What turning 30 taught me about life and money

Ok technically, I turned 31 a few months ago but that’s not the point. Lol! Birthdays always, make me feel some type of way because every additional year is a reminder that, as Yorubas say Agba ti de! My cousin Kike is probably rolling her eyes right now. Our birthdays are a week apart and every year since our 16th birthday as said birthdays approach, I call her to lament! But this time I didn’t.

This time I spent quite a bit of time reflecting. I reviewed a journal I kept when I was 23 and had just moved back to Nigeria. It had detailed lists of all the goals I hoped to achieve by the time I was 30. . *I laughed in Bini* Let’s just say my life took a very different turn and looks very unlike the vision my 23 year old self had imagined and was confident that she would achieve.

As I looked at the journal, I took stock of all the goals I was yet to accomplish, the failures and mistakes that had led me to succeed in new opportunities that were never part of the plan. The obstacles that were meant to break me but only made me stronger because I overcame them. I am grateful for the lessons. (more…)

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The Short-Term Mentality That Keeps Us Poor

O boy e its tough to live and work in Nigeria right now!’  

Every single conversation I have had in the last couple of months has begun with a tirade of complaints about how the economy is frustrating our lives but one particular conversation got me thinking about the parallels that can be drawn from the way our government handles money, with the way we think about money as individuals.

Na de change we vote for be dis’?

Chioma complained. She is an interior designer who has run a thriving business for the past five years but in the last six months her business was seriously struggling. Although she made some of the furniture she sold to her clients in Nigeria, she also imported some of the components as well as a substantial amount of finished products. She had never had access to the CBN official rate but at N160 to the dollar, her business could generate a positive cash flow even with import duties and servicing her bank loan. (more…)

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International Women’s Day

arese ugwu, airtel, international womens day

International Women’s Day was super busy for me but I loved it 😊…I had two speaking engagements and had to juggle meetings in between 😩 but I had so much fun speaking at @airtelnigeria with my Faves @osayia @taradurotoye 😘😘😘 #internationalwomensday #IWD2016 #pledgeforparity #thesmartmoneywoman

International Women's Day, Standard Chartered

It was on and popping at Standard Chartered too! #internationalwomensday #iwd2016 #pledgeforparity cc @msnixxx

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Smart Money Journal available to order now

The Smart Money Journal is now available for N3900. To get your own copy, place an order online or pick up a copy from either Zazaii, 36 Balarabe Musa Crescent, Off Samuel Manuwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos or select House of tara branches. Kindly note that if House of Tara is your preferred pickup point, payment has to be made prior to pickup as they do not cash payment.

Kindly make cash payment on delivery. Please note that the price excludes shipping charges and delivery takes 1-5 working days.

To get your own copy of the Smart Money Journal, click here

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Money conversations with Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao, Founder and Director Malée Natural Science Ltd

zeze

Malée Store Hyde Park

Zeze is the founder of Malee, an African cosmetics brand that has won several awards and been featured on CNN. The brand has a successful track record in South Africa and has also veered into the U.K market and is set to debut in Harvey Nichols later on this year. Based on the success of her brand, Zeze has been asked to speak on  the topic of entrepreneurship on several platforms including the South African Luxury Association Wealth Summit and the Business of Design. The Atlanta Post named Zeze one of the 7 African entrepreneurs that inspire innovation.

The first time I met Zeze, we were 10 years old and had just started boarding school at Igbinedion Education Centre. We were both stubborn and opinionated, so it was a wonder that we got along so well. When I think back to when we were younger, it is clear to me the attributes that have made Zeze successful in business. She never had any respect for sticking to the way things were done traditionally and in a time when you were just expected to listen, obey and just do as you were told Zeze was the sort of ten year old that always asked why, always had questions about the status quo and her own ideas about how things could be done better. By the time we were in university I couldn’t keep up with the girl, every time I spoke to her she had a different business idea she was working on (We would later realize she was what society refers to as a multi-passionate entrepreneur not a real life crazy lady. Lol!)

A few years ago I was in Johannesburg for work and a client had sent me on an errand to a fancy mall called Hyde Park, to pick up some things, it was so out of my way but anything for a client right? While I was frantically trying to find the store they sent me to, I found Zeze’s store Malee. I hadn’t followed the progress of her brand beyond the headlines but I recognized the name. I was beyond impressed! The look, feel and smell of the store, the packaging and quality of the products! It was world class. I felt proud leaving the store knowing that someone I knew, someone my age was capable of such epic greatness. We had stayed in touch on and off but one thing remained the same, the girl dreams no small dreams.

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Feature on Thinkers Tea series with Tallulah Doherty

I had so much fun doing this interview with @tallulahglossy for her @thinkerstea podcast….I talked about the exciting new projects I’m working on.. but I blame her for the phonetics sha 😂😂😂 does that ever happen to you? You start speaking to someone with an accent and then you automatically start phoneeeing for them..happens to me all the damn time..when I’m doing a presentation or talking to oyinbo people😂 when I listened to the whole interview..I legit was like..who be dis?😂 .#dontwatchthat #imabushbinigehl follow @thinkerstea. To catch the full interview, click here Thinkers Tea series #12: CEO of Smart Money Africa, Arese Ugwu talks financial management with Tallulah Doherty

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The Smart Money Woman Workshop and the Business Lessons I learned.

2015 was a good year for the smart money brand. I got invited to speak at lots of important conferences including WIMBIZ, WOWE and Genevieve Magazine’s Becoming Financially fearless event. It was an amazing experience, speaking to large audiences and feeling like I was inspiring people to manage their money better but I got to a point where I wanted to host my own event and do something that was a little more hands on that would not just inspire but teach an intimate group of women about personal finance. A platform that would allow women talk about their grievances with money, provide clarity on the steps for building wealth and investment opportunities. I had gotten a significant number of requests from my audience to host a workshop, so I knew there was demand for a workshop played with the idea for a while and then decided to Just Go For It!

The Journey to the smart money woman workshop did not come without its lessons. So I want to share these lessons with you, especially for those people who have ideas but are afraid to execute for various reasons. (more…)

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