe it to myself, God, and my children to succeed.
Not every woman plans to be a single mother, but if you find yourself in that boat, you just have to keep sailing until you take the reins
Do you also want to succeed? If so, the key to success are planning, consistency, commitment, tenacity, focus, accountability, hope, and believing in yourself. Achieving success the right way requires God, guts, and time.
Therefore, no matter where you are today, you can get to anywhere you want to be in the future only if you believe it and start working towards it.
Finally, remember to always keep your hope alive. I wish you more grace.