So my Content Strategist, Lolade came up with these questions as a good way to launch our website officially. And I love them. So here we go…
Strap in, this promises to be quite the ride…
1. May we meet you?
Ok, so my name is Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo, also known as CoachE’.
I am 32 (well by June 29, 2018), a wife, and a mom of 2 boys.
I love to read and write and I am a STALKER of those I love online. I am a Christian and I am pretty much REALLY into JESUS cos He rocks!!! Last year, I was on YNaija’s 100 Most Influential Christians in Nigeria, No surprises there haha. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers, and I am the last child. I am a Food and Fitness Coach and CEO of CoachE’Squad Ltd, a global Fitness Company.
In talking about myself, I like to add that I got into the University of Ibadan to study Pharmacy, struggled through, was finally advised to withdraw after 4 years (plus the 2 years it took me to get admitted post High school). It hurt some but I was happy to finally be free to make my own choices. Ended up in the Social Sciences with a major in Sociology and a Minor in Psychology. I would end up with a First Class and be BEST GRADUATING STUDENT. That story really is a huge essence in the woman that I am today. Oh, and I also love Joyce Meyer, Steven Furtick, Chris Caine, Lisa Bevere, Priscilla Shirer, Heather Lindsey and Sarah Jakes Roberts as Preachers and Jenn Johnson, Hillsong and Elevation Worship for worship.
2. What inspired the brand CoachE’Squad Ltd?
Oh my gosh, it is a beautiful story and still blows me away every time I have to tell it. God is so amazing really. Sooooooo, the child was fresh out of NYSC, married, and everything, and as Jesus would have it, finds herself in the UNITED NATIONS, my dream job. I literally was born under a lucky shooting star. Next thing, the child gets pregnant, and events lead to events and I had to relocate to have this baby and be with family (I was in a long distance marriage at the time), and wham, the job was gone. I thought I would be back, but I found that motherhood had plans for me that I didn’t have for myself. My life changed!!! It was now filled with poopy diapers and breast pumps. It was STINKING HARD especially as I saw Chicks I KNEW I was better than progress in their career (Negative emotions mehn). So low-key depressed, the child started to EAT AND EAT AND EAT and wham, I hit OBESE on the BMI scale, at 106kg.
It was crazy because I had always been a size 10/12. Letting go of my food discipline impacted other areas of my life – my spiritual life suffered, my marriage suffered. I wasn’t even developing myself mentally and intellectually again. I spent my days watching Africa Magic, reading gossip blogs, eating and sleeping. Writing this is even making me cringe.
I recall one day hubby came in and I was gisting him of this celebrity gossip rather passionately and he was like
‘So this is what you do all day? Watch TV and read blogs?’
He seemed surprised but I didn’t even think there was anything wrong with it. Incredible, now that I look back at that season. I recall having fights upon fights with my peace-loving hubby and one day, he said…
EZIAHA YOU ARE FRUSTRATED!!!
and then I said
YOU ARE THE ONE MAKING ME FRUSTRATED. I WAS NOT FRUSTRATED BEFORE I MARRIED YOU.
And he said
NO, YOU NEED TO GO TO GOD AND ASK HIM TO FIX YOU. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.
It hit me hard, and maybe formed the foundation for my healing. Then the movie WAR ROOM came out and it really broke something in me. I decided then to TURN THE TV OFF PERMANENTLY and OPEN MY BIBLE AND JOURNAL.
Oh, I took my brokenness to God, and He began the process of bringing beauty from my ashes. I totally surrendered. Somewhere along the line, I also discovered Christine Caine’s PROPEL curriculum and it further spoke strength to me in my season. Making the decision to lose weight came from a renewed relationship with Christ, and He empowered me for it, because the passion with which I took it on? It truly was NEXT LEVEL!!!
Little wonder 30kg went down in about 4 months. And because I was so open about my journey, sharing it all on Instagram and my blog, people saw me transform, literally!!! They saw my consistency and the results.
Then I started to help people for free, and then with some flogging from the Holy Spirit, because I was reluctant at first (even though my amazing Pastor Mildred had told me earlier) I decided to upgrade from ‘FREEMIUM TO PREMIUM’ even though I was SO SCARED!!! So the business was birthed, and my darlings, THIS HAS BEEN THE RIDE OF MY LIFE. Walking with JESUS is SO EXCITING. And He has blown my mind all the way. I have been on countless media platforms including being a Guardian Contributor,
met a gazillion people and made beautiful relationships, made more money than I could have working, written a book on my journey,
and more than anything, made a difference in the lives of many.
I literally CAN NOT WAIT to see what next He does with and through us. It is challenging, and I am SO BUSY but I am SO GRATEFUL for all He continues to do with us. HE IS SO GOOD!!!
3. Wow, looks like you have a lot on your hands. How do you juggle these with managing the home front?
I learned a few things from a couple of my teachers. I truly am a product of many teachers so I lean hard into their wisdom and apply as led to my home. For example, I learned that I didn’t have to JUGGLE but CRADLE (that is choose what is important in every season and nurture each like a baby instead of wanting to do it all) from Propel Curriculum One where we were taught on BALANCE and the myth of having it all. I learned from Priscilla Shirer that serving our family is an essential part of my purpose on earth as a woman, but in the same vein, Lisa Bevere taught me in practical ways how I need to TRAIN MY KIDS in such a way that they ALLOW me fulfill the other calls on my life. DDK taught me how to put structure to my life that allow for optimized efficiency. Chris taught me that changing the world is possible with a family and a full life. Pastor Mildred teaches me how to grow into the growing schedule of my life and maximizing help where I need it. Heather Lindsey stays teaching me how to be a Proverbs 31 woman. And many more teachers. My Rev taught me that a WISE WOMAN stores up knowledge for when she needs it, so I keep learning and storing and when the time comes where the rubber hits the road, I know which wisdom from which teacher to whip out. My life is beautiful and I owe it all to my God-sent teachers (and YouTube!!!). I share a bit in my article to Stay at home moms on Bella Naija,
and really scattered all over my personal blog www.eziaha.com
I am not saying I have it all together, cos no one does but having teachers has made this BALANCE thing a whole ‘nother level easier!!!
4. CoachE’ brand is only two years old and you already have different subsidiaries. How were you able to achieve this feat?
Frankly, I am led by God in EVERYTHING we do. Just like Jesus said in John 5 v 9, Jesus gave them this answer:
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
I literally do NOTHING unless He shows me.
Isaiah 50 v 4 is a defining Word in my life…
The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
Like I am about to launch a new program for my plus sized sisters, and as always, I heard Him speak to me. My mornings are so important because I prepare my spirit heavily to catch all the things He drops to my spirit all day long.
Recently, I have been big on praying about INTERPRETING THE WINDS around me. In January, my Pastor Rev Sam Adeyemi taught this profound message on EAGLES AND WINDS and this year, I have been so sensitive to winds and seasons and being obedient as He commands me.
Because the unsaved me, which tries to come up every now and again, is so competitive, and with competition comes copying, I have to be on the offensive to make sure that I am hearing from ONLY Him. Sometimes, it involves unfollowing and blocking several people from my online community so I am not tempted to copy.
Once I am sure I heard from God to go a certain direction, I dig in my heels and see it through.
5. You have a background in sociology, how were you able to break into the world of fitness, seeing as they are quite unrelated? Did you at any time see this as a challenge?
Nope. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. When God led me to begin CoachE’Squad, known earlier as SavedFitFAB, I knew He would bless it using everything I already knew as a child of God. I recall something my BIL said after I graduated with a First Class. He said that the thing about a Distinction is not so much that you will excel in your field, but that the same principles can be applied to any other area of life and success will come. Principles like hardwork, diligence, commitment and the likes. So I knew the seed of success could also be planted in this new field and it would be successful.
Since I had no prior professional knowledge per se, my friend, accountability partner and sister Aijay encouraged me to do short courses in this new field. She even paid for the first one. That became a game changer for me, and so far, I have 3 certifications…
A US Prenatal and Post-natal Fitness Specialist Certificate (endorsed by The American Fitness Professionals Association which is a HUGE DEAL),
and 2 UK Based ones on Personal Nutrition and Health and Fitness.
I have two in view… One on Advanced Nutrition (for Experts) and a Psychology based course, because I am finding that I need some Psychology to fully understand and help a good number of my clients through their relationship with food especially. Plus, google is my friend. I am constantly learning!!!
***Update, I got the foundation certificate in CBT, that is COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY ***
6. Obviously you are a busy person with no time for frivolities, how do you unwind?
I consider worship very very relaxing. And because I get the privilege of working from home and for myself, I take worship into every area of my work, so I feel like I am unwinding even when I work. One other thing that I love is THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW.
I just go crazy on YouTube. I loooove Ellen. She really is the BEST in that field, IMO. I wish I went to the cinema more, cos that is something I like. Plus mall hopping even if I don’t spend anything haha.
7. I see that you are unreserved about your faith and it is an integral part of your business. Does this in anyway affect your client prospect?
I REALLY LOVE JESUS. Like HE ROCKS!!! So my relationship with Him seeps into every thing I do. I don’t think it directly affects prospects, as in someone saying SHE LOVES GOD, WE WONT PATRONISE HER lol. Maybe it does but I neither know nor care. On another level though, my relationship with God puts some restrictions to things I can or cannot do. I FEAR GOD so there are some things I see people do, especially with online marketing that I cannot do because of my faith. It may be permitted for others but God just keeps me off it. And sometimes, it may seem like I am slacking because those things bring worldly success but I roll by a different set of rules. It doesn’t really bother me though, I am on this AMAZING RIDE with my JESUS so He really is all I see.
My face is set like a FLINT… Laser focused, literally!!!
I LOOOOOVE HIM more than anything else and just going to bed each day knowing ‘ we cool’ is THEEEEE BEST.
But the good things is HE REWARDS and HE HAS BEEN SO FAITHFUL. My husband and I, and the few privileged people who have access to the backstage of my life have been LITERALLY BLOWN away by His blessings on my brand.
8. In this part of the world, women are seen as ”weak” and have been boxed into a corner by the society, but you are running a successful growing business, running a home, while still being a woman. Based on these, what advise would you give to women?
Girl, YOU GOT THIS!!!
There is this subtly permissiveness (another cloak for weakness) the society is beginning to ascribe to us.
It is subtle, but dangerous. They say things like
You are only human, you are doing your best, don’t compare,
and these things in some context are good, but we now take it out of context to live below par and lazy lives. We are settling for safe and not pushing our boundaries, even worse, at the slightest sign of opposition or hardness, we throw up our hands and walk away because we gave our ‘best’.
NO MA. YOU GOT THIS!!!
SINGLE, MARRIED, BABY, BABIES, TRIPLETS, NO BABY, CAREER, BIZ, JOBLESS etx,
YOU CAN BE MORE!!! You can DO MORE, not in comparison to another sister, but in comparison to YOU on a whole new level.
Super shout out to the women STRETCHING THEMSELVES TO THEIR ABSOLUTE limits.
I have the privilege to see the backstage of my Pastor’s life, Pastor Mildred, and I am amazed at how she keeps going. Ditto DDK. I look to women like these not stopping because it got hard, but digging in to reveal a deeper layer of strength.
Plus, I listen TOO MUCH to my e-Pastor Steven Furtick to say
I DID MY BEST, OR I DID ALL I COULD…
He literally haunts me when I think like that. So as hard as it gets, I have the YOU GOT THIS, GIRL, mentality. It is a game changing perspective I tell ya.
9. Let’s talk about competition. There are so many fitness trainers out there, do you sometimes see them as competition? And does this in anyway affect your relationship with them?
I FIGHT it with my life. That is why I LEAN so hard on my faith. I am an ABSOLUTE WRECK without my Jesus. We all have our thorn in the flesh, and competition, comparison and pride is my thang!!! Because I already know, I STAY ON THE OFFENSIVE. Right on my task board, I have this post it where I wrote 2 COR 10V5 out long hand…
I capture, like a prisoner of war, every thought, and insist that it bows in obedience to Christ….
So I turn to it every time for a top-up when the devil comes.It is a fight I tell ya, and my Priscilla Shirer taught me how to put on my armour baby.
I also don’t try to seek friendships and partnerships just to show that I am associating and networking lol. No!!! I don’t even go to actively look for who to clap for or support. I just stay on my lane and if someone slides in, I acknowledge and keep moving. There are a couple with whom I relate but I really am only led by God. Yes, some people have called me proud, told me how I have missed business opportunities and deals because I don’t engage with the rest actively, and so on. Lol. The truth is I am a really friendly, super social person, but I am also a Soldier of Christ, and so I take commands from Him. But I have NO BAD BLOOD with anyone at all.
Another thing is I have accountability. I would talk to Aijay or Eniola or Valerie (all my friends) or my hubby for perspective and a check. And I don’t coat anything. I pour out my mess so they can help me. Plus of course, I also journal out how I feel. My letters to God are therapy!!! I couldn’t pay Him enough for our sessions haha.
10. How do you manage to stay on top of your game?
Prayers!!! Hardwork. Repeat!!!
11. Going down memory CoachE’ memory lane, is there anything you wish you did differently?
Yes and No.
No, because frankly all things work together for good. Yes. Stuff like registering my business earlier. I wish I did. Registering it as a Limited Company opened my brain and moved us to NEXT LEVEL. Also I wish I learned structuring earlier, but then again, some lessons just come further down the road. Really I stay evolving and following God, so this ride has little regrets. I actually am proud of myself and all I bring to CoachE’Squad Ltd.
12. Behind every success story, there is always a background story. What is that background story about CoachE’ you would like to share?
I have kinda hinted in my answers above, but something I hope people get from reading this again is that no matter the flash and glitz you see on social media, there is a LOT of work people are putting in behind the scenes. It is not as easy as it seems, and even I am shocked when I see the amount of GIANTS people fight literally for the product that is success which we see. So many people see people smashing their goals and stuff on social media and maybe they think it is easy. Mehn, it is NOT EASY sisters. For every single victory, it has been BLOOD, SWEAT and GIANTS!!! So put on your boots sisters and get to WORK!!!!
I enjoyed this. I hope you did too. Please share and drop a comment too. I hope you also check out all the hyperlinks in the post.
Welcome to the world of CoachE’.
Subscribe too here so you don’t miss any of our FOOD and FITNESS posts.