Let me me introduce Chi Chi Okezie. In the early years of Noodlehead Marketing, I met great people attending numerous networking events. One of those awesome people was Chi Chi Okezie. Chi Chi is the owner of a neat company called SIMPLEnetworking.
Chi Chi and her company help other companies, professionals, universities, and government agencies develop the right skills for their business, career and social development. They believe Networking is a lifestyle and tool for success.
In my recent blog post, Three Simple Strategies To Grow Our Businesses, Chi Chi was inspired and encouraged in her journey to simply trust God. As a result, I asked her to share more with you.
Here is her story…
How Faith In God Changed My Business and Transformed My Life
Hi, my name is Chi Chi Okezie, owner of SIMPLEnetworking. I launched SN in 2006 to use business networking to build cultural awareness and provide diversity training.
Changing The Business Model
Approximately nine years ago, I faced the tough decision of changing over my business from a translational company to a consulting company. It was a tough decision because it was not in my business plan. Of course, this was a difficult decision since networking was new to me and I had no clients for the new business model. If this updated business model were to fail, I would lose my existing business’ profits.
While I was hesitant to do so, I decided to trust God and believe He was able to give me an idea for a profitable business model. If this was His will, I would trust Him to to make the necessary provisions to sustain me and grow the business.
2010 was an important year in my life, and one of difficult testing.
There were positive milestone moments as well as difficult ones, and it turned into a year where God shaped me into His liking. Towards the end of 2010, I hit a breaking point. Choosing intentionality for good, and moving forward made life more difficult. Below is a journal entry I wrote in this state.
Three years later, I reflected on this journal entry, and I wrote my thoughts. That entry is below the first.
My hope in sharing my journal is to encourage you in your journey.
Journal Entry: November 20th, 2010
You focus on the right things and you wonder, why have things gotten so much worse. Getting your relationship with Jesus prioritized, being intentional about being with your family and helping out. Stepping into the company, you make it better and do what you know is needed to be done in order to make it succeed and get on track.
This is a followup letter to the latest blog post I wrote, A Helpful Letter To The High Achieving Business Leader. I encourage you to read it as well.
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Dear Passionate Follower,
You have done well, and your contribution with your organization has been valuable. You are in good standing in the organization, and your organization is in good standing across the industry. You have spent so much time working hard, it seems you missed the fact that your organization is lapping competitors in the space you run. Your organization is looked up to as an authority by competitors and is “punching above its weight class”.
My challenge to you is, focus on becoming a better leader. Think about how to communicate better, how to be proactive, and how to take responsibility. Prioritize learning, reflecting and growing as a person. Build it into your work rhythms.
Let us lead by example. Model for those who follow us. Focus on ourselves and not others. If we see our leaders not leading the way we believe they ought to be, we ought to be leading in that way ourselves as a model to them and our team. Let the CEO be inspired by the example we set before him, and let us not be disturbed or offended when our accomplishments and activities are challenged or threatened.
The following is my letter to high achieving Christian business leaders. It is intended to help provide perspective and insight as you travel this road. For those of you who do not share a Christian belief, I encourage you to read through it and filter out my faith based insights :-)
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Dear High Achieving Christian Business Leader,
You have done well.
When I look around the organization you are stewarding I see one which is thriving together in many ways. The people, the culture and the excellence is exciting to see. Behind each desk is a great person. One who is making a difference in the lives of those around them.
As you learn to become the leader you envision, prioritize God at the beginning of every day. When we start our day with God in prayer and reading His word, we fill ourselves so we can pour out into others. Consistently pray for yourself, your leadership team, vendors and your customers. There is no lack of those involved in your life to pray for.
Prioritize people when it means you can’t achieve your goals. We are accepted as we are and when we cannot perform, it does not change our standing. Set aside your achievement and adopt a mindset of stewardship. While stewarding, let people be your primary concern. Be willing to invite them in and let them go when their time is done.
April 1st 2015 marked our one year anniversary since we shut down Noodlehead Marketing. Three months later and we are now 15 months post-mortem.
Life has changed.
Not knowing where this new journey would take me or my family, God has blessed us with different types of provision, including work and relationships.
Thinking about the last 15 months, I recognized three patterns during this new journey. These are habits, I believe, God has honored us as we have harvested the fruit of our labor. Once I recognized these behaviors, I became intentional about living them, and now I wish to share them with you. My hope is they will provide inspiration and encouragement as you journey forward in your own respective paths.