In a conversation over Instagram Tomi Makanjuola shared with me the five tips to self-make your communication if you are a change-maker.
Tomi is a chef and the founder of The Vegan Nigerian, a blog and company approaching Nigerian food from a whole different angle: veganism.
As reported by the pan-African platform This is Africa:
Nowadays, most African societies are carnistic (centred on meat) and meat features daily in the diets of most middle-class African families
Going vegan can be a revolutionary act. It surely was for Tomi.
She started writing her blog and sharing her recipes in 2013 and since then she: published a book, filmed recipe videos on YouTube, gained thousands of followers, received media coverage including from the BBC.
Tomi has no PR, no film crew, no agent.
When I met her in London as she won the Precious Lifestyle Award, I was amazed by her humility, quietness and yet achievements. Thus when speaking on Instagram, I had to ask her about her approach to a field like communication which is often associated with loud and extrovert personalities. Here are the five tips she shared to self-make your communication if you are a change-maker.
1 – Get acquainted with your message
This is something I often repeat during my storytelling coaching sessions and workshops
For Tomi the message was clear: you can be Nigerian and decide not to eat meat and she showed her followers how. On this note, my additional suggestion is to practice what you preach: I rarely suggest an approach that I haven’t tested or invite my followers to do something I wouldn’t do in the first place.
2- Abandon Perfectionism
Recently I was made aware that striving for perfectionism is often at the base of many psychological and behavioural problems.
Instead of trying to be perfect, try to get it done. You’ll do better tomorrow. What I do it is: write a list of things, start by completing the hardest. If I get stuck because what I wrote, designed, filmed isn’t perfect, I give myself exactly three minutes to think about it. After that, whatever I made needs to be let go and I’m off to the next task.
3 – Know your voice
This one is the single most forgotten element. Know your voice means to be aware of your tone, likes, dislikes. Just because louder people are achieving something, it doesn’t mean you can’t change the world with a quiet revolution. And just because others are posting their pictures, it doesn’t mean you have to. Know yourself, know your voice. And know that there isn’t one single way of doing things. There’s yours, you just need to make it work.
4 – Never stop learning
Make mistakes, learn, improve. Make mistakes, learn improve. Make mistakes, learn, improve. The fantastic thing of being a change-maker who manages her own communication is that you never stop learning. Be open to new approaches.
5 – Have Fun!
Self-making your own communication can be lonely and challenging, but you have to keep the fun element in it. If you’re not enjoying, don’t do it! For me having fun means: writing, exploring what others are doing, learning from the unexpected (e.g. actors, TV series producers), connect. What’s your definition of fun?
Before the end of our conversation, Tomi shared a last tip for change-makers who self-make their communication: learn to build a community.
We are not islands. We are connected. Use your communication to create a hub of people interested in your topic or enterprise.
I hope this list brought some positive ideas to your work, if it did, please do share them in the comments. And if you are up to join a community of change-makers who are using communication in an extraordinary way, come on board by registering for the fortnightly newsletter www.subscribepage.com/cor