Talking her way to the top!
Ronke Kokoruwe is a mum on a mission to make us all more confident and effective communicators. The former lawyer hit the ground running when she launched iVerbalize, her public speaking and communications business, in 2017. Yet despite a rapturous reception from her early clients, Ronke felt her business foundations were shaky.
Here, she describes how working with Successful Mums helped fill in the gaps and steer her business in a more strategic direction..
I was inspired to set up iVerbalize after taking my children to public speaking competitions and seeing their confidence soar. I noticed that most of the children they were competing against were from private schools and that, though my own children’s and other local state schools were great, they offered few opportunities for children to get up, really own their voices and develop these public speaking skills.
I saw a need and I sought to meet that need initially by taking workshops and speech festivals into our local schools. It was really exciting and I started working with a couple of schools immediately. I was then recommended to others and it snowballed from there.
“The course gave me the opportunity to steer my business to where it needs to be. Successful Mums also gives you this ready-made network of women who have a real connection and are there to support one another.“
I had some excellent responses from the schools, parents and children but it had all happened very quickly and I felt that the foundations of my business were actually quite shaky. I had a lot to learn about running a business, especially things like time management, finance and writing a business plan, so I put my name down for the Successful Mums Business Start-up Course.
The course gave me the tools to take iVerbalize to the next level. It covered all the practical aspects I needed and it was really helpful to be held accountable for completing the tasks and homework. I think that’s something that most mums need as we’re all so busy. All the good intentions are there but things get in the way! But when you’re held accountable and have a whole group of like-minded people willing you to do well – that is priceless.
Derryn, our coach, brought the course to life with great humour and energy. But I learnt a lot from all the women in the group. Our businesses were completely different but we had real camaraderie. We were all mums, so we could share tips and tactics for things like time management, and we could all relate to the feeling that your brain’s turned to mush or that you’ve lost confidence after time away from work.
The real game-changer for me was the financial forecast exercise. That forced me to look very carefully at what I was doing and what I wanted to bring in as an income. It opened my eyes to reality. Irrespective of how passionate I am about the business, the bottom line is that it needs to be making money to be sustainable. So that made me think about what else was possible and where I could take it from there.
Since completing the course, I’ve extended my reach and so I am grateful for all that strategic thinking. As well continuing to collaborate with schools, I’m now also working with corporate clients, universities (including The London School of Economics), women’s groups and individuals who want to build on their public speaking, presentation and communication skills and boost their confidence.
It’s a challenge running your own business but I love it and I can’t quite see myself doing anything else now. The Business Start-up course gave me the opportunity to steer my business to where it needs to be. Successful Mums also gives you this ready-made network of women who have a real connection and are there to support one another. It really is a worthwhile investment of time & energy, homework and all!
Ronke can also be contacted on 0780 0980417 for more details about the workshops and if you’d like to find out more about our Business Start-up Courses, click HERE.