Young Entrepreneurs – Amanda Ogong
A Woman That Means Business
When it comes to women in business, in my circle a few names come to mind but two individuals stick out from the rest. Cessiah Lopez and Amanda Ogong. I’ve already written about Cessiah, today is about Amanda, one of the bubbliest individuals I know.
Recently she started her entrepreneurial journey launching her cosmetics company ‘MAO Cosmetics‘. And with the amount of success she’s seen in such a short period of time, I felt it would only be right to share a bit of her journey with you. So I advise you keep reading and take a few notes from the young lady, she means business.
This or That
In January Amanda launched her cosmetics company MAO Cosmetics. She launched it with the aim for it to become one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world, talk about dreaming big. However this goal wasn’t set just so she could live the high life. She has a much larger agenda. She aims to contribute to solve issues in our world today however she felt like a certain level of success would be needed in order to do so on a large scale.
Why make up? She loves it! Amanda has always known what she wants out of life. She also knew that if she ever wanted to pursue a career in the make up industry she could. It was just a matter of how? She tried being a make up artist. Doing make up for friends in sixth form, even getting paid in some situations, but over time she realised she wasn’t too fond of the artistic process. So rather, she decided to sell make up.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
Rather than rushing into things like most young, fresh entrepreneurs, Amanda took things one step at a time learning the majority of what she currently knows from the internet. Searching for information on Google and absorbing knowledge from YouTube videos as well as the people around her.
People like her older brother really paved the way for her to begin her entrepreneurial journey. From young she watched her brother grind up until his adult years, constantly trying to provide his own means of income through creating businesses. Businesses as superficial as selling Pokemon games to starting a lucrative trading company. The passion he put into everything influenced young Amanda to do the same in her ventures.
If My Brother Can Do It, I Can Do It
Although, it doesn’t end with her brother, her mother also had a part to play in all this. Watching the idea of a clothing store grow into multiple stores in Uganda sooner or later Amanda was bound to feel the influence of those around her, and she did. With all this inspiration around her Amanda birthed MAO.
The Rainbow, Then The Rain
MAO launched by releasing ‘The EDEN Collection’. A range of fruit flavoured lip glosses. Much to Amanda’s surprise, stock was selling quickly, a lot quicker than she anticipated. As a result of the high demand it was only right that she restocked. Only issue was her suppliers had closed down.
Despite the Coronavirus not being a major cause for concern in the UK at the time, it was quite the opposite for her Chinese suppliers. One month into launching, her suppliers were no longer operating and with high demand it made things difficult for Amanda to meet the needs of her customers.
Eventually, near the end of March, she managed to get in touch with a new supplier. But during the time she was under pressure, she remained determined. That was one of the only ways she could combat this challenge. Reminding herself that even if things weren’t going her way at that moment, things like this would happen along the journey. This is definitely one thing that differentiates a lot of young entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in general – how they respond to hardships.
I Guess I Just Had To Stay Focused, I Had To Stay Creative…Think Of Ways To Combat The Issue
It’s A Scary Place
For Amanda, the fear wasn’t the actual process or risk of starting the business, but the support. The support from family and friends How they’d perceive her dream. Would they see her end goal? Would they believe in her vision? Did they understand what she was striving for? To her, this meant support in any form, whether promoting the business or simply encouraging her to keep on going.
There was also the fear of not being able to overcome the hurdles that she faced along the way. But evidently she is fully capable of skipping right over them.
Even with a plan there was also slight doubt that people would be interested in what she had to offer. This was mainly because the majority of her business was entered around her preferences. Right from the way she branded the business to the products and flavours she offered. Her reasoning behind this however, was simply that she wanted to make her company her own almost like it was her baby.
The School of Business
Everyone learns something different on their entrepreneurial journey. For Amanda the first lesson was the importance of having an end goal from the get go. Something that many young entrepreneurs fail to implement when starting off. The end goal allows her refer back to them when she needs them most. Times where she is short of motivation and needs that extra wave of energy to keep her going.
Asides from having an end goal, she has also began to understand the importance of relaxing as she works. Being a perfectionist, it won’t be a shock for Amanda to get easily irritated if things aren’t on point. But overtime she has learnt to accept that not all things can be perfect so the key is to remain level headed and relax.
In Business You Need To Remain Calm, Cool and Collected In Order For You To Be Able To Get Things Done
Another lesson from Amanda, one that was also mentioned by Reuben – the problems of being a cheque chaser. To Amanda, creating a business or side hustle for the sole purpose of making money is not good enough. This isn’t what will draw people to whatever it is you have to offer. In times where she wasn’t motivated, what got her through was her genuine passion for what she was doing.
From Me to You
Here are a few pieces of advice from the wonderful Amanda to any of you young, aspiring entrepreneurs and hustlers:
- Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into – Understand the market you are entering. Your competitors, their products, your target market and all. Find out ways you can top or differentiate yourself from them.
- Don’t Tell Everyone What You’re On From The Get Go – It’s human nature for us to be easily influenced by the opinions of those around us, especially loved ones. By telling people all your plans, you make yourself susceptible to their influence. You may end up making decisions based off of their preferences as opposed to yours.
- Just Start – Stop questioning what it is you want to do. If you are fully passionate about it then jump right into it. You’ll learn things along the way, no one gets it straight away. But at least if your heart is into it, you’ll have the drive to keep on going. And start while you’re young, make all the mistakes now and explore different avenues.
- Make Sure You Have A Passion For It – ‘People achieve success in what they’re fully devoted in’. Stay true to yourself in everything you do. From the branding, to the product/service.
- Just Because You Are Doing One Thing Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Do Others – Make sure you organise yourself. Also make sure the first thing you do is established before taking on something else.
Young Entrepreneurs should have…
Confidence. Confidence is key. If you don’t believe in what you have to offer, what makes you think others will? Build your confidence and that confidence will shine through and others will see this and eventually become confident in you and your product too.
Regardless of the fact that she might only be in her first year of business, by simply watching the way Amanda works, it’s safe to say that my bets are on MAO Cosmetics to take over the cosmetics industry in the next decade. Not only are the foundations of the business solid, the woman behind the business is too.
If you want to know a bit more about MAO Cosmetics or Amanda, feel free to get in touch with her via socials. She is definitely one of the most easy going people I know. So as long as you’re serious I’m sure she’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have for her..