Return to site

SHINE Influencer Series: Meet Business Coach - Deji DJ Sobanjo

This week, we asked Deji DJ Sobanjo Leading personal and leadership development expert, author, and coach a few questions. He shared his perspective on what it means to SHINE.

As we count down to the Shine Legacy Award, we continue our Interview Series featuring the amazing global influencers who are speaking and sharing their brilliance at the LEAP AND SHINE CONFERENCE 2020 coming up in London, UK on February 21-22. Enjoy!

1. When you think of the word SHINE what first comes to your mind? And what does "Shining" look like from your Point Of View (POV)?

When I think of the word shine what comes to mind for me would be your brilliance and your attractiveness that draws all there is to you and excites other people.

To me you shine when you are effortlessly being yourself and yet there is something about that that is very appealing and very attracted to other people, where they want to be around you, they want to experience your brilliance, and they enjoy what it is that you bring to the table.

2. What would you say is your Shine Factor?

That's actually a very difficult question for me to answer and I need to dig deep because I can be very complicated.

However, I'll probably go with three that come to mind that I know people do refer to quite often and these three are one, I am an educator, and secondly, I am also an encourager, and the third thing I would go with is that I am a catalyst.

I have a passion for learning and I also have a way that I'm able to take the most complicated topics and break them down and communicate them in a way that pretty much anyone can understand and this is one factor that has distinguished me a great deal over the years.

Also, I have the ability to encourage and help people to see the greatness within them instead of the other things that may be around them, that they may have experienced, and that may have held them down; I help them to see beyond their current circumstances and be encouraged to go for the dreams that they may have lost side of or begun to doubt their ability to reach for those dreams.

Finally, I have the ability to help people identify what they need to do to accelerate their progress and growth towards their goals and aspirations.

Some of these things are gifts and some I have developed in skills over the years, and the beautiful thing is I don't have to try to be any of these things, I just am these things as I live my daily life.

That is what I think my shine factor is. I do believe your shine factor is the brilliance that you demonstrate as you live your daily life.

You don't have to try to shine you just have to live to shine.

Unfortunately, many of us do not discover our true selves or we try to be someone else because we think we are not good enough, but the problem is when we do that we rob our world of the shine that they were meant to experience through us.

"Everyone has their shine but we need to trust and believe in ourselves and our awesomeness so we can allow the light that is within us shine out, so our world can experience our brilliance" - Deji DJ Sobanjo 

3. What are your thoughts about Mentorship and Influence, do you think there is a connection?

I would say yes there is a relationship because influence is about how much you affect others and their choices, decisions, as well as outcomes, and being a mentor to others significantly influences virtual races as well as their decisions and outcomes, and by doing that you subsequently would influence so many other people through the person that you mentor.

"If you want to amplify your value in the marketplace it makes sense to mentor others because by influencing them you would be able to influence so many other people through them." - Deji DJ Sobanjo

From the mentee's perspective, by having a mentor in their lives they would be able to achieve more by adopting some of the shortcuts and avoiding some of the mistakes that most people tend to make, thereby celebrating their progress and significantly improving their likelihood of influencing others in more powerful ways

4. Mentorship is a two-way relationship between the Mentor and the Mentee. Can you share two qualities you think mentees should exhibit to get the best out of their mentors?

One quality that I would suggest every mentee bring to the table is coachability, or you could even call it submissiveness. This is a really tough one especially when the mentee is pretty smart and already has clarity around what they think they need to do and how they want to approach things. One of the biggest challenges is submitting to a different perspective or a different approach to things when you are so sure that your idea or your perspective is perfect.

The reason why we build relationships with mentors is not just that we can tap into their contacts and their network but even more than that is that we tap into their wisdom.

In a mentoring relationship, the mentee brings their vision to the table. they have a vision of what they want to achieve, and where they aspire to reach and the vision excites them.

Most visionaries would just run with a vision without seeing all the blind spots and understanding how things work, and they would fail and fail over and over again.

Unfortunately very few of them survive, only those who are resilient and tough would fail their way through to the actualization of their visions.

That is because the reality is things are not usually as they seem and so you may have clarity of vision but you don't really understand the way things work.

This is the reason why it makes sense to get a mentor.

As a mentee, you want to tap into the wisdom of someone who has gone ahead of you, and who also believes in your vision.

"The best mentoring relationships are when the mentor truly believes in the vision of the mentee, and the mentee truly believes in the wisdom of the mentor.​" - Deji DJ Sobanjo 

As long as this belief remains the mentor would serve the vision of the mentee with their wisdom and the mentee will submit to the wisdom of their mentor as they pursue their vision, and the possibilities are really amazing when this actually works.

5. Can you think of one specific moment in which you dulled your shine and how you got your luster/sparkle back?

I am going to go back to when I was much younger in secondary school and have done very very well in my junior secondary years. I decided I was going to do what every smart kid does and go into sciences for my senior years.

I like to be celebrated and I knew that science students were usually celebrated as the brilliant kids at school and I wanted to be brilliant so I decided to go into the sciences, and it's amazing how the change quickly happened.

I remember sitting in class and not having a clue what the teachers were saying and I moved from being top of my class to the very bottom of my class within a few months.

It's very hard to explain the feeling as I began to doubt if I was smart and if something was wrong with me.

This actually went on for a couple of years, my parents simply couldn't understand what had happened to me, they arranged extra tuition for me but still, things didn't improve that much, then one day I wrote an article for the school magazine. I still remember to this day how so many people came up to me and started to praise me for my writing skills, and a lot of people asking me what on earth I was doing in the sciences and told me I was in the wrong class.

So I began to write more articles and started to get a lot more recognition and validation of my shine factor and how valuable it was to my world.

While I was still in secondary school I got an offer from a publishing house to publish one of my stories if I could expand it into a book.

This validation helped me to quickly begin to realize that I had my shine factor and I didn't need to be like anyone else to glow, but I should just focus on being myself and working on myself so my world could experience the best version of me.

6. If you could BRAG about one particular Shine Moment in your career, or business what would it be?

For me, my greatest moments would be when the people who I have worked with or mentored achieve certain amazing milestones, like get a job that had seemed an impossibility a few months earlier, or build their business to the point where they were able to quit their jobs and go full-time, or received recognition and awards for their achievements.

These are my proudest moments and I am looking forward to celebrating many more of these.

7. You are one of the Global Speakers at the February 2020 Leap And SHINE Conference in London, What should attendees expect from you at the Conference?

I'm going to be talking about the dog whistle and would advise anybody who wants to shine brilliantly in 2020 and beyond to show up, I would encourage you to mark out my session and show up prepared because I do believe that it will be a transformational experience and I am looking forward to it.

About Deji DJ Sobanjo

Deji DJ Sobanjo is a leading personal and leadership development expert, author, speaker, coach, and consultant. He has been engaging, inspiring and developing people across the world for over 18 years. He is driven by a divinely inspired mission to teach, train, inspire and motivate everyone who comes in touch with him to live more productive and effective lives.
His core message is ‘Maximised Living’ which is about being the best person, business or organization you could possibly be and he delivers result-oriented programs in the areas of tactical people skills, leadership skills, sales and marketing skills and strategic personal and business growth. His clients include large multinational corporate organizations as well as small and medium-sized businesses. He started his first business in 2002 and over since 2014 he has been running profit From Coaching, a company that is helping thousands of coaches and consultants around the world build a profitable, money-making business around their passion for helping others.

Connect with him at

About The Event

The Leap and Shine Conference which started in 2016 as a Virtual Summit is an initiative founded by Clara Rufai, The Shine Strategist offering Creative, Interactive and Transformational opportunities by bringing together global Thought-leaders and Influencers for paradigm-shifting, life-defining discussions with the aim to inspire, equip and empower individuals to break free from their prisons of limitation and take a ‘LEAP’ into their ‘SHINE ZONE’.

The two-day event promises enlightenment, education, entertainment, and networking with a line-up of successful global achievers. The theme for the conference is “Ready to Shine” and targeted at individuals and business leaders seeking to grow momentum and build a network of fruitful collaborations.

Tickets are already available on sale at

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!