During week 2 of January 2023, I was super excited about the opportunity of becoming a multinational business coach — not just for any gender, but for my preferred gender!
After signing my contract, I waited anxiously for the first day to meet my clients and get to know each and every one of them. Our meet-and-greet meeting went okay, although I was very nervous.
Do you remember that popular saying, “First impressions count”? Well, I was mortified about making the wrong first impression.
Now, for someone who has been coaching for a little while and who has a coach, this was unusual. Why was I not at ease? I wondered.
Bammm… there it was. It finally occurred to me that my apprehension stemmed from my own expectations about being excellent in my delivery to these women.
I adopted the excellence mindset after the death of my father. At only 16, I quickly realised that the ticket to my freedom was excellence in everything I did. Because at the time, my young mind associated excellence with financial rewards and benefits.
I was excited about meeting these amazing ladies, who, in my eyes, were all phenomenal. Before you consider this statement biased, let me remind you that doing business in Africa is hard, and doing business in Africa as a woman is much harder.
How do I know that, you may ask? Well, that’s because I am a woman, born and raised in Africa, who managed my dad’s company of 32+ employees in Africa between the ages of 20 and 21, worked in leadership roles across different sectors, and eventually started my own businesses. So when I tell you it is not easy, you better believe me.
Now back to my amazing group of women, who each agreed to meet on a specific date of the week to have their one-on-one coaching session with me.
During this arrangement, a particular lady stood out to me. She had just given birth, was driving back home with the baby in her arms, and yet she was able to answer this call. Boyyy was I proud of her!
I knew immediately that she’s a woman with a fire to succeed in her business endeavours, and not even a new-born baby with all its demands could stop her. Wohooo….
As a coach, that made me feel like I had to put my best foot forward and give each of these small female business owners, who were running their businesses under difficult circumstances, the coaching and business mentoring they would need.
And guess what? The lady with the new born was the first to book her appointment. She was eager to meet me the very next day, and I was super excited to meet her too. I couldn’t wait to hear her story.
I was especially excited because, when Ihad my second son. I left the hospital the next morning and jumped straight into planning the launch day for my new restaurant business.
And for two hours during our virtual meeting, not only was I blown away by the passion, courage, resilience, focus, thoughtfulness, and ambitions of this young woman, I just wanted to reach out and give her a squeezy hug!
Our first meeting was a deep learning curve for me. I always thought I had been through the most difficult times in life, but after hearing her story, I had a deep sense of gratitude for my own life and a whole lot of respect for her life story and her accomplishments.
I never wanted our two hours to come to an end. We seemed to have grown close to each other during the coaching session, and she said to me, “Coach, you have a lot of work to do.” There are so many women who own businesses in my circle who are walking a lonely path and who need someone like you to walk with them. I shall introduce you to a private group of 12,000 amazing women who are desperately in need of what you have offered me this afternoon. As I part with you this afternoon, I don’t even feel like I need the other two hours in our contract. “You have given me so much in just two hours, and something in me has shifted. “”Thank you with all my heart.”
Ouuufff, at this point, I had tears in my eyes. And these weren’t tears of sorrow — far from that. I became emotional because.
- I hated the fact that I had deprived these women of my skills all the while allowing “Mr. Imposter Syndrome” to override my self-confidence and self-worth.
- I had gone into this call feeling incapable of meeting the expectations of these strong women, only to be blown away by such positive feedback.
- I felt at peace with the path I had chosen. To be of service to all women through my work and my purpose
- I was grateful to be alive to experience the joy and fulfilment that come from living a life of substance and being my true, authentic self.
I look forward to the next 18 hours of coaching and mentoring with these great women who are braving the odds on the African continent, and walking down the path that many wouldn’t dare to walk.