MBA, PHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP
I was born into the New York City foster care system and remained there until I was 3 1/2 years old. I experienced various hardships throughout my life, but learned they were not my fault. I set out to establish a life that was quantum leaps from where I started. I continue to use my adversities as FUEL and not EXCUSES. In 2014, I established my own coaching and consulting practice, offering my expertise through speaking engagements, group and 1:1 coaching and consulting. Noted as a powerful international speaker, I share my poignant career and life coaching tips with audiences from a personal perspective.
I decided to start my own coaching/consulting business when I realized I could not truly serve people sitting behind a desk in a corner office. As a Human Resources executive for a company, I had limitations on what I could and could not say or share with employees as it related to their individual career growth and performance. As an entrepreneur, I can now be completely transparent, open and honest with my clients, which has proven to be beneficial in their personal and professional success.
Recently, I was recognized as a Huffington Post “10 Female Experts to Follow in 2018,” I am contributing writer for Forbes.com and BlackEnterprise.com, and the author of three books, Inside the Revolving Door: Chronicles From the Human Resources Department, Get Your Career Life in Order, a #1 best-seller and The Little Book of Motivation & Inspiration – Sharing the Journey.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I decided to start my own coaching/consulting business when I woke up one day fearful I would hate my life! I knew I had to do something about it, and knew I had a talent for coaching people. I decided to take my talent, skills and passion and create a business model where I could serve more people without the restrictions of working for an organization.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdles to building my business have been brand awareness and standing out from the pack of current coaches and speakers. I have such a unique story and decided to use it to demonstrate how one can use adversities in their past as fuel to propel them to their highest levels of success. This transparency and vulnerability has helped me overcome those obstacles, and now I am sought after for speaking engagements internationally, as well as for my highly rated group and individual VIP coaching services. As a result, recently my work has been recognized by Huffington Post, Amazon and other organizations.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight? When I decided to leave my high-powered six-figure salary executive Human Resources position, some family members thought I was crazy. They worried about my future retirement and medical coverage options. I let them have their voice, but I also let them know that I would not accept their fears as my own. I decided to bet on me. Looking back over the past few years, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I have no regrets.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The single most influential factor in my business is my reliability to my clients and to audiences. I share quite candidly what my struggles have been in both my personal and professional lives, peeling back the layers of what people see on the outside looking in. I have also aligned myself with great mentors and coaches. I learned early in my business I could not justly ask clients to invest in themselves with me if I was not willing to do the same for myself. That investment has paid off tenfold! My coach and mentors have taught me more than I learned in my MBA program, and, as a result of working with them, I have become an award-winning international speaker/coach and best-selling author.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
The one thing I wish I had known when I first got started as an entrepreneur was how to develop, manage and nurture an engaged client base, and how to deliver ongoing quality products to keep them engaged throughout the years. I have learned this lesson over the past year and feel I am now playing “catch-up”, but it’s never too late to be great!
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
The advice I would give to an upcoming young or old entrepreneur locally or internationally would be to study the masters in your particular field or industry, and invest a great coach who will uncover your blind spots and help you see a different perspective of your business. We are too close to our work, and oftentimes can’t see it from the buyer’s perspective because we personalize it. It’s not personal…it’s business!