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Chi Chi Okezie At Emory University

Chi Chi Okezie, An Active Learner, Shares Who Inspires Her & What It Means To Live Better & Work Smarter

This blog is geared towards sharing stories and systems to help others live better and work smarter. While you receive an abundance of insights from my published articles, I've been experimenting with a new interview series to provide you with the opportunity to hear insights from people I know and work with.

So far we've heard by video from Jason Long, founder of MedRev, and by written words Gary Epp, fractional EOS integrator. Their wisdom provides different perspectives and ideas to thrive in your personal and professional journey.

To continue this new Live Better, Work Smarter interview series, we'll be talking with Chi Chi Okezie of SIMPLEnetworking. Chi Chi contributed a guest post here on the blog in 2015 where she shared how her faith in God changed her business and transformed her life. We originally met in Atlanta networking to grow our respective companies, and she's an active reader here on the blog.

So without further ado, let's shift to Chi Chi and read her insights on how she lives better and works smarter. 

To you, what does it mean to live better and work smarter?

To live better means to live a healthy, holistic and prosperous life for myself and others around me (networks/community). Authenticity, self-care, purpose, passions, and values are also important ingredients.

To work smarter does not mean taking shortcuts but instead is about working with purpose, intent, and looking at the bigger picture. It requires reflecting on my decisions, words, and actions always ensuring they're aligned and support my initiatives. 

Change is inevitable, so I'm constantly developing and re-inventing myself for what lies ahead. Being able to learn, grow and progress is essential in life, especially in business.

I focus on mental, spiritual, financial and physical development, and I learn from others, volunteer, and sharpen/expand my skills. As a lifelong learner, I'm actively attending a diverse variety of events, training, conferences, webinars, and programs.

As a leader in your personal life and work, what does it look like for you to help others live better and work smarter?

Helping others live better and work smarter requires a genuine, honest, open availability for their growth and prosperity. While the response is mixed with some people valuing connections and sharing, others don't, taking for granted the opportunity to grow and mature.

Motivated by the strength and love of my parents (Nigerian immigrants during the 60's) and family, they still continue to encourage and support me. As part of my service of teaching others the importance of trust, integrity, and goodwill, I'll continually be motivated by my parent's courage, strength, and faith.

What type of stories inspire you? How has it affected you over the years?

I'm motivated and encouraged by stories of people who pressed against the odds, did not achieve success "overnight" and have demonstrated staying power.

We can look at the Venus and Serena Williams and their epic role in tennis, pop culture, and activism. Starting from humble beginnings and with many odds against them, their talent, determination and hard work continue to garner them success and inspire others to greatness.

This inspiration helps me stay focused, take authority over challenges, and develop patience and self-confidence.

When you think about systems, what does that word mean to you? How do you apply it to your life and work?

Systems mean structured, efficient, and measurable ways of performing a task or activity. I use systems to grow my business, build relationships and stay accountable to my values and ethics.

Accountability is a form of checks and balances as well as a way to navigate through situations, and circumstances. Others should embrace it because it builds character, understanding, and it illuminates our weakness/strengths as well as where we can improve and further develop. It's also humbling, something we all need.

With a love of creating plans, flowcharts, lists, and forecast business activities, I also use online tools and platforms to assist with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of these activities, including Google: docs, sheets, calendar, slides.

As people traverse through this journey we call life, what parting words of wisdom would you share with the readers? 

Be encouraged. Keep pressing forward. Things are looking up. Believe your best days are ahead of you!   

Thank you for sharing your insights on how to live better and work smarter. How can people connect and work with you?

Please visit the SIMPLEnetworking website to learn more about my company. I'm also found on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

In regards to my work, I facilitate events and present talks for mid-size to large companies while also offering group/individual training and consulting. Subscribe to the newsletter on my website for more details.

And, join me on November 13th to celebrate Business Networking Day!

Hero photo courtesy of Emory University.
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