If there is one thing Chika Ilang never gets tired of, it’s MORE. She keeps pressing for a much better version of herself and her business. In this interview, she takes us through her entrepreneurial journey of helping women gain business clarity. Enjoy the conversation.
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
I am Chika, a Mass Communication graduate of Caritas University, I am a doer and I’m an achiever. If my entire life was to be summarised and given a title, it would be called THE EVOLUTION; because I’m always looking for opportunities that would help me become a better version of myself. This same desire to get better led me to establish my business; helping others who seek more growth, career advancement and more money, to not only seek this but understand the principles that will guide them on their journey to success and fulfilment.
My business is focused on helping women who desire more than they presently have, who desire to live above average but do not have a clue on how to achieve this. At Chika Ilang International, we count it a great joy, to help these women gain the clarity of what they truly want, create a customised blueprint that will guide them to achieve this level of growth they desire, and actually hold their hands as they journey through.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you choose to be one?
Hmm, being a female entrepreneur is like being an entrepreneur…male or female alike. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming and I wonder who sent me this message. But when this stage fizzles out, I get refuelled and refocused. The vision simply got bigger than where I was, so I decided to start this business that aligns with the vision I have for my life.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
I work with people in different locations other than mine. I leverage on new technologies to deliver value to these my ideal clients, irrespective of their location. I also came to understand that people have different learning methods. I took this into consideration and have created materials that suit people according to their own learning methods…this is my way of ensuring each person that works with me benefits equally.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
I observe; I learn; I polish myself with courses that help me achieve my results and I am surrounded by people who want to see me succeed. These people invest their time and expertise to make sure I scale through. I simply chose to make this work. My business is not my pet, it is a business and I treat it as one.
When I read successful people’s story, I pay more attention to their struggles than their success, and I’m inspired to keep going. My journey has been a collective effort of people, courses, hard work, dedication, and God’s grace.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
Growing up as a child, I witnessed cases where women were seen as the lot who cannot handle a business. Women were, and in some cases still believed to be too weak for business. Women couldn’t access funds that would help them run their businesses. There’s also the issue of balancing family and business. There’s the issue of societal acceptance and recognition. As much as we try not to see these as stumbling blocks, there exist. Fortunately, women have grown to the top too and are making ways for others. Everyone supports a woman who shows up for herself.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
When I decided to walk on this path, I knew I had two things to do…first; to make it work, second; to build a career around my core personal values. For it to work, I had to take courses and pour into myself to be able to pour into others. At the beginning, it was not always easy sticking to my own rules, I was always affected by what everyone did. But when I chose to be human, to be me, to do me, to embrace my own values and run with them, my life got
easier and my result increased. When I learnt to say NO to people and events that won’t help me achieve my result, I grew incredibly too.
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
My first attempt at any business was in 2015. I sold smart kitchen tools, gifts items and did fruit art/display. I started that business because I needed to do something for myself besides my 9 to 5. I knew I wanted more but I didn’t know what that more was. This business gave me the money I needed but I still felt a vacuum. I was still very much hungry for another MORE that I didn’t know. Fast forward to the end of 2015, I took the decision to shut down that business, to assess myself and understand what exactly I want out of life.
It was at this stage of self-discovery and harnessing, that Chika Ilang International was born…committed to helping other women who know they are worth more. Who are saturated on ideas but weak in execution, who desire more growth and financial independence, but lack the HOW to bring all these alive. They like I was, don’t know the exact WHAT and HOW to achieve their desired result. Chika Ilang International is focused at helping them declutter the many
distractions that have stopped them from achieving result, define what they want in a clear and compelling terms, create a map that will guide them to achieving this and actually hold their hands on their journey to success and fulfilment.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what kept you going?
My major challenge was at the beginning of my career- when I hadn’t gotten results. So I had to commit to achieving results. I granted many free sessions to achieve results. This was in a bid to have something to show for my expertise. You know if you don’t have any result, and you are new in an industry, you may be mistaken for a sham. So until I started achieving results, I had to deal with this.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
This would be summarised as this: to have grown to become the number one source that helps women to gain the clarity to build the life and career they truly love.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this
First, you need money to fund your dream. When you catch the rhema, and you are in a paid employment, do not be in a hurry to quit your job. Second, be you. Everyone else will come to accept this fact. Third, focus on achieving results, that is all that matters. Fourth, empower yourself with tools and information that will help you achieve your desired result. Fifth, take the time to define your vision. Like Dr Rob Yeung puts it, uncles you want to be one of the floundering masses, take the time to identify your vision.
You can reach Chika Ilang on any of the social media platforms: Chika Ilang
The Leading Ladies Africa Series is a weekly interview series that focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes women empowerment and gender inclusion for women of African descent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to [email protected] and we just might feature her.