Eunice Omole has lived many lives in her 34 years, including being a real estate agent on three continents and leaving her MBA studies at Cornell University to compete in The Apprentice Africa in Nigeria. She came in second place and was inspired to start a new media company to dispel African stereotypes and shed light on the continent’s entrepreneurs. See her success story and secrets.
Name: Eunice Omole
Position: Founder of O&M Media
Location: New York, NY
Hometown: Washington, DC (child of Nigerian immigrants)
Twitter and Instagram: @EuniceOmole
The gig: Soon after becoming runner-up on The Apprentice Africa, I met fascinating entrepreneurs, designers, writers and politicians during my tour across Sub-Saharan Africa. Their unique stories inspired me to create a platform to share these tales. I launched O&M Media and produced a new Pan-African television series called Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs. I connect high-achievers and companies with resources and information that help them grow.
The journey: My first summer job was a teller at a bank in the U.S. I then became real estate agent in America then took real estate internships in Shanghai, China and London. I was also a fashion editor for a print and online magazine. While in Nigeria, I was board director of a non-profit organization and director of a microfinance bank.
Business 101: If I knew when I started out what I know now about the power of relationships, I would have engaged more with people. I was so focused on getting my work done that I neglected to foster those relationships when I had the opportunity to do so. I could have made more of an impact in my professional and personal life.
Confessions of a Black woman in international business: The biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is the preconceived notion of who I’m “supposed” to be as a Black woman—someone angry or unsophisticated. I come across as a surprise to some people I meet. Despite the challenge, it’s benefited me because I have helped to dispel stereotypes and have built meaningful relationships.
Her biggest lesson learned: I founded O&M Media Ltd., which services multiple television programs, at the start of the global recession in 2008. I chose to ignore the signs and pushed my fundraising and sponsorship efforts in the midst of a market downturn. I recovered by putting my efforts on hold until the market turned up and by taking a different approach, which proved better and more fruitful as a result.
Time-saving tip: I plan much of my day and activities before I start my day. It definitely helps to save time by posting reminders and alerts in my phone calendar and limiting my time on social media to about an hour tops per day.
Her mantra: “Failing to plan is planning to fail” I learned this pretty young because I’m a super active person and involved in a number of organizations, and thus I need to keep everything organized by planning.
Network tip: Follow up. Once you exchange contact info, don’t leave it to chance thinking you’ll meet that person again soon. Follow up with a call or email or text to stay connected—it goes a long way.
Her stress relievers: In my downtime, I like to flip through fashion magazines to keep up on the latest trends in dresses. I relax by getting massages, taking a shower or laying on a recliner. I manage stress with exercise and by talking to family and friends.
Student loan status: So far so good, I consolidated my student loans and I’m on the right track with my repayment plan schedule.
Tech must-haves: I love Instagram, Whatsapp and GroupMe.
Her beauty bag: I can’t live without Mac Studio Fix NW 40, Maybelline Expertwear Eye Liner and MAC Oh Baby Lipglass Lip Gloss.
Her secret superpower: Dressing up! When I think I look good, I feel confident at work.