I honestly cannot believe my last post is over a week now 😩😩😩😩… I have been busy with school work, I hardly have time for any other thing (begining to sound like a broken record with this my busy excuse ba?) But, it really got me thinking, how do some women cope and still manage to do it all?. This became a pointer to the fact that it was time for me to start the “Conversation Series” which we are kicking off with the “Uncommon Woman” Ifeoma Chuks-Adizue. Iphie as we all call her, is a wife, mother of 3 amazing kids, Career woman and Entrepreneur.
She is also the Co-Founder/Managing Partner at Deluxe Childbirth Services – a maternity concierge firm focused on linking expectant parents to excellent but affordable childbirth options in the USA. Her firm has helped facilitate the birth of over 300 babies in the US; including 4 sets of twins and 1 set of triplets. In partnership with the USAID and UNFPA, her firm has also done work in improving maternal care in the IDP camps of Northern Nigeria.
Iphie also has over 11 years’ experience in Brand Management, Media, Sales; as well as in driving global brands to growth across West and East Africa. She is the founder of Sheer Virtuosity and convener of the Thrive Women Summit coming up on May 1st with theme ‘The Uncommon Woman’. She is very passionate about helping women realize their full potential whilst maintaining stability in their heads, homes, and relationships.
I have always wondered how she’s able to have it all together and still remain very calm, and then my curiosity even grew the more these past couple of months, here I was, no kids, just me, my course, my business and my husband and I can barely even cook nor get my work space in order 😆😆😆😆 so I turned to Iphie to ask “How do you manage to wear and balance it all”? with a couple of other questions.
Me: Iphie ooo, how do you manage being a mom, wife, entrepreneur, work, ministry, planning the Thrive Women Summit and balance it all and still remain so calm 😩😩😩?
Iphie: Truthfully….it is by God’s grace and with lots of wisdom. Knowing your strengths, Prioritizing, Delegating, and Asking for Help have been key for me. I know my strengths and my capacity, when I get over-stretched consistently, I ask or look for help. Getting overstretched is not bad as it actually helps you build capacity but when it becomes continuous, then you need to seek support.
I’ve also learnt to be sensitive to the phases in my life and what is most important in that phase; and then I focus on that. If my family needs me, then that becomes my focus for that time. I also rarely have more than 1-2 big projects per quarter that need my full undivided attention.
Lastly at work, I always have clear personal deliverables per month and a daily to-do list. I rarely take work home so I focus on closing as much work as possible while in the office.
Me: So how do you seek support?
Iphie: I regularly engage my husband on all my projects and ask for help. For example, If I will have a crazy work week, I talk it with him beforehand so he can be more understanding and supportive. Of course, this is easier to do and get results when you have also been supportive of your spouse in the past and express appreciation for even the little things he does. I also have help on the home front with the children and the daily operations of my house.
Me: You mentioned earlier, that over the years, you’ve learnt to be sensitive to the phases in your life, can you share what phase you are right now?
Iphie: The most recent phase of my life started when I had to take considerable time off work to take care of my son. In those months off full-time employment, I also focused attention on my business (Deluxe Childbirth) and ministry – Sheer Virtuosity which is all about developing uncommon woman of skill, strength, and substance. During that time, I ran free trainings and coached several women on how to create and grow multiple income sources; but I still felt unfulfilled. I was confused and went back to God who simply told me He did not ask me to do those things. LOL!!!! It was not this funny then but that conversation birthed the “Thrive Women Summit’ as one of the tools for Sheer Virtuosity to deliver on its objective of raising uncommon women.
Me: Tell me a bit about the Thrive Women Summit, cos I know there’s a lot of buzz about it already on Social Media.
Iphie: During that conversation where God told me He did not ask me to do all the trainings and coaching I had been doing, I asked Him what He would rather have me do instead. He told me to host an event for 1000 women with the theme – The Uncommon Woman. He also said the event should be free but with valuable content that these women would ordinarily have paid for. He gave me the speakers, the date and pretty much the location.
So, the Thrive Women Summit is a Training conference focused on equipping today’s woman with the practical skills and tips to start on her journey to being an Uncommon woman – a woman graced with the strength, skill and substance for uncommon results and impact in her life, home and nation. As expected, it is powered by Sheer Virtuosity.
Me: Oh whaoooo… So, when, where, timings, speakers?
Iphie: The event will hold this Workers Day holiday. So that’s the 1st of May 2017 at Harbour Point Event Centre Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria. It will be a full day of training starting by 9am with sessions on the Identity of the Uncommon Woman, the Uncommon Woman and her Home, Money, Works, and God. Confirmed speakers for now include Omilola Oshikoya, Rev. Laurie Idahosa, Pst. Mildred Kingsley-Okonkwo and of course my humble self. Efe Nathan will also be leading the worship session.
Me: Chaiii, you see why I miss Nigeria so much 😩😩😩… na so I go miss this conference so 😩😩😩. For those of us in the diaspora, how do we connect to this conference, abi we are not part of the 1000 women ni?
Iphie: LOL!!! We over-have all our diaspora sisters in mind o! Plan for now is to have the recordings available for sale after the event on the Sheer Virtuosity website.
Me: I am still curious sha, I am sure there have been challenging times wearing all these hats, how have you handled them?
Iphie: Of course, there have been challenging times wearing all these hats but I’ve learnt though that it’s like learning a new skill – it is always most difficult when you just start out. As you keep practicing and growing, you develop more capability and wisdom to easily manoeuvre what would ordinarily have been very challenging to you initially.
One of the most challenging phases of my life wearing all these hats was in 2012 when I really started taking on more. In that year, I finally started my business in addition to my full-time job, three young children under 3 years and my ‘wifely’ responsibilities. I made several mistakes and learnt from them. I cried many times and almost gave up but in the end, it has all turned out beautiful as I learnt to continually secure my husband’s support and God’s grace to daily see me through.
Me: I had wanted to mention, that I know Deluxe didn’t start until 2012, at what point did you know you were supposed to be doing all of these?
Iphie: December 28th 2010. I was in the US to have my second baby. The year was coming to an end and I was reviewing my life. In the first quarter of that year, I had survived an ectopic pregnancy that almost took my life. Yet despite having one fallopian tube, here I was at the end of the same year over 36 weeks pregnant. I knew God had spared me for a reason and I desperately wanted to start living in purpose. I knew my purpose but I did not know how to get there as it seemed like I was stuck in a ‘routine’ life – work, home, church. I wanted more. I wanted to DO and BE more.
On that day, I started a heart-to-heart conversation with God that ultimately led to me identifying my strengths as well as the first steps I needed to take to start living purposefully and touching my world from the story of the Virtuous Woman. Living purposefully is not just mere actions but impacting lives and showing a unique aspect of God’s love to people.
It was from this session that the idea to start my business (Deluxe Childbirth Services) and women ministry (Sheer Virtuosity) came. Today Deluxe Childbirth which is focused on reducing the incidence of maternal mortality in developing countries has helped birth over 300 babies in the US and has even partnered with internal agencies like USAID and UNFPA to improve maternal care in the IDP camps in Nigeria.
By God’s grace, come May 1st, Sheer Virtuosity will also fully start its journey to developing all round women of success – uncommon women of skill, strength and substance – thanks to the Thrive Women Summit.
Me: Awwww Iphie, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate this, God bless you plenty. I will include your website and Instagram account just in case someone needs to slide into your DM after reading this…lol
Iphie: No problem dear
Just incase you want to slide into her DM or Inbox, here’s her details
Let me just drop this here, I have been able to cook ooooo, since I had this conversation with her 😆😆😆 Even though hubby has been super supportive as well. A one thing that really stuck out though for me is “Understanding the Phase one is per-time, and not taking too much on at a go, focus on that one or two thing and give it your all, that way you don’t wear yourself out and whoever is supporting you as well”
What is your own take home from this conversation? did you find it helpful? what conversation would you want me to have next? as always please drop a comment would love to hear from you.
Till my next post; Thrive…
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4