Hello Africa! Welcome to a brand new week.
It is another Konnect Africa Interview and today, we have on our hot seat a Behavioural Change Advisor, a Life Coach, an Author who is doing great things in the area of anger management, emotional intelligence, stress management and peak performance.
Tell us about Sam Obafemi – family, ethnicity, education…
Samuel Obafemi is a Behavioural Change Advisor operating from the heart of Abuja. He lives with his Wife and 2 daughters. He was born in Zaria, Kaduna State in the late 70’s and schooled in the north all his life. He attended Nigerian Army Nursery and Primary School, Zaria before leaving for Airforce Military Primary School in Zaria.
When his parents relocated to Bauchi at the end of the 80’s, he finished his primary education at Sa’adu Zungur Primary School, Bauchi. He proceeded to Command Day Secondary School in Bauchi before leaving for United Faith Tabernacle College, Jos to obtain his SSCE. After graduation, he attended Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi where he studied Computer Science, a degree for which he holds a B.Tech (Hons).
You worked as an Employee for a while before you opted out and became an Entrepreneur. What informed this decision?
As an Employee, I guess I became impatient with the regimental rudiments of doing daily systemic tasks. I loved my job alright but my spontaneous competences and capacity to evolve my own solutions were not finding expression so the impatience became a limitation of its own. I had to step out to explore my own risks.
You are now a Life-Coach with specialization in anger management, emotional intelligence, stress management and peak performance. What were your goals when you started out? Looking back, how have you fared?
When I started out, I had a singular vision: to be the most effective therapist on earth in my time. Every other goals or ambitions were secondary. This has been a very arduous ambition thus far, especially because most people whom have been close to me were more pessimistic about the opportunities in that category of business than the potentials.
Most people felt it was not an area that customers would readily understand or pay for and so I had a lot of re-orientation and persistence to demonstrate. Today, I must confess that it has been worth every second of being ‘stubborn’. Now, I have created my own market and my own niche. I am still forging ahead.
What is your typical day like?
My typical day runs from 6.00am to approximately 2.00am daily, week days. Every morning, the day starts with family devotion then I write and post ACTIVATE!!!, my daily broadcast. Then I manage social media feedbacks for the posts and comments until 10AM when I switch off to focus on the day’s brief, which could be meetings or any projects ongoing.
At 2.00pm, I attend to social media feedback and emails until 3.00pm when I return to work until 6pm. I then come home to go on a walk with Alvin, my Alsatian Bitch between 7 and 7:30PM. I settle down for dinner while I watch Tinsel and then follow news updates via CNN, Channels TV and AIT. At 11.00pm, I return to do some reading and recording of ACTIVATE!!! Podcast for the next day. This continues until midnight to close at latest 2AM when I retire to sleep.
On Saturdays, I wake up late, and stay in bed unless I have an appointment or event. I spend most Saturdays at home doing virtually nothing but social media exploration. On Sundays, after church service, it is family time. I spend time with my girls to discuss their piggy bank and other school work related issues. Sunday afternoons are typically daughters’ time so I take the window as dynamically as it comes.
How long have you been a Life Coach? What are some of the major challenges you have encountered thus far?
I became a certified life coach in January 2011 through the Nigerian franchise of the UK licence (NCFE). This was at Olusola Lanre Coaching Academy (www.olcang.com). The initial challenges were the Nigerian misconception of what coaching is meant to be. Also, the proliferation of coaches where everyone is suddenly a coach.
This makes the market largely disrespected and undervalued. But as time went by, clients became more aware of what coaching entails and which coaches are top value. This has reduced the resistance and misconceptions.
Getting clients can be an uphill task for a Life Coach. How do you go about overcoming this challenge?
Getting coaching clients requires a lot of creativity because what we sell is not tangible. Clients must see the link between their problems and your solutions. Most of my clients have been via referrals and also via social media followers who have encountered my content and depth. My demand has been graciously on the rise and I have fulfilled most of my customer thresholds with results. I am thankful to God.
Some people reading this interview may be interested in becoming Life Coaches. What advice do you have for them?
First, be conscious that coaching is a life passion. You must be a living version of people’s solutions; irrespective of the niche you want to follow. Then you need to be certified. It is a shortsighted ambition to be a coach by ‘doing’ coaching without learning the tools via procedural classes.
So I will advise that coaches undertake courses with accredited bodies like OLCA, ICF-NIGERIA, INNOCENT MINDS TRAINING & EDUCATION, etc.
What is your inspiration? What keeps you going?
I am inspired by my desire to make our world heal. I am very concerned about the level of ignorance, abuse and emotional disconnect in our world. Many people can be more than they are but they are disorientated by lack of the right kind of emotional threshold, misplaced values, unfortunate environmental/political outcomes as well as deficient personal will.
In my lifetime, I want to close this gap as much as I can. And I believe behavioural change momentum is a huge vehicle to accomplish this.
What do you enjoy most about being a Life Coach?
The results from helping someone who hitherto was lost and now feels super self-motivated to fulfill life. That mother who has a dysfunctional child and whom, upon working with me, experiences the child succeeding in his or her pursuits. That teenager who was abused, molested or raped but whom, upon working with me, replaces that gap with an empowered state to live a dream.
That employee or business owner whose business or job is stalemate but upon hearing my words, applying my tools and meeting me, becomes a ‘A’ personality thereby getting top results. Is there any other fulfillment greater than these?
You are also a published Author with a new book in the market. Tell us about it, the inspiration behind it and where it can be gotten.
My Valleys is my fifth (5th) title and clearly my most popular book yet. It is a chronicle of my sojourn into self-employment, through naive yet dogged baby steps that have become a major selling point for my work and person.
This life transforming autobiography can be found on www.bookdey.com, www.kaymu.com.ng, in Laterna bookshop (VI Lagos), in Terrakulture bookshop (VI Lagos), Patabah bookshop (Surulere Shoprite), Assa’s Box (Twiiter@assasbox – Abuja) and School Resource Centre (Twitter@SRCNigeria – Abuja).
My official marketers are Vidiong Nigeria Ltd (+234-703-767-6603). Office and Home deliveries are available too, for a fee.
What are the biggest challenges you faced in the course of writing and publishing your Books?
I had no changes whatsoever since I am a very consistent writer. I have been writing daily since 2003. Also, since this is not my first work, book writing does not come with challenges for me. The only snag I encountered was with respect to my Publisher whose character almost marred all my timelines but it was nipped in the bud in the dying minutes.
What words of wisdom do you have for that young person who is considering writing a book?
Many people don’t write books because they judge themselves as ‘not knowledgeable enough’, ‘still inexperienced’ or ‘not old enough’. These are myths. I wrote my first every unpublished book at age 11. I wrote another as an undergraduate. There is always a market for any written work. Just know the market and talk to them, no matter your age or level of experience. You cannot write to everybody but you will have your market always.
How do you relax?
I do movies, I go into my guest house hideout to just watch movies and unwind or I take long roadside strolls. Travelling also does a lot for me.
Yes… Lanre Olusola (for Therapy), Praise Fowowe (for Family Life), Dr Steve Ogidan (for Strategy), and Dr Bala Mohammed (for Social Capital).
Where do you see yourself and your craft in another 5 years?
In 5 years’ time, I would be halfway into #Vision45, which is my 10-year goal to be a global force in Therapy. I have 9 years to go now. In 5 years’ time, I would have concluded many frameworks for Nigeria’s first full-fledged meditation centre called THE SERENITY PLACE. Already, my radio show, SERENITY LOUNGE (www.facebook.com/SerenityLoungeNG) has gone on air so we are laying the blocks one day at a time.
For you, Life is….
Permitting yourself to be who you are.
Africa will rise when…..
Africans start flourishing from within themselves than pursuing some western ambition. Let us use western technology to develop our competences then adapt these technologies for our local prowess. We are wasting valuable time.
What is that one thing you would like every African youth to know? Inspire a young African in a sentence
Know yourself. Be yourself. Grow yourself. What you don’t know, ask! What you know, use! In all things, seek wisdom because in the absence of this, you’d be frustrated.
Many thanks for sharing with us, Mr Obafemi
You are welcome.
You can connect with Mr Same Obafemi via Twitter: @sobafemi, on Instagram: @sobafemi, on Facebook.com/samOBAFEMI
He is also on Linkedin www.ng.linkedin.com/in/obafemi
What questions would you like to ask Mr Sam Obafemi? You can ask them in the comments section below. Cheers