As a thought leader and influencer, Esther Etim provokes people, tired of the status quo, to ask questions and find answers that will encourage and inspire them to live and work as authentically and fully as possible.
Esther believes “If you NEVER ask, the answer will ALWAYS be No”, as she’s seen what happens when people don’t know the right person(s), ways or questions to ask. Or that they can/should even ask questions! So, she helps young women in Law OR Media to develop strong voices, solid careers and stable personal lives.
An LLB graduate of the University of Kent in Canterbury, Esther holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Law from the De Montfort University in Leicester, is the CEO of The Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Ltd, writes multicultural women’s fiction as Chioma Nnani, and lives in Abuja with her husband.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: [00:00:15] Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show, where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you today. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with the Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Limited, Esther Etim. How are you?
Esther Etim: [00:00:35] I am very well, thank you. And thank you for having me.
Stone Payton: [00:00:38] Well, we are absolutely delighted to have you on the show. I love the name of your organization. As you can imagine, we have a great deal of affinity for anyone who is out there capturing stories and helping other people capture and share stories. But tell us a little bit more about mission and purpose of your work. How would you describe what you’re really out there trying to do for people?
Esther Etim: [00:01:05] So I as a person, I help women in law and in media to develop strong voices, solid careers and stable personal lives. And obviously, one of the ways that I do that is through something that my company does, which is to help creatives and legal professionals to find their voices, fine tune their voices, amplify their stories, and then broadcast their story, amplify their voices, and then broadcast their stories. And the reason that we started doing that was that when I so I’m located in Nigeria right now, but I lived in the UK for nearly ten years, and then when I returned to Nigeria, I found out there were setting gaps that were not met by the educational system. And of course people that went through the educational systems of the universities here, they were suffering in their careers because of those those gaps that were not really their fault. And for me, I felt, look, I can complain about this or I can help to create solutions. And so I kind of wind about it for a while. I decided, fine, that whining is not helping. So I created solutions. Yeah, I know. That’s I created a solution. And even at that, like, it didn’t you know, it didn’t take off immediately. It still took a while for me to find my people. Right. And I think that one of the huge, as should I say, mistakes that entrepreneurs make is just because something, you know, a solution or whether it’s in a product form or it’s an offering or whatever, just because it makes sense to you doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone, or that is going to make sense for everyone to everybody that you come across. And yeah, I had to do a lot of waiting, a lot of reverse engineering stuff. A lot of yeah, quite a lot of waiting. And I would say I yeah, definitely found my people, including some of them who now who signed up, signed on to work for me.
Stone Payton: [00:03:27] Oh, I think that’s marvelous. And you found your people in the law arena and in the media world. Say more about that and how that how you got it narrowed down to that to that niche.
Esther Etim: [00:03:42] Okay. I actually studied law at university. I thought I wanted to become a lawyer. And then on the final morning of my last law exam. So this is after I’ve done the entire course. And I actually thought I wanted to become a lawyer. I woke up on that morning and it hit me, No, I don’t really want to do this, which was which was quite interesting and terrifying because I knew I didn’t want to do, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do, which up until that point, I didn’t know it was possible to have those two problems at the same time. I’ve always written so I’ve been writing from the age of six and but it wasn’t something that I felt could be a job, if that makes sense. It just wasn’t a done thing. But one thing led to another. Somebody tried to steal what Actually, they did steal my manuscripts for what turned into my first book along. Yeah, I know. Along with four or five other different pieces of work. And when I say pieces of work, I’m talking of a pilot script for a TV series, a stage production, you know, And I had to get somebody. Friend to so go after them, because I knew that legally there was nothing I could.
Esther Etim: [00:05:10] I mean, the court system in Nigeria is it’s completely a different story. And 18 months after my friend got my stuff back, my first book for about There for You was released and it’s. Things sort of just took off from there. I was offered a radio show after a chance meeting at MacDonalds, of all places. After that, I returned to Nigeria. I started doing things of my own. I created a blogger zine because I had magazine experience and I didn’t want to do blogging in the way that everybody else in Nigeria was doing it at a time. A year after I started my blog, a zine, I won an award in the UK for blogging. So yeah, it’s. I realized that these are things that I could teach people how to do it, people who were trying to get my results. I might not be a lawyer, but I understand to a great extent I understand what people in law, especially their new feeling when it comes to the media space as well. I do have quite a bit of experience with that. So yeah, I understand where some of the gaps, maybe not all because nobody knows everything. I understand where some of the gaps are and how to fill in those gaps.
Stone Payton: [00:06:39] So at this point in your work, what are you finding the most rewarding? What are you enjoying the most? What’s the most fun for you?
Esther Etim: [00:06:48] Finding my people, I it’s I can’t even tell you how how much of a relief it is, right? Because, you know, sometimes you come into an industry and you know, you have solutions to certain problems in that industry and you kind of think that everybody will be written for you, which is very naive. All that people will be, you know, people will be sensible about it. But all that, even some people who see the problems want those problems solved. Some people don’t. They’re benefiting from the status quo as it is, as horrible as it is. And so that was some of the problems. Those were some of the problems that I faced in the beginning, that thing of way. But I’ve got this really great solution. Why don’t we collaborate? And I was talking to someone a couple of days ago who is talking about collaborating with people who are actually perpetuating a problem. And I said, You’re not supposed to collaborate with them. You’re meant to replace them. They’re going to frustrate. And so yeah, and so finding my people and when I say my people, I’m not talking of just people in law or media, but I’m talking to people in law or media who see the value in what my company is offering and have actually said, hang on, where have you been? And it’s so funny.
Esther Etim: [00:08:09] It was I’ve been doing interviews because we’re hiring sales people at the company. I’ve been doing interviews for maybe the past three weeks now. And some of these people, they it almost feels like they are clones of me, like, but they need my solutions. And for some of them, when they sent in their resumes, I looked at their dates of birth and I was a bit taken aback and I realized, hang on. This is why they weren’t around before. Some of them are in their twenties. They’re very young. I mean, I have somebody who is turning 19 this year and my company has been in existence for over six years, meaning he was 13 at the time when I started. So he had no reason to look for me. I had no reason to know that he existed. And, you know, and there are all the stories of similar people. So, yeah, finding my people, that’s like the hugest the biggest thing for me right now.
Stone Payton: [00:09:05] Well, I could tell it. I can hear it. I know our listeners can over the airwaves as well. I loved what I what I read in your bio about helping young women in law or media develop strong voices, solid careers, and stable personal lives. I love that that frame. Talk about maybe a couple of specific examples of what the work looks like, like if someone engages you, especially the early stages, like what do you start working on with them?
Esther Etim: [00:09:35] Okay, we would typically do a consult where I would find out what it is that they are trying to achieve. So sometimes people say, I want to write a book or I want to start a blog or I want to do a podcast, and that’s the end for them. Like that’s just it. And I’m like, No, you need something more. There’s got to be a purpose to this thing. So it’s not just, Oh, I want to I just want to be an author. Why do you want to be an author? What is the message that you’re trying to you’re trying to spread, whether it is fiction or a nonfiction book? There is always a message. What kind of author are you? And for some people, they don’t actually know what they you know what they want a blog or a or to do a book or to do a podcast. And so I would. During the consultation, discuss with them, find out what it is, what their strengths are, what they are, actually the actual purpose that they are trying to achieve. Then I would suggest a book, a blog or a podcast as the vehicle to get there. Because I found out and I found this out the hard way, of course, that a book or a blog or a podcast and even sometimes, yeah, on a TV show are not the end.
Esther Etim: [00:10:56] They are tools to get to an end. And so when you see them that way, you’re not overly attached to them. It’s not like, Oh my gosh, if I don’t have this book, then the world is going to end. Sometimes the book is not your thing. Sometimes a blog is more, is more is going to get you to your goal faster. And obviously, I would tell them, okay, this is what I think you should do. And obviously if they for instance, for the blog, if they say, Yeah, I’m ready to do that, then I would put them on my blogging and digital journalism coaching program. So I’ve got different programs or different services that will help them achieve the ultimate goal using whatever tool that they have chosen. So if somebody wants to start a podcast, for instance, we would put them, or if they need to start a podcast, we would have them get our podcasts production package, which, you know, the purpose of that is make sure that they turn into a brand themselves with whatever whatever lesson or whatever message it is that they’ve got and will put that message in front of the right people and we’ll take things from that.
Stone Payton: [00:12:17] What a marvelous set of of services. Now, you’ve written several books, as I understand it. Is that accurate?
Esther Etim: [00:12:25] No I’ve, I’ve written to. You’ve written and Yeah. Right now two and then the third one is a it’s part of an e-book boxset. So Yeah. So that’s three.
Stone Payton: [00:12:39] The reason I’m asking, I’m operating under the impression that you’ve kind of developed a, a methodology, a process that has some discipline and some rigor to it on how you go about and maybe it applies to everything you described. How do you go about planning out the book, planning out the podcast, planning out the, the, the, the blog? One of the questions is, is that accurate? Have you developed kind of a methodology of process? And then I’m curious about the first time you wrote a blog or wrote the the book. Did you find parts of it came together pretty easily for you in other parts you really struggled with?
Esther Etim: [00:13:18] Yeah, there is a definite methodology with every every offering that we produce and we put out just because it helps for standardization of process and so that I’m not tearing my house and going, Oh, I don’t know why I did it last time. And you know, for some reason I can’t concentrate on a particular part of a project. I can farm it out and the person is not going to be confused. They’re going to know this is what I’m supposed to do. This is what the result is supposed to look like. Because I find that sometimes as entrepreneurs and even as bosses, sometimes if if people are not micromanaging, then they are assuming that their staff know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, and then they get upset that the person doesn’t know what the person doesn’t know because you didn’t tell them, you didn’t give them any expectations. So, yes, we have a definite methodology for every every offering that we put out. The first time that I wrote a blog post, I didn’t know what I was doing. I think I just I had something to say. And so I just I just wrote it. I didn’t know anything about structure in terms of marketing or who should be reading this. So why should we say to make them read this or to make them want to read this? I just and it was just something that I felt that I had to have to say the same thing with my first book. And of course, that sounds like, Oh, I’m a creative and that’s what we do. But that affected our marketing and sales because obviously, you know, if you haven’t narrowed down what this is about, then you don’t know who to put it in front of.
Esther Etim: [00:15:05] You don’t know what to tell them apart from buy my book, buy my book. I’m people like why? And I tell my authors, the only person who gives a damn that you read your book is you. You’re the only one. Other people want to know what this book is going to do for them. So whether if it’s fiction, they want to know what the story is in terms of, you know, who the characters are, like, would I relate with a characters? There’s something that goes through that I’m going through at the moment that would help me if it’s nonfiction. There is a lesson in there, whether it’s writing about money or even food or something. There’s a lesson in there that this person is supposed to get. And of course, if you can’t say it in less than a paragraph, why this person should get that book or read that blog post or even sign up to a podcast and listen to it, then, you know, they might actually be your target audience, but then they’re not going to know and you lose. So yeah, I had to. It took quite a while, but I had to do the very IT on creative, but I had to really understand what marketing was and is and not just go, Oh, we’re, you know, we’re creatives like I don’t want to waste, you know, you can be creative and make money and market properly. So yeah, that’s something that we aim to do.
Stone Payton: [00:16:37] So how do you attract new clients, people who want to to work with you? How do you get the new clients?
Esther Etim: [00:16:47] So there are a number of ways we are currently, like I said before, we’re currently interviewing. So we’ve got sales people who are marketers as well. And so the people that they know, because sometimes people kind of go, Oh, I’m this CEO and I can do paid advertising and all, but then how you could get further if you’ve got people working for you who buy into your vision, they buy into that vision for a reason, because either they have the same problem or they know people who have the same problem that you don’t have access to for whatever reason. So that’s one of the ways. Another way is going on shows like this one. So I’ve done podcast shows, I’ve done YouTube shows as well, and obviously there’s social media. So I use at the moment I use Instagram and LinkedIn. And the reason for those is that that is literally like those two places are literally where I find that my audience is. So I remember when I first started, I think people were saying, Oh, you should be on every social media. And I was I was running myself where I got everywhere without because I didn’t understand that, you know, again, the only person who cares about your book or you’re good speaker or whatever is you, you need to go to where your audience is. And again, if you don’t know who your audience is and you don’t know how you’re going to help them, then you don’t know where they are.
Esther Etim: [00:18:20] It’s like I call it trying to sell meat to vegetarians. It doesn’t matter how great, it doesn’t matter how great the meat is or how fantastic the décor is in your restaurant. It is better the vegetarian they have vegetarian. They don’t need what you’re selling. Like. The reason that they’re vegetarians is not the point. Like when I say a lifestyle reason and religious reason, it’s not the point. The point is look for meat eaters. And even when using the analogy of food, again, even when it’s somebody who eats meat, you know, there’s different kinds of meat. If somebody is looking for lamb, for instance, for some reason you do have lamb. But I don’t know why it looks like chicken that they’re going to know. This is not what I recognize. This is not going to solve my problem, which is sad because you’ve identified the person who your who your you’re offering will help. But because of the way that you’ve packaged data or because of the way it looks, they don’t recognize it as something that they need or that they desire. And yeah, so and they are going to lose and probably even annoy them. So yeah, that’s something that we’ve had to learn and implement.
Stone Payton: [00:19:39] Well, what a great way to think about it. What a great frame. And as you were describing the the analogy, the parallel, like with meat eaters and vegetarians, I have to confess, I think in my career I have maybe from time to time fallen into the trap of not only going to the wrong place where my people aren’t, but maybe trying to convert vegetarians into meat eaters. And boy, that’s a lot of work.
Esther Etim: [00:20:06] And it’s frustrating. And there is no like that is zero return on any investment that is that is a waste of time. It’s a waste of hope. It’s a waste of energy. It’s just a waste. And, you know, the sad thing is that they are actually using this analogy. They are actually meat eaters who want what what you have. So why wouldn’t you leave the vegetarians alone?
Stone Payton: [00:20:32] Oh, that’s great. So on for yourself. Are there some things that you’re reading now or listening to that are impacting you like it? Sometimes I ask people, you know, what’s on your nightstand. And what I mean by that is, you know, like, what are you reading? What are you into? What are you studying these days?
Esther Etim: [00:20:52] I’m I’m doing quite a number of YouTube videos just to really sink myself and really get into my consciousness more. And that is because, I mean, I used to do it. I don’t know why I fell off. But it’s just the fact that sometimes you have these strategies and, you know, these plans and these lists. But if you don’t believe for whatever reason that you can really do it or that this is going to work for you, then it’s really not. And so and that’s why even with all our coaching programs, for instance, the first week and in some cases the first month is, you know, is utilized dealing with any blocks, any mental blocks that the student has just because I mean, I can talk to you about how this book is going to be a bestseller and you are not going to believe me. So when I then send you to an interview, the vibe that you’re going to give, the way you’re going to behave is going to make sure that the book is not going to be a bestseller. You’re going to be upset and you’re going to be wondering, and then I’m going to be frustrated with that. So for me, it’s just really trying to get rid of any any blocks and any thing, any baggage really, that is unnecessary and doesn’t serve me from from a mental space.
Stone Payton: [00:22:27] Well, I think that is incredibly powerful counsel. All right, before we wrap. I want to make sure that our listeners have the ability to connect with you. Learn more about your your work. What is the best way for our listeners to to learn more and connect with you?
Esther Etim: [00:22:44] Okay they would go to w w w dot s the atom dot org forward slash links. So that is e for exa as for Stella t for tango H for hotel E for Echo, Alfa Romeo, E for another echo C for another Tango I for India and for mother dot org for slash links. That’s links with a with an s plural and that links is really important or else they might get lost on the site. But the starting dot org links page will just it will direct them. There are not the necessary signposts. Therefore anyone who would land on that page.
Stone Payton: [00:23:31] Well, Esther, it has been an absolute delight having you on the show. Thank you for joining us and sharing your perspective and your your insight. This has been informing, It’s been inspiring and you’re just doing such important work. Please keep up. Keep up the good work and know that we sure appreciate you.
Esther Etim: [00:23:52] Thank you very much.
Stone Payton: [00:23:53] My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Esther Atom and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.