August was awesome, September will be spectacular. My Inner Awesomeness will be one year old this month and as you all know, we are still in the business of lifting your spirits. Here’s another wonderful session and I must say, its really loaded. If you care so much about your success, this is for you. If you have missed previous interviews, hurry now and grab this opportunity to get enlightened. I wish you all a good read.
Having studied your profile and interacted with you, I can conclude you are a woman of great influence. Kindly introduce yourself and tell us what you do.
My name is Temitope Balogun but I am fondly called Temmy Balogun. I am a writer, a media personality and an entrepreneur who is passionate about impacting lives of youths positively, promoting innovations and entrepreneurial projects in Africa because I believe it is a great solution to unemployment and economic instability of African countries especially my country, Nigeria. This led me to establish Espact, a digital agency using digital content and tools to boost the visibility and profitability of brands. At Espact, we render services that increase businesses sales and popularity so their customers and interested investors can be drawn to them. Our mission is to help businesses especially those in the SME sector who have been proven to be economic enhancers, stay in business so more jobs can be created.
At Espact, I act as the Lead Creative Strategist/ Anchor, I have been able to interview a lot of leaders, entrepreneurs and top professionals in numerous business fields within Africa just to inspire and educate our youths and entrepreneurs. On top of my list of interviewees is Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka.
Due to Espact’s impact in Nigeria, I get invited to speak or moderate youth conferences, summits and facilitate symposia.
A lot of people believe that success is attributed to their qualification, level of education and association. What does success mean to you?
Success means different things to people; it can be academic based, career growth, high financial level, personal growth or family progress. But in all I define success as the ability to impact the lives of countless number of people positively through what I do. Success to me is the level of positive impact I have on people that’s why I do all I do, the niche I operate in is less travelled but because it is adding value to lives I am happy with it.
Taking into consideration stories of influential men and women in our world today, majority of them usually state that they had to try and try again before hitting the target. Do you believe one can achieve his/her goals on the first attempt?
Yes and No. The Yes here is there are rare cases where people achieve a certain goal on their first attempt but NO is the main answer to this because a lot of processes are involved in achieving success. According to MO Abudu, the key to success in anything is to be absolutely consistent over a prolonged period of time. Before a target or goal can be achieved, a lot of things must have happened which involves failures, embarrassments, sleepless nights and more. They all happen to prepare us for the day success will be achieved.
What’s your take on falling and rising stronger?
It’s a thing of successful people, quitters never win they say, but to put up yourself back up from a fall especially one that you never expected required much strength. We all have what empowers us from within, mine is Jesus, the relationship I have built with God keeps me going when I fall. I have times I get scared to try something again because as an optimistic person I always believe nothing is impossible, so when the fall comes it makes me feel down but when I remember the promises of God for me in the bible and my ultimate goal of touching countless number of lives, I get up and continue moving forward.
Do you believe one must be connected to a top official before making it in Nigeria? Give reasons for your answer.
I believe one must be connected to the one who is bigger than top officials to make it in Nigeria and anywhere in the world. The Nigerian system of knowing a person before getting up there was designed by men, if you go by that you will lick many feet and won’t still get anywhere. But building a relationship with God, believing in yourself, working hard and looking out for opportunities to be heard can help you become somebody in life. If you go with this route God will direct the people you need in your life to you. There are lots of people in Nigeria who are successful in their field today that didn’t know top officials from the start, they were working hard and opportunities came from the international space, they were lifted up and they started mingling with top officials freely. We need opportunities to rise, being connected to top people is not the best way to get these opportunities because anything given to human by men are always limited, God knows His plan for us and only Him knows who He would connect you to, for you to get to where He had planned. If you depend on being helped by men, they will never let you go higher than them.
Shopping, seeing movies and traveling, which comes first for you?
Seeing movies then travelling, before shopping.
What is your favorite meal?
Bread and tea.
What strategies did you employ in discovering your gifts and talent?
When I notice anything gets my attention frequently, I try to figure out if I have interest and the ability to get it done then I practice continuously. For example, I noticed I love designing, I then started watching online videos to learn more and I am still practicing to get better daily.
We all have unique stories about how we got to our present growth level. What was growing up like for you?
My growing up wasn’t a very smooth one but I am grateful. I was raised by a single mother, who later got married when I was in the university, my mum and step dad tried their best to support me through school, but I still dealt with a lot of challenges, amidst all I went through, my determination kept me going.
Do you believe in standing on the shoulder of giants?
No. I believe in seeing myself as a giant who can do anything with Christ being my strength. I don’t worship men but I respect those who were in life before me.
What is the worst statement you have ever heard about yourself and how did you prove people wrong?
Before talking about worst statement, I will say whatever anyone says about me is their perception and I am not good at proving myself to people, I don’t see the need to nor have the time, because I am not so good at keeping people around except for my team members, business associates and family members, I don’t really hear people say anything about me. But I have once heard my mother say I am too secretive and hardly share things, I don’t know if that’s a bad thing.
What does My Inner Awesomeness mean to you?
Being uniquely made for a unique purpose only me can achieve.
If you have the opportunity to talk to Nigerian youths, what will be your major topic of discussion and why?
Having used several platforms to encourage youths to be innovative, we have lots of problems in Nigeria that innovative solutions can solve. Our youths are talented, all they need is a push to create them, commercialise it into a business, people will patronize and employ more hands, this way, our country will become better.
Recently, I started a series on falling and rising again, rejection and staying motivated and I realized the contributors had a lot to say about their school experience. Well, it could be because peer pressure and youthful exuberance are attributed to teenagers. Do you believe a youth’s life commences immediately he/she gets into the university? Give reasons for your answer.
The commencement time for people differs, our level of exposure determines when a youths’ life commences, some are exposed to this in their secondary school and others in university. For me, my freedom as a youth came when I left home for university but I was young then, I was only 15, I was just focused on my studies and was too busy to get distracted by youth life syndrome. But for many that I know, their youth life started in the university and all those things you mentioned above gets to them easily because they are their own parents in school.
What is your view on discovering one’s purpose early enough?
It is always good to discover your purpose early, I discovered mine early and it was easier for me to start the journey early and withstand so many challenges. Most youths do not start early enough because they are usually carried away, I think parents should come in here, they should start matured talks like this with their kids immediately they are above 7. They should talk about it frequently and give examples, so the child can understand and select the path he or she wants early.
Have you ever suffered rejection? If yes, kindly share your story.
I have been rejected severally for contracts, funding and growth opportunities. A rejection that got to me recently was a top institution that contacted my brand for a project, we were on it for months, we shared our ideas, then they suddenly went mute and later said they weren’t given a go ahead. It wasn’t a good one because we looked forward to working with them but we moved on. We will surely get greater projects as we forge ahead.
How can one break free from addictions?
It takes a lot of self-discipline. You have to make the decision that you don’t want it anymore, remind yourself the bad effects of your addictions frequently, do away with people that will make you stick to it and get super occupied by venturing into new things till it finally leaves you.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
While I was still working on the island, one day my boss scolded me like a baby at the reception, in front of clients sitting, what happened didn’t require that but people come to work with a lot of pressure on them and it flips quickly, so I guess I was unlucky that day.
Kindly advice those struggling with one rejection issue or the other.
It is a normal thing to be rejected, if you are being rejected by anyone or for any offer, you need more strength to either retry or try something new. Jack ma is the richest man in China today but he was rejected by over 30 companies he applied to, KFC was one of them, he was also rejected by Harvard ten times but today he is sought after. He isn’t the only one, several successful people experienced such too, so rejection is part of your success story if you are not rejected you have no story to tell.
Thanks for your time.