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‘Passion alone is not sufficient to build company’


Bukola Ogunwale, usually called Coach B, is a multi – dimensional clarity coach, founder of Business Coach Zone. She is a Certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach, an Entrepreneur with multiple successful businesses, an author, lawyer and certified fraud and forensic examiner. A versatile fitness entrepreneur, Ogunwale is a co-founder at Ifitness Gyms, growing fitness chain in Lagos. She hosts a community that helps career and business owners take the steps that are necessary to level up and believes strongly that everyone can only grow their Business or Career to the level that they are willing to grow in their personal development journey.

What inspired you to set up Business Coach Zone?
MY first few years in Corporate Law were spent sitting in board meetings and listening to seasoned professionals deliberate on businesses; why some were grounded and why some others succeeded. I discovered that passion alone is not sufficient to build a company; you need industry know how, you need to actually be providing a solution to a problem people are grappling with. You need to keep good records so that you are ensuring that you are not just doing business activities but you are actually making a good profit.

Your business is at its best when you are at your best. Hence, one of the biggest aspects we focus on is the personal growth of the entrepreneur. When you look at the example of a person who has tried their hands at different businesses and keeps failing or at best keeps going round in circles, you will realise that the problem is not often with the businesses but with the person. I was inspired to start the Business Coach Zone to fill the knowledge gap that our entrepreneurs face in business know how.

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Not everyone goes to school for a Masters degree in Business Administration before they started their businesses. And even for the people who are fortunate enough to go for MBA, the concepts may not be broken down or relatable to the Nigerian terrain. Hence, there is a need for business clarity for our entrepreneurs if they are going to contribute significantly to the economy of their country. Many female entrepreneurs found their way into the business world because they had a passion for it or they had the funds for it, or they lost their jobs and needed to do something else. Many do not take time out to be trained in the business aspect of their passion, and their businesses struggle, Business Coach Zone fills this gap by training entrepreneurs regardless of their reasons for starting a business. They will gain clarity, overcome the hurdles, attain success and impact their target clients at the same time.

Share with us your activities at Business Coach Zone?
Business Coach Zone is an organisation where we help people to clarify all areas of their business. A large organisation may have the capacity to employ experts for different key areas of business, but a small business owner may not have the capacity to do the same. He/she may be an expert in the areas of sourcing for goods, but may not be so great at marketing, or keeping accounting records or managing his/her human resources.

At Business Coach Zone, we help business owners to clarify all the areas of life, they interact with experts and they discover the errors they have been making and thereafter are helped to carve out a way forward. This is done with the necessary templates and structure documents that can help them in the areas that are important to their businesses but in which they are not skilled. By the time business owners finish their courses with us, they have the mindsets, skills and tools that can help them successfully scale their organisations. We also help people in career to understand and inculcate the notion of being ‘intrapreneurship’, so they can take ownership of their job functions and they can grow as they help their organisations to grow.

How long has Business Coach Zone been running and could you tell us some of the success stories you have recorded so far?
Business Coach Zone has been running for three years now, and we have successfully helped hundreds of women to reach their goals. I have had clients who had never done business before walk in the door and within months, we helped them to set up profitable businesses. Sometimes, clients who had ran their businesses at a certain level of success come to the Business Coach Zone so they can upgrade into higher profits and impact.

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How do you help people re-invent themselves, especially at this time the poor economy is further compounded by effects of COVID?
I help people reinvent themselves by coaching them. There are always opportunities around us, if only we know where to search for it. Indeed, the economy has felt the impact of COVID, however, the more countries lock their physical borders down, the more online portals seem to open up wider. Now, a person can sit in their room in Lagos, Nigeria and offer graphics designing work to a client in New York and be paid in foreign currency for their services.

Perspective is everything, and with the right coaching, everyone can discover within them, particular needs of their society or of the world that they can meet and be rewarded for it. It is indeed true that many people have been pushed into depression and now more than ever, attention needs to be placed on mindfulness and wholeness. We can’t ignore the necessity to live balanced lives anymore. This is why my courses focus on all aspects of a person’s life, while capitalising on their income generator – their businesses and career growth.

Tell us about some of the courses you offer and their purposes?
Some of my courses include the Business Clarity Course, The CEO Personal Growth Course, the Fitness Mindset Course, the Doer’s Course and Staff Training Manual. I also have an app called the Vision Journal App that helps users to be more intentional and take charge of their lives rather than following the bandwagon. My latest coaching package is the Personal Reinvention Programme, a membership programme that hands clarity, growth and execution to move the participants’ life into next level success.

Participants will have access to over 30 hours of content that will delve into every aspect of life so they can confront their limitations and create clear growth paths, there will be masterminds of fellow super achievers with whom they can take the journey together, and there will be workbooks and resources that will ensure participant’s accountability.

Since you started, how would you assess your level of impact on entrepreneurs you have groomed?
I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs both male and female to start their businesses, to accelerate their personal growth and to become performers instead of merely dreaming. Oftentimes, corporations whose end users are entrepreneurs invite me to coach their clients on their behalf as their way of giving back to their clients. My target is the determined, hardworking entrepreneur who wants to experience so much more, not just in their business, but also in all areas of life.

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Sometimes, life is already full, but there is still a desire to be more and to do more. I help my clients become the best versions of themselves and then they can creatively impact their world. My brands major target is the businesswoman, who may or may not have a career as side hustle. She may be in paid employment, but still have a business that makes her money on the side. And she needs clarity to grow both her business and her career.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start up businesses but have funding challenge?
My advice is that you should zone out of focusing on what you need and rather focus on what you have, or what you can get. When you say you need money to start a business, what you actually need are the things money can buy. For instance, someone who is waiting for the money to hire staff before he or she can start their business may actually find someone willing to offer them professional services like accounting or administrative services in exchange for the products they are creating. Start where you are, with what you have; put in the work and growth is inevitable. Don’t abandon your dreams; anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.

How are you able to manage this business alongside family?
First off, I believe it can be done; one can have a thriving career or business and still have a great home. I believe that God wants us to have it all, and it is ours. Secondly, I don’t assume it will happen automatically, I put the structure that will help my business and my home to thrive in them. When there is structure, you can step back and your life works like the clock.

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