My Motivators & The Etisalat Chronicles #SpotOn

Experience is a safe light to walk by, and he is not a rash man who expects to succeed in the future from the same means which have secured it in times past- Wendy Philips

 

A good student in the school of success will agree with me that success goes beyond flying solo but it is providing wings for others to fly.

In this edition of #SpotOn Mr. Idiare Atimomo who is currently the Co-Founder/COO of Up In The Sky Ng and a faculty member at Africa’s 1st practical school of Integrated Brand Experience-Orange Academy, puts down his thoughts on factors that has over time motivated him to stay afloat even in challenging times also passing across one of the most important advice to youths that I have personally come across in a long time- Passion Over Money!

At the mention of the name Idiare what tops the mind would be his remarkable feet while at Etisalat Nigeria. Fleshing and growing the brand from Nothing to Something in the Nigerian market, particularly in the Youth segment seemed to be a tough job owing to the already established competitors in the sector but some people did it and Idiare was one of them.

Enjoy the chat but more importantly apply these truths to your life.

  • What have been your key motivators in life over the years?

My parents are a key motivating force in my life. I lost my dad at an early age, I was 19 years. I tend to always want to make him proud, raise the value of the name and drive for excellence he bequeathed to my brother and me. My mum sacrificed a lot to get me to where I am today and this drives my motivation.

My wife and sons are also my strongest motivators, when I look at them I always tend to find some inner boost to keep pushing and innovating. I want them to have the best life possible.

I tend to also have a strong sense of purpose – like I am on earth to achieve some objectives – so I push myself to stay true to my purpose. I really desire to be excellent at what I do and this comes from this sense of purpose.

 

  • Can you describe your most challenging and equally most exciting project ever handled?

The most challenging and exciting project I can remember now was launching easy cliq at Etisalat in 2009. I had just moved from the agency side to a client side role in January and we had to launch the brand as soon as possible. First I had to try to understand telecoms a bit more than I did at the time so I could add value to the product development process. Also I had to understand how to work very quickly with 5 different commercial teams and help guide this new product to life.

I had previous experience with youth brands in telecoms having helped launch the first truly youth brand with MTN i.e. MTN XtraCool but this was a new kettle of fish. At DDB I received a brief on a finished product and had to guide creative development. At Etisalat I had input into the proposition development itself. What should we include in the product to make it appealing to youth? How should the SIM Pack be designed? What route to market would we adopt? What would be our pricing model?

I was 28 years old at the time and was working with some of the smartest people in the telecoms industry. We had all been recruited to build the best network in the land. These were very intelligent people and much more experienced than I was. I had to hold my own in their midst and win their trust. God on my side, I believe I succeeded. We were able to craft a unique launch proposition and launch easy cliq in a city stopping event in May 2009.

Growing Easy Cliq from zero to more than 7 million subscribers and billions in revenue with the Etisalat youth team (my world class boss Elvis Ogiemwanye and others along the way) was indeed my most exciting project. We started with a beach event after the brand was launched, moved on to a series of club storms before earning the trust of the business to build a very unique campus activation model. Unlike our competitors before us we didn’t focus on just musical events on campuses, we added a motivational seminar element, a 5 aside football element and then a raffle draw element that allowed us to give over 50 students all across Nigeria a brand new car.

I had a great run at Etisalat Nigeria for 7 years, what a time it was to be alive and active!

 

  • Your 3 (could be more than) most inspiring books would be?

 

  1. The Bible
  2. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
  3. How Will You Measure Your life by Clayton Christensen
  4. Zero To One by Peter Thiel
  5. Mastery by Robert Greene

 

  • How do you handle pressure?

I tend to soak it all up and keep still inside. I have learnt that being calm when everyone else is going crazy is a source of mastery. So I work on being calm, almost stone cold so I can take everything in and not react emotionally. It can be frustrating for people who react emotionally to work with me in times of pressure because I will freeze you out and only focus on what is logical and rational at the moment. It has its downsides but majorly this approach allows me complete projects and tasks in the midst of great challenges.

 

5) What’s your candid advice to youths that are towing your path?

I would like to advise young people to put learning first over money, especially when you are young. When faced with 2 options and one offers more learning/stretch opportunities than money while the other offers more money than learning, they should embrace the former with both hands. One of the greatest things to conquer in yourself is greed and a desire to only work for money.

You need to learn how to work for the joy that work brings in itself. Eventually money follows you when this is how you train yourself professionally.

Watch Out for the next edition of #SpotOn!

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