2021 BLOG SERIES- WOMAN, MOTHER, JOYFUL ENTREPRENEUR
Have you ever met someone and instantly felt more joyful? As if an indescribable aura has wrapped you up in peace. With this in mind, I introduce you to Adenike (pronounced Add-A-Nikki) Makinde. This month’s The Mom Huddle spotlight in WOMAN, MOTHER, JOYFUL ENTREPRENEUR.
We met a few months ago through a Linking Indy Women networking event. Even in a virtual format, Adenike’s presence gave off the feeling of joy and inclusion. Although in the virtual world we find ourselves in, our group of five was able to dive in deep and swiftly. Sharing thoughts and feelings creating an immediate connection and wonderful conversation.
Upon my second meeting with Adenike, I have now put my finger on why. It’s her warmth and approach to life. In fact, she draws you in. Furthermore, living up to her company’s appropriate name, Joyfully: Career Strategy & Confidence Coaching.
As I thought about who to interview for February, the idea surfaced for a minority business owner who is also a mother. I remembered the LIW encounter with Adenike and without a doubt, knew this was my February person. Not only did she NOT disappoint, but I was additionally awestruck by her approach to life, motherhood, business ownership, and more.
APPROACH- WOMAN, MOTHER, JOYFUL ENTREPRENEUR
First off, I go into each of these interviews with no agenda and very few prepared questions. While this may seem like an odd approach, I truly enjoy the process and just seeing where the conversation takes us. Furthermore, it keeps me from focusing too much on a particular outcome for the article. Instead, it ends up being just the message I didn’t know I needed to hear.
I say this because what Adenike said almost immediately struck deep.
We were discussing how to instill in our kids a sense of direction and purpose. Not forcing them down our pre-conceived notion of success, but rather how to make them mindful in decision making. This is when Adenike dropped the knowledge on me.
“We bring stuff into our lives because it’s what we expect. I just always rejected the idea.”
To paraphrase… we create our reality through what we expect.
For instance, parents go into the teenage years expecting rebellion and trouble. And just like a self-fulfilling prophecy, those same parents find themselves with teenagers in rebellion and trouble. “We bring stuff into our lives because it’s what we expect. I just rejected the idea.”
If you take nothing else from reading this article, think about that statement. Although made in relation to raising her children, it quickly became apparent this is a foundational belief for Adenike.
Before you think this was a very rose-colored glasses approach to raising teenagers, Adenike was quick to point out, yes, there were times of rebellion and trouble. On the contrary, that did not make up their entire teenage years. The label created for the time period with her kids was multi-faceted. Not summed up by a couple of negative adjectives.
I pressed on with this discussion intrigued by the approach of rejecting the idea.
FOUNDATION- WOMAN, MOTHER, JOYFUL ENTREPRENEUR
Adenike has two children. Admittedly, not so much children as now young adults. Caleb, a 19-year-old college student with big dreams and an even bigger heart. Mikayla, a 17-year-old high school senior destined for leadership.
Foundation is key. For Adenike and her family, their foundation is God and a loving spirit.
“I have never felt as though I had to figure it out on my own. God is always there and if I lean on my faith and love, everything eventually works out.”
Watching the pride with which she spoke of her children and their very real and deep conversations, I found myself wanting to immediately implement her suggestions for getting to this point with her kids.
First, keep God in your heart.
Second, come from a place of love with your energy.
And finally, invest in your kids.
For their family, this investment consists of regular Saturday morning conversations to check in. Creating the space to talk about life and share on a deep level.
Whereas, there is a time for discipline. On the other hand, there is also a time for allowing your children the space to learn and grow. She was able to strike this balance with regular “adult” conversation. Above all, learning who they are as people by listening and caring. Subsequently, showing interest in what they had to say as they processed their own thoughts and feelings.
She reminds her kids all the time, “this is the job God gave me to do. I know my job as a parent.” Even though Caleb and Mikayla may not always agree with her, they respect the logic behind this.
We next shifted our discussion to the notion of martyrdom in motherhood.
Whether through their own upbringing or being too tied to social norms, along the way a lot of mothers have created a story. This story includes the mother being a martyr figure in the family. We tend to think this is what we should do.
Be everything for everyone. Put even some of our most basic needs to the side under the ruse of being what the family needs.
This stress of obligation, however, has had an opposite effect.
“Our kids do what we model. Model what you want your kids to look like.”
Instead of coming from a place of, “I can’t do ___ (fill in the blank) because of my kids,” she suggests flipping the script. “I need to do this because of my kids.” Invest in yourself.
Stress in motherhood is not an obligation. Analyze it. Figure out what the stressor is and address it. There is no room for martyrdom once you actually address what is going on.
Again, go back to her first point, “We bring stuff into our lives because it’s what we expect. I just rejected the idea.”
JOYFUL ENTREPRENEUR- 2020
What Adenike gained from 2020 was the perspective of her business shift. Joyfully went from being her business to now being a platform.
“It’s not just business. I have the freedom to be myself. I know I can utilize the business as a platform to fulfill my calling. My first calling was to be a parent. My second calling is helping people.”
She works with her clients to shift from sick and tired to peace and purpose. Creating a sustainable and feasible plan with personal values at the core. It should come as no surprise mindset shifting is a key element to her coaching style.
Starting her own business was key because she wanted to be able to help people the way she had it in her own heart, not through a pre-created program through an institution. This drive took her from a corporate career three and a half years ago into business for herself.
She described the moment she went from burnt out and unmotivated in her job to engaged and excited about her work. It came down to the epiphany of knowing she wanted her own business. Excitement and momentum to a future she hadn’t been able to put her finger on until she invested in herself with coaching, praying, and journaling.
Adenike is a woman of color. There is so much going on in the world in addition to the pandemic having an understandable and emotional toll for this demographic. I was astonished by her mindset and approach once again to all of the perceived hate going on in the world.
“I told my kids; you can’t control another person. Be aware of what is happening around you, but you can only take on so much. Guard your heart. And if you are out there talking in the world (social media), you better be prepared to take action, not just be noise.”
Additionally, her messaging to her kids throughout this political and racial turmoil had two key elements. First, keep God in your heart. Second, bring your energy from a place of love.
She even went back to her original foundation belief of, “we bring stuff into our lives because it’s what we expect. I just rejected the idea.” Ensuring she and her family remained above the hate. In fact, expecting people to be kind and come from a place of love. Not pulled into the energy zapping of it all because it’s what was expected.
SUMMARY- WOMAN, MOTHER, JOYFUL ENTREPRENEUR
Adenike’s ideal client is a woman who has had enough life and work experience to know themselves. As a consequence, they have hit the point in their journey where they question if they have completed their purpose on Earth or if there is more to their story.
It’s where she found herself a few years ago. Instead of choosing to be a martyr and continuing down a path not entirely fulfilling to her, she chose joy. Seeking out mentors. Reading. Praying. Giving herself space and time to recognize the shift in her purpose. Then, pursuing her dream.
Her amazing approach to life not only rubs off on her clients but also is visible in her children through their actions. Recently, her son told her during a Saturday morning conversation while home from college, “I’m so glad you raised me how you did. There are some crazy people out there.”
I then asked if her son could be a mentor to my own sons. (I mean, seriously, why not right?!)
Find your joy. Focus on your joy. And resist the urge to bring negativity, hurt, and hate (stuff) into your life because it’s what you expect. Reject the idea.
Thank you Adenike for being an aura of light in the world even when it can feel very dark. Your love and grace are contagious.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
– Maya Angelou
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