Here’s a sneak peek of my interview with Isi!
My name is Isi Aladejobi, and I am a business and career growth strategist. I am also a salary strategist and a transformational leader — I call myself a gold digger because I’m really good at pulling out what makes people amazing. I’m really good at pulling that out and helping people monetize that, helping them grow in their careers, and helping women become their best selves. I work primarily with black women to help them land their dream jobs, uncover their purpose, build their dream businesses, and live fulfilling lives. So I really help women unlock their potential and have all the things they want — all the money, impact, and influence.
How did you get started in this field? What was your path?
I am the daughter of immigrant parents, originally from Nigeria. I came here when I was five months old. If you know anything about being the child of an immigrant parent, they want you to be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer, so I decided I’d be a doctor. In high school, I literally looked up doctors that made the most money and at that time, it was an anesthesiologist. I was always a high achiever; I had a 3.8 coming out of high school, but when I got to college as a bio major and got an F in organic chemistry, I couldn’t believe it.
We’re all going to encounter failure, we’re all going to encounter challenges, but when you have a strong why, you’re able to push past it. In that moment, I was not able to push past it. I started to realize I didn’t really want to become a doctor. So that’s where my journey really started — this journey of self discovery — and it’s why I’m really passionate about helping women now, because I’ve done that work. I went from a bio major, to considering public health, communications…I was just all over the place.
But at that time, in 2008, the markets were crashing, and I would read about business. I started wondering why no one was telling me about this business stuff! Every African parent that I know, their worst nightmare is their kid telling them they’re going to school to study general business. They’re like, ‘Wait, what? Where’s the path to grit? What business?’ In college I decided to take up accounting, and long story short, I got two dream job offers that I didn’t apply for. I was working at what I thought was my dream job and at the same time, I was studying digital marketing, making money online, growth, strategy, etc. So I’m self taught, I’m really big on teaching yourself all the things and as long as the internet is around, you can learn anything.
So I was learning and teaching myself these things and after I got my accounting degree with a minor in entrepreneurship, I got a master’s in education. Eventually I ended up starting my business around making power moves, helping women understand their purpose and what they want to do, and I started offering digital marketing services. I’m now coaching women into greatness, and using my teaching skills for that. I’m helping my clients have $50,000 and $100,000 launches — I’m using my digital marketing skills for that. I am using all my skill sets to live my dream life and to live out my purpose.
How long have you been doing this? When did you start coaching? Were you doing that on the side while you were still an accountant?
So funny enough, I never became an accountant. I became a math teacher. I started my business and got my first client in 2015. I got married in 2015 as well, so that was a really big year for me. I got my first client doing digital marketing, and what’s really interesting about my journey, is every year, I felt like I came into a deeper understanding of myself and got more clarity. I think the number one thing that business owners struggle with is, ‘What should I really be doing?’ Especially when you are multi passionate and when you’re talented.
I’m the kind of person that if you put anything in front of me, I’m going to figure it out, and I’m going to do it well. That’s because I have a lot of strong base skills; sometimes it makes it harder, but clarity is so freaking foundational to business growth and success.
When I found that clarity around 2018 and I began to build in that direction, I saw my business take off. So while I had that first digital marketing client, I was also nannying on the side and doing all these things, and really getting a better understanding of what it is I wanted to do in this business world.
So I’ve worn a couple different business hats and had a couple titles, but I am definitely where I’m supposed to be now. A lot of times, we just don’t know what we like or don’t like until we do it. So finding ways to take kind of low risk action is huge. Then sometimes you’re going to take bigger action, bigger risks. When I hired my first coach, that brought a level of clarity. Did it take me all the way? It did not. But it got me to the next step, or it got me to take the next step that would get me that much closer to my all the way.
What are some of the actions and specific strategies that you have taken to grow your business over the last five years?
The first thing I did was I make sure I was actually good at what I wanted to be doing. Something that was really foundational for me, was making sure I could get results for my clients. When I got my first client, she asked me what I was really good at. I had zero clients before her, so she had every right to be skeptical. I did a mini project for her for free and she was blown away by the results, so she decided to start paying me. I was with her for four or five years, one of my longest term clients. No one is saying you have to work for 20 people for free, just make sure you can get results.
The second thing that really set me up for growth was pricing properly. I think that’s huge, and this is why I think having a coach is so important because when you invest in yourself, something happens. Your value shoots up because you’re sitting with an expert, and then your confidence shoots up because you know that you know what you’re doing. Then you’re able to have prices that reflect that. People have to understand pricing, because pricing tells a story about you, your services, and what you can do, and that’s why working with a coach will help you. The value of your work and the value of your transformation, what it brings in and what it can do, there’s value there. There’s the value of your transformation that you have to keep in mind. When that all comes together, you need to have appropriate pricing.
The third thing I did was focus on a core offer. I fully believe in the power of a core offer. You get a core offer together, you price it properly, you add the right level of support, you add the right type of training, you think about how you can systematize parts of your business, bring in the right type of help…whatever that looks like. Having a core offer is the fastest way to six figures. That is the fastest way to a million, especially in this online space. Of course we know there are a lot of different ways to do it, but when you get a core offer and you know your person, you know their pain points, you know the transformation you offer, and you sell that to 10 people, you can sell it to 100. You can sell it to 1000. That helped my business take off.
The fourth thing was mindset work. I am starting to believe that the more I grow in business, it’s 80% mindset 20% strategy. There’s strategy everywhere, but if you don’t think you deserve to have a following, if you don’t think it’ll work for you, if you have a really negative mindset, or you just don’t believe you can win, you will not implement. If we do not work on our mindsets, we will not be successful.
The fifth thing is strategy; actually having a plan and a roadmap on how to grow a business, understanding marketing and operations and all that other fun stuff.
How have you been able to grow your business and balance having a life and being a mom?
When I knew I was getting married, I started wondering if I could run my business full time or if I would have to get another job. Being a woman of faith, I went into a lot of prayer about it, I talked to my husband about it, and I felt really led to go into my business full time. So we built our life around one income, which I am a really big supporter of, and what happened was, it created breathing room for me to grow a business, a business that was not bringing in a ton of money at the beginning. There were some things I couldn’t get, but overall, our necessities were covered and we were okay. That was the first thing that helped on this journey.
After my daughter was born, I would have help from my family sometimes, but for the majority of the time she was with me. To be honest, my babies watched a lot of TV. That’s what I had to do in that season. There were times where the business didn’t grow as much because I had to lean into my daughter, there was a give and take. It was challenging. I did feel like I was behind sometimes and my husband had to consistently encourage me and remind me that it wasn’t a competition; but when you’re bursting at the seams with potential and dreams, there has to be a level.
For me as a woman of faith, I just had to trust that God knew my day was going come and I was not behind. There were times I put the pedal to the metal while my daughter was sleeping and I stayed up a little later, which is why it’s really powerful to have a core offer and not be working on 50 million things. When I had my second daughter, I was still building my business, and I had slowed down so that I could speed up. That year, I built out the content for my new core program and I launched it. I spent 2018 and 2019 really tweaking it to make sure it was tight and taking care of my babies. My revenue wasn’t super sexy those years, but I was setting myself up for something incredible. I had a really incredible launch because I had a really incredible program, and then it freed up space for me to hire more help.
That big launch really set me up; then I had another incredible launch and I was really off to the races. It’s been such a journey, and I had to honor it. I had to give myself the space, I had to be kind to myself. It wasn’t easy, but looking back now I’m happy I got to take care of my babies. I’m happy I got to be there. It was such a rich and complex time.
You’re hitting your stride right now in your business. What’s the next thing? What’s the big next goal for you? What are the steps that you’re taking to get there?
I really am looking to hit my first million dollar mark, which I’m super excited about. I see it and I can touch it, it’s there. So that’s one major goal. Once I hit that million, my next step is how do I 5x that? How do I do it on a really, really huge scale? The other piece is building a remarkable team. That’s how I’m going get there. I’m talking about hiring a team of people who own different things, who drive growth on your team, and really stepping into CEO position, and not the dual position where many of us are solopreneurs have been.
I think another piece is letting my voice be heard. I know the voice I have, I know what I want to share with the world, and I truly believe sharing my voice, my story, my strategies, what I know, the work that we’re doing in my programs and the way women’s lives are being changed — doing more of that is going to propel the mission forward. It’s going to blow up the business.
I’m really focusing on amplifying my voice through podcasts, media outlets and different opportunities. The reason why I took time to do the media piece later, is because I now have funnels that work. People want to get featured in Forbes and other websites, but then people read your articles and you’re not funneling them anywhere. The eyeballs don’t turn into more revenue. Now that the funnels are there, my sales system is tight. My program is tight. It’s something I’m proud of. We know where to send people and know how to grow the business.
What are the main marketing things that you’ve been doing for your business to gain clients prior to this?
I see people struggling to grow their lists, struggling to grow their audience, and I believe in the power of a really healthy list. It’s more important than your Instagram followers — the money is in the list. So I did two really incredible JV’s in the past year that have completely blown up my list. It blew up the number of clients that were coming into my business, it was a game changer. No matter where you are in your business, doing a really smart JV can be a game changer. I also ran Facebook ads, and that has been lucrative for us, like really, really good for us. I think the biggest thing is, people forget that it really is all about growing your email list. It’s not about your Instagram followers. Getting your voice out there, that’s the biggest thing — people buy people.
You are just one of those people who exudes confidence! Where do you get your confidence from?
I have a strong understanding of who I am. I am super grounded as a follower of Christ. I know not everyone may be a believer, but just sharing what has grounded me gives me such a glow and such a power because God is just always cheering for me and coaching me through. My confidence is anchored in something that is so much bigger than me.
The second thing is that confidence comes from knowing your stuff. I’ve done the work. I’ve done the research. I’ve helped my clients get transformations. I know that I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been able to kill the voices and kill imposter syndrome.
The third thing is, I keep really good people around me, and that’s why it’s powerful to hire a coach, because they’re really helping you with positivity and understanding who you are. I have been blessed with some incredible people; I have friends who are incredible, I have mentors I listen to; I’m someone who’s very teachable, and I think that’s something that has helped me grow profoundly, because I’m constantly thinking about how I can get better.
Another thing that helps my confidence is I actually do not intake news or scroll on social media. I don’t watch the news because the news makes money from sharing a lot of negativity so I just don’t watch it. If I need to know anything, there’s an article that my friends or my husband will send me. I also don’t spend a ton of time scrolling on social media, because even though I’ve grown a ton, I still deal with comparison. I actually post on social media, then I leave. I haven’t scrolled on Instagram for over a year. I stopped scrolling on Facebook in September. I go on Facebook, go to my mastermind groups, my client groups, and I pretty much leave. I do a post, I interact with people, and I leave. That has blessed me because there’s always someone making more money than you, someone whose clothes are cuter than yours, someone who’s slimmer than you, who’s earning more than you, and you will always find a way to pick yourself apart. So all these things have come together to really help my confidence.
How do you keep that confidence when things don’t go right?
My identity and my confidence are not tied to my performance. Failure is not a part of my identity. Failure is something that happens to you. It’s not who you are. I take it as a moment to learn. If I work with a client and didn’t get the results we wanted, I step back and ask myself what I can do to get better. So it’s being able to have a healthy relationship with our failures. That’s what I do, and it’s helped me a ton. There will be days where we’re not confident. There will be things that we’re not good at. There are moments when I’m not confident, but I don’t stay there. I’ll acknowledge the feeling, I’ll acknowledge the moment, but it’s important to know that there’s nothing you can’t learn. There’s nothing you can’t figure out. There’s nothing you can’t bounce back from.
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