Travelling overseas has always been the dream of most Africans. If I am not sure of other African countries, I am very sure of my country people, Nigerians.
Every year, thousands of unemployed youths and employees are always trying every possible means to move overseas. During this process, many had lost money and still lose a huge amount of money to swindlers and dubious people who prey on the desperation of these innocent people.
Who do you blame?
The government is not helping the situation in the country. The rich keep getting richer and the poor get screwed. The brilliant graduates are either settling for meagre salary jobs or no jobs at all. But what do we do in a situation like this?
I am not a party to blame games, that’s why I have delved into finding a lasting solution especially for the brilliant graduates who have excelled academically but struggle to make a living.
I have Edith Nkwocha with me on this one.
Hello Edith! It is good to have you here. Will you please tell the audience more about yourself?
Hello Chinedu. Thanks for inviting me.
I’m a coach and trainer with a strong background in languages, personal branding, and conflict resolution. I help multilingual leaders of all ages uncover their strengths and blueprint these to activate the steps towards their desired success.
You are one of the few women entrepreneurs out there who are doing great, what has actually being the driving force behind your vision?
My faith. It’s also a willingness to accept that I’ve always been “different”- the square peg in a round hole, so to speak.
But it’s also my belief that every human being has a unique empowerment factor, or what I call a “personal mix”. It’s those idiosyncrasies, gifts, talents and abilities, combined with whatever education one might or might not have.
I know some things about you, especially the aspect of you being a confidence coach, how does that help (I mean being confident) to transform business and drive growth?
I think that confidence is a topic that’s misunderstood and misapplied, for the most part. I wrote an article recently to try to clarify this misconception.
In any case, starting a business, running, and scaling it is not easy, even if you do enjoy what you’re doing. How it relates is that in its most basic form, confidence is that made up mindset which claims success from the onset. It’s a belief that you will succeed, validated by taking the actions that are necessary to achieve what you have defined as success.
Confidence is very relevant because no one in their right mind starts a business determined to fail. On the contrary, there’s that dogged determination that you will succeed, the prevailing circumstances notwithstanding. This could be because of lack of finances or hindering gaps in education where more training or education is needed. It might be the wrong environment, the wrong staff or colleagues, health challenges, and so many other obstacles that can and do present themselves in almost every business scenario. It’s what we do with these challenges that’s important.
Confidence comes with embracing all of these hindering factors continually, while still stepping out and acting to build your business, with and without the fear of failure. The more steps one takes at doing something, the more confident one becomes provided these steps all align with what you’re trying to achieve.
A person who started a business last year will not have the same confidence-level in business as someone who has been at it for 10 years and is still going strong.
Confidence is built up through the courage and effort that it has taken to stay in business this long and still turn a profit in spite of the challenges. This is very different from positive thinking and positive confession. Thinking and confessing alone can’t produce a success of any kind, least of all in business.
What are the packages you have for your confidence coaching courses and how affordable?
I offer several coaching packages, and they are all affordable.
My comprehensive Total Package Signature Coaching Program™ is designed to:
- close language gaps such as grammar, structure, writing, etc. that make it difficult to speak coherently and properly articulate one’s thoughts and ideas.
- help improve communication and presentation skills while developing speaking in public and deportment skills.
- address low self-esteem and boost personal confidence
- assist with personal branding & provide guidance on how to revamp one’s personal style when a makeover is needed to match a new stage, phase or status in life.
You also offer professional courses that prepare candidates for IELTS, and Cambridge CPE, can you share more information on that?
Yes. I offer exam coaching for IELTS (General) and Cambridge CPE through my Exam-Confidence Coaching Program that’s available as an online course that comes with coaching calls.
I also coach via email Q & A, and by Whatsapp.
Of course, one-to-one coaching is always available for those who prefer a more hands-on, tailor-made approach.
What distinguish(es) your professional courses from others around?
I took the ICSA professional exams while working in a bank full time. So, I understand perfectly how difficult it is to work and not have enough time to study. Although the reality is that passing an exam takes more than just studying.
Having said this, my coaching is highly targeted. Language and communication problems are like a big, closed box. Unless you have prior information, you don’t know what’s in the box.
A box that just sits there is of no use to the owner, even if there’s something valuable inside it.
My approach is to help clients break open their own box(es) so that they can see for themselves what the real issues are, rather than just spoon-feeding them exercises haphazardly.
Once this is done, I help them create a blueprint that’s followed by very targeted exercises and activities, specifically designed to dislodge and remove these problems.
One of the reasons many people fail exams is that they don’t fully understand where their true difficulties lie. This popular cover-the-syllabus approach is NOT a winning strategy because it often fails to deliver in detecting the roots of the difficulties. A problem undefined is one unresolved.
Also, language is mostly considered an arts subject. But I approach it as a science by formulating the client’s challenges into a math problem that I help them solve, accordingly.
This is a two in one question – How effective are your courses since you started? From the previous candidates who have taken these courses, what success rate would you attribute to them?
Well, they say that one shouldn’t tout one’s own horn.
But one of the things confidence teaches us is to be humble, yet proud of our achievements, This is because success doesn’t happen by chance.
I apply the methods that I mentioned earlier which over the years I’ve refined into a signature exam-coaching system that I use for clients taking professional exams.
But it’s the same basic principles that I use, and it works for all ages – adults, teens, and even young children.
I applied the same principles to teach a 3 year old Belgian girl to speak and read in English in 3 months, using only the most basic resources, most of which I created. She had zero knowledge of English, no English vocabulary, and was due to start at an English-speaking school, in another country, in exactly three months.
Most of my clients tell me that my method is different. They often admit finding coaching with me a bit challenging in the beginning because my approach is a bit disruptive, and definitely intense. But they also affirm their surprise at seeing rapid results in a very short time.
I believe in a laser-targeted, pragmatic and hands-on approach. My takeaway from working with the little Belgian girl is to assume that all of my clients are under severe to desperate time constraints. So, I prepare a tailored program that delivers for them accordingly, even if they aren’t under such constraints. This I think, is one of the reasons that my clients tend to progress quickly.
Exam success is about strategy and an ability to make the most effective use of available resources in the limited time available. I’ve helped doctors and nurses, COOs, IT specialists, bankers and even colleagues take these Cambridge exams and pass.
I once had a client who I prepared for the Cambridge exams. When the results came out she was informed that out of all candidates who sat the exam at that particular exam center, she was the one who had the highest score in the written paper.
We had barely two months to prepare, with one class per week, and while she was very good at all the other areas that Cambridge was testing, her writing was a disaster, coupled with the fact that English was neither her official nor her native language.
Being an entrepreneur, what would you say about the Nigerian market?
It’s tough, but not impossible to succeed in it. Yet, it does take particular boldness and courage to do business in Nigeria. There are so many challenges and obstacles that business owners in Nigeria face that are not the norm in many other places. Doing business here is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
What advice do you have for your fellow women out there who are trying to follow your path – entrepreneurship?
Believe. Act. Endure the mockery when it seems it’s not working. Be patient. Don’t be patient.
Get frustrated. Don’t get frustrated. Pull your hair out. Buy a wig. Give up. Don’t give up. Stumble. Catch yourself. Fall down. Don’t Get up. Get up. Get knocked down again.
Pull yourself up. Faint. Revive yourself. Stand up. Smile. Wear your lipstick. Spray your perfume. Adjust your bra. Grab your heels, and keep it moving!
You will win…
If you so choose.
What should we expect from you in the next ten years?
I’ll let you know when I’m done planning!
But one of the things I’d like to do is start a multilingual, writerpreneurs group. These are people, young and older who are interested in writing as a means of creating income for themselves while giving expression to their gifts and passions.
If the audience wants to patronize your services, where can they find you?
They can reach me via LinkedIn.
Otherwise, they can go to my website www.refinementcoaching.net or Exam-Confidence Coaching.
Thank you, Edith Nkwocha, for the wonderful chat. I will definitely see your company on top in the next few years to come.
Thank you so much Chinedu for inviting me. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Keep up the good work. You’re a a very talented person.