Bayo, please share your morning wellbeing regime with us.

I don’t know that I practice any particular wellbeing habits in the morning. However, my mornings do tend to go the same way. As soon as I wake up I lie in bed calculating how much time I can stay in bed before I actually have to get up. I picture my schedule for the day, think about everything I have to achieve and what deadlines are looming. Once I have stayed in bed for the maximum amount of time possible, I get up. I suppose my wellbeing tactic is not rushing to start the day. I set my alarm for 5.30am, just so I can have time to trick my brain into thinking I am getting to sleep in.

What are the 3 things in your life that you simply cannot live without?

It is sad to say, but my phone, is necessary, but not because I love being contactable. I do most of my business via phone calls. If I don’t have my phone things get hectic. That, and my laptop are probably the most essential things to me right now. I have recently started going to hot yoga classes as many times a week as my schedule will allow and it has been fantastic! I am really enjoying taking a couple of hours out of my day to do stop thinking so much.

What is your favourite beauty or wellbeing product and why?

I love facial cleansers. I find applying a cleanser really soothing. I think the massaging motion calms me down. I have been using the Emma Hardie cleansing balm for a while and I think it is great.

How do you manage stress/relax?

Well, I’ve mentioned my recent love for hot yoga, but on days when I can’t do that, I check my thought process. When I find that I am not focusing properly, or I am starting to get overwhelmed by whatever is going on, I take a break. The break could be for 10 minutes or two hours; as long as it takes for me to move my mind out of the place it was, back into a positive space. Music helps. I dance and sing a lot when I can.

I love that your brand ‘Do it Now Now’ is built around empowering and inspiring: why are you so passionate about entrepreneurship?

I think empowering individuals to do the things they are passionate about is the best way to spread good will among people, and grow as a community. I was tired of hearing things like, “I am a lawyer, for now” or “I am a doctor, for now”. Those are obviously noble professions, but to do something that makes you unhappy and is stopping you from doing the thing that you love is really heart-breaking to me. As well as my passion for helping other people recognise and tap into their passions, I am personally passionate about the development of African and diaspora communities. I realised if I could help people tap into their passion for Africa/black culture and break down the barriers they see to getting involved on the continent or in diaspora communities, then I could somehow help create a lot of connecting ladders where people of African descent all over the world are able to achieve their dreams and open doors for other people to do the same.

Do you believe that there is a link between wellbeing, outer beauty and ultimately inner strength?

I absolutely do. My mum has the uncanny ability of telling when something is wrong with me, event before I have acknowledged it, just by looking at me. Apparently, it has something to do with my eyes. Anyway, I think the more we practice healthy behaviours and turn them into healthy habits that feed our souls, the easier it is going to be to gain the motivation to be a better person and do good things in the world.

Do you listen to your ‘inner voice’? Have there been times that you haven’t, that you ended up regretting?

My inner voice is a broken record that tells me to sleep more, slow down, eat properly. Those kinds of things. I do try to listen to myself, but I also often get so excited about the progress that I am making in whatever avenue and don’t want to stop going until I reach my ultimate goal – and there is always an ultimate goal with me. I tend to regret not listening when it is too late and I am in a place where my body and mind are so exhausted that I need to take time off to make sense of things. That happened about a year and a half ago. I had just officially launched my business after a year of research and leg-work and everything was going incredibly well. At the time, I was also studying for a Masters degree and working a full-time job while volunteering at a leadership level at my church. I didn’t want to stop doing any of those things, so slowing down was just not an option. Soon enough I found myself unable to eat or sleep for days on end and completely mentally and physically at the end of my rope. Since then, I listen to my inner voice a lot more, and take breaks often.

What is the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken that has paid off?

I am by no means comfortable with putting myself out there. I am constantly scared of being judged or rejected. Failure was probably my biggest fear for a very long time, now my biggest fear is not finishing what I’ve started. My risk, was starting this business. I knew I was taking on much more that I ever had. I had started businesses before, in fact I had been running businesses to varying degrees since I was about 12. The risk this time was that I was finally running a business that I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to. This was the one I had somehow been leading up to all my life, but hadn’t quite realised it. Putting that out into the world, talking to people about it, asking for their opinions was risky to me.

Who inspires you and why?

I am inspired by people who have created before and after moments. For example, Martin Luther king’s I have a dream speech. There was a world before that speech and there is a world after that speech. Today, we use it as a reference point of what life should be. In a less political sense, there was the music industry before Michael Jackson, and the music industry after Michael Jackson. I am inspired by impact. When you can do something that inspires other people to realise that they can do it too. It is kind of like how people say we all have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé, if she can do that much, we can too. That’s what I am inspired by. I want to be the type of person that people see has pushed boundaries and created opportunities for other people to follow in my footsteps and do even greater.

The word ‘Resilience’ is often used when describing the qualities of female achievers in all spheres: How does the word resilience manifest in your story or in your journey thus far?

To me, being resilient meant that I am steadfast in my belief that with hard work and dedication to the cause, not for my own benefit but for the benefit of the community I serve, anything is possible. I run workshops almost every week to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas. The question that often comes up, is a variation of my favourite question of all time “how do I run the race until the race is done?” I think, you have to think about the people you are running the race for. If you are doing it for yourself, when it gets hard, you are going to give up. You are going to hit the proverbial wall and decide you would much rather sit at home and watch TV than talk to that person about their business strategy. But when I think about how that person’s business could be the thing that creates incredible, positive change in this world, then I get up, I go, I counsel, and I have not been disappointed so far. I am doing this because I want to see people of African descent all over the world shake of the shackles and break the barriers that our history has tied us to. I want us to achieve incredible things and be celebrated for our culture and who we are individually. I guess, really, resilience is gained when you consistently put what you are doing in the right perspective.

In your journey as an entrepreneur, what have you discovered about yourself that surprised you?

I am a much bigger dreamer than I thought I could be. Like I said, I have run many businesses in the past. I always put those down when they stopped inspiring me. There were no more challenges to overcome, there was nothing more to learn, there was no dream to reach. With this business, I can’t stop thinking about possibilities. I always though I was quite rational, I only attempted things I thought I could achieve – it may take some hard work, long days and sleepless nights, but it was possible. Everyday I am faced with an ultimate goal that is so much bigger than myself and my singular life, that I am forced to enjoy the journey, rather than plan my way to the destination. It is kind of fun.

What is your favourite fragrance?

Bayolea by Penhaligon. I promise it is not because my name comes up. It is actually a men’s fragrance. I used to be in love with Iris Prima, also by Penhaligon and I still am, to an extent. But one day I was in a store and I found Bayolea and thought the name thing was funny. I am now convinced it was fate.

Thank you

Denise xx


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