With top recognitions like Business Coach of the Year 2018 by Entrepreneur Africa, Coach of the Year 2019 by Prestige Awards and Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 by Women on Fire Initiative in her kitty, Temi Ajibewa, MD/CEO, Temi Asabi Global already has her name etched in gold, but the delectable business coach with a passion for the womenfolk appears to just be taking off. She shares her story with DORCAS EGEDE.
You’ve made quite a name coaching women in business, particularly on how to take advantage of the online space. What’s the untold story?
I have always sold things, but I began to sell things officially in 2006 after I encountered a man, who said you can’t solve human problems and ever go broke. So, I asked myself what human problems I could solve. As an undergraduate, I began to wash clothes for people, help with school registrations, literally solved human problems to make money.
The beginning of this phase of my life however was in 2014. I was pregnant with my first child and couldn’t do much physically. Because I was also schooling, I became somehow broke. But somehow, my Blackberry phone got bad and I got a Techno Android replacement. I discovered that it cost more to stay online on an android phone than on a blackberry. Then it became necessary for me to source cheap data bundles and got connected to a guy.
I got data bundle from the guy by sending him recharge card. I was surprised that someone somewhere I didn’t know sent me data bundle and it worked. That was my first interaction with online business. I was intrigued and the hustler in me began to question this guy. I asked him to teach me the business for a fee, but he bluntly refused, saying he couldn’t set himself up for competition.
Using the code he sent me to check my account balance, I went on Google and searched for everything I needed to start the business. The code took me straight to MTN website. I learnt that it was a legitimate way of buying data in bulk and selling in bits. So, I began the business. Unfortunately for me, the website only taught the codes, not the business. There are intricacies behind all the codes and I lost money in my third month of venturing into the business. This made me seek mentoring.
I found someone who agreed to teach me for a fee, and what he taught me has shifted my life significantly. Within four months, I had cumulatively made a million naira from what I began with just N10,000. Let me quickly add that the success I recorded was not so much about the business, as it was about its marketability. How marketable is that business you want to start? Is it going to meet a need around you? If not around you, can you push it to where it’s needed?
I began to teach other women. I’ll hold Whatsapp and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) group classes and teach them for a fee. No one taught me for free, so it would be unfair of me to teach other people for free. Besides, when you don’t pay money, you don’t pay attention.
I was making up to N400,000 in a month; some months, I made over. That whole experience gave birth to the business of coaching. The women began to call me coach. I didn’t even know what it meant to be a coach, but the calling was strong. I began to research about business coaching, went for more certification and mentoring and soon became my own person. Now I help other coaches monetise their skills.
How many women have you been able to reach with your trainings and mentoring programmes?
Quite a number. In our Facebook community, we have over 10,000 women. Also, on our mailing list, we have over 10,000 women. I teach these business principles online and also hold live events. We’ve had four editions of our live events and we have trained over 600 women at once in a live class.
We call it the Seven Figure Business Workshop, where we basically teach women how they can harness the power of the internet to make money. We also have an online academy, themillionairehousewife.com and we’ve been able to train many women using this platform. In the last five years, more than 20,000 women have taken some of my courses, enrolled for mentorship and read my book, How to make millions in your nightgown.
Tell us about some of your mentees that stand out and how much satisfaction comes with seeing people you have mentored blaze the trail.
There are so many of them; people like Frances Aborigo, who now does graphics designs and trains other women; Bell Nebolisa, who helps small businesses grow their business; Yinka Ojumola, who now has a seafood business; Oyeyipo Funmi, who is into health coaching, and many others. Recently, a woman reached out to me, her handle is @bonusmumng, and she said to me, “You did this. You inspired me to go all out. You have no idea what you’re doing, but you birthed this vision inside me.”
It’s so beautiful to know that just by living your life, others are being touched, liberated, and people are having that psychological release to dream. People buy my books and videos and still ask me to please allow them send me money because they feel they underpaid for the resources they bought. People come for my live events and they want to pay more because they feel what they got from the event is worth more than they paid for. And I do these things from a place of rest. It’s not a job for me, this is me just doing what I love and it’s bringing liberation to people. The joy is indescribable.
Why women? And would you grant requests from men?
The peculiarities surrounding women was why I chose to stay with women. As a wife and mother, I understand the whole stress attached. I also believe strongly that when you empower a woman you’ve empowered a family. An empowered woman will raise empowered children who will become empowered citizens of the world.
I believe that when you have values, you have everything, so I try to shape the thoughts and minds of women, because when they are better people, they’ll be in a good place to train their children and will not be economically liable. I think that it is witchcraft for any woman to choose to be a full-time housewife and do nothing. If your husband insists, I say you insist as well. Do something from home, however little. Leverage on the online space and do something awesome for yourself.
However, I have male mentees. A few days ago I had a live session with my mentees, and out of ten, two were men and they are boldly so.
Let’s talk about the challenges and how you surmount them.
Let me first of all say that there are still challenges I’m yet to surmount. One challenge I had was my husband. Initially, he didn’t understand the whole idea of being in the house and pressing your phone from morning till night. Are you doing internet fraud? He also wasn’t comfortable with people calling me at odd hours to buy data bundle. There was a day he smashed and broke my phone. But when I dared to stay focused and we began to see results, he became not just my fan, but my mentor. When I get stuck sometimes, I call him and ask for guidance, which he provides.
Men are majorly result-oriented. When I gifted my family with our first vacation abroad, it became clearer to him that spending hours on my phone was profitable after all. It is also very important for women to marry men who can carry their burdens. There is a burden to fulfilling destinies, impacting lives and going global. Many ladies are particular about men, who have big TV, big cars, who can afford to buy them human hair. But, does this man have the capacity to carry your vision?
Another challenge is the entitlement people have about information. They think it’s just information and it should be free if I really want to help. But I’m not one to submit to bullying or emotional blackmail. I’m helping you by sharing information with you for a token. We have many successful African entrepreneurs who have refused to write books, mentor, share their knowledge, and legitimately so. They don’t owe you anything. If they choose to share with you, you pay and thank them, because they got to where they are today with grits, sacrifices, blood, sweat and tears.
I also have challenges with some people who would buy my courses, take my classes, not implement, and complain that it didn’t work for them.
Let’s talk about the high points.
High points for me will be when I win awards, like winning the Business Coach of the Year 2018 by Entrepreneur Africa. Recognition is important to me because a lot of people are doing many noble things and no one is noticing them. I won Coach of the Year 2019 by Prestige Awards, in recognition of my contribution to the coaching industry. I also won the Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 by Women on Fire Initiative.
As a trained lawyer, do you sometimes miss the Law profession?
Never! Since my Call to Bar, I have not worn my wig and gown. I don’t think Law is the right fit for me.
What drives you?
Initially, my drive was to show my father that he made a mistake by rejecting me. Later on, my children became my motivation; I wanted to leave a legacy for them. They soon became too small to be my motivation. So right now, I get my energy from that place of awareness that my life, friends, family, children, husband, is too small to be the only reason why I’m alive. Now, I am motivated by the word of God that says “Ye are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.” Until the world hears my name, I’m not fulfilled.