Hi guys! Adesola here again!
BellaNaija is live at the 2017 edition of “Chivas – The Venture” holding in Los Angeles, California! You didn’t know? Well, you’ve not missed much.
Check out the first photos from the finalists’ welcome party and what I was up to in Day 1 of my trip.
For Day 2, a journalist from Germany and I, had a roundtable with star actress Halle Berry and she talked about her career, family, and handling failure.
Halle Berry is one of the judges in this year’s edition and she spoke about what she’ll be looking out for among the 5 finalists who’ll be pitching at the main event.
Yes, the 30 finalists have been reduced to top 10 and then to top 5 and guess what? Nigerian rep Chioma Ukonu of Recycle Points is among the top 5! She’ll be pitching to the judges later today (July 13).
See transcript of our chat with Halle Berry:
What are the three most important things you’ve learnt?
I’ll say the first one is… one of the smartest moves I ever did was I decided to do something that I actually love to do. I think that’s key; that you find something that you are passionate about and that you enjoy working at. Because I love it, I always want to work harder, want to learn, want to grow. I never say Thank God it’s Friday because I don’t care if its Friday I’m happy I’m working.
I’ve also learned the importance of listening to others, not always believing that I know it all, but having people around me that I think know it all and listening to those people.
I’ve also learned that it’s really important to have an impeccable work ethic. That means do what you say you’re gonna do, dont over extend yourself knowing that its okay to say no if it’s something you cannot do. That you have to show up every day, be on time, be kind, be considerate and just be impeccable with your work ethic. People respect you for that and it makes your day a lot easier and I think you get more work done.
And it’s good morale; often times I’ve been the number one on the show and I think the way the number one or the person in charge behaves, that trickles down to everybody else and if that’s the case then production and things run a lot more smoothly because you’ve set a good tempo for everybody.
Have you seen anybody or anything that stood out for you among the finalists?
Well, I haven’t seen them. Today is my first part of the competition. I wasn’t a part of picking the finalists. I’m going to be part of picking the winner tonight. I’m just really, eagerly waiting to hear their pitches and to hear what they are passionate about and to understand why they decided to take on these projects. To learn about what is actually going on in their part of the world that they feel needs this kind of support, this kind of contribution. So it’s a learn for me as well as a judging.
What are the qualities you are looking for? Passion being one, what are the others?
A sustainable business model. I want to know how their project will impact the world. Is it a big issue? Is it a little, tiny issue? Is it something that will affect more people or not? And I really want to see their passion, you know passion is huge in running a company or starting an initiative. The person who is spearheading it has to have a lot of passion, a lot of desire to really make this change and do the work they are committed to do. And that’s something that’s inituitive; you just feel it when they’re talking about it. I think I’ll get a feeling…. Maybe they’re all passionate because they made it this far, but I want to just feel what they have to say and understand why their causes are important to them.
What are some of the causes that you support and why?
I really care about clean water. I think in this country we take it for granted in many ways. You know, we drink water, throw away water, we water our gardens. We don’t really understand what life will be like without clean, drinking water and I’ve done a lot of work in that area. I understand what a luxury water is.
In my own life, I’m very diligent about saving water and not misusing water. I’m trying to teach my children so that they are aware. You know, ‘dont let the water run too long,’ like they brush their teeth for like 10 seconds and that’s it. Water doesn’t run endlessly in our house.
I also really care about… I’ve done some work with the UN and their world food/
hunger programme, done some trips and I’ve taken my daughter and she’s gotten a chance to see how some children don’t even have one meal a day and how important it is. And we support initiatives that supply food, grain and rice to certain countries for children.
Locally, I support The Genesis Centre. It’s a shelter for battered and abused women and children. And I’m really attached to that organisation because I know we spend a lot of time caring about the world and we should because we all live in one world. It’s also important that I care about my own backyard and the families that are living right down the street from me that also really need help.
They (The Genesis Centre) work with diabetes, women’s cancer and children cancer issues.
How do you juggle all of that: acting, being a mom, everything?
What I’m going to tell you is that you never really juggle it properly. You know, you try, but inevitably something is going to have to give at a certain time.
Sometimes I have to be more focused on my work and my ‘mom role’ has to take a side seat and my children see me less. Other times I’m not working so much, my kids get me the lion share of the time and I can focus less on my work. So it’s constantly trying to keep a balance and realising that it’ll never be balanced and realising that that imbalance is actually okay. It’s the only way, it’s the only way to do it.
But I’m happy that my kids get to see me as a working mom and understand how hard I have to work. Through watching me they are also learning how they are going to function in life.
A big part of entrepreneurship is dealing with failure when stuff doesn’t go the way you wanted. How do you handle or manage failure?
The truth is, things have gone, not the way I’ve planned it more than the way I’ve planned it. I think that’s true in many bisinesses.
The failures are part of the growth and they should be expected and I really shudder at saying the word failure. What is failure really? When things haven’t gone the way I hoped or expected, I put on my big girl panties and I just go back at it! I just try another day. I lick my wounds, I say ‘okay that didn’t work’, ‘I didn’t get that’, ‘I didn’t win that’, ‘I didn’t get that part’, but gues what? The sun comes up tomorrow and there’s another day and there’s another opportunity. Just get your head in the game and keep a positive attitude.
So one key thing is to be flexible?
One thing is to have the ability to be nimble. You might have a plan and if that plan goes awry, then you have to be nimble enough to switch to Plan B or Plan C.
It think it’s a mistake to have only one plan to get to the end result. I think you should have the ability to have several paths to take to get to your end game.
In acting, they’re are a lot women involved but entrepreneurship is different. How do you empower women to start their own business and do their own thing?
I think it is changing… real change is slow… I really believe real eveolution takes time, but it is changing. I talk to millennial generation and women are starting to really realise that they dont have limitations. That those are ideologies and thoughts of the past but that in this new day and age – its 2017 – we can be educated in the same way. We are fighting for equal pay and once we start knowing our worth and fighting for equal pay, we will have equal pay. But it starts with us first.
I think women are starting to realise their own power. When we see other women next to us succeeding, I think it’s empowering. Women have the opportuiny to get out there and talk about it so that other women can realise that it is possible for them.
The excitement continues on @bellanaijaonline on Instagram. In a few hours the winner will be crowned! Go Chioma, Go Chioma, Go Chioma, GO!! #ChivasVenture