EAP 15: Stella Odogwu – Achieving Career Success + Wellness

Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Stella Odogwu, founder of Intelle Coaching Solutions which offers services in career coaching and wellness. Intelle’s goal is to empower black women in corporate America to achieve career success and personal wellness.  Stella knows that everyone’s career situation is different, so she starts out working with each client to map out their ideal career path, determine where on that path they currently are, and discover any barriers that might be standing in the way of the client achieving their ultimate career goals.

Stella works to help her clients know how to deal with the “imposter syndrome” that they may be experiencing, learn how to respond to microaggressions, build strategic relationships within their workplace, and negotiate their compensation.  Ideal candidates for career coaching are very ambitious and driven and are ready to put in the work that their career coach recommends in order to get to the next step of their career plans.

Topics Covered in this Episode:

  • Characteristics of ideal candidates for career coaching
  • The process that Stella takes her clients through during coaching
  • How to get more information about Intelle Coaching Solutions

About Stella:

Stella graduated with degrees in Accounting & Economics from Bradley University and started her career in Accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  She is a proud Howard MBA grad, with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.  Stella has spent the last 10 years as a certified Supply Chain leader, spearheading complex negotiations, as well as leading teams and projects towards continuous improvement.  When she is not working, Stella is spending time with her wonderful husband, or her delightful family and friends. This lady powerhouse also dedicates time to helping shape the minds of Black and Brown children from less privileged backgrounds.  Stella enjoys long runs, yoga, spin and ripe plantains.

Connect with Stella:

Instagram: @_intelle

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IntelleSquad/

Website: www.intelle.us

Full Transcript

Welcome to the ‘Early Accountability Podcast’ hosted by Kimi Walker. Kimi has a track record of serving as a behavior change and improvement catalyst for individuals, groups, and organizations get ready to make the best version of yourself a priority. Now welcome Kimi Walker.

Kimi: Greetings! Kimi Walker here and welcome to the next episode of the ‘Early Accountability Podcast’. Tonight, our guest is Stella. Hi Stella thank you for being here.
Stella: Hi Kimi, thank you for having me.
Kimi: Stella does a lot in the field of career, coaching, and wellness. And a lot of people especially talk about early accountability in executing goals for themselves. That is usually a big, big, big area that people want to make strides in. Making strides in their career professionally, and also staying well and healthy. So Stella, why don’t you start by just introducing yourself? Telling about who you are, where you’re from, and kind of how you started your business.
Stella: Sure, my name is Stelle Odogwu. Most people shy away from saying my last name, but it’s Odogwu. I am Nigerian, that’s where my last name is from. My business is ‘Intelle Coaching Solutions’. It’s career coaching for black women in corporate America. I have spent approximately 13 years in corporate America going from entry level to senior leadership. And in that time, I have learned a lot. And I wanted to create a service that would help black women specifically to navigate their career successfully without compromising their health and wellness. Early on in my career, I thought that I had to just pursue my career, success, and sacrifice everything else.
As I was doing that, I was gaining weight, I was not exercising, not eating properly. I was dealing with all kinds of challenges just emotionally and mentally from the work that I was doing. It really was taking a toll on me. And so I decided that I was no longer gonna live my life that way and run my career that way. That’s really what started the process for me in thinking, “How else can I do this? How else can I be successful in my career and get all the way to the top of where I wanna get to without jeopardizing everything else in my life?” And so that is really sort of the foundation of how Intelle started.
And right now, what I do is coach black women at various stages of their career. Some are entry level, some are mid-career, or some are senior leadership. And it’s just helping them navigate their careers, helping them remove certain barriers that we experienced [inaudible] [02:45] corporate and not allowing those things to impact our state of mind and our wellness. My mission, my purpose is to empower us as black women to achieve career success and wellness at the same time. Not either or, not one before the other, but at the same time. So that’s really what Intelle is about.
Kimi: That’s awesome! What are some common setbacks or hurdles you incur or people come to you with that you’re coaching? What’s kind of like are there common themes, are there common difficulties that people are experiencing in the workplace?
Stella: Yes, so there are a whole host of things that we experience. I mean anybody who’s in corporate America will probably encounter a lot of different things. But there are some things that are more common within the black community and for women in general. And so things like imposter syndrome. I meet with a lot of women who are dealing with no self-confidence, right. When you are at work and not really able to speak up. When you have ideas that you’re not verbalizing because you’re afraid of what people might say or how they may receive what you’re gonna say. So imposter syndrome is a really, really common one. It’s one that I see in a lot of potential clients and I work with women to overcome that.
The other one that I hear from a lot of people is also just dealing with micro-aggressions. A lot of times, you are either the only black woman or one of few black women at work. And so sometimes that experience can be really difficult for us depending on who you are and what you’ve been through in your life. And so micro-aggression… for some people who may not know what my progressions are. I think of them as those the little cuts, those little comments, those little jokes that people make that on the face of them might seem harmless. But could really be damaging for you as a person and for the relationship that you have with that person as well.
So those are two of the most common things that people experience. But beyond that, there are other things like building strategic relationships at different levels of the company, negotiating your salary, negotiation your best compensation, not being afraid to ask for more, ask for the maximum of what you should be getting. So those are a few of the other ideas. The other things that people deal with that I have now created services to help support and empower us as we go through our corporate journeys.
Kimi: Okay, those are great. Those are a lot of different things. And I think what is so awesome about coaching is like you say some of those things can kind of be not so overt. Like you said they can be kind of subtle. As I can see where a coaching relationship would really help give someone a sounding board to help kind of brainstorm ideas and ways to kind of handle those things within the workplace.
Stella: Exactly, exactly. Most people don’t even sometimes realize the impact that those types of encounters have on our mental health. Which is why wellness had to be an integral part of what I was doing. It wasn’t enough for me to just teach you how to negotiate your salary or climb to the top of the ladder without also equipping you with wellness strategies. So that you can take care of yourself regardless of what’s going on in your career. Because without your physical and mental health, not much else is possible. So that’s why wellness is such an integral part of what I do.
Kimi: That’s awesome. I am very much a guru of wellness and…
Stella: I know.
Kimi: And really on wellness especially within my non-profit when in newbie in wellness because I believe in the minority community especially the African-American and black community. It’s not always very embraced or understood how important it is for us to really have the mind/body/spirit, mind/body/soul connection. It really looking at ourselves as a whole person like you said. How would someone know… Like you say you primarily work with African-American or black women. How would someone know if they’re a good candidate for career coaching or they may be in need of career coaching?
Stella: That’s a great question. I would say that if you are driven, if you are ambitious, if you have a deep knowing within yourself that you can get all the way to the top and nothing should stop you from getting there, you probably would be a good candidate. A lot of people are working in jobs where they really aren’t interested in making careers of that. They’re just working a job and they’re perfectly okay with that. Someone like that may not be a great candidate because they’re not really looking to up level and to move up in their focal career. So for the kind of coaching that I do, I work with women regardless of what level they’re in. And like I can said you could be entry level, you could be five years in, ten years in, 15, 20 years.
As long as you are driven, you are ambitious you know that there is more for you, and you just need help. You just need someone to provide you with the strategies to get there and the support and the accountability to help you stay on track, then you would probably be a great candidate for coaching. If you are determined to do the work, because coaching you know some people just wanna say I have a coach, but they’re not prepared to do the work. And I tell people all the time I can equip you with the tools, and the support, and encouragement. But ultimately, you have to do the work. And so if you’re not gonna do the work, you probably aren’t ready for coaching. So coaching someone who driven, ambitious, knows that she’s made for more, knows that she get to the top, but just needs the strategies, the support and the on accountability to get there.
Kimi: What could that look like if I say okay that sounds like me. I’m trying to move up. Let’s say I feel like I hit the glass ceiling, or I feel like I’m being kind of overlooked for promotions, or I’m just not happy in my position. And I say, “Okay, I think I need career coaching, or I think I need the support of a coach.” What kind of different modalities or ways will that coaching relationship look like within your business, within Intelle?
Stella: My coaching really starts with you. Everyone’s different. We’re not a monolith, right? So everybody has their own unique situation, so I really start with the individual clients. One of the first things we do is we map out your ideal career. So I have three tools available right now on my website that allow you to do that. You don’t have to even be a client to begin the process of mapping out exactly what you want. What is that ideal career look for you? You know like I said a lot of people are just working the job because that’s what they’ve always done. They’ve always just done this job and they never really thought about what they really want, what they’re truest, deepest desires are.
So we start with the signing your ideal career. And then we go into okay where are you right now? Where are you in your career journey right now versus where you wanna be? And then we begin the process of discovering what those barriers are that are keeping you away from that ideal career. So like I said the challenges, the barriers, they look different for everyone. The ideal career looks different for everyone. But the process is essentially the same which is: what is it that you wanna do, what is ideal look like for you? And not just ideal in terms of job title and salary which most people I don’t know what they want when it comes to that. But it’s deeper than that.
What exactly do you wanna be doing in your job? Who do you wanna be impacting? Where do you wanna work geographically? There are so many other details that help flush out what it is that a person wants. And so once you map out your ideal career, and we look at where you are today, and what’s not working, then we can begin the process of finding what the right solution is for your specific situation.
Kimi: That’s perfect. So how would one like contact you to get more information? How can the audience follow you on social media to get more tips? Because you’re full of tips. You give like tons of great advice on your social media. I even like… I know you’ve done something recently talking about like non-negotiables. And I think that’s really great. Gems of information that people could benefit from. How could they learn more about you, your business, and just kind of stay in the loop?
Stella: Sure, so if you’re on Instagram, you can find me @_Intelle. And Intelle is I N T E L L E. So that’s where I am on Instagram. And you can also join my private Facebook group which is the Intelle Squad where I share even more exclusive content dedicated to black women who are serious about boosting careers, success, and wellness. So that’s how you can find me on social media. And then if you wanna learn more about my services, you can visit me at Intelle.us, and that’s where you learn everything there is to know about Intelle services.
Kimi: Awesome! So Stella, what would you say is what’s your mantra. What is your daily quote? What keeps you going, if you have more than one? What is it that brings you back, keeps you well?
Stella: I do have more than one and I’ll share them all with you. There’s four of them. I’ll be brief though. There’s four core beliefs that I am cultivating in my life. The first is that I am powerful beyond measure. So I can do whatever it is that I wanna do.
Kimi: yes
Stella: The second is that my physical and mental wellness are my greatest asset, so I’m going to prioritize them as such. The third is that I am not… anybody’s talking. I am a valuable asset and my value is just bigger than me being a black woman. I have value that comes from my background, my knowledge, my worldview, my perspectives. All of it makes me valuable. So I’m not gonna be reduced to oh we’re just gonna hire you for diversity.
Kimi: right
Stella: And then the last is that everyone I meet on my corporate journey has something for me, has something to teach me about myself. Whether it is a difficult boss or a micro-aggressive coworker. It doesn’t matter. It could be the CEO or the janitor. There is something I can learn from you that will help me on my career journey. So I live by those four principles, and that’s how I also empower my clients on a daily basis.
Kimi: Awesome! Thank you so much. You are so full of wisdom and great knowledge for people on their career journey and actually just in general wellness because those are a lot of tips you can take in life period. So thank you so much for your time Stella and your expertise. Intelle.us, correct?
Stella: That is correct.
Kimi: Yes, so until next time, thank you again.
Stella: Thank you, thanks Kimi.
Kimi: bye bye

It was a pleasure to have you join us on this episode of the ‘Early accountability Podcast’ with Kimi Walker. Be sure to visit earlyaccountability.com to sign up for the Early Accountability newsletter. We look forward to activating your greatness and helping you reach your goals.

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