Nigerian coaching guru, Mary Fashanu is on a mission to provide guidance to fellow entrepreneurs seeking growth, impact and a consistent flow of income. Using her signature Clarity to Sales™️ strategies, she provides strategies, principles and guidance to make sure the right foundations are set to position her clients’ business for success. It’s for this reason Mary is known as The Business GPS. She recently co-founded the Association of Black Coaches, a non-profit membership organisation promoting best practices, and improving and maintaining the standard of Black professional coaches around the world.
In this SCHICK sit-down, we discuss the world of business coaching, the importance of mentorship, and the true secrets to business success.
Mary, what inspired you to become a business coach?
My own story was the inspiration. I started this journey in University; I was in love with anything to do with strategy. During that time, I actually wrote my first strategic concept note for anyone that wants to start a business. I am entrepreneurial at heart, a trait I inherited from my parents.
In 2013, when I moved back to Nigeria, I met with my first mentor and started working with her. She mentored, coached and guided me because I had shown interest in starting a business. Before I met her, it was difficult trying to do it alone, as I was trying to get to somewhere that I had never been before, so it made sense to speak and work with someone more experienced. It was then I made the choice to help as many people as I can, who were on the same journey.
Was entrepreneurship always the goal?
Yes; I watched my parents do it and it sparked an interest in me. I’ve also always known that I wanted to be a coach and consultant, but never knew in what exactly. As life unfolded, I found my path.
How would you describe your personal brand, in one sentence?
The Business GPS, who does not take no for an answer!
The coaching industry is not a regulated one, so we created ABC to help Black coaches maintain high standards, get the support they need and have a community that they can grow together with.
What’s your career background?
I attended North Trafford (known as the Trafford College), where I studied National Diploma in Business. I then went onto Aston University, where I got a degree in International Business & Management. I decided to go and study at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France, where I got a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. Afterwards, I became a certified John Maxwell coach and speaker.
What are the main coaching services you offer?
I provide business strategy coaching services (1:1 and group programs), business process, structure and systems, and business mentoring.
You recently launched the Association of Black Coaches as the co-founder. How did that come about?
ABC came about as a result of an increase in the number of new coaches during the pandemic, especially within the Black community. The coaching industry is not a regulated one, so we created ABC to help Black coaches maintain high standards, get the support they need and have a community that they can grow together with.
What have your experiences as a Black business coach been, so far?
Phenomenal. As a coach, regardless of colour, I decide what I want, I work for it and do not allow anything or anyone to stand in my way.
Who has been your biggest inspiration, so far?
My greatest influence has to be my mother.
What’s a key piece of advice you often give business owners?
“Never take no for an answer!” Know what you want, work hard and smart to get it, and prayer and patience are key.