Little Black Book: #eventprofsbookclub

Little Black Book – A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba

Ok, so I buy a lot of books.

I studied English Literature and dreamed of my own library full of stories and intrigue- with strong, inspirational female protagonists; from Matilda and Hermione Granger to Arya Stark and Elizabeth Bennet. I followed these characters through school, through university reading lists and beyond.
But in recent years the business world has reignited my love of reading in a different way, and I now look for strong and inspirational figures to teach me a different tale or two about how to succeed, to develop and to learn.

Yet the lengthy business guides, corporate success stories and must reads for self-development on the shelves sometimes lack the accessibility factor; the pick up and learn element we yearn for in a busy working world.
Otegha Uwagba’s Little Black Book has ticked the boxes as a book with practical, real advice for women at every stage of their career.

Whether you’re a CEO, a graduate or a start-up business I whole-heartedly encourage you to pick up this little book which packs a punch and delivers useful advice with no frills.

Think work-life balance, understanding money, prioritising yourself – Otegha, founder of Women Who, cuts the BS and tells it to you straight- as if you’re friends having coffee and catching up on your careers.
Whilst the book can be applicable to many careers, I think there are many practical tips we as #eventprofs can take away from Uwagba’s guide, and here are some of the pieces of advice in Little Black Book that have particularly resonated with me as an Event Manager:

We’ve all got core values that mean something to us, and make us stand out in our field of business. Find yours and shout them from the rooftops. Let people know your motivating factors, your passions and what makes you get out of bed and get to work – and don’t be afraid to be vocal.

• ‘You must feed your mind with reading material, thoughts, and ideas that open you to new possibilities’ – Oprah Winfrey, media mogul
What I love about the chapters in this book are that they open with inspirational quotes from leading women. This one from Oprah struck a chord with me, I think it’s important to never stop learning, no matter how busy you are. We certainly don’t all have time to pick up a masters degree but why not take a short online course in a skill you’d like to bring to your role, or check out local workshops?

As an industry wired to the world through our phones and social media, the benefits of turning away from the screen and going on airplane mode can really go a long way. The idea of digital detox is included in Otegha’s chapter on overcoming creative blocks, and she talks about the benefits of switching off and how useful it can be to remove digital distractions.

When you work long hours, have your business at your fingertips on your phone and laptop and work in a global industry the idea of balance is often difficult to even think about. But really, having some simple boundaries can help you both stay sane and stay successful. Otegha suggests keeping your facebook friend list a ‘work-free zone’ or having timings such as not replying to work emails past a certain time in the evening. Even small steps can go a long way here, so don’t forget it’s OK to say no.

Thank you, Otegha Uwagba for writing an accessible, no frills, Little Black (well, perfect shade of millennial pink) Book – to inspire me, motivate me, and encourage me – all in less than a day. I’m looking forward to checking out Otegha’s ‘In Good Company’ podcast, and recommending this book to every working woman I know!

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