If you live your daily lifestyle in the way you would like for others to treat you, the world will be a better place.
Sunny Akhigbe was born in Nigeria and in the first years of his life, he faced poverty and malnutrition. He was challenged by his family to live up to and exceed his potential, and he did. Since then, he moved to the United States, earned his MBA and started “A Boy and his Dream Foundation”. With the foundation, Sunny aims to inspire change and give a voice of determination and perseverance to everyone experiencing hardship, specifically youth. From complicated family situations to moving to the other side of the world; Sunny’s story of determination to succeed, no matter the cost, is a story we believe is one that inspires and gives hope. The goal of the foundation is to inspire struggling youth to realize there is hope for their future, and to encourage change.
Sunny is also the founder of Sunny Biggy Fitness, LLC, a fitness program that trains based on your personal preferences. Whether the client is looking to lose weight, build muscle, or improve overall quality of life, Sunny Biggy Fitness helps set goals and achieve them.
He earned an Associate in Health Care Management at the University of Benin, a Bachelors in Business Administration at Ambrose Alli University, and a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and accounting from Purdue University. Sunny is a Certified Fitness Coach with IFBB Pro & NABBA Pro cards, specializing in health and fitness programs for individuals, groups, and corporations.
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Where did the idea for your company come from?
A Boy and His Dream Foundation came after giving great thought to my life and how I always dreamt that I could escape from the poverty and opposition that faced me on a daily basis. My co-founder and I, after traveling back to Nigeria in 2016, came back and decided that more had to be done to allow my legacy to live on after my life on earth was finished. Hence A Boy and His Dream was created. I had written a book titled A Boy and His Dream prior to the foundations conception,and what better way to pat homage than to name our foundation after the book that tells the story of my journey.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Being the owner of my own Fitness Center, running a household as a single father and having a foundation to maintain is very trying at times. My days are very structured and I have a very tight schedule. I wake up between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. each day.
I meditate, pray and thank God for presenting me with another day. I shower and greet my sitter who then watches the children while I go off to train my first clients of the day. I return at 8:00 a.m. to get the children ready for school. Shower the children, get them dressed, feed them and then drop them off at school. During the rest of my day I train my clients, and in between, I take several meetings for my fitness business and the foundation in order to continue to have a productive entity. I then space my day around my children’s school schedule and pick them up at 3:30 p.m. I then bring them home, let them change clothing and feed them. If they have homework, it is completed and if I have evening clients, I take the children with me to observe what I do. We return home at 7:30 p.m. or so and they are readied for bed. The next day it’s a repeat of the day before. The grind is real.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My philosophy on life and my journey has been to always humble myself and place myself in others’ shoes. I am unconditional and try to be open to all that I meet. I walk my talk and I do not expect others to do anything that I would not do myself.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Photography. I have a love for modeling and have always found creativity in taking pictures and modeling in front of the camera.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a no-nonsense approach to all that I touch. I never procrastinate and I use my first option and get it done. I do not give things great thought. I know the logic that works best for me and I get it done and move on to the next item. I bore easily with mundane tasks and I must stay stimulated in mindful attributes that will benefit the well-being of others. This is why my physical fitness is a great fit for me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My advice would be to always see others through the eyes of unconditional – subjectivity and objectivity and never judge. I would have also told myself to stand up sooner for me had I had the opportunity to do so. From not doing this, I ended up being delayed in many aspects of my life and then having to double down to catch up.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That the minds of so many are shallow and their energy is utilized in way too much negativity when the same energy could be transposed to a glass ½ full approach and bring positivity to all that you meet. I have never met a stranger. I am taken advantage of in some respects because I see the goodness in all that I meet.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
No matter where I am, I extend my hand to shake theirs and I ask all I meet how their day is going. As I stated, I have never met a stranger. You would be surprised to see how your “have a great day” may affect their tone for the rest of the day. As so many go through their day and are never recognized.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that I use is to Be Still and Listen. You can learn a magnitude of information if you just listen. You do not have to be loud and obnoxious to be able to get a point across. I try to remain humble and understanding in all meetings and conduct myself professionally at all times. It works for me.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Difficult question as I usually don’t fail. If I had to name one, I would say that it was the strategy that I utilized when starting my Fitness Program. It took me a few months longer to achieve my status as I was depending on others suggestions to position me. I overcame it by going solo and structuring and positioning myself, using my own style and dancing to my own drum. It has brought me many areas of satisfaction in seeing the results of my fitness program and the growth in the last year.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My business idea for readers would be if you can think it you can make it materialize by putting the effort and time into bringing it to a full circle. All business entities take time and perseverance. Nothing comes overnight.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I saw a homeless person in front of a restaurant. I spoke to him and he was genuine. I asked him if he were hungry and then invited him in to join me for lunch. Never judge a book by it’s cover.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am very prone to utilize GOOGLE. There is nothing that I can’t find on that site. Kudos GOOGLE. I appreciate you.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Hands down it would be my book of course. A Boy and His Dream Foundation is a book that can be purchased online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
What is your favorite quote?
When you know better you do better – Be still and listen (Sorry I have two)
- In life one must be subjective and objective in order to share wealth and summary of daily living
- When you have opportunities given to you, do something with them
- If you live your daily lifestyle in the way you would like for others to treat you, the world will be a better place
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.