HERstory: Azeezat Odu

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

I’m a Capricorn. We love to plan, and we love for our plans to be successful. That has never been the case for me. No matter how hard I tired, something always happened. I got anxiety, I stifled my growth for a while because I didn’t really know how to take a step back and find a new route to my end goal.

When I initially came up with Women of Chicago Inc., I had an array of ideas swarming my mind. I could imagine what I wanted my business to look like 5 years from that point. I thought of what I was going to wear, to my office furniture, to even how I would sit at my desk (lol). I was obsessed. My obsession with my business plan didn’t initially translate to paper that well. I would talk with my COO Aalliah and my board member at the time Imani and tell them all about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it but as far as sitting down and getting the plan together, it was just a failed mission. Regardless of not having a solid plan written down for my entire team to understand, I continued with business per usual. I started with a team of 12 amazing women. As time went, the numbers started to fall. After our last departure, It finally hit me. It was time to take a break. I needed to take a step back and truly figure out what the hell I wanted my business to be, who I wanted to help me run it, and how the hell it would actually be ran. So we took a hiatus. For a solid 3 months or so, I began planning. I got advice from some of my business friends and sat my butt down and figured out why It took so long for me to take this well needed break. I figured out that I was just scared. Scared that my business was going to be forgotten, or become one of those ‘whatever’ brands. I did everything in my power to make sure we were still going on strong but deep down inside I knew nothing made sense. I didn’t have a structure and internally it showed. It finally hit me (with the help of Karen Spears) that I’d rather take a break and get it together, than ruin my love for my business and then it becoming a ‘whatever’ brand.

Women of Chicago Inc. Team 4/6

So now here I am. I have team with 5 amazing women. I have a solid and clear business plan, and I have more love for this business than I started with. Now, I think I have an obsession with growth. Actually, I know I do. Not in a toxic way, where I can never be content, but more of a forever evolving type of thing. My idea of being successful, is now wrapped around the idea that you have to be open to continuous growth and sometimes, starting over BUT with experience.

Than you, for taking the time to read my story and I hope it inspires you to take that well needed break if you need to.

Want more from Azeezat:

Instagram: @saidbyzee

Twitter: @saidbyzee


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