In this present time, you have to be financially smart as a mother and homemaker. In this session of Momigo, we were opportune to grace the beautiful Emily Wale-Koya. She's an entrepreneur and the founder of The School Of Personal Branding, where she coaches women on upscaling their businesses and earning in foreign currency from the comfort of their homes.
In our quick sit down, she explains what spurred her into entrepreneurship, her challenges in motherhood and how she's been able to find a footing in maintaining a work-life balance.
BM: Please introduce yourself
My name is Emily Wale-Koya. I’m an entrepreneur and the founder of The School of Personal Branding, which is an online school where we help impact-driven entrepreneurs on starting online businesses around their expertise. They can also work from home while starting a side hustle. I'm also a proud mom of 4. I work mainly from home.
I'm a professional speaker on stages across the world. I've done this by building a personal brand from my home. I've also managed to maintain my expertise through the years.
BM: What does motherhood mean to you?
I'm a Christian, and the Bible says children are a gift to us from God. He gives them to us to guide them on earth because our children are God’s children first. Motherhood is a gift. Knowing that I will be leaving my legacy to my children is fulfilling. So I’d be pouring all I know and have, knowing that my time on earth is limited.
Motherhood is a gift and blessing. I know I'm living for myself and others around me. I can gift my children my time, wisdom, and my guidance. You're not just a mother to your biological kids but to other children, even your siblings.
BM: How was your experience being a first-time mom? Would you say you were fully prepared, or you just winged it?
I winged it (Laughs). I've been married for 14 years. But if I got married in this era, I would prepare. I got married at 27 and had my first child. A significant event in my life was my first C-section. Nobody looked forward to it.
I remember reading books on pregnancy, and when I got to the C-section part, I would say, “God forbid. I can't have this God.” But my second and fourth children were born through a C-section due to health concerns.
BM: Would you say you experienced any shockers being a first-time mom?
I didn’t plan my C-section. I was oblivion to the intricacies and the aftermath of the procedure. Fourteen years ago, it was widespread knowledge that you only opt for a C-section when you can't push. I remember when people came for my naming, I was moody.
I was confused about why people were putting up canopies, and I was in pain (Laughs). I couldn’t even walk. I was easily irritable and was close to being depressed.
My environment seemed foreign to me. I remember waking up one day and gently tapping my baby for no reason. It was a challenging time for me.
BM: How do you maintain a work-life balance?
It's difficult, and I wouldn't say I have it all together. Else, I’d be lying. I must tell my truth to other mom's out there. For example, my sister is a stay-at-home mom. She doesn't work, and sometimes we do the comparison. I would tell her I wished I was like her so I could pay full attention to my kids.
However, I realized that being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job. It's never-ending. You work from 9 to 9 most days without rest. Some people may not be suitable for this for certain reasons, like being an added financial support for the family or being naturally career driven. My case is both. I want to be able to financially support my family.
In terms of finding time for my kids, I intentionally create time for them. When it's Children’s Day, you won’t find me working. We go out and have fun their way. We catch up on Sundays. We catch up on the happenings even when I pick them up from school. We also pray at night.
It's not easy for me because I'm an entrepreneur, and it's not easy for everyone, irrespective of their profession. We all have our capacities, but I intentionally create time for them. We play games. No matter how transient it is.
BM: Any funny moments as a mom?
Laughs. Yes, my most recent, two and a half years old, is a handful and so funny. 5 minutes before this interview, I locked myself in my room, and my baby didn't know I was home. My maid needed to unbraid my hair, so I told her to bring her along. When she entered my room, she had her panties on upside down.
She brings a refreshing scene because she’s still a baby, and it's entirely out of innocence. She repeats other people's words. It's memorable and hysterical.
My husband and I also treat ourselves to self-care and fun activities. I always take time out for self-care because it's important we unwind once in a while.
BM: What would you advise moms going through a career change or progression?
If you're a mom and in business, I strongly advise you to scale with automated systems. This prevents you from running around the clock in creating content. I put out content every day on social media. You have to get to the point where you don't rely heavily on your content.
You don't have to show up daily to make sales, irrespective of your social media presence. So you're no longer putting out content for sales purposes but also to build your brand that customers would remember. Personal branding is the impression you make on customers.
I've worked from home for 14 years and watched my children grow. If you are a 9-5 mom, I advise you to start a side hustle and market your knowledge. Find a market hungry for your knowledge and monetize it. My reason for this is that when you make such content as e-books and courses, you can sell them in foreign currency. Selling in USD today has so many benefits. You can package your expertise into a high-value offer if you want to scale.
I don't want people to think it's a get-rich-easy scheme. Connect with me on my social media handles to learn more about scaling your business and building a personal brand. A lot of women have benefitted from this.
You can still have a side hustle even if you have a physical store. Everyone should have a side hustle in this present economy. Earn in foreign currency to be a blessing to you and your family.