Gloria Olufeko an acclaimed Media Professional in Nigeria. She was the winner of our Media and Communications category in 2021.
- What does being a young and self-made entrepreneur mean to you?
It means that I am lucky to have found my passion for the media early in life. Discovering what you love to do and what you are passionate about early in life is very important because you get to step on the gas and get going. You literally do not have to wait for long to achieve all the things you’ve set your heart to achieve and also be an inspiration to others.
So I’m grateful to be young and killing it and to have gotten a ride in Nigeria’s media industry. It just tells me that there is room for more in the coming years as I grow older. There’s room to be more influential and to cause a positive change in society.
It means that I still have my whole life ahead of me to be able to do wonders. So I’m just really excited.
- Can you share the inspiration behind your decision to start your own business at a young age?
The inspiration for starting at such a young age is seeing younger people do amazing things. I knew I could also start immediately and start making a name for myself in the media industry, and not necessarily have to wait until I get to my 30s. That was enough drive for me.
Many times, we want to get it right before we start. We want to have all the money and connections before starting. But now is the time to start. I’m only 27 and I’m already doing great things. In fact, I love to call myself one of Nigeria’s fastest-rising media personalities.
- On work-life balance/harmony, how do you manage your time effectively to run a successful business while also pursuing personal interests?
I try to create a distinction between my professional life and my personal life. Gloria Olufeko as a brand, media host, TV and radio presenter, is my career. That’s what puts food on my table. Then Gloria as a human being is my personal life. Even though they are interwoven, they are two entirely different people.
Creating a clear distinction between these two aspects is crucial for achieving balance and maintaining a healthy separation between work and personal life.
- As an entrepreneur, what motivates and sustains your drive?
I do not want to fail, ever. In fact, someone still asked me recently what my greatest fear in life is. My greatest fear in life is not even death. It is failing to fulfil my purpose; the reason why I am here.
So each day when I wake up and I’m heading out to work, attending an event or a show, I always tell myself that I need to get going because there is no room to be tired. The fear of failing is what keeps me going.
I like to remind myself that you don’t rest because you are tired. You rest because you are done.
- Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
The fact that I’m able to inspire young people and help them become who and what they should be. Many people will think I’ll mention awards, limelights, followers, etc. I mean those things are good and I’m grateful for them, but the fact that I’m not living my life for myself anymore is such a big deal for me.
I have young people; people in their teenage years saying they want to be a Gloria Olufeko when they grow up. That for me is a great achievement.
I was at an event last month and a young lady walked up to me crying. I was worried and I asked her what the problem was. She said “Gloria, I look at you every day and it gives me a reason to want to go on. I look at your life every day and I’m like God, if you could make something out of the life of this young person, then you can make something out of mine.” I also just burst into tears because those words warmed my heart.
These things give me a pat on the back that I’m doing something well. So anytime I want to give up, I remember that there is somebody looking up to me.
- What advice would you give fellow young entrepreneurs just starting their own businesses?
For anyone who wants to venture into media – school media, new media, traditional media, social media, radio, TV…I’ll say start now. I know I started early, so to speak, but sometimes I wish I started in my early 20s. I started finding my foot in my mid-20s, but I still wish I started way earlier. Who knows, maybe by now I should be one of Forbes 30 Under 30 when it comes to media in Nigeria. It’s still not too late to bag that anyway.
Secondly, find mentorship. You see farther when you stand on the shoulders of fathers. So it’s very important to stand on the shoulders of someone who has gone ahead of you. I have mentors in the media industry who caution me when I do something wrong and guide me back to the right path. So it’s very important to find someone in your niche to be your mentor.
Thirdly, be focused. It is inevitable that things will happen in life that will try to make you lose focus. But remain focused and chase your own dreams.
- Do you have a favourite quote/mantra that resonates with your entrepreneurial spirit?
I have two, and I mentioned one earlier. “You don’t give up because you are tired. You give up because you are done.”
Finally, “invest in yourself, value yourself, and the recognition will come.”