Creating a business from the heart with Rasheed Ogunlaru

I had a great time interviewing my good friend Rasheed Ogunlaru, who has just published a new book called Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business. It looks at how you can build a business that you love, with customers that you love and is based on your own passions and skills. The book encourages you to coach yourself, so that you can build a business that is authentic to your passions and values.

Rasheed Ogunlaru is a Life and Business Coach with a passion for helping people find their purpose in life. He runs an inspirational monthly workshop at the British Library Business & IP Centre called Your Life, Your Business. You can find out more about Rasheed and his programmes on his website .


The business landscape has changed over the last ten years and we’ve moved away from the traditional model of what a business is. People are no longer starting a business just to make money – they also want to have an impact and make a difference.

Soul Trader takes the reader on a journey through 7 steps using the following principles:

1. Clarity: Who are you? Where are you now and where do you want to be in the future? What values are important to you? Answering these questions will help to discover your passion and what drives you.

2. Customers: Who are they and what do they want/need?

3. Courage: an important part in any business owners’ life – without courage we wouldn’t being on the journey of business. Learn how to tap into it

4. Co-operation: Building relationships and a business network are all important in today’s business environment. Use these relationships to help build your business and your network

5. Conversation: Lean how to be completely yourself and tell your own story both in person and your website/business literature. This will help you to connect, create and convert leads

6. Creativity: Understanding when you work best will give you a framework and help improve your performance and get a better work/life balance.

7. Compassion: Not only to your customers needs but to your own. Make sure you look after yourself so that you can connect from the heart.

Find your passion, who/what you are about and what skills you have. Regularly stop and ask yourself if you following your passion and honouring what you really want to do.

Business dynamics are changing. Relationships are now of the utmost importance as the right ones will help to drive and grow your business.

Money isn’t always important – being creative is. Money will follow if you follow your passion.

The importance of Clarity

Clarity is the starting point on the journey, so how do you go about achieving it?

Rasheed suggests writing 6-10 individual words that are important to your life, business and relationships. When you take the time and space to think, cutting out internal and external “noise” the things that are important to you will rise in your conscious and to your attention.

To make sure your mind stays clear, spend 10 minutes each week reviewing your business. Check in on your journey and your business plan to help keep your objectives clear and see that you’re still heading in the right direction.

Clarity provides drive. If you build a business that truly reflects who you are it can be very powerful. People/customers buy from people/businesses they connect with and care about, and this clarity helps your business to be transformation and not just transactional.

Different kinds of courage are required when starting a business. There are different challenges so i’s important to have clarity about where your business is heading so that you can tackle them. If you lack courage, use compassionate skills on yourself to enable you to take on challenges and continue your journey.

As business dynamics change more people than ever are running a business following their passions. However, these people aren’t always the best at monetising their business. Rasheed suggests thinking about the following:

  • How much money do you need to make?
  • How much money do you want to make?
  • Link money to what you do and relate it to your business offering. With more money you can offer more services and be better enabled to serve your customer
  • Recognise your own worth. You need to so that others can value you
  • Be clear on your money values and that they are authentic to your business and personal values

You and your business are unique
Your Business Story is unique – if you’re not using it you’re losing out. It invites people in as they buy on your personality.

The business world has been hijacked. People are now exchanging passions and values. Forget the word business – just do what you love and serve other people.

There is no right or wrong path – just listen to your values. They will help you attract the right people from suppliers to investors and customers.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Rasheed and you can find out more about him and his wonderful book Soul Trader at .

Let us know in the comments below if anything that Rasheed said struck a cord with you.


Julie Hall

Business Mentor & founder of Women Unlimited

Julie is the founder of Women Unlimited and a business mentor to women who know they are ready to step into their leadership. She works closely with them to help them remove the blocks that hold them back and achieve their business goals. Clarity, Focus, Strategy, Mindset and Marketing.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.


Join the Community
Subscribe to the
Women Unlimited Newsletter
Keep up to date with the latest articles, webinars and events that we are running to support you on your journey to being a change maker and change leader
I'm in!
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Join the Women Unlimited Community
Join now