Renee follows her dreams and lives life to the fullest. She has a pedigree background in legal practice. She has over 10 years experience in life and in business coaching in Kenya, the UK and the USA. She works with businesses and business owners to create business, marketing and sales strategies for their corporations.
Renee is also the co-host of the critically acclaimed, longest running weekday morning drive show on Capital fm – Capital in the Morning. Her passion for all things Justice, Equity and Honorable is rivalled only by her love for local African urban beats.
Her true calling however, is in life and business coaching. Renee is an International Coach Federation accredited Results coach, NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer, hypnotherapist and Executive Coach. She draws on her vast international multidisciplinary experience and uncanny level of intuition to draw out the innate greatness in all of us, to distil the vision of business owners into succinct packages and supports you as you live out your purpose and that of your organisation.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Renee Ngamau, a life and business strategist, as well as a co-host in Capital FM’s morning show. Her career journey is one characterized with plot twists and amazing discoveries. Her initial debut into her career saw her qualify to be a lawyer with a Master’s degree in Financial and Banking Law from the University of London. She worked in some of Kenya’s and England’s top law firms, and her career path was set with goals like making partner and becoming a law professor. That was up until a doctor’s diagnosis brought the crashing realization that she might not be around in the next 5 years to see her dreams manifest.
Do you have a passion in something? Renee’s inspiring story will show you how doors open far and wide once you start working on your talent and passion.
BrighterMonday: Give us a brief peek into your professional life.
Renee: I am a qualified lawyer with a Masters degree in Financial and Banking Law from the University of London. I have practiced in Kenya and the UK. I had my career path set until what I call my ‘Road to Damascus’ moment. After my diagnosis, I became obsessed with facts about the human brain; the correlation between thoughts, habits and lifestyle; and how thoughts affect one’s health. One thing led to another and I travelled to the USA in search of alternative cures to my diagnosis. In the process, I met and studied with renowned motivational speakers like John Garcia and Les Brown. I sought and consulted with highly regarded medical practitioners. Before long, I discovered that there is indeed a prescription for health, fulfilling relationships, happiness, financial success and general well-being. That is how I regained my health and much, much more. I discovered Life Coaching as a career path. I was instantly hooked. As a career and way of living, life coaching presented an opportunity for my life to be more meaningful, it was more aligned to my purpose and I had the chance to create a bigger impact on people’s lives.
BrighterMonday: Very interesting and inspiring turn of events. So, who do you coach?
Renee: I am a life and business coach. I coach people who are working to grow their careers, successful people looking for their next big success and people who believe themselves to be stuck – wanting more but not sure what, how to go about it or even where to start looking. My greatest purpose is helping people figure out what they want in life. You see, people usually know what they don’t want. It is what they DO want that needs figuring out. I provide support to entrepreneurs as they start their businesses and as they transition. I help figure out purpose, passion, goals and strategy. I strongly believe that if anyone has these four figured out, they are three quarters of their way there. All that is left is action
I am also a co-host in Capital FM’s weekday morning show, something I immensely enjoy doing.
BrighterMonday: Have you always wanted to be in the media industry?
Renee: No. Far from it, I have never envisioned myself in the media industry. My entrance in to the media industry was after I finished conducting “Four P” training and the participants were highly impressed with my work. They felt that this knowledge should be out there broadcasted to a larger audience. Again, in that way that the Universe unfolds when you are on purpose, the opportunity opened up and I readily accepted since I saw it as a channel to achieve my life purpose.
BrighterMonday: So you did not go to journalism school?
Renee: No I did not. My qualifications are in law [and an abandoned PhD]. And you see, that’s the point with talent. Latent talent will often supersede academic qualifications in media and creative arts; indeed in most successful businesses. Look at most business owners vs most employees. Look at most successful artists and their schooling. Someone once told me that “A” students often end up working for “C” students because “C” students are driven by a passion that is beyond academia. My take on that is that if you have the drive, focus and grit to excel, no matter what your background, you will.
BrighterMonday: What would you do different if you had the chance?
Renee: I wouldn’t start the PHD in law. Other than that, I don’t think I would change anything else. You see, I believe that every part of my life is as it should be. Because I wouldn’t be who I am today, were it for the experiences I have gone through. I like who I am. I strongly believe that every moment was perfect for that moment and it has all been building to the present moment.
BrighterMonday: What are some of the challenges you faced setting out in your career?
Renee: I always faced the moment of the fear of failure. If you asked me today what I am worried about- I’d say the only thing that would bother me in the least is the lack of time to complete what I believe I am here for. At the beginning of course I was accosted by the fear of the unknown and change. But my road to Damascus made everything clearer and the further I went into the road, the more my purpose became clear.
BrighterMonday: At the point of switching gears in your career, did you face any resistance from people close to you?
Renee: Of course, there are those who thought I had lost it and couldn’t believe that I would build my law career to heights most dream of, then walk away just like that. The best part of it is that I have an extraordinarily short list of people whose opinion really matters to me and I have never been one to care what most people think about me; hence sticking to my decision was not that hard.
BrighterMonday: What is your greatest fear?
Renee: I understand this about fear; I understand it conceptually and I also understand it intrinsically. I understand that fear is a false expectation appearing real, and that the power of the apparition called Fear is largely based on the amount of attention that I give to it. Attention is energy. The apparition is stronger when more attention [therefore energy] is given to it and vice versa. So fear is only as large as the attention it is granted. Knowing this, I manage any fear is by giving it as little attention as possible.
I love life. I love learning new things and most of what I know and what I hold as true have come from learning, reading, experiences and some of it is through observation.
BrighterMonday: How do you define success?
Renee: Joy. Pure and simple. JOY. These three simple letters define success for me. Joy is different from happiness. It is deep-seated. It is inward and not affected by external happenings. You will find people who have joy regardless of their physical or financial circumstance. Joy takes a lot to cultivate, but is a great fulfillment to whoever finds it.
BrighterMonday: Who or What has been your greatest inspiration?
Renee: My greatest inspiration is my desire to live long. It would almost be natural that I would defy a doctor’s shattering diagnosis because my desire for life is always greater than my individual circumstance at any given time.
Books are another source of inspiration for me. Books I have read have had a great impact in my life. My reading was inculcated at a very young age by my mom. She would make us read through different books, including the bible for the story value. Books and documentaries have opened my eyes and spiked my curiosity and desire to discover and learn; which has contributed to most of what I know and my perception towards life.
BrighterMonday: What word of advice do you have for fresh graduates?
Renee: Fail quickly and fail forward. Fail, learn, and pick yourself up should be on repeat mode. Don’t waste time and do not think too much about something. Do it, fail, learn, and pick yourself up and do it better. Fail again and repeat. Do not even try gathering courage to conquer fear of failing, just go and do what you want to do with your life. Let success and competence find you in motion.
Number two, you need to understand that competence takes time. Understand the 10,000 hour rule that states; competence is the result of consistent, continous and improved repetition that a skill becomes so subconscious that it is entrenched in your muscles. In my case, radio is a perfect example of this concept, seeing that I am not a native. The desk of a radio host looks like a pilot’s cockpit. There are 8 buttons on my left, another eight on my right, 6 screens, I could have a guest in studio, then I have you the listener. All this have to be done at the exact same time while keeping the timelines for different sections in check. That takes a lot of getting used to.
Remember that you will never be as competent as you start off as the person who has been there for years. For them it’s muscular. They do not have to think about it, they just do it subconsciously. You have to put in the hours. You can never fake competence. Never try to fake competence, rather, always own willingness and keep trying until you become competent.
BrighterMonday: What do you love about your career/life?
Renee: As a life and business coach, I get to usher in greatness. I get to be present when people realize how incredible they are. It is a journey to that moment but when we get there, whether in indivudial coaching or group workshops, it is such a fulfilling moment, there is almost no word to describe it.
I am surrounded by greatness. My life at the radio is amazing. My co-host and team are extremely competent, the DJs at the station are some of Kenya’s best, and I get to interview incredible people with amazing stories.
BrighterMonday: What traits do you look for in the people who come to you for coaching?
Renee: Anyone seeking my coaching services should be willing to look beyond their momentary disbelief in their own greatness and believe in my belief that they are great until their belief in their own greatness supersedes mine. They have to be willing to challenge their limiting self beliefs, work on their unproductive ways of thinking and acting. They have to allow themselves to re-write their own memories of “mediocrity” and step into their greatness.
BrighterMonday: Briefly take us through the typical coaching steps
Renee:Ok. The simplified version is this. After helping a client identify what they want in life and/or business, we go through a goal creation session. These goals need to be personal goals, career goals and business goals. These goals have to be SMART, inspiring and compelling.
After goals creation, we create strategies to help the client achieve the set goals. WE then create actions from one week to the next that will help achieve the set strategies and goals.
In the process of coaching we challenge beliefs, unproductive behavior, create new patterns of thinking and overlay the existing self-definition with a more powerful one.
I say this is the simplified version because any of my past or present clients will tell you that simple does not mean easy…
BrighterMonday: So where can anyone in need of a professional life coach get you?
Renee: Let them check my website: www.reneengamau.com they will get all my contact details there. You can also follow me on instagram and twitter at @reneengamau or like my Facebook page – Official Renee Ngamau. I hold seminars from time to time where I speak to audiences on discovering one’s life purpose. The next seminar will start on June 9th for 4 Thursdays at the All Saints Cathedral starting at 6.00pm to 8.00pm. The seminar is charged at Kshs.15,000.00. You can sign up at my website.
BrighterMonday: Thank you very much Renee for your time and your timely, sagacious and eye-opening insight.
Renee: Thank you for the opportunity and for everyone who is reading today, you have greatness within. Step into your greatness!