Ihuaku: After my first business failed, I was depressed
Lamp woman, Robinson Maggie Ihuaku is an entrepreneur and digital sales expert. Her journey started in her university days where she sold corporate shirts. Today, she’s a sales coach (popularly known as the millionaire ($) salesgirl) with expertise in developing winning sales strategy, creating converting sales and landing page, copywriting and creating winning sales pitch.
Her mission is to reduce the early death of businesses in Africa by helping them break sales limits and create predictable revenue for their business. This will help them meet their financial goal and also by training the best digital salesmen in Africa through her startup iré, which aims to help businesses grow.
Over the years, she has trained 1000+ entrepreneurs on digital skills and sales, and has impacted many lives through her training and books. She is also a youth development and mental health advocate, who uses voice and resources to train young persons in personal development and entrepreneurship. She also has a support group @thewholeness center that helps young people handle emotional issues such as depression.
A graduate of Microbiology and a certified digital marketer, she has worked with influencers on different projects. An Ighub fellow, proud volunteer, speaker and trainer, she shares her story in this inspiring interview.
I started my entrepreneurship journey in secondary school, but officially at the age of 19. My Dad is a lecturer at Abia State polytechnic and my mum is a Medical Social Worker at Abia State University Teaching Hospital. When I was younger, I read my dad’s textbook on entrepreneurship and business because, he is a PhD holder in business administration. During the holiday, I follow my mum to her workplace; she told me about the cases she had at work and how she handled it. These two things gave me a foundation in business, coaching and advocacy.
Inspiration Behind The Lamp Woman
The name ‘Lamp Woman’ was inspired from the scripture, Matt 5 vs14 & 15, where it talked about us being the light of the world. Just as the name implies, it means a woman who radiates light; a woman who lightens up a place that is dark. That’s what I stand for.
The Journey So Far
The journey has been filled with so many ups and downs, but I thank God. After my first business failed, I went through depression and bankruptcy; I almost committed suicide. I was depressed for six months, but the Lord rescued me. I had friends who were praying for me and encouraging me. Right now, everything is slowly failing in place. That experience helped me gain clarity of purpose of what I really wanted. I mean who would believe that a broke 22-year-old lady hits 5 figures under five months.
Being A Sales Expertise, Youth Development Advocate
I feel so good; you know that feeling you get when you do the things that give you Joy. I love teaching sales and business; it’s something that gives me joy to see businesses grow. I also love talking to young persons like me, especially in areas of mental health (since I’m a survivor) and personal development.
For the mental health support group, we have mental health expertise we work with; this makes the work extremely easy. Navigating these different sectors has been easy for me based on the fact that they all originated from personal experience.
Inspiration Behind The Wholesome Center
My inspiration is the Holy Spirit and my personal experience. I have been a victim of rejection and depression. I was expelled from secondary school in class JSS 2 just because my dad pushed our matron down with anger. They didn’t just expel me; they brought me out in front of the whole school and gave me the disgrace of my life. The same experience almost happened to me at my second secondary school. These incidents and many others I cannot talk about gave my heart a crack.
While growing up, I believed that I was not good and that people wouldn’t like me (I still have those feelings even though I have learnt how to handle it). That’s why I am still away from people, but the Lord is helping me deal with all the pain and feelings. Last year, I got an instruction to start a support group for people passing through the same thing passing through and here we are.
Challenges Of Being A Social Entrepreneur
Funding; we need funding to organise events.
Partnership; partnering with experts is not really easy. As a new foundation, most of them have their reservations working with us.
I have other projects that are still on the pipeline:
* Iré: Iré is a virtual school that trains result driven sales professionals. We will be launching very soon.
* Project B &B: it’s an initiative where we move to communities in Africa and help them harness available resources so they can make money. We also offer them entrepreneurship and sales training. And some other projects I can’t take about now.
Success Story From My Work That Inspire Me
One of my success stories is how I was able to move from a broke lady to five figures under five months. For me, it was a big feat. After I lost everything, I started working in my mum’s poultry farm where she paid me N500 just for a recharge card. Before then, I already acquired a skill in copywriting; I decided to use my skills to make money. I used that N500 to buy data. I sent different sales pitches to different individuals and companies. Luckily, I got a job as a copywriter; that was how I started.
Women Who Inspire Me To Be Better And Why
Nwanyiakamu – Mrs ijeoma ndukwe; I love this woman from the bottom of my heart. The way she took a local product and made it global amazes me.
Ibunkun awosika; I love the way she loves God and her business sense. She is my role model because I dream of seating on different boards of different companies like her.
Ngozi Okonji Iweala; One word for her is excellence. This woman is a big inspiration; this is a shining light and I love her. I love her simplicity and her wealth of knowledge.
Being A Woman Of Rubies
What makes Maggie a woman of rubies is that I am a fighter. I have had ugly experiences while growing up, but I always fight for what I want. I am very tenacious and persistent; it’s my trademark.
Awareness On Mental Health And Youth Advocacy
I appreciate works done by some foundations like Live Your Dream, Manifest Network, Vision Alive, She Can Write and other organisations. But I think more work needs to be done; a nation is not wealthy because of money or other material possession, but the human capital she has. It’s only a healthy man that would see the need to develop. A lot of work is done on youth development, but we need more work on mental health. Many young people are going through a lot; many have even given up on life. Beyond organising events, young persons need one-on-one counseling sessions where they can pour out their hearts.
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