Program: New York
Intake: March 2014
Current Roles: Writer, Poet, Speaker and Life Coach at Simply Ngo
Describe your business and your role within it.
I am the woman behind Simply Ngo (https://www.simplyngo.com/about). Simply Ngo has 3 prongs which are:
- Writing Services
- Speaking Services
- Life Coaching Services
As a Writer, Speaker & Life Coach my mission is to help women redefine the relationship they have with themselves and others, and transform their limiting beliefs so they can step into their power. My work has a particular focus on Black women, who are so often fed the lie, that we are not good enough. You’ll find me, combining words, poetry, content and experiences, (in the form of workshops, masterclasses, events etc.) to help them build more self-confidence, self-love, self-esteem and self-worth. Think Maya Angelou meets Iyanla Vanzant! I also work as an independent Creative Consultant, contributing to clients’ visions and strategies, to bring their creative projects to life.
How did you get into this line of business?
Last time you met me, I was your Alum of the Month (May 2016), and had just opened an online accessories business called ZI & LUWA, selling contemporary leather handbags and jewellery alongside a business partner. Although I worked in digital communications during Mountbatten, I actually began my career in the world of law and fashion (as a model). So incorporating fashion into my life in some way, was not a surprising route for me to take.
After Mountbatten, I headed back to New York, and it was on that journey the course of my career changed. One of the beautiful things I’ve discovered about life, is that sometimes the path we take, may not be the exact road we should be on, nevertheless it somehow ends up leading us to the right place. That is what happened to me.
My twenties were full of exploring different aspects of content creation, writing and creative endeavours. All of which have contributed to the work I do today. Whilst doing this and living my dream of being back in New York, I quickly began to see how there were many internal battles that I had not yet faced up to, that were negatively impacting every area of my life. It was in this realisation that I stumbled into what I like to call my soul’s work.
After a period of intense personal transformation, I wrote a book of poetry and prose, called Before the Butterfly Wakes, sharing some of my own journey from self-hate to self-love, and trauma to breakthrough. My book opened up a whole new world for me. After releasing it, I closed ZI & LUWA, and began speaking to audiences about how they could also change for the better. Since then I’ve been leading workshops on personal transformation, hosting events using writing as a healing tool, sharing spoken word poetry, and thankfully combining a large chunk of my passions into my every day work. In an effort to take my offerings to the next level, I also became a certified Life Coach.
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to others wanting to set up a business?
- Invest in a mentor and always be a student
One of my best investments has been mentorship. My mentors challenge my thinking, especially when it comes to my brand. If you want to learn, you must always be a student and be around people who know more than you, people who know equal and people who know less. Never stop reading, and gaining more knowledge in your area and beyond.
- Accountability partner
Partner with a friend or a like-minded peer, so you can hold each other accountable and grow your business or brand by sticking to your commitments. This will challenge you when you need that extra push. Surrounding yourself with supportive and positive people, who wish you well is important. In the same vein, be aware of how you can affect others too.
There is so much power in giving. Even if you cannot give financially, you can give your time, you can freely invest in someone else and inspire their journey. Give, and blessings will come back to you.
What else is in the pipeline?
I recently released a Self-Acceptance Masterclass, that is available to purchase on my site simplyngo.com. Over the coming months, I’ll be launching more digital products. Stay up to date with launches, events and more, by signing up for my newsletter on my site.
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
It’s a close tie between writing and publishing my first book, Before the Butterfly Wakes and hosting my first international workshop in the British Virgin Islands, alongside Saira Hospitality. Both made my heart smile. You can check out my book here: bit.ly/BeforeTheButterflyWakes
Any final words of advice/wisdom you can impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
I’m of the school of thinking that we were not placed here on earth, to run the rat race, live, eat, sleep, simply exist and that’s it. I believe that life is purposeful. So when I think of business, yes there is making money and having the freedom to enjoy life, but most importantly for me, it’s about providing a solution and making an impact whilst doing that.
Whatever you do, just do it well! And when you are having a bad day, remember why you are doing it to begin with. This is what will ultimately carry you through. If you don’t know your ‘why’, go back to the drawing board and figure it out – because I promise you all things will flow from it.
Finally, you are the change you want to see. If you want to set up a business running a fleet of cabs, do it. If you want to build a holiday resort on the West Coast of Africa, do it. If you want to write books for children to learn history not taught in the classroom, do it. If not you, then who? If you have the opportunity or the capacity to do what you love, despite the obstacles, do it because there will be many people whose lives will change because of the gift of your creation. That alone should drive you.
Is there any information you’d like to be included
I’m always looking to connect with like-minded people. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram @simply_ngo. If you’d like to chat about 1-2-1 coaching sessions, host a workshop, or explore speaking at your event, head over to simplyngo.com for more details.