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Basically, we interview women in businesses but generally women to enlighten others that they can do more, they can LAUNCH OUT, be it a dream, a goal or even a business idea.
Today we have Yemisi Ajeojo with us.
Yemisi Ajeojo is 20 years old and she is in her final year at Aston University studying Accounting for management. She is also the founder of Lively Stones amongst other things.
Pam: What is Lively Stones about?
Yemisi Ajeojo: Lively Stones is an online platform for Christian students in the UK. It is not just a blog like most people think, but an actual platform for students by students. We give people the opportunity to share their stories and faith journeys as well as celebrate student entrepreneurs. We recently celebrated our first anniversary in August.
Pam: Lively Stones is in its second year already, what was the first year like for you?
Yemisi Ajeojo: As much as Lively Stones has been a blessing to other people, it has also been a blessing to me and a way that God has used to prune my character. The first year was really challenging for me. I felt like there was so much going on around me, and God was using the platform to develop my character and really teach me to trust him. When God gave me the vision, it just seemed so much bigger than me and I knew that it wasn’t something that I could do by myself. Thankfully, God has surrounded Lively Stones with amazing people that I am proud to call team members and he has also touched the hearts of students from universities across the UK to get involved. I am also proud to say that we have been instrumental in spreading the word of God among young people and a lot of people have been positively influenced by our content.
Pam: What has being your biggest challenge so far handling this considering the fact that you are a student?
Yemisi Ajeojo: I just finished my placement year. I started Lively Stones when I was on placement. My placement was with a charity organisation, I was working with them as a project manager and a bid writer. And it was fulltime five times a week. Because my placement was unpaid, I decided to get a part time job. In addition to this, I was a leader in my campus fellowship, I had other commitments to my friends, family and local church so I was almost always busy with something important.
I got really frustrated because I felt like I was not giving enough time to Lively Stones. So time management was something that I struggled with.
Also, I used to be very independent to a fault, so I tried to do everything by myself. I have come to learn that when God wants to build something through you, it is never really about you, so other people need to get involved as well. Because I was independent to a fault, when God sent me helper, I would still try to do what I was supposed to delegate. I had to learn to not try and control everything but to be a good leader and guide the team towards the vision.
So in summary, I struggled with managing my time, asking people for help and accepting help but thankfully I have been able to overcome that.
Pam: What should we look forward to concerning Lively Stones in the next 2-3 years?
Yemisi Ajeojo: We have got so much planned for the next few years. At the moment, we are planning our first ever event which is a networking event for student entrepreneurs in the UK. I am really excited for this event because it is an expression of what Lively Stones is about which is celebrating excellence.
The aim of this event is to provide an opportunity for young and aspiring entrepreneurs especially student entrepreneurs to connect, share, ideate, learn, collaborate and grow.
At the event, we will be launching our campus ambassador scheme which would enable us to become more involved with what Christians on campus are doing.
We are also working on something really special which I am not allowed to disclose now but this special plan would enable us to support students financially so look out for more update.
Pam: What have you learnt about leadership and entrepreneurship?
Yemisi Ajeojo: I have learnt a lot!
Most importantly, it is important to see it as a journey, so be willing to embrace growth and change.
You get what you give out, so be willing to invest in what you are passionate about.
Read books,listen to messages,take those extra courses that would enable you grow. Personal development is very important so constantly look for opportunities to stretch yourself.
It is also important to know yourself. Understand your weaknesses, become more aware of your strengths and don’t try to live the same way other peolple are living, and it’s important to have a good circle of friends that can be honest with you,support you and correct you.
I have also learnt that communication and interpersonal skills are key. You need to be able to pass your ideas and communicate what is in your head across to others in such a way that they will get exactly what you are saying.
Pam: What is your advice to others who are scared to launch out?
Yemisi Ajeojo: Feel the fear and do it anyways. I am a Christian and my relationship with God is the most important thing to me.
I don’t think there is anything that I am doing now that I would be able to do if I had not gotten a glimpse of how much God loves me and his grace upon my life. There are many times that I felt like I am not good enough or I do not have what it takes but intimacy with God and being surrounded with the right people keeps me going. So, know God,for in knowing God you will get to know yourself. Being filled with the word of God also give you wisdom and boldness.
There is no amount of success that will talk you out of the enemies voice. So you need to constantly remind yourself of everything that God calls you and everything that he is asking you to do.
Surround yourself with people who remind you of your purpose and assignment.
Pam: As a young woman, what’s your advice to women generally?
Yemisi Ajeojo: Yes, you can ! Do not be afraid to dream.
I feel like God is raising up people and giving them strategies to counter the darkness in this season so do not allow fear hold you back.
Even if your dreams has failed before,do not be afraid to try again. Dream again!
Listen to the heartbeat of the father and follow the rhythm that it sings.
What God wants to do through you is not about your gender or age. Trust him and go !
Don’t be so focused on the closed door in front of you that you ignore the beauty of the porche. Enjoy the process,learn from it,and allow it to make you grow.
Growth is beautiful, you do not need to get it right now but continue trying. It is always beautiful to look back and see how far you have come.
I would also like to remind you of this scripture. Romans 12:10 which says “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves” Do not allow your insecurities make you put other people down. Honour people, especially your fellow women with your words and actions.
Pam: What are some of personal things you would like to achieve in the next 5 years?
Yemisi Ajeojo: In general, I want to be a woman who honours and celebrates other people because there are too many people even the voices in our head are putting us down. I want to be able to support people and help them achieve their goals and purpose in whatever way I can. I am a godly woman that carries the presence of God with her and I want to continously spread the love of God where I go and in whatever way I can.
Some of my personal goals include becoming one of the top global social entrepreneurs and woman of great positive influence. I am going into international development soon and one of the things I will be doing is working closely with women and young children in local communites across the world especially in Nigeria.
Pam: How do we stay up to date with Lively Stones?
Yemisi Ajeojo: There are different ways you can get involved. We are always looking for people to get involved, so check out this page to see what you can do with us http://www.livelystones.co.uk/about-uscontact-us/
Buy ticket to our event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-it-happen-2016-tickets-27668583478?aff=ehomecard
Visit our website: http://www.livelystones.co.uk
Like our page in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LivelyStonesUK
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