LagosMums loves to meet with different mothers to talk about their parenting journey and how they balance their various roles.
In our first Mum of the Month feature of 2019, LagosMums interviewed Yetunde Shorters. She is a wife, mum of twin girls and an entrepreneur; CEO ICY Public Relations. We enjoyed talking with her as she shares her motherhood experience so far and how she is slaying as a mum!
Please tell us about yourself?
Hello LagosMums. My name is Yetunde Shorters and I love helping women get clarity on what they are supposed to do. I give them ideas and strategies on how to have an impact and to make money unapologetically doing it.
I’m an entrepreneur, a wife and a mum of twin girls. I love food and music. I’m your cheerleader. I literally have pom poms that help me cheer people on and I believe I have all this energy so that I can get others fired up to do the thing that they’ve been called to do on this planet and I enjoy doing it!
As the first mum of the month for the year; can you share how you set your goals for the year?
I set my goals for the year by doing the following –
1. Assessing my previous year to see what worked and what didn’t. What I did wrong and what to do moving forward.
2. Highlighting my top 3 anything, Personal Growth goals, Financial Goals and Business Goals.
3. I spend 2-3 full days writing out what each month would look like and what I will do daily to make these goals happen.
4. I plug it into my calendar. If it’s not on my calendar it doesn’t get done.
5. I get to work.
Tell us about your beautiful family. How long have you been married?
My immediate family consists of two twin girls who are about to be 15 months old and my awesome husband who I’ve known for 10 years plus and we’re going on our fourth year of marriage now. It’s been a journey in self awareness, love, patience and kindness.
On Parenting, we are actually very intentional when we talk to our girls. They play with each other but when they get on each others nerves; we’re conscious about using the words “be kind to your sister” instead of just saying “be nice”. We are all learning, my kids are learning and my husband and I are learning of ways to be in harmony and be more loving, focused and dedicated to each other.
What has surprised you the most about motherhood
What has surprised me the most is how conscious I am now of everything I do and say and how it’s perceived. This is because my daughters are literally sponges right now. I really want to be a better person so I am more mindful so that they don’t pick up things that have become habits for me. As a mum, now I get to see who I actually am and decide to be better for their benefit and mine as well.
What has motherhood taught you so far
Motherhood has taught me to just keep being loving and to keep using the right words to impact their lives. Words are powerful and the sooner we are able to teach them that, the sooner they understand the power of words. So that they will be conscious of their thoughts and the things they say and how that shapes whatever they want in this life. I am looking forward to that transformation in their lives.
Can you tell us what it was like growing up in Lagos
Growing up in Lagos was a hybrid experience. I felt like not many people understood me, growing up in a country that is just starting to – over the last couple of decades – value girls and women’s opinions. I remember seeing how men were more affirmed than women; even by other women and other mums.
As an adult now, I reflect and I think “Wow, what a great opportunity to really see culture, understand it and understand how you can transform it”. I enjoyed growing up in Lagos.
My mum was very conscious of sending us to museums. She made sure we went swimming every Sunday and she played Yoruba music all day. However, on Saturdays we got to play what we wanted. She did things to just make us appreciate culture which I now understand. Growing up in Lagos prepared me for the world.
Do you think there’s any difference between raising children outside Lagos versus raising children in Lagos?
Absolutely! Lagos is fast paced and reminds me of New York. Raising children outside Lagos offers more of a breathing room in terms of the hustle and bustle.
Early Childhood Experience
I always say I started off doing PR since I was 6 years old. While living in Festac, I had started a little girl group called “Landa Landa Landa”. after watching “Revenge of the Nerds”. I remember feeling that since I started this club I was going to be the president of this club. However, there was a girl who was about 11 and kind of the overseer of the group and she said to me “Yetunde, you’ll be the PR Officer”.
I remember being so upset because I started the group and I wanted to be the president and the CEO, I didn’t even know what CEO meant. I had no idea what PR was but she explained it to me and was said, “you are good with people and you get to deal with people”. That was the first time I heard of the word and it’s been plugged into my mind since then.
Can you tell us about your professional journey
Studying communications in college kind of set me on that path. I initially started off trying to be an attorney but I said “No, I can’t do it. All that reading is not for me”. I enjoyed and understood the power of advertisement to transform millions of lives and I figured I could reach more people with PR instead of being an attorney.
After doing a marketing campaign in one of my classes, I realized I only needed to do one ad and reach a lot of people This is what I want to do. I got an internship at CBS and one of my first events was actually an Enrique Iglesias and Beyonce concert in 1996. My team of three had to plan a fashion show with Levi’s models right before the concert started. I remember it was called the B96 summer bash.
This was my first real exposure to event planning and public relations and I just absolutely fell in love with it and just knew this is what I was going to do.
Fast forward to years later, I’ve always done some form of PR either with a publishing company or an Attorney’s office, a construction company or a company that plans classical music concerts.
Tell us about turning your passion into profit?
The idea of turning my passion into profit came once I realized what my purpose was and my purpose is to use my energy to get people excited about their purpose. So once I figured out that was my calling, by just being myself and doing what I do; I inspire people to tap into their own power. People pay me for this and I was like this is good so I just did more of it.
Please share with us how you balance your roles as Mum and as an entrepreneur?
It’s hard. It’s very hard. I have days when I literally fall asleep and miss a meeting because maybe our girls didn’t sleep well the night before and I was up watching them. The balance is finding what works for me.
So what has helped is if i’m tired, I honor my body and my soul and just stop. Then if I have the energy I wake up early to focus on my revenue generating and productivity activities. I limit time wasting activities. I’ve learnt to honor what my soul calls for me to do so that I can be here to enjoy all of it.
How important is a support system to a mum today? What support systems do you have?
A support system is super important to mums today because no man is an island. God never created one of anything. It was two of everything. You are supposed to have a support system; whatever that looks like for you. You need to be reminded that you are not alone. You need to know that it’s okay to ask for help, you need a break sometimes and that’s okay.
My support system includes my husband, friends that I can call on, my mother and my mother in love. I know that everyone is busy so I am conscientious and respectful of their time so I text and see if they are able to talk. Even when I call my husband I try to remember to ask “Are you available to talk”?
I cherish and honor my support system and I foster them by keeping in touch.
Is your husband a hands on dad?
My Husband is a hands on Dad. Thank God! This is our first time having kids together and he changes diapers, he does everything. We literally have the same schedule with our kids so it’s not more me than him. Sometimes he travels and I travel too, so whoever is home just takes over.
It is just beautiful to watch him interact with our daughters. They have so much fun and i’m glad for that.
How do you use Digital media to grow your business?
One of the ways I use digital media to grow my business is the KLT. It’s the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST factor. These are the three things you need to do first before people will buy from you. Use this to produce content that will help people get to know who you are, get to decide if they like you and they will build trust.
A successful business actually generates profit and revenue. So, if you’re just doing it for fun and you’re not making money, that is not a business. That is a hobby. A business makes money.
People will purchase from you because they believe in what you have to offer and because you’ve built your reputation by knowing what to share, knowing what your audience needs and giving them a chance to know you.
When they trust you and believe that you can provide a solution to their problems, that is when you can put yourself in a position to offer them solutions and products that they will pay for.
Note that those that don’t like you are none of your business but those that are attracted to you are the people you’re supposed to help.
Can you give 3 tips to be successful online?
1. KNOW your audience. Give them an opportunity to get to know you
2. Do some research on what kind of things do they actually Like from you. Check out your posts, do your analytics. What are the things that they are responding to the most.
3. The TRUST just comes from you being authentic and honest, It doesn’t mean you need to share everything. However, when they can trust you they will connect.
In one word tell us something you believe should not be missing from every home?
LAUGHTER! That’s it because I believe laughter can heal minds and souls. It can break up tough situations. I prayed that we will have a home full of laughter and glad that that’s one of the things that is present in our home. We find different things to laugh about and enjoy being with each other.
Do you have hobbies? How do you relax and spend time on yourself.
I’m working on getting back to my hobbies just because i’m so inundated with work and our babies that i haven’t had much time. But during hobby time, I actually like reading magazines and books. I also like doing dinner parties, which I haven’t done in a while.
To relax, I literally just binge on Asian TV and read close captions. Watching Asian or Indian television is how I relax because that is one of the times my mind literally shuts off and focuses on something that is mindless and sometimes I need that so I can recharge. Going to the beach is also a good time to relax. So I love that.
You are definitely a Yummy Mummy – can you tell us how you stay stylish
Thank you so much! Yummy Mummy is intentional because as far and as long as I can remember, my mother who is 70 and looks fantastic has always said to me “Keep it Sexy”. My mum always made sure that if we are going out of the house, we had to be tidy and “dress up”. She taught me to be dressed for the occasion. Dress like you want to be met outside, even if you are going for a run, dress appropriately.
So I’ve been conscious of that. In fact, I remember one time, when I was pregnant, I had gone to Walgreens to buy something and I had video chatted my mum. I took a shower that day, I was feeling fresh and my mum’s like “Ahn Ahn, Yetunde, put on some lipstick”. I was like “Ma, I actually took a shower today”. And she was like “just put on some lipstick”. And I was thinking, I’m not trying to impress anybody. But according to her, you should always try to prepare to start your day looking good.
As long as I’ve known my mum, when she wakes up in the morning she dresses up whether she’s going out or not. That’s a habit I’ve picked up. But sometimes I am tired and I don’t do anything. I just lazy out all day in the house. This is just a me day.
What is you beauty routine.
I don’t really have a beauty routine. I just try to drink water and eat a lot of fruits with every meal because it’s a good detoxifier plus it helps with your digestive system as well. There are no products that i’m using to cleanse my face. There’s a couple of things I use but nothing where I am like this product is what is making this happen. I’ll be open to testing stuff out though so i’m looking forward to that.
What would you advise a Mum who is trying to balance motherhood and business?
My advice to mums who are trying to balance motherhood and business is to be sincere with what works for you. I don’t care who it is, how awesome the are or how much you trust them or whatever journey they’ve been on. Your story is different. Please, find what works for you. If you’re a workaholic but you have mom-guilt, then figure out your balance so you can actually get work done but also spend time with your kids. If you’re more of a “I like to spend time with my kids but my business is failing” then you need to figure that out.
Figuring it out means, how do you feel? You need to identify the feeling. If it doesn’t feel good, it means you are not in alignment. If you are settled in your soul it means you are in alignment. So, go with your gut on how you feel and honor that. As long as you put in the effort and honor your gut and emotions, you will find the balance that works for you.
[READ: The Mumpreneur guide for 2019]
Any words of encouragement for mums?
My word of encouragement for mums is “Remember to love YOU! Remember to forgive YOU, remember to honor YOU, remember to stop criticizing YOU and accept yourself as you are”. And that’s a challenge for people in general.
We’re usually so critical of ourselves even with the words we use. We need to be conscious of that. I often hear people say sometimes when they’re talking to others I’m so stupid or I’m so dumb”. Whatever it is, those words are powerful. You do not need to use those kinds of words on yourself. Find something else that affirms you or affirms what you’re feeling. Say how you’re feeling instead of calling yourself names.
I think words are so powerful that as a mum, whatever affirmation you need to do to solidify how you feel is important because your sanity is what keeps the family together. It’s important to take care of YOU.
You’re going to take care of the kids when you’re okay. If you’re not okay, you won’t be able to. So, it’s very important to get yourself in order mentally, emotionally and physically so that you can be there for all those that you love.
What do you love about LagosMums?
I love everything about LagosMums; the great advice LagosMums gives and how engaged it is with it’s community. I also love seeing the pictures. I love that you understand the Lagos mum and you’re providing tools, values, resources and information for her to be her best self. So, thank you for being a part of this virtual space and providing support for LagosMums.
As one semi Lagos mum and one semi Miami mum, i’m wishing you a fantastic 2019 and i’m wishing you the strength, the focus and the will of power and spirit that you need to accomplish your goals in this new year. Take care!
[Tweet “As one semi Lagos mum and one semi Miami mum, i’m wishing you a fantastic 2019” – #YetundeShorters]