Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog: 03/16/2008 - 03/23/2008

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Friday, 21 March 2008

Happy Easter

Here's wishing everyone the most beautiful Easter Celebration.

May all your dreams come true. And may you always have a reason to thank God

See y'all after the holidays.

Love,
Linda

Monday, 17 March 2008

You Will...When You believe.

This is the cover of FM&B Edition 3. I sought people's opinion and found that most people prefered this cover....

So here it is. Who likes it?

Anyway, that's not what I want to talk about today. I want to share my struggles with you all.

I run a company that's about 3 years old. I make most of my profit from my modeling agency and events that I coordinate. It's not much but it's enough to keep me going.

In 2006, I decided I wanted to publish a magazine. When I first shared this dream with a few friends, they told me I can't do it, publishing a magazine is capital intensive. They told me that most people who start magazines always give it up, 'cos the terrain in this country doesn't encourage sustainability and consistency. There's always the problem of high cost of printing, distributorship, not getting adverts to sustain it etc. I was really discouraged but I told myself this is my dream and I will go after it with everything that I am and have. Thankfully, I'm still young, so I have a lot of years to get it right.

My first edition cost me almost a million naira to print and promote. At the end of the day, I didn't get back up to 30% of the money I'd spent. Loosing all that money demoralised me for a long time. I was broke and I had to start all over again. I got my edition 2 ready but didn't have money to print it. I heard a lot of 'I told you so's but paid it no mind. I was focused on raising money to get it printed. It took me ONE year to raise the money.

I got edition 2 out. Then started working on edition 3.

Let me say here that before my first edition came out, I'd gone around with a dummy copy of the magazine, hoping to find a company that will advertise in it...it didn't happen. Everyone told me that they don't advertise in a magazine that doesn't even have it's first issue out.

After the first issue came out, I again went looking for adverts. I got the same story. One edition is not enough.

So after my 2nd edition came out I got three members of staff and two independent marketers to go look for adverts. By the end of the year...no one brought back any advert. They told me the same story I'd heard many times...adverts don't come that easy, especially when it's a new magazine. Meaning that I have to look for money to print the third edition again.

Like the first edition, I'd spent almost a million to print the second edition and like the first time, I didn't make up to 20% of the money back. So basically, I'm printing at such a high cost, selling at a loss, no adverts and on top of it all, the magazine wasn't flying off the shelves.


A few people told me to chill a bit and give myself time to recover from all the loss but instead I started work on the third edition. By February it was 100% ready but I didn't have the million or so it will cost to get it printed.

In Dec, a friend had recommended a marketing company specialised in getting adverts for magazines and newspapers. I'd gone to them with copies of the first and second edition, letter heads and everything else they wanted from me. They told me to come back in six weeks, which was the end of January.

When I went to see them, they gave me the same story. Two editions isn't enough to get adverts. Advertisers have to be sure the magazine is here to stay, people are reading it, it's in circulation, a lot of copies were printed etc. The guy told me to start expecting adverts after my fifth edition or thereabout. It dampened my spirit, because I knew I needed the extra cash to pay for the cost...without adverts, it would be difficult. So in my head I was thinking not another one year.

As I was stepping out of the office, the guy's partner walked in. The guy explained things to him and the partner looked at me and said, "The only adverts you can get for a magazine this new are adverts from your friends who just want to support you. So if you know anyone, go to them. If you're looking for adverts from corporate organisations who don't know you and have never even seen or heard of the magazine...It's not possible."

Not POSSIBLE!

There are many words I don't like...one of them is; IMPOSSIBLE! Don't talk to me and use the word IMPOSSIBLE! It does something to me. Because I know IMPOSSIBLE is NOTHING!

I looked at the guy and said "It's not impossible". He just walked out of the the office, with the 'I have nothing more to say to you' attitude.


Before the guy made that remark, I'd already accepted that I wasn't going to get any advert for the magazine. But now I turned to the marketing guy seated at his desk, asked for all my documents and walked out of their office. This was Thursday Jan 31st 2008.

When I got back to the office, I got out my file that has the addresses of most registered companies in Nigeria. I picked out 15 companies and said to myself "By God, I will get at least one advert, even if it kills me. I'll be damned if I'll wait another one year".

When I was 20, some model told me it was impossible for any Nigerian model to be the face of so many products at the same time.
The following year, I was the face of Schweppes Pineapple, MTN, Prestige Cosmetics, Apple Cosmetics, Mr Biggs, and Elegance Ankara.

In 2004, someone told me it's almost impossible for a young girl to run a company without any kind of financial assistance from boyfriends or sugar daddies. Well, I'm still here, with no sugar daddies or rich boyfriends.

When I was 25 years old, someone told me it was impossible for me to publish a magazine of the same quality with Genevieve and True Love magazines. A year later, I did it.


Basically when I tell myself it's possible, I make it possible!

So between February 4th and just last week, I went to 13 companies. Dropped my magazines, my advert rates, letters of support and everything I felt was necessary to drop. I tried very hard to see those at the top who had the power to give me adverts. I bombarded them with calls, texts messages, went to their offices many times, sat in their reception for hours on end...begged when I had to...

Then I go home...and PRAY!

Three weeks ago, I got a call from the manufacturers of CHIKKI NOODLES. They wanted to place an advert.



After shouting on top of my lungs, I started calling all the other companies that I'd gone to. HOLDENT TOOTHPASTE was interested in placing an advert too.
AMIGOS HAIR followed suit.
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I got a call from one of the top execs at Nigerian Breweries. They told me they were interested in placing an AMSTEL MALTA full colour backpage advert in my magazine.



From then on, I had no words.

All together I was able to raise almost half a million...I did it in a month and a half

And they told me it wasn't POSSIBLE!

I'm not telling you this story to boast about how many adverts I got or how much I made. Maybe half a million naira is not a big deal, maybe four adverts is nothing to fuss over...so it's not about that.

What I am here to say to you is this; don't let anyone tell you what is possible and what is not. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or can't do. People don't know you like you know yourself. They don't know what drives you, they don't know all your talent and skills, they don't know your strength and capabilities...so why should you let them tell you what you can or can't do?

If you believe and have faith in that thing...it will be yours. Mine was adverts, maybe yours in a multimillion dollar deal. Maybe it's just a 1kobo deal. Whatever it is, I am here to tell you, it's not impossible to achieve it. It will be hard, trust me on that. And you will meet people who will tell you it's never been done before, or everyone else who had tried before you, failed. Well the thing is; you're not everyone. Nothing is unachievable if you believe so much in it. Because your belief and faith will push so far that you will even surpass your expectations of yourself.

I'd made up my mind to get at least ONE advert, but I ended up getting FOUR. Much more than I'd expected. And what pushed me so far was my believe that I CAN DO IT. Now, I tell myself that my edition 4 will get at least EIGHT adverts and I have absolutely no doubt that it will happen. And oneday, I won't have to beg...they will come to me.

Oh I believe in me so much...and getting these adverts has re-instated my faith in ME

If you want to be successful in life, four things that I will recommend.
1. Work; I know when you come to my blog and see how often I update, you can't help but wonder if I realy have a job. Trust me I do. You will probably not meet another young woman as busy as I am. I am always on the road. I work my ass off. I'm chasing this and that, that and this...and I know one day, it will pay off. You really need to get off your ass and work almost till you drop.


2. Perseverance; Don't give up easily. There will be times you want to give up because you've fallen too many times, you've failed too many times, you been told you can't do it too many times and it gets to a point where you wonder whether you should hold on or let it go. I'm saying to you, HOLD ON. Keep trying. Don't ever give up on your dream. When you keep working at something consistently... it will give. It has no choice.

3. Believe; You can't succeed in life without faith. If you don't believe in what you're doing, what motivates you? What keeps you awake at night thinking great ideas? If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the drive... it can be done. Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.

4. Pray; Above all, PRAY!. I believe so much in prayer. Whatever you want to do, always go down on your knees and talk to your GOD first! With prayer, everything is possible.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, without any doubts, without any questions.

You can be as great as you want to be.
It's really up to you and YOU ALONE.
Just remember, everything is possible...when you BELIEVE!

Think about what I said, and I hope my story inspires you to at least TRY.

Take care!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Honestly...

I saw this on Tosyn Bucknor's blog http://speechgirlbucknor.blogspot.com/ and decided to answer the questions too. It's called HONESTLY.

Here we go
1. Honestly, are you in love right now?
Yes I am...

2. Honestly, what color is your underwear?
Black. I don't particularly like coloured underwear. (Not 'cos I'm dirty o...lol. Black is just my favourite colour)

3. Honestly, what's on your mind right now?
Getting my magazine out and sex...hey we're being honest abi? lol

4. Honestly, what are you doing right now?
Blogging. I'm also cooking. It's my turn to cook on Sundays. So I'm basically shuttling between my laptop and the kitchen

5. Honestly, what did you do today?
On the phone for hours...went to church. Today's Palm Sunday...there's procession (Catholics) but I ain't going to that

6. Honestly, do you think you are attractive?
People say I am...how can people be wrong?...lol!

7. Did you do anything bad today?
Is day dreaming about making love against a wall bad?

8. Honestly, do you watch Disney channel?
No, I don't! Give me C&I anyday

9. Why do you blog?
'Cos I enjoy it immensely. I love writing and interacting with people...blogging gives that platform

10. Honestly, what makes you happy most of the time?
O. Family. Working. My Magazine.

11. Honestly, do you bite your nails?
Aaaah...we are being honest right? I bite my nails occasionally.

12. Honestly, what is your mood right now?
Crazily horny...it's been so long...

13. Honestly, who do you want to see at this very moment?
O.

14. Honestly, do you have a deep dark secret?
Secret? Yeah! Dark? Nah!

15. Honestly, do you hate someone right now?
Absolutely NOT! I don't dislike anyone either. I either like you or I'm indifferent to you. But most times I like people...

16. Honestly, who/what do you want to hug right now?
I know you expect me to say O but nah, I want to do more than hug him...lol! For hugging, it would be my younger sister, Laura. She's in School. Miss her a lot!

17. Honestly, does your wrist hurt?
Hurt from doing what?

18. Honestly, are you in denial?
Not now. A few months ago I was...

19. Honestly, wouldn't you rather be having sex right now?
Pls don't mention sex to me...don't even get me started! O knows he's in BIG trouble! lol!

20. Honestly, is it easier to talk on Blogger than in person?
No it's not. You can't say all you wanna say on a blog, but when talking, you let it all out. Speaking is easier than writing

21. Honestly, does anyone like you?
I think a lot of people like me. At least I hope so. One kinda loves me!

22. Honestly, is it going anywhere with them?
Oh definitely. It's going everywhere with them... from the pool, to the beach, to the back of the car, to Hawaii, to Bermuda, against a wall, on the kitchen table, in the shower, in a public place, in the movie theatre. Oh we have a list...so it's definitely going somewhere...lol!

24. Honestly, did you answer all these questions honestly?
Honestly? This is honest as honest can be.

7 weird things about me...from Shola Pacheco's blog http://www.sholapacheco.blogspot.com/
1. I don't visit people. Most times people who want to see me come to me...I don't know how to dress up just to go visit a friend...that's so not right...but it's just me. Freaky right?

2. I have had so many opportunities to travel outside Nigeria, but I've never been interested...never took the opportunity.

3. I hate being Idle. I start getting irritable

4. I don't socialise very much. I attend only about 10% of events I'm invited to. Dressing up for a social event is such a big thing for me...I'm trying to get out of it though.

5. Most of my male friends are queer and I love it like that...bite me! lol

6. I don't mind sharing intimate details of my personal life. If you ask me when last I had sex...how many I've had, when next I'm getting some etc, I will probably tell you without hesitation. Most people aren't like that! Which is the way it should be right? Weird me then!

7. I totally disapprove of women sleeping with married men. I think it's too too wrong. I don't stay friends with such women. That's weird coming from a model huh?

Ok, I'm done. If you have a blog, answer this questions too. If you don't have one....answer it anyway. It's kinda fun!

I'm out of here...See y'all later!

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