There are so many inspirational women doing awesome their thing and one of them is Omilola Oshikoya. This soft spoken beauty has a peaceful candour that radiates from within and even with her busy schedule she does not neglect her “Father’s” business. Read about this passionate mother and wife and be inspired.
Hello Omilola, please tell us a few things about you:
I am 35 years old. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and also lived in the UK for 4 years when I went to University. I’ve been married for 10 years to my best friend, John Olugbenga Oshikoya and we are blessed with three beautiful children.
Tell us about your professional life and what makes the brand Omilola Oshikoya stand out:
I like to refer to myself first of all as the “Father’s daughter” as everything I do flows from my relationship with God and this is why I believe I stand out. I am Africa’s premier wealth coach with over 12 years’ experience in finance/investment banking. My goal is to inspire this generation to live the “Richer Life” & to help eradicate poverty in Africa through a tool I created that was inspired by the Holy Spirit called “The Hand of Wealth” which focuses on five areas which are: what true wealth is, how to create wealth, how to manage & grow wealth & how to use wealth. I do this through two of my brands “Do It Afraid” and “PocketFinance” owned by Omilola Oshikoya International (OOI), a life & finance coaching company. In 2015, OOI held its first conference called the “Do It Afraid” conference at Civic Centre. In 2016, the first entrepreneurship workshop was held & the theme was “Agribusiness the next frontier” to showcase the opportunities in agribusiness. This has led to the establishment of small businesses worth millions of naira.
I am also a UK certified life coach and a co-host for a talk show which airs in 44 African Countries including the United Kingdom. I do this through my personal brand called “Omilola”. I am also responsible for media & publications at Guiding Light Assembly and an ordained youth minister.
What drives your entrepreneurial spirit ?
For me, I would say it’s all about purpose. My focus is not on being an entrepreneur but fulfilling the purpose I was created for. In order to fulfil Gods purpose for my life, it has led to me being an entrepreneur. So to answer your question, I would say purpose is what drives my entrepreneurial spirit.
Your faith in God is clear. Tell us a personal story of how that has helped you.
There are so many stories to share that I don’t even know where to start from. At the beginning of the year, instead of spending time mapping out my plans or goals for the year, I felt led to take out time to just seek God and be in His presence. During that time I asked Him to show me where He was at work and where I should join Him at work. I wanted to know what He wanted to accomplish. A lot of the time we are focused on trying to accomplish and fulfill our own goals that we fail to realize God has His own goals and He is looking for people to join Him. So I did the Daniel fast and during that period I was inspired to host a workshop. Initially I wanted to host a workshop focused on the tech space but I felt led to host it in the agriculture space. I didn’t know anything about agriculture at the time and I was a bit reluctant. I planned to host the tech workshop first and then host the agric workshop subsequently. Thank God I didn’t depend on my human logic and I was obedient to God’s leading. Amazingly the moment I put out my e-flier advertising the event, it was like every single media outlet was talking about agriculture. Government was talking about focusing on agriculture to diversify Nigeria’s economy, in fact it was free publicity for me. I didn’t even have to spend a dime on advertising. Every morning the Holy Spirit will lead me to an article or information about what was going on in the economy and it was perfect to create awareness about my workshop. God opened unimaginable doors all over. He made provision for the vision. The workshop was successful and oversubscribed. Even after I have sold scores of DVDs and also online versions of the recording. This was a time when many people were hosting conferences or events and it was difficult to get people to sign up especially in a dwindling economy.
Were you surprised at the huge opportunities lying untapped in the agriculture sector?
When you seek God and you have God on your side by automatically you are successful. When God revealed the idea to host the workshop. I began to do some research and I was amazed at the huge opportunities in agriculture. It is truly the next frontier. It is what is going to place Nigeria on the map as a global super power. Everything grows in Nigeria. We have good weather, arable land that is underutilized, a youthful population etc. We have circa 170 million people and so that is huge domestic market without even thinking about exporting. We import basic things like tomato paste. Nigeria spends about $500 million annually on tomato paste yet we eat tomato with or in almost every meal. The opportunities are tremendous. A lot of people have lost their jobs recently and do not know what to do, There are so many opportunities across the entire value chain. You don’t even have to be a farmer. There are opportunities on the transportation side, storage, branding, marketing, packaging even consulting etc.
Apart from being a life/ finance coach you host a talk show how are you able to combine these with being a wife and mum?
Honestly my relationship with God is what keeps me going. The Holy Spirit is my guide and so whenever I’m dropping the ball in an area, He prompts me and helps me get be back on track. I also thank God for the gift of an amazing supportive husband. My husband makes my job as a wife pretty easy, He is not demanding and He is one of my greatest cheerleaders. He is also an amazing and hands on dad. My oldest daughter is also an amazing and responsible older sibling to her siblings. I also have an amazing support system which consists of my mum, my nanny of over 9 years and my best friend and cousin.
What’s your best advice for working mums especially managing their time with their young children.
In all honesty, something has to give. You can’t do both effectively without being intentional. I think it’s very important to prioritise. So for me, my first priority after God and being a wife is being a mother. Work comes last. So I try to work my schedule around my kids and not the other way round. So for instance my working hours are when my kids are in school and I leave the office when it’s time to pick them up from school. In this digital age it’s pretty difficult to draw the line because even though I’m physically with them after school, I tend to work via my emails, phone etc. So I try to remember that they are my number one priority, I also think it’s all about seasons. When your kids are pretty young they are your priority above work. Once they grow up, then you can focus on work full swing. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3 “There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
Many women make the mistake of putting their work first before their kids and then when they should be enjoying the fruit of their labour and soaring in their career, they have to spend time running helter skelter trying to sort their kids out but sometimes it too late.
My children are my responsibility and I will be held accountable to God. If you impact millions of people but fail with regards to your children, you have truly failed. If you are successful in your career but fail in raising your children right, you are have failed.
Wise words! Now given how busy you are how do you refresh yourself and de-stress ?
First of all, quiet time with God is so important. It’s an amazing way to offload. During my quiet time, I bring all my problems, challenges, fears and trials to God and just being able to talk to Him about it already takes off the heavy weight. The Bible says we should cast all our cares on Him. Sometimes, He gives me an encouraging word during the quiet time. He may also give me strength to pass through the trial or peace that just keeps me calm. It is really a therapeutic time and its very important to have that time daily where it’s just you and God. During quite time, you should also take out time to hear from Him. You should not do all the talking. You should listen to Him too.
I also believe it is important to have your own sabbath i.e. a day when you rest and do absolutely nothing related to work or even household chores. My sabbath is on Mondays. I don’t work on Mondays. I try to rest and stay at home. I don’t shower till late on Mondays, most times in the evenings. I also pray with my prayer partner for about 2 hours in the afternoon on Mondays.
Family time is also important. We have movie night every Friday night and the intention is to all stay together and watch a movie together. We also try to go away on vacation whenever we can.
Once in a while I try to go on vacation alone without my family. In 2013, I went on vacation with a friend of mine for two nights to Ghana and it was one of the most relaxing trips ever.
I believe it’s also important to make time to hang out with girlfriends and just generally have a good time together.
I also take out time away from social media to just seek Gods face and hear from Him.
What lessons do you hope your children will learn from you?
My greatest desire and the greatest legacy I can give to my children is a relationship with God. Once they have God they have everything. For me that is most important than leaving them money, property etc. I pray they learn to have an intimate real Father/Daughter or Father/Son relationship with God.