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Debbie Larry-Izamoje: Don’t Forget to Live A Little

Debbie Larry-Izamoje



IMG_6260It was the dawn of new day and I was rushing to work to prepare my documents for a highly important meeting. I had spent the night before reviewing all the potential questions this client could ask. The butterflies in my tummy had affected my beauty sleep, but this didn’t matter because I was going to have an amazing day, or so I thought.

I left my house just in time for the meeting and guess what I run into? TRAFFIC!

Actually, describing that event as traffic does not justify the situation; it was more like the one we call GO-SLOW. As a typical Lagosian, my first reaction was to beep the horn of my car to alert the driver in front of me that he needed to use his magical powers to get his car off the road as I had somewhere to be.

After my technique didn’t work and I was sure I had enough time to make my meeting I became calm and began to observe the scenery, which became morning banter to me.

Every driver around seemed so tense, I watched how each tried to fit into the tiny space made available and how they made hand gestures to the next driver if he dared to go in front of their car. Guys, this was first thing in the morning. Just before 8am!

As I watched the facial expressions and body languages of people on the road, all I could ask myself was: what are we all struggling for?

As if that was not enough confirmation that I needed to write an article on living a little, I went on social media later that day to find that the lovely Toke Makinwa, who is known for her work ethic,  had been hospitalised from stress and illness and was encouraging people to rest more and create a balance.

We have just 40 days till the start of another year and some of us have been under a lot of pressure to achieve one or two more goals before 2017. There is a certain pressure to work harder than ever. We are in a season where you evaluate all you achieved during the year.

This month I’d like for us to focus on living a little.  I am talking about resting and most importantly finding that work-life balance. And no, this article is in no way for the lazy man. I mean you have been resting all year haven’t you? This is for the hard workers, the go getters, the ones who go to bed last and are up first.

Finding a balance is so important. As we enter a month of celebration, we must remember that it is okay to rest sometimes, it is okay to re-prioritize and move some responsibilities to the coming year. It is okay to not over work ourselves, it is okay to take the days as they come.

Taking time off things that stress you or take a toll and deciding to focus on yourself and rest is not always the easiest thing to do – especially when it feels like everyone wants your attention, the boss, the spouse, the kids, the friends and even the dog! And before you know it, you’ve spent another 24 hours on everyone but yourself.

Hard work is great and I’m an advocate for it. But, sometimes a balanced life can lead you faster to your goals, why? Because a relaxed mind has more room for thoughts and tasks.

Do you ever take time away from everything and just focus on your needs? If you don’t you should make this time available even if it is 30 minutes a day.

During my time at SWEC I was privileged to meet Mrs Tara Durotoye. While she spoke I tried to understand how someone could do everything at once. Be a wife, mother, trailblazer, mentor…I mean everything! I’ll never forget asking her a question and how she replied saying:  ”Debbie, there is always time” and those words stuck me!

As a new entrepreneur it always feels like 24 hours is just not enough, but you have to consciously avoid getting swallowed by the things that come with running a business.

Mrs Tara discussed reading books as part of her “me time” so you already know that I had to try it out. So what do I do? 40 minutes before bed every day, I ensure I read a book. You should try it and share your thoughts

In the past month I’ve read books that have assisted my journey as an entrepreneur. One is Arese Ugwu’s Smart Money Woman book, yes! I am now a smart money woman, I can tell you all about Zuri too!

So, rather than spending your time before bed on phone calls or social media, invest in yourself. Have a routine that you stick by; this will also ensure that you are well rested before the next morning

You must also learn a thing or two about boundaries. You cannot be that person sending work emails while you’re out with your friends or at a wedding. Whether at work or at home, train yourself to be fully engaged and concentrated on your current activity. You must know what your job is and what isn’t and stop taking up responsibilities all because you want to hear thank you.

My next article will give detailed tips on how to ease stress, and find your work-life balance as an entrepreneur.

Debbie Larry-Izamoje also known as The Entrepreneur’s Best-Friend is a Nigerian Entrepreneur. With Certificates in Innovation and strategy from Harvard University and user innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Debbie is passionate about assisting entrepreneurs which is why she founded Image Boosters , a digital agency that specializes in Digital Marketing, Social Media Management, PR & Communications. She is an author of 2 business books and was for 25 under 25 SME and recently recognized as by Trek Africa as outstanding entrepreneurship personality of the year. Twitter and Instagram: @dee_larry @imageboosters_ Email: [email protected]


  1. Spunky

    November 23, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Well said…well done?

    • Darius

      November 24, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Obama stopped blaming Bush when he succeeded him as president oh. But in Naija, you just have to blame your predecessor for your inability to do your job.

  2. Didi

    November 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Off topic but the chic in the picture looks like actress Ruth Kadiri.

  3. Lola

    November 23, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Reading at night has become one of my bedtime rituals… I daily look forward to it.

  4. Adeola

    November 23, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Well said and timely too!

  5. Marian

    November 23, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Yes o! I have a great work ethic thanks to my mom and calling out was a taboo in my book. I have a friend who used to make fun of me and will always ask if na my papa build the company i used to work at.
    You have to put yourself first with wisdom. I believe every role is replaceable. I had the flu one year and was out of work for 3 weeks. The hospital did not collapse o, or stop running because i was not there. Someone else was there to do my job. I keep that at the back of my mind now.

    Moral of my epistle: Use your vacation and personal time. It’s your life, enjoy it and live more than a little sef. Apply wisdom sha cuz bills still needs to be paid too 🙂

  6. aj

    November 24, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Its so funny that this is exactly what my numeroscope said today! It said I should have more fun and take a break!

  7. Gloria

    November 24, 2016 at 2:28 am

    It’s really great to know ladies still work hard, I thougt we are just few lady workaholic around. Rest is as important as life itself, so u need it, I need it, we all need it.

  8. sunnywise eko

    November 24, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I acknowledged you’re stage its cool. thank you

  9. Sonia Paloma

    November 24, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Well said. This right here is one of the reason I believe VACATION is very important (change of environment, different culture, meeting new people)
    Take time to take care of yourself and relax. Life is too damn short and always know when it comes to work EVERYONE is replaceable.

  10. Chynwa

    November 24, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    “the ones who go to bed last and are up first”… this right here is me; get home at midnight and there by 7am. Gosh I cried this morning when I got to work. In fact, the tears turned to vex and I forgot all abt my healthy living and splurged on a heavy breakfast. I can’t just coman die! I wasnt born to pay bills and die! Where are those wakanow pple dey mk I book trip sef #smh

  11. E

    November 24, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Please, How can I get Arese Ugwu’s Smart Money Woman book?

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