“All these children that call themselves motivational speakers and life coaches…”
These are the regular words Nsikak Effiong uses when she wants to speak about the numerous speakers and coaches that flood her Facebook timeline.
Nsikak is just being nice and polite with words.
The truth is: Many life coaches do not even have a life. We have many lifeless life coaches parading themselves as experts, leaving lives worse than they met it.
Early this year, I was billed to speak in Lekki. I got there early because I had another engagement at Ikeja. While waiting for the event to start, I quickly excused myself as I wanted to use the convenience. A guy who I had noticed earlier in the hall joined me.
“My guy, find me something na,” he said tapping my shoulder. “Oga, I’m sorry I can’t find you anything,” I responded without looking at him.
Back at the hall, we were asked to network with one another, so I went to the guy and I introduced myself.
“I’m Matthew Femi-Adedoyin. I’m an entrepreneur with focus in Family Life Coaching, Publishing and Graphic Designing,” I said. “I am looking for more businesses I can do,” I concluded with a smile.
“I’m so so and so and I am a motivational speaker and Life coach,” he began and I immediately lost interest in the introduction. However, I managed to listen to everything he had to say.
I thought I was shocked till our host introduced him along with one other lady and myself as the speakers. We all spoke and as I got set to leave, I gave him N2,000, but not without sharing some things with him. He thanked me. Obviously, he had no transport fare.
Dear motivational speaker, life coach or what have you, coaching and speaking are not professions. They are tools and methodologies used in helping people get results in their lives. These tools and methodologies are learnt either through formal or informal education, mentorship, trainings and they cost money, time and lots of resources.
Branding youself as a speaker or coach because you read a book by Brian Tracy, John Maxwell and listened to Fela Durotoye, Niyi Adesanya and maybe Matthew Femi-Adedoyin is no benchmark. Taking a selfie with Steve Harris in his car, a picture with Lanre Olusola autographing your copy of his book and a picture with Praise Fowowe at an event is no criteria. A lot of people think these count, so the week after their encounter, you will see them brand themselves as Dream Innoculator, Common Sense Activator, Spirit Life Director, Everything Coach, Spiritual Emancipator and maybe Relationship Formulator.
The craze for titles is the order of the day. It is unfortunate that the industry is porous. Anybody can just wake up one day after looking for a job and give himself/herself a tag. Many lazy and hungry people are turning themselves to experts over people’s lives.
The other day, at an event in Unilag, I saw one of the many Innoculators laying hands on Lanre Olusola’s G-Wagon; tapping grace to achieve such. He however forgets that Lanre is working. He is currently doing his PhD. He has paid for numerous trainings to position himself as a formidable force in his field. He has 8 businesses. He didn’t just sleep and do some positive confessions. He had and has a life.
Dear Life Coach, go get a life.
Coaching, therapy, speaking, writing deal with lives – people’s lives. Don’t joke with it.
To be continued…
© Matthew ‘Femi-Adedoyin
Matthew ‘Femi-Adedoyin is the Principal Partner at Abstinence Icon and Visionary of Maximum Impact Network.