Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya You Need All Types to Build a Successful Business
Maybe a big reason why Earth didn't work out because I I had my way of looking at it may be that way of looking at it wasn't in the best interests of the whole business as a whole. It was still very much from my angle. Hello fellow risk-takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that the winning investing you must take risk, but the windbag you got to reduce it. This episode is sponsored by a starts Academy which offers online courses to help investors better manage their stock portfolios aspiring professionals to learn how to hack any company in the world Business Leaders to make their companies financially world class and even beginners to implement a simple lifetime investment plan. Go to my worst investment ever Academy to get free access to my short-course called six ways to lose your money in six strategies to win where I share the six lessons I've learned from all of these podcasts interviews. Well fellow risk-takers off. This is your worst podcast hosts Andrews. And I'm here with featured guess now you got to bear with me. I'm going to work through this name. I'm going to see if I can do it Beverly Goldberg. Coba Ania Ania, well Beverly welcome to the show. Thank you so much. Are you ready to rock? I am. Yep. All right. Well, you know, we we made a lot of attempts to get together on the phone. So I'm really happy to have you now on the show. Let me just read and introduce the audience to you. And then after that I want you to take a few minutes to tell us about you, but Beverly is a sports and entertainment lawyer and entrepreneur she is an accredited mediator with the Legos High Court multi-door Center and also a member of the panel of neutrals at the Legos Court of arbitration. She has years of experience in banking and capital markets in the UK in Nigeria and is in Nigeria sec-registered compliance officer providing Regional compliance risk management and financial crime prevention advisory support her broad experience in the compliance industry covers Investment Banking brokerage off. Management sectors additionally she is passionate about sports and Youth Development and founded the Legos Tigers football club in 2012. Yay, and the Box the little Tigers football foundation in 2017 as well as a social network for women called GFC my goodness Beverly take a minute and fill out for tidbits about your life. Okay. So thank you so much Andrew. I'm really really happy to be on this show. Okay, so about me I am I always say that I wear so many hats. I'm a mother of three three very boisterous kids. I am a sports and entertainment lawyer with the mediator. I'm also into policy-making. I'm just an all-around person. I suppose. I'm I'm I'm just an ordinary person who loves dead. In many things in my career life and also in my professional life and right now sports and entertainment are my two main areas of focus. I feel like these are you sure is where the continent the African continent really needs that you know that boosts. It's these are two areas that are very very big in in Africa in Nigeria. So I am you know playing my part to help these industries rise and grow by, you know, rendering my legal expertise, but also, you know, I'm really proud of my my football club that I've established itself. It's not easy, but I really enjoy like seeing the faces The Smiling Faces of the players that calm you know, right now I'm locked down the parents are like, when are we coming back to play football? When are we coming back? So that gives me so much joy that I can impact in my own way. And yep. Niche areas that I really really love sports and entertainment. So yes, that's me in a nutshell sounds like you've got a lot of energy in you bring it to those kids and they give it back to you. I'm sure yes, trust me they do interesting. All right. Well now it's time to share your worst investment ever and since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be with us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it and then tell us your story. Okay? Okay. So, you know, this is actually the first time I'm talking about this publicly. So bear with me I might get a bit emotional back in 2015. You know, like I said, I I get involved in many things. It's something that will always be part of my personality and I make no apologies for it came back in 2015 a good friend of mine in the financial services sector or be. You know, we were talking talking about you know, what was talking about how to you know better Our Lives home. We how can we do more? You know, that's the ultimate question. What is my purpose? How can I fulfill my my life? How can I do things that will make me feel fulfilled? You know, she had this this sense that urge to do more and we got talking about different things we could do and she actually brought up. Hey, why don't we, you know do something in the agricultural sector and because my mind wasn't really ripe. I wasn't too sure what she meant. I was like, okay, I'm open like let's talk. You know, what? What what do you think we can do so she suggested we come up with the butters peanut butter and I was like, what do you mean she goes? Yeah, you know, the butter is peanut butter. We don't have well back 2015 little shock you Andrew to know that we didn't have a well-packaged locally manufactured peanut butter brand. Can you belong to that club? It's shocking. It's shocking. I mean during my research back then cuz like one thing about me is I have a very obsessive personality. I read everything about peanut butter and I was shocked to learn them think the US. It's like, I don't know. It's up there like the top five most popular foods or something. So I said, wow the market for peanut butter abroad is huge. So that's why why you know, why don't we have this so we started investigating researching or B and I came up with the name of the brand. The brand is called Earth who are who are in foul language or be an IR from the ebow tribe in Nigeria, which is kind of located in the southeastern region of the country. So our language is called zebu. So, you know, we're just, you know, looking for names and somehow that name just stuck Earth, you know, the world's Earth Earth food. So the name stock and you know she produce A few samples and I thought they were amazing shared the samples with my network. We had how many samples we had peanut butter samples. We had crunchy smooth, you know, the favorites and then the Ingenuity is she also said let's do cashew butter. It's Nots right nice can all can all be ground so grindage. So yeah, so we did cashew and we did it in flavors. I mean, it was really it was really forward-thinking at the time, you know back in 2015 cultural Market was literally about you know, go to new levels. So we were really on the pulse of what was going on. And the reception we received was incredible, you know, it wasn't like we were selling out, you know in Thousand or anything but you know, the thing about our Market is very few fmcg. That would be the fast moving consumer goods. That industry is really still dominated by the big dog. So in terms of selling out thousands of units even as at now I can tell you that successful local Brands still do not sell in the thousands, you know, we're still averaging hundreds of units. So, you know, we were in it to try and make an impact to try and be part of this wave of change and yeah. So we both found our our step our way, you know, I'll be is very detailed. She's a risk manager. I you know, I'm a bit more brush and rush off you see I I do the pr, you know, I I would go on, you know, talk about our brands in different places. But unfortunately, I guess you know, I am new to business and you know, I I guess it's difficult. You know, this is the first time I'm really talking about this. Yeah, but yeah, there were a lot of mistakes that I made back then. You know business is not easy. You have to have a you have to have a mature mind you have to you have to be able to take a lot of pain as well as she could say, you know, there's so much emphasis on the great sides of business and I'm glad for this podcast true because there's a lot of difficult times in business a lot of difficult times and I guess I wasn't prepared for those difficult times. I wasn't prepared for the clashes that we had and yes, some of those classes were caused by me. You know, when I think about some of the feedback she gave me, you know, I I'll never forget where she told me. I am alone to myself and that hurt you hurt me, you know, I I see myself as a dynamic person people that make me say wow, you got energy Beverly your upper doing and I like that part of me, but you know one thing I've learned since 2015 is dead. Is not denial delay is not denial has become my new catchphrase simply because sometimes things do not have to run at top speed to indicate that you're on the right path. You know, there's something to be said for taking things slow and taking things steady, you know 2015 that was five years ago. I think I was quite a different person them. I believed more in you know, the cats raised the Need for Speed that was like everything about me was fast fast fast, you know, so I mean to be honest, I haven't completely let go of that trade. I still I'm addressing some of those those impatient issues in my life today, you know, my team will see my goodness you wanted now exists. I'm learning that you know, you have to work at a pace that is you know, realistic. It's not about you. It's not just about you and I think that was dead. Maybe the part of the reason why maybe a big reason why Earth didn't work out because I I had my way of looking at it off maybe that way of looking at it wasn't in the best interests of the whole business as a whole. It was still very much from my angle, you know, so, you know, it's a regret that's who knows where it could have gone, but I don't regret it totally because if that hadn't happened, I don't think I would have I would have developed my my career in sports. I guess look the way I look at it. We have so many chances in life to do different things. So when one door closes one door another dog, simply open so long, you know. Yeah Earth was the big Brad that never quite made. It might you can let me ask you can you can you remember a recall? The worst day or the time that you kind of knew it was over. Oh, yeah. Oh, wow. Okay. So very interesting Lee it got a point where it was just difficult to communicate again. I had my issues and I wasn't confronting them. I think that they are near was over was the day I yeah was the day I got the factory locked? Yeah. That was that was pretty I was pretty rash. I don't know. I I guess I acted very emotionally I was very emotionally driven and I don't know I got upset about something and I I just I just changed all the locks Factory so she couldn't access it. Yeah, it's quite Raw. It's quite a wrong because I'm thinking about it now, like wow, I you know, but wage You know that I've also made peace and I've you know, I've asked for you know, I've apologized for some of my actions. Hm those actions, you know, when you're when you're having and I guess that's also why I fell into mediation because I realized I'm not you don't you don't solve problems by being rash or by not confronting problems. So my Rush response to perhaps genuine issues I had and also generally she she had I I just thought you know, I just closed off and did something really really unacceptable and I'm sure people listening or think what's how can you be in a partnership with somebody and that person goes and off blocks everything off so well. Yeah, it happens. It's interesting. I'm curious. What lessons did you learn from this? Okay. So again, I learned being rash when you are confronted with a problem with the misunderstanding. You don't necessarily have to to act immediately. You don't need to act on whatever comes to your mind first because sometimes the first thing you think of doing can put you in jail, Yes. Yes, exactly. And that is a side of me that I had to, you know had to grow up a bit. You know, I had to break up I call it emotional intelligence is funny. I am now such a big believer in in developing emotional intelligence because it is people who have high quotient off that tend to be better leaders that tend to be better team mates and and colleagues, you know, because you could have the best skills you can you can be the best but what is the point home? REI is so poor. You find it difficult to work with people because every little thing irritates you or niggles that you you know, when you're running a business it is unnatural to age. That's your partner your business partner will agree with everything you say and vice versa not everything your business partner will suggest are things you may not necessarily agree to but it doesn't mean that you should take it personal. I think I couldn't draw the line in the past between, you know, taking things personal and not looking at this from a business perspective things that affected the you know, suggestions of our around the business that perhaps were not my ideas. I would look at it as home all but my suggestion wasn't taken. So I've learned from 2015 that you have to kind of also meet people where they are. Everybody has their own personal. Reference point and it may not be personal. It may just be the reference point. So, you know where we could have complemented each other. Well, she is the risk manager so she can see clearly where the risks are but I am the okay. I'm just going to you know do the networking and go round and network and meet people and moved quickly, you know, so sometimes perhaps I I didn't you know, I took for granted that those skills actually complementary and it's by no means. How do I say this? You cannot measure a fish buy a goat they have three different skills. So that's the way I now see life. Everybody has different skill sets that they bring to bear. So using measuring other people by your standards. You'll never be satisfied. You'll never be happy. So that's one thing I've learned everyone had Something unique and you know, we came together in the beginning for a reason because we felt you know, we're friends and we can complement each other and you know, if somebody gives you feedback that is constructive shouldn't take it personal, you know, when she said you're you're a lawn to yourself. I should have looked I should have sat down and had a little chat with ya. I have somebody said they God gave you two ears and one mouth for a restocking exactly exactly. But let me let me summarize what I took away from your story is a few things that come up in my mind. The first thing is that I while you were talking. I just opened up a spreadsheet of the financial performance of the company that I started with my best friend 25 years ago and it's a Coffee Works my coffee business and nowadays. We have about a hundred or so staff and you know, it's a successful company wage. For the first eight years, we lost money goodness. Wow, and it was brutal and wow, we started just before the 1997 Asian crisis. So first three years, we just you know awful and somehow we stayed in and kept our friendship and our relationship together and built the business. But the point that at that made me open that up and remind myself of the eight years is the idea that I always tell people, you know, if you want to learn about starting up a company don't talk to me go buy a book them all out there and they tell you all about the good side of starting like when you reminded me of is that, you know, there's a tougher side and they don't often talk about it and found a book called. I forgot the name of it, but it was remember. I got it. I got to get it. I used to I used to have it. We called it the Bible but basically the guy said he said, you know, you know the dog World of business and all of this and he said you're not in it. You're a small company and you're going to get nothing and everybody's going to squeeze you out and they're going to want cash and the only way you're going to be able to survive is to realize that you have to fight for everything you get and absolutely when we when we read that, you know, both of us daily and I both read that and we were like, yep, we got to fight to survive. The second thing that I that I took away was what mom used to always say, which is slow and steady wins the race absolutely and then absolutely another thing that you said is it's not just about me you know, what I've learned is in business. We often times to talk about a Runway and say, you know how much Capital do you have to finance your Runway? But I also sometimes say that there's an emotional Runway, you know that people need to know that this is going to take off and you could still have cash but run out of the emotional Runway and so it's important to think All the people, you know involved all the stakeholders and then the final thing is that to be successful in any startup. Generally. What you have to have is you have to have different skills. You need them. You need a sales person. You need a product person you needed the execution and those people don't always get along because they're coming from different places, but exactly figure out a way to keep everybody together. You're not going to have it. So those are some of my takeaways anything you'd add to them just so to bolster what you said about in business you need I would say different parts of the army. You have your infantry you have you know, the guys that go to the front line. You have the infirmary you have all these different parts and then you have you know, the the the captain that you know stands at the front you need. It's I can't stress so much how much you need all these different parts to to support a business and money. Times when you are at the early stages of business you are wearing so many hats you are the accountant the pr the sales off those stresses can take at all which I think is also kind of what happened with us as well because you're operating from in fact now I can see clearly now like this song Because song rain is gone. Now the rain is gone. I can see where the pin points in our relationship came from because you know, I'm there like wage we need to Market we need to go on every station and talk about this product. But then she on the product development side is like look, we need to slow down you guys deliver food. We need to deliver. We need to finish. This product product is still, you know, at the time packaging was an issue not like now where I I always say, you know, there's always the forerunners that paved the way home. And take the pain no packaging is so easy. But back in 2015. It was a nightmare. So there were all these pain points that we were experiencing because we were doing something so new and of course there wasn't much money. So we had to absorb all these different roles and you feel the tension because you're you're in so many different roles and that's something our business owners need to realize that's why the accountants don't agree with the with the market as sometimes cuz the market is one more money. The account is are like look we're checking the bottom line. It has to balance the books. So I would say, you know be easy. I love what you said about how your business I mean not that I love that you bled dry for eight years. Nobody wants that but the truth is I love the song and story which is you stuck it out. Hm that long. I mean there's another lesson because some people may say you need to know when to just close things. You know, there's so many ways. Yep. Look at it before you it clearly worked out. You just need to know deep down and intuitively whether this is for you or not. Angel flogging dead horse off the same time. Don't give up too soon. I know we gave up too soon again because of all the issues surrounding, you know things that just happened and decisions that I that that I took unilaterally because I was like in a hurry and I just wanted us to just move, you know, you know, it's so many things happened in a way no regrets because you know, we kind of we kind of did something that made people sit up and take notice. We kind of, you know, got other people thinking. Hey we can do this too. So now you have other phone not butter manufacturers in the Nigerian Market definitely not as many as you would expect it's crazy to think that five years later. They still not that many there less than five. So wage. We we were in a good Market. Yeah, I mean I'm not going back to that line of business for sure. But you know, no regrets it was there it was. All right. Last question. What's your number one goal for the next twelve months. Oh, my number one goal is digital content. I am really fully embracing. You know, that digital content is the way forward this podcast were on right now is another amazing example of digital content. So I'm going to be focusing on you know, just yeah trying to do something with with with another brand. I've got that in the works right now my podcast develop your game. Yeah. I'm going to be working a lot on that and using my legal expertise into that too. So what is space-age excellent we will watch it and 12 months from now. Let's follow up. Well, yeah listeners there. You have it another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember to go to my worst in vain. Academy to get free access to my short-course six ways to lose your money and six strategies to win as we conclude Beverly. I want to thank you again for coming on the show and on behalf of a starts Academy. I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience? Yes, I do just stay consistent stay consistent and stay authentic. Absolutely beautiful beautiful. Well, that's a wrap on another great story to help us create grow and gain most importantly protect our well fellow risk-takers. This is your worst podcast hosts Andrews. Saying I'll see you on the upside.