Chief (Mrs) Elizabeth Ozua is one of the successful businesswomen in the UK. She is a big corporate player who works with a big brand, MARY KAY cosmetics UK. Elizabeth Ozua was born in the UK and raised in Nigeria. She received her BA and Master’s degrees from the University of Benin, Benin City and University of Ibadan respectively. Following a stint as a Lecturer at her alma mater, Elizabeth relocated to her birthplace, London with her family, where she worked in the Jubilee Line extension project for London Transport.
While working with JLE project, she met the person who introduced her to Mary Kay Cosmetics, 23 years ago. Impassioned, consistent and committed effort led her to become the number one Mary Kay Independent Sales Director in the UK and she later debuted as the very first [Mary Kay] National Sales Director in the country.
Elizabeth has unfailingly held her position as number one for 14 consecutive years and counting. At present, she teaches, motivates and leads over 3000 women within her capacity as a National Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She has received a number of prestigious awards, all expense paid trips, gifts and a lot of recognition from the company. In addition to running her Mary Kay business, Elizabeth is an international speaker, motivator and trainer – mentoring people across the globe. She believes fervently that God had no time to make nobodys and that we are all somebody.
Her passion lies in enriching the lives of all who cross her path. Her motto is “help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want.” Elizabeth is quietly and privately involved in charitable work. She is married to Dr Peter Ozua and they have two children. Below are excerpts of her recent interview with City People.
Tell us about yourself briefly?
I am, Chief (Mrs) Elizabeth Ozua. I am married to Chief (Dr) Peter Ozua and we are blessed with 2 children, Peter jnr. and Assumpta who is married to Horia. Presently I am an Independent National Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics UK Ltd. I am also a motivational speaker, a trainer,
encourager and I mentor people.
Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am happiest when I help encourage people to succeed in whatever they choose to do.
What is the secret of your success?
Focus, Diligence and a positive attitude. Also, being grateful for what I have but expectant of what is to come and being willing to go out and work hard to get what I want.
Who gave you the best advice that impacted your life the most and what was the advice?
My late Dad, Chief C. C. Mordi Esq. He always impressed on me that, there is dignity in labour and to always fight for what I want and believe in. He always encouraged me to do more and be more. And above, all to have integrity, for a good name is better than wealth.
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three
books that have greatly influenced your life?
A lot of books have influenced me. Too numerous to list here. However, the 3 below are the ones I have given out most as gifts to people.
- Mary Kay Ash’s Biography.
- How To Win Friend’s and Influence People. Dale Carnegie.
- People Management by Mary Kay Ash.
What has purchase of £100 or less most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
A book called; The Power by Rhonda Byrne.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
When I was working towards becoming the first National Sales Director in Mary Kay UK, I dug deep, worked so hard, made the seemingly impossible possible and did everything I needed to to meet the goal. I did everything that was required of me and yet I was not appointed. I felt like I had failed and publicly at that. I felt as though I had not just failed myself but the women I lead plus my family and friends as well who were encouraging me. However, I knew I couldn’t give up so I had my pity party and then started the work again – not just for myself but for the aforementioned people. By breaking the belief barrier and achieving my goal of becoming a National Sales Director in the UK and the first person to reach that position in the U.K. I am reaping the rewards today and so are many others.
My favorite quote is; “I can do All things through Christ who Strengthens Me”. Philippians: 4 v13.
What was the greatest challenge you faced on your way to the top and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge was learning to ignore the negative people and being able to bounce back from disappointments and maintaining a positive mental attitude.
You mentor a lot of people, who are your own mentors?
This is a very challenging question. I have people whom I admire and learn from. At this point not any who directly mentors me, though I am working on that.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?).
Help enough people in life get what they want and you will get what you want. And “You see things as you are, not as they are”.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
This may sound odd. However, it has been Investing my time, energy and resources in my husband Chief (Dr) Peter Ozua.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
This may come as a surprise. I actually love gardening. I find it therapeutic.
How do you overcome challenges in life?
By praying, meditating and reading.
How do you juggle all the things you do?
I always make a list and prioritise. Lately, I have learnt how to delegate things that I do not need to personally do.
What is your typical day like?
It is difficult to describe a typical day as most days are varied and I tend to respond to what I have to do for that day. However, in recent weeks I am endeavouring to get into a routine of wake up, pray, meditate, exercise and then tackle my day’s list.
How do you keep your marriage going?
With intention and sincerity. We are both busy people but we make time for one another. We are considerate of each other’s feelings and supportive of each other’s goals and ultimately, or rather, most importantly for us, we are very good friends. We are both responsible for making our marriage work and we take that responsibility very seriously. We encourage each other to speak up if there’s anything we are not happy about. We never get others involved in settling our disputes. These and many others have led to the success of our relationship thus far.
What has been the greatest lesson that you have learnt about life?
Don’t take things too personally. Everyone is fighting their own battles. Sometimes when someone is unkind, it may not be about you. They might simply be projecting and transferring their negative feelings to those they come into contact with. Also, what other people think of you is none of your business unless they are close [trusted] friends or family.
In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
The belief that; “You see things as you are not as they are”. And the reminder that; “As you sow, so shall you reap”. Inevitably what you send into the lives of others, comes back to you.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real
world”? What advice should they ignore?
I will remind them that: Comparison is the thief of joy. Run your own race and follow your instincts.
Also, be kind even when people aren’t being kind back – we should not give to receive. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do and you will invariably reap the benefits in other ways. Always remember that as you sow, so shall you reap. They should ignore the desire to negatively compete with others and never take advice from people who they will not swoop places with.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
To get the most you can from people. And putting themselves first in a negative way.
In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)?
What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
I am constantly reminded that, You cannot spread yourself too thinly. Learn to pace yourself and say no to what you cannot handle. You are no good to anyone when you are distracted and burnt out. So say NO nicely, when you can’t handle something.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I ask myself what the problem is. If I know then I ask myself if I can solve it. If the answer is yes, then I write down the steps I need to take (in small chunks) and action them. If I cannot solve the problem then I try not to let it overwhelm me. I pray about it and leave it to God. Other things I do are travel or garden to take my mind off things.
What other thing engages your time outside of work?
Travel, reading, cooking.
How would you like to be remembered?
As one who encouraged many to be their best version of God’s creation, in the understanding that God had no time to create a nobody, we are all somebody’s. I also endeavoured to make the world a better place.