Temi Ajibewa, an award-winning business coach, bestselling author, Personal Brand Strategist and C.E.O of Win or Win Consulting and Coaching Services Ltd in an exclusive conversation with David Oshin , discusses her journey, the place of mentoring and how to succeed in your business/career.
What inspired you to pursue a career in coaching?
It all began with a simple comment from someone in a training class who referred to me as ‘Coach.’ Gradually, others in the class started calling me ‘Coach’ as well. Although I initially felt unprepared and unqualified for this role, I had a pivotal encounter with an experienced Coach. I shared my doubts and fears with him, and he assured me that I possessed the qualities of a “street-smart coach,” having learned from real-life experiences. He encouraged me to pursue a coaching certification. In December 2015, I reached out to an NLP organization in Lagos, Nigeria, and enrolled in their training program, which took place in April or May of the following year. My motivation was simple: I wanted to do more, be more, and give more to my audience. This was the driving force behind my decision to pursue a career in coaching.
What is your most challenging experience as a coach?
There have been numerous challenges throughout my coaching journey, making it difficult to pinpoint just one. However, I’ve come to view challenges as an inherent part of life. In the beginning, a major obstacle was the societal perception of online business and the scarcity of the coaching industry. Labeling myself as an online business coach and making money from home was often seen as questionable, given the prevailing skepticism in Nigeria and Africa. Proving my legitimacy and assuring potential clients that they could trust me with their investments was a significant hurdle to overcome.
Another challenge was the absence of a mentor in my field of business. The first person I approached for guidance flatly refused, fearing competition. Despite my willingness to pay for mentorship, I couldn’t find a mentor.
Was there any time you felt like giving up?
Certainly, there were many moments when I contemplated giving up. The initial six months were particularly tough, resulting in financial losses due to the lack of mentorship and crucial insights. I had missed essential aspects of the business model, and my profits and capital were lost. It wasn’t until I found a coach who was willing to guide me, pointing out my mistakes and how to avoid them in the future, that I was revitalized.
A turning point for me occurred when I anchored my business to a higher purpose. I stopped considering it “Tem Ajibewa’s business” and instead made it a “God business.” This detachment from personal success or failure allowed me to focus on serving God and His people. With this mindset, I have a mantra: “Whatever I cannot serve to God, I cannot serve to His people.” This perspective empowers me to show up at 100% in all my classes, as I imagine God is present, and I must deliver.
As an award-winning coach, what sets you apart from your competitors?
I believe several qualities set me apart from my competitors, and I consider these my superpowers, bestowed upon me by a divine force.
1. Clarity: I possess the gift of clarity. When people seek my guidance, I have a unique ability to ask the right questions and provide them with a clear understanding of what they should do and how to do it.
2. Execution: My ability to execute swiftly and efficiently is remarkable. I don’t hesitate; I take action and continuously improve along the way.
3. Speed: I work at an incredibly fast pace, often surprising others with how quickly I get things done.
4. Spirituality: I’ve learned to lean into my spirituality. I encourage my clients to set their expectations and connect with their inner selves to understand what they seek to gain from our sessions. This spiritual connection enhances the value they receive from my coaching.
For someone looking up to you as a mentor in coaching, what’s your advice?
Soak in as much as you can from mentors. Start with their books and have a visual representation of who you want to be. Enroll in their programs, watch their videos, and keep them on your vision board for inspiration.