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The Kenya Project - Question 1

You may know that I took a life changing trip to Africa a couple of years ago. 

Anne Woodman Africa

A good friend of mine has a mission to mentor girls in her home country of Kenya. 

I was so honored that she asked me to join her and 5 other incredibly accomplished women to be a part of her mission's launch in Nairobi. 

During the trip we visited students from elementary age to graduate school. One of the most meaningful of those visits was to a boarding high school for girls. 

Students in Kenya

As we spoke to an auditorium of 900 brilliant and eager high school students, the girls were allowed to write down questions for us that we didn't get a chance to answer. 

These scraps of paper are one of my most prized possessions. The questions are 

deep, thoughtful, funny and real. 

Questions

It has occurred to me that if I took the time to answer each question in great detail, I might have a collection of great life lessons. 

So here we go. I'll be posting these here once a month, hope you enjoy 

QUESTION #1

“How do you manage the competition in the market bearing in mind that you are competing with businesses owned by people who have attended business school?”

My answer:

There will always be competition. And in that competition there will always be people who are smarter, better educated, more talented and that have more financial backing. If I focused on that fact, I would never succeed. I would just want to go hide under a rock. I keep my mind focused on what I have to offer that is different from anyone else. The art that I make is different from anyone else’s. The nice thing about art is that it’s about creating a feeling. I focus on the feeling that I want to create in my pieces. I focus on how I want people to feel when they see and wear my jewelry. My success comes from that.

That being said; It’s not magic. I am always reading, learning, asking questions, watching how other people do things, and I have mentors that have done what I want to do. I rely on their advice a lot. But at the end of the day I do what feels right to me.

I have also learned that business is fun! I always thought of myself as an artist but I know now that I am a business woman. You don’t have to have a degree to be a business woman, you just have to have a business.

 

Comments

Elizabeth Loredo:

Anne, you are so right. This WOULD make an excellent book / ebook or dedicated blog when you’ve completed them; something that I think would resonate with young women entrepreneurs there and everywhere. And I’d love see more of them here, for sure. I hope that you’re able to share them with the school somehow – I think it would mean a lot to the girls there to know that they continue to be in your mind and heart and that their curiosity is being taken so seriously.

Nov 06, 2020

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