Precious Gaza: Using Storytelling As A Tool For Advocacy
Precious Gaza has been instrumental in developing workshops for young digital entrepreneurs that are geared towards creating a better understanding of the mindset and business and how to sustain all round healthy business performance. In less than two years, she has trained, coached and taught over 5000+ individuals.
A sickle warrior and advocate who seeks to create more awareness of the condition and help other warriors find fulfilment and joy out of life despite their struggles, she tells the Guardian Life how being a warrior affected her career decision and how the multi-billion dollar industry that is digital entrepreneurship remains largely untapped by Nigerians.
Take us through your journey up to finding yourself in digital coaching?
I was in the UK for my masters and I had the desire to build a career as a development worker. The United Nations was a big dream but that did not work out quite well for me because everytime I got a job with a reputable non-profit organisation, I would be laid off because of my health. I was always falling sick. My health condition as a sickle cell warrior hindered me from keeping a job for more than three months. It was then I knew I needed to build a career that would enable me take health breaks when I need to without answering to anyone. One day, I randomly tweeted, “Please if you make money in your sleep, show me how”. My mentor, Brenda (Moments With Bren on twitter) sent me a DM and we hopped on a call for four hours that changed my life. She basically gave me a blueprint on how to monetise the skills I already had. That was how the journey began.
Would you say being a warrior has limited or affected your career choice?
It definitely did. I was in search of a career path that I can progress at my own pace and based on my skills, digital coaching was it for me. I decide the number of clients I take on per month, I have set weeks where I unplug and just rest. That is something a 9-5 can’t offer me.
What five major things should a woman entrepreneur do/avoid to build and sustain a successful business?
- First, believe whatever business venture you’re about to get into can be done and will be successful. Train your mind to be success-driven. This would help you when things are tough.
- The second is to be intentional about self-awareness. With self-awareness, you understand yourself, your business and what works for you according to your uniqueness and value. You would not be easily swayed by external factors. This will help you be extremely focused.
- Have a plan. Write down exactly what you want to achieve with your business, your exact target audience and the exact amount you want to be earning.
- Invest in building yourself. Do not underestimate the power of hiring a coach or business mentor. What a coach does is to save you from making mistakes. You follow a working framework or system and save time.
- Track progress. Review your activities and see what you can adjust. Be open to constructive criticism from trusted people.
You said you have trained over 5000 people in two years, of this number, how many are still thriving?
You know how Jesus healed the 10 lepers and only one came back to express gratitude? That’s how it is sometimes. You deliver a training and only like 10 or five at a time answer when you reach out for progress report. I stick with the people that are committed to growing. Not everyone that has gone through some form of training from me has intentionally implemented all that was taught so the shame of not being effective would set in and they ghost and I just never hear from them, it happens.
Apart from being a business coach, you’re also an emotional intelligence coach. What does this mean?
It means I help people understand their emotions, build resilience and a growth mindset. I help clients bring structure, strategy and clarity to their thinking. Which makes them set better goals, be more productive, make better decisions and use their greatest strength to their advantage.
What ways are you working to bring awareness and advocacy to sickle cell disease in Nigeria?
I think storytelling remains a very powerful tool for advocacy. That is what I have been doing and it has been very effective so far. I share my real experiences and debunk myths and I encourage more sickle cell warriors to do this. The more awareness, the better solutions we would get.
What keeps you going and positive during the times you feel like giving up?
I do not force myself to be positive. I believe in allowing myself to feel whatever emotions I am going through at the moment. The emotions are not the problem, it is the behaviour as a result of the emotion that we should look at. So what if you feel like giving up, that is normal. But what do you do? Give up? Certainly not me. For one, I never want to be poor. Also, I look at the type of life I want to live. One filled with impact and enjoyment. You need money for all of that. So even though I do not always feel positive, I choose to show up because I know where I am headed in life. I understand that life is not always rosy and that is okay.