Tendai Chagweda is the founder of Quest4Success , a company that teaches people and businesses to market themselves effectively online using social media, Alongside this, Tendai also uses vision boards to help people determine their purpose and set personal and professional goals to accomplish their dreams.
Three years ago she launched Inspiring DJs which teaches people, of all ages, how to DJ in ‘record’ time.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
I worked for American Express inside Merchant banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and JPChase from 1996. I left the corporate world after 12 years in the industry and sought roles in the public sector and then the creative industries.
I was then headhunted to be a station manager for Playvybz a radio company. After leaving Playvybz, I tried my hand at recruitment, broking jobs for the unemployed, and then as Talent Manager (recruiter) at The Shard.
Working in recruitment at The Shard was my catalyst to self-employment, as I realised my true passion for facilitating people to get their dream jobs.
What drove you to start your own business?
After being featured on BBC World News, I felt guilty that some of the many great DJs I knew, had yet to be approached or featured on such a platform. It reminded me of the business plan I wrote whilst at American Express, and my long term goal to set up a crew of female DJs. l went on to develop to a marketing program to teach DJs how to market themselves effectively – from setting up music mixes to creating their own websites and logos.
Tell us about the business planning stage (for example: did you write a business plan?
I wrote the business plan for my DJ business whilst working at American Express – at the very infancy of even wanting to become a DJ – in order to weigh up the pros and cons of starting so late in life (aged 29).
I literally ‘Googled’ business plan template and came across a great government website.
I attended events at the British Library, City Business Library and MLB in Tottenham.For Quest4Success I worked with the Job Centre and was referred to an agency which was rubbish. A friend then told me about an agency outside of my borough, Tree Shephard, who were great in linking me with like-minded people and creating an alternative business plan.
I then joined a business accelerator programme in order to get clearer with my message and research my target audience
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I plan two-three months in advance usually. Spontaneity keeps me motivated.
Can you describe a typical working day?
Absolutely not, fortunately!
Having two businesses – running social media workshops at Southbank University, vision board workshops across my offices, schools and organisations in London, and DJ classes at Mountview Academy, there is no typical day at all. Classes tend to finish at 9pm so my day starts late, from 12 noon onwards and I’m a night owl so usually go to sleep anywhere between 3-7am.
What has been the most amazing day in your entrepreneurial life so far?
Winning a pitching competition with NatWest Bank at London South Bank University, showcasing my business at RBS alongside the likes of BT, Microsoft, KPMG, Fujitsu, AMS, The Accelerator Academy, IPO (Intellectual Property Office), Loughborough University and UKTI.At the infancy of my business (less than a year after launching) this was a huge achievement – I designed and created my banner, flyer and website myself in record time and showcasing amongst such big brands solidified my brand & expertise and boosted my confidence as an entrepreneur.
What has been your scariest moment?
Running my first corporate away day and seeing 30+ corporate women waiting for me to deliver my workshop. I initially felt a bit intimidated which is unlike me – I had the most senior women in attendance, which I was unaware of initially, but it went perfectly.
We continued talking about vision boards until 11pm over drinks and I received emails at 6am with people advising they had already manifested.
How do you work on making your business grow?
Funding, collaborations, investing in people that I know will bring out the best in me, and attending relevant events to network effectively. Most importantly, marketing myself effectively online which has attracted my absolute ideal clients to me time and time again.
And of course, using Vision Boards to determine my soul goals and manifest my business goals.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Being able to trust my intuition, work my own hours and choose the clients and partnerships that I want to work with (or not).
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?
Accountability – I have various accountability partners and mastermind groups that I run or am part of.
Follow through – Ensuring I explore various systems and work with the system that works best for me
Having to work extra hard and work super long hours some days – I balance it out by attending networking events periodically.
Solitude – I utilise the co-working space I manifested back in Spring 2018.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
Use feedback to your advantage! Jack Canfield
What are the three books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
Success Principles –Jack Canfield
Enterprise Nation – website & events
Passion Planner – Annual Diary / organiser. An absolute God send and great for reflection, writing goals, taking notes and keeping them succinct and in one place.
What passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?
Black History, jewellery making, sewing, cooking – nothing special but I find it super therapeutic.
Connect with Tendai on social media via @Quest4SuccessUK & @inspiringDJs
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