Network! Building Relationships Makes The Journey So Much Easier
Here at 2BReal, we are all about analyzing trends in what’s taking place in the Kingdom.
The Christian Entrepreneur series recognises men and women with Kingdom faith and principles, creating new businesses, organisations, and charities for the culture, and we wanted to take time out to celebrate the movement taking place in the UK.
This platform was birthed to celebrate great content, great people and great businesses that are representing the Christian faith loud and proud. We pray that this series will be an inspiration to our readers not just here in the UK, but around the world and that the people’s lives will touch hearts, speak passion to birth purpose to everyone.
Up next on our Christian Entrepreneur series isRonke Lawal the founder of Ariatu Public Relations.
Ronke Lawal is the founder and PR Consultant of Ariatu Public Relations who has been in business for over 13 years. I had the pleasure to learn more about this phenomenal woman and how she continues to build Ariatu PR and more.
2BReal: How did you get into your current job?
RL: I became self-employed in 2004, whilst I was in a standard 9 to 5 management role, a role in which many people my age would have been happy to have stayed in for many years and I very much appreciate the opportunity but it just was not fulfilling my purpose. It was an interesting position with lots of responsibility, however, I became a robot, unhappy with what my job was turning me into, I was stressed and would often take that stress home with me. My life lacked dynamism and to some extent purpose. I felt strongly that I was not following my true life’s purpose and so I made a choice to start my own business. Many people thought I was crazy, I was after all only 23 years old and my only starting capital was my savings, I was taking a big risk although thankfully back then I still lived at home so that helped.
2BReal: Why was it important for you to start your brand?
RL: I wanted to create a life that I loved and by starting my own business I felt that I was able to do that. It wasn’t about ego, it was about purpose. Many people assume that starting a brand means ultimate freedom, to an extent it does but you have to remember that if you don’t like having one boss you will have to cope with having many bosses (clients/customers) when you do start your business.
2BReal: How has your journey as an entrepreneur developed you as a person?
RL: When I was younger I wanted to be a millionaire, I still do but being an entrepreneur has really taught me so much more to life than the accumulation of riches. It has taught me about the true face of humanity. It has taught me that whilst I may celebrate others, others may not celebrate me and that I must learn to accept that.
Entrepreneurship has taught me to see life as it should be seen by all, as an opportunity to give, to learn, to grow and to be a blessing through one’s talents. I am more concerned with truly living my purpose, using my gifts and being guided by my calling.
I may not be rich financially but I am beyond blessed spiritually and the money is here. If it is part of my destiny to be a millionaire like Young Ronke wanted to be then I shall surely become one, if not then I know I shall never lack anything. I now have the confidence to say that I am blessed beyond measure.
2BReal: As a black woman of faith had you already been working in the media before you started Ariatu Public Relations?
RL: Not at all. I literally took a step in faith and just believed that I would be guided, protected and nurtured. Sometimes I look back at all that I have accomplished and I know for certain that it really is by the Grace of God that I have achieved what I have through the course of my business career. I did the work with faith, prayer, and observance of God’s will.
2BReal: What has been the challenge offering a diverse selection of services from your perspective in the early stages of building your business?
RL: I have often been my own biggest challenge in various stages of my business. I have had to constantly coach myself to believe in myself and in all honesty I think that there have been stages in my business life when I have actually sabotaged my own success. I got in my own way because I felt like a fraud when I started to become successful in business.
Isn’t that scary? The very fact that I want something so much that the fear of actually getting what I want blocks my own progress! This also means that I am not putting my trust in God and I’m not spiritually balanced. I have streamlined my business a lot since launching it and everything is interconnected in a much smoother way than when I was the early stages of my businesses.
2BReal: Since the launch of Ariatu Public Relations, what has been the most encouraging moment of you building your platform as a Christian woman?
RL: The kindness of strangers, I’m not talking about clients, I’m talking about people who I have never met (may never meet) who send words of encouragement and support. When times get tough it is those people who really make being in business worthwhile.
2BReal: What would you have appreciated more of in the beginning stages of creating Ariatu Public Relations?
RL: Funding! LOL! I think we underestimate how important it is to get decent funding and mentoring. Well, maybe I underestimated it. My not getting funding and relying on my own funds was also a reflection of my own lack of confidence in my business, I didn’t want to be rejected or turned away so it was safer to rely on myself. That is NOT a course of action that I would follow now.
2BReal: As a Christian, how does being an entrepreneur in today’s world enhance and impact your influence?
RL: There is so much happening in this world that we have access to information about. The digital age means that we know about everything that is going on everywhere and it can be overwhelming particularly in an industry like PR.
As a Christian, it’s important to remember to find peace and to remain close to the source. At the same I feel that it is important to use my influence to be of help and purpose, shining a spotlight on the issues that matter and also guiding people from where I am. I like to pay attention to what is happening in the world and find that no judging others also bring about peace
2BReal: For some who may be wanting to break into the media industry, what would be your advice for them in starting out?
RL: Network, Network, Network! Building those relationships makes the journey so much easier. Be receptive to change and opportunities and pay attention to the world around you. Get mentoring or seek advice wherever you can find it, even YouTube can be a virtual mentor – part of the reason why I started my YouTube channel was to virtually mentor people on a global level.
2BReal: As a woman of God, a black influence in media and female entrepreneur, what is your favourite scripture that gives you comfort, confidence, and composure?
RL: There are SO many but this one really is significant given the length of time I have been in business and the faith I have that God is working and moving me in the right direction;
Jeremiah 29: 10-14