I Am Motivated By My Desire To Succeed – Adetu | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

CEO Interview

I Am Motivated By My Desire To Succeed – Adetu

Posted: Aug 31, 2016 at 8:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
After working in top accounting firms such as KPMG and Ernst & Young, Janet Adetu decided to venture into the world of corporate image and etiquette through her JSK Etiquette Consortium, a leading international protocol and image consulting company. Anthonia Duru had an interview with this lady of poise and etiquette on issues, including challenges in starting up a business as a woman in this global competitive environment, and what it takes for a woman to succeed in business and at home. Excerpts: 
For how long have you been in this business?
I was actually certified as a protocol & etiquette consultant in 2010 and started my business immediately. So businesswise it is just a little over six years.
Aside passion, what is the driving force?
Yes, passion is easily my first and most important driving force, but my main philosophy in life is to add value to others around me. I like to be quite original so I am constantly processing different thoughts. I am motivated by my desire to succeed and inspired when I learn new things. When I train or deliver speaking engagements I get maximum fulfilment when my participants feel empowered by what they have just learnt.
There is a belief that women add sentiments to business, do you agree with this?
Well, women for what we are worth always flow with emotions. I hear people say that their female boss is too hard or is nice and easygoing. All of that is built around emotions and their sentimental stance. Ideally in the environment we live in today business is harsh, for any good leader to survive and lead well sentiments must somehow never come into play. To a large extent many women have been able to successfully manage well keeping sentiments at the barest minimum. But I must add, from a professional standpoint, yes at times we women do add sentiments to all our facets of life. In business this is positive, I call it emotional intelligence, which is a must for all aspiring leaders. Knowing how others feel and yourself too is an essential ingredient for impactful leadership.
How have you been sustaining this business?
Well let me start by saying that my business sustenance has been by the special grace of God. Yes I do work hard and put in my all but it is my sheer determination and love for what I do that enables me want to do more. I do a number of speaking engagements. I am preparing to speak in Nairobi, Kenya next month. I conduct training seminars and workshops for executives, professionals, entrepreneurs, individuals and youths.
As a wife, mother and a businesswoman, how do you juggle these roles?
When I was younger I can say that it was a real juggle and a matter of smart planning. Thankfully my children are a lot older and mature so my relationship with them is more on an adult level. I actually have all my time to myself when I am in town, so my energy is fully geared to work while at work. Of course I am a wife at home because that is my number one priority. I love cooking, entertaining and gardening to keep the ambience of my home welcoming at all times. My husband is my mentor and guides me as much as he can in my business. We enjoy catching up when we go for walks during the weekend. We also have a relatively busy social life so we spend more time together at these events too.
What are some of the sacrifices you paid to take your business to this enviable height?
To start any new business involves a lot of sacrifice from the word go, whether it is the funds you need to gather, the qualifications you need to acquire, the equipment or resources you need to operate and so on. Personally I spent quite a bit certifying in five different institutions around the world to ensure I have all the professional qualifications that are required to practice legitimately. Being my own practice it has taken many working hours beyond the norm to perfect my services. I work very long hours and still start my days early. I started JSK Etiquette Consortium in Nairobi, Kenya. For the first three years, I thought I had settled fully but had to move to Nigeria. This was not an easy task for all the logistical reasons; for me at the time that was a huge sacrifice but today I am more settled, as the terrain is so different. I am still making sacrifices just to stay on top of things because I find time is so short and yet we still cannot get enough of it. I found that running your own business takes 120% or more effort before you can see the rewards of your hard work. That is the true formula for survival nowadays.
What are some of the qualities every woman who intends to succeed in business must have?
This list can be endless if I have to start, but to pick just a few words I would say she must be diligent, determined, focused, intelligent, sophisticated, polished, simple and elegant.
What are some of your guiding principles in business?
Without sounding too theoretical: Know your business terrain cum environment, be globally aware of new trends and updates. Master business etiquette skills, watch your image and guard your reputation. Step out appropriately dressed. Always strive to create a good first impression and remember your customer. Put integrity, trust and character at the forefront of everything you do.
What is your definition of a successful woman in business?
A successful businesswoman is one who takes one step at a time towards her ultimate goal. She operates with decorum and poise and leads by example. She learns from her mistakes and forges forward with determination, drive and passion. A successful woman never looks back even during challenging times. With God on her side a successful woman knows she can achieve anything.
There are notions that successful female executives don’t have successful homes, how have you been able to keep your home. And aside God, what will you say has been responsible for this?
Well personally I do not think that the statement is entirely true, most successful females cannot do it alone; they must have some family member supporting them one way or the other. Yes, most times it is not uncommon for your backbone to be your better half, I mean your spouse. Success is relative to the individual in question, how approachable you are, your leadership style and your overall vision.  I get a lot of my inspiration from my husband and children. My husband has supported me immensely as I am able to pick his brain, he is my number one critique and my kids give me ideas. Today the global business environment is very competitive, harsh and constantly changing. At work I do my duties as a boss, giving directions and monitoring my staff. At home I am indeed a mother and a devoted wife. I may be a very busy mother and wife but my home is my priority. I make sure as much as possible that nothing is lacking in my home. What is key for me at home is ensuring that it is always comfortable, welcoming and has positive energy flowing around.
What is responsible for your choice of career?
Professionally I am a chartered accountant, a fellow with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (UK) ACCA.   I read B.Sc Economics and have an MBA from Edinburgh Business School. For a while I practiced as a financial accountant/auditor and corporate professional. Today, because of my passion for protocol, etiquette & leadership, I am a certified corporate etiquette consultant and professional image advisor.  For me, my objective is to assist corporate organisations and individuals to position themselves for success. By this, I mean helping businesses grow through image projection, branding, impression management and leadership. I do enjoy the experience of disseminating knowledge, having a positive impact adding value and making a difference to people’s lives are a huge source of passion for me. I personally have learnt a lot through my training programs especially from the various cultural diversities in the two continents. If I am able to contribute positively to your life, that is my driving force. Giving back, I believe is a must for everyone