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Addo Life: An Interview with Christiana Makanjuola

Addo Life is an innovative new project by Christiana Makanjuola, designed to help people make wise decisions in everyday life. We caught up with Christiana to find out a bit about the project, how it came about, and what she hopes to achieve. 

Tell us about Addo Life. What’s it all about?

Addo Life is aimed at helping people make wise decisions in everyday life. Our passion is to increase emotional intelligence in daily affairs through our courses and online content in areas such as relationships, work, finance and wellbeing.

Where did the idea come from? 

I struggled with the term ‘success’ for most of my life. Growing up in an African home, the idea of success was linked to obtaining a degree and career in traditional professions such as law, medicine or accountancy. I believed that my life would be insignificant if I ended up in a non-traditional career.

When I graduated from university, I realised that while my law degree taught me a lot of things, it did not teach me about the important things in life like identifying my passion and purpose. I realised that I lacked a lot of skills and, in fact, a lot of the life-changing moments in my life did not occur through formal education. This was when Addo Life was born. At first it was about helping people develop life skills but now it’s also about helping people think differently, find purpose and live intentionally in all spheres of life.

What was your background before starting this project?

I studied law at university and now work in the financial services industry in the city.

How does your faith inform your work?

Addo Life is very much inspired by my faith. I have always been fascinated by King Solomon’s wisdom in the book of Proverbs. God is very much a practical God and I believe He is interested in every area of our lives whether it be our relationships, finances or work. I am a Christian first therefore my beliefs and values naturally flow into the work that I do. It means everything I do is from a Christian perspective.

What is your main audience? Will this only help people of faith, or will it suit everyone?

Our main audience are people in their twenties and thirties but we also welcome other people that feel they will benefit from Addo Life. Our doors are open everyone regardless of their background or faith.

How did you develop the idea and what lessons have you learnt so far? 

I initially tested the idea out on a group of young adults in 2014 to see whether it was something they might be interested in. I then conducted workshops at some universities and youth groups and this pilot enabled me to identify what worked and what didn’t. I also carried out market research on around 70 young adults ,which helped develop the idea further.

I have learned the importance of being flexible in order for my vision to materialise. While my methods of delivery have changed overtime, my vision has always remained the same. I have found different ways to adapt the content in a way that is accessible to people.

What advice would you give to someone who has an idea that they would like to develop?

Firstly, I would advise them to do something they’re passionate about, because it is quite difficult to remain motivated through challenges if there is no passion or interest in an idea. When there is a strong passion and understanding of why you want to develop that idea, you’re more likely to persevere through the difficult times!

Secondly, I would say be courageous. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to take action in the midst of fear for a greater purpose. Starting something new can be scary, risky and may not make any sense whatsoever to the people around you. A lot of people get discouraged when people don’t understand their idea but sometimes you just have to start and allow people to catch up with your vision afterwards. 

How can people find out more? 

We have our launch event taking place on 25 November 2015. This will be a great opportunity to find out more about our vision and plans for 2016. Tickets can be purchased online and individuals can sign up to our mailing list on our website

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