Kemi Sogunle is a certified professional coach, mom, founder and author. She is also healed. Once broken from the reality of past trauma and divorce, she set out on a journey to discover her true self and purpose and found ways to help others in the process.
Many women find themselves starting business from crisis- job loss, divorce, starting over. Within a year of finding yourself in a failing marriage, you were coaching others on building their business. What is one major thing that you learned or encountered in that year that prepared you to train others. Were you confident initially about your skills or ability to get others where they wanted to go?
I had lost everything and had to start over. I began by getting coached and mentored while allowing myself to gradually heal. During this period, I was also co-leading a women’s prayer group and continued to send out encouraging and inspiration newsletters. I also enrolled based on some of the feedback I received from the newsletters and sharing posts on Facebook with an accredited life and relationship coaching organization so that I could obtain my certification in coaching. I wrote four books (3 have been published and 2 have won multi-awards) during my healing process and started using them to coach and support others on their journeys.
I have always been confident in myself and my skills. I believe getting others to where they want to go is a collaborative effort. First, they have to be ready to do the work. Coaches don’t do the work for their clients. Coaches support their clients with setting goals and accomplishing those tasks to achieve results. Without the client doing the work, there will be no result…no matter how much you support him or her with the goals.
I have supported quite a number of people who shared their testimonials on my website and with others and I pray God continues to grant me life to do so. Some have moved on to become home owners and some now have successful carriers and others successfully dating and in healthier relationships due to them being committed to improving their lives (I mainly work with them on relationships but life is part of relationship building so I render support where possible and where I cannot, I refer them to other coaches ).
So that are readers thinking of starting a business are realistic, was your situation where you did not have to work or be dependent on this job for awhile, giving it time to grow or did you find yourself between a rock and a business launch? What is one thing you struggled with right out of the gate?
I discovered my purpose as this has always been part of my life, to coach and support others but everything came to light during this period and I started off as a solopreneur. As an introvert, one thing I struggled with was learning to get out of my shell and shyness and reach out for support from mentors.
Tell us about your pre-teen childhood.
Pre-teen childhood was great. My late father and grandfather always allowed us to be ourselves in the house but we had time restrictions – curfews (smiles).
At an age where most girls are developing stronger relationships, taking on more responsibility and independence as well as thinking more seriously about their futures, you were sexually assaulted. What would you say to your 17-year-old self that may have saved you some of pain of instead burying the event and your feelings associated with it?
During that age and in that particular year, girls my age were into relationships and also planning for college. Most of us still lived with our parents who were doing very well. I was invited to a party by the guy who a friend thought was a good fit (she played the matchmaker – smile). At the time, I was 17, we were not allowed to discuss certain things as no one would believe you. That was the norm back then and I had to keep everything to myself (I am a preacher’s daughter and that made it more difficult for me to talk about it). Looking back now, I would have tried to talk to someone or seek for help but I lived in a country where such was rarely done (I was living in Nigeria back then).
When you were finding yourself in relationships that were not of your best interest, what did you think you were seeking at the time and what types of relationship dynamics did you find yourself instead?
I only found myself in 2 relationships that I thought would help me take my pain away but none did. I was only drawn to more pain.
“Pain always attracts pain and you can never love anyone from a place of pain.”
–from the book, Beyond the Pain / Kemi Sogunle
When you look back, do you think your marriage was one of those relationships or one where you stayed too long?
I do not believe marriage has anything to do my pain. The relationships are what we use to try to soothe or take the pain away but what happens is that we experience more conflicts when we don’t take the time to heal. I believe it was the avenue God used to help me to find myself and connect with my purpose – which is coaching and supporting singles and occasionally married couples with life and relationship issues. Every experience in life brings us closer to finding ourselves.
Who initiated the divorce proceedings and whatever your role, how did it make you feel initially at the time?
I do not wish to go into details as I have closed the chapter to my past and healed from it and God has delivered me from that phase. I felt lost but I did not feel bad because I challenged God. I told Him that if He was truly God and He existed, He had to prove His promise to never leave nor forsake me. I asked God to show up if He was with me in the journey ahead. He came true as He has always for me. That’s how I knew I was walking into my life’s purpose. More information will be in my fourth book (which I wrote during my healing, my memoir.
What do you teach your son about how he himself will treat girls/women he deals he will encounter in life?
I teach my son on how to treat others as He would want to be treated. I teach him about the facts as well as values: his body is God’s temple and sin cannot have dominion over him. He has to stay on course and not be distracted. I teach him to value and love himself enough so that he can only attract what he needs. First, he has to know what he needs and meet his own needs. I help him understand that “for every choice he makes, there is a consequence he will face” (a quote from my book, “Beyond the Pain”). He also has copies of all my books and we hold ‘think-tank’ sessions weekly on life and relationships.
How did you know you were healed? Was there a moment where you knew absolutely without a doubt that you have finally reached the other side of your own growth hurdle and was able to move forward in the right mindset? Did others notice the change?
“The moment you know you are healed, is when no one can inflict pain on you.”
–from the book, Beyond the Pain / Kemi Sogunle
We grow daily. I am still a work in progress. Life is all about growth. I have always had a positive mindset from childhood and I have always been a go-getter. I believe that allowing myself to be at the wrong place at the wrong time which led to my being raped, brought pain into my life and altered my decision-making as I did not immediately deal with the issue and heal from it.
I have always been an introvert and principled woman with a big heart so people may not have immediately noticed the change but I believe that others did when I disconnected from those around me who were not at the level I had grown into. Surrounding yourself with people who are yet to grow to where you are, will only take you steps backwards.
Your education and training was taking you in a different direction. Tell us about your transition into coaching and what you offer as a coach.
I added coaching training to my resume (I still work full-time as an IT consultant, I also make signature perfumes and enjoy interior decorating). I have always counseled women and men but coaching is different from counseling in that it helps you think for yourself and find your own voice. I offer several coaching programs that support singles (12 weeks purposeful relationship mastery) and couples (Laces and Jeans™ Couples Program). I also offer a Life coaching program (Breakdown to Breakthrough) for those looking to move beyond painful experiences and jump start a new chapter in their journeys.
Tell our readers about your Love Not Hurt organization?
I founded Love Not Hurt after I started coaching others. I do not like to turn people away because they cannot afford my coaching programs. What we do at Love Not Hurt is to educate and empower others through self-development and relationship building mentoring sessions. We support families in underserved areas as well so that they can become equipped and improve their lifestyles. We must do unto others as we want done to us…that is what love is all about.
You have authored three books, Beyond the Pain, Being Single, and Love, Sex, Lies and Reality. Tell us about each one and who the target audience is for each.
Love, Sex, Lies and Reality is my first book (it has won multi-awards including an award from Howard County, Maryland) – it is for those who are married or are in a relationship and experiencing conflicts. It is about facing the truth, discarding the lies, avoiding using sex as a soother of pain and accepting reality in order to build on healthier relationships.
Being Single (has also won several awards) is written for those who are single or divorced. It touches on life experiences as a single person. How the single phase is fragile and often times is where we tend to lose ourselves. It provides information on how to get back on track if lost in your journey and begin to live purposeful and in love.
Beyond the Pain is for those who have experienced childhood or adult pain and need to learn how to heal, move forward in life and experience love again.
What would you say to a woman encountering similar issues now on reaching her own healing?
It takes time to heal and it takes commitment to want to heal. Never focus on what others have to say or think. “Your journey is yours alone to walk. Some will never understand it.
You do not have to explain your pain. Take charge of your journey”
– quote from the book, Being Single/ Kemi Sogunle
How can readers reach out to you for more information?
Readers can reach me via the following social media links: Website: www.kemisogunle.com
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