Photo Credit: Beta Motivation
This month's feature is one that will inspire me for months to come. I've had the chance to know Kola through her popular YouTube videos and her blog for over a year. So, seeing her do something I've always known she would do was less of a surprise. Rather, I swelled with pride when I learned about #StoryStory!
When it comes to using what you have to make a global difference, Kola is a force to reckon with. Born and raised in Nigeria, Kola Olaosebikan relocated to the United States out of a desire to make a difference. Over the years, she has been involved with orphan care initiatives in Uganda, Congo, Haiti, UAE, Nigeria, and Mexico. All by the grace of God and on a small personal budget. You can read more about her accomplishments here on her blog, Beta Motivation.
She is also the author of Story Story, How I Found Ways to Make a Difference and Do What I Love, an unconventional book about taking your destiny by the horns and making a difference in the world.
If you are a young adult and you dream of a better world through a better you, sit back and get to know Kola.
Where are you from and how do you identify yourself?
I was born and raised in Lagos Nigeria and identify myself as a Nigerian.
Has your faith played any role in how you perceive and deal with challenges?
My faith is my north star. It’s the benchmark that I use to make the most important decisions in my life. I honestly don’t think I would be able to survive the meaninglessness of life without faith in something greater than myself.
Were there times when you felt like quitting or giving up because you couldn’t see what’s in front of you?
*laughs* the short answer is yes. The longer answer is in my book, Story Story.
In fact, the book itself is an example of something I wanted to give up on. It took me four years to finish that book. I wanted to give up many times but becoming an Author was a dream of mine and I just had to keep telling myself, “you can rest, Kola, but you cannot quit”. And that’s exactly what I did. I rested when I needed to rest but I did not quit.
Sometimes you just have to shut off your brain and choose to believe that stuff will work out even when it doesn’t look like it.
How important are mentors for self-development? Do you have mentors?
My mom is my greatest mentor. She taught me what it means to be brave.
I have a formal American mentor who I met through a program called Edge Mentoring. She is just such a blessing in my life.
I also have a network of leaders that I consider my mentors from a distance – TD Jakes and Chris Gullibeau are two examples.
So needless to say, I think that mentors are invaluable. At the same time, they’re not the golden ticket to prosperity. At the end of the day, mentoring still degenerates into work. You still have to make the calls, send the emails, and do the work *laughs*
What books have influenced your life the most?
Ahhh! I love this question! I’m constantly reading and one of my all-time favorites is the biography of Alexander the Great.
I also loved reading Made to Stick by the Heath Brothers. Re-work was another great read.
I always feel obligated to mention the Bible when people ask me about my favorite books so yeah, I’ll add the bible to this list too.
What book are you currently reading?
Currently, I’m reading Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela and it is shaping my mind in profound ways.
Your book is not a “how to” get rich quick scheme. What message do you want readers to grasp in Story Story?
The core message of Story Story is that sometimes, you just have to believe that the thing you want will happen for you even when all evidence to the contrary absolutely exists. That has been, and continues to be my experience.
I’ve had so many things fall into place for me that didn’t look possible at first but somehow, step-by-step, things aligned. Story Story is for the person that just wants to see an example of someone who had an idea and how life conspired to make that dream come true.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It was hard to be honest.
It was hard to just say things as they were as opposed to pretending to be “the expert” on how to achieve your dreams. That’s partly why it took me so long. I had to stop looking for the “right angle” to position the book from. And I had to be okay with sharing things that are quite personal.
It was after I was done writing that I could see very clearly that this was a book that needed to be out there.
Just the level of honesty in the book is something that I’m very proud of. It’s the kind of book that I feel very good about telling people to buy because I know that it is well written; it is interesting; and it is actually helpful. I’m so thankful that I didn’t quit.
Do you have any advice for budding authors/entrepreneurs?
You can rest, but you cannot quit. Also, trust your own judgment – sometimes, your intuition may lead you in a direction that others don’t understand…and that’s okay.
Where can we buy your book when it is released on March 23rd?
Please visit http://www.storystorybook.com to grab your copy!
Anything else you would like to share?
If you buy the book, make sure you tweet a pic with hashtag #StoryStory so I can give you a shout out :)
Kola Olaosebikan is a Nigerian Author and Social Entrepreneur based in the United States. Learn more about her work by visiting http://www.betamotivation.com and subscribe for weekly updates from her blog