Ultrapreneur Interview: How Jide Olatunbode combines being an award winning employee with his many other interests

I’m super duper excited! It’s the last day of Quarter 1 2016, and I made it! I’m finally launching the interview series I’ve written so much about! Woooohooo!

After much ado, I settled on the name – ‘The Ultrapreneur’ for the amazing individuals I’ll be interviewing in this series. Simply because I think the name captures the essence of combining the two forms of ‘preneurships: Entrepreneur + Intrapreneur  = Ultrapreneur! And that’s my creation in case you’re wondering…lol.

So, ‘The Ultrapreneur’ is that high performing individual who has mastered the fine art of following their dreams while fully invested at a day job. I’m so interested in this because it reflects my journey at the moment. And I’m quite certain there are other individuals of like passions. Guess we can do with all the inspiration and encouragement we can get on this Ultrapreneurial journey!

Btw, hope you also smashed your Q1 goals? If you didn’t, please re-evaluate them, and if they still make the cut, re-schedule them for Q2. It’s better late than never, they say!

Let’s get started shall we? Today, I present to you……..Jide Olatunbode! **drum roll please**

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N.B: I realise this post is a tiny weeny little bit long, lol… But I read it over and over, and couldn’t bear to take anything else out! Please read to the end. I promise it’s more than worth it. I learnt a lot!

Hi Jide! Thanks for agreeing to speak with us on ‘The Ultrapreneur’ interview series. Please tell us about yourself.

Jide: My name is Jide Olatunbode. I work for a multinational consumer goods company, I’m an author – I wrote a book on academic excellence. It’s titled Ace It! Academic Success Strategies, and I speak to students about this. I also run one or two other companies on the side. And finally, I’m the President of a semi-professional football club. Teknon FC.

Okay, these other companies on the side, do you want to tell us about them?

Jide: Yes, I’m part of an investment club. We are a group of 7 professionals who pull funds together and invest it in profitable ventures. We’ve been doing this for just over a year now. I also have a very small Uber business. I have a couple of cars on the Uber platform. I’m very sure Nike if you use Uber regularly, you’ve probably been in one of my cars.

Oh, great, I didn’t even know that. That’s impressive!

So, my next question is, what gave you the push to start doing all of these things?

Jide: I get a lot of ideas, and I get very bored easily. So, I just like to try my hands on many different things. But again, it starts by me seeing a need I could do something about. For example, in my University days, I noticed some people were consistently getting good grades while others were not. So, I started talking to people about it to find a common why, and it was pretty simple. That birthed the book on academic excellence. Same with the agric investment and others. My friends and I had spare cash and was wondering what to do with the money. It’s too easy to simply put your money in the stock market and sit back, so we decided to invest in start-ups instead. And we chose agric because of the direct link to solving the food problem, and the betterment of the society.

Well done! Some people see these same needs and do nothing about them. So, I’ll like to know how you choose which ones you want to run with.

Jide: Well, what I consider is that the amount of effort it takes me to address these needs, compared to the impact. And of course, I also want to do projects that can run without my every day direct input.

Did you have any fears in the beginning? Did you wonder if you could make it all work?

Jide: I believe you will always find the time and energy to do something you really want to do. I make up my mind to just do it. So, at the beginning of the year I literally just map out all the things I’ll like to do and just do them. There’s surely some fear that it may not work out, but if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. I just close the chapter and move on.

That is so interesting. Didn’t you ever think that one interest would interfere with the other?

Jide: To be honest, it can be tough. But, for me it’s not really a question of one or the other, it’s what comes first.

My 8-5 comes first in my priority, the students I speak to come next, then all the other businesses. That means that when I’m doing my work plan or trying to schedule my time, I put my 8-5 first. I make sure that I close out my work in the office first of all and I do it quickly, and I do it well. Then I can do the next one and the next one. Like that…So, the question for me, is not whether to do just this one or the other. The question really is the order in which I do them. I believe I can do any thing I want to do, if I put my mind to it.

The interesting thing is that despite all these, you’re also on top of your game at work. I think I saw on Linkedin that you won an award.

Jide – I’ve actually got multiple awards!

You’ve got multiple awards! How many?

Jide – I think I have about four now.

Four awards! That’s in the space of how many years?

Jide – 4 years. I also got promoted last year.

Great! So, you’ve practically got an award year on year, and also got promoted while doing all these things. I mean, it makes you seem super human. What’s your daily routine like?

Jide: Well, I just try to put as much structure in my life as possible. My 8-5 is actually a 10a.m – 7p.m as my company allows that flexibility, and I like to do a lot of work at night. So, I resume at 10a.m and leave at about 8p.m. So, during the week, about 70 – 80% of my entire time is spent doing my 8-5 work, while I spend the rest as I want. I typically try to do one thing for myself before I go to sleep each night, whether it’s creating a report for my investment club, or checking up on my uber drivers or writing a blogpost, or playing a game.

But, I make sure that my weekends are effective. Uber effective. Weekends are where I typically try to get enough rest and catch up on all of my other interests.

Do you then get to go for events on weekends? I mean, really wondering if you possibly have a ‘life’?!

Jide: Yes! I don’t have to be there from beginning to end! I still went for one today. I’m back, and I’m doing this interview. After this, I’m going to prepare some documents (personal interest), play a game of FIFA, catch a late night movie…and so on!

Amazing!

Any interesting experiences with these other interest? Especially the book?

Jide: I once had a friend of mine give the book to his dad. And his dad absolutely loved it. He called me, invited me over to his office. We had a one hour chat, and he ordered 100 copies, which he gave out to his students. I’ve also had people hook up with me on Facebook, and everywhere else asking where can I get this book? and things like that.

Interesting! How did that make you feel? Did it make you feel like you really had a message there?

Jide: I honestly live for such moments. Because it helps me realise the importance of what I’m doing, and also sort of validates the message.

Great job you’re doing Olajide. I have watched you from far and near in the last couple of years and honestly wonder how you can possibly juggle all these. What keeps you going?

Jide: I have a personal mission statement which I can read to you now…

“To be the best person I can possibly be in every sphere of my life, loving God and everyone to the maximum degree, and creating maximum positive impact for myself, my family, my friends, and every one around me…in that order.”

Hmmn! Amazing! So, it’s that personal drive to want to be the best.

Jide: Yes!

In retrospect, if you could change anything what would it be?

Jide: Hmmmn! I’d have written my book much earlier. There’s so much I want to do now that I really don’t have time for. You probably think that I’m doing a lot, but in my mind, I’m not even scratching the surface. I’d have started much earlier.

I have a younger brother who is currently running a business, and who I’m really proud of. He just finished University and he already started a business while in school and got an award – a cash grant.

It’s like getting to a tipping point. If you understand the 10,000 hour rule postulated by Malcolm Gladwell, you’d see that starting earlier rather than later is best. For everyone who is at the top of their profession, career, business, whatever, they’ve probably been at that thing for at least 10,000 hours. So the earlier you start the earlier you can reach that tipping point and become that “overnight success” that everyone admires. So, I definitely would have started much earlier.

So, you would have written the book while in the University?

Jide: Exactly! And then I would have leveraged NYSC to make all the noise about it. Same with everything else. Just start the earliest you can.

Yes, especially coupled with the fact that you also made a first class. You could have got a lot of mileage, doing it right out of the University. But of course it still works. You still did it!

What are the three key things that have helped you on this journey?

Jide:

1. I believe totally in myself. That’s the cornerstone. I know with a high degree of certainty that whatever I set my mind to do, I will do. Many things may happen along the way and it’s fine, but I’m sure I have the ability to do it. 

2.  For my 8-5, I’m doing what I really love to do, so it makes it easy to combine. I am probably not doing the best paying job that I could do, but I am definitely doing the best job that I’d love to do. I don’t know if that makes sense?

Nike: Yeah!

I remember when I interned at this company, I would go home with a smile on my face, because what I had pictured my contribution to be is exactly what it was.So, even when I’m stretched to the limits, this gives me energy.

But to be fair, sometimes we may not find ourselves in this kind of situation where we absolutely love what we’re doing. In that instance, the best thing would be to stop, and do what you love to do. It’s that simple. Our country is a bevy of opportunities, believe me.

3.   Money is not everything. People are everything. This is key. I’m not doing this on my own at all, I am leveraging people – friends, family, colleagues. I leverage people heavily. Your driving force shouldn’t really be the quest to gather wealth, because you would lose sight of the really important things and you might step on the people who should really leverage on for short term gain. So, people and relationships are very key. And leveraging people can really help you balance all the things that you need to do, especially when combining an 8-5 with other interests. Nobody ever wished they made more money on their deathbed.

Ok! Thanks for saying all that.

You finally answered my question about why you’ve kept up with doing all these things. It’s because, these are all things that you love anyway. So, there’s necessarily no need to choose one over the other, it’s just to keep your priorities clear at every point in time.

Thanks so much Jide, now is there any advise you’d like to give someone who has an 8-5, and also has a dream they’d like to see come to life.

Jide: So, there are many factors, and many angles to that question: does the person enjoy what they do 8-5?, does it align with the other things they want to do – in terms of supplying the experience they need or the capital they need?

So, my take is, if the 8-5 at least supplies experience or capital, you can keep at it and start the side gig really small on the side. It’s the best. There may come a point, when it’s probably best to just leave. If you are in Nigeria, honestly there is no fear if you feel you have to leave. I won’t advise anyone to leave without testing the waters, but once you’ve done that and you have a good degree of certainty that your idea works, by all means do!

Now, to our last question in this interview: How would you feel if you got fired from your paid job today?

Jide: [Long pause] The truth is I will feel sad, that I got fired.

Maybe due to the rejection now.

Jide: Exactly! Not that I resigned myself, I got fired. So, I will feel sad because, maybe I did something wrong, or my employers think I’m no longer good enough, and all that.

But beyond that initial sadness, I think I will feel very free! There’s so much I can do with the extra 50 – 60 hours I will now have in a week. If you count all the extra hours after the regular work hours you spend on work-related stuff, it sure comes to that. So much freedom!

Okay! Thanks so much for speaking to us Mr. Olatunbode!

Jide: Thanks for having me!

[Cut!]

Hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did! So many take aways! Pheeeeew!!

You can connect with Jide on the following platforms:

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I’ll surely like to know what you think about this interview. What’s your biggest take away?

And don’t forget to share, sharing is caring…..

5 comments

  1. Tomie says:

    Interesting read. Lots of nuggets to learn, I loved the part on putting structure in your life. That really resonated with me!

  2. Adenike Jemiyo says:

    Thanks Toyin and Tomie for stopping by. I’ve read the interview over and over myself! I especially like the part about prioritising….It has become a life line for me!

  3. Patricia Eze says:

    I particularly like the part that says people and relationship play a vital role in the success of an individual . It suffice to say then, that the people you surround yourself with matters.Again, you can be a Jack of all trade master of all if only you prioritize all of such meaningful trade rather than abandon one for the other.

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