We had the good fortune of connecting with Joy Ubani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I distinctly remember returning to work after taking time off for my birthday in February 2018. Something about being away, celebrating my accomplishments, and being a state of reflection really solidified and intensified this recurring thought: It was time to leave my job. When I returned to work after that holiday, I switched on my work computer, typed and printed my letter of resignation, dating it for two months out. Whew. I didn’t have a secure job lined up, but I knew I’d reached what felt like my breaking point. It was time to pivot, and ready or not, I needed to take that risk and bet completely on myself. Two months later, I left my secure job as a high school counselor and took the risk of working for myself: focusing on building my brand portfolio, while freelancing with clients across an array of countries. Risk taking is often presented as unwise because by taking a risk, we venture into uncertainty…And of course that is frightening! But, without risk there is no reward. I’ve learned that great, otherwise unforeseen opportunities, are usually the result of having taken greater risks. By taking this first risk, I built the confidence to continuously venture into uncertainty…without knowing what the outcome would be, but hoping for the best every single time. Doors have opened since that have positioned me in places and with people I’d dreamt of working with. For me, risk has become synonymous with opportunity. Now, I often assess my career/entrepreneurial progress against risks, asking myself on occasion, “what was the last risk you took? Is there room for you to take a risk right now?”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my career in Marketing not long after quitting my job as a high school counselor in 2018. My first order of business after gracefully leaving the office on my last day, was signing a new client contract….in Paris! To say I was excited for this new venture was an understatement to how I felt…little did I know how challenged I’d be by this new experience. But challenge is fulfilling when you take each lesson and use it to inform your next move. But let me rewind to several months before handing in my letter of resignation. My interest in brand marketing (particularly in the fashion and beauty vertical), started years prior when I hosted a fashion show in LA, and evolved through my brand Beneath Your Beauty when I hosted brand marketing masterclasses and confidence workshops in London. I loved using this platform to help women build their dream, while connecting them with industry pioneers. I quickly developed an eye for details when it came to event design and digital marketing. From there, event panelists turned into clients, and event guests turned into mentees, then business partners, and finally life long friends. I was confident this was the path I needed to focus on, so I prayed on it for about a year, then gathered my faith, took a leap of faith, and left my career as a counselor. I’d always dreamt of merging my academic study of psychology and my passion for beauty and fashion, with my desire to help women thrive…and this was it! While this space I created for myself felt like a dream come true, there were parts of it that made me question if I made the right leap – Iwas overwhelmed by planning masterclasses, tired of long haul flights, Now, almost 3 years later, I’m proud that I’ve continued to progress. Currently, I’m a Brand Manager for a Black woman owned beauty brand, a freelance brand consultant, have consulted on projects for lifestyle, fashion, and beauty brands across Europe, and have launched marketing campaigns with luxury brands in Europe and the US. I’ve learned that forward movement often requires sacrifice, and although sacrifice is uncomfortable, it’s necessary. I’ve learned to always LEARN…ask questions, and say “yes” to opportunities that will force me out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned to seek God constantly and rely on Him for direction (because if He opens a door, He will surely guide you through the room). I’m most excited to continue developing relationships with the amazing people I’ve met on this journey, and sharing their stories and mine over on my podcast, to inspire and equip those eagerly striving after anything that intensely tugs at their heart’s strings. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
God is a master designer and is ever so strategic in the way He’s placed me amongst people who have quite literally carried me to where I am now. Each person I met over the last few years, has played a role in allowing my dreams to unfold. Particularly, my siblings have been such key people on this journey! We uplift each other, and they serve as my unspoken business partners, mentors, and prayer partners. I can’t count the number of times I’ve called my little brother, who is also a founder, to excitedly tell him of an idea I’ve had (and believe me…I have at least one idea a day! lol), or get his input on the way I’m approaching a business venture. My older sister is probably my biggest supporter and voice of reason. There is nothing that she thinks I cannot do when it comes to my brand. My brother in law often advices me on how to approach people with grace and eloquence. Their belief in me amazes me, and gives me more drive to achieve what I once thought was (next to) impossible. So, to Boma, Tayo, and Blessing Jr., thank you.
Other: Podcast: Pivot and Thrive Podcast Spotify: spotify:show:4x8q3wOuLkryt9m7pCPJEo https://open.spotify.com/show/4x8q3wOuLkryt9m7pCPJEo
Event Photos: Pivot & Thrive, Los Angeles — Photos by @PiecesofOnye (Cynthia Onyejiji) Team Photos: Client: BEAUTYBEEZ, North Hollywood, Photos by @PiecesofOnye, Directed by: Joy Ubani