BETTY IRABOR REVEALS HER MORNING SECRETS
Betty Irabor, Editor-in-Chief of Genevieve Magazine was a year older recently. She also launched her book, entitled: Morning Dew, at a grand reception that took place at Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos. Her magazine, a female friendly glossy package has become a household name and a must-read among women. Unassuming in all spheres, Irabor had her secondary school at Methodist Girl's High School before she gained admission into the University of Lagos for a degree in English and Philosophy.
After graduating from the university, she worked with National Concord Newspapers where she had her first professional experience in journalism, and went to distinguish herself as a prolific writer. In 1988, she left concord for the corporate world. Having gained valuable experience in that portfolio, she teamed up with her husband, Soni, taking the role of CEO, Ruyi communications. It was as the CEO of Ruyi communications that she began her entrepreneurial journey.
The occasion, attracted people from all walks of life to honour Irabor. The interesting point of the evening was when her husband, played the reporter part on the podium, asking his wife the following questions:
Why did you marry your husband?
Looking back now, if I had married someone else, I won't be flying the way I am flying, or flying the way I should. It takes a good man; it takes a man who is totally and awesomely committed to his wife to go this far.
How did you manage the stress?
When I started Genevieve, I decided I was going to be called Editor-in-chief and I have a publisher who watches over me. So when people say to me, publisher, I tell them, no I'm not a publisher, I'm the editor in chief. He supervises the newsgathering, what to put on the cover, etc.
Those who are close to me knows how many times I have broken down. Even when I was in admission in the hospital, I made someone to bring the laptop to me so I could edit. I have come to a place where there is no room for going back. There's something I would like to say, like everyday you want to quit, then it's a passion, if you have a passion you want to hang on.
How did you get inspiration to do all these lofty ideas?
I get inspiration from morning. Every morning I feel renewed and I found that along the way my inspirations come from everything. I love colors, nice people inspire me. My family inspires me, there's always something to draw from them, and I drew inspirations from my friends.'
The audience were thrilled with the questions and answers from the Irabors. Speaking with Daily Sun on this occasion, she talked about the journey so far as an entrepreneur.
'A few weeks before Genevieve magazine rolled off press, I found myself suddenly succumbing to series of panic attacks; all I wanted was to beat a retreat. All of a sudden, I didn't want to go on. My negatives did not fail to remind me of the legion of women's magazines that had come and fallen by the wayside. All my positive feelings and my 'CAN DO' spirit and affirmations, were replaced with resounding 'What if?'
And then one day, as I was watching a re-run of The OPRAH WINFREY SHOW I received the healing touch I needed. It came in form of something some female guests on the show has said about how they simply closed their eyes and jumped' when they started their ventures which are now flourishing. That simple confession was what gave me courage. Like those women on OPRAH, I decided to close my eyes and jump'. I wasn't sure if my landing would be soft or hard, but I knew someone up there was looking out for me and that was all the motivation I needed to jump. And jump I did.'
Message of the book
The message is, you can do all things. The message is, people tell you what if you fail, has it occurred to you to say what if I succeed? I think anyone reading morning dew, apart from knowing Betty inside out, I live a transparent life for people to see. People see that they can make mistakes, it's ok and they can fall and get up. Right in front of you things happen, but the worst thing that can happen to you is to go to your grave without exploiting and exploring all the goodness, all the talents, all the vision that God has given to you. People ask what is my greatest fear, and I reply the fear of failure.
I will not fail; I haven't come this far to fail. It was when I was 2 years in Lagos but now I'm riding higher, more confident, with more self esteem, more grace, so I feel renewed and I feel I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. What you see today is actually the beginning of my birthing as it were. Everyday, another morning break, that is why my theme song is morning has broken. It's evening but when you wake up is your morning.
Advise to upcoming female entrepreneur
Look at your friends, which one of them are encouragers, which of them can pull you down, then begin to separate yourself so that you can concentrate on the positive woman that you are. Stay away from dream abortionists, those are the ones that says haa, does she think that a female magazine will succeed in this country? I have been doing this magazine for the past 7 years and I am a testimony. Where you are now will transport you to where you will be. Enjoy it; be loyal to your employer so that when you become an entrepreneur, your staffs will be loyal to you.
Secret of my ageless looks
It is prone in my family. But as I grow older, I workout. Lifestyle changes also helps a lot. I watch what I eat; I don't eat beyond 7.pm so that the food will digest.