Relationship and Marriage coach, Nike Folagbade launches first love and learning platform for singles
Relationship and Marriage coach, Nike Folagbade has successfully launched the first love and learning platform for singles.
Love and Life Hub is mainly to help more singles get enlightened and connect with a potential lover.
In an interview with Vanguard Allure, Nike Folagbade shares the inspiration behind the new Hub, challenges encountered and more tips.
Did your childhood prepare you in any way for what you do now? Tell us more about your growing up and how it influenced your life?
I once heard a speaker say that our lives can be segmented into different phases, like 0-10 years representing a time of discovery and age 10-20 representing a time of practice.
From the age of 7, I started having a strong interest in love related matters. I enjoyed reading romantic novels, magazines, movies and columns in the newspaper. Oprah Winfrey Show was also a great influence as I envisioned myself hosting a talk show like that someday.
I began to write articles in my notebooks till I got busy with school life and daily realities. As at then, I never saw my interests as a big deal, I just felt I would go to school, get a job and build a successful career in Accounting.
While in the university, I felt a strong urge to help people via writing and speaking especially in the area of love and dating. Prior to then, I got bored of the school-church-home cycle. I wanted more out of life so I started to meditate alone. I started to seek and dig within me. I decided to try out new things but it didn’t work out until I saw an inspirational seminar in school which I had to pay for. They invited over 10 motivational speakers, business owners and celebrities to speak on discovering oneself. I was the only one who paid for it amongst my friends. I felt bored at first but at the end of the event, I realized that God had just used one of the speakers to spark up the desire in me to help people. It felt surreal. It felt like a rush of grace as I stepped out and began to truly help people. I started blogging, speaking in my church and discovering more of my skills. I was able to use WordPress, BBM, Facebook and Twitter to reach thousands of people in 2013.
One of the ways that my childhood helped to build compassion in me is that, at a young age, I didn’t know how to process corrections. I always took every misfortune, pain, sickness, failure and criticism as rejection from my parent, God and anyone around me, so I began to seek for love and validation externally. This spurred me into dating for the wrong reasons until I was able to truly discover myself. Now, when I’m helping people, I can see through the lens of their past and how it forms their decision now.
It’s been 6 years since I started and I’m so happy to have helped thousands of people to discover themselves, heal from past hurts, choose better relationships, make better marital decisions and grow spiritually.
What inspired you to start the Nike Folagbade International?
I started blogging in 2013 as a personal hobby but after helping thousands of people and getting certified in Emotional intelligence, Anger management, Family Systems Engineering, Master Neuro-Linguistics Programming, SYMBIS and other coaching skills, I decided to intentionally build a business and not just a hobby hence I registered Nike Folagbade International to anchor my personal brand.
Now, we are focused on helping singles and married via coaching, therapy, counseling, mentorship, speaking, blogging, podcasting, authoring books and other medium.
My vision is to build an institution that will cater for families generally which will include working with singles, married couples and helping with intentional parenting. This also means that we will partner with other coaches and experts in different fields to achieve this. We also want to build an online and offline academy that can train people to prepare for a healthy relationship and marriage.
Under the sustainable development goals created by the United Nations, we intend to build stronger institutions and promote well- being because if we can have whole and healthy individuals who are mentally, spiritually and emotionally stable, we can have better marriages and children.
How has the journey been so far?
Wow! I have been schooled in the process. There are many challenges and achievements in the process.
Challenges in the areas of:
1. Persuading young people to invest in their emotional and mental health beyond acquiring business skills because money isn’t all that is needed in a marriage. Many marriages are suffering because of the individual’s ability to make emotional choices that can positively help them live better. We rely so much on emotions but when frustration sets in, emotions fades and people begin to make rash decisions. We also have to clearly help singles know that beyond praying, they also need to learn the right skills like communication, love languages, self- control and build strong values too.
2. I have had to experience refining processes as we grow as a business. I have had to also experience transformation in my life so I teach from a place of experience and research. I don’t just teach Googled content, I’m an embodiment of what I teach and that means I’ve had my testing moments also.
3. Getting financial support hasn’t been easy because brands like to partner more with businesses that are focused on teaching business, finance and related industry. We need more support from the government, private institutions and churches to reach more young people. People are going into drugs, prostitution, extra-marital affairs, and fraudulent lifestyle because they don’t have a proper model from home, or have experienced father or mother wounds, need clarity on their Identity and need to also heal from the baggage they currently carry. We can reach more people if we have the funds and support needed. Collaboration is key.
There have been achievements in the area of being recognized by different platforms for awards and speaking engagements. I was recently recognized as one of the 100 most inspiring young Nigerians ranking 24th in 2019 by Avance Media. It puts smile on my face when I see people become transformed in their minds, health and relationships. Seeing my books in the hands of people also encourages me to write more. There is so much work to be done on the African continent too. There is also the financial reward from helping people too, winks.
You help engaged and married couples manage their home, tell us how you use your experience as a certified SYMBIS facilitator to navigate this?
Save Your Marriage Before It Starts (SYMBIS) tool is a pre-marital coaching platform that trains coaches and counselors on how to work with engaged couples on how to adequately prepare for marriage in all ramifications. It also works for the married people who want to relearn what it takes to make their marriages work and be renewed.
The beauty of the platform is that, individuals can log into their personal dashboard to fill the assessment and will be guided by me when they are done. Each person discovers their beliefs in the areas of personality, money, marriage, sex, religion, house chores, health and other vital issues that show up in marriage. It makes my work easier because I simply guide them to fill their assessment which takes about 30 minutes at a go then I give a comprehensive explanation and coaching of how to handle each phases of their lives in marriage. It leads to mind blowing discovery about how they view marriage generally.
I also use Family Systems Engineering skills and assessments to help the married people too.
You are launching the Love and Life Hub platform for singles, how do you intend to help singles with this?
Love and Life Hub is a love and dating platform that is focused on enlightening and connecting singles for the aim of a healthier self and relationship. We have deliberately organized all that it takes for you to discover yourself, learn about dating intelligently, connect with other singles via active interaction, position yourself for an ideal partner and find the right support and guidance needed while dating. It is a combination of courses, coaching, mentoring, connection, webinars, fun, book reviews, resources and support for an active dating life.
You don’t have to take random courses to upgrade yourself, you can easily learn on love and relationships based on where you are in life and your love cycle, which is why we have created an assessment to show you where you are. We want to simplify the dating process for singles by taking them through 5 stages focused on healing, purpose, attracting a partner, sustaining a relationship and gliding into marriage successfully. We will be using a website, virtual coaching hubs and other system in place for every 90 days for each batch plus we have support coaches who will help with mentoring. The platform launches from August 17th, 2020 and every single man or woman from any tribe or religion can join us at www.loveandlifehub.com
Kindly mention 3 women who inspire you to be better and why?
There are many women who inspire me and the list will be inexhaustible but I will just stick to 3 like you have asked.
Debola Deji-Kurunmi inspires me because she shows me what is possible as a woman. She leads from a place of personal transformation that she has experienced and every encounter with her shifts my mind and execution rate. She is my kind of woman who is solid in spirituality, business, marriage and influence.
Dr. Anita Phillips because I love how she mixes mental health with Faith which gives a combination of Spirit-Body-Soul healing.
Joyce Meyer because she simplifies many areas that we struggle with in her books and other resources. We share similar vision too and I’m happy at how she has influenced my mind positively especially with the book; “Battlefield of the mind”.
You are a life coach, creative director, wife and mom, how do you manage it all?
People preach balance and I think that it has led to more confusion for me as I tried to balance every areas of my life in the same degree; I have noticed that, in order to live a multidimensional life, there will be priorities and there are areas that can be delegated. Also, there are times that my focus is more on Spirituality and Family, other times; it can be work and health. At different stages in life, I try to put each area of my life in the right perspective but they can stay at different degree. I’m currently learning to manage every area of my life but I also like to focus on 3 things at a time. Each day, I set my priorities and chase after it. I don’t try to achieve everything in a day. I have also learnt to highlight my goals, structure, time it, set reminders and delegate. I also have a team I work with which makes it easier to manage each businesses including having a supportive husband who helps me thrive in all I do but balancing it is still a work in progress and I’m learning to chill.
For instance, I have coaching hours, I have Faith hours, I have work hours, I have Family hours, I have my rest day and many other structure I’m trying to build but it is not perfect yet. I’m a work in Progress. I’m learning to appreciate my growth and leave out the pressure. Our lives are different.
The pandemic has made a lot of Nigerian women vulnerable, What coping mechanism advice would you give to these women at a time like this, especially those who are almost forced to go back to abusive relationships out of the need to sustain the family?
It can be very hard I must say. These things happen and I don’t blame anyone. We make healthier decisions as we permit ourselves the risk to grow and find help.
It boils down to Identity and Healing. Many people are currently in toxic relationships because they live a codependent life. They rely on others to feel happy, successful or approved. I love a popular saying that; “If you live for the approval of others, you will die by their rejection”.
More women are rising up to discover themselves. Relationships do not define you, it should be built with another person from a healthy standpoint.
If you are in an abusive relationship, you may need support and strength to leave because many times, people know they are in a mess but they are so convinced that there is nothing good that can happen if they choose to start again. For some, they don’t even know where to start from. It is fear and fear can keep you stuck. If you are in an abusive marriage, please, take a temporary leave to cater for your well-being, seek for help and rebuild your life. If you choose to go back to your home, it should be because your spouse is willing to use therapy, spiritual help and every necessary action to stay back on track.
Many toxic relationships are built by broken people coming from broken families. People are a product of their upbringing, environment and experiences. If you don’t discover yourself now, you cannot live a better life.
I have discovered that our mindset is where the change starts, if you start to question the beliefs that drives your life, you will be compelled to find more in life. I started helping others because there was a burden in me to grow and serve too.
I will say to ladies that, you are worth more than you are. If you redirect your life now, you will be thankful in years to come. The woman you are now is not the woman you will be in 10 years’ time but the magnitude of your change is dependent on the level of exposure you have and the transformation you permit. Even if you start by reading a book, watching the right inspirational videos, changing your role models and friends, seeking for growth etc. I know that some coaches or motivational speakers may have hurt you but look for genuine people and subscribe to their programs. I can vouch for myself, my goal is your change and it is evident in my work. Start from where you are, most importantly; speak up.
Kindly share some few nuggets about marriage with us, and why it is necessary to make it work.
First, people marry for the wrong reasons and they leave easily when it doesn’t work out as planned. People marry for sex, money, security amidst other reasons and can easily opt out when those needs are not met. Beyond your needs being met, there are few reasons why you should make your marriage work:
1. Marriage is a trans-generational decision and you cannot just marry for yourself alone. Whatever decision you make should impact your children and their marriage. The change we desire in the society starts from the family unit but may people don’t understand this hence we hardly build a structure around our marriages. Most people are still suffering from the trauma and patterns of their own family. Be the one to change that cycle by seeking for help and applying the necessary wisdom in your home.
2. If your marriage will work, it starts with your mindset and the decision to permit yourself to be responsible for it. Don’t always focus on your spouse, be the change you want to see and things will start working well when you have the right mindset, heart and actions in place.
3. Be humble and teachable enough to take corrections. I think this is one area that I needed to work on too. Your spouse can see you better, they can be the tool of change in your life if you are humble enough to get through life with them.
4. Engage healthy 3rd parties like professional counselors when needed. Don’t suffer in silence when you can engage a neutral help instead of friends and families.
5. Learn the right skills and be willing to implement it. Be patient to see the change you desire. Be content with your spouse, people keep thinking they will find a better love out there if they keep flirting. It looks greener on the other side, focus on your home and make it work just like you would do for your business. Be willing to speak your partner’s love language, keep dating in marriage and evaluate your progress periodically.
6. Be prayerful because marriage is warfare and you don’t always have to fight with words, learn to deal with some issues in prayer and let God rule your heart. I think that some marriages will work better if there is an application of wisdom and a healthy faith life.
These are just few tips I can share.
What makes you a Woman of Rubies?
I believe that I’m one of the women making the society better through my thoughts and actions. I actively engage many men and women and challenge them to be better than they are currently. I help people live a healthy life emotionally, mentally and spiritually.