My name is Emmanuel Olatunji. Today, I will be sharing my story with you, particularly, on my journey to becoming the Exceptional Being that people know me to be today. I want to encourage you to read this piece with rapt attention. And in the end, I hope that my story will not only inspire you, but it will also encourage you to live your dreams.
It is no longer a news to those who know me pretty well that I came from a very poor background. Yes, I came from a poor background, I mean a very poor one. We were not in the middle class but we were poor. In addition to that, my family was a polygamous one; my father married more than one wife. Although he was no longer with his first wife when he married my mother. My mother was his second wife and they are no longer together too.
My family is that of a mixed religion too. This implies that my mother is a Muslim, while my father is a Christian by religion. As a result, I was named Emmanuel Olatunji in the church I was christened. In fact, I was told my name was given to me by a prophetess who was said to be in the spirit. Smiles!
My mother gave birth to four children with my Dad; I am the second child. However, two of my siblings died and my mother was left with two other children (my sister and I ). This makes me her first child.
My father is a hardworking man. Yes we were poor and I never got to enjoy what many children enjoy in their childhood days, yet we were never hungry. My dad took care of our feeding and welfare until events took a different turn in my family.
As a young boy, I experienced hatred firsthand. I can hardly remember experiencing love in our home. I am pretty sure my mom and dad had lovely memories of themselves in the pasts as lovers, but ever since I got to the age of accountability and I was able to understand the situation of things in the family, I didn’t experience any iota of love whatsoever.
My dad loves his children no doubt, but the love between my dad and my mom at this period of time had already dwindled. I don’t like saying this but I must admit here that I experienced domestic violence firsthand. It was a fearful experience for me as a child. It was never a pleasant sight to behold. I remember I usually cringed in fear. As tender as I was, I could understand everything going on. Things became so bad that one day, we discovered that our father had left home. This was one of the most difficult periods of my life as a child, especially for my mother who had to cater for two children without having a job at hand (my father never allowed her to work when they were together).
To cut the long story short, my childhood was filled with distasteful experiences. From having to grow up with a single parent (I spent the most of my childhood days with my dad and I was away from my mother for several years) to falling inside the well (I fell into a deep well but thank God I am alive today), the many sicknesses (I was constantly suffering from one ailment or the other) I suffered from, the stigma, and finally to growing up as a lonely teenager, my childhood was indeed adventurous and full of painful memories.
The Beginning of Change
Because I was constantly falling sick as a young boy, I was taken to several churches for deliverance. I was taken to the river to be bathed, and finally I was taken to a herbalist, but despite all these, my sickness persisted. I was suffering from Asthma. And it was so chronic that it made me to be stigmatized. People saw me as someone who was alive but dead. They were always careful to relate with me. This made me result to playing with myself and this was why I grew up lonely.
Things continued this way until the day I met Jesus Christ. I was invited to a church and it was there I listened to a sermon on salvation and with the help of God, I got saved. Until I got saved and discovered my purpose in life, my life never had a meaning. Let me quickly tell you about my encounter with God.
I was in my room lying flat on a sick mat (there was no sofa in our home then) when I heard God telling me to surrender my life to Him. I was the only one in the room but I heard someone called my name. I’ve never heard God spoken to me before. That day was the first. When I realized it was God speaking to me, I replied Him. All the conversation was going on in my heart. I couldn’t even open my mouth to pray neither could I even kneel down. I was just lying helplessly on the mat, but right there God heard my voice when I reached out to Him and it was there I got saved. This was the beginning of a new change in the history of my life. This change also brought me to the point where I discovered my purpose in life and I had to start living an exceptional life.
If I was told I was going to seek a job when I left secondary school, I would deny it. But life happened and it turned out that I had to start caring for myself at age sixteen. When I was with my mother I was practicing the Muslim religion, but when I got saved as a Christian, I couldn’t practice the religion again and at that point in my life, it was my mother who was my only source of income. No one else could cater for me.
Painfully, I got to a crossroad — a point where I had to choose between the care of my mother and my new-found faith in Christ. It was not an easy decision but I chose my new-found faith in Christ and that was what led me into searching for job. With the help of my church at that time, I got a job as a marketing officer in a company at Surulere. It was not easy. The company needed fresh graduates but I was only a secondary school leaver. However, I needed the job because I had no other hope of survival hence I was completely ready to give my all.
Thankfully, the CEO of the company gave me a benefit of a doubt and I was screened for two weeks. I went through several screenings and in the end, I got the job on probation. Because I knew I was the only teenager (thank God for my mature face LOL!) and the only one without a university certificate, I went all the way to give my all to the company and in less than six months I emerged as one of the team leaders of the company and graduates worked as my subordinates. This was my first experience as an employee.
At a point, things got better between my mother and I. She finally agreed that I could now go ahead with my faith in Christ. At this point, I had left my first job because of change of location. My second job was as a teacher. All the while when I was working as a marketing officer, I was still processing my admission into the university. Let me tell you now before I proceed, it took me four good years before I could finally secure an admission into the university. No, I wasn’t that dull, but my job was demanding and it was the little time I had in the night I usually used to read. Despite the fact that I always tried my best to pass JAMB, Post JAMB kept drawing me back.
As a result, I had to keep working and trying. This time around, I went into teaching because I have always loved teaching. So, I got employed in a school around my area and because I have learnt to always give my best at what I do, even though I still didn’t have a certificate then, I was always giving a leadership role to play. When the principal of the school resigned, I assumed his position as the school supervisor until the priorietress employed another principal. So, yes you can say that I have run a primary and secondary school without having a university certificate and this was even in the midst of those who were more qualified. It is a long story so let me just end it there.
I’ve done a couple of other jobs too even after I gained admission into the university to study Political Science. I was still doing one job or the other. But let me take you into my journey into entrepreneurship.
Journey Into Entrepreneurship
I have always known that I would not reach the point where I would be ultimately fulfilled if I kept working for someone without building my own enterprise. Last year, I decided to take a bold step to go into entrepreneurship fully after I had attended several courses and also learnt from different experts.
Truth is, since the reality of making money online dawned on me, I have always loved the thought of making money online. I knew this is how I would love to be making my own money too. Whenever I saw people sharing testimonies of how they were making money online, I always wondered how they did it. This curiosity made me put in for several online courses but until 2016, I never executed any of the ideas I got from those training programs because most of the trainings I attended with regard to making money online didn’t really appeal to me. They were great training programs but I wasn’t just prepared for their type. I attended courses on mini importation business, Forex trading, Email marketing to mention a few.
But I just needed something I could enjoy doing for hours while also getting paid for it without even being restricted by time and space. None of the aforementioned means was what I was looking for. The thought of making money online by doing what I love alone made me feel so excited. However, it was not until late 2015 that I got my big break. I realized that I had a huge problem but my life started taking a new turn when I discovered my purpose in life. It was this thought that made me resolve to start teaching people about Purpose.
Nevertheless, before I started, I still went out to meet four different people who I trust to get their insights. I went to my pastor, I spoke to my mother in Christ, I spoke to my mentor and yes, I spoke to my mother. And guess the most interesting thing? Everyone of them gave me a huge “YES!” They encouraged me to pursue my dreams and that was how I began my journey as a coach and an online entrepreneur. My dream has started coming true!
In January 2016 I paid a fantastic designer then, Fola Studios, to design my first flyer. So, if you ask me today how much I used to start my brand, I would tell you that I began my business with just 10,000 naira (the money I used for my flyer).
The very first day I began the publicity of the class, I got several negative feedback. In fact, the feedback were enough to make me question my own purpose of existence. However, I continued and surprisingly eight people registered for my course within just few weeks. It was like magic to me; it was as if they had just been waiting for me. That was how I went on from creating a course on Purpose Discovery to creating a course on how to help individuals build a successful business from their talent.
Today, by the grace of God, individuals from India, South Africa, Ghana, England and Nigeria had registered and attended my online classes. Furthermore, I have even gone to helping people building a business around their talent/skill/expertise just like I did. Few months ago, a university student sought my services and today I have helped her build her own brand. She has her own book, built her blog and she’s now running her own community. You can imagine the feeling I get when I think about the thought of helping people live their dreams too.
This year, I co-founded a start-up organization with a friend from India named Olalekan Michael. The link to our startup is alphale.com. We will be launching it soon. We first launched ebookstore.com.ng but our dream is bigger than that, hence we built Alphale. The work is still in progress though, but we know that in few weeks or months to come, our name will be heard.
I would have loved to go into the details of my story but time and space won’t allow me. However, I will like to leave you with my concluding message.
One of my favorite quotes is,
Don’t allow your background to put your back to the ground.
When I think about the story of my life and all the challenges I have had to go through, I feel that this quote is talking to me daily.
Sincerely, I felt I was the most unlucky person to be born and I felt life was just so unfair to me that I probably shouldn’t be existing. Did I tell you that I almost committed suicide at a point? Yes, it was that serious.
In fact, at a point in my life I had to battle with low self-esteem but the day I discovered my purpose I knew there is something bigger for me out there in the world. It was from that point I started living an exceptional life. Today people call me the Exceptional Being, but becoming EB was not a child’s play. The journey was full of thorns but it was worth treading.
I could have allowed my background to stop me. I could have allowed people to stop me, but no, I never did. I went out to pursue my dreams and today I am actually living my dreams and I am helping people to live theirs too.
Last year, I published my first book and I made six figures from it in Naira. Today, I earn money from the comfort of my home by creating solutions for people around the world. No, I have not gotten to where I am going, but I am no longer where I used to be. I must admit that life is really beautiful when you begin living your dreams. I can say that anywhere.
Dear reader, I don’t know what your background is like. I don’t know whatever you may be facing, it might be your life experiences are even more distasteful than mine. I don’t know and I don’t really care to know, but I want to let you know that irrespective of your background, there is greatness in you and no matter what people say about you, you can be whatever you want to be. Discover your purpose and live your dreams!
I wish I can really go into the details of telling you my stories but time and space would not allow me. However, you can drop your questions in the comment box below and I am definitely going to answer them all. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to carefully read this piece.
God bless every reader of this post.
Remember to be the best version of yourself always!
I’m Emmanuel Olatunji, the exceptional being.
© 2017, Emmanuel Olatunji. All rights reserved.