Your preferred name and title (What you do)
Afua Agyeiwaa-Boateng, Sales Development Manager, PartyLite Canada
A bit about you and where you are from.
I was born in Ghana, to a University Professor (I call him Papa) and a High School teacher (I call her Mama). Due to the political climate in the country at the time, my father decided to move his family first to Kenya and then to Canada where we arrived when I was 5 years old.
If any of you come from a first generation immigrant family, I am sure that you can identify with some of the things that I am about to tell you about my childhood.
My parents were hard working. They had to change their careers and priorities to make a good life for their 4 children and they were strict! Failure was not an option for them and risks were not taken lightly. They did everything in their power to make sure that I and my siblings would succeed in Canada, and that we would one day become independent adults no matter where we lived.
Why am I telling you this? Because it affected how I launched my career as a young adult. I have my parents to thank for my work ethic, my perseverance, and above all, my self-confidence. In the face of obstacles, deceptions and discrimination, I have always been proud of who I am and where I came from.
What is one of your biggest accomplishments so far?
After about 3 months into my job after completing my studies, I had a breakthrough moment when I understood that I REALLY didn’t like being an engineer!
Then one day, my life was about to take a turn and lead me down a path I never knew existed.
I was shopping at a mall when a couple of ladies approached me about their Direct Sales business and offered to give me a free pampering session to try their products.
I agreed for 2 reasons:
1. I had nothing better and exciting to do
2. At that point, I was 24 years old and I had never worn make-up in my life. So I thought, why not?
That innocent pampering session led me to eventually quit my job as an engineer and embark on a journey of entrepreneurship in Direct Sales.
That was the beginning of my biggest accomplishment to date – changing my career path. By changing careers, I was able to REDEFINE myself.
This is when I started to get to really know Afua.
The next 5 years, I spent learning all that I could about direct sales, personal development, and entrepreneurship.
Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Professionally, I am responsible for coaching PartyLite Canada’s top performing sales force members in Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada.
On a personal note, I am a proud wife, mother of 2 boys, awesome big sister, fantastic daughter and a fun-seeking friend!
I love chocolate and almost anything that starts with the word “mini” like mini-cupcakes, mini-vacations, mini-makeovers, etc.
What is the best career advice you have received?
The best career (and life) advice that I have received to date, came from a previous Director of Sales,
Deirdre. When I was feeling the pressure of negativity from people whom I valued and cared about me, she said,
“Afua, before you take advice and counsel from anyone, look at where they are today. If you would change places with them and aspire to be like them, follow their advice. If not, say ‘thank you’ and seek a mentor who has walked your desired path and succeeded.”
Can you tell us whether and how your background has been an asset in your career?
My diverse life experiences alone set me apart from others in my career. Let’s be candid. How many other 1st generation immigrants, pharmaceutical engineers with email marketing, B2B sales experience and a history of success in direct sales from cosmetics to home fragrance & decor do you know? These experiences allow me to sincerely say that I can relate to almost anyone!
I understand the desire people have to increase their income, provide for their families, enjoy their relationships, and be validated in their life choices. I also understand the balancing act and roller-coaster experience of all entrepreneurs and large organizations.
By pinpointing and understanding where people and organizations are coming from, I am able to drive progress in a way that is unique to me..
What is your vision for the African Diaspora in Canada ?
I am eternally grateful for my background, my parents, my family, my friends and my many mentors to date. I am here today as a witness of all these life events because of them.
In fact, this is my vision for all members of the African Diaspora in Canada.
That we recognize the value of our upbringing and our cumulative life experience and see them as ASSETS by which we can support each other and mentor the next generation of passionate professionals..