‘I learnt not to downgrade my dreams to match my reality’
Adebola Famoroti is a business coach and customer relationship expert. She is passionate about helping working class individuals transition into successful entrepreneurs. An MBA graduate of Business School Netherlands, and an ESA Certified sponsorship practitioner, with a background in Computer Engineering, she is a successful professional who holds a certificate from Lagos Business School in Account Management Process. Famoroti was also one of the first two Nigerians to be certified and received a Diploma from the European Sponsorship Association in London, England. She is an experienced marketing communication professional, sponsorship and reputation management expert, with 15 years of experience, and has been able to raise the KPIs for different organisations. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, she talks about how she has mastered the art of customer relationships and turned it into a business.
You are passionate about helping people transition into entrepreneurship and build successful businesses, how have you been able to achieve this?
During my years in the corporate sector, I put out my best to achieve results for my organisation, but that wasn’t enough for me, because I knew I had to do something for myself. I discovered all my fears were all in my head and knew that in order to create the kind of wealth I wanted for myself, I needed to get out there.
Then, I decided to leave my job and start my business. That was how I moved from being an unsatisfied employee to building a successful business for myself. I was able to achieve this by mastering the art of effective Customer Relationship and Management. I have been able to understand how to make customers do the work, and I know that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to understanding a customer. I have used this method to help a lot of unsatisfied employees build their business and am willing to show many more this same strategy.
In your 15 years of practice, how have you been able to evolve?
In my 15 years experience in the corporate sector, I have managed corporate events, organised stakeholders committee, and launched campaigns, project management, risks, issues/crisis management, brand management, media engagement, government relations, corporate responsibility design for different multinational organisations. I have also become a successful professional who holds a certificate from Lagos Business School in Account Management Process.
I have built a strong work ethic and integrity, and apply my knowledge and creative energy in any situation I find myself in. I have achieved this milestone in my career through hard work and dedication, and have also mentored young aspiring marketing practitioners. In business, I have mastered the art of customer relationship, not only with my clients, but with everyone I come across with, and that has inspired me to coach other young entrepreneurs to master this art. I have helped many people transition from their career and jobs into successful entrepreneurs using excellent customer relationship tools.
You have worked in various sectors delivering leadership and innovation in your distinct roles, what have been the major challenges for you in the course of your work?
During the course of my 15 years working in the corporate sector, I realised that I lacked confidence in myself. The challenges I faced in terms of leadership is about ensuring I manage my stakeholders properly and also ensuring everything I do has a positive effect on the people around me; always trying to ensure that each time am on a project or doing something, the expected result has to be achieved. Making sure that the customers are happy and are satisfied at all time, both internal and external stakeholders; ensuring that my bosses are happy also ensuring that the external stakeholders are happy at all times.
What I’ve learnt is that as a leader, if you don’t even understand that you have, what it takes to get the result or what it takes to deliver on your promise then you would always have to second guess yourself. So, for me, second guessing myself was a great issue I had overcome, ensuring that I was setting the right examples for my team members was very critical for me, managing my stakeholder giving them the result they desire was also very tough, but I had to ensure that I was able to overcome that.
Also, in terms of setting goals and strategy for myself and my team that was a challenge, because I had to ensure that the goals that were set were something realistic and are things that would help the organisation, as well as ourselves, ensuring that it’s a win win situation for everyone involved was a major challenge I had to overcome.
What innovation are you bringing to the table at this time?
In terms of innovation, what I’m bringing to the table is offering a solution that is not theory based, but result based. I have always been someone that believes that irrespective of how you tell people what they need to do and you don’t show them how to do it, its like a waste of time, because a lot of people have heard what is wrong with them and some even know what is wrong with them, but a lot of people do not know how to fix it or how to make it right. So, what am bringing to the table is a result oriented programme, which means all the things you are going through as an employee in terms of lack of confidence, I bring to you how to get out of this phase and be able to become a successful entrepreneur.
The way I’ll do this is using my ultimate formula called the Detoxifying, Idea generation, Clienteling and Transitioning (DICT) programme. The Detoxifying stage is a very essential part of the process, because there is no way you can do anything, there is no idea anyone can give you, there is no help anyone can offer you if you do not believe that you are worthy to get that help. If you don’t even believe in yourself and you don’t believe you can be successful at doing something that you love by the time you go through this process and like I said, its result oriented, which means you start getting results instantly; its not just about sitting in a class and having a power-point presentation. But the fact is you are hands on, actually doing things and seeing the results immediately that is the uniqueness.
What tips do you have for women owned initiatives who are struggling to stay afloat?
They should keep pushing. They should understand that failure is not the end, rather it is the foundation of success. No business actually fails, but rather you should learn from the things that went wrong to make your business better.
Instead of giving up because of failure, have the courage to continue. Learn from your mistakes, and look for ways to improve the processes of your business. Just like Henry Ford said, ‘Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.’ Failure is part of the process, it’s the foundation of success. Rather than give up because of fear of failure, seek guidance from those who are succeeding in that line of business or industry. Garner more knowledge, restrategize and launch out again.
What key lessons have you learnt in your years of practice?
In my years of practice, I have learnt not to downgrade my dreams to match my reality, but to upgrade my beliefs to match my vision. I have discovered how to ditch my fears, get rid of my imposter syndrome; realise my value, potential, and worth.
I realised that in order to create the kind of wealth I want, I need to get out there, I discovered what I love to do and realised the only validation I need is mine.
How can we get more women to become successful and rise to the top as you have done? What tips do you have for younger women?
From the shackles of inferiority complex and low self-esteem, I have gained freedom to express myself and impact a lot of people across the world. Through effective customer relationships, I have been able to build quality and long-lasting relationships with high net-worth individuals.
I moved from an unsatisfied employee to building a successful business seamlessly. If I can, they can too. They just have to develop that mindset that it works and it can work for them.
How do you get inspiration and stay motivated?
I get my inspiration from the hunger to live a purposeful life. I’d once thought nothing good could come out of me. Coaching is not something I planned to do, it was something I stumbled on; it was something I was doing without even realising it. I generally liked advising people on their career decisions; I have been helping people for over 15 years, guiding them from point A to point B. This was something I did while I was working; I did it for several people and I didn’t realise at that point I was coaching.
What gave me joy was seeing the people I advised getting results, they became successful, and the advice I was giving them was working. I have been able to impact many people, telling them not to accept failure as an option. It’s okay if things don’t work out, but you can pick the lessons and move on.
How have you been able to combine family life and work and still be at your best?
My husband and kids have been very understanding, accommodating and supportive. They know that I’ve been called for this, and they give me their maximum support, hence, it has been easy to combine work and family, and still be at my best.
What is your life’s mantra?
My life’s mantra is believing in myself; I believe strongly that am able to do anything I put my mind to. I know that I am of value and I have something to offer the world. I refuse to stay in the shadow of anyone or anything or to be treated less than equal, I believe strongly that I can attain the kind of wealth I put my mind to. Most importantly, understand that I am worthy to live the life of my dream and to be passionate about every single thing I believe in.