In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs-the History Makers! My guests are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders who are willing to step up and make things happen for themselves and those around them. I would like to introduce to you all my 2nd guest…
Meet LaKia Allen- Life Coach Helping Women Bounce Back from Burnout!
Here’s the direct link to the YouTube video in case you weren’t able to play it here.
1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?
I am a wife and mother to beautiful baby girl.I was born in Philadelphia but raised primarily in South Jersey. I attended Hampton University and graduated with degree in Accounting. I also have a Masters degree in Business Administration. I worked in Corporate Accounting for approximately 12 years before getting certified as professional life coach.
Currently, I am certified and professionally trained life and health coach. I’m also the owner and founder of Connect 3 Coaching which is a coaching and consulting practice dedicated to helping high-achieving, busy working moms who have found themselves lost, overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed, and basically burnout after putting themselves last. Though these women are very powerful in their professional positions they often feel powerless to take control of their lives.
My clients are empowered to make a transformation from the inside out. So we are the catalyst to our clients embracing a healthy lifestyle, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.
2) What prompted you to start your own business/be your own boss/ build your personal brand?
Before becoming a professional life coach I felt powerless to create the life I really wanted, the life that would allow me to truly experience greater fulfillment, happiness and peace of mind.
Just a few short years ago, I was the woman that I just described. My life was picture perfect, on paper. I married my soulmate, had a job that paid me really well, I was living in a beautiful house that my husband and I had built and most importantly I was a new mother. However, I was also lost, overwhelmed, and stressed out.
After returning to work from four months of maternity leave I knew instantly that my personal values had changed. I had zero passion for the work that I had been doing. I was no longer willing to work long, hectic hours only to come home and have nothing left for my family. Being a mother brought incredible clarity to my life. I became more aware of who I was being versus who I wanted to be. I knew that I was only getting by. And the reality of that was just too much to bear. I knew that I wanted to be more of an example to my daughter. I also knew deep down in my soul that something was missing. Being a mom gave me meaning and purpose. I had to return to work but I wanted to do work that gave me meaning and purpose.
Through my self-discovery and research I learned that we as women, (and men too) are the most powerful when we align our personality with our soul. When that connection is made we gain confidence and courage because we are able to be and share who we truly are. My personal mission was to find the work that feeds my spirit and suits my personality.
It fuels my spirit when I am coaching and empowering my clients to have the courage and the confidence to create a life that is centered on their personal values as opposed to life that revolves around the needs and expectations of others.
My thoughts back then were, “well as long as everything looks good, then I’ll just “fake it, until I make it”. I thought things would just magically get better, not realizing that it was up to me to create a better reality. My thought back then was, “what else is there to have or want”? It was this nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. I realized that looking good wasn’t enough, actually feeling good was more attractive. I realized that life is too short to only be concerned with the “look of your life”.
3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?
Besides enrolling in a coach training school to get certified, the very first thing I did really was begin to work on shifting and challenging my mindset. I knew that owning and ultimately operating my own business/coaching practice was going to require me to adopt a whole new way of being. I knew that I could no longer play small. I was going to have to step outside of my comfort zone and have the courage to just BE. I had to literally let go of who I thought I was and embrace who I am, to the core.
Fortunately for me, I was given a gift that tested my true intentions. The economy affected the company that I was working for hard and I was ultimately laid off. The easy thing to do was to go get another Accounting job and do coaching as a hobby. Coaching as a hobby would have kept me safe and comfortable. A steady 9-5 offered incredibly stability that I had taken for granted. With the understanding that I would have to sacrifice my comfortable lifestyle, I stepped out on faith believing that building a coaching practice was what I was meant to and wanted to do.
4) How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?
BREATHE and have FAITH.
I do my best to embrace those moments when things are hard and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I truly believe that “trouble don’t last always”. Obstacle and roadblocks are meant to make us stronger and I know that building a business and in even in life in general it’s all about the journey not the destination. In those moments I try to get present and know that I’m building my resilience muscles that enable me to bounce back in the long run. Also, those roadblocks become testimonials that will inspire others to keep pushing in their journey in what ever it is they are pursuing.
5) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?
I have a personal life purpose statement that goes:
I LaKia Allen hear, see, feel, and know that the purpose of my life is to be the beacon of light that God created me to be. To enjoy everyday and to live it as if it’s my last and to inspire, motivate and empower myself and others.
I have a genuine desire for people to achieve their personal mission and be their personal best; that inspires me and motivates me. I love a redemption story. And I can honestly say that if money weren’t a factor I would do this work for free.
6) How do you define and measure success?
There are many definitions and formulas for success. I like the definition that says success is the accomplishment of one’s goals. So personally, success for me is having balance and peace of mind. It looks different for everyone (a lot of things add up to peace of mind). For me, I feel successful when I’m doing what I love but also being able to make my family a priority as well.
7) What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
Consistency and being authentic to my personal vision
8) Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?
In 10 years I can see myself sitting on the coach at the OWN network, chatting it up with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday.
Expanding the Connect 3 Coaching brand as a premier coaching and consulting practice that is nationally recognized and leading in advancing a whole team of coaches
9) What projects are you currently working on that you think could benefit some of my readers?
Youtube channel where I’ll be sharing some useful health and wellness tips
A personal radio show on Life Coach Radio Network where I’ll have guest appear on the show and we’ll have a fun time discussing potential teachable moments on reality television from a the life coach perspective. (Take the drama from the reality tv and make them teachable moments)
Bounce Back from burnout process!
10) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never lose site of your personal vision! It’s easy to get side tracked and move away from your original intention or mission. Create a personal mission statement, stay consistent, focus on the process and let go of expectations. Who you want to serve will eventually come.
Coach LaKia’s Closing Thoughts….The way you do anything is the way you do everything! When you master one area of your life, you are gaining the skill to master any area of your life whether it’s your career, your relationship, your physical health, your creativity. The goal is to expand your comfort zone so you won’t be defeated by fear and you’ll follow through with your goals and intentions. Consider the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out. Progress is not quick and easy. It’s more slow and steady. Be willing to take the risk and make the effort.
You can reach out to Coach LaKia online at her website: http://www.connect3coaching.com/
Tune in next Saturday for my next guest entrepreneur!
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