Remi Owadokun: Before you write a book, determine what success means to you

Remi Owadokun is a Certified Health Coach, Life Coach and Founder of the Total Makeover Program. The Total Makeover Program is a lifestyle brand dedicated to equipping individuals to live healthy, happy and better lives.

She has written not just one, but four bestsellers. In this interview with SLA, she shares her experience as a best selling author.

 What made you decide to write a book? 

 Well, I was indecisive. I was not sure anyone really wanted to read my story. In fact, I felt it was too ordinary and way too familiar but I had gotten a few requests from people who were interested in reading my book if I wrote it and so I started writing and stopped in chapter 3 or 4.
I had never written a book and wasn’t sure what I was I doing. My mentor found out about my book and he served as an accountability partner until it was completed.
I was not thinking of the bestseller status at all at the time, just writing the book and holding it in my hand was such a big deal that I did not realize that they were much bigger things to aspire to.
So, once I published my hard copy, I put up a new goal. I wanted it to be a bestseller.
That your book is an Amazon bestseller does not necessarily mean that your book is a good book. It - @remiowadokun Click To Tweet

As a 4 time best selling author,  how did you feel when your books achieved bestseller status? 

The first time was a very huge deal for me as I held best-seller status for about a week. On Amazon, bestsellers are announced on an hourly basis.

The highest number of downloads made per hour determines who is a bestseller. So for me to have this for almost a week was massive.

I had set a high standard for myself, I couldn’t go below my first book. If the first book became a bestseller, all my books would be so and that determined how I approached the entire process.

How has this benefited your brand and business?

I would say for my brand, it gives a nice ring to it when I say I have 4 best selling books. It has also helped position myself as a Thought Leader on the topics I have written about.

When I get invited to speak or participate in a panel, the audience is more willing to listen, and the organizers are more open to inviting me on their platforms.

Can you share some tips on how intending authors can make their books attain Bestseller status?

That your book is an Amazon bestseller does not necessarily mean that your book is a good book. It just means that people bought or downloaded the book on Amazon.

It doesn’t even mean that people read it. So I would implore that you invest the time to put out very good work, do your research and put your heart in whatever you are doing.

Build a community of people who love your work and be consistent in giving value.

If you don’t want to end up with boxes of books in storage, it is important that people are hungry for your book even before you decide to put it out.

So share, share and share until they can’t wait for you to write a book they can buy and read.

Find your authentic self and be true to it - @remiowadokun Click To Tweet

What would you say are the general worries of potential authors and how can they scale these hurdles as they attempt to write their own books?

 Everyone is different and so everyone has different brands of fear, so it is hard to call it one thing. It might be the fear that no one will buy the book, that no one will read it, that people will question your work, that people from your past might see it, that it might be a failure, that it might be a success.
It could be anything. My recommendations would be to pass the thoughts through the lenses of critical thinking.
Determine why you want to write the book and what success in that area means to you. For some people, they just want to complete a writing project, not necessarily put it out.
For some people, it is to get it into the hands of people without profit attached, for some they want to become famous or make money. So determine your why and let that guide your process, strategy.
When it comes to writing, no one really puts their best works at first, so don’t wait for it to feel perfect, even if it feels so in a few years you will look back and wonder who wrote it.

Who are your favorite authors?

Paulo Coelho, he is a remarkable storyteller and I love storytelling. Chimamanda Adichie is also a great storyteller and I love her style of writing.

Where do you see your work in the coming years?

I see my work developing into other expressions of art like plays, films, cartoons etc.

Final words for young African women in business and career

Find your authentic self and be true to it.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

The Hidden power of mentorship: First take a hard look at yourself

I recently got a professional mentor. This was not something that had been penned down in detail in my goals for the year. What had been penned down is that I need to seize opportunities that will enhance my network.

So as a true choleric, I jumped on any networking opportunity that presented itself to me. This rather abstract goal led me to join a mentorship forum for Human Resource Professionals whose goal is to provide mentoring opportunities to HR professionals through peer mentoring.

Out of this, I got a professional mentor and I also got a mentee.

My first meeting with my mentor happened early this year. Let’s call her Alexa. To say that I was intimidated is an understatement. Alexa has achieved so much. She is a high-flying career woman, she has a C-suite job, and reports to the Board.

She is confident, she is witty and to wrap it all, she has an amazing sense of style.

Ok. Stop giggling.

I, on the other hand, have worked at my current job for eight years. I was not proud of my employer and I had been carrying this label that I work for the wrong organization.

It was for that reason that all my job applications had not been successful. So much negative vibe about my work situation.

So Alexa and I met at a beautiful restaurant and the conversation started with her telling me about herself. I wanted her job. She makes so much impact.

Isn’t that all that us millennials want, to make an impact?

Then the conversation moved to me. I told her about myself, my work situation and why I had signed up for a mentor. At the end of the meeting, Alexa told me that as part of the preparation for our next meeting, I need to identify the one thing I want to take out of our mentorship relationship once it came to an end.

It was a wonderful evening I must say.

When I got home later that night, I reflected back to my conversation with Alexa. It was like I was outside, looking into our conversation and I was deeply saddened by the picture that emerged. I started my career so positive, so energetic and with an attitude of I can handle whatever comes my way.

Eight years later, to sitting across my mentor, I had changed to this negative person who felt like she had no power.

This realization coupled with Alexa’s assignment on my expected outcome from the professional mentorship forced me to take a long hard painful look at myself. That was the only way I could change the narrative.

I must say that it was not easy. I took some time out to reflect on my life and I realized that it was no longer clear to me what my vision was professional.

The Bible says that my people perish because of a lack of vision. How true this is. If you do not know where you are going, anywhere is good enough. But anywhere is not good enough for me.

Anywhere is not good enough for anyone.

Self-reflection is hard and painful but necessary for you to scale to the next level of your career - Priscah Motogwa Click To Tweet

I want to live a life of purpose and a life of meaning and my career plays a huge part towards that. Pema Chödrön in his book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, says “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

Self-reflection is hard. Self-reflection is painful. But self-reflection is necessary for you to scale to the next level of your career.

Do I now know what my vision for my professional life is? Yes.

Do I have a plan of how to achieve it? Yes.

It involves stepping out of my comfort zone by seeking opportunities that will make use of skills that I possess. Indeed, writing this article is stepping out for me. And so for my next meeting with Alexa, I know precisely what I want out of the professional mentorship I am being offered.

In the words of Denzel Washington, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influence in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

Fellow female professionals, do you want to scale the career ladder? My advice, get a mentor.

This article was written by Priscah Motogwa.

 If you’d like to get featured on our Facebook page, click here to share your story with us.

Ratidzo Mutizwa Njagu: I would rather become a CEO of a major company today

Ratidzo Mutizwa is a Development Economist, Life coach and Leadership Content Creator. She primarily focuses on community engagement, CSR and women’s development. She holds a masters in Political Economy from the LSE and has successfully trained in corporate governance, capacity building and monitoring & evaluation.

She is the Founder of Deeply Driven now known as the Leaders Lounge Foundation, which empowers, coaches and provides training for young leaders.

Previously she worked for BRAC, Deloitte Central Africa and the Clinton Health Access Initiative. She is a passionate change agent determined to aid the development of young leaders and to equip them with essential life skills.

Professionally, whatever I do has to have an impact that will outlast me - Ratidzo Mutizwa Njagu Click To Tweet


What are your most important values personally and professionally?

Personally, I find that whatever I do needs to feed into my purpose, cater for a healthy lifestyle and allow me to fully express myself.

Professionally, whatever I do has to have an impact that will outlast me. In other words, what I do is driven by a need to achieve generational impact and ultimately improve the future of those to come.

Ratidzo Mutizwa

If you were given unlimited resources, what women focused initiatives would you contribute towards?

I would seek to ensure that young women under the ages of 35 are able to get access to free value added personal development and basic business training. I believe that access to upskilling in Southern Africa ( which is our initial primary target region) can be a positive catalyst for change across the continent.

Ratidzo Mutizwa says her goal is to drive innovation and promote socio-entrepreneurship. Click To Tweet


What can millennials expect to get from training or advice from Leaders Lounge?

The Leaders Lounge is a place for millennials to learn from the legends, those that have gone before them. As well as a common space where millennials can meet up to share ideas and information with each other.

Trainings are given in the form of workshops, seminars and conferences. Topics are centered around redefining the leadership landscape across various sectors; and seek to inform and educate on business principles and essential life skills. The goal is to drive innovation and promote socio-entrepreneurship.


 Deeply Driven provides CSR advisory services. What social responsibility commitments do you have as an organization?

We have committed to providing free life-skills training services in high schools within Zimbabwe. A part of our mission is to encourage the development of a highly self-aware and well equipped generation of leaders.


Ratidzo Mutizwa

Leaders Lounge is tailored to impact global audiences. How do you reach out to these audiences and how do you plan on growing?

We are being purposeful about building our social media reach as we know that African millennials are increasingly active online- no matter where they are in the world.

We also understand the demand for African-driven solutions and innovations and are seeking to address this. At Present we have established a blog through which we share weekly tips, advice and inspiration.

As part of our strategy we are launching Podcasts as well as monthly YouTube videos, which will share on particular topics relevant to the African millennial.


Ratidzo Mutizwa Njagu, what things in life are still a mystery to you?

It baffles me that we often continue to want to be and to do more. For our generation, happiness in our present state is often quite illusive and without a concerted decision to choose happiness we are often left wanting

To be a CEO is to nurture and allow great leaders within the organization to thrive and to create a highly innovative environment - Ratidzo Mutizwa Click To Tweet


Would you rather suddenly be elected a senator or suddenly become a CEO of a major company. (You won’t have any more knowledge about how to do either job than you do right now.)

This is interesting!

I would certainly rather become a CEO of a major company today. At that level of leadership a lot of the real work is in identifying and bringing together the people who are good at what they do- something I already enjoy doing.

To be a CEO is to nurture and allow great leaders within the organization to thrive and to create a highly innovative environment. I think the role of a CEO is to be able to bring great ideas and great people together effectively and to instill confidence in the management teams

What have you done to up-skill yourself this year?

Tell us your story here