It is such an amazing time once again in our Authors’ Corner. And we are excited to interview another exceptional author in our community, MADAME MEROLA. We appreciate your presence on this platform. In this thought-provoking and captivating interview, MADAME MEROLA tells us about her journey to becoming an accomplished author of impactful books; how she overcame the challenged she faced in writing and how she built a remarkable and powerful brand. Join us as we learn more about the rudiments for living an inspired life from this phenomenal personality.
Please, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am like an open book, so I think that, publicly, most people know who I am and what I stand for when they read my bio on my website (www.madamemerola.com). I am a feisty, flamboyant and focused woman who believes in being the very best version of herself unapologetically. I am The B.A.N.G Creator that ignites the Beautiful/Bold, Audacious, No Excuses, God’s Masterpiece in every person I encounter in life. My mission is to ignite billions of lives to discover and fulfil their God-Ordained Legacy and Dreams (G.O.L.D).
I wear many hats as a wife, mother and entrepreneur. I am a Personal Mastery Coach, Image and Personal Branding Specialist, Creativity and Communications Consultant and a Transformational Speaker and Author. I live to speak life into others every day.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be an author and why did you decide to be one?
If I am being honest, I think I have nurtured the dream of being an author from a very young age because of how impactful books had been in my life. I read everything, from romance novels and mystery novels to even the dictionary. I just loved books and I knew that one day I would also write books that would especially touch people’s lives. So, it was a dream of a pre-teen girl living in Lagos, Nigeria, to one day be a published international author.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey as an author? What were the struggles or challenges you’ve encountered and surmounted along this journey?
I had forgotten about my dream to be a published author until when I become a life coach in 2017 and began living as Madame Merola, The B.A.N.G Creator. I attended a workshop that tapped into my subconscious and brought to the surface a lot of abandoned dreams I had. Becoming an author was one of them, but it only became a pressing desire when I was about to turn 40 in 2018. I wanted to write a book and launch it on my 40th birthday. I started writing the book. I titled it “Live A Phenomenal Life” because I had a weekly show, which I host with the same title. However, I never got past Chapter 1.
I became very frustrated as to why I couldn’t find the inspiration I needed to write this book. I asked God to help me. I started doing some research as to how much it would cost me to publish my manuscript once I completed it. I was flabbergasted at the cost plus the ridiculously high volume of books I had to print at once. I was discouraged but I was not willing to give up; so I knew somehow that God would make a way if I truly wanted my book to come alive.
How did you come across TEBEBA Publishing firm and why did you choose TEBEBA as your publisher?
The challenges I faced in becoming an author led me to Tebeba by divine Providence. I was on Instagram when I stumbled on a post offering a 50% discount to new authors who wanted to publish their books. I was intrigued so I wrote the number on the poster and dialed it. This was how I became acquainted with Emmanuel Olatunji and he shared with me the mission of Tebeba.
I don’t even remember the full details now but I remember getting upset with him and ending the call. He called me back, apologized and we discussed at length what I wanted. I shared my frustration with him about not having a manuscript to submit to him and the high cost of getting my dream of being an author to become a reality. It was during my conversation with him that the name and tagline for my first published book were birthed.
Now, let’s talk about your book, G.O.L.D Digger; what inspired you to write this book?
My first published book with Tebeba is G.O.L.D Digger; Inspiration to live your best life.
As I earlier attested to, whilst conversing with Emmanuel about how uninspired I was to write my first book, which I had titled “Live A Phenomenal Life”, I suddenly had a divine revelation to write about the challenges and experiences one faces on the journey to fulfilling one’s God-Ordained Legacy and Dreams.
It requires us digging deeper just like a person who is digging to find a vein of gold amongst the dirt and rumble. That was my lightbulb moment. The title came to me in a flash and I became so excited as I shared this revelation with Emmanuel. His genuine admiration and enthusiasm encouraged me and I told him that the book would be ready in 21 days. I was just about to start a 21 Day Affirmations Challenge, so I was inspired to challenge myself to write 100 original quotes with life lessons by me, together with the 420 affirmations I was going to write for the challenge.
To the glory of God, the one who gives divine inspiration and creativity, I completed my manuscript and joyfully sent it to Tebeba for them to do their magic and present the finished work to me.
What is your book about and who is it for?
G.O.L.D Digger is for anyone who has faced challenges, setbacks, abuses and losses in life that made them want to give up and stop trying. It is a daily vitamin cocktail of inspiration, motivation and self-empowerment to keep digging deeper and pressing forward towards your highest goals, dreams and destiny. It is easy to read and the chapters are short enough to be digested one per day. Young or old, male or female, believer or pagan, there is something in the G.O.L.D Digger that will surely ignite you to take action and give your best life another chance to manifest.
How can we be our authentic self in life?
To be our authentic self starts with self-awareness. Until you fully discover who you are, you cannot function at your very best. That is why personal mastery is at the core of what I teach and speak about for a living. I always say you need to Own Your G.E.N.I.U.S so you can function in your zone of genius.
What are you naturally gifted and talented in? What are your experiences and expectations about your life? What is your narrative or story about your life that you can own? What inspires you and instinctively calls out to you as your life’s purpose? What are your unique values in life? Who are you called to serve and support with all you have been equipped with? If you can answer these 6 questions, you will know what you are a G.E.N.I.U.S at, and live and create from an authentic state of presence.
What’s your perception about purpose discovery and purpose fulfilment?
I am a firm believer that if the purpose of a man or woman is not known, misuse or misaligned living is inevitable. Too many people are living a life that is not truly theirs, that is why they are unfulfilled and true joy eludes them. To find and live your purpose is tied to your authenticity and true identity. Who you are called to be, defines many things including what you do and how you do what you do. That is why my love for personal branding is everlasting.
A Personal Brand that knows its purpose and functions in it powerfully is an Unrivalled brand. No one can do you, be you and live you better than you can. Purpose gives you a competitive advantage and power to flow in your oil of ease. Find purpose and you find your place of influence and significance.
How can one build a positive mindset to achieve success in life?
By being intentional and deliberate. You must be deliberate about what you see, hear, read, who you follow online and in real life, who you allow into your inner circle and what you believe to be true. Our beliefs shape our thoughts and actions, thereby, forming habits that can either aid us in life to succeed or inhibit us.
I speak positive affirmations every day to help reprogram my thoughts and align my psyche and physiology to be positive and proactive. I am a lifelong learner so I am constantly learning, unlearning the things that no longer serve me and relearning some things I have forgotten to do. As a man or woman thinks, so is he or she. Feed your mind with the right things and you will think your way to joy, success and fulfilment in life.
How do positive affirmations help us as humans?
Positive Affirmations for me is like oxygen to the body. It empowers me to feel like I can do anything I set my mind upon. We don’t know how powerful we are until we start to speak affirmations, believe what we say and act as if we have already received what we say. It truly has a magical effect on our lives and I am a living testimony of this.
Speaking affirmations helped me kick depression and suicidal thoughts away for good; it changed my victim mentality to an empowered one and ended my stinking thinking and negative attitude about life and the abuse I had to overcome. Affirmations work when you work them my faith. Matthew 7:7 is my inspiration for loving affirmations. I call it the ASK Principle. What you speak is a request to the universe to aid you, and as a Christian, I am calling things forth with total conviction.
You are known to be the B.A.N.G creator; how did you come about that name?
I remember vividly like it was yesterday, that I was teaching a class on Elevator Pitch and how to introduce yourself powerfully to a group of female CEOs. I ended my session by saying, “That is how you show up and introduce yourself with a BANG,” and then I received very rapturous applause. Anywhere I went and saw any of the ladies that attended the training, she always greeted me by saying, “The BANG herself”.
This drew a lot of interest and people started asking me what BANG stands for. Because there were variations like BANG Mama, BANG Queen, The BANGER, I wanted something I could love and proudly own so I asked God for divine inspiration and I came up with an acronym for B.A.N.G which is Beautiful/Bold, Audacious, No Excuses, God’s Masterpiece.
To also proclaim my DNA as a co-creator with my Heavenly Father and the fact that I help people create the image you desire, I swaggerliciously gave myself a title no one else has in the world and became Madame Merola, The B.A.N.G Creator in 2017. Boom!
You are very consistent in what you do; how can one improve his level of consistency in achieving success?
One of the things that drive me is passion. I am extremely and radically passionate about what I do. It helps me push through in tough times. The second thing is Focus. I know what I am called to do and purposed for, hence I say no to many things that don’t align with my core purpose. I am a multi-passionate person and so it’s easy to get distracted and veer off to pursue another passion.
This is where Mentorship has played a key role in my life. Having Dr Sam Ikoku as my primary mentor for my career has been very stabilizing for me. He always reminds me to stay focused and commit 100% to whatever I choose. Thus, my consistency stems from these three key things: Passion, Focus and Mentorship. Being accountable to someone else keeps you on the right path.
What inspires all you do today?
Gosh, I am someone who finds inspiration in everything and everyone. I am inspired by the creativity of others. I am inspired by music and how it speaks to my spirit and soul. I am inspired by nature and all the beauty we are surrounded by. I am inspired by God and how he created us, humans, to be similar yet so very different. I am inspired by my children and the love and admiration they have for me. I am inspired by my purpose, to keep giving the best of me every day so I die empty of all I have been blessed with to give. I say, “I am inspired to be an inspiration every day.”
What has been your most memorable moment so far while working on your book project?
I have published two books with Tebeba and I will never forget how G.O.L.D Digger came to exist. A simple conversation with my publisher, Emmanuel, brought about a lightbulb moment that gave me the title and the flow of the book. I was so charged with what I saw in my mind’s eye that what I could not do in 9 months, I accomplished in 21 Days. And G.O.L.D is a great book, rich in content and inspiration; it will always be my favourite and the most memorable part of my journey to becoming a published author.
Where do you get your muse or ideas whenever you want to begin a book project?
This might sound arrogant to some but I am my own greatest muse when it comes to the ideas that I have converted into books. G.O.L.D Digger was borne out of my frustration of being uninspired to continue chasing my dreams. How to Create an E.P.I.C Brand; The A to Z of Personal Branding was borne out of my successful transformation when I started intentionally building a personal brand and the positive and profitable effect that it brought.
My two upcoming books, “Mind Your Own Business; 10 things you never say to a Lady” and “Image Redefined” to be published by Tebeba are also based on things I experienced that led me to do extensive research and interview others to curate the ideas and thoughts in the books. Life teaches us so many things and I, in particular, having to live in two different continents, have seen and experienced so many interesting things. This is why I always have something to say or share with the rest of the world via my books.
As an experienced author, what advice do you have for someone who wants to get his/her book published?
Find the right publisher who will be very supportive and helpful in getting you from the ideation phase to the execution phase and the publishing and marketing phase. I want to use this medium to lavish abundant praise and gratitude to Tebeba. I have had a royalty treatment as a client of this publishing company and I can truly say that becoming an author has been a joyful and wonderful experience because of the team of people that helped me bring my ideas to life, exactly as I envisioned it. I love Tebeba and I am happy to keep having them publish my books for as long as I keep writing, which will be forever.
The second thing is having faith that your ideas matter and that someone somewhere needs to know what you know and be inspired by your story.
Which authors do you admire?
I am an eclectic reader, so I have many authors I admire from various genres. I will say John C. Maxwell inspired me greatly because I kept telling myself that if this man can keep writing book after book after book, then I can too. Joyce Meyer and Bishop T.D Jakes are my favorite authors too and as you may have noticed, I have strong gravitation towards speakers/preachers who are also authors, as that is also how my life has shaped out to be.
Influence is a powerful thing, which is why I said that who you follow or are inspired by can influence you in more ways than you know.
What is the best piece of advice you have received as an author?
“Write what you know and believe in. These will translate from the pages of the book to the hearts of the readers always.” This was from a conversation I had with the Holy Spirit.
Do you intend to write more books and why?
Yes, Yes, Yes. I have so much to say, so much to share and billions to inspire, so I will keep writing till the day I die. Writing is also very rewarding for me on a soul level and I read my books and receive fresh blessings from them. Sometimes, I feel like I was just a vessel used to write the book but the words actually came from the Divine. So, as long as I live, I am open and available to be used by God to keep writing what will be valuable contents for generations to come.
Where and how can we purchase your books?
My books are available on Amazon, Selar.co and my website, www.madamemerola.com
What are your final words to the audience?
Your life is a unique experience all on its own. Nobody can have the exact story, experience, passion, challenges and dreams as you do. You have a powerful voice. Let it be heard through the words you speak and write. You matter. As your legacy unfolds, live a phenomenal life always and keep digging deeper for your G.O.L.D. You are a Star. Shine brightly and do your 100% unapologetically. God bless you.