As a part of my contribution back to The Powerlist Foundation, I’ve been working along side the charity’s CEO to develop a better communication strategy. The main aim is to help the reputation of the charity grow, which will ultimately mean that it can impact more young people’s lives.
The strategy document is nearly complete, but I thought I’d take a little time out to rebrand their twitter page. The focus was to make it look more modern and have a greater focus on photography, making it a little more visually appealing.
Combining the page re-design and the new content strategy (once it begins) hopefully we will see the twitter follower count increase.
Next Steps: - Continue to develop and execute the communication strategy. - Design and launch a Facebook like page for the charity. - Global take over.
As I mentioned before Cosmic Inc. is going through a lot of changes. And one of the lessons I’ve learnt in recent years is the value of focusing only on the absolute best.
As a result, I’ve made the decision to close the Liteworks Studio project down.
For those of you who didn’t know, Liteworks is the name of the multi-studio we own in Loughborough Town centre. The vision was to develop it into a rentable creative space. However, since the concept of the original plan the studio was become the HeadQuarters for The Creative Circle and we currently use it as a office for day to day work, it isn’t ideal to rent it for use by other people.
Moving Forward. We will be keeping the studio space in the town centre, however it will become exclusively for the use of members of our team rather than the public. We will also be re-naming the location simply to: “The Creative Circle”.
How I feel… The truth is, I’m actually happy, which is weird as every other project I’ve shut down in the past felt like a type of failure. I guess since then my view and attitude towards failing has completely changed, now I look at failure more positively and as a sign that I’m growing.
I still like the idea of Liteworks, although since its original conception we have had a lot of other great business ideas and opportunities come up meaning that it isn’t likely to be returning.
Earlier this summer I wrote about a charity whose summer leadership programme I had taken part in and which helped to change my life. The charity is called The Powerlist Foundation and its focus is on helping to develop and support future leaders, especially from the black community.
My new role: Brand Ambassador. Not long after I wrote the post promoting the summer school, I had a meeting with the charity’s CEO and by the time we had finished I was the charity’s first Brand Ambassador. My role consists of helping to raise the profile of the charity, especially among young people.
How I got there. I stayed in contact with Veronica Martain (The Charity’s CEO) and around this time last year (2012) she became my first mentor. I’ve learnt a lot from her since, and as a result of the mentorship I started to get really involved in helping her with running the charity. My becoming the ambassador was more just being given a title for work I was already doing :)
Over the coming month, you will be hearing a lot more about the charity. Especially from me! I can’t commend the work they are doing enough and I really do encourage you to support their activities.
My business partner, Bola Awoniyi, and I decided that although we work really well as a team, we are both moving in different directions with our careers. So for now we will remain 50/50 business partners with The Creative Circle, but I will now be the 100% owner of Cosmic Inc. and the other brands it holds.
What Does This Mean? Regarding our vision: Not a lot. I still have every intention on building the brand the way we always wanted it to be. From a management perspective this will mean that I’ll be responsible for all the main choices moving forward.
To be honest, this is a situation I’ve never faced before so I can’t tell you exactly what will be happening as we move forward, but I’m extremely excited and ready to start making progress!
Dream Nation. It’s taken over 50 days for me to find my feet since the big launch. I Have A Dream 2013 was without a doubt a massive success. All the speakers were amazing, the audience was great and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Highlights: - Selling out all the tickets in 6 days - Having 300+ people tune in online to watch the event - All the positive feedback - 2000+ views on the website in 2 days - The demand for the next event
Next Steps. The team and I have taken some time to look into the project and evaluate where we can improve while moving forward. In the coming months you can expect to see the announcement of our next event(s), the photos and videos from I Have A Dream 2013 and the development of DreamNation.co.uk into an active blog.
Okay, it’s been less a week and I’m already failing horribly at my plan. But you know what they say, you haven’t failed until you quit.
The next set of posts you see from me will probably be a random combination of updates about what I’m currently working on, alongside bits where I’m filling blanks in the story since summer and where we are now.
I know I’ve probably said this a million times by now but: I’m going to be taking my blog seriously again!
The Truth is…
My lifestyle as an entrepreneur doesn’t leave me with a lot of free time for blogging, but I’m not going to let myself make that excuse anymore. Besides, after the rebrand that Cosmic Inc. is currently going through, this blog will be playing a bigger role in the company’s marketing strategy.
Regular Updates: I’m going to be working hard to make sure new content is added to this blog on an almost daily basis. It may take me a while to get into the swing of things, but there is also more than enough going on for me to talk about.
A New Focus: Now I have a clear purpose for this blog - to show you what it’s like being the Managing Director of a start-up company. That includes the highs, lows, fun and tears.
My Team: There is no doubt at all, the thing I’m most proud of is the amazing family that Cosmic Inc. has. So I wanted a place to boast about my team members and the things they are doing both inside & outside of my company.
So that’s the vision, now it’s time to make it happen.
I’ve been blown away by the response so far and I really appreciate all the feedback. If you haven’t already, tweet me or email your thoughts on the video.
I wanted to do something to celebrate the 1000th view so decided I would love to hear about TED videos that have inspired you. Pretty soon I’m going to be launching a new blog and this would be a pretty cool series to start the blog off with.
What I need you to actually do.
- Choose a TED Talk video that has inspired you or you’ve learnt an important lesson from. - Write about how its impacted you - Email it to me, then get featured on my new website!
*Optional* - Tell all your friends you’re now a big time blogger.
So if you’re interested getting involved and being featured on my new website when it launches send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and lets talk :)
This was a dream come true for me as ever since I watched my first TED Talks video as a teenager, I decided that I wanted to get involved.
The theme for the event was “Painting Humanity”, so I wanted to have a speech which was relevant. Which is why a picked friendship as my topic.
Watching the video back now, I can see areas where I can improve and I’ve already started working on becoming a better public speaker… In fact I’ll let you in on a secret, I’ve already started preparing for my next “BIG” speech, I just need an event to deliver it at! lol
One lesson I’ve learnt in life is: We are all products of our environment. What we read, watch, eat and who we spend our time with, all eventually add up to tell the story of who we are and who we will be.
In the summer of 2011, I experienced a new environment. For 3 days I was surrounded by 36 of my peers who had been selected from all over the UK to learn from some of the most successful leaders from our communities.
I don’t come from a well connected family, so for me having conversations with millionaires or taking part in workshops taught by world leading experts was kinda a big deal. In fact, let me not down play this: It changed my life.
The programme’s creators The Powerlist Foundation and their partners at Deloitte have announced that they will be running the Summer School again this August. The application process has already started and as I write this there are only 17 spaces left.
I’m writing this because I would love those spaces to be filled by people who truly deserve the opportunity. So the more people who hear about this and apply the better.
The Criteria - Age 19 - 21 - Achieved high grades at A Level (Ideally A* and A’s) - Be a UK citizen of African or Caribbean decent - Be on target to achieve a 2:1 (If you are already in Uni) - Have other achievements outside of your education
Last year I made what at the time seemed like one of the biggest decision of my life when “I quit Photography”.
Although the decision turned out to be only temporary, it did lead to a permeant change in my mentality and I now rarely pick up my camera on behalf of clients, instead I only shoot projects I personally want to do (e.g. Life.Random).
That choice kinda made it impossible for me run my business (and my life) the way I was used to. It eventually lead to two big changes:
The main reasons for this is that my style had basically becomes Starlight’s style, which made it really difficult for other photographers to fit into the brand. I also needed to change the type of work and our client in order to build a business which could support my future dreams.
2. I needed a team.
The previous year I had started experimenting with working with other photographers (shout out to Seyi & Kobbie), but ultimately I still ended up doing the majority of the work.
But banning myself was the type of drastic choice I needed to force me to move in a different direction. I haven’t looked back since.
In the months leading up to this change I had been approached by a few new(ish) photographers with a lot of potential who were willing to learn. So I decided to start taking mentoring more seriously and began coaching them on type of jobs Starlight used to do (but by now we had “officially” stopped).
The photographer who without a doubt has been the most dedicated and has grown the most is Ali Foroughi. Its rare to find someone who is talented, hardworking and trust worthy as he is. Although I still give him feedback he has nearly completely outgrown the need for me to mentor him. He now takes on big projects on behalf of The Creative Circle and laying the foundation for his own photography business.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of passing on the work Ali and Simi did for one of my past (and favourite) clients: Notts ACS. The feedback from my client has been kinda epic.
Its been great watching them grow and I’m really looking forward to mentoring more creatives in the coming year :)
P.s. This years successes have lead to conversations with my business partner about potentially bringing back Starlight Imagery (Notts ACS was the only old client I made an acception for).
My dream is to become one biggest positive influencers of my generation.
To reach my goal I have dedicated my life to following my passions. Labels don't work so well for me, but I guess you could say I'm a Entrepreneur and Visual Artist. Personally, I prefer the title Practical Dreamer.