Entrepreneur C.E. Okwera launched her London-based consultancy, the Profyle Group, in 2010, offering project management services to multinational financial institutions. Since then she has added additional wings to her business, most recently the launch of a new publishing company, Profyle Publishing.
What do you currently do?
I am currently taking on various roles within the Profyle Group business including completing client requests via ‘The Concierge’ and reviewing policy documents as part of ‘The Consultancy’. However, my main routine tasks have been around Profyle Publishing.
My consultancy contract that had been scheduled to start on the first day of lockdown was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After the initial shock and disappointment, I decided to view the situation as an opportunity to revisit my mystery thriller books and publish them. My first published book, ‘Mr Davies’, was very successful and is now an Amazon bestseller. This along with the positive reviews and demand from my readers, propelled me to publish all of series one which consists of four books.
Since the release of the books, I have been spending most of my time working on promotion such as hosting book club Zoom calls, narrating chapters via my podcast and turning Mr Davies into a script
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Each strand of the Profyle Group business has been inspired by a problem that I or someone I know needed solving.
For example, The Concierge sprouted from my friends and colleagues asking me for travel tips about the countries I had been to. I began creating itineraries for them that included the best transfers from the airport, best hotels, things to do and must-see views. This then grew to offer a general virtual assistant and errand running service.
Another example is that I decided to shorten my mystery thriller books and make them one-hour reads because my friends often said that they would start books but not complete them. I reengineered my books so that readers can be whisked away, drawn into the story and given an ending within an hour. I also ensured the books were lightweight and compact so readers could take them to read in shop queues during the lockdown.
Who do you admire?
I admire anyone that remains positive about finding a solution and doesn’t let their challenges defeat them. People that hit barriers of adversity and manage to battle through are admirable, such as J.K. Rowling. I think her ability to transform her feelings of depression into a character for her book shows great strength of mind in knowing that ‘this too shall pass’ and going on to transform the negative experience into a positive, successful outcome.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t often look back. I learn lessons from my mistakes and then aim to improve on how I approach things the next time. Everything I have done, including the mistakes I have made, has built my skills and confidence. All my experiences have led to this current path where I am now working on things I am passionate about and I enjoy logging on to my laptop to complete a day’s work. I have arrived at a comfortable synchronization of logical and creative thinking and I look forward to new opportunities.
What defines your way of doing business?
‘Concise and Personable’ would best define my way of doing business.
Concise because I like to get to the crux of the matter quickly but I’m also patient in delivering the solution, to ensure that the client or the reader is on the journey with me. The fact that my mystery thrillers are short, gripping stories conveys this.
Personable because I believe to satisfactorily deliver on your client’s requirements you must have empathy, be transparent and be able to build a genuine rapport with them. The Zoom calls I host with my book club help me to develop great relationships with my readers and understand what in the books draw them in, what questions they still have and their emotional reactions to the plot twists.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
My advice would be to choose to do something you’re passionate about. Something that when the alarm goes off you don’t have to press snooze five times before you jump out of bed.
Listen and learn; you can never know it all. There is always something new that could propel you to the next level. See change as innovative and remain flexible. But more than all this seize the day, when opportunity knocks even if you weren’t ready, get ready!
C.E. Okwera is the founder of The Profyle Group and Profyle Publishing. Her first series of thrillers comprise Mr Davies, 1A Penn Road: Be Careful Who You Let In, Jay Deux: One Wedding And A Memorial, and The Gentleman: Unravelling Of A Mastermind. They are all available on Amazon, priced £7.50 in paperback and £4.75 as eBooks.
Getting To Know You: C.E. Okwera