Maxwell Adekoje is a motivational speaker, realtor, entrepreneur, husband, and international best-selling author. He continuously uses the adversity that he has experienced to push himself forward in the creation of his dreams while motivating others. Additionally, he maintains a positive attitude while transparently using his life to spread joy to others. He has been married to his wife, Guzal, for almost five years. His interview is part of The Bounce Forward Campaign which seeks to showcase stories of pivoting through unwavering faith and action during challenging times.
What are the two most significant things that you discovered about yourself in 2020? How will you use those things moving forward in 2021?
A lion will never eat grass regardless of the recession or economic situation in the jungle. To expand, lions may only eat grass if they have an upset stomach. In the simplest terms, this African proverbs is suggesting that a lion will never settle for mediocrity. It encourages people to know who they are in adversity. The year 2020 engulfed with the global pandemic has taught me never to downsize but instead to upgrade my thoughts and actions. Why? Because there are more opportunities in troubling times. Trouble is a gift that allows us to grow and not to downplay. It helps us to think creatively and to disturb and awaken the sleeping giant in the comfort zone. Moving in 2021, I will help people to understand the value of adversity via my books and videos, and how to never waste a crisis. Always stay hungry; the appetite to keep pressing forward is the fuel of life.
Can you describe the exact moment when you decided to write your new Amazon International best-selling book, Just Eat the Worm, which was released last December?
I started reflecting during COVID-19; I had just lost a friend who died from it, which took me back to when I was on a flight from Nigeria to London. I was one step away from my goal of reaching Tower Bridge, my dream—the land of endless possibilities. Just when I thought I had made it, I was taken to an immigration detention center in the United Kingdom. That night, as I saw the moonlight pour in through the barred window in my cell, I was at my lowest point. I had given up all HOPE. That is when I remembered the night I had lived through ten years ago. I thought about the unborn child who had been torn out of her mother’s body and killed. I thought about the mother who was burned alive. The more I thought about that night—the more relieved I felt. I had experienced worse circumstances. I had seen other people go through worse. This chain of thought led me towards a state of gratitude. It led me to towards a higher dimension of life. It led me to believe that this is the time to add value to the world with my painful experiences, SHARING how I defeated adversity. Pain is the down payment for gain. This was the catalyst that stirred up the why to write both books.
Regarding your Amazon Best-selling memoir, Higher Calling, what one word would you use to describe how you feel about how it is being received, and why that word?
Relatable: Success is messy at the beginning and beautiful at the end, so enjoy the journey of adversity because it never comes alone or stays lonely; instead, it comes with some good friends: the greater opportunities.
We have read that each sold copy of Higher is Calling will feed one person through designated agencies and that your goal is to feed one million children. Do you get to see the fruits of your efforts up close? And, how is the initiative going?
Most people have heard about hungry children; few have actually lived the life of hunger. When food becomes a luxury, it teaches you a lesson no one can tell. “Been there and felt it,” I bought the T-shirt; now is the time to give back to help children because I feel their pain. My purpose in life is to add value to people. I haven’t stretched my goal just yet, but it MUST happen. “This is my duty on earth – service to many.”
What has sharing the stage with Les Brown at the Power Voice II Summit last October done for you?
Mind-blowing experience. Your story must be crafted, right? Why? So your audience can hear you ROAR like a lion. Les Brown brings that out of you in his sections of training.
We have heard individuals talk about manifesting. What do you expect your speaker life to look like in 2021?
Impactful, most people speak and get you fired up, and you wonder what happened the next day. I’m a motivational teacher. I speak towards change and daily growth.
What advice would you give Maxwell, who was considering entrepreneurship years ago?
DO IT NOW! Plan to die empty—don’t take your gift to the cemetery. No! A job is what you get paid to do; your purpose is what you are designed to do. Die in your purpose, not on a job, because no one will remember you, only the tombstone.
What advice would you give anyone considering entrepreneurship in 2021?
Start now! Most people die at 25, get buried at 75 years. Who are you? What are you capable of doing? Discover your purpose. What are you great at doing? “Passion pays big,” and have people pay you for it. Get paid to do what you love. A job steals your greatness; use it as a stepping stone, not a foundation for excellence. There is more in you if you dare to look outside the box. I dare you to release the lion in you because you have greatness in you.
You may have heard that we’re big on talking about legacy-creation. What do you want your legacy to be?
MLK, Nelson Mandela? It didn’t take you ten seconds to relate! Why? Dead yet alive, speaking from the graveyard and still changing lives. Change only becomes permanent when you have no impact on humanity. The clock waits for no one. Build!
Where can readers find you online?
All images by JIde