Jane Osemwegie on new book and returns from positivity

Posted on June 07, 2024 | By Ashley Fitzpatrick | 0 Comments

 

With a background in product management, Jane Osemwegie self-published Unleashing Your Inner Power: A Roadmap to Self-Discovery and Growth earlier this year. Among other things, the book draws on Osemwegie’s volunteer work with Toastmasters International and launch in 2023 of Jubilant Consulting, through which she offers coaching in public speaking and interpersonal communications. (Submitted image)

Frankly, advice is easy to come by. Many books — so many books — are out in the world are filled with “tips” and “tricks” and “pathways” to building a business, improving your working life and building a better life in general. It raises the question: why go there at all?

Why would, for instance, Halifax-based Jane Osemwegie, with years of professional experience as a product manager, recently opt to write and self-publish something titled: Unleashing Your Inner Power: A Roadmap to Self-Discovery and Growth?

Well, there’s the idea of any person, tapping into their own particular personal history and professional experiences, in any set place and time, can potentially give new meaning to longstanding ideas. Sometimes, an individual personality and their approach to high-level thoughts on work and life simply can connect with people. For Osemwegie, there has been some of that.

But when asked specifically about being criticized as trying to be a “guru,” or sneered at for “self-help” writing, the answer to Atlantic Business Magazine was straightforward, grounded and engaging (in a way that maybe begins to explain the weeks her book spent near the top of various Amazon bestseller rankings beginning in January).

“One of the most profound lessons I encountered early in my life was the remarkable power of self-belief”

—Jane Osemwegie

“I think I have skills and knowledge for people to listen to,” she said, explaining in a gracious way a ‘why not’ approach to work and life.

The Nigerian-born Canadian’s work over the years has included essential lessons in various communications and interpersonal skills. She has worked for both for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises, tasked with understanding the needs of customers and executives, understanding product and service specifics and trying to develop features and functionalities to stand out in the marketplace. Beyond her day-to-day, she has volunteered on multiple fronts related to communications and promoting a conscious effort toward personal development.

Osemwegie doesn’t pitch having the greatest level of any particular skills compared to everyone else around her. She doesn’t talk about “ultimate” ideas or having be-all-end-all advice on any front. She does subscribe to the idea the value in offering advice can come down to a person receiving the right piece of advice, at the right time, in a way that makes sense to them. And she tries to practice what she preaches. That includes the idea of fostering a healthy level of self-confidence.

“One of the most profound lessons I encountered early in my life was the remarkable power of self-belief,” she writes early on in her text.

Jane Osemwegie (Submitted photo)

Back around mid-2021, extending from her time with a regional chapter of Toastmasters International, she began some informal mentoring in communications and “soft skills” — communication, interpersonal skills, leadership, adaptability, team building, self-motivation — with local acquaintances in Halifax Regional Municipality, spending time with mentees bi-weekly. They would talk about their professional struggles and personal ones. She listened as they shared some of the common challenges related to communication in the workplace, and additional challenges they sometimes encountered specific to them (for instance as Black women and/or new immigrants). She’d offer her two cents. Her main points in the conversations were rooted in a mix of her skills training, personal beliefs and experiences.

As the meetings went on, she heard from another person interested in talking, and another.

“They reached out to me and said ‘Jane, those tips are working,’” she told ABM.

The thought had crossed her mind, but she received a direct suggestion to write out some of her thoughts and advice she was giving. The idea of maybe reaching a wider audience was a draw in thinking about that. The challenge of writing a book was interesting.

“I said ‘let me just write and I’ll see how it goes,’’ she said, recalling.

Finishing the book was a test of focus and her commitment to the idea. She didn’t think too much on the details of publishing, opting to self-publish what she had completed. She wanted mainly to see if there was any interest.

“It’s very important for you to be in the driver’s seat of your own life. If not, life will drive you,”

—Jane Osemwegie

“I wanted to just put the words out there and learn from the experience,” she said.

The final text is fairly straightforward. Osemwegie speaks to things like pushing through your own self-doubt; handling the stress of change; building meaningful connections and networks; learning from your experiences. The ideas aren’t new and the language doesn’t challenge. There is repeat mention, for instance, of the concept of thinking of stepping stones. At various points, it’s stepping stones: “toward greatness,” “to propel ourselves forward in life,” “toward more outstanding achievements,” “toward success” and more.

But Osemwegie repeats images and ideas that are relatable. She does so with energy and infectious positivity (matched in interview). The book urges you along, drawing you into your own moment of coffee talk. She promotes kindness and caring for yourself. She offers affirmations.

Admittedly unsure of what would come of the writing project, she described the response to date from her self-published effort as overwhelmingly positive. And it’s been enough.

Apart from the book, she’s started a small business by the name Jubilant Consulting. Under the banner, she offers to help people with their public speaking and communications skills. And mainly, she’s ready to see more people feel like they can be confident, chase big things and not worry so much about what people might think to the point it stops you altogether.

“It’s very important for you to be in the driver’s seat of your own life. If not, life will drive you,” she said.


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