Full name: Remilekun Manoela Carolino Owadokun
Location: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Current title/company: Founder, Total Makeover Program Academy
Remi Owadokun of Total Makeover Program Academy has been a bestselling author twice). She’s certified by the biggest nutrition school in the world, she owns/runs an online school, has a Google app, and has been featured on top-notch websites and magazine.
She'll be sharing her views on people skills and networking, whether or not she feels they are important to business/career success.
I met Remi at a Social Media Week (SMW) event this year and she has quickly become one of my favorite people.
What was your first job and how did you land that position?
My first big job was working as the Secretary to the Brazilian defense attaché to Nigeria. I got the job mostly because I speak Portuguese. I went to get my passport renewed and the woman in charge asked if I spoke Portuguese, I said yes and she told me they had been looking for someone and asked me to apply right away. The job had been vacant for one year as all the applicants did not speak the required language. I was 19 years old and was earning NGN 80,000 a month. I got a pension of NGN 200,000 when I left! Girl I was on a roll! (Please don’t ask how I spent that money)
Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
I am an introvert for sure.
Your book, HOW I LOST 40 KG: The Journey That Changed My Life, was the No.1 Bestseller on Amazon, what encouraged you to start writing? What has been the most rewarding experience?
I always wanted to write, since I was a teenager. I just thought people would not value my work because I was young. I thought people would ask questions like “what has this one even experienced in life that she wants to write about?”
Looking back, I wish I had not given in to that fear; there are so many people my age or younger who would have found what I had to say helpful. So if you are feeling the way I was and reading this, don’t let the voices in your head, drown you, swim to the surface.
In high school, my English teacher said I would not make it as a journalist because I was always getting D’s...lol. So that also discouraged me but once I was able to lose weight, have a successful blog and see how much my story interested people, I thought it would be great to pen it down and make it available to the world.
How have people impacted your career?
My entire existence has always and will always be impacted by people. My drive, my aspiration, my vision, my work, everything is connected to people who I look up to, people who support me, people who I support, people who lead me, people who I lead, people I serve and those who serve me. I want to do better, I want to be better because of the people connected to me.
What do you mean when you say you want to do better because of the people connected to you?
I want to be better because there are many lives connected to mine.
People who look up to me, people who I give psychological permission, people who watch me, people I coach, people who read my books and articles.
I want to be better because I want to give my kids a model that will remind them every day that they are their only limitation.
I want to give my husband a wife that he is proud of and challenged by.My mother a daughter she is proud of, my brothers a sister they are proud of and the world, one more person who has left her mark and I can't accomplish that by being average. I can only do that every day by deciding to be better.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD ACCESS TO AN OPPORTUNITY YOU OTHERWISE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD ACCESS TO BECAUSE OF A PERSON OR PEOPLE YOU KNEW?
Oh yes! I got to visit Europe on a private jet because of a dear friend's connection. Best experience ever!
I got to work with the Governor of Lagos State, based on a recommendation from a friend, another great experience.
There are countless others I have probably taken for granted.
Do you think networking and having good people skills helps in business? if so, how?
I believe it does, people do business with people. Business is about relationships. There is the famous line; people buy from those they know, like and trust and the only way to achieve that is to constantly build your people skills.
I am a very likable person so for most of my life, I did not have to look for people until I decided to become an entrepreneur and it was a different thing.
Honey if you want to eat, you have to put yourself out there! Hahahaha
You’ve been featured in well-known newspapers and websites like The Vanguard Newspaper, She Leads Africa (SLA) and Sun News Online. You also have a mobile app on Google play. How were you able to create those work relationships?
I have a publicist who helps me with these things. He knows all the people; you should interview him on networking oh! Hahaha.
For She Leads Africa, it was interesting; I had no idea who/what they were. A friend (Esohe Igbinoba) sent me an email about them and asked me to contact them if I was interested, so I did. I got an email back asking me to fill a questionnaire which I did (still not knowing fully what I was doing) and then SLA sent me a link to the interview…and I was like…Okay… thank you.
My friend called me from London that week and said, “Girl how did you make it to SLA?????” and then I thought to myself, this must be a big deal then. Hahaha
For my App, I took a course on how to create an app then I created the app and put it on the playstore myself after which I sent it to my mailing list.
You can tell by now, I am a very hands-on person. I like to know how to do everything related to my business. It has its advantages and disadvantages.
HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR PUBLICIST?
He contacted me for an interview for a newspaper, we remained friends. He pitched his services to me, I liked it, tried it out and we have worked together ever since.
You’re a Certified Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (the biggest Nutrition School in the world). You help men and women lose weight and stay fit through your Total Makeover Program Academy. What inspired you to become a health coach? How did you come up with the idea? Take us through the process of building your business and finding clients.
My experience got me thinking about getting certified. People wanted me to help them, I did not want to play with any body’s life so I knew that I had to get certified if I wanted to have a reputable organization.
I had been searching for something online for about 6 months and all the courses I found did not resonate with me.
However, one day on IG I noticed @naturaljunkie post a parcel she received from her school and I went to check for it and I screamed “where have you been all my life?” It was everything I ever wanted and imagined. It talked about the principles and values I believe in, which is that Health is not just about the physical (appearance) but also about the psychological.
I already had demand before I decided to become certified, it was the demand that paid my very expensive school fees! Lol.
Most of my clients found me on Instagram and referrals from my clients. I started with one-on-one coaching which meant there was a limit to the number of people I could take but now I have an Online school and I can take on as many people as possible. It has been a beautiful process of growth and I am grateful for the experience.
How did you land your first (paying) client?
She was a reader of my blog and offered to pay me to coach her. At the time, I had no product and did not offer coaching services. I designed one for her and it has been uphill ever since
As an entrepreneur in the ever competitive Nigeria, do you have any advice on standing out from the crowd or eliminating competition? What tips can you offer the shy and introverted who want to start a business?
Well, it all depends on how you chose to see competition. I am constantly inspired and motivated by my competition. They are one of my best teachers, they keep me on my toes, they keep me innovating. I am always excited about them. I always try not to be boxed by rules you know. It all depends on what works best for your business.
Some need to collaborate more, some need support, some need to innovate more, so it’s different things for different people. Your competition is not only the people in the same industry with you but anyone fighting for the attention and money in the wallet of your ideal customer. I learnt that from Steve Harris.
What impact do you think coaching/being trained by others has?
You make less mistakes, you move faster, you are more confident and you are stronger and better if you use the information given wisely
what obstacles have you faced during your career, and how were you able to overcome them?
My only obstacles have been with myself. My thinking, my discipline, my stamina. I overcome them daily with self-development.
Best moment of your career so far?
When I got certified, when I became a best seller twice, when I launched my app & when I launched my online school.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Breathe girl, you will be just fine.
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and what would you order (just because I am a foodie)?
My late dad, Amala and Ewedu! He loved that
Any other comments or advice?
When your path gets foggy, because it will, take a long trip to visit your future self 20 years from now and ask he/she to advice you on how to accomplish everything you want to.
And there you have it folks!
Remi Owadokun, has an awesome but time-sensitive offer for those on the Skills Tribe VIP list. Click here to join the Skills Tribe VIP list then hit reply and ask me about it.