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punch

February 17, 2019 Leave a comment

I was recently classified as one of the young Nigerians doing well [in his field] by Punch Newspapers and interviewed.

I was asked to share some of my experiences and offer advice that could inspire others.

I was both honored and humbled to be sought out; most of all, always grateful to God for every opportunity.

It was a long one, so the whole interview wasn’t published, but below is the unabridged version of the interview; after it, is a link to the actual publication.

Can we meet you?

Certainly, my name is Sylvester Kay-Adade.

I’m a business consultant, investment banker and serial entrepreneur.

 

What stirred your interest in what you do?

I can’t put my finger on exactly what stirred up the passion for business in me, but what’s got me going is the need for improvement in industries that I find interesting.

 

What is your educational background?

I’ve had quite a journey, educationally, so I’ll stick to the relevant bits.

For high school, I attended Federal Government College, Lagos, and Southern Ontario College, Hamilton. For college, I attended McMaster University and Mohawk College for Social Science/Psychology and Business Management respectively.

 

What is your current position?
I’m the Principal Consultant in Herança Financial.

 

How old are you?

I’m 31 years old.

 

What is your work history?

Most recently, Risk Management and Consulting at Kedari Capital from 2017 till 2019.

However, as a serial entrepreneur, it’s been quite a list, but the most popular are Brand Manager at Pearl Kreations since 2008, and Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Centerprise Global Resources (in partnership with a friend) since 2016.

 

What is your current position and what factors are responsible for your accomplishments?

I’ll focus on Herança Financial, where I’m the Principal Consultant.

I’d have to state passion, persistence, and networking as the top 3 factors, for me.

I’m incredibly passionate about small business – every aspect of it. It’s what I love to do.

I am persistent – I’ve drafted business plans and business proposals pro bono. I’ve taught classes, spoken at seminars, and written articles. I never give up.

I’m reserved, so networking didn’t, still doesn’t come easy, but it’s one of the best ways to meet people and talk to them about yourself, and what you do. And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed, people get excited about what you’re saying if you’re also absolutely psyched about what you’re telling them!

 

What is your job description?

Herança Financial is an SME advisory firm.

I spend my time offering advice/developing business ideas, drafting business plans/proposals, advising on expansion plans, and generally providing solutions to various business issues.

 

What motivates your work?

Passion and a drive for excellence. I love what I do; it gets me up in the morning. And whatever I’m involved in must be done right, mediocrity upsets me.

 

What are the challenges you face on the job and how do you surmount them?

The greatest was self-doubt. Every entrepreneur has those moments when they panic and question themselves. Sometimes, it was like “I hope I know what the heck I’m doing”. Those were times when my faith in God, His words concerning me, and His plans for my life were tested. It might sound corny, but I learnt to trust in Jesus and talk to Him more, confess God’s word over my life and make positive declarations daily. One of my favorites is: I am the most excellent of men and my lips have been anointed with grace since God has blessed me forever – Psalm 45:2.

Another challenge is getting people to pay for services rendered! It’s ridiculous. Nigerians have to be one of the toughest people to get your money from. I’ve worked with some micro enterprise owners and some politicians, the same thing! I’ll have to get back to you on that one when I figure it out.

 

What are some notable achievements you have recorded?

In 2010, through Pearl Kreations, I was nominated for Business Owner of the Year at The Future Nigeria Awards. Also through Pearl Kreations, in 2009, I was admitted into the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Business Network. We also worked with the Jim Ovia Foundation for a Youth Empowerment and ICT Event in 2013.

 

In what ways do you think the government can encourage the youth?

I think the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN) initiative that President Jonathan launched was a brilliant initiative. I learnt a lot of young people benefited greatly from it. Though, there could have been better checks, because I know of a few who squandered millions. I thought YouWiN! Connect by President Buhari would be better, and it started off that way, but I read it ended seemingly being some sort of scam.

I think the government can focus on educating youth on business and entrepreneurship, right from secondary school level, if possible. Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out for a 9-5 and there very few jobs out there. Even if you’re a salary earner, nothing wrong with multiple streams of income. Our youths can be inspired from a young age to be business owners and employers.

I also think programs like YouWIN should continue, and grants (not equity funding) should be offered, possibly in tranches, to those with good business plans.

 

What aspect of your career do you enjoy the most and how has it impacted your life?

Like I said, I’m passionate about small business. I love to sit with entrepreneurs, watch their eyes twinkle as they share their dreams (it’s like the beginning of a great story every time), help expand their minds/visions, develop a feasible plan with them, and help make those dreams a reality. The impact has just been the immense feeling of fulfillment.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d have to keep to myself, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what God has in store for me.

 

What are some of the qualities you think a leader must possess in other to be successful?

I think a leader has to be a teacher and also teachable. A leader has to be kind and respectful. A leader has to be willing to serve and build others up. A leader has to inspire, not only through words, but through action.

 

Was there any incident that changed the course of your life?

By God’s grace, I have experienced great growth in such a short time, through dogged determination and the most random acts of kindness. One that changed the course of my life was my encounter with Suzanne Bourret. Suzanne is/was a journalist. We met at an event showcasing African cultures. I was there selling the most unassuming products, button-badges with flags on them. She was intrigued. She chatted with me for a bit and asked to interview me. My first interview. Before I knew it, I was answering questions, doing a photo shoot, and in a few days, I was on the pages of The Hamilton Spectator (one of the biggest and most widely read newspapers in Ontario). That article was the beginning of great things. I’ll always be thankful to God for that.

 

What are your other interests?

Board Games, Card Games, Charades, Movies, and Tennis.

 

Who are your role models?

I have a bunch of them because I admire different aspects of their lives, but I’ll name a few: My dad, Late Mr. Olukayode Adade, Mr. Elon Musk, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Mr. Jeff Bezos, and Ms. Oprah Winfrey.

 

How would you advise people who aspire to follow in your footprints?

In 2008, a few months after I started Pearl Kreations, I applied to be a vendor for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I was turned down because I didn’t have business registration and other requirements. I felt deflated, but I snapped out of it. I knew getting in could work wonders for my business. I wrote back stating I was a student entrepreneur and shared the link of the newspaper article I was featured in. By God’s grace, about a week later, I was admitted.

You can’t give up. Yes, it takes time, but if you’re passionate about it and it’s solving a problem/improving a solution, hang in there. Never worry, God’s got you.

 

This is the link to original publication.

 

’14 review

December 30, 2014 Leave a comment

This year was a big one for me – well, maybe because of two major, life-altering decisions. Okay, I’m being melodramatic, but this year I did a week long fast, and I also took a plunge by moving to Nigeria for business purposes – I won’t share my plan, but we’ll see what happens.

This journal got 2900 views – primarily from the United States, Canada, United kingdom and 105 other countries. I want to thank everyone who follows my journal – I don’t think of myself as an interesting person, but I’m honored. It’s very encouraging; I do this just to advise and share my experiences with the world – with the hope that it makes someone else’s journey in business and life a little easier. Thank you all who read, share and comment. I wish you all more of God’s blessings always.

Well, that is it from me for 2014. I couldn’t make the time to finish the items from the pre-business list of December 2013, but I’ll hopefully get through it next year (God-willing) – starting February. See you in 2015 by God’s grace.

Sylvester Kay-Adade II

deere president

July 18, 2012 Leave a comment

A former high school classmate, Ikenna U* with whom I recently got reconnected, informed me of project he is working on – Deere President Magazine, a publication tailored to provide adequate information on academics, entrepreneurship, health, information technology and more to the Nigerian youth. According to his research, approximately ninety percent (90%) of Nigerian youths are not thinking in the direction of job creation, and of the remainder ten percent (10%), about a third of those know what entrepreneurship entails, while the rest (two-thirds) are unwilling to pursue any entrepreneurial activities due to insufficient capital.

He is of the opinion that all that is required to start a small business is an idea and consistency, while money is the motor that keeps it moving. Hence, his plan, among other things, is to use his magazine to battle the unemployment issue in Nigeria by inspiring entrepreneurship through interviews with young, successful Nigerian entrepreneurs as well as educational notes on small & medium enterprise (SME) management; this is where I come in. As a favor, I agreed to do an interview for the maiden edition as a successful, young entrepreneur by God’s grace, and also often provide tips on entrepreneurship and successful small business management as a Small Business Consultant in subsequent editions.

I am humbled I was asked to share my story for the maiden edition. I hope it inspires many. The interview was conducted on Monday, July 16th, 2012.

Deere President Magazine Interview


 1.    Can you please give a brief introduction of yourself?

I am Sylvester II O. Kay-Adade, popularly known as Mr. Buttons, because of my first business venture. I’m the President and Chief Executive of The SKA Group Inc. I’m also a Businessman, Entrepreneur and Small Business Advisor/Consultant. I was born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria and currently reside in Ontario, Canada.

 2.    Can you tell a bit about your enterprise?

The SKA Group Incorporated is a privately-owned conglomerate with interests in advertising, education, finance, publication, real estate and more. Its subsidiaries are Café Euphorie (catering), Herança Financial (financial services and solutions), Pearl Kreations (memorabilia and souvenirs), Prestige Academy (education), RansRive Realtors (real estate), Suave Clothing (clothing and wardrobe consultation), Sylver Productions (document management and media), and Vecasyer Hotels & Towers (leisure and lodging). The SKA Group also has stakes in companies like RCubed-Merit LLC (space optimization) and Spinners Inc (advertising and branding).

 3.    At what point did you realize that entrepreneurship was “your thing” and also “the thing”?

The exact point was probably when I realized I loved providing the services and solutions that various businesses and people needed. It gives me satisfaction. I realized entrepreneurship was the best after I had this epiphany – why use your brain and get paid a fraction of what you’re making for someone else, when you could put it to work and make money for you. As a business owner, I like that I have control over my activities, have options, define my goals, set my limits and have the freedom to do as I please (within reason).

4.    We are certain that making this level of progress would not have come without some “stumbling blocks”. Please let us in on some of the main challenges you encountered in the early stages and what you had on your mind that made you keep at it.

In a nutshell, criticism from friends, masked racism from the public, rejected proposals from companies, even self – made a number of mistakes and bad decisions. I’m passionate about what I do and that keeps me going. I think if success came easy, everyone who would be successful.

 5.    It is evident that you have successfully made some remarkable progress. What would you say are the basic requirements for a successful entrepreneur?

As a Small Business Advisor, I would say it is important to be in love with your venture(s); marry it if possible. I believe if you’re passionate about what you do, people will be drawn to you. You also need to have a business plan. A business plan will help map out the life and viability of your business – mission, vision, values, competition analysis, location analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on the industry, target market analysis, industry trend analysis, sale projections, start-up costs (SUC) and so on. A good business plan may help you secure loans from banks and/or other financial institutions, even the government. One of my companies, Herança Financial helps hopeful entrepreneurs develop excellent business plans. Finally, you need to be determined and persistent; pick yourself up every time you fall.

 6.    Finally, what word do you have for young individuals who happen to fall under the category of “the unemployed”.

I’ll tell you the fact, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Some people cannot take risks and prefer the security of paid employment, some people will partner with an entrepreneur and some people will break new ground. If you decide, you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to know who an entrepreneur is. An entrepreneur isn’t necessarily a businessman. Simply put, an entrepreneur is someone who creates products and services that meet the needs of people for a profit. You need to find a void and figure out a way to close it. In order to find needs, you need to develop the entrepreneurial eyes and open them to the numerous possibilities around you. Another option is to improve upon an existing product or service. The second option is what a lot of people try to do, but most often than not, they just imitate; no originality.

You need to have unwavering faith and trust in God. You can do it on your own, but you won’t go far without God. If you’re a Christian, never forget Matthew 19:26: “…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” If you want to achieve the unfathomable, go with God.

Next, you need to do your homework before starting. Your homework involves taking surveys, studying your competition and researching the industry – take note of trends. All these will help bring your business plan together.

Passion cannot be overemphasized. You need to be passionate about your business; at times, that’s all that keeps you going. Believe in yourself and keep your dream alive through optimism, don’t doubt or second guess yourself; always believe in yourself and ability.

You also need to be creative. As I mentioned earlier, don’t just copy what someone else is doing. The first thing I ask an aspiring business owner for after hearing the idea is the wow factor – the quality that sets you apart. The truth is if you aren’t different, there is no reason people would switch or come to you instead.

When you decide to begin, start small, don’t expand too fast, work hard and be prepared to sacrifice sleep, but pace yourself and move steadily. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Use of every chance and opportunity to showcase yourself – be bold, friendly and network – talk about yourself, give out business cards and collect business cards; you never know who you may meet and there is no second chance to make a good first impression.

Not everyone is going to love your idea(s), so be prepared for criticism and use them as stepping stones and challenges to improve your image and/or business. The world is very competitive so keep coming up with new ideas to stay ahead.

Finally, don’t get so consumed with work that you begin to alienate the most important people in your life – family and friends may be highly instrumental to your success.

business from the bedroom

April 23, 2011 10 comments

I was contacted by The Creative Africans for an interview on Monday, April 11th, 2011.

If you’re wondering who they are, as I initially did, The Creative Africans is an online organization that conducts video interviews of African entrepreneurs with the sole purpose of inspiring African youths and helping them develop the spirit of entrepreneurship in order to help shape the future of Africa through learning from experienced entrepreneurs. They are motivated by their belief in another side of Africans – the side which is full of creative, energetic, intelligent, prudent, strong and successful people whose stories should be told in order to encourage other young Africans around the world and help put Africa on the map of entrepreneurship on a global scale.

I was humbled they thought my story was inspiring and successful enough to motivate a lot of African youths. They would have loved to have an audio or video interview, but since it couldn’t have been organized at the time, we settled for written. We agreed to arrange that (audio/video) for a later date. I got the interview questions the following Monday (April 18th) and the interview was published on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011. Here’s the interview:

Sylvester Kay-Adade

Sylvester Kay-Adade

Can you give the readers some background information about yourself and your company?

Certainly. I’m Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade. I was born on May 29th, 1987 to Mr. Sylvester I and Mrs. Fehintola Adade in Lagos, Nigeria. My dad was of mixed heritage and my mum is Yoruba. I have four lovely sisters- Ronke, Anthonia, Rita and Veronica.

I’m a Businessman, Entrepreneur, President and Chief Executive of The SKA Group Inc. My first business venture, Pearl Kreations, is my popular venture. It initially made just button-badges, and that is where my nickname- Mr. Buttons originated from.

I love to read and watch movies. I also love to play chess and lawn tennis.

When and how did you start your business?

I started doing business in January 2008 when I launched Pearl Kreations. I had been saving for quite some time; and when I was all set, I decided button-badges were going to be the right use for the money.

How did you come across the idea and what made you think it was profitable?

A very good friend of mine, Sombiri shared his idea to make badges for Nigeria’s forty-fifth (45th) Independence Day celebrations. We put our heads together and joggled some ideas, but there were several setbacks to accomplishing the goal so we gave it a rest.

Sometime in 2007, after moving to Canada, I remembered the buttons idea. I did the research- button designing, the type and cost of the equipment and materials required and so on. I tried to partner with Sombiri, but he had moved on to other things; so I had to go about it on my own.

I couldn’t be certain if it would be profitable or not at the time, but I felt it was worth the shot. I believed it would be better to know I tried, rather than wonder “what if”.

On your twitter you were talking about networking being the key. How has it helped growing your business?

In my opinion, networking is all about putting yourself out there. It’s about getting acquainted with like-minded people and building your contact base.

In my case, I’ve always been sort of an introvert. I also have an expressionless face, which sometimes makes me seem unapproachable.

I’m learning to grow out of my shell by smiling, meeting new people – and introducing myself as an entrepreneur and giving out my business cards. So far, I’ve met prospective clients and made a couple of deals with people I met at formal and networking events.

How have you used social media to improve sales?

After hearing that in 2009, companies like Dell and Starbucks, made additional revenue in the sum of tens of millions of dollars basically for free; by simply communicating with customers via twitter, I realized I wasn’t maximizing the potential of the facebook and twitter accounts. We started by engaging our fans and followers by throwing competitions and communicating with them directly.

Since January 2011, Pearl Kreations’ sales have increased almost fifty percent! Facebook and twitter are incredible networking tools.

You have had 3 business successes: buttons, clothing line and estate management. How did you do that?

It is all by God’s grace. After successfully running Pearl Kreations for about two years, I realized I actually enjoyed business and decided to diversify.

I wanted to go into something else; something that was close to my heart – style. Soon after, I started Suave Clothing. It is a high-end formal clothing store. We started by retailing luxury accessories like sunglasses by Carrera, cufflinks by Christian Dior and belts by Salvatore Ferragamo and the likes. As sales soared, I decided to launch Suave Clothing line of superior quality dress shirts. Manufacture has been halted, but we will resume by launching our brand of superior quality suits and dress shirts for stylish youths and young executives.

Suave Clothing also provides wardrobe consultation services; and since 2010, the company posts style articles for men and women on The SKA Blog on a quarterly basis. You can read more about Suave Clothing at in my website.

Another thing I’m passionate about is real estate. I invested some of the revenue from both businesses in real estate, bought a property, developed it and started renting. This real estate venture is called RansRive Realtors. In time, I hope it will provide temporary and permanent accommodation through the letting and sale of commercial and residential properties.

I’m able to manage these businesses through the parent company called The SKA Group Incorporated. It’s based in Canada, but conducts business worldwide. The SKA Group is into other ventures like advertising (Spinners), document management (Sylver Productions), financial services (SKA Ventures), space optimization (RCubed-Merit) and many more. Some are still projects, while others are operational. Some are privately-owned, while others are in partnership with other companies and entrepreneurs.

What cheap marketing techniques have you used that proved successful in the early days of your business?

Sponsorship of events (by offering free products), word of mouth/referrals and social networking (blogs, facebook and twitter).

What is your experience about making business plans before starting a business?

I think it is important to have a business plan. It helps you map out the life of your business – mission, vision, values, competition analysis, location analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on the industry, target market analysis, trend analysis, sale projections etc.

Pearl Kreations didn’t have one when I started, but it does now, and I strongly believe I could have been much more successful today if I knew then what I do now about the importance of business plans.

What is the entrepreneur eye you mention on your twitter?

The entrepreneurial eye is the ability of see potential, viable business opportunities any and everywhere. You can read all about my initial experience with the entrepreneurial eye on my website.

What is the worst experience you have ever had as an entrepreneur?

There’s nothing quite like having a great idea, pursuing it and then having your hopes dashed. I’ve had my share of disappointments. My worst experience would be when every single of my countless proposals addressed to film companies and banks were rejected or not responded to. It hurt, but I kept pressing on. My application to supply buttons for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was initially rejected, but I was persistent. Eventually, I was awarded the contract! So you see, you cannot afford to give up!

Tell us more about your KAFF?

The Kay-Adade Family Foundation (KAFF) is a private organization I founded to support our (my family’s) favourite charities, provide free healthcare for orphans and under-privileged families, assist The SKA Group with some of its social responsibilities and support entrepreneurship. KAFF currently sponsors the Canadian Bible Society, the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation, missions and outreaches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Worldwide, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and some promising entrepreneurs.

In the near future, KAFF plans to additionally fund young, budding entrepreneurs through a biannual competition called the KAFF Challenge. The winner will be awarded a cash prize to start up as well as the backing of The SKA Group, if necessary. It will also provide scholarships for prospective students of the Pearl Academy, Covenant University, Ota; and McMaster University.

Link to the Original

That’s all folks!

future of gidi

December 18, 2010 7 comments

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a former high school mate of mine- Kayode E*. He had started a dot-com signature of his own called: GidiTalking. In his words, it will be the go-to website for all current happenings in Gidi (Lagos/Nigeria).

He already had a brief write-up on me, which he put under a section of the blog called “Future of Gidi”. I found it quite flattering. I believe that post is a compilation of his knowledge, the facebook page and past interviews. Anyway, he asked to conduct an interview and I agreed. It was another opportunity to put my new “business-like, less personal info and straight-to-the-point” self to the test.

How do you think I did?

GIDITALKING: SYLVESTER KAY-ADADE

MAY WE KNOW YOU?

Yes, you may. I’m Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade, the President of The SKA Group. For the purpose of this interview, I am the CEO of Pearl Kreations Ltd; popularly known as Mr. Buttons.

WHAT IS PEARL KREATIONS ALL ABOUT?

Pearl Kreations is a collectibles manufacturing company presently based in Ontario, Canada.

We manufacture and supply superior quality button-badges and lapel pins for a variety of corporate, personal, professional, national and international events and purposes.

Our customer service, professionalism and unequalled prices have made the brand a household name and stiff competitor in the collectibles industry.

WHEN DID YOU START OFF?

Pearl Kreations began operation on January 28th, 2008.

HOW WAS IT WHEN YOU STARTED OFF?

It started slow, as was expected, and steadily progressed.

HOW IS IT NOW?

For a company that is barely three years old, I think Pearl Kreations is doing very well. We have an ever growing clientele and scores of contracts rolling in every month.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU STILL FACE NOW?

Production is one challenge we’re presently working on overcoming. Sometimes, we get more orders than we can handle, and this sometimes prolongs response and delivery times. We however have never turned down orders; except the Client chooses to cancel. Another issue is delivery. Sometimes, deliveries outside North America take longer than expected.

To battle these issues, Pearl Kreations has two partner companies (usually contacted for very large orders). We’re also looking into acquiring more machines, and moving into a bigger place. And, with our partnership with FedEx as well as local courier services, our delivery time is improving.

IS YOUR FAMILY IN SUPPORT OF YOU?

Absolutely. My mum and sisters are beyond supportive.

GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOURSELF- EDUCATIONALLY?

I started out at St. Mary’s Private School, Agele. Then, I attended Federal Government College, Lagos (FGCL)for my secondary education. Right after graduation, I did a year at Covenant University studying Computer Science; then another two years studying Medicine in the Republic of Benin at Houdegbe North American University, Benin (HNAUB). I transferred to McMaster University through Southern Ontario College, and presently in my final year of Health Studies/Public Health.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE BOTH OF THEM- SCHOOL AND PEARL KREATIONS?

I’ve learnt to prioritize and organize my life so neither interferes with the other.

I also finally hired people. I was initially trying to run a one-man operation. After I saw what that was doing to sales, I changed the business model. It’s a good thing I did too; because the extra hands have increased our effectiveness by over sixty percent (+60%).

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR FREE TIME OR YOU DON’T NORMALLY HAVE SPARE TIME?

Between school and work, I have a couple of hours to myself. I usually spend it reading books by successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, books on management and the biographies of business gurus. I also use the time to catch up on my favourite TV shows.

ON A SCALE OF 1 – 10, 1 BEING STARTING OFF AND 10 BEING FULLY ACCOMPLISHED, HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR BUSINESS?

I’ll say a solid 6.

WHY YOUR CHOICE OF RATING?

6 is above average.

We are doing very well as I said earlier for our age, but there is always room of growth. I believe that there will always be something that can be improved upon and done better. Progress and advancement aren’t goals, but constants.

I believe that mindset has helped us stay ahead of the competition and please customers. At this rate, Pearl Kreations will be a 9 in no time.

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF COMING BACK TO LAGOS TO SETUP BIG TIME?

Yes, I do. Preparations are underway. We already make regular deliveries to Nigeria monthly. Nigeria is our second largest market with about fifty percent (50%) of our orders coming from Lagos.

WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE- EXPANSION INTO DIFFERENT FIELDS?

Rome wasn’t built in a day; and I believe a big business error is to build and expand too quickly. That being said, after Pearl Kreations’ success, I decided to explore doing business in my other areas on interest. This is where The SKA Group comes in.

It is legal (in Canada), already profitable and growing steadily. A quick summary- It is a private company with businesses that span advertising, branding, clothing, education, financial services, publication and real estate. Pearl Kreations is one of its subsidiaries.

WHAT PROJECTS HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH? – BIG AND SMALL

I would love to give you the list, but it’s a lengthy one. The list up until August 2010 is under portfolio on our website – pearlkreations.com. The notable ones are: the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Watchmen 2009 Movie Collection and the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver.

WHICH IS THE BIGGEST?

The biggest by revenue was the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START OFF A BUSINESS?

Before I begin to advice, I’ll tell you that you can do it on your own, but you won’t go far without God. If you want to achieve the unfathomable, go with God. Matthew 19:26: “…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Now for advice, first and foremost, be absolutely certain about what you want to go into. Make sure you’re going to love what you plan to do because, at times, that’s all that keeps you going!

Secondly, know your target market. Do your homework- the necessary research, take surveys, study your competition and the industry- especially the trends. All that will help you make a business plan- which will help you stay on track. Make sure it contains your vision, mission, values, customer service plan, financial plan and marketing plan.

Thirdly, find mentors. Read about and watch documentaries on them. Learn from their mistakes. Improve your business acumen and knowledge by reading books and watching business programs.

Finally, pray and commit all your decisions into God’s hands. Don’t just pray and fold your arms though; you have to work hard too. If you work hard, you won’t even realize the money piling up. As my dad- Sylvester O. Adade, would say, “Work hard, Pray hard, Play a little; and you’ll be golden”. Also, find/make the time to relax, and spend with family and friends. Don’t get so consumed with work that you begin to begin alienate the most important people in your life. They are highly instrumental to your success.

Well, those are my two cents. I wish you all the best, certainly hope to see you at the top, and may be do business together someday.

Link to the Original

déjà vu

June 12, 2010 Leave a comment

You know how sometimes and somehow, you’re put in a similar situation over & over? Or you’re told something by different people in different ways? Well, it’s happening to me a lot lately! I’ve been having the feeling that I need to read in between the lines.

It all started with one of my best friends, Kasope A*, saying to me in passing, “the future is only for those who prepare for it”. It has been stuck in my head. Then, I discovered the Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), and now watch most of its shows. There are two of its originals I’m particularly fond of – Biography on CNBC and How I Made My Millions. On a recent episode of the latter, a woman who went from broke to a net worth of $150M USD said something profound. I can’t remember her exact words, but I spun it in my head as, “you have to be worth millions in your mind before it materializes”. It hit me like she was saying it to me directly. Lastly, I have a habit of reading biographies online and watching interviews on millionaires, and most of them chorus statements like: “dream big and bigger”, “no dream is too big” and “don’t give up”.

I decided these weren’t coincidences and I needed to act…fast! I learnt it wasn’t enough to just think it in my head, I had to put in down. And possibly also put it out there too, and by God’s grace, accomplish it all. To that effect, I typed out future me and then made a Wikipedia page, but it was soon deleted. This note was posted as the reason – “relevance of article?”. I guess that’s their way of saying, “the world doesn’t know you yet buddy.” Alternatively, I’ve set up a Facebook page, and if you aren’t already a fan on Facebook, you can become one by following this link directly to my page and like me :). I also put a detailed biography of  this future me for my bio page.

This “future me” write-up is drawn up from my perception of what future articles about me would state. Some of it has already begun, but I won’t tell what stage(s) I’m currently in. I did not put in a net worth so as not to limit myself, but tens of billions (of dollars) won’t be a stretch from what I’m thinking it could will be lol 😀

SYLVESTER O. KAY-ADADE

Sylvester Kay-Adade II is a Nigerian-Canadian Businessman, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.

Please click here to read more.

That’s it! I don’t remember if I made this up or I heard/read it somewhere: “if you’re going to dream at all, might as well dream big!” It’s pretty smart so yeah, I most likely made it up lol. In case you’re wondering why there’s nothing about a wife or children, I do want to get married and have children. This is where I see myself in about 5 years from now. I think I’ll try to update it from time to time as things progress 🙂

I challenge you to do the same. Think of where you want to be in the next 5, 10 or 15 years and write it down. Setting and writing down your goals is half the battle won. I think it helps put things in perspective. Trust me 5 years isn’t a long time from now. I’ll see you at the top! 😀

firsts

May 29, 2010 1 comment

It is my 23rd birthday today. I took a professional photograph over month ago, and it arrived yesterday. I guess it is a gift to myself. I watched the trailer for The Adjustment Bureau yesterday and it seems to me that the message behind the movie is essentially – Life is simply a compilation of the series of events we individually experience. I was basically just sitting and reminiscing on my life thus far, and thinking “wow! time flies!”. I decided to take a trip down memory’s lane and remember all my firsts experiences, ahem, business-wise. This should be fun!

My first Button was a National Button.Basically because they were all I initially planned to do. It was the market demand that made me go into the All-Me Buttons. Anyway, it was a Nigeria National Button as is understandable. When I held it in my hand, there was this rush of accomplishment that filled me. I put it on my t-shirt and immediately took a photo!

My first Sale was the next day to a friend, Tega O*. Well, I practically forced the button on her lol, and then, on Pelumi A*. It was only Nigerian buttons then, because I hadn’t begun to network. I wanted to start building my sales confidence, and I started with people I could easily relate to. I think I made $14.00 in my first week!

My first Contract was kind of informal. It was for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. We partnered with a bigger company because of the minute size of my company in relation to the size of the others. The more official one was for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games for which I got a Certificate of Membership from the 2010 Business Network, an official letter from the Provincial Government of British Columbia and an official lapel pin.

My first Event was when I was still coming up. It was AfroFest 2008 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. AfroFest is an annual multicultural Africa-themed event organized by the McMaster African Students’ Association (MASA). That event fetched me and the company a lot more student popularity! I was so happy making sales lol. The first more public one was the Tiara Festival. You can read more about it via link. The other events were when I had gotten more serious as a businessman ;-). The first of which was at an event in Windsor, Ontario.  You can read more about it at: You can read more about it via link.

My first Speech was on Saturday, March 28th, 2009 at the AfroFest 2009/Hands of War/Mikono Za Vita. We about half an hour allocated for the acknowledgment of student entrepreneurs. I was the MASA secretary, and therefore in charge of preparing the program and allotting time for the different segments. The entrepreneur thing wasn’t my idea though! I was actually shocked to see it in the program the President, Nnamdi N* handed to me. The entrepreneurs were Amal Awadh of Um-Aisha Orphanage, Sylvester Kay-Adade of Pearl Creations, Poize Magazine, and Olumide Adewunmi of Gidilounge. I was doing a lot of running around making sure the show went on without a hitch, and simultaneously organizing a speech in my head. Finally when the hour arrived, I went up confidently on to the very brightly lit stage to introduce myself and Pearl Creations. I spoke about where I come from, Pearl Creations, some my personal experiences and some events we have been privileged to sponsor and partner with. I was nervous and perspiring profusely! A friend in a front seat said he could see the sweat rolling down to my cheeks! I got laughs a couple of times from the audience which helped me calm down. I ended by announcing, “For the purpose of this show, we have buttons every African culture and our stand is in the back so please feel free to come, have a look and possibly buy one or two. Thank you”.
It’s all kind of blurry after that. I do know I felt a lot better later on, probably after I had the chance to cool off and wipe all the sweat off my face lol. I got a lot of positive feedback during & after the show about the speech, and even a couple of days after. Also got a couple of physical & oral pats of the back from friends, admirers and parents. Oh and as usual, business & partnership proposals from other students and entrepreneurs.

Well, I think those all my firsts…for now. I hope to have a lot more sales, attend a lot of events (national & international) and give a lot more speeches soon! Umm since it’s my birthday, I thought I’d also add some things (pluses) that I’m thankful for; and things I’m juggling in my mind.

Very recently, help came in the form of more partnerships and business offers – not too long after “complaining” in a post a while ago. I got some impressive offers this time though…thank goodness! Some being:
-> A friend wants to invest towards the next Olympics.
-> Another wants to help advertise in bigger cities.
-> Two people brought forward the same business idea which I think might be Pearl Creations’ new venture because I’ve thought of it too. But first, I want to figure out who’s the more serious of the two and hopefully go into partnership with him. When it does come out, everyone would be made aware.

Another night, I came across a group of people brainstorming over a business venture. I joined in as was expected, but for privacy purposes, I won’t disclose zip, but I will say this – the venture seems like a pretty good idea. However, it is capital-intensive and requires some labor as well. It seems to me that this venture will have a fixed consumer base almost as soon as it hits the market. It is a risk, but if you don’t take risks, you’ll never really know. We’re going to give it a shot very soon…watch out.

I’m also thinking of expanding some more. The dealership and partnership idea is working, but I want to give more people opportunities. I’m still thinking on how to get more people with great button ideas involved without the PCC-ideology ‘cuz I want something that attracts/helps people, but also profits Pearl Kreations as well. After all, it is a business!

I’ve started paying salaries. Before now, people used to work for free, but I’ve noticed that now, with money as an incentive, they do a much better job! Plus the sales people are more aggressive lol!

That’s it! I don’t want to spend the whole day worked up in front of a computer screen. It’s a shame I have nothing planned. Well I didn’t plan because I’m not exactly thrilled, but I hope somehow I enjoy my day! After today, I’ve got to get back to work because Pearl Kreations has over a 1000 buttons order that need to be delivered in about two weeks!

Happy Birthday to me! Yay! Lol