Nemo Ashong - Empjoyment - Interview
Posted on August 27 2018
Say Hello to Nemo Ashong Leadership Coach & Entrepreneur | Movement Maker | Community Leader | Podcast Host.
'What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?’
Coaching multi-talented and multi-passionate leaders to show up powerfully and unapologetically for their businesses, teams, and life. I mean that literally - My first call of the day starts an hour after I get up!
I thoroughly enjoy deep conversations and helping people see possibilities where they didn’t once exist. So I’m quite energized and motivated to start each morning.
Nemo Ashong Invitation to the PIANEER Community.
Why and How did you start you Empjoyment?
In a previous life, I was a retirement actuarial consultant helping businesses value and administer their pension plans. After a few years, I made a major career switch to work with company culture, learning and development, and diversity and inclusion in a tech company. And I have to be honest, my time in tech I describe as 2 years of bliss.
I had an online business supporting actuaries to get credentialed after I left the retirement work, because that’s what I had done before. After the tech experience, I seemed natural to make a change.
So, I originally started Empjoyment with the intent of helping non-technical career changers get a job working in any role within a tech company.
I had three words in mind to guide me: “Empowerment, Enjoyment, Employment -> Empjoyment!”.
But a few months into bringing this to life, I realized that I really wasn’t looking to dedicate myself to this specific cause. It dawned on me that I was more interested in helping people experience joy on a regular basis. My path to it in the past was through a career change, but it would keep changing over time.
“Joy” is a very nebulous term, and oddly, a lot of people dismiss it as not-practical/realistic/ “fru-fru”, myself included at first. So I needed to find a way to connect with what I knew the business would be focused on through a different lens. So Empjoyment pivoted to serve a larger mission: to bring together a truly inclusive and empowered world through celebrating and valuing the unique gifts and talents that make us different.
From there, I was able to shift the model more to one-on-one and group coaching to start making a measurable impact towards the mission more rapidly.
‘What does an average day look like for Empjoyment?’
The day has 4 basic parts:
Part 1 – Early morning: Morning routine. This involves a 20 minute priming routine based on Tony Robbins audio to get my energy up and orient me towards the goals of the business. It’s then followed by the song “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman on repeat 2-3 times.
Creating a coaching environment that can for entrepreneurs, business owners & leaders, and creative visionaries to explore how to show up even more fully and powerfully for their prospects, clients, and teams takes up a lot of energy.
Then it’s game time.
(A common question I get is “how do you have so much energy?”. this priming exercise is a big part of the reason – I specifically cultivate it)
Part 2 - Morning: Powerful Service: Here I’m serving my clients globally through one-on-one and group coaching to new approaches to accomplishing their business and career goals.
Each of my clients (aka PIAneers) has achieved a track record of success in business and leadership, and work with me to accomplish something that feels impossible for them currently.
Part 3 - Afternoon: Operations and the larger mission
Time for email, social media, and deepening relationships for business development
Part 4 – Late Afternoon: Powerful Service pt 2 - Back into coaching and meeting with clients. End the day on a good note you know?
What inspires you?
People getting better results than most would reasonably expect because of vulnerability, possibility, and authenticity.
“Extra-ordinary” people choosing to create extraordinary things in a non-conventional way.
There’s something really compelling about seeing someone achieve something while doing it their own unique way. It’s really intimidating to really step out on your own and when I see people or hear stories that make me say “You can do that?!?” I feel incredibly energized to play my entrepreneurial game smarter and bigger.
What do you enjoy most with running your own business?
My personal development and the ability to work towards a mission I feel uniquely positioned to bring to life. I’m finding out more about myself and the edge of my comfort-zones on a daily basis. That is part of the purpose of life for me.
I also really believe in the impact of the work that I do. In working with leaders who are unapologetically bringing their energy, intensity, and what they do best to the table, I see how those they lead have a different model of leadership.
Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?
Several months into the business, I had a huge reality check. I had just spent time with family and spent time taking a very real and honest look at the business. My model was focused on a few high-paying, high-performing clients, and I simply wasn’t bringing in clients at the rate that would fuel the business.
You see, while I spend my time coaching, the vision of the business is far broader long-term, including large-scale events and technology integrations. But at the time, it didn’t seem like the business would even be able to survive let alone bring that vision to life.
I had chosen to bootstrap the business and it felt that not only my savings, but the relationship I wanted and life I wanted to sustain with my wife was on the line. It was a really difficult time as it seemed that no matter what I tried, I wasn’t making meaningful traction. I was also felt pressure that my message would be out of integrity around pursuing joy and possibilities if I wasn’t able to be successful.
What really led to the change in this was doing some deep inner work with the help of my coaches. There was a way I was showing up that didn’t support what I was asking for. Counter-intuitively, I took the time to slow down my approach and deeply serve the people in front of me rather than trying to rush into my future. I took the time to make both larger and smaller proposals than I had ever made, and start connecting with a different client base.
As all of this was happening, I also learned more about my ideal client and what they were actually investing in when they decided to work with me. It wasn’t coaching – it was the very real possibility that their goals and dreams could come to life through the work we did. It was the way they transformed and showed up in the world as they truly were, without fear of rejection or a need to shift who they were to be accepted by a potential client, company, or team.
The key for me during this time was to slow down and increase my understanding – both of myself and those I serve.
What do you are the biggest challenges for Empjoyment?
Integrating a message around authentic leadership and vulnerability in a way that is culturally inclusive and accepted.
Any advice for your previous boss?
Yes – You are amazing at creating and growing psychological safety for your team members. Please continue that and strengthen your ability here.
It was really hard for me to leave my last company, and a lot of that was because my boss created a team dynamic that encouraged me to experiment, try, and fail while leveraging what I did best. I always felt supported to achieve an end objective through the specific means I saw best. Not every manager can have the confidence in her team for that nor can they build the confidence of the team members through that kind of opportunity.
It changed the way I look at leadership and my only hope is that she can do even more, even better.
Are there any brands, business’ or business leaders that you admire?
John Lee Dumas and Kate Erickson of Entrepreneur on Fire
There are a lot of the standard names that come up too, but these are the people I go out of my way to model.
What would you like to achieve Professionally in 6 months / 1 year / 5 years?
In a year, I’d like to have a 1000+ Pioneer leaders go through some component of our global leadership development program/offerings.
In 5 years time, I’ll be focusing most of my efforts to leading the World Joy movement, by developing world-leaders and change makers through global chapters, 1000 person events, and a suite of other workshops, trainings, and accelerators based on the Empjoyment leadership principles.
Additionally, the terms and phrases used in our thought leadership have been embedded into common language.
Any advice for talent looking to set up their own hustle?
Focus on what matters. There’s a lot that can be done and there are a lot of people giving advice on what to do and how to do it. Take the time to focus on what truly moves the needle for you and your business first.
What is your favorite quote?
“An impossible goal is not a destination. It’s a place to come from, not a place to get to.” – Rich Litvin.
This quote really resonates with me because it speaks to a way of being and showing up in the world. I personally get stuck when I try and figure out the logical step-by-step order to something new. This keeps me grounded in the now and equips me with a compass to navigate forward rather than a roadmap.
A big thank you Nemo from the team here at The Hustlers Journal, we very excited to share your story and continuing journey.
Readers please connect and follow, details here;
https://empjoyment.com to join the movement and an upcoming leadership development workshop
https://empjoyment.com/youtube for live videos and support