Thaddaeus Koroma: ‘The journey has just begun’
Text: Nane Steinhoff | Photos: Thaddaeus Koroma
Serial entrepreneur, Thaddaeus Koroma, has been rated as one of Europe’s top business and celebrity life coaches and has become the leading voice of the new business-centric millennial generation. He speaks to Discover Germany, Austria & Switzerland about his popular inspirational events, life strategies for a more successful everyday life and much more.
Born and bred in Berlin, Thaddaeus Koroma has African roots and can already look back at an impressive resume at his young age. But it hasn’t always been easy, he recalls: “When I was growing up, I lived in a run-down district of Berlin with my mother. We barely got by. But we believed in the future and I was taught that a current situation and the past never equals the future. I believed that when you have dreams, you can achieve them if you give it all you got.” And this is exactly what he did – when he was 18 and had only five euros in his pocket after the ticket fare, he flew to America with the dream of becoming a basketball star. “I loved the sport, was disciplined, focused and ended up being good enough to compete with the best in my age group. I put all of my eggs in the ‘discipline and luck’ basket, which luckily worked out, as I got to play for the best American High School team in North Carolina,” smiles Thaddaeus.
The two years in the US significantly influenced Thaddaeus in several ways. For example, his definition of ‘home’ changed, as he explains: “Home was no longer a place where I was born. It became a place where I could grow, move and live freely. I still use this as my measure.” Today, Thaddaeus lives in Cyprus and travels the world for around nine to ten months per year. “This lifestyle primarily fosters growth. Travelling as much as I do makes me feel that I achieve as much in one year than I did previously in ten. The best thing about it is that I get to travel with my family members, friends and a few top employees, so that it rather feels like a productive family trip,” he says, and adds: “We travel to some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world – from South America to the US, Africa, the Middle East and all over Asia. All trips foster my work and expand my network. I get to meet interesting and exciting people through the many events, so that new doors constantly open. This enriches my intellectual growth, my business and primarily my possibilities.”
‘Challenges can make you grow’
Today, Thaddaeus Koroma is an international top speaker, celebrity life coach and serial entrepreneur. But how did all of this come to be? He explains: “When I was 20, my life took an unexpected turn. I was a very talented basketball player on the way to the top. I trained six hours a day, six days a week. My aim was to become a professional basketball player which wasn’t a mere dream, but a clear goal. One moment changed everything. A serious injury meant that I was suddenly unable to do sports anymore and had to create a new life path. Through this painful emotional and physical struggle, I was able to deepen my spirituality and mental fitness. This allowed me to truly get to know myself. I grew up poor, but what I experienced during the loss of my sports career was a hardship unlike anything I had ever experienced. Fortunately, during this time of reinventing myself, I found many different mentors. I was able to learn a lot about business, communication, marketing, the markets, investments, the anatomy and power of teams, psychology, neuro-science, world history and myriad dynamics that impact the real world. Ultimately, this experience, which was one of the greatest challenges of my life, fostered and developed me as a man and as a human.”
“Today, my character and spirit are even stronger than when I was as an athlete. I enjoy my mental and financial freedom. I appreciate every single day of freedom that I have because I know how it feels to lose everything and suddenly have nothing. But challenges can make you grow. Sometimes life takes all your possibilities and dreams just to challenge you to find something in you that you didn’t know existed. It fosters the best of you and gives you the opportunity to find your unique, individual gifts. This is also my philosophy of life,” adds Thaddaeus.
‘Success is individual’
Thaddaeus loves Earl Nightingale’s definition of success: “Success is the constant, progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal”. He explains: “This definition individualises success for me, for you, for everybody. I can’t tell you what success should mean to you; it’s all about what you want to focus on. In my life, success is, for example, when I can keep calm amidst chaos, can think clearly and act in a solution-orientated way. Success is also for me when I can stay true to myself, my values. Success is individual.”
To help people achieve their individual success, Thaddaeus holds life changing, transformative workshops that tend to quickly sell out, speaks at large events like the Synergy Event in St. Petersburg alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and UFC Champion Khabib, helps celebrities in private coaching sessions and teaches individuals through online programmes and much more. The multi-talent is especially known for his inspirational GO4IT festival and his business live events he holds four to five times a year. He explains: “Around 4,000 to 7,000 people come to the largest annual event which runs for three full days. These days are full of energy, inspiration and solidarity. It brings us closer together as a society and as humans. The next three-day event is in Berlin on 30 May. It’s going to be incredible!”
“We have a remarkably strong community of wonderful people with real breakthroughs and many success stories. The people in our community are true doers and supporters of each other. It’s truly inspiring to see this today and that’s why I love our events. It’s extremely valuable to meet all of these people and to give them a platform where they can exchange ideas across several days in real life,” adds Thaddaeus.
Role plays and riddles
For everyday life and a successful 2020, Thaddaeus also has some tips and tricks for us. When it comes to general problems, he prefers seeing them as unsolved riddles and questions that haven’t found answers yet. “You can give up because you think it’s too hard or you can keep a positive attitude and keep calm. After all, riddles can be huge new doors for individual success and they are therefore big chances and possibilities for the next level,” he suggests. And he also says that it’s important to look at one’s goals and to view them from a different perspective. “Goals give us orientation, provide guidance and mental momentum. My tip for 2020 is therefore to put your focus on establishing good habits, developing new skills and checking one’s own value system, and update it for the new year.”
On a daily basis, he suggests starting a mental exercise to become more successful – the so-called ‘how would X act exercise’. “It’s role play and a perfect exercise to relativise situations. You choose four to five role models that inspire you. Ask yourself what you like about them and put these attributes onto an index card. During the day you choose one of these role models and ask yourself how this person would act, react, breathe, walk or look at certain situations in challenging moments throughout your day. This exercise really works wonders, especially in hard times,” explains Thaddaeus.
‘I’m convinced by its vision’
Alongside his busy schedule, Thaddaeus puts special emphasis on projects that do something good. He says: “Money is only worth something when you use it for something good.” One of the projects that inspires him currently is Tiffany Persons’ Shine on Sierra Leone project in Sierra Leone. “Tiffany is an incredible woman who has, since 2006, advocated for education and helped orphans who have lost their parents due to the Ebola virus,” says Thaddaeus, and adds: “Sierra Leone has over six million civilians and the average 23-year-old has three years of schooling. With the loss of 4,000 schools during the civil war, classrooms are overpopulated and a classroom of 54 pupils is normal. In 2002, the civil war ended and in 2014, the Ebola virus hit the country which turned many children into orphans. It’s a country that is only now starting to recover from these fates. I partly finance the Shine on Sierra Leone project because I’m convinced by its vision and motivation. If you want to support people that have made significant positive impact on people who need support, you should definitely check the project out (www.ShineOnSierraLeone.org). Our ultimate goal is to provide for 20,000 orphans until the end of the decade.”
And what other wishes and dreams does Thaddaeus Koroma have? He smiles: “The most beautiful thing about it all is that I’m only at the very beginning. We have the power to create and we have the power to positively impact our world – the journey has just begun.”
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