I am Debola Deji-Kurunmi, a Personal Transformation Coach, as well as the Founder of IMMERSE Coaching Company. I am also the Executive Director of Ideation Hub Africa, a social impact accelerator in Nigeria; as well as the President at Deborah Initiative for Women and FIREBRAND, both non-denominational Christian ministries.
Since 2014, I have helped 70,000+ visionary men and women upgrade into higher versions of themselves, so they can serve their precise purpose, and build a life of influence. One of my greatest personal joys is helping people (especially women) step into their unstoppable zone where they draw from inner power to overcome limitations and do their dreams. I believe that we will continue to choose between the chaotic stress of purposelessness or the creative stretch of purpose; no path will be a total smooth sail, but one will reward you with growth, meaning, and abundance. This is the invitation I make to you through my coaching – an invitation to Purpose.
As a 6 year old girl, I had an encounter with my Dad, which still holds strong memories for me today. I had noticed that my friends’ fathers would set out for work early in the morning and return in the evening briefcase often in hand; but my Dad did not seem to have to get out so early every day, yet we were as successful (if not more), as my friends’ families.
One day, out of curiosity, I asked him why he sometimes didn’t leave home in the morning or returned so early in the afternoon, and my Dad said to me “I run my own business- I don’t have to report early to work if I don’t want to, and sometimes, I can stay home to rest or take care of you if I have to”. He explained the entrepreneurial life to me but something more important emerged in my mind as I grew older: He was living a life of choice, based on a vision he chose for himself.
This encounter has never left me. It has become a defining lens through which I view life: We all have a choice! We can build a life we choose, around the things that matter to us. We do not have to be stuck in a rat race, or constrained by society’s definitions. We do not have to lose our personal power to the pursuit of money. A life of purpose had to be deliberately designed and prosperity was not exclusive to peace of mind.
By the time I was 9 years old, I had written a book called “Spiritual Adventure”, and although I cannot remember the content vividly, it was more how my parents encouraged us to use our gifts to bless the world. From that fundamental core, I would go on to write exceptional poetry, lead and win national debating competitions, create scripts, act in stage dramas, as well as paint abstract drawings before I was 15 years old. My mother would forbid anyone to shut me up or restrain me from speaking my mind because she kept saying “people would pay in dollars to hear me speak”.
I grew up in so much liberty, strength and acceptance. My parents did a stunning job of brainwashing me into the belief that I was a born winner, that I could do anything and life was rigged in my favor. I still believe them till today. Their values and vision grounded me and provided the right launch pad in life. I got into College and literally, fell into a world of opportunities. Now I understand that the significant experience my parents spent my first 15 years creating for me was Conscious Conditioning. They tilted my world view in the direction of positive vibes, possibilities, and power, which still impact on my life’s experiences till now! I believe this is the central element I bring to my coaching – elevating the perspective and perception of those who work with me; till the sight of success is an irrevocable and irrepressible reality in their minds.
By my second year in College, I started what became a widespread inspirational movement for young women seeking a safe space and compelling community to heal, share and grow; reaching thousands of female students in ripple effect over a four year period. Just before graduating, the organization hosted an eight-week, curriculum-driven “Purpose Discovery School” for over a hundred young women; culminating in a heavily-decorated awards ceremony. By then, I had started to see my passion for women evolving.
Three years after College, I founded Deborah Initiative for Women, with 27 women in Olamide’s home – she remains very dear to my heart. A journey of almost 10 years, we have since risen to a Close-Knit Partnership of almost 400 women in 9 countries, reaching thousands of other women with mentorship, community, resources, and outreach. I continue to salute the extraordinary generosity of our Partners, for their commitment to advance the God’s Kingdom Agenda in every way possible.
One year after I started Deborah Initiative for Women, I got married to Ayodeji, my friend and lover who is truly, a good man. By the time I had my first daughter, my life flew into a literal turmoil that I could not find a nexus to hold it all together. The demands were overwhelming: juggling my consulting work, with doing ministry through Deborah Initiative for Women, to staying joyfully married, keeping a home, and being a happy woman. The feelings of disharmony, dissatisfaction, and utter disbelief I felt was unimaginable! I was constantly out of energy, struggling to keep myself organized, and feeling under enormous pressure in my life. However, just two months after her birth, I published and launched three pocket books. Everyone considered it an amazing feat, but I was acting out my inner conviction that marriage and motherhood should not make a woman less than her visionary self, but it was still so hard.
By the time my daughter was about 9 months; I had gotten a better hang of my personal equilibrium. My balancing art was stronger, performance at work was back up, ministry was flourishing again, and I was definitely in a better place. Around this time, my consulting firm flew me to Dubai to train middle management staff of the country’s state-owned oil corporation. Word about my exceptional facilitation and corporate training miracles was on every lip within my organization.
What had changed? I figured the warfare, and deployed my armory! I came upon the startling knowledge that my struggle with balance in my life was the same war many women were losing in their lives. The War was to subdue the dreams and destiny of visionary women because of the demands of marriage, motherhood, ministry, and the marketplace. The War was to clutter the lives of women with daily chores so that they have no energy left to dream, to create, and to birth. The War was to make women think they had to choose between their highest vision and their family. The War preceded me, but now, I could emerge a victor.
I am now a mother of three young children and I have surely grown my mastery of an agile system that helps me balance my priorities without trading any of the things that matter to me. I love being a wife, I love being a mum, and I love being a fabulous woman; but I also love being a ministry gift, a personal transformation coach, a public policy consultant, and an author. None has to give, if they all align to my central purpose on earth.
Today, working with the wisdom that sustains my different roles; I now serve my purpose through multiple expressions without fitting into society’s hole of “be known for only one thing”. The reason many people shrink from exploring their multi-dimensional dream is the fear that there’d be too many balls to juggle. This is why I use tested coaching frameworks and tools that have worked for me, to help women release their higher versions, and build a well-engineered system around their multi-influential lives.
It is possible! In 8 years, and as a mother of three young children; I have written 18 books, spoken at more than 500 conferences, started and grown two businesses, and two ministry expressions. My Coaching Business – IMMERSE Coaching Company, has grown into a 40, 000+ strong community of people in 98 countries. My Social Impact Advisory Business, Ideation Hub Africa, has curated and hosted 4 editions of Development Dialogue, which is Nigeria’s leading third sector conference, with some of Africa’s most influential leaders as speakers. I also lead a faith-based local assembly with my husband and teach God’s Word at several churches every month. Through my diverse expressions; I am building a wealth empire that I could not have envisioned just four years ago, in income, impact and influence.
Amidst several awards, I was recognized as a 2014 New Leader for Tomorrow in the order of business, government, and parliaments at Crans Montana Forum in Geneva; an award conferred before several Presidents and world leaders. I have served twice as a Distinguished Mentor on the Queen’s Young Leader Awards (a fellowship by the UK Government in honor of exceptional young leaders in the Common Wealth). Last year, the US Government selected me as one of Africa’s most promising young leaders and a Mandela Washington Fellow. Just recently, I was listed as one of the 100 Most Inspiring Nigerian Women 2019 and continue to serve as a Youth Representative on the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
Today, I want you to experience the breath-taking joy of finding, following, and fulfilling their life’s purpose without having to choose between your vision and your family or any other thing that matters to you. I want you to discover the mastery of balance and structure in their lives; so you can do much more. I want you to live a full life, expressing your multi-passionate, multi-dimensional, and multi-influential self. I want you to build wealth through your work, and grow prosperity by serving your purpose. This is what you achieve when you work with me.
I believe if you find the wisdom that works, plus a community that cares; you can accomplish phenomenal things in your life. This is the drive behind IMMERSE Coaching Company; to provide purpose-driven people, like you, with the coaching, courses, content, and community that make your dreams doable. It would be my absolute pleasure to walk with you.
My Formal Bio
Debola Deji-Kurunmi is a transformational catalyst, equipping a new breed of African visionaries to rise and enthrone the continent into global prominence! Her work of coaching, consulting and capacity building cut across Christ-centered ministry (through Deborah Initiative for Women and FIREBRAND Movement), Personal Transformational Coaching (through IMMERSE Coaching Company), as well as public policy and impact advisory (through Ideation Hub Africa).
At IMMERSE Coaching Company, Debola leads a 70,000+ strong global community of visionaries who are using her breakthrough coaching and courses to create new powerful mindsets for a life of purpose, contribution and influence. Her clients have cut across social innovators, entrepreneurs, career professionals, thought-leaders, faith-based voices and individuals seeking exponential growth.
Through Ideation Hub Africa, she runs a social profit accelerator, which supports non-profits, innovators, civil society organisations and public sector agencies, through executive education, collaborative platforms, funding opportunities and advisory. Ideation Hub is also the host of Development Dialogue, which is Nigeria’s leading development sector conference.
Debola has been severally recognized for her outstanding leadership impact and has received Awards including 2014 New Leader for Tomorrow in the order of business, government, and parliaments at the Crans Montana Forum in Geneva; an award conferred before several Presidents and world leaders.
She served twice as a Mentor Jury of the Queen’s Young Leader Awards – a UK Government fellowship that honors exceptional young leaders in the Common Wealth. In 2018, she was selected by the US Government as one of Africa’s most promising young leaders and a Mandela Washington Fellow. Last year, she was listed as one of 100 Most Inspiring Nigerian Women and continues to serve as a Youth Representative at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
At the 2018 Mandela Washington Annual Summit in Washington DC , Debola delivered the electrifying viral speech on “How to Fry Fish to Solve a Wicked Problem” where she shared heartfelt insights for African young leaders willing to fix the continent’s toughest challenges.
DDK as she is fondly called, is an author of 21 books till date, including the classic called FIREBRAND which continues to reach thousands of readers in powerful ways. Born from the Book, is the FIREBRAND Movement which includes FIREBRAND Festivals across cities, FIREBRAND Prayer Journals, FIREBRAND Psalms, and more recently FIREBRAND Forerunners.
She is joyfully married to her lover, Ayodeji and they are blessed with children.