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Introducing our first PWP feature of 2012: Kristie Kennedy. She is a Women's Beauty, Business, and Brilliance Coach. Having had some adversity, she has overcome it all and has proven it by her many accolades. In 2010, Kristie was crowned the American Image National Woman and is currently Ms. Tallahassee, Fl. for Ms. Corporate America 2012. Being so talented, Kristie wears many hats. She is an esthetician, professional writer, self-published author, recording artist, poetess, jewelry designer, and motivational speaker. As a make up artist, her advice was featured on Tyra Banks' beauty website. Her advice for people in business is to: clarify your mission, define your goals, and execute your plan. It was a pleasure hearing Kristie's story and she shared more in her interview below. ENJOY!
1.Tell me your story. What were you doing before you started your own business?
It was on December 6, 1999 that I experienced being laid off from working as an Information and Referral Counselor for the Leon County Homeless Shelter. The company had to terminate 95% of staff due to a drastic budget cut and for the first time I was acutely aware that having only one stream of income could place me in a vulnerable financial state within a matter of seconds. Two days later I was at the Division of Corporations filing for a fictitious business name without a real clue as to what I was going to do I just knew I needed to do something new.
2. What made you want to start a business and what is your mission?
As long as I can remember I have been a very creative and innovative individual. When I was a child I remember my first business with two close friends we called it the Kangaroo Company. We sold women's shoes. We pretended that we were the owners of a real store checking each other out at the cash register using our own shoes as inventory. In retrospect, our imaginations were giving us a glimpse of what was to come. When your spirit is overflowing with a vast array of ideas its only a matter of time that you refuse to deny their existence and begin to showcase the inner workings of your mind.
My mission is to motivate and inspire others to believe and achieve their dreams. I breathe words of empowerment that transform fearful hearts into courageous flames of fire! 3. What inspires you?
Recently, I have been pondering that question after passing by a billboard that read, "What Drives You?" I know many people are motivated by money but for me I am motivated by a desire to help people succeed in every area of their lives. I want every hurting heart to be healed, every confused mind to receive clarity of purpose and every faint spirit to be renewed and revived.
What keeps you motivated daily to keep growing your business?
As I mature in my personal journey towards greatness I a motivated by the countless and wonderful experiences I encounter with others and the reward of making a difference in their lives. Recently, one of my news articles went live and I wrote about an attorney who was making a major impact in our community. He had no idea that I would be writing about him and after sharing the story with him I received an email from him expressing his gratitude and that he was honored. I basked in that moment and whispered to myself, "priceless, no amount of money can touch this feeling." I aspire to inspire while instilling distinct value in the lives of others daily. It is a lifestyle.
4. Do you have a mentor? Who is it and why?
Yes. I have several on multiple levels. My mom, for matters pertaining to womanhood and practical life lessons. She represents the truth that there is one person on earth who loves me unconditionally. My mother is an emblem of God's love shining effervescently. My dad, is one of the most candid people I know. He keeps it real and always shoots straight with me. My business mentor has walked with me from the early onset of entrepreneurship and I learn by her example of diligently working your business day in and day out. I never knew what would be required of me as a business owner and I am stronger today because of the challenges it demands of me on a constant basis. My close friends inspire me with their authentic support and belief in every new idea that arises. One of them has a famous joke about how I have a tendency to wake them in the wee hours with my uncanny zeal. When your trail blazing new paths it's important to be surrounded by individuals who see beyond your current status and are secure enough within themselves to celebrate without feeling intimidated by your greatness.
Do you believe it's important to have a mentor?
Yes. In the multitude of counselors there is safety, wisdom, guidance and insights that we may be unaware of. It takes a humble soul to acknowledge the need for assistance and a gracious spirit to be open to receive it. 5. What would you tell someone who wants to get involved in your line of business but doesn't know how to get started?
An individual's business is a sheer reflection of their core values and belief system. As a Christian, my faith in God is the foundation upon which I stand. Additionally, one must make a lifelong commitment to know and grow. Know thyself and grow thyself, internally and externally. As you evolve so does the business. You have to become a sponge soaking in all of life, the good the bad, the happy the sad. Every experience is a lesson for change. Seek out wisdom from experts in your field. Become an avid reader. One of my favorite quotes, by Ntozake Shange "We lift as we climb." Be generous and share what has been sowed into your life to ensure good is ever flowing your way. Most importantly, Never Give UP! 6. What advice would you give to someone with an entrepreneurial spirit?
Explore. Expand. Express. Explore every gift and talent to see what works and what does not. My first business concept did not go over to well. There has to be a demand in the market place for it and it has to be made highly visible, with systems and structure in place if a high volume of sales are to be acquired.
Expand your sphere of influence by provoking yourself to move out of places of familiarity and comfort. Expand your ideas by building on old ones and developing new ones. Express your creativity and ideas to a wide array of individuals to become more astute in articulating the vision of your heart. If you share your vision enough not only will it crystalize your convictions but it creates a comradarie amongst other entrepreneurial spirits.
Thank you Kristie again for sharing your inspiring story. I hope reading success stories like Kristie's can help motivate you to continue to work towards your goals in 2012! Get that new job, start that new business, move on from that toxic relationship because this is the year for GREATER! Visit Kristie's website at www.KristieKennedy.com and you can see her beautiful jewelry at www.navajewelry.info.
PeopleWhoProsper.com wants to hear your story! Visit our website for more information.
See you at the top!
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