Being a woman comes with its unique challenges. Apart from being erroneously seen as the “weaker sex,” a woman may find it difficult to do legitimate business in a field dominated by men. But for Barbara Fumnanya Nwaokolo, CEO of Superblachomes, being a woman can also translate to strength and opportunities.
The Superblachomes founder speaks on walking the hard way to the top and how she turned challenges to opportunities.
“Being a woman and trying to get yourself to where you want to be, you will encounter a lot of challenges because once some men see you as pretty, they reason or think that they must do stuffs with you. I once asked a guy, ‘are you okay? I am into this (real estate) because I want to make my money.
“Any client who tells me to meet him at a hotel is wasting his time. You will be there waiting for yourself because you will never see me. I feel there are other places we can actually meet and have business discussion. The best I could do is that I am at the reception, meet me at the bar and that is it because I don’t want stories tomorrow,” said the Superblachomes CEO.
But this is not a decision taken on the spur of the moment as the founder of Superblachomes recalls.
“The fact is this and I have always had it at the back of my head when I was doing marketing in Port Harcourt. Men will ask for this and if you do it, they will leave you and go and meet someone who can’t give it to them. So don’t just try it,” she says.
Continuing, the founder of Superblachomes asks, “Why does a man have to sleep with you first before he buys a property? It doesn’t make sense. I say there are guys who sell properties. Do men sleep with these guys? They don’t, then why do you think you have to sell your body for them to buy a property from you? And trust me, they won’t even value you when you do it.
“That is one challenge we are facing as women in this industry because guys, when they see you are okay, you are hot, most of them will be in your DM, telling you they don’t want to purchase property, they will tell you they just want to take you out on a date and I am like, are you okay? You stressed me that you want something and I looked for it and it is time for you to make payment, you are telling you just want to be friends and some will say, I will pay you for the stress and I said yes, pay me let me go.”
On her business philosophy, the Superblachomes female entrepreneur advises all women to do business.
“All women should do business, every woman should make money. I know what I went through being a single mother, dating someone who did everything for me and when we broke up, I just understood that I had wasted my time for so many years, having kids and not working.
“So I tell every woman, it is good to make money. Business exposes you and before you know it, you are learning at the end of the day. The fact that you are transacting with different people every now and then, you are learning, you are picking one or two things, you are knowing people, it just helps you, there are a lot of things it does for you.
“I am not being boastful right now, but if I have issues today, I know the right people to call because I have met with a lot of people because business exposes you. You meet the right people and at the end of the day, the most important thing is the money you make. There is nothing like having your own money as a woman. It is very important,” added Superblachomes founde
Barbara Nwaokolo advises women to be focused, saying however that being focussed is never easy.
“I have a lot of people calling, I want this, and I want that. Yes I have been here for like five years and if you are calling the first ten realtors in Lagos, my name must be included because I put in my best,” she stated.