10 reasons why failure could be your best friend

success quotes Micheal Jordan

Ok, I bet your eyes are shooting daggers at me. And I know your mind is wondering “What does she mean by failure could be your best friend? Is she even thinking or has she run out of blog topics?”

Please hear me out before you crucify me. Yes I was thinking straight and no, I have not run out of blog topics. But today I wanted to write a post about something everyone experiences.

Its called failure.

Whether in a big or tiny way, we have all experienced failure at some point in our lives. And I understand how depressing failure can be, especially when a lot is expected of you. And that is what this post is all about: to let you know that failure is not the end but the beginning of beautiful things.


Let me reveal a secret to you: Simply Quintessential was not my first attempt at blogging. In fact it is my fourth attempt. I started blogging as early as 2011. Within the space of 3 years I started three different blogs and watched them crumble.

But I didn’t give up.

Instead with each failure I learnt lessons that have ensured the success of Simply Quintessential. And I want to share them today, to encourage you and motivate you. Also if you are considering blogging, then you need to read this so that you don’t repeat the rookie mistakes I made.

1. Failure taught me to know my onions

This is number 1 mistake many entrepreneurs (and bloggers) make: They don’t know what they are getting into. When I first started blogging, it was the “IN” thing. The internet was awash with the success story of Linda Ikeji’s Blog. Everyone wanted a piece of the internet-riches pie, myself inclusive.

But we didn’t know the true story of Linda Ikeji’s success. We just thought that once you open a blog, write a few articles, then slap on ads in every available space, then the dough will start rolling in. I knew nothing about how to start a blog, I knew nothing about content writing, I knew nothing about how to set it up, I knew nothing about Google ads, I knew nothing about how to attract visitors. In a nutshell I knew nothing!

And I was in for a rude shock.

For starters, setting up the blog was easy to learn. I used Blogger. But there the fun ended. Because I did not have any audience in mind, I didn’t know exactly what to write. I wrote some random articles that I thought people would like and share with their friends. But guess what? Few people came to my site and I made nada. Nothing. With time, people even stopped coming, no matter what I wrote.

What I got wrong: I knew nothing about what I was delving into. I didn’t do my research, I didn’t understand what it would take to succeed as a blogger.

And that’s what many entrepreneurs get wrong. If you want to start a business you must know what is involved. Example if you want to start a fitness club, you must know what type of fitness solution you are providing, the amount of technical expertise and soft knowledge you must know before you can proudly call yourself a fitness instructor, what type of people your fitness solution will appeal to, how to get those people to know of your business, how to get them to trust and then patronize you.

Bottom line: You must know the business you want to start and how to monetize it. If you don’t know this yet, don’t start the business yet. Do your research and learning first and foremost.

2. Failure taught me to start a business I am passionate about.

Second mistake I made, was trying to start a blog in areas I was not passionate about. I love writing, I love building and developing businesses. But I am not a gossip junkie. As you just guessed, one of my first blogs was meant to be a forerunner in gossip gist, fashion and inspiration. It was a jumbled mess and it failed because I was not passionate about gossip.

When you want to start a business, don’t just focus on the money. Yes, we all start business to make money but that should not be the driving force. Why? because Money is not ever a good enough motivation. If money is the sole motivation, it means that whenever another shiny object that promises to give instant wealth comes along, you will abandon the business you started.


Because before you know it you will have a litter of abandoned projects and not one successful one. But passion is the quality that will ensure you hold onto your business, because you already love doing it and just can’t imagine life without doing it. So if you love fashion, start a fashion-related business or a fashion  blog. If you love photography, go for a business in photography. Never venture into a business you don’t like solely for the profits you will make. Because when the going gets tough you will abandon that business and in the end make nothing from it.

3. Failure taught me that Business must always be defined

Try starting a business that is a fast-food joint, cement retail spot and toilet cleaning supplies manufacturer all rolled into one.

Big mistake right?

But many entrepreneur make this mistake in different ways. When you are trying to start a big business at one time, so that you can get thousands of customers instantly you are making this mistake. The best entrepreneurs started with one product, then expanded from there. Bill Gates started his company with developing an Operating System. Now Microsoft is into games, office tools, mobile, internet etc. But it all started with an Operating System.

You should do the same. Instead of starting an eatery that does African, intercontinental and baked yummies all at once, focus on one then expand from there. This will help reduce your startup costs and help you penetrate the market faster. Then as you grow stronger, you can branch out into other types of food service.

4. Failure taught me that “If you ain’t proud to show it off, don’t even bother”

This is so important, that I cannot overemphasize it enough. Why? because your first customers will be from the “cliq” of your family and friends. So if you are not proud enough to show your trade to them, what makes you think you will convince a random guy to patronize your business?

bill cosby success quote

5. Failure Taught me to focus on Helping people and not focus on only making money.

When Facebook started out, there was nothing like ads on the entire site. For more than 1 year, the brains behind the social media giant worked on helping people with Facebook. How? Facebook was developed as a tool to stay in touch with family and friends regardless of location, time or distance.

They started out with a zeal to help people. Monetization of the site came latter, when they had amassed an active audience of millions of people.

When Facebook had grown a strong user base of millions of users, it introduced targeted advertising, this time to help small and big businesses. Before Facebook it was difficult to select the specific age group, sex, occupation of people you want to see your ads. But Facebook came and changed all that. The result?

The company reported a $7.82 Billion revenue for 2013.

Their focus paid off. They started out by helping ordinary people to stay connected, then they diversified by helping businesses advertise to specific groups of people with even a budget as small as $1. And then the money flowed in.

You should adapt the same model for your business or blog. Forget about making quick money and focus on building your audience, your network. To throw more light on it, consider reading this article

6. Failure taught me that marketing is the lifeblood of any business.

I must confess: I am a shy, delicate tulip.

On a good day, I love nothing better than to cozy-up to my loved one or to bury my nose in a book with a chocolate chip within reach.

I always balked at the thought of marketing. In my mind, marketing was for those sleazy salesmen. I was well-educated, hence I didn’t need to descend to that level of badgering people with my articles. A good market sells itself, so my readers will find me.

I was so WRONG that looking back right now, its almost painful to believe I once thought like that.

The truth is that there are a million wonderful blogs on cyberspace, there are thousands of people doing the same business you are doing. So readers and customers are spoiled for choice.

Developing wonderful products and articles is not enough.

You have to tell people about your business or blog. You have to show them why they should patronize your business. You have to hook them with delectable and delightful offers and freebies. In other words, you have to market your business but smartly.  Today’s marketing is no more about pestering people to come and buy from you. In today’s marketing, you instead entice people by showing them how you can solve their problems. In today’s marketing you focus on offering value so that sales will naturally flow in without you coming off as a self-centered sleazy salesman.

7. Failure taught me that Your network will greatly determine your success

The one thing that can make or break your business is your network. By network I mean your customers, friends, advisers, employees, investors, partners.

For a business to grow you need an audience or customers or clients. Without them, your business will definitely wither away.

To learn more and to improve yourself and your business, you need to surround yourself with mentors, friends and associates who are achievers and have accomplished a lot in their fields.

To ensure your business is not run to the ground, you need worthy employees: People that are skilled, know their duties, perform these duties exceptionally and continuously contribute to the growth of your business. Make a mistake in picking the right network and your business will suffer greatly.

8. Failure taught me that Good things come to those who persevere and keep trying

The bitter truth of life is that nothing ever works out exactly how you plan. More so in business, where there are just too many variables that you can never predict what will happen in 2 months. For instance, you can’t tell when the value of dollar will fall or rise against your local currency. You can’t predict when the government will enact a policy that will adversely affect the way you currently do business and force you to develop another way.

But good things only come to those who persevere. Be persistent and smart with your business. Don’t abandon ship at the first sign of a turbulence. You never know what diamonds the sea will toss on your ship if you hold on.

9.  Failure taught me that success comes to those that Keep improving

10 years ago, the only way to get in front of customers was to advertise through billboards, radio stations and magazines/newspapers. Fast-forward to today and those expensive traditional mediums of advertising is patronized only by established big corporations like Coca Cola, Total, MTN, who have deep budgets.

Today, small business owners use content marketing and social networks to advertise at extremely cheap rates.

The same applies to your business. What was trendy 10 years ago might be obsolete today. For instance in hairdo, we now have different types of human hair, and different styles for fixing these human hair from invisible parting to lace wig method. These methods were not even known 10 years ago. Imagine if a hairdresser refuses to improve/update her skills? Will she still get new customers or any customers at all? I seriously doubt that.

So to stay relevant and to ensure your business is profitable, update your knowledge

10. Failure taught me that Presentation is everything

The way you are dressed is the way you are addressed.

Simple truth. That’s why when people go for an interview, they wear their best formal outfits. So that they will be taken seriously.

The same applies for business.

My first two blogs were a mess. When I started Simply Quintessential I knew that one of the things I must work on was my presentation. What do I mean by presentation? Branding. From your business’s name to the colours you use to the tagline of your business. I wanted my website visitors to immediately know that I take my blog seriously, that is why I spent some good thing branding it.


So there you have it. I really hope these reasons help you avoid a lot of the pitfalls I faced. If you enjoyed this article, and know someone else it can help, go ahead and share it.

Have you experienced any failure when starting your business? Is there something you did but later learnt it was a mistake? Let’s know in the comments! So we can help others avoid our own mistakes.

The True price of success – Is it what you think it is?


Everything on earth has a price tag.

Doubt me? Ever heard of ladies who had to exchange their bodies for a job position? Ever heard of men who had to kill to acquire wealth and drag up their families from poverty. Ever heard of children who had to drop out of school to hawk?

Or even about the man who lost his wife and child because he could not afford a Caesarean Section. This is a true life story that happened just last year and swept the entire nation in a storm of shock and rage as it was discovered that the doctor won’t touch his wife until the complete money for the Caesarean Section was deposited.

So everything on earth has a price. Even success.

But there is a wrong price and a right price. The wrong price is sacrificing your self esteem for the momentary benefit of acquiring a job. Or selling your conscience for luxury. Success like everything else is developed on a foundation. When the foundation is rotten, it can’t last long. When the foundation is built with the wrong materials – like sleeping with ones’ boss, thuggery, theft and other misdemeanors – its only a matter of time before everything comes crashing down.

But if built with the right price and on the right foundation, your success will not just be solid but it will inspire and motivate many generations after you.

So what is the right price?

The right and only price for success is knowing what you want and going after it. Sounds simple right? Wrong. A huge number of people don’t even know what they want. They know they want to be millionaires but do they have a clear path of how to get to that millions. And that’s why, today, the number of people ready to do anything to live like the rich and famous has increased, while the number of people ready to sit down and plan how to arrive at that millions has decreased drastically.

Doubt me? Ask 10 fresh graduates what their ten-year plan is and you will probably get a blank stare from 8 of them.

A life without a plan is a life mapped for failure.

Or He who fails to plan, plans to fail. 

Let’s just take a moment and think this through: If you want to deliver a child in the US (a trend nowadays), you will have to figure out the following: How much its going to cost, when you intend to leave for the States, where you will stay, how you will take care of yourself before and after childbirth. You will have a plan for at least the 6 months surrounding your last trimester. You won’t just wake up one morning and head to the airport like a zombie, without telling anybody where you are going or discussing with your hubby.

The same applies to Success.

Success is not something you stumble into. Its premeditated. Like you know this is what you want and you plan out how you are going to get there, the steps you need to take.

But that’s not all.

Success is a very picky bride. She has a lot of suitors and takes them through difficult, challenging tasks to see who is worthy of her hand.

Only the one who is persistent and smart, wins her in the end.

Some people have great plans but abandon ship at the first sight of trouble. I know because I have been there once. But if you take a good look at many of today’s success stories like Mike Adenuga, Linda Ikeji, M.I Abaga, you will notice something: They had bad times. They had really bad days.

But they persisted.  

They didn’t give up because things were getting rough. They didn’t throw in the towel because things weren’t going as they planned. And today they are celebrated.

Thomas Edison put it this way: “Our greatest weakness lies in Giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time“.

And Edison should know what he is talking about because he failed 99 times when inventing the light bulb. But he persisted and finally, on his 100th trial, he was successful.

I have learnt that if you have a solid plan and you are persistent, success will be yours. What’s your own take? Contribute and let’s learn from you too.

My sincere advice

First figure out what you really want in life, aside from money. Do you want to be a world-influence like Mother Theresa and greatly reduce poverty? Are you passionate about beautifying women and want to be the next Mary Kay? Do you just love food and want to create a franchise like McDonald’s? Or are you so driven, focused and ambitious that you see yourself as the next Condoleezza Rice?

After Figuring out what you want to achieve in your life, map out the steps that will take you there. Be really sincere with yourself. If its going to take a lot of money to get there, then you need to state how you can start small and grow.

Do not be daunted by your dreams. Because where there is a will, there is a way.

Are you fired up? Is there a step you believe will help others get even better results and achieve success sooner? Please share in the comments so we can all learn and grow together.

They lied about Online Business

I can imagine the look on your face; like what is she about to say? Is she not one of those that canvasses about the online business model? Or is she about to finally confess? So the truth will set her free!

Sorry to disappoint you guys. I am not about to start shouting on the rooftops that all every internet business should be rejected. Nor am I going to say that internet business is scam.

Not when Jumia and Konga are there to prove me wrong. (By the way if you never shop for Konga, I don’t understand again ooo! Even with the N1000 flat rate delivery to any part of the country?)

No, when I talk about Internet or Online Business I mean those sleazy internet marketers that promise that once you buy their ebook, or pay N3500 or pay $25 (the latest scam I found) you will become a millionaire in 3 days or less than a week.

But these desperate 419ers do not stop at that. For where? they go ahead and tell you that you don’t need computer or even internet, in fact you don’t need to do anything at all. Just own a phone and a bank account. Then pay for their millionaire secret and vavavooom! you don hammer be that.

I can almost hear you say, “Nobody can fall for that trick. Not in today’s time!”

I was thinking like that before ooo, till one of my friends became a victim. As you rightly guessed, I took to my blog to alert other people before they fall victim.

How do you know scam artists:

1. They do not have functioning websites themselves: When next you are browsing on facebook and you see an ad that promises to reveal secrets of how to be a millionaire, be careful. When you click the ad and you land for a website that doesn’t have any other content, does not have a menu, nothing except gist about how the self-named guru will reveal millionaire secrets to you, run! You have entered one-chance. DO not buy anything. Do not copy any account number and go, so you can pay into that account.

2. They promise you don’t have to break a sweat: Like seriously? I do online business and have engaged in most forms of online business from Freelancing to e-consulting, and I have one thing to say; it is work. Not even small work ooo. Sometimes I have to wake around 4:30am just to write a meaningful article for you, my lovelies. I spend a minimum of 1 hour writing the article. I spend hours spread across separate days just to research the material, because I don’t like to vomit rubbish. And someone wakes up from the moon and says all you have to do is switch on a phone and the millions will troop into your account. Story for the gods.

I understand that the rate of poverty in this our beloved country has made it impossible for many people to think straight. Coupled with scarce jobs and the easy-peasy, grass-to-grace story our musicians are spreading (more on that in another article), so many people are desperate for money. But you should be careful. Some of these scammers actually want your account number and they put payment buttons that can be used to get your account details.

So be extremely careful. Before you believe a word you see, make sure of the following:

1. The website has other content. He must demonstrate his skills and this can only be done when there are other articles to show that this guy actually works for his money

2. The guru has authority: has he published a book? Is he networked with well-known experts? Is he learned or dedicated to improving his knowledge

3. He is willing to offer his knowledge free: Or at least a sneak peek of it. You have to taste the pudding and be sure its worth paying for.

Scamming is real in Naija. Shine your eyes my lovelies. Till my next post remain fruitful.

P.S: Have you ever fallen victim to 419 guys or any type of online scam? Do you know anyone that has? Tell us about it in the comments and help others avoid the same fate.

5 Effective Ways To Become A Well Known Authority In Any Niche

girly office1

The name Wole Soyinka commands respect. Chimamanda Adiche, Oprah Winfrey, Lanre De Silva are a few black women who are respected in their fields. Why? Because they all have proven to be an authority in his field. Regardless of their backgrounds, their education. It is what they have accomplished despite all odds that make people admire and respect them.

What is an authority?

An authority is a person who is knowledgeable and has in-depth skills in his/her chosen field. Notice that I didn’t say that the person has in-depth education; I said in-depth skills. Granted education can help you become an authority or expert in a field but many entrepreneurs did not start businesses centered on what they studied in the University.

A remarkable example is Tera Odukoya, Founder of House of Tara. Tara is an educated Lawyer (or an Learned as they call themselves). But today, she is the proprietor of a successful brand that empowers makeup artistes. She has spoken as an ‘authority’ in many shows and has come to be recognised as an Authority in the Make-up Industry. This is because of what she has accomplished in this field, not what she studied in the University.

Taofick Okoya with a HND in Ceramics is the hugely successful founder of Queen of Africa, a Nigerian-based company that produces beautiful African dolls. It has been reported that these dolls are outselling Barbie dolls in some areas of the country. As st the time of this writing, Okoya had a distribution network for his dolls in US and South Africa and is planning expanding to other countries in trhe world. But he doesn’t have a degree in Business Administration, or even Plastics, yet he is building a company that is charting new grounds.

So it not about your degree! Its about knowing what you do. After all, I have been a victim of a quack pharmacist who had the degree but didn’t know the skills of his trade.

So how do you become an authority in any field you choose? By enacting the methods outlined below:

Position Yourself

The mistake many entrepreneurs make is focusing on traffic, sales and profit. This might have short term gains but in the end, it will damage your reputation. Instead focus on establishing yourself as an authority in your business. When Tara wanted to become known as an authority in her business, what did she do? She started a make-up training course. She started a blog that inspires and motivates people.

In other words, the fastest and easiest way to become an authority in your field is to teach, to educate, to help people with the information you have. The cheapest way to do this is to start a blog and post articles. Example if you are a fashion designer, write articles about the right way to mix and match fabrics. If you are a health and fitness guru, write articles about how to live healthy, how to lose weight without stress. If you are an event and decoration expert, write articles about perfect wedding decoration colours, 5 unexpected expenses to look out for when planning an event. Etc. If you have pictures of real life jobs you have done, put it in your articles. This builds great confidence and trust in what you do.

Another way to establish your expertise is to write a book. Once you are an author, people immediately respect and reverence you.

Start with a niche:

The mistake many entrepreneurs make is to start with a huge field, in a bid to make as much profit as possible. Imagine this: an entrepreneur starts a new beverage company and makes beverages that look and taste almost like Coca Cola’s Coke, Fanta and Sprite. His ambition is that people who love Coke will patronise his beverage.

This entrepreneur will be lucky to recover his capital! Why? Because he is completing with a giant who has the resources to advertise, has the best prices for its products and has a loyal market-share that trust every single product Coca Cola makes. At best, the entrepreneur will be seen as a counterfeit or copycat.

How should he have gone about it?

He should have tried to provide something different from what Coca Cola has to offer. When La Casera started, they started with an apple drink in a disposable plastic bottle. This was during a time when Coca Cola products predominantly came in glass bottles which had to be returned after consuming the liquid contents. They then developed a remarkable marketing strategy: to target travelers who will want to take something liquid during their journey but didn’t carry empty Coca Cola bottles with them. The result? They became an instant hit and predominated a market they created for a very long time. How did they become an instant hit?

  • They started with a niche of beverage refreshment: just one flavour of apple drink.
  • Their taste was different
  • Their provided a solution to the pain of carrying replacement glass bottles
  • They had a unique marketing angle and quickly established themselves as the traveler drink.


Understand that people don’t care how smart you are

If you can’t deliver, you are worse than the dumbest kid. It’s that simple. A doctor that can’t cure his patients is a failure regardless of how many accolades and degrees he has. An entrepreneur that can’t deliver her goods and services will be seen the same way.

But once you have the relevant skills and deliver, nobody cares what you studied. They will be rushing to you because they know you can solve their problems.

Quit Procrastinating:

If you have a business idea and have the skills necessary to start, then START. Even if its just baby steps. This way you will learn along the way and grow stronger. This way you will improve your skills and experience.

I often hear this excuse: “I want to know everything before I start”

I have got news for you: You can never know everything. Everyday new discoveries are made, every day the market-scene changes. So if you are waiting till you know it all before you start, yo will never start a thing.

Also don’t waste money on unrelated products.

I have seen people rush to buy products that promise them instant success in 5 days with no work involved. I have been in the business scene long enough to know that business is just like Rome; it is not built in a day. So if you are really willing to be successful, then you should be ready to do the necessary work required to get there.

Don’t be ashamed of your humble beginnings:

People empathise and relate more with entrepreneurs who are open and reveal to us how they made it. Till tomorrow Oprah Winfrey will be respected, not just because she single-handedly started a multi-billionaire dollar company, but because she was open about her challenges and the rough childhood she had.

Even in Nigeria, people tend to trust people who are open about their past and current struggles. President GoodLuck Jonathan won his first presidential election on the strength of a single story, “I grew up without shoes…”

Tara also used this method on her way to the top. She exposed how passionate she was about make-up and how she started with just N15,000. And how she grew N15,000 to a multi-millionaire naira company.

One of the reasons Linda Ikeji’s blog is successful is because we all know how she started and the challenges she faced, even the failures she faced. We know how despite all these challenges, she has risen from the ashes of poverty to the grandeur of being a self-made millionaire. And that has endeared her to us! So don’t be ashamed to share your story.


The five best payment processors in Nigeria

Gone are the days when customers had no choice other than to go through the hassle of making direct payments into a merchant’s bank account for a successful order. Now, with the availability of online payment processors, customers can place orders right from their homes, once they are connected to the internet. Merchants yet to embrace the online payment method are throwing a lot of money out the window.

But not all payment processors are built equal.

While there are a plethora of payment processors to choose from, some of these payment processors are designed for small scale businesses while some are designed for established businesses. I give a rundown of the 5 best processors, as well as their strengths and weaknesses to guide you in making the right choice for your business. My benchmarks for accessing each processor is ease of use, website integration, ability to undertake local and international transactions, timely processing of transactions, Cost of procuring service and if they have affiliate opportunities.

  1. Interswitch

Interswitchs Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) switching application, supports major networks including Verve, Mastercard, and China Union Pay, besides other proprietary networks. The infrastructure is based on open-system architecture and uses relational database technology, offering clients portability, and reliability as they expand.Our open-systems architecture reduces/eliminates the considerable expense, of paying for proprietary hardware, software, and PCIDSS compliance.

My verdict: 4 stars (٭٭٭٭)

Pros: Interswitch is an established platform with international links and has been in this game for a long time. Their network is robust and is used by most other payment portals. If you are a top-tier company whose ranks fall within the same space as Jumia or Microsoft, then this is the platform for you. Also with this option, customers can pay for you services from anywhere: ATMs, computers, mobiles etc. Also they process payments in a timely manner, and money made reflects in your bank account.

Cons: Very Expensive. Not designed for the small business. Their setup fees alone start from N150,000 with 1.5% fee on each transaction to a maximum of N2000 (as of the time of writing). Their cheapest plan, Quickteller basic, has a setup fee of 16,500 and a percentage deduction of 3.5% on every transaction made. Unless you are an established business with a high rate of turnover, this is not the platform for you. No affiliate program. So you can’t make money by recommending them.

WEBSITE: http://www.interswitchng.com

  1. GTPay

GTPAY is a one-stop, safe, secure and convenient web payment solution that enables merchants receive payments from both local and international payment cards.

My Verdict: 4 stars (٭٭٭٭)


  • International Acceptance: GTPAY accepts both locally and internationally issued cards including Interswitch, MasterCard and VISA.
  • Timely transaction processing and reporting: Merchants get value next day after transaction takes place.
  • Reduced sign-on fee: GTPAY integration fee is waived for merchants, so you don’t need to pay a developer to integrate the platform for you, unlike Interswitch.


  • Very expensive. Setup is N150,000 (as at time of writing).
  • A noted preference for GT Naira card. I have noticed that e-commerce sites that use GT Pay accept GTB Naira mastercard easily than other cards. For some other banks, if you don’t have internet banking activated, it will be extremely difficult to pay with GT Pay.
  • No Affiliate program.


  1. Simple Pay

Simple Pay allows any business or consumer with an e-mail address and a bank account to securely, conveniently and cost-effectively send and receive payments online or through their mobile phone. Their network provides a global, real-time merchant transaction processing solution. SimplePay for merchants is ideally suited for small businesses, online merchants, individuals, and others currently underserved by traditional payment systems.

My Verdict: 5 stars (٭٭٭٭٭)


  • Ideal for small businesses. Registration is free. With rates of 1.5 per transaction, they are affordable for the small business owner.
  • They charge all types of cards, local or international. So you can accept payments from Nigeria and beyond.
  • Sales Reports. This way you know just how much you have sold in real time.
  • The processor with the most plugins developed for different platforms like wordpress, joomla, woocommerce etc.
  • An Affililate System: They reward their affilates with N125 per verified account. So you can also make money by recommending them.


  • Integration Costs: Unless you have some knowledge of programming languages like HTML, you might need to hire a programmer to integrate their platform on your website. If you decide to contact them to do that, you have to pay them for such a service.

Website: www.simplepay4u.com

  1. Cash Envoy

Cash Envoy is like the Nigerian version of Paypal; it allows account owners to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility of payment using their bank accounts and debit cards. It is safe because account holders will not have to expose account details on the numerous websites they do business on. Convenient, because users don’t have to carry about cards to process transactions. Apart from using it to pay for goods and services online, it can also be used to donate money for a cause.

My Verdict: 4 stars (٭٭٭٭)


  • The only independent payment platform I know that is approved by Central Bank of Nigeria – BPS/PSP/GEN/PSM/02/010.
  • No integration fees (as of the time of writing)
  • Fast Settlement: According to them you get all funds generated from business transactions that same day.
  • Relatively affordable: Transaction rates For Naira Cards: 2.5% + N12.60, maximum of N3500.For Int’l Cards: 3.9% + N12.60, maximum of N5000.


  • No affiliate program
  • Integration cannot be done by self, unless the merchant has some knowledge of programming knowledge. You must rely on them. A service they have warned might not be free in the future.

Website: https://www.cashenvoy.com.

  1. Vogue Pay

VoguePay is a unique online payment processor whose vision is to offer buyers and sellers a secure and easy-to-use means of transacting business online.
VoguePay allows site owners to recieve payment for their goods and services on their website without any setup fee.

My verdict: 3 stars (٭٭٭)


  • Vogue Pay has been around for a while and can accept money from local and internation cards
  • Simple integration: You don’t need a developer. All the help you need is in their members area.
  • Wonderful Affiliate system: They use a multi-tier affiliate system. So when someone signs up through your link, you will keep earning a percentage from every single sale the person makes on their website. And this will go on for 6 months before the affiliate duration expires. If you are also looking for a way to make money in your sleep system, this is one of it.


  • High verification fee: You have to verify your business account before you can use it. And the verification cost N2500
  • Everything is charged on percentage level. For people to buy your product you can pay up to 4.5% per transaction. For you to withdraw your money, you pay 1% per amount you are withdrawing. For transfer of funds, a transaction percentage of 1% applies. In the end, you are milked for every single transaction you can think of that you want to make using this payment processor.

Website: https://voguepay.com

So there you have it. The five payment processors any business in Nigeria should consider. If you have other suggestions, lets know in the comments. If you have a question, send a mail to canozie@simplyquinessential.com. I try to answer every mail I receive.

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The fastest way to acquire success

The easiest way to succeed as an entrepreneur is to take advantage of opportunities. When Ebola broke out and nearly halted international transactions with certain countries (Nigeria inclusive), many saw the disease as a problem. Only a few saw it as an opportunity. Because of the Ebola outbreak, Businessman Jon Schultz of Blue String Ventures made a whopping $200,000 in one day!


In 2008, he bought the domain Ebola.com for $13,500. When Ebola broke out in 2014 causing global panic and frenzy, he put the domain in the market and sold it to a Russian company for $200,000. (The Verge)

But Jon Schultz was not the only one to capitalize on an epidemic.

The first place winners of the 2014 AMPION Venture Bus West Africa were developers who used their skills to create solutions tackling healthcare issues; specifically Ebola. Ebola was such an epidemic that AMPION choose to consider favourably applicants who could present plausible solutions to eradicating the disease from a digital standpoint.

And this is just one epidemic. History has shown that once you can help people by offering a solution to a pressing problem, you will be successful almost instantly. More examples include Jumia (which became widely successful because of the ease of transaction and guaranteed delivery it offered), MTN in Nigeria (which became widely successful because it solved the headache of acquiring a Line from NITEL and made communication more seamless).

Now there are two ways to capitalise on a problem: Either you provide a solution (which the winners of AMPION did) or you invest in events/products that could lead to a solution (which Jon Schultz did). Of the two, the less risky and more viable is option A. I am a firm believer in helping people solve their problems, putting people first because when you do this, money will always find you.

Interested in cashing in on a problem? Follow the steps below:

  1. Identify the problem: This is the first step. If you do not see the problem, you will never know what solution to look for
  2. Determine the magnitude: A problem experienced by a handful of people is not as profitable as a problem crippling a nation. When Edison created the Lightbulb, it was a massive hit. Why? Because the alternative source of light energy at that time, the gas lamp, was not as cost effective, safe, energy conserving and bright as the light bulb.
  3. Figure a solution fast: When the Ebola epidemic broke out in Nigeria, a lot of smart shop owners stocked their shelves with Hand Santiziers. These shop owners made a killing before other shop owners saw what was going on and rushed to do the same.
  4. Analyze your solution carefully: Business oftentimes demands an investment of cash or human resources or both. Make sure that your solution will be worth investing time and money on. Determine how much this solution will cost you and how many people are likely to buy it. Hint: make sure your solution is a plausible one and that it really helps people. Always put people first when starting your business, not money. Because once you develop something that is insanely helpful, people will be more willing to pay for it. Also make sure that during your cost price analysis, your product/solution will be affordable. This will also help you get more customers.
  5. Deploy as soon as possible: you are not the only smart person on the planet. Chances are that someone else is brooding on that same idea. Normally the first to act and deploy gets the most reward. Example MTN is enjoying a large share of Nigeria Telecoms market not because of the quality of their service but because of the fact that they came in first. Same thing with Indomie and Coca Cola. So if you have an idea that will help people immensely to get rid of a terrible problem, work out your logistics, costs and market price, then deploy. Otherwise someone else will beat you to it and you will be forced to scramble for leftovers.

I really hope this article helps you and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to send a mail to canozie@simplyquintessential.com. If you have any additions or suggestions, let us know in the comments.

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Changes coming to Simply Quintessential soon

2014 has been an amazing journey for me. I learnt so much this year and risked a lot to pursue my dreams. For so long I have held myself back because I was afraid of failure, afraid of what others might say, think or do. But this year I braved a lot to start my ventures: My blog, my writing, my business.

I am glad I did.

I have learnt a lot that I do not regret at all the sacrifices I had to make to get here. I learnt that to grow, to succeed you have to stop dreaming and start acting. I learnt that development takes time, it’s a process. Regardless of what anybody tells you, it is hard to jump the process and come on top. To really grow, you have to learn the ropes, you have to apply what you learnt and then watch the results carefully, tweaking your initial plans to help foster enhanced growth.

I am going to do that to Simply Quintessential.

I developed SQ to be a blog that will provide insights on business, career, style and relationships. During inception, I designed SQ for an ambitious woman who still wants to enjoy the simple and singular moments of life. I designed SQ to help a woman with vision achieve her dreams, maintain a healthy relationship and still look good while doing that.

But it has not been all rosy for me.

I have learnt overtime what my readers want. I have had to tweak my plans. But it is all part of progress. And today I am happy to announce that soon SQ will be undergoing major changes come 2015.

New Year, new things.

In January 2015, I intend to change the appearance of SQ to be something more lively and appealing. I also want to make it super easy for my readers to find interesting articles across various categories but still feel at home on my blog. I want the blog to be cozy, enticing and insanely helpful. I will also bring in new contributors to the blog who will specialise in different topics. The reason for this is to provide a richer reading experience. Which topic will I focus on? You might have to wait and find out. I will also be willing to accept articles from interested volunteers. So if you have an interesting story or insight to share with us, please feel welcome to do so.

There are more changes in the offing but those will be revealed at the right time. Thanks for being here for me and for reading SQ. You are the reason I work so hard to improve SQ and I really hope you enjoy the changes. Till then, I will you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year in advance.