TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK Part 3- My Journey

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Hey Prosper, how are you today? How has your week? I’m here having a mini melt down from disappointment in many of our “Naija Style” Black Friday promise­-and-fail online stores. God is watching all of them on 3D. After promising us 90% off and then…poof!!!April fool in October!

So , I got a bunch of awesome feedbacks (is that even correct grammar?feedbacks kwa!) from you guys, thank you oh so much! It took so much self-motivation for me to begin writing again, so right now, your feedback is like party jollof rice to my soul.

On Friday last week, I started giving you a little insight into my background about my wakeup call into entrepreneurship. So here’s the continuation. By the time I was out of school, I was posted to Katsina State for my service year, against Mumsy’s wish and mine. She had tried to influence my posting to Lagos or somewhere still on the face of the earth but somehow, when I heard how much this guy had charged her to do it, I called him (behind the scenes) and told him to let it be. I have always been an adventurous person so I just wanted to see how my life would play out at the time, leaving everything for God. I developed a personal philosophy quite early in my life that, if I started a new phase of my life by ‘self-lobbying’ then I better be ready to ‘self-lobby’ all the way and not suddenly start depending on God when d matter go hook me since I failed to do so from the start. I cried shaaaa! My recovery song was TY Bello’s “The land is Green” . I listened to that song it until I purged .

I was posted to work at Diamond Bank for my service year, and as much as some of my friends thought I was lucky, I was depressed about it. How I wan take sell my market na? I had silently looked forward to a teaching job first because I have this love affair thing for teaching,  and then my selfish reason that  I would have good time on my hands to be the bead maker that I was. As far as I was concerned, God was wasting my time. Oh, how wrong I was! Now I know better that because I sucked at marketing, and customer relationship, He placed me in the center of it all to learn. He just put me there and said, Shalom, survive and learn right here or faint and learn. Whichever way, you will learn. He was setting me up to run an enterprise, and then build an empire. He was building my capacity for my purpose. He still is! He had blessed me with skillful hands, hands that loved to make art and create beautiful things out of basic things, but just having a skill or talent is never enough to create wealth. I needed to learn a lot that my first degree in Linguistics had not given me back in 2006. I had plans to spend my service year making beautiful jewelry and then sell, but like my good friend Weyinmi says, Man proposes, God Laughs! God doesn’t set us up for small things; He takes us step by step till we’re fit to handle big things.

I eagerly looked forward to what was up next for me after my year in KT. I started to feel very restless about beading, since I knew from the start that I was only doing it temporarily, It didn’t surprise me when I lost interest in it and started giving out my tools. Now done with service, I wasn’t going to look for a job, I wanted to create one for me and more people. But I was NOT going back to sit at home clueless. I got a job I had reluctantly applied for in an “ajebutter” school to work as the PA to the Directress of the school – those were some of the saddest days of my post-nysc life o. Why? Apart from the fact that my boss was not my favorite person, I felt underutilized, like I could do better than what my responsibilities were. But again, remember what I said, that was God taking me step by step molding me to be fit for what he had planned for me.  Take note of the order of events, associations, and environments you are or have been, they are pointers to a larger picture of where God is taking you to. Usually it makes more sense afterwards, or as progress is made, and then you would go like Ahaaaa…this is why so so so happened! I bet some of you can relate with that.

I spent about 6 months in my ajebutter school and got a job in another  school as School Administrator where although my paycheck was slimmer than the previous but I experienced more fulfillment. Now notice the order I like to point out, God took me through several levels of active training –

  1. Marketing and Customer Service at the Bank to deal with my horrible negotiation skills when I was eventually fit to begin a proper business.
  2. P.A to the School owner to make me learn closely from someone who was running a successful  business and educational institution which I dreamed someday to have but as a Makeup School.  I learnt many things I wanted to be and didn’t want to be from watching her run her business. He was preparing me to run my Sunday and so I needed these lessons. God didn’t care whether I liked her or not, she was part of His lesson plans for me, and you know how you hate some subjects but have to pass it anyway to get to the next level.
  3. School Administrator in the best and most challenging working environments I ever experienced. I had to run the affairs of the school , sometimes with directions from my boss and many times, I had to use my discretion and total dependence on God’s wisdom. I had to supervise care for the most personal and precious possessions people have- children. I learnt how to deal with conflicts and how to be sensitive to the most vulnerable individuals.

 

Ok guys, In my next post, I’m going to be sharing how all these experiences summed up to create a foundation for me to be an Entrepreneur, a makeup artist and an entrepreneur. Do you know someone who this blog might inspire? Please help to expand this awesome community by sharing this link with them.
As usual Prosper, feel free to drop your comments, questions or anything you want me to talk about as we take this walk together. I want each post to be as entertaining and inspiring for you as it is for me.
I’m beginning the weekend hoping it will be relaxing and eventful at the same time. Meanwhile, I believe God for a vacation soon in a very ghenghen place, we’re long overdue for one. Hehe diaris nothing too hard for my God! What do you believe for this weekend. Speak it and see it. And as you go, Be Prosperous, for surely you are!

Love Always

Shalom (SHALZMAKEUPGEEK)

 

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK part 2. On a less serious note

On a less serious note: my wake up call to the world of entrepreneurship.

Hi Prosper (yes, get used to it, that’s my special name for you, because that’s Gods plan for you- to prosper in whatever you do )

So, how was your week? And how is your new week going to be? (I just stole my Pastor’s pick-up lines…hehehe). Anyway, that is to make you reflect on the blessings of this past week no matter how little they seem to you, and then ‘ginger’ you to create the week to come with the right words.

Now I have a lot I want to share with you, but chill first, I believe that some of you guys are still getting to know me , so I don’t want to be barging into your lives with all the abracadabra of how to build successful makeup or beauty businesses and stuff…even if that’s what I want to go on this walk with you. So I thought it would be nice to share a bit of my story with you especially from my first attempt at entrepreneurship. Who knows, someone might pick an inspiration from it, so fingers crossed.

I began my journey as an Entrepreneur somewhat unconsciously, but totally aware that I was going to end up being one all along. I knew I wasn’t cut out for a routine ‘office tins’ lifestyle. A friend said I thought that way because at least one of my parents was an entrepreneur.

I was 17 and I had lost my Daddy a year before, my Momma had all 5 of us to take care of,  and we were all in the university at the same time! Mumsy was running a lace and asooke business that was doing very well prior to Daddy’s departure, but  barely anything was left of it as she hadn’t  gone to her store for about a year in order to attend to Daddy.

I was a bit young but not unaware of how hard it was becoming for her to meet up with demands from all 5 of us at the same time while in school.  This was My wake-up call to the world of business . I thought it would be great for all 5 of us to find something good to do with our hands to reduce her burden. But being the youngest, I knew it wasn’t my place to tell my siblings what to do, but do what I thought was right by beginning myself.

My first uncertain steps involved learning to bake , but I thought I would either eat all my cakes or just make them for free because I didn’t know how to charge my friends for anything. (Believe me, that is not a challenge anymore, I will even charge you for popping your pimple, you know that’s a joke abi?) Next thing, I started teaching myself to make beads. I recall starting my bead business with a certain 4000 I had lied to my mother about as I thought she wasn’t going to support my move to begin a business while studying. Now, I knew I was only beading temporarily, but I needed to keep doing it till I was sure of exactly what I loved to do.  I beaded jewelry for quite a long time and made quite some good amount of money before graduating and then service. Mission was accomplished, I had been able to reduce my money request calls to Mumsy by about 50%.

I want to finish this gist but my crazy but dear friend Tina called me last week to “warn” me sternly about how long my last post was for people like her who don’t like to read . She will kill me for this one if I don’t stop now, then she will kill me for mentioning her name, so that’s 2 killings!

But I won’t leave without reminding you of what you should be this week…Be Prosperous for surely you are!

Love always,

Shalom (  SHALZMAKEUPGEEK)

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK part1

Hi, my name is Shalom Stephen-Ojj AKA Shalzmakeupgeek . I’m a makeup artist but most of all a Makeup Educator. I absolutely relish any opportunity to glam up a client or model, but most especially, I am even more fulfilled when I have an opportunity to transfer the knowledge I have gathered over time to aspiring or practicing makeup artists through teaching.
This post won’t be complete without me making an admittance, because the whole purpose of all posts that will come up here is to take as many people as I can up this ladder of entrepreneurship I’m climbing – I have been procrastinating picking up blogging as an obligation, in spite of the fact that I have a huge flair for writing (people say I write like I talk, I’ve stopped seeing that as a flaw but as a great gift).
Now what was has been my biggest discouragement from picking up blogging? I knew that if I wanted to blog, I wouldn’t be doing it for the bucks, so I needed to focus on areas that I would be passionate about, but at the same time, not already over flogged areas like makeup artistry which is my field.

I knew there had to be a way I could reach out to more people than doing one face at a time, and much more than teaching a group of 10 students per makeup training program at the school, but I have always EARNESTLY desired a message!I remember the days I would kneel down and pray, “Lord, I know make up is such a vain profession, but that’s one of the special gifts you gave me, please show me how I can use this gift to your glory”. So typically,I would gladly oblige to any opportunity to offer my services, especially in my church without charge, as I see it as service to God which it actually is. Not that I think so differently now o (so hollup with the judging …hehe) but my point is I have a better understanding of many other ways to serve God using this beautiful gift that’s so similar to what God does- beautify people!

I will eternally be grateful for the day STEPHANIE OBI, (amazing counselor) spritzed into the studio for a makeup session through a referral from my friend Jennifer of Yanga Beauty , she is God’s medium to me in this aspect of my life-I mean the hunger to reach out to more people with my gift. She probably will never know that I have her name stored on my phone as STEPH FROM GOD…lol.

So my tutorials or testaments as I love to call them, would not be focusing just on teaching or sharing about the skill of makeup, because obviously that is being beautifully explored by many of my colleagues, but it will be about something i think is soooo important but overlooked- BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL MAKEUP BUSINESS(Starting up to Sustaining it).
I’m going to be borrowing the experiences of other makeup artists who have gone ahead and would be gracious enough to be of help, because a myriad of lessons will make this experience even richer, and so I’m not going to be depending on mine alone.  So get your friends and colleagues over here to share, after all, the more the merrier abi?

Pleaaase, Stay closeby as you guys are going to be the only reason for me to go ahead on here. Hugs and kisses in advance for being such huge supporters.

Most importantly, be prosperous for surely you are meant to be!

…love, now and always,
Shalom (shalzmakeupgeek)