Black History Now: Meet Coach LaKia Allen

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.

coachlaCoach 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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Black History Now: Meet Roger Lee

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 1st guest…

Meet Roger Lee- Artistic Director and Professional Problem Solver!

Roger Lee Headshot

I’ve made available a downloadable mp3 recording with parts of the interview. Click here to listen!

1) Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

My name is Roger Lee and I am an arts entrepreneur, administrator, and educator from Philadelphia, PA. I am the Owner and Artistic Director of Roger Lee Dance, LLC, an award-winning business providing dance instruction, entertainment, consulting, and speaking services, concert series, and merchandise. I have been blessed to teach at Broadway Dance Center and The Rock School for Dance Education and write for Dance Magazine and Dance/USA.

I am also the Founder and Executive Director of Philadelphia Arts and Entrepreneurship Festival, a new non-profit organization debuting Spring 2015.

2) What prompted you to start your own business/be your own boss/ build your personal brand?

I decided to start my own businesses and organizations for three main reasons: 1) to continue exploring my creative passions as an adult 2) to uplift people and inspire them to channel their own inner creativity 3) to create networking opportunities for people.

3) What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?

The first step I took was developing my entrepreneurship skills as an undergraduate student at Ursinus College. I spent 3 seasons as President and Artistic Director the student-run dance company, overseeing the board of directors, membership enrollment, fundraising, marketing, and productions. As a senior, I re-vitalized the student-run television station and served as its President and General Manager. These experiences prepared me for my current work as a creative entrepreneur.

4) How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?

I handle obstacles and roadblocks as they pop-up on my entrepreneurship journey. I pray, keep my faith, and my perspective during trying circumstances. I am learning more each day that the right perspective diminishes problems. When I suffered a serious dance injury in college, I thought that it would be the end of my career. Looking back I realize that that injury actually gave me the boost my career needed. It forced me to tap into my journalism skills, miss dance, and come back to the field with full force. That injury turned me in to the dancer that I am today. The moral of the story is that God can use your most challenging obstacles and roadblocks to bring victory into your life. The key is keeping the faith, staying persistent, and working towards your goals no matter what stands in your way.

5) So, I know you’ve heard of feast or famine when it comes to business…if you’ve ever experienced this how do you overcome the “famine” and/or how did position your business to get out of this cycle?

The rough economy and competitive dance field really forced me to get creative with my business strategy. I positioned my dance business to be a leader in getting the world dancing. Not just professionals or dance enthusiasts, but the world. My business is proud to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. This unwavering dedication to the public has been the foundation of my business since day one. It has also helped us stay afloat!

6) Where does your inspiration/motivation come from?

My biggest inspirations and motivators are God, my family, and my creative colleagues.

7) How do you define and measure success?

I always say that success is in the eye of the beholder, much like beauty. However, I personally define success as the achievement or surpassing of goals. I measure success both quantitatively and qualitatively, looking at both numbers and happiness.

8) Speaking of success…What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?

Reaching out to local media professionals was the step that helped set my business’ success into motion.

9) How has your business helped with community growth or development?

My business has helped bring communities together with dance. I will never forget hosting my first open dance workshop for the community where people from all walks of life came together with one common goal; to experience the joy of dance. By the end of the class people were exchanging contact information, building friendships, and planning to attend the next workshop. Another way my business has helped with community growth and development is through our advertising program. I have provided local businesses with more exposure and networking power.

10) Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?

I see myself continuing to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I also see myself continuing to educate and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs. In 10 years, I see Roger Lee Dance, LLC celebrating its 12th anniversary!

11) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

I live by the words “be the change you want to see in the world.” My advice is to think about what things you would change about the world, develop a plan for changing those very things, and then implement your plan. This process will give you clarity, purpose, and vision for your entrepreneurship journey, Also, never give up! No matter what comes your way, do not allow yourself to quit. You are closer to your finish line than you think you are. You are too close to stop now. So push your shoulders back, stick your chest out, and put your chin up proudly. You have what it takes to succeed and be the entrepreneur of your dreams. All you have to do is see it, believe it, and achieve it!

12) What projects are you currently working on that you think could benefit some of my readers?

I am currently producing Roger Lee Dance’s 1st Annual Black History Celebration Concert BlackHistoryAd copySeries for the community. Each show features my choreography and the work of 7 guest choreographers. I think that the community will enjoy seeing black history celebrated through the lens of live dance and music. I am also launching and promoting new dance merchandise including the Roger Lee Dance Cardio Workout Video for beginner students, my debut e-book “3 Steps to Overcoming Dance Fear,” and full-color prints featuring live dance action shots. Lastly, I am booking clients for my dance services including private and group instruction, entertainment for kid parties and special events, public speaking about dance, health, and wellness, marketing and publicity, and entrepreneurship, and consulting for marketing and publicity, programs, and special events.

Buy Tickets here for Roger’s 1st Annual Black History Celebration Concert on the 21st and 22nd.

You can reach out to Roger online via his self-designed website www.rogerleedance.com.

Tune in next Saturday for my next guest entrepreneur!

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Black History Now: Meet Darnyelle Jervey

In celebration of Black History Month, I’ve been conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs who are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders. I would like to introduce to you all my final guest to conclude this series…

Meet Darnyelle Jervey Speaker, Award-Winning Author , and Your Incredible Factor Catalyst

DarnyelleAJervey

Darnyelle A. Jervey is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises, LLC

In this video interview Darnyelle shares with us

  • How to stand out in the crowd when it seems everyone is doing the same business as you
  • How a $500 investment is just enough to grow big business
  • What an Incredible Factor is and steps you can take to unleash it in 2013

You can reach out to Darnyelle online via her site

http://www.incredibleoneenterprises.com/

You can register for the Unlease Your Incredible factor Tour at

http://www.unleashtour.com

Black History Now: Meet Jason Mercado

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs who are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders. I would like to introduce to you all my next contributor…

Meet Jason Mercado, The Homeless Man Turned Entrepreneur!

jason mercado

Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?

My Name is Jason Mercado and I am from Philadelphia, Pa I am the owner/operator of Just Cookies…

What prompted you to start your own business?

I started my own company as a result of being homeless and losing my job with Starbucks Coffee

How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?

I prayed and pushed through them…

What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your

success?

Reaching out to others in the same industry and just having patience….

Speaking of success, How do you define and measure success?

It is by believing in me first and foremost

How has your business helped with community growth or development?

I’ve been able to send a message of hope to people that no matter what your situation is you can push through it

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, DON’T GIVE UP!!!!

Author’s Note: Jason gave me the link to his interview with Ryan Mack of Huffington Post to share with you all!

You can reach out to Jason via the Just Cookies Website: http://justcookies2.wix.com/justcookies

Black History Now: Meet Aida Ingram

In celebration of Black History Month, I’m conducting weekly interviews on local Black Entrepreneurs who are willing to share some tips and advice for aspiring business owners and community leaders. I would like to introduce to you all my guest…

Meet Aida Ingram-Coach, Author, and “The Marketing and Idea Chick”

aida ingram 

Aida is the Owner of An Inspired You LLC and the the Creator of Girlfriends With Goals

In this video interview Aida shares with us

  • Sound advice for someone who feels stuck and wanting to use technology to pave the way
  • Ingredients for success in business and life
  • Realistic advice about overcoming obstacles in Business

 

You can reach out to Aida online via her sites

www.aninspiredyou.com

www.girlfriendswithgoals.com