Courtney Adeleye, Founder & CEO of Obali says she has one rule: “If you can’t make it better, don’t make it at all.” Adeleye is a former registered nurse who grew a $500 investment into wildly successful haircare product company. In 2019, she sold the company, The Mane Choice. Her current venture, Obali, is a consumer packaged-goods firm with a portfolio that ranges from vitamin-infused popcorn to innovative feminine hygiene products. At the same time, she pledges her money and her time to supporting financial literacy to women in underserved communities through her nonprofit, The Generational Advantage Foundation.
Adeleye shared her remarkable startup story and best tips for aspiring entrepreneurs in this special edition of Office Hours. And in a recent catch-up, she revealed some practices that keep her grounded even as her brand empire—and her responsibilities—grow to new heights.
What does self-care mean to you?
To me, self-care means to simply take the time to love yourself. It’s the #1 most undervalued kind of care. No one should feel guilty for taking care of themselves, because if you don‘t, who will?
What are three things you do each morning to prepare for the workday?
Three things that I do every morning to prepare for my workday is talk to God (prayer), talk to my consumer (live morning conversations via Instagram live) and talk to myself (mental preparation).
What do you do to wind down your workday?
I enjoy finding a new movie on one of the streaming platforms. My favorites are comedies, romantic comedies, and inspirational movies.
What do you do to take a break and recharge during your day?
Long, quiet car rides. I like to ride with the windows down and either listen to low calming music or no music at all. They bring me much relaxation, comfort and I usually feel recharged once I’ve returned from one.
What has work from home been like for you over the past year or so?
Since my children are homeschooled and my husband is retired, my entire family is home with me during the day.
How do you keep yourself on track during the day—an app, a planner, a physical to-do list?
For a very long time, I found it hard to accept personal help. A little over a year ago, I finally hired an executive assistant who helps me stay on track. Outside of my assistant, I do create to-do lists to prioritize my day.
How do (or don’t) you separate business tasks from personal ones?
I take personal days where I can spend limitless time with family. They are who I work hard for!
What’s one lesson you’ve learned or habit you’ve formed to create more balance?
I like to take trips solely for relaxation and inspiration. I sit in my hotel room and just think. My best ideas come from this.
Who do you turn to when you have a problem?
When in doubt or if I have a problem, I always turn to my faith first. Next, I would have to say my husband.
How do you spend your time online?
My most used app is Instagram. It’s digital connection to me for my consumer. I talk to my consumer [every day] in live morning conversations via Instagram….
Is there anything in particular, like a podcast or playlist, that you’ve been listening to lately?
90s R&B will always be my favorite.
This interview is part of Office Hours, a series that connects you with entrepreneurs and experts with tips for running and growing a business right now. Find other can’t-miss conversations by visiting our Events page.