LAD who suffered from Alcoholism and Depression started his own wellbeing business
Having suffered from what he calls "depressive states" and alcohol addiction, business owner and personal trainer Emmanuel Olaojo didn't just turn his own life around - he found the rewarding benefits of supporting others on a deeper level.
"I knew that I always wanted to help people. I got into fitness, and from there, I started to build up my people skills and confidence."
He tells LADbible, "In 2018, I went to counselling. And I can't be ashamed of it. What helped me was my Christian faith and being around like-minded people."
Emmanuel found solace in personal training. A change for the better came when chatting with a client about a business idea he had.
"I was talking to one of my clients at the gym I was working at at the time. They told me about The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme and how it supported businesses."
The Prince's Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30 get into jobs, education and training. Emmanuel pitched his idea of a wellness hub that would support people's physical and mental health and received support from The Trust.
Emmanuel felt that a sense of community for those who lived alone or had arrived from a different country could greatly benefit the community he lived in. His business idea would eventually become CLAN Wellbeing, a place where the focus wouldn't just be on looking good or losing weight but on enhancing how people feel about themselves.
"I didn't have people around me when I went through my depressive state. I realised the importance of being there for people."
"I wanna make people understand that regardless of your situation, regardless of what you think of yourself, as long as you're living, there's always hope."
"At CLAN Wellbeing, we have weekly calls with you for the first eight weeks to see how you're doing, and then we'll have biweekly catchups, then monthly. So there's a coaching and a fitness aspect to it, but sometimes we'll say, let's forget about goals, forget about work - how are you feeling?"
Although Emmanuel received support from The Prince's Trust, Covid-19 ultimately slowed CLAN Wellbeing's progress.
"In December 2019, I was the last person to enter The Prince's Trust enterprise programme. Then obviously, a couple of months later Covid happened, and I didn't get the momentum I wanted to."
Instead of letting the frustration get the better of him, Emmanuel used the time to work on the foundations of his new business, putting together the building blocks of success as well as working on himself.
"It was a blessing in disguise as I used the time to build the foundations, concentrating on things like TikTok."
"Covid made me realise that you can be physically fit, but inside feel alone and feel neglected and not loving yourself."
He mentions being out in nature as something that helped him during his low times. Seeing a client reach their goal, no matter how big or small, physical or mental, is something that inspires him, too.
"I love the fact that it's a journey," he says, quickly adding, "Because, at the start, they're like, I can't do this. Even my female clients who might think lifting weights is for men. They get stronger, and it can empower them. Even if they fail, they have still tried!"
We asked what advice he would give someone looking for motivation to get moving.
"It has to be something external", he explains. "What's your external purpose?"
"The reason can't be for just yourself; then you're gonna give up," he says. "If you go to bed at 1 am and set the alarm for 6 am, you can hit the snooze button until 7.30. If you know someone is waiting for you, it doesn't matter if it's 1 am, 2 am or 3 am when you get to bed; you're going to get up at 6 am because you know someone is waiting for you."
Is there any advice he has given others to overcome adversity or to start the process of doing something extraordinary like he has?
"Having people on my journey was so important. Even people I could call and talk to. Being intentional and being present in the moment. A lot of people are not present; that's the sad thing."
He tells a story about a woman he knows who was going through a difficult time when we complimented a necklace she was wearing.
"The necklace had been passed down through her family. When I complimented her on it, she was feeling sad and alone. That necklace reminded her of her family. Because I highlighted it, she remembered the love that she has for her family."
For Emmanuel, everything comes back to those small moments of care and compassion for others, both inside and outside of his gym.
"Those little things...you never know how impactful they can be to others."
Tango and The Prince’s Trust have partnered to support young people with education and employment and spread awareness of the ways they can find their fearlessness.
Emmanuel says, “Tango printed mine and three other Prince’s Trust ambassador’s stories onto Tango cans, to help young people find job and education opportunities. It was a mad moment for me and even my friends were like, wow, this is crazy!
We also attended a pop-up at Morley’s Chicken Shop in Brick Lane at the end of September, where we were able to share our stories and hopefully inspire the younger generation about the amazing opportunities available at the Prince’s Trust.”
For more information on how the Prince’s Trust can help you, or someone you know visit: https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/
Featured Image Credit: Tango