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think

March 28, 2020 1 comment

Pensive

Why are you in Nigeria?

I’ve been asked that question more times than I can count. My answer is usually the same – I have some ventures I’m looking to explore. Sometimes, there are looks of confusion, heavy sighs, or just good old-fashioned disbelief and head-shaking. But, I understand. Someone moving to Nigeria from Canada, at time when people are leaving Nigeria for Canada in droves, is puzzling. I guess my “interviewers” are wondering whether I know something they do not. Maybe I do.

I lived in Canada for eight years, and within that period, started three different businesses there that did fairly well (most popularly, Pearl Kreations) before I moved back. I came here to set Nigerian subsidiaries and explore other possibilities. I did I come with a mindset to introduce new concepts, disrupt/turn things around and rake in millions? Absolutely. Have I been humbled? Most definitely. Have I done well? Yet to be determined. I’m joking; by God’s grace, I’m doing well. However, here’s what I’ve realized about entrepreneurship in the Nigerian economy – there readily is no reward or support for competence, effort and ingenuity. The system largely favors those with access to power/political connections and rewards them with highly lucrative government contracts and ridiculous grants. Vusi Thembekwayo put it this way – if you look at how the top 25 wealthiest and most celebrated people in your country made their wealth, you can easily determine the type of economy you live in. Did the top 25 wealthiest Nigerians all build their businesses from the ground up (without backdoor deals and government favors)? You decide.

Of course, there are/will be exceptions to the rule, and certainly, you can live comfortably as an entrepreneur, especially if you’re a professional, like an accountant or architect. Anything other than those, would be tough, but not impossible. However, real wealth may elude you. As you may have concluded, there are very few entrepreneurs in this country who have built substantial wealth without connections or government contracts/favors. That says a lot about our business environment. This is particularly disappointing for me because a little over ten years ago, I had a totally different experience.

After running my first business for about a year, I applied to be a vendor for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I noticed there were vendors for all manners of merchandises, but no one selling button-badges (which was my product). I saw that opportunity and applied. I got a response requesting for, what then seemed like, all sorts of random documents. I can assume now, in actuality, they were probably things like business registration documents, bank statements and so on. I replied the email stating that I was a freshman at McMaster University, had started a small business, saw an opportunity and decided to take it; I had none of the documents requested of me. A few days later, I was approved! I got sent all the documents verifying my business community membership by mail, and a congratulatory email as well. Just like that, I got in. No connections; except God, of course.

Small businesses are the backbone of any economy, and in recent years, it seems Nigeria has caught on. Things are still a little dodgy, with hints of favoritism here and there, but improving. I’m thrilled that with the impending COVID19 lockdown, so many people have gotten fired up to start a venture of their own, either to complement their income, or in transition from former employment. Whatever the reason, the best time to start is now.

However, in my experience, a lot of Nigerian SMEs aren’t equipped to take advantage of the new business environment and emerging opportunities. They are simply not very creative in their quests for business opportunities. They’re not entrepreneurial. I’ve discovered that what most people get into, and aspire to go into, once they have some capital is trading – purchase and resale of goods – and this makes them traders, not entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur is a word that has become so loosely used, people think it’s a synonym for business owner. The fact is, not every business person is an entrepreneur. By the way, with the way things are going, except you’re selling foodstuff or hygiene essentials, you’re in the wrong business (as a trader).

The truth is, people pay for solutions, and entrepreneurs are solution providers.

Entrepreneurs create products and/or services that meet the needs of people for a profit. Entrepreneurs meet needs and get paid for it.

If you really want to be successful and wealthy, as an entrepreneur, you need to solve problems.

We tend to think too small here in Africa. The average entrepreneur is scared to be ambitious. Rather than thrive, they’re content with surviving. Well, I won’t stand for it. I’m incredibly passionate about small business, and for the past three years, have devoted most of my time into Herança Financial, the venture through which I work with/help budding entrepreneurs start, grow and manage their businesses. Coupled with my personal experiences, I’m somewhat of an expert in business (humble brag). So, with current state of the nation and the shape of the economy, I think now is as good a time as any, to share my knowledge and expertise with a greater number of people, and help them start the right way and avoid the unnecessary hardships that ignorance tends to lead.

First of all, I’ll reiterate. An entrepreneur identifies a need and works towards satisfying it, or works towards improving upon an already existing product/service, or creates demand for a product/service of value i.e. creates a need and provides the solution. The provision of the solution brings the reward – money. The bigger the problem, the bigger the reward for its solution.

Once you have a solution, please ensure the product or service has a Unique Selling Point (USP). A USP is the mark of distinction of any business. It can also be referred to as your value proposition. In all likelihood, your company won’t be the only one offering that product/service (at least, not for long), so it’s important to have either a feature, advantage or benefit that’ll separate your business from current and prospective competition. Without a USP, you won’t stand out. Please note, lower price is not a good strategy for a small business; it’s just not sustainable.

Next, identify your target market. Never make the mistake of assuming your product or services will appeal to everyone. You’re dreaming. However, your target customers will want and appreciate your products or services. They can be grouped into primary, secondary and invisible; I’ll explain later. Just know that they are the persons or businesses with the highest probability of buying your products or services. Once, you’ve identified them, profile them. Your profile should include their locations, spending habits, hobbies, and age group. These will help you know how much they would be willing to spend on your product/service and the best way to reach them. I like using Indomie Noodles as an example. Their target market isn’t everyone, it’s children. Children are their primary target market. That’s why their ads are so playful and colorful; why they invented “The Indomitables” (Superheroes) figurines and stickers; why their ads are on television and radio, not Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (most children are not on social media). They have bigger sizes (like Hungry Man and Belleful) for adults, their secondary target market.

With the proper identification of your target customers, you need know your competition. Your competition is the person or business who offers the same products/services or benefits (as perceived by your target customers). They can be grouped into direct, indirect and invisible. Direct competition are those that offer the same products/services you do; for example, Coke and Pepsi. Indirect competition are those that offer the same benefits; for example, Domino’s Pizza and KFC – different products but same benefit (fast food). Invisible competition are those you didn’t consider. They usually the bigger players that have the capacity [and potential desire (especially if you’re successful)] to offer the same product/services or benefits as you. By understanding your competition, you gain competitive intelligence. Competitive Intelligence is the process of learning, collecting/gathering and using information about your competition for the purpose of growing your own business. It helps you to keep improving upon or redefining your business model, so you’re not easily surpassed.

I’m sure I’ve given you more than enough to think about, so I’ll stop here.

The first step is to sit down and think! Find a need, preferably in an area you’re passionate about. Ask God to reveal the solution to you, and provide you with the means to execute it. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about the idea, but the execution of the plan. And as you execute, remember, please think globally. Find the application of the solution not just within your locale, but regionally and worldwide. The world is bigger than Nigeria.

All the best!

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

vanoc

November 30, 2009 1 comment

So I was sent my Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Business Committee documents today , compliments of Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) and The 2010 Business Secretariat. The package contained the official lapel pin, Certificate of Membership, Letter of Membership and a sticker.

lapel pin

certificate of membership

letter of membership

I feel very honored and somewhat accomplished. At least now in my letters of contractual application, I can add the 2010 Business Network to the list of Business Organizations that Pearl Creations belongs to! Actually, it will be the first!

I thought I would give you info on the games – not too many people know a lot about it. The XXI (21st) Winter Olympics tagged: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games begin on February 12th through to February 28th, 2009 and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games begin on March 12th through to March 21st, 2009. The Button-Badges Memorabilia/Souvenirs are out now! I think we did a good job 🙂

The Mascots are Miga: a young sea bear, Quatchi: a young sasquatch and Sumi: an animal spirit. They have British Columbia as their origin and are peculiar to only that region/Province. Miga and Quatchi are the Mascots for the Olympic Games, while Sumi is the Mascot for the Paralympic Games.

The initial logo was unveiled on the 25th of April, 2005 in Vancouver, BC. It is called, “Ilanaaq, the Inunnguaq”. Ilanaaq is the Inuktitut word for friend. It is in the shape of a totem tower. We also have a button for that. Then three (3) more logos were released: The Paralympic Games Logo, The Totem Tower and The Vancouver 2010 Logo to make four (4) logos. We’ve got those too! The seven souvenirs will be sold in two (2) packages: The Van2010 Olympics Mascot Collection (3 buttons) and The Van2010 Logo/Totem Collection (4 buttons).

      

This year, 86 events under Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Ice Hockey, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Short Track Speed Skating, Curling, Alpine, Freestyle, Snowboarding, Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, and Nordic. They are however grouped under 3 major categories – Ice sports, Alpine/skiing and Nordic. The 8 sports categorized as Ice sports are: bobsled, luge, skeleton, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating and curling. The 3 sports categorized as Alpine, skiing and snowboarding events are: alpine, freestyle and snowboarding. The 4 sports categorized as Nordic events are: biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined. The Games will be declared open by the Governor-general of Canada, Michëlle Jean.

Presently, I’ve set the prices at $5.00CAD and $8.00CAD respectively. They are presently only available online from Pearl Creations. Provisions are being made to have them also available on the online store via link as soon as possible. Now, let the games begin!

mr. buttons

November 24, 2009 14 comments

It has been a while since my last interview in 2008. I’m a bit excited and thrilled lol. I’m being interviewed by a young lady, Bunmi Adeyinka, who I got to meet through Labake F*. The interview will be published later on today, but I felt you should have a quick sneak peek. I have altered a few minor details, but it is basically the same. I feel like I might have said too much, but I tend to think that because of my reserved nature, so please let me know, okay? Enjoy!

INTERVIEW

Sylvester Kay-Adade is a force to be reckoned with and should be an inspiration to every young Nigerian. He started small, got discouraged by many, but he didn’t allow them get to him. Today, he speaks with the likes of the CEO of FIFA’s branding company on a one on one basis, he won a contract with Beijing Olympics, he’s been on the cover of the number one newspaper in Canada, The Hamilton Spectator, he is the CEO of ‘The SKA group’, and did I mention he is just 22. We at GidiNoize were privileged to have a word with the man in charge, Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade.

GidiNoize Interviews Sylvester Kay-Adade

1. WHO IS MR. BUTTONS?
He is a shrewd, dedicated, entrepreneurial, hard-working and positive Businessman.
He runs Pearl Creations, a Company whose primary product is Button-Badges, hence the name lol.

2. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND (EDUCATIONAL, FAMILY)?
I was born 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 (4) siblings- Ronke, Anthonia, Rita and Veronica.

My educational life was quite simple till it got a little complicated. I wanted to become a Medical Doctor then Chemical Engineer then Medical Doctor again. My primary school education was at St. Mary’s Private School, Agele, Lagos. Then I got into Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos. A lot of people are shocked when I mention my High School. I apparently behave nothing like the stereotypical “IJ” guy.

Next, I attended Covenant University for a year studying Computer Science/Software Engineering. I was offered admission into the Medical School at Houdegbe North American University, Republique du Benin (HNAUB). I accepted it after my first year at Covenant University. It was there I learnt to speak French, but it’s really rusty now. I spent two (2) years there before I transferred to Canada to continue.

I came to Canada in 2006 and attended Southern Ontario College for about nine (9) months. I got admission into the University of Toronto, University of Ottawa and McMaster University. My dad’s best friend attended McMaster University and talked so much about it, so I decided to go there…plus it has a renowned Medical School. I’m presently in my third (3rd) year of Health Studies.

3. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU REALIZE MAKING BUTTONS WAS YOUR THING?

I won’t say making buttons is my thing. It’s a hobby that became a business, but also a stepping stone to achieving the bigger dreams I have.
While I was in HNAUB, I had an eccentric roommate, Som, who always had all these interesting business ideas. We got very close and he shared his idea about making button-badges for Nigeria’s 45th Independence Day Celebrations. I put in some suggestions on the design, but unfortunately, we couldn’t actualize it due to several setbacks.

Sometime late 2007, I remembered the buttons idea. Since I was now in Canada, I figured I could give it a shot since I had access to a lot of the resources we needed back then.
I did my homework- researched on buttons designing, the materials needed, the machinery, company registration etc.
When I was all set, I called Som, reminded him, told him my new ideas and assured him we could actually pull it off now. I called him a couple of times to get the ball rolling in Nigeria, but he had lost interest in the whole idea so I went along and did it on my own.

4. DO YOU DESIGN THE BUTTONS YOURSELF?
Initially, I didn’t, I got a guy, Mike who was the local button maker in my University to do a couple of Nigerian Flag buttons so I could post pictures on the group I created on Facebook and show some friends & Nigerian colleagues. Apparently, they all saw it and thought it would have been expensive, but after hearing it was just $2.00CAD, the buttons were all gone. Then I had him make some more and for other West African Countries.

Eventually, Mike stopped making buttons. He said it wasn’t a profitable venture. That prompted me to start learning how to make the buttons. Mine were weird-looking so I looked for someone else while I sharpened my skills. Which is when I met Alice; she’s British and also runs her own Company. She supplied all my buttons. It was initially just business, but we got friendly and now we’re Business Partners. She gave me tutorials, advice and tips over time. I didn’t start making mine until late 2008.

5. WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE DESIGNS?
Well, there are two (2) types of Buttons: National and All-Me Buttons, and they are very different.

The concept behind the National Buttons is from the initial idea Som had; and I broadened the idea to accommodate other countries.
Being in a multicultural Country like Canada makes you realize how much people like to identify with their ethnicities and cultures, and what better way to do that than with your country’s flag? The National Buttons are buttons bearing the national flags of different countries. This gives its nationals the opportunity to be ambassadors proudly representing and celebrating their countries wherever they are on a daily basis or as frequently as they wish!

The All-Me Buttons idea came after a friend, Petra ordered some specific designs and I had to declined. Later, I realized that people like to have personal statements, names, nicknames, favourite cartoon characters, popular sayings, photos etc on buttons as well. I looked into it and came up with the name.I made Petra’s order after I began with All-Me Buttons. So, as the name implies, it has “you” all over it. They are custom-made and created to your own taste and specifications (fonts, colors, designs and size). They are more tasking to do and time-consuming so I decided to charge an extra 50 cents for them. This makes the All-Me Buttons $2.50CAD/pin and the National Buttons $2.00CAD.

6. HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR STUDIES & YOUR BUSINESS TOGETHER?
When you start making your own money, there’s this rush and drive you get from it especially when business is booming. I was getting orders from within Hamilton, the US, Mexico, England, Morocco etc. It was crazy, but exciting. I started skipping classes and losing sleep in order to meet the demands and my customary ten (10) days deadline.
My grades began to suffer of course, so I decided to have a work-study time frame.

From 8am to 8pm, I would take orders, attend my classes and do my assignments in the Library. After 8pm, take a nap and then study overnight (which is when I assimilate best).
Fridays and Saturdays, I would design and make the buttons (which takes hours). In times of rigorous tests and exams, I type up all the orders with the specifications (which also takes hours) and send them via email to Alice. On Sundays, after Church services, I go back home to relax. At night, I watch my favourite TV series, movies and basically just chill.

When I have large orders, I contact another business partner, Levi. He’s Canadian and also runs his own company. He has a bigger press and more workers than I do. I’ve learnt to separate my education from business very effectively now. None overlaps the other and both are doing very well. About two (2) months ago, I got a BlackBerry smart phone which streams my emails and Facebook messages to my phone. Now, life and business a lot easier for me.

7. BEING A YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR COMES WITH A LOT OF CRITICISM AND DISAPPROVAL ESPECIALLY FROM PARENTS, HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THAT?
When I started, I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t know how they would react. I’m that quiet and content child that doesn’t ask for anything except I need it so when I do ask, they never hesitate. My pocket-money was sufficient such that I didn’t need a dramatic increase to start that would raise any questions. I had also been saving about $100 every month since the conception of making my variety of buttons.

I did have a lot of setbacks from some colleagues (I use friend very cautiously) who didn’t understand what I could make from $2.00CAD. They would say things like,” if I know 100 people and each of them buys a button, all I would have is $200CAD or $250CAD. What next after that?

I got discouraged a couple of times especially when I wrote countless letters to Comic Stores, Film Companies, Theatres, Cinemas to purchase make buttons especially for movies like Watchmen, Spiderman etc or for their Online Stores. I wrote to Banks, Companies, Conglomerates suggesting buttons as new marketing strategies or as gifts to kids & customers for Christmas, during promos. I either got rejection replies or no replies at all.

I still encouraged myself and decided to be aggressive and more passionate about my business. I decided to make Pearl Creations more legit and international, not just a Facebook group. I took an online tutorial on website designing and spent days making one. The initial one is nothing compared to what it is now at pearlkreations.com. I’ve redone and edited the website more than 50 times; I figured it would make me appear to be more driven. Even if I get it professionally done, it would look the same just with added creativity.

When I did tell my parents, they wanted to be assured my grades weren’t suffering; they were so proud and supportive, may be because all I told them were the success stories lol. My dad even gave me some pointers and lots of good business advice the last time I saw him before he passed into glory.

8. OUTSIDE THE BUSINESS SCENE, WHO IS SLY?
Right from primary school, my friends nicknamed me: “the sly guy” or “sly”. However, Sly is the nickname that has stuck through the years. Some say it isn’t too far from the description of my character.

Character-wise, I’m always composed, confident, easy to talk to, friendly, NEVER in a hurry, neat, meticulous, overly articulate and strategic in my actions.  I went through a grooming & etiquette school a summer when I was in Middle School which accounts for most of my gentlemanly character (others are from my dad).
I’ve been told I can be funny. I also laugh a lot, can be manipulative, sometimes naughty (which humours people) and quite sarcastic.

Emotionally, I can be way too generous and nice. On the flip side, I can also be callous, but also very caring towards my family & friends (very few of them). I hardly get angry and only three (3) things get me upset. When I do get angry, I must be have been really pissed. It could be terrible because I have the tendency to be vengeful.

My strong points, I’m a deep thinker, analytical, detailed, sharp memory and a good listener. I eat healthy, somewhat adventurous and I’ll try anything…at least once.

My hobbies are business, chess and movies. I’m quite the movie buff- I love watching movies! I watch stream them or watch them as soon as they’re out in the Cinema. Either way, I watch at least two (2) movies a week. I like 80s Music, Alternative, Classical, R & B, Soft Rock. I like basically anything that’s catchy and pleasing to the ears. I blog and follow a couple of blogs too. I don’t tweet…not yet though. I follow lots of TV series like Entourage, Fringe, House, How I met your Mother, The Mentalist, and Two & A Half Men.

Others, I’m a worker in church- The Redeemed Christian Church of God…an Usher specifically. Love the colours red, brown and green; and I’m usually in a dress shirt, jeans and a caddy.

9. ARE YOU SINGLE/MARRIED/ENGAGED? LOL
I’m engaged to be married in May. Just kidding! I’m neither.
After my last relationship, I decided to take a break from exclusive dating for while. I don’t think I can commit to business and a lady at the same time. Both would need my undivided attention and I don’t have that kind of time on my hands; couple that with school, and it would be a disaster waiting to happen.
I don’t want to commit to anyone if I couldn’t spend enough time with her. I recently started dating though.

10. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A WOMAN? LOL
I think I’m pretty simple.
I like cool-headed, down-to-earth, focused, God-fearing pleasant, well-mannered and spontaneous ladies. Intellect is a huge plus. I find smart, well read ladies very sexy.
Physically, I’m usually drawn to slim, toned, fit and light-skinned ladies, but I have dated a couple of dark-skinned girls. I don’t discriminate lol.
I’m a sucker for a beautiful smile and abs too.

11. APART FROM MAKING/DESIGNING BUTTONS DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST?
I play a lot of PlayStation adventure and mission video games.
I love to play I love board games especially chess and ludo; and work out.
I watch basketball and soccer whenever they’re on TV, though I’m not much of a soccer fan.
Did I mention I’m a movie buff? lol.

12. DO YOU INTEND ON GOING INTO BUTTON MAKING FULL TIME?
Yes I do. I’m already into buttons full-time…sort of.
We do buttons for the Olympics, winter Olympics and lots of movies…which is a job already. We did for Watchmen, Chronicles of Narnia 2, Star Trek, Star Wars Clones, Looney Toons, AstroBoy, XMen Origin, and just concluding the Edward & Jacob Buttons Sale for the Twilight Saga: New Moon.

13. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?
As I mentioned earlier, the buttons business is just the beginning.
I’m just about completing the registration of The SKA Group in Canada. It is the Umbrella Company for Pearl Creations and some others.
I hope to develop and at least operational before I turn 32 (I’m 22 presently). You may follow on my progress, if you wish to via my personal website – skayadade.com.

I think it’s healthy to dream. I think it gives you a purpose and something to live for.
I want to have a legacy and impact the world in such a way that years after I’m gone, I’ll be a reference point.
I have big dreams, but I believe they’re not big enough because there’s no such thing as impossible!

14. WHERE CAN YOUR BUTTONS BE PURCHASED?
They can be ordered on:
1. Facebook: Write your order on the wall of the Pearl Kreations’ Messenger.
2. Email: send your order to service@pearlkreations.
3. Website: send your order via the messenger on the website via link.
4. Phone:  +1 (289) 396-8864.

15. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER UPCOMING ENTREPRENEURS?
The key is to never give up and keep your dream alive. Remember, I mentioned I didn’t get replies? I thought it was because I mentioned I was Nigerian (everyone knows what the word is about Nigerians and Scams) in my letters so I left it out of my letters, but things still didn’t look up. Everything happens for a reason. I think it’s important never give up. To make sacrifices and take every opportunity you get to showcase yourself.

I’ll use myself as an example. I sold buttons at any event that would have me. Once, I sold buttons at a Festival in Hamilton called the Tiara Festival. It cost me $70.00CAD to get a table there, but I paid it. It went from 9:00am to about 7:00pm and I sold only about 10 – 15 buttons so I didn’t make anything close to the $70.00CAD back. Around 5:30pm when I was about giving up and packing up like a lot of the other merchants, a lady walked up to my table and asked about the buttons. So I told her and talked with a lot of enthusiasm, she smiled, gave me her notepad and told me to write my name, email, telephone number and about my buttons. She explained that she is a reporter & columnist for The Hamilton Spectator (the biggest and most widely read newspaper in the city) and that she would like to do an exclusive on me, I thought I was dreaming. She called me to come for a photo shoot and interview later on. In a week, I was a full page story in the Hamilton Spectator titled Mr. Buttons…He’s Right on the Button. That’s how I got more people, popularity and fans. I went with my signature bag for the shoot so when people saw me after then, they would ask, “you Mr. Buttons?”. Even at the bank one day, a teller asked if I was Mr Buttons and ordered for two (2) Denmark National Buttons. What I’m trying to say is even though I thought I had wasted $70.00CAD, I ended up making more than that eventually. It was the grace of God, that same article and the fact that I’m a Student that got me a contract for the Beijing Olympics cuz I started adding the link in my emails and letters to proof of my Company’s authenticity.

Secondly, be cautious and don’t underestimate yourself. I dared to write the Olympic Committee, and I got the contract…it was to co-sponsor, but beyond rewarding nonetheless. That opened doors I could have never imagined. I have talked to CEOs, some influential men and women. I have spoken to and have the mobile number of the CEO of F.I.F.A.’s branding Company. I met all these people because I went the extra mile. I wrote Warner Bros because I wanted to make Watchmen buttons, but didn’t want to get sued doing the buttons (being cautious). They didn’t say I couldn’t make and sell them in their reply to me, but they said they wouldn’t be able to buy them from me.

Thirdly, take constructive criticism & always ask for feedback from customers so you can improve and continue to impress. Apart from people writing the wall of the groups, there is a feedback section on the website where people put their views and comments. Complaints led me to expand and introduce the bigger sizes of 1.25-inches and 1.5-inches as opposed to just the default 1.0-inch buttons.

Fourthly, keep coming up with fresh ideas & innovations. Learn to develop the Entrepreneurial Eye that sees opportunities everywhere and in everything. You can read more about the ‘Entrepreneurial Eye’ via link. My experiences and some advice, you will find on my personal website.

Last, but not the least, please, please and please pray, have faith and put your trust in God.

16. ANY LAST WORDS FOR YOUR FANS?
I’ll like to thank everyone who is reading this, who has ordered and my faithful fans that order scores of buttons from me regularly. I wouldn’t have made it this far if not for all of you. Thanks for supporting, helping, believing in and encouraging me.
God bless you very much. Pearl Creations will always strive to give you the best quality button-badges and labels ever! We aim to please.

Link to the Original

So please tell me the truth, how did I do?