Adefope: We Must Take Action And Optimise Our Output


IT was at an advertising agency, where she undertook her national youth service that Bukola Adefope developed her love for printing. She was simply fascinated by the expressive nature of print. So, she later went into print production and established Glitzern Stationery, her maiden company in 2001. 

   “At the advertising agency, I worked in different departments, but it was the print that captured my interest. From nothing, you could whip up an idea and it comes to pass almost immediately. The fact that you could think of a design in the morning and by evening you are handling it live on paper, makes it all exciting for me,” she says.

  Her time at the advertising agency was judiciously expended; as she learned all about being a professional graphic artist, starting with the corel draw, photo shop and word processor. After a few years of doing this, however, she had to move on to something more convenient and productive.

  “The necessity of keeping everything together was rather demanding because the turnaround times and deadline was almost impossible,” she recalls. “ I had to kill time all the time. So, I had to develop myself because the circumstances did not look like they were going to change. From there I went into performance coaching, which helped me a lot, having being exposed to all the principles of goal setting and time management. It worked for me because I decided specifically what I wanted from my career and work and was able to discover my purpose.” 

  But she didn’t stop at this. Desiring to also become a professional in this field, she proceeded to the coaching academy in the United Kingdom to train as a professional personal performance coach. Optimal Performance, her second organisation was thereafter founded.

  “Juggling career, home and one’s personal life is a lot of work. And without support, it can be very difficult. For instance, as a mother, a woman would want financial security, as well as spend quality time with her children, which means work has to be somehow interesting and not be a routine. But for you to distinguish yourself, you have to have time to think creatively. And to be able to achieve this with all that frenzy, you need something more. This is what Optimal Performance has done for me. With my coaching, I was able to access clarity by which I mean being able to identify and know precisely what I want from life and career. 

  “Progress is the alternating of action and inaction. Trying to put everything together and still maintain my sanity led me into performance coaching. I started Optimal Performance in 2012 and it has been awesome.

  Expectedly, it was initially quite challenging for Bukola to find her footing in this new line of endeavour because it was something new in Nigeria, but with time, it got better. 

  “Most of us know what we ought to do, but we don’t get around to doing it. Taking action is the main meat of the matter. The motivation to go ahead and take action and see yourself unfold after taking action upon action is the only time you can get things moving. Most times, we learn by actually doing,” she explains.

   Bukola says she has discovered over time that if an individual doesn’t develop, s/he will begin to degenerate. 

  “We sweep so many things under the carpet of religion by believing that the Lord would do it for us. And instead of first making a move, we sit down and allow time to waste. Twenty to 30 years afterwards, we begin to regret. For instance, if Michael Jackson didn’t start singing all those songs, he would have been dead today with nothing to remember him for even though he was hugely talented. The same applies to Whitney Houston. If she hadn’t done all those songs when she was much younger, she would also have died with her talent. We see talented people earn peanuts in their places of work because they don’t have the support to help them get up and move in the right direction,” she says.

  For Bukola, all the good and positive things in life should be harnessed together to better one’s lot regardless of the form this may take. And this informs her decision to incorporate dancing into her lifestyle to enable her live healthy and fit. She also established a dance studio, where interested persons can workout with dancing. 

  “Along the line, I noticed that entertainment is good and I believe we can use it to better our lifestyle. So, I listen to all these music and dances and I use them for my dance fitness everyday and as a form of relaxation. I need to be healthy and that informed the dance studio. Committing to a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you must hold a gym membership. Most times, people who hold gym membership do so for their psyche and end up not going to the gym. Having a gym membership and going to the gym are two separate things. With dancing, however, people tend to gravitate more towards it.

  “Dance is easier in terms of motivation because it is two-edged. In social circle for example, if you are one of those that cannot dance, we have dance instruction for the most uncoordinated person because with our regimes, s/he will be able to dance. We have classes for various age groups ranging from five to 80 years. It is a form of social learning, which also improves the individual’s networking opportunities,” she says.

  Who are her role models?

  “I am inspired by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopper and with the total modification support person. I look up very much to Mo Abudu, whom I know personally. She is a strong woman and I’m impressed by the fact that she believes anything can be done, dreams big and is a doer. Jumoke Adenowo, an award-winning architect also inspires me a lot because she gets up to do and has gone beyond talking. These women are amazons I must say.”

    Does she have any regrets?

  “I wish I had committed to a healthy lifestyle earlier. We all know that we ought to live a healthy lifestyle but I didn’t grasp the essence and actually got to do these things before now. If I had known this 10 years earlier, maybe I wouldn’t have had a goiter and gone for treatment. My feeding habits and all of that would have been checked. I would have paid a little more attention to my health. Living a healthy lifestyle is paramount to know your body typing. There are tests you can do to know what agrees with you, what you should eat to go with your blood type. You’ll also become aware of your body and look out for signals. There are stress signals and times you just don’t feel good. We like to take palliative measures and like to self-medicate a lot, which is not good.

  “An average Nigerian has a box filled with drugs. We should guard against these things and take proper care of ourselves by drinking lots of water. Though all this sounds so simple, but we just don’t do it. We wait until we have a health challenge before we start to take plenty of water like it’s about to go out of fashion. We should indulge in eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as minimise our intake of white bread and white rice,” she says. 

    Bukola is particularly passionate when it comes to the issue of health. In her view, an individual’s dreams and goals will amount to naught without good health. She also loves dressing well and looking good. 

  “The secret to my good looks is as a result of drinking lots of water. I wash off my makeup before bedtime, eat lots of fruits and moisturise daily with no chemicals. In terms of dressing, comfortable is my word. I see myself as a classic lady and love wearing anything good. My favourite accessory is my 18 carat gold necklace, which is always around my neck,” she says.

  As a performance coach, Bukola believes for women to be successful in their careers or businesses, they should be clear as regards what they want and do proper research. 

  “Once you’ve clarified what your values are, then you are most likely to pursue opportunities that agree with them. For example, a woman that has a value for home would not take up a career that will take her away from home. You have to be sure of what you want and clarify it. Then, how to do it and do it well will be very easy. There would be tough times but hold on and keep moving.”

    Combining work and the home front is not so difficult for Bukola, who says she doesn’t joke with her family. 

  “I’ve structured this place in such a way that I can attend to work and care for my family. The plan is all encompassing. If I am working late, my children can join me here and I’ve made provisions to do my work seamlessly. I can be here, sit down and write. I can cook for my family here and the children can have their lessons here as well; and at the close of work, we all go home together, which means that though I’m only going home to sleep, but everything is intact. My husband has been very understanding and supportive,” she explains.

Any new projects?

  “Besides the dance, which is meant to improve people’s physical health, I am also planning to embark on an awareness programme through seminars, group work, as well as hold discussions and a talk show, where we will talk about clarifying your thoughts, putting your energy into proper use and teaching people on how to discover their life purpose. All this is aimed at informing people that there are so much latent gifts in us, which if not well nurtured, will waste. We live mediocre lives and at the end of the day begin to regret it. I believe that this project will yield good fruits.   

  “The fact that I’ve been able to sort out Optimal Performance up to this level is a great achievement for me. Five years from now, I see myself impacting lives and helping people to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. For me, one of my dreams is to be able to help people get clarity and improve their personal, spiritual, physical and mental performance,” she says.

  Bukola had her secondary education at Federal Girls College, Akure and studied Philosophy at the University of Lagos.

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