Dr. Shola Ezeokoli, Physician Coach, On A Mission To Impact Millions, One Doctor At A Time!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr Shola Ezeokoli.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2007, I was in residency in a bustling hospital in Chicago and I completely burned out. I recovered successfully with a burning desire to help other physicians defeat burnout, so that they could continue to practice as happy doctors. Although I did not know how it would all come together, a series of happy accidents and chance meetings led me to have my own life coach in 2014, and finally, I was able to step up and become a life coach myself. I launched my coaching business in 2015 and niched down into Physician Coaching after educating myself adequately on the issues regarding physician burnout in the US. I wrote a book called Physician Heal Yourself in 2019. It was featured on Fox News and multiple online publications. By 2020, I had so many coaching clients, that I was able to focus all my energies on physician coaching and helping my colleagues successfully defeat burnout, and create options for themselves outside of traditional medical practice. I went from full-time medical practice to part-time non-clinical medical practice, and finally to my dream of helping my colleagues in the most meaningful way.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Success definitely has not come easily. I had to overcome the almost inevitable low self-esteem that comes with being labeled an “immigrant”. Having moved back-and-forth between multiple countries there’s always been this pressure to fit in with the environment in which one finds oneself. I used up my whole life savings to move across continents twice. And then turned around and spent a huge chunk on becoming an American citizen. I have had my intelligence called into question simply because my name is not your typical American or English name. I actually once had a patient ask me if I could speak English (laughs). I have had two children with both of whom I had extremely difficult pregnancies. I was a mother and a medical resident which, looking back probably was a contributor to my own burnout. Living in the Midwest, I definitely missed out on support from extended family. We live in Chicago, and we knew no one when we moved here. Thankfully, we have made a lot of friends who are now like family. In spite of all the challenges, I maintain a sunny disposition because the struggles have made me who I am and have made me able to identify with the struggles of others.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
This is where it gets interesting: I am somebody who by definition is a polymath or a multipotentialite, which means that I am a person of many talents, gifts, skills, and expertise. As a Physician Coach, I am uniquely positioned to help my colleagues with their specific struggles. I not only coach and give advice, I create practical solutions that work. I am able to help people create unique solutions that have never been seen before, that work specifically for their individual lives. What I have to give is a lot more than what is taught in coach school, medical school, or business consulting school (yes, I am a certified business consultant also). I really do specialize in helping my clients find the best paths to create the lives that they want. This is why I love to do one on one coaching. Some people become coaches because they think it’s a quick path to riches. I became a coach because this is what I was truly put on earth to do in this time, and in this space. People should work with me, because there is no competition, with me! There is only one Dr. Shola Ezeokoli. I am not one of the millions, I am one in a million!
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
My best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in life comes from a quote by Steve Jobs: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.“ When you find your passion, in which you have the competency, and it can add value to the world; go after it with every single breath that you have in your body. If you don’t, nothing in this world will ever be enough to compensate for a life lived outside of your true reason for being.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success is a constant forward movement towards meaningful goals. I realize that in life, you have never really “arrived”. The moment you think you’ve arrived, there is always something next on the horizon. As such, we have to be careful that we don’t define success by other people’s metrics. For example, for some doctors, success is defined by having leadership titles, like Medical Director, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not for me. For me, success is defined by having the freedom to run my own business, and work whenever I want from wherever I want, and to be able to make however much I want. It all boils down to not taking on other people’s definition of success, running with that; and then realizing that although you have climbed the ladder, it’s leaning up against the wrong wall. So, to some doctors, I might look like a “sellout”, because I no longer see patients, but to me, I’m super successful.
What’s next for you?
Right now my plan is to take the solutions that I implement in my one on one coaching, to larger groups of doctors in large hospitals, systems, and organizations across the globe. I have done public speaking in the past but now it’s time to take the message globally. The message is that doctors no longer have to live and suffer from burnout. Also, there are ways that hospitals and systems can work together with physicians to provide solutions to this worsening epidemic.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?