Browsing Category: Monthly Pick


Not Guilty!

Great words to hear when you are in trouble, anticipating jail time. Don’t know what that feels like though; my closest to the courthouse was when I went to get married.

But in this game called life we are always confronted by a cloud of witnesses and are constantly being judged by what we do or don’t do. We are constantly weighing our lives on a balance and trying to measure up.

People judge people! That’s what we do. We look at a persons appearance and judge how much they have in their account. We look at a person car to determine how successful they are… There is constantly a battle to prove to people we are worth something, we are constantly working on being APPROVED by others.

Life can get tiring when we are constantly trying to get people to like us, approve of our lifestyle and choices. We can forget the joy of living if all we do focus on what others think of us and how people see us.

I decided a long time ago not to be defined by what others say or think about me. When you are not constantly trying to please others you can truly live the way I believe God intended… free, unstoppable, and unwavering. Have a great week ahead.

Monthly Pick

Perfection is an Illusion

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Perfection is an illusion and the enemy of progress.

The constant quest to be perfect, to look a certain way, act a certain way, speak a certain way, have all your ducks in a row, has robbed alot of us our dreams.

We have spent unnecessary hours worrying and focusing on the insignificant. Wasting years and resources in the race for perfection. 

I remember three years ago when I had an idea to start a beverage company, I wasted one year trying to design the logo, website, etc. When infact I could bottle the product and start selling. In 2017, I took the plunge, i started testing the market, sampling the product, reformulating my recipe. Shortly thereafter I started making sales and selling hundreds of bottles to stores. 

Often times we focus on perfecting an idea without going out to hear from the customers, to find out what they want and what they care about. You will soon find out that it’s possible to waste years on perfecting a product just to realize that it isn’t viable or necessary. 

The same with our personal lives. In the world of social media and an endless quest for perfection we can lose our voice in the quest to look like someone else. We can lose our authenticity and value, we can work hard on trying to fit in before pursuing our dreams. Just to realize that we’ve wasted years being unproductive. 

Lately, I share my beliefs on videos that I post on my personal Facebook page, its raw, unfiltered, its me. I wasted years hiding, I had to have makeup, it had to be recorded by a professional etc. When infact I could have shared my thoughts without all of the added pressure. As a food Conversationalists I also share my thoughts about culture and food. It took me years to own that aspect of my journey and put myself out there. As a multitalented and multifaceted woman its easy to get distracted by the worlds definition of perfection. 

I had contents and ideas I had been sitting on for years simply because i was  afraid to live out loud, I was afraid of the imperfection of those ideas.

Most times we worry about inconsequential things. We trap ourselves in a bid to make everything perfect.

One thing you must remember is that nothing and no one is perfect, absolutely nothing.

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder, just like beauty. 

The idea of “if you build it they will come”.. is an illusion that would waste your time.

The idea is for them to come or for you to find them, and then build it. 

The idea isn’t for you to be a size 7 to start recording your journey or thoughts. The idea is to start even as a plus size woman.

The idea isn’t for you to have an European or American accent to seek out public speaking opportunities. The idea is to seek out speaking opportunities just as you are with your voice, intonation, and accent. 

Experience has taught me to no longer waste time on perfectionism but to focus on putting myself out there as my mind directs and not be limited by the illusion of perfection.

Happy New Year

Monthly Pick

One Size Does Not Fit All

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I came across 3 random post on Facebook: one was about how she conquered the fear of failure within 2years, another about how creating vision boards in the last 30 years has helped him achieve success and lastly, a comic version of how a Year-end review gives you clarity and champions your success in the Year-in-view.

They had different paths and strategies to arrive at the same destination at seperate times.

We have seperate backgrounds, circumstances and experiences. Weigh yours, apply critical thinking and take a shot at what you have strategised.

Below you’ll find a simple but very useful questionnaire as a guide into the next decade. I borrowed a bit of some questions from the comic version of what I had read and added 6 more to help my unique path. You can add more to suit yours too.

  1. What do you want and Why?
  2. What do you have?
  3. What can you do with what you have?
  4. What are the odds against you?
  5. What are you most proud of this year?
  6. What do you mostly regret this year?
  7. What’s the most important lesson you learnt this year?
  8. What do you need to let go of?
  9. What do you need to do more of?
  10. When will you start?

Get a notepad and let’s do this together if you want. I will share my results in March after my holidays.?



Linda Dooyum Kpum

CEO 1278 Marketplace

Monthly Pick

Finding Purpose

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For years I wondered what my purpose was. As a multitalented individual I often found myself constantly changing and evolving. I have several streams of income and numerous passions. But for years, I wasn’t exactly sure which one gave me the most joy until I turned 40.

As this year comes to an end and a new decade begins, I am thankful for all the opportunities life as availed me.

I had spent my 20s and 30s trying to figure out my place in this world, trying to measure up to a certain standard. I spent my entire 30s trying to find my purpose. It dawned on me this year once I turned 40, that my purpose is to help other people find their purpose. My purpose is to guard, guide, and lead others to their place of purpose, their destiny, and their calling..

This next decade is for me to live out loud, to walk in that purpose, to sing and dance to every tune the universe plays. To lead, to give, to express myself through my art and creativity.

This next decade will be to live fully for God, family, and myself, to speak my truth, to share of myself, to give unselfishly, to love, to explore, and to grow.

Nothing beats knowing who you are, and walking in it unapologetically. In the coming year, LIVE OUT LOUD; explore your passions, dance to your music, and find your purpose.

Monthly Pick

New Start

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It is so easy to get overwhelmed by the constant reminders of tasks left undone, dreams going stale, and hope deferred.  I took some time off Designed Life to rebuild some buried dreams and to reevaluate what my 2019 would be mostly about. As a multi-talented woman, it is often difficult to focus on a task and to the outside world, it seems you are doing too much. Over the years, I have seen how my dreams align and how they are all in sync with one another. My goal for the coming year is to combine them beautifully in a way that celebrates each one of my gifts.

Designed life blog was stalled to give me time to refocus and decide if its something I’d like to continue with. Just like some of my creative dreams, designed life is one that needs to be reawakened. Designed Life will focus on inspiration, business, travel, parenting, relationship, food, decor, design, art, spirituality, and purpose; everything that pretty much sums up my life. This year has been super interesting and promises to be even more EPIC and I’d like to share those journeys with my DL readers. I need a space that gives me the opportunity to speak on issues I am passionate about and explore all my interest beautifully. Designed Life is that perfect platform and I miss it dearly. So here’s to NEW START.

Let’s GO!


We chatted with fashion designer Adeola Mosanya about what inspires her, what makes for a successful business, and lessons to learn from failures. Her opulent brand of African inspired designs and styles are made for the modern-day woman. The allure of her pieces and the simplicity of her designs are breathtakingly sophisticated. Adeola started in 2016 and is simply inspiring. She went on about what inspires her and the inspiration behind the name of her brand which embodies this: “Ade” means crown (luxury) and “Ara” means style. Her pieces are definitely one of a kind luxury designs meant for a queen. She is definitely a designer to watch out for as she unveils more of her unique styles on the runway.


What or Who inspired you to start your business?

I was always inspired by the people around me who were bold enough to step out on faith and create businesses that became successful. And I believe that it is my purpose to start and grow a business that gives me the freedom to create and inspire others.
I also wanted to start an organization that would be sustainable long-term and create clothing pieces that connect with the African culture  and are relevant to the modern woman.


How do you develop Key partnerships?

In developing partnerships, it is important to be self-aware, know your worth as well as what value you bring to the table. This will enable you to negotiate the terms of your partnership in a way that will be beneficial to both you and party involved.


How did you get funded or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?

I have been able to fund my business through savings from my 9-5. Doing this takes a lot of planning and budgeting but it is worth it.


What habits helped make you successful?

Staying focused and consistent with my goals. It also helps to surround yourself with a group of likeminded people who you can seek advice from.


How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?

By creating unique pieces (clothing), that are inspired by elements in African culture but are still relevant to the modern woman. Adeárá also seeks to create a pleasurable experience for customers from the start to finish.


What was your biggest mistake?

Failing to make adequate financial projections on expenses and limiting myself from promoting my business because I tend to be introverted. I have learned that you are your greatest promoter and it is okay to talk about your business, otherwise you risk isolating yourself from opportunities.


How do you deal with failure and how do you learn from failures?

Identify the root cause of the failure, come up with different solutions that can present a better outcome, and don’t dwell on the failure, move forward!


What was unexpected when you started your business?
I underestimated exactly how much time, resources and patience I would need to get my business to the point where I want it to be. I think it is very easy to compare your business to others especially through social media. This is an absolute no no.


What did you learn?

Starting Adeárá has enabled me to come in contact with a lot of great people that I otherwise would not have met. It has also pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and work harder for my goals and vision.


What would you have done differently?

I would have worked harder in developing my business plan in the beginning (as this is the blue print for the business). I now have a fully developed plan, but had I done this earlier, I could have avoided many mistakes I initially made.


How do you test your assumptions?

In my case, testing assumptions involved a lot of trial and error. But I would advise due diligence in the research and development stage of your product. Part of this involves testing your potential market with samples before fully committing time and resources to producing a product.


How can you minimize the unknowns?

By being cautiously optimistic, especially financially. Also create a detailed blue print, this will help you to plan ahead and leave room for contingencies.


What advice would you give inspiring entrepreneurs?

Whatever your dream is go for it! Plan ahead and take the leap. Also, do not ever limit yourself and continue to believe in your capabilities. And most importantly, stay consistent!


You can find out more about Adeárá by visiting their website or by visiting their social media pages:



Monthly Pick

Never Stop Dancing

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I have seen women shrink from the best versions of themselves to a shadow because of a sour marriage. I have seen men silenced by women who lack the ability to caress their soul into greatness. I have watched children transformed into dummies by angry parents who weren’t ready to have them. I have seen men and women alike shutting down, becoming depressed about their journey. I have witnessed dreams die because the carrier stopped dancing.

What am I saying? When you stop dancing, you die, and you kill everything that’s in your path. Whether you know it or not. As beautiful and grand some flowers are, they can also kill. Gabrielle Roth wrote this amazing piece that explains it, “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?”

So my question to you is when? There is always a “when”. I remember the first day I decided to stop dancing… I was hurt by a statement made by a friend and I decided to stop living my purpose. It took me years to get over it and to start dancing again. So today I’m encouraging you to dance, to sing, to be enchanted, to live your purpose. Do not let what people say change who you are, do not stop dreaming because of a few disappointments. Do not let an heartbreak make you hate men. Do not let a failed business stop you from dreaming. Do not allow people to change you. Keep dancing to the tune of your own rhythm.

Have a great weekend.



For the past few days, we’ve been working on the directions to take Designed Life. One of the reasons I started the blog was to showcase brilliant individuals living a designed life, and people who create the life they want passionately without fear. The best part about this new direction or series involves getting to talk to interesting people, especially people I admire, or whom I consider great teachers; whose creative abilities change the world around them. Nkem DenChukwu falls into that category! She is a breathtaking woman, who has spent a couple of decades creating, writing, and making movies. She is the author of 5 inspirational books and has produced 14 independent movies. She is truly an inspiration!


What or who inspired your love for writing?

Believe it or not; the universe inspired my love for writing. It always does. While in school back in Nigeria, I wrote on every Exercise book I had. When I meet or see people in love or full of hate, I wonder what molds and breaks them; what makes them who and what they are. When I look up the sky, I see the sun, the stars, the moon, the birds of the air; and I am in awe of God. I admire (from a distance) the exotic skin of an alligator; beautifully carved, and I do love the colors and shapes of flowers and plants! I literally make time to smell the roses and to watch butterflies glide from one flower to the next. I am simply fascinated by the magnificence of God. Therefore, His handwork allows my mind to travel and create.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

When I am stressed, I tend to lose focus for a moment, and writer’s block takes over every now and then. Sometimes, I’d lose interest in picking up from where I left off. Or sometimes, too many ideas overwhelm me. But, I am learning to write all down, and focus on each at the right time.


Did you come across any specific challenges in writing About a Boy?  What would you do differently the next time?

Not necessarily! I started writing “About A Boy” when I was producing the movie Harvey; a film inspired by Hurricane Harvey. I tried writing more than a paragraph each day after being on set for 10 hours. It was challenging trying to focus on my writing at the same time because I was mentally drained. So, I put it on hold until we were wrapped.


You seem to enjoy writing about kids and bullying? Were you bullied as a child? As a mother how do you deal with the issue of bullying?

Yes! I was bullied in high school. Believe it or not, I was bullied here in Houston, by individuals, and a group of adults (all older than I am). Felt sorry for them because I knew their weaknesses. As a mother of four, I constantly teach my children. I talk to and with them. I always tell them to pick up all my good behaviors instead. I also empower them to draw from their strengths as much as from what makes them weak and be empowered to be the best of them. Last but not the least, I remind them that bullies choose to be bullies, they are cowards & weak, and battle with their own inadequacies.


You seem to wear numerous hats. You make also make movies? What drives you?

When it comes to the art of creative writing; the beauty of life, and the complexities of it, drive me. After all, life imitates arts. I like to believe that I am creative by nature (not “Naughty by Nature.” Hahaha). I do love to cook. I love to make motion pictures. And, I love to write. These three passions of mine have one thing in common; each is an art that requires a creative mind. I am also driven by the power of positive change. So, I strive to be and do better each day, knowing my strengths and weaknesses. It’s a great way for me to grow.


What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

The grace of God inspires me to get out of bed every day. You see, the grace of God wakes me up, and sustains me day and night. His grace fulfills me! It overflows with every breath I take. And then, the zeal to live and to love compels me too.


Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

‘Eze Goes to School; a book I read as a child! It talked about the importance of education. As a younger adult, I understood that being educated is equally as important as having common sense which isn’t-so common though it can be borrowed.


What motivated you to become an indie author?

After several failed attempts to work with Literary Agents, and found publishers that were only interested in taking your money to publish your work because “you are not yet known.”


Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

The first story I ever wrote was an assignment by my Literature/English Professor while in college. It was titled “A Day in the Life of a Fan.” My mind went on a journey. It explored beyond my wildest imagination! Got an ‘A.’


How did you come up with the idea for About a boy?

About A Boy was inspired by every child that has been bullied and every child that committed suicide because he/she was bullied. Every true life story of a bullied child or anyone breaks me. With About A Boy, I decided to put a twist in/to the story; to take my readers on a wondrous journey. And it has so far. Parents and children are falling in love with About A Boy. Kids are speaking out about being bullied. They need to know and understand that suicide is not an option and that no one is born a bully; it’s a choice! These lessons make me my heart glad.


When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Each storyline allows me to develop the characters. But sometimes, I am led by one character to develop another in the process.


Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

I am excited like a child in a candy store when an idea comes to mind. I quickly jot it down because I could forget. When I get into the mode or mood to write, I focus to dissect that idea, and then, we go on a trip. Me and my idea, that is. I write paragraphs or pages at a time; as the story drives me. When I conclude, I start my re-writes. When I am satisfied to an extent, I share with an editor, and then, a publisher.


Where is your favorite place to write?

I write wherever and whenever an inspiration comes. Thankful for the power of technology. I don’t need to carry a hardcover notebook like before. However, I put all my ideas together in my safe haven; at home…wherever my heart is. Sometimes, an idea comes while I am asleep. I wake up and write it down.


Any advice for aspiring authors?

If you have the passion for writing; WRITE. Put your ideas down in writing. Do not worry about the errors or the direction of your story. That’s why there are editors. Also, protect your ideas. Copyright them. There are people waiting to steal your ideas. Your titles included! It is personal, and business. Never be discouraged by anything or anyone. Write, and don’t stop writing. Writing allows you and me to explore and live beyond our experiences and wildest imaginations.


You can find out more about Nkem DenChukwu and purchase her books by visiting



Monthly Pick

Not Guilty

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Not Guilty!

Great words to hear when you are in trouble, anticipating jail time. Don’t know what that feels like though; my closest to the courthouse was when I went to get married.

But in this game called life we are always confronted by a cloud of witnesses and are constantly being judged by what we do or don’t do. We are constantly weighing our lives on a balance and trying to measure up.

People judge people! That’s what we do. We look at a persons appearance and judge how much they have in their account. We look at a person car to determine how successful they are… There is constantly a battle to prove to people we are worth something, we are constantly working on being APPROVED by others.

Life can get tiring when we are constantly trying to get people to like us, approve of our lifestyle and choices. We can forget the joy of living if all we do focus on what others think of us and how people see us.

I decided a long time ago not to be defined by what others say or think about me. When you are not constantly trying to please others you can truly live the way I believe God intended… free, unstoppable, and unwavering. Have a great week ahead!

Monthly Pick

The Power of Value

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In the movie 8 mile. Eminem’s lines does this brilliantly.

He says, “I know everything he’s got to say against me”.

And then he just lists them one by one:

“I am white”
“I am a bum”
“I do live in a trailer with my mom”
“My boy, Future, is an Uncle Tom”
“I do have a dumb friend named Cheddar Bob who shot himself with his own gun”.
“I did get jumped by all six of you chumps”

And so on. He lists several more.

But at the end of the list, there’s no more criticism you can make of him. He’s addressed everything and dismissed them. In a rap battle, (or a sales pitch), if you address everything your opponent can say, he’s left with nothing to say.

When he has nothing to say, the audience, or the sales prospect, your date, your kids, whoever, will buy from you or listen to what you have to say.

Look at direct marketing letters you get in email. They all spend pages and pages addressing your concerns. This is one of the most important techniques in direct marketing.

Finally in the movie, he said he’s outtie…
He reduces the supply of himself by saying he’s out of there. Maybe he will never come back.

Reduce the supply of yourself while demand is going up and what happens? Basic economics. Value goes up.

Understand who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses, your limitations.. Once you have a clear picture of these things you are less likely to fall victim to other’s bad opinion of you. Once you understand who you are not, its easier to walk in your purpose and not try every opportunity that presents itself.

The fundamental principal of value is creating demand for your brand.. And in this particular case “you” are the brand. Know when to show up, how to show up and how much access you give. You can read more about my article on access here.