Helping women become their own bosses
August 26, 2017
Nearly 10 years ago, life wasn’t fun anymore for Kike-Lola Odusanya.
Feeling stuck with no way out, she would often cry on the way to work hoping that an accident would prevent her from getting there.
“I would be alone in the vehicle with gospel music playing and hoping that I wouldn’t meet my destination,” Odusanya recalled. “That was how bad things were.”
Her slide downhill started about two years earlier when the relationship with her boss at a telecommunications company soured.
“This individual was just an extremely difficult person to work for and it became unbearable for me,” said Odusanya who was with the organization for nine years before leaving as a workforce management analyst. “If it wasn’t for that person, I might still be in that job.”
To add insult to injury, she became extremely ill six weeks after the birth of her second child.
“I suffered a serious medical emergency that left me in excruciating pain, immobilized and dependent upon family and friends to care for my most intimate needs and my new baby,” Odusanya, who completed high school at W.A Porter Collegiate Institute, said. “…Suddenly, I was in a fight for my life. I spent my days high on painkillers, literally living on my living room couch. I couldn’t move without the assistance of a rented walker and I had to be carried to the main floor powder room that had been adjusted to fit my new condition.”
Losing her fiancé during this challenging period added to her challenges.
With her life in a nosedive, Odusanya pulled herself together and decided she had to move on for her children.
Back in the workforce after recovering from the debilitating illness, Odusanya spent almost18 months working with World Financial Group as an insurance agent and financial services representative.
“It was hard,” she said. “I didn’t make much money. The truth was I wasn’t very good at it as that line of work really wasn’t for me. The one good thing, however, that came out of that job was that I met a mentor who taught me a lot about networking and how you attain success in business.”
After just over two years as a business development coach at Ardyss International where she initiated and built a global distributing team generating monthly sales averaging 200k, spearheaded a record-setting sales team that helped grow the company’s gross revenues, trained frontline distribution representatives and facilitated motivational team events and tele-seminars, Odusanya launched ‘My Boss is Me’ in January 2013.
It is a boutique personal and business development firm geared towards women of colour.
“We help women plan, launch and grow their businesses to the point where they can quit their 9-5 jobs,” said Odusanya who is the product of Kittitian and Nigerian parents.
Some of the tips she has picked up along the way about building a business are now shared in a book, ‘My Boss Is Me’, which was released late last year.
“For someone who doesn’t consider themselves to be a writer, this was an extremely challenging project,” said Odusanya who graduated from Centennial College’s developmental services worker program and is a certified coaching professional. “The hardest part was the discipline to sit down and see it through to the end.”
She said the book emerged after a conversation with a trusted mentor.
“This individual felt strongly that I should share my personal experience,” she said.
Odusanya has some useful tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“If you want to be your own boss, do it if you believe you can,” she said. “There is not one way or a person that’s going to guarantee you success. What will make you successful is consistency, hard work, persistence and figuring your way to do it.”