Chikodi Chima has fire. When we first met over a year ago, we thought, this man is bold. He is bold and kind. He dreams big but never ends with a dream. Each time we talk to him, his dreams have become reality and or at least are a little closer to becoming reality. His enthusiasm and optimism are contagious. And all of this does nothing but serve him as a PR specialist and founder of Moonshot PR.
Chikodi was a member of the first cohort of our SCALE program. He brought all that fire, all that enthusiasm and channeled it into his cohort, into growing his business, and into sharing his wisdom with the rest of the crew. He sat down with us a few weeks ago to chat about all things life and business post-SCALE.
NOMAWO: Why did you join SCALE?
Chikodi: I joined because the prospect of being in a supportive community with hands-on support, advice, and being able to network with peers was an unmissable opportunity. Being able to share my experience and learn a lot through my peers, was one of the first things that appealed to me, and then there was also a chance to level up my skills and my business.
NOMAWO: What was the SCALE program like? How did you experience it?
Chikodi: Oh, man, it was like, I wish that the sessions were longer because energy was so on point you know? The ability to connect and learn and to level up was great. I wish I had something like this years sooner.
It was just overwhelming value. I could never pay in money for what I received.
(We blushed a little bit at this compliment.)
NOMAWO: What is one of the most impactful things you learned in SCALE as an entrepreneur?
Chikodi: I never knew what my cost of delivery of services was. Being able to understand software subscriptions, payroll, my equipment, everything that factors into the costs that go into operating my business.
You know, it was getting the mindset of a business owner and switching from the mindset of being a service provider, and everything that comes with it. And that’s taxes and accounting, service delivery, prospecting, outreach to potential clients, servicing and upselling existing clients - those are all things that business owners do. And thinking about what I do as a business owner and not just a person scraping by with my skills. This all helped me understand how to bundle my services, and hire people to help.
Building a team and realizing you don’t have to do everything alone also came up in our conversations a lot. Chikodi said he got more comfortable working with other people, hiring extra support, and realizing just because he was the face and the business owner didn’t mean he had to be the one doing all things for every client. Knowing this and living this is key for all entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers as they take their businesses to the next level.
NOMAWO: What has changed since finishing the SCALE program?
Chikodi: I have quadrupled my fees since participating in the program. And confidently too and that's the key. And I have people coming to me virtually every day. Like I have had a list of people that are my ideal clients. I don't even have time for approaching my ideal clients because I have so many people reaching out to me on a daily and weekly basis. But when I do make the time, I feel confident approaching these prospects with a very grand vision, the best version of themselves.
I’ve also started doing my intake calls or my consulting work calls while walking through the park, and then having a recorder and I can send that recording to a member of my team to transcribe it. They can turn those transcripts into blogs or other content, deliverables.
And that allows me to really feel like I'm living the dream so much more now. Because I figured out methods where I show up for my clients with extremely high value and then I can pay members of my team to do the things that they're good at. It produces the client's needs and I can get out of the way.
Confidence is king. And for those of you who are still working on confidence, remember that sometimes acting like it, even if you don’t feel it, will get you there. Like NOMAWO lead coach says, “Act as if you’re already enough and act as if you believe that. You have everything you need to succeed. It doesn’t mean you can’t grow. That doesn’t mean you have to be arrogant. It just means that you have to show up in a way that you can tap into that confidence, even if it’s fake it till you make it for a little while.”
NOMAWO: What is one piece of advice you have for other freelancers and entrepreneurs?
Chikodi: Really believe in what you're good at. And don't stress about the rest. Find people that can support you to do the things you know you don't add value to. The thing you're best at, no one else can do. So you're not competing with other people to do those things.
Find people to support you in doing the thing that only you can do. And your business will grow freely and easily.
Confidence was one of the biggest themes in our conversation with Chikodi. He said that was one of the biggest things he took away from his time with SCALE - confidence to do the things that would allow him to build. And build he did. Being able to quadruple his prices, find the most efficient ways to use his time, and never want for clients seems to be every business owner’s dream.