Fatima Binta Mohammed - Member Story
Tell us your name, location, age and briefly what your business does Hi. Hello everyone. My name is Fatima Binta Muhammed. I'm an author, trainer and digital marketing expert. I’m the founder of Adhubbing. Adhubbing is a digital marketing agency in Nigeria. And we actually train people on how to boost their business and sales online. Basically, that's what we do. I’m actually presently in Abuja. I am 31. Awesome. Great, thank you. So, how did you stumble upon your awesome business idea? Hmmm. Will I call it stumble? I’ve always had passion to do Mass Communication actually. So, back in high school since I was a child, I’ve always loved like mass communication and stuff. And I remember we have this year book in QC. Because we did like a 10-year review, when we had a reunion, if we are all actualizing our dreams and stuff. So in my year book, I wrote I wanted to be a great mass communicator. So I always had that dream of communicating to the masses, advertising, and all that, since I was a little child. But this idea actually started coming when my mum died in 2009. Oh, I’m so sorry. Yeah, thank you. It was a very weird experience for me because I was struggling, like my mum was my best friend and everything. So I felt so empty. I needed something to nurture–to help me go through that grief and all that. So that was how I started nurturing the idea of Adhubbing from there. But I’ve always loved mass communication. I want to be a great mass communicator and I think I'm going to be by God's grace. You are well on your way, I can assure that. Okay, so who or what would you say inspired you into taking this path? What inspired me growing up as a child, I would say it was watching too much of Oprah Winfrey shows [laughing]. Yes, because when I saw “you get a car, you get a car, you get a car, everybody gets a car!" [laughing] and you know I always kept doing it like, oh my God “you get a car." Like I wanted to be that kind of general person, like everybody was Oprah! Oprah! I was hearing my name like Binta! Binta! Binta! Binta! [laughing]. I would say that's where the inspiration came from. Then for the Nigerian part, the part I watched Mo Abudu. You know then she had so much…In short, her dress sense. I just look at the way she had so much poise, her lip gloss was always shiny for those her first moments with mo. So I was just like oh my God I love lip gloss and this woman. I want to be like that. Do you get? [laughing] So those are the people I watched growing up that inspired me, in terms of wanting to have a show, wanting to be able to do charity, wanting to be able to give back, you know? And so, communicate your essence. Those were basically the major people that inspired me.
Then my mum. My mum was very tenacious. She worked with Union Bank before she started her own business. So I actually wrote it in my book. It's called, “Making Digital Marketing Work For You." It's not yet out, but before the end of September it will be out. So I actually put her there, that she was one of the reasons why I started. Because she was doing her business selling laces and she now transitioned into a business centre. So I really wanted to help her make sales without going through all the stress that she went through. She went through a lot of stress actually. And it was talking one on one, preaching, evangelizing, it was horrible.
I think when the book is out, I'll give you a copy to read so you can have an idea and I can get your review from it as well. Yes please, we’d love that. We’d even be happy to give some to the members, to support of course. So, who was the first person that you would say believed in you? Give us names, dates, details, if you can. It could be your first customer, your teacher, doctor, parents. Okay, I would say the first person that ever believed in me was my elder brother, Abubakar. Because, it was very funny the way I started in 2015. In 2015 when I started the business and everything, my dad used to look at me like one yahoo yahoo girl. Like babe, you are always on your computer. What’s going on? [laughs] What’s happening? He didn’t still understand. Like I don't get it, can you get yourself a job? Like can you stop being on the computer 24/7? He didn’t see it as this thing that was going to bring money for this girl. Like this girl is just wasting her degree, wasting her time. But, my older brother believed and his friends they were like, "maybe you’ll become the next Linda Ikeji." He believed in me. But my first customer that believed in me, I walked into his office with serious confidence. Like I was so confident. I had not done jack before. In short, I didn’t even know how to do anything. I had spoken to him and everything and he gave me a good job and I remember that day, he started with 100,000 naira. Wow. His name is Yusuf Suleman, the owner of Blue Camel Energy. That was on the 4th of June 2015. That was our fist customer for Adhubbing. I always go back to him because I always say, like everytime, I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful. Because, I didn’t know jack. I had no customer, I had no one, I just walked in there with confidence. I spoke to him, he said a lot of people had come and they had brought this offer to him but let him just try me and see. So, that was the first person that believed in my business. That was the first person that opened my business for me. That’s awesome. That's always a nice way especially at that stage where you’re like I know what I can do, but I just need somebody to just help me, to just agree to let me use their business to experiment. Which is what it is. Yes, yes. Great, thank you for that. What was the moment you knew you could be successful in your line of business? So when did you know that you could actually make a living out of this? Hmm! I think I would say it was actually last year. Last year, I decided to resign from my 9-5 job. I was making sales, I was getting money and stuff from it. I was treating it like a side hustle but I was still growing and stuff. But beginning of last year, I decided to just be a consumer and focus solely on digital marketing. I just wanted to focus only on it. I have been in the business since 2015, but had noticed that all the money I was getting, it wasn’t showing the way I wanted it to show. It was like the money was coming in and going out. All the things I was doing, it was like the money was coming in then we’d run ads. We were not even running strategy ads because people, Tabloids, they didn’t know about us. There was nobody pushing the brand, the founder and the CEO is working for another person, do you get? So last year, I told myself that we are 4 years, this year made us 5 years. It was our 4th year anniversary and I was like, I need to take this as a serious business because money is actually coming in. It might be shaky at the beginning but I just needed to give it time and nurture it to see where it was going to, how I was going to move forward. So last year, I focused on digital marketing solely. I stopped doing 'let me look for what is going to happen outside.' No. I stopped doing 'Adhubbing can do PR and all that for you.' No. I stopped doing 'oh, this what Adhubbing…' I focused solely on digital marketing. I told my team that this is what we need to focus on because there is money in this.
And we stopped doing turnovers. We stopped focusing on the amount of people that were coming in. Because we were getting calls back-to-back. People were actually coming in to give us… We were not seeing any profits. So last year, we decided to focus on this solely we now started seeing profits, and we now started building our business well. So it was last year, after three years, that we decided to take it to the next level. Yeah. Nice! So how do you define success for yourself? Okay. Success to me is you sleep at night. You wake up, you're happy. Happiness is relative. You’re happy you’re making impact that’s it. Because once you are making positive impact that is success. That's my success to me. Success to me is that I’m making positive impact and I’m planning to leave a legacy. Because, your life for tomorrow is really not certain. So you live your legacies and you build yourself. That is what people are going to remember you for and that is what you are going to leave behind. So to me that is success. That you can look back and say, "oh you impacted these people’s lives."
And that is why Oprah Winfrey was a big deal for me saying this from the beginning. That somebody that was a huge influence for me because I saw the way she made impact. She made impact on schoolgirls, she made impact on the world, she made impact in making people happy and that is the kind of person I am. Making people happy, loving. If there was negative energy, she stayed away from it. If there was positive energy should move towards it, because it was going to help her become more successful. So that is a success for me positive energy, making impact, and being happy, staying happy.
Love that! Now, give us a typical day in your life. Don't leave anything out. When you wake up, what do you do? What do you think about immediately you’re out of the bed? Okay! The first thing I do when I wake up is, I first go to my toilet. Details! Perform ablution. [Both laughing] and I say my prayers. Like I must give that time to God. It’s like a Zen mode. So I say my prayers. And immediately after prayers, and immediately after doing my Dhuhr and my 'asr and all, I meditate.
Meditation actually helps me through my anxiety and through my whole stress and everything. So, I meditate for at least 10 minutes. I try to meditate. It’s a habit I just started doing. Then after that I journal my day. I have weekly goals and I have daily goals. So my weekly goals are like the big ones that I want to achieve. I remember when I was writing my book, I was like this today I must finish chapter two. I must finish the end of chapter two. I gave myself those timelines. So I script out my goals and all the things I want to do then I take a walk. Oh, walking clears your head guys. Like it does a whole lot of wonders. So I take a walk, I walk round and when I come back I do this Apple cider vinegar cayenne pepper and cinnamon mixed tea. Oh, that’s good. Yeah, I do that after I've drank a lot of water. So I do that mixture and I sip it like tea. I just sip it and I when I sip it, I breathe. Because when you’re practicing mindfulness, it helps you put everything together. So I just sit there, I sip it, I breathe, I take my tea then I go. Sometimes, I have a spell bath. I went to go and get petals and stuff, like I'm really so crazy. Wow, that is so… Yeah. [Laughing] I can even show you my petals in my bathroom. So what I do is that after the whole work and everything, after I’ve drank the tea. I do my spell bath and I sit down there for a bit then I play some divine feminine tunes just to open my mind. Because one thing about working for yourself is that you have to create a good mental space so that you can work well. Yes. As an entrepreneur, you must always create a good mental place. Don't let anybody deceive you or lie to you or tell you that you don’t need to create a good mental space. No, You must always have a solid mental space.
So after that I go to my office. My office is actually a dining table and my system. Because we can't go out so anybody that tells you office, home office. I'm still working from home. I'm not working physically.
I start working by 10 o’clock, like by 10 AM. So, I dress up, I do my make up, I do everything. Like I do the whole 10 yards. I do my make up, I go downstairs to the dining table, put on my system and I'm there in my office. Like when I’m there I’m like this is my office. When it's break time, I stand up for break. When it's 5 I've closed for the office today. If there's any overtime, good and fine. But I do all my work, all the scribbled goals and make sure I keep my goals minimum. So like in a day, I only write five things that I want to do, only five things I want to achieve. I don't go past five. I don’t write ten things, no. Ten things might be my major goals for the week. But in a day, what do I want to achieve? Five. I just write only five things I want to achieve that particular day and I end up doing that. So after the whole day is done, I lounge. Of course you have to catch up on some series. I chill out, I lounge. I'm not married. I don't have kids. Netflix [Both laughing] So, I’m not really stressed. Chilling alone. I just drink my juice. When it's time for prayers, of course, you stand up and pray. Because Muslims we pray five times a day, yeah.
So after that in the evenings, I write on my gratitude journal. So every evening I journal. I write three things I'm grateful for. Like I try my possible best to take out the negative things. Because you don't need negativity. Even in an environment, you can smell negative energy. Especially when you are building your business, especially in Nigeria. And that's why I decided to join this What Next, Coach community.. Immediately Farida recommend it and spoke about Stephanie, I was like, "Oh, I need to be in this community." Because we need that positive energy when you are building your business. Yes. Some of these people with like minds that will build you up. Yes, yes. Because it's really tough, especially building a business, especially in Nigeria. Even when you're trying to work on yourself, it can be really tough because you have a lot of really negative energy coming all around. And one thing is that, if you are a positive person you can smell negative energy.
So when someone has negative energy, what it does to you is that you just shut down and you keep quiet and you don't attend to that kind of person. But what I tell people is that stay away from that person and delete yourself from that equation or block that person, please. So after that, I journal, I write three things I am so grateful for every day. It's a given. So I even have a gratitude pen.
Yeah, I have a gratitude pen. Because, everything that we have is from God and God has already said something, especially if you are an extremely spiritual person. He has said, "if you are grateful I will increase you." Like, if you are grateful, I will give you a lot. I will increase you. So that’s what I do. Immediately I write on my journal, I get on my bed. Some nights, I might read a book. I don't finish all the book at once, I take it small by small. I finished reading Mark Martin “The subtle art of not giving a fuck.” Fantastic book, I love it. So I must read something. Maybe like read some chapters, then I sleep. Some weekends I go visit family, wear my face mask, go and visit family members. I call, I connect, but I keep my mind that from Monday to Friday, I work. Saturday, Sunday no work, I'm chilling. I'm lounging, I'm relaxing. That's it. I’m networking. Like if there was an event, I'll be networking. Like I'll be going for networking events and all that. Basically that's a day in my life. Wow that is such an exciting day in your life [All laughing] That was actually… energy is on point. I almost wish like we were putting this video out, like on our YouTube channel or something. Because that energy is on point. [laughing] thank you thank you! Okay, so Fatima, moving on to next question. What's been your most important skill that you developed on your business Journey? Hmm, I would say it’s my digital marketing skill. Because I can do it from my sleep. And I don't see it as stress. I think the problem is, a lot of people jump into businesses that they are not really intertwined in. Like It's not really their calling. Maybe, because Stephanie is making money now from What Next, Coach?, me too, I’ll now say I want to become a coach. “Ah! Abeg, this “What Next”, there’s money ohh.! Let me go and gather my own.” [laughing] A lot of people, it's not their calling. But me, it is my calling. Do you get? To be a great digital marketer is my calling. So like, my skill that I have harnessed for digital marketing is that I can do it in my sleep and I don't do it with stress. Like I don't see it as stress. Like I love teaching it. Like I love it. Like, oh my God. If you can tell me to teach it from morning till night. I don't get tired. Just pay me good amount of money, and I'm fine.
Great! Tell us, what's been your greatest challenge in starting and growing your business? Ha! Should we start as a gist? Or like [laughing] Anyhow, anyhow you want to. We’ll flow, yeah we’ll flow. First things first, Digital marketing is like a male-dominated industry. It's like the people that are doing it are people that are engineers or IT guys. You know those IT gurus that they’ll come with their glasses and everything. Ei, God! I have gone for meetings where I bid for jobs and they turned me down because first things first, I'm female. Second thing, they just imagine that it's better to have a guy do this. You know? I can call a guy by 2AM. But I might call a girl and she’ll tell me she’s on her period. So I've lost jobs on that. [Laughs] Like seriously? And a couple of years back, when I started the business and I went to bid for a job. No, that was my own fault. Because I went to bid for a job alone. I went like a lone ranger and other people went with their teams. You know? So when I went alone, they… Funny enough, I never knew that when they escort you to your car is because they are trying to size you up. I was a rookie, I didn't know I was supposed to go and borrow car. [laughing] I've definitely heard of that!! I didn't know I was supposed to go and borrow car. Or I was supposed to go and sha do something. I just dressed nicely. I did my feminine nature, wore my heels, put a bit of makeup, looked really nice. But the problem is, I was alone. That was a huge challenge. And the other guys that came in from Lagos, they came with their suits. Even me, If I was the boss I would have hired them. So me I was thinking that… [both laughing] I was thinking that based on relationship, you know? I was really saying I know my onions. As in, it’s up in my head, it’s up in my head. Ah! After that thing happened to me, ehhhh! I went to go and learn packaging.com. You know when you learn how to package? I went to go and learn it. So anytime I'm having any meeting like this, even if my team are not ready, I'll go borrow [laughing]
As in, "Oya you guys come, let’s do formation." In short, sometimes I do have one that will be my driver, ehh! You guys it’s not funny ohh! The guy sef when we are going for the meeting, I’ll tell him, "Guy Daniel." His name is Daniel. I'll say, "Daniel, see we are entering a Papa's place ohh. It’s Aso villa, package yourself. That day you’ll come to my house with suit like this eh. Pack his this thing, spray perfume. Then we pick the formation thing and we’ll we go there and we give it to them. So I'm very happy that it happened because that was a huge challenge for me because it has taught me how to package. How to package very well. Because that's what Nigerians want.
And because the job was a huge job, it was entering into like two-point something million per month because we were supposed to run ads for them. And you know, the person just looked at it like, "Ah, this is not the one that we’ll give this girl this job, she’ll go and buy car. Or we’ll give her this job it’s shoe and bag that’ll be her problem." Do you get? I had that challenge and I learnt from it. So it was a good one for me. I mean, it's interesting you shared this Fati because I learnt not to see packaging as bad thing. I used to treat it like it's false, like it's deceptive. But to be honest, even the person you're trying to package is packaging somebody else. The funny thing is that when I did brand imaging, like the brand-building like personalizing yourself and building yourself as a brand. I realized that most people that people want to connect with, you don't dress like a riffraff. At all. You are a CEO. You’re not dressing the part. You're not dressing the part. Okay, is it your talent that they want to chop? You know, funny enough those guys that they even gave the job to from Lagos. I could even do more than them. But they didn't complain. Why? Because those guys packaged well. In short, they showed them that the new their onions. So since then, I learnt ohh. I learnt.
Experience they say is the best the best teacher. It's the best teacher. Just leave it, it’s the truth. It’s fact. That's a great experience. Thank you for sharing, Fatima. Next question is, what's been your greatest reward in the choices you made to do this? The greatest reward for me has been impact. Just like what I said, what makes me happy, how my success is defined. I think my greatest reward has been impact. In terms of the people that I have trained, in terms of the people that have implemented what I have trained. As in, implemented all the stuff I have trained them to do. They have started working on it. I think that's my greatest reward. I love impacts. I'm like an impactful person because I just feel that if somebody says, "oh, Fati helped me do this," "I was able to do this because of Fatima." I think that's enough for me.
So impact is the greatest reward I have received. Because no amount of money can ever quantify the kind of impact, because it’s a service-based business. What you're doing is infinite. It's like you are giving knowledge. Knowledge is infinite. Like people want to learn this skill every day. Do you get? So you cannot really say you want to measure it. You might say based on your own metrics, you might say you want to measure it at 1 million naira per month. But it might not be up to that because there are some digital marketers in the U.S that are collecting close to $10,000, $20,000 from one company $15,000. There’s even one white label I want to buy now. The guy said it’s called White Label from digital marketer in the U.S and the guy said I had to bring $9,000. And people have coughed out that money to pay for it. Wow. The major thing you can use to measure whatever it is your level of success, whatever, is impact. Like how many people are you touching? And what we did with my company is that we joined with Action Aid. So we are like their ambassadors. So we volunteer. We give part of our wealth to them. We sponsor communities. Because basically that's our core strength. So we sponsor communities to do that. So that's the way we measure. That's nice. Final question, what do you want to learn from a community of your of your peers? Hmm. What I would like to learn now is how to network and get my face and my brand seen. Like, how people turn on their TV and be like, "Oh, wow! I saw you on TV be on African voices." Because like it’s Oprah Winfrey thing coming up. I might not be saying, "You get a car, you get a car." But I can say, "You get knowledge, you get knowledge. Everybody gets knowledge!" [All Laughing]
I'm going to be giving out knowledge. That's my own. That's what I want to do. Do you understand? So that is it for me. That's what I want to learn now. I want to be in my peer group. I want to be on Bella Naija. I want to be everywhere. Like, I want to be in Tony Elumelu's group. I want to be everywhere. Wimbiz ohh, everywhere ohh, everywhere. Let me just be there. Let me be networking. Let me be improving my life. I’ve actually started doing that mark, I have been on NTA. So now I want to be on Channels, I want to be on CNN. In short even MTV, all the networks everywhere.
I want to be there. I'm just giving them. Let me be giving them gbas gbos. Digital marketing, digital marketing, digital marketing, do you get? That’s all I want to be doing. That's my song. I just want to be preaching, "you get knowledge, you get knowledge." Just be giving everybody knowledge. So, at least, somebody will say, "Oh, I learnt something from this girl."
So basically that's what I want to do. Network my peers, grow in the community. You know? How can I move my business forward? I'm already taking Financial intelligence courses. My problem, when it comes to accountability and stuff, I'm bad at it. I think that's why I joined… Accountability or accounting? Accountability and accounting, I'm very bad. Like my accountant will be telling me, our CFO will be telling me, "So Fati, that money that came, how did it go out?" I'm like, "Hmm, don’t ask me about it oh." God bless him, Mr Vidal, he’s so patient with me. And he’ll be like, "Fati, we need to be accountable with this money." I said, “Do you know what? We will make it back. We will make it back." [laughing] Then that month, we will not have customer. That month, one customer we will not have [laughing]
So these are the things. That’s why I want to join all these communities to network. And I’m not scared. The highest that they can say it that you’re razz. You’re razz is not my name. My goal is Oprah Winfrey, "You get a car, you get a car, everybody gets a car." That’s my goal, so the idea is any community I get into, I try to make sure I interact I network, I give first. I always give. Like if people ask me, "What can you contribute?" I can give you free consultation on digital marketing. You know, I just put myself out there first. I don’t wait for them to bring something to me. I go and meet them and you know, yeah.