Mary Fashanu is known as the Business GPS. She recently co-founded the association of Black Coaches, a non-profit membership organisation promoting best practice and maintaining industry standards for black professional coaches worldwide.
Mary helps fellow entrepreneurs grow their business, make an impact, increase their revenue and land clients consistently. In this interview she discusses how she does this and why becoming a business coach means so much more.
Mary, we would love to know what inspired you to become a business coach?
My own story inspired me. I started the journey during my university days. I was in love with anything to do with strategy. I actually wrote my first strategic concept note for anyone who wanted to start a business, during those days.
In 2013, I moved back to Nigeria, I met with my first mentor, who coached and guided me as I had shown interest in starting a business. My first business was an event planning business – Eminent Events.
I am entrepreneurial at heart, a trait I inherited from my parents (God rest their souls).
Meeting my mentor was the breakthrough. That is when I made the choice to become the path and direction for people willing to start a business. An entrepreneurial journey can be lonely and hard.
What about your career history?
I attended North Trafford (known as the Trafford College) in Manchester, UK. I gained a National Diploma in Business. I then went onto Aston University in Birmingham where I obtained 2:1 in International Business & Management. Then onto the prestigious Grenoble Ecole de Management, in France. I learned basic French AND acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. I finally became a certified John Maxwell Coach and Speaker.
Growing up, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur. Who was your biggest inspiration?
Yes, watching my parents sparked an interest in me. My mother had a midwifery clinic where she helped women in the community deliver their babies. She also had two pharmacies, One clothing boutique and one skincare store. My Father had two restaurants and an educational toy business – all were in Nigeria.
I always knew that I wanted to be a coach and consultant but never knew in what! As life unfolded, I found my path.
If you had to describe MaryFash in one sentence, what would it be?
The Business GPS who does not take no for an answer.
What services do you now offer as a Coach?
Business strategy coaching services both one to one and group programmes. Business process, structure, and systems and business mentoring.
How many entrepreneurs have you coached to date?
70 and counting!
Are you able to share some of their stories?
Some clients are business coaches, career coaches, marketing coaches, health and skin care coaches and experts, event planners, beauty specialists.
Their stories are similar. They come with vague clarity on how to achieve their business goals, and using my developed and proven methodology – Clarity To Sales, they all get clarity and sense of direction to get them the growth they are looking for. Some of these clients lack process and systems that will help them to reduce or avoid burn out totally. I also help them with putting the right process and systems in place to create a sustainable business.
You are the Co founder of the Association of Black Coaches (ABC), 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. We created ABC to help black coaches maintain high standards, get support they need in a community where they are nurtured.
What has been your experiences so far as a Business Coach?
Phenomenal. As a coach, regardless of your colour, I decide what I want. I work for it and do not allow anything or anyone stand in my way.
Where do you see your brand in the next years?
In the next 5-10, I want to have set up a business academy for new start-ups, equipping them for success. I want to be doing things I want, not because I have to but because I want to.
What are the things you want?
Working with corporate organisations alongside small business owners, solopreneus – training their staff and managers on how to be a better leader to increase efficiency and productivity and having a happy and growth centred environment. I want to have positively impacted as many businesses as possible. The ultimate goal is to become a full time business owner.
And your advice to business owners?
Never take no for an answer! Know what you want, work hard and smart to get it. Prayer & patience are key.