Interview: A Little Bit Of Awesomeness With Luvvie!

Interview: A Little Bit Of Awesomeness With Luvvie!

This past weekend Houston had a chance to experience a bit of awesomeness from none other than Awesomely Luvvie!

The Houston Museum of African American Culture brought New York Times best selling author, speaker, and digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi in for their Spring Lecture Series. Before the event I had a chance to sit down with her for a quick interview.

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4 Lessons I've Learned Since Starting A Business

4 Lessons I've Learned Since Starting A Business

Ya’ll, I’m tired.  So tired! Why?  While still trying to keep our spot here on the nets up and running continuously and the usual life stuff (wife, mother, full time employee), I’ve quietly started a business almost five months ago selling natural, handmade skincare products. Clearly since you haven’t heard about it, I’m still in the beginning stages, selling pretty much to friends who want to help support a dream.    While I’m not anymore close to making the money I want to make or leaving my job, I find myself living stress free when it comes to my business.  Why?

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[BOSS] Akilah Bacy of Bacy Law talks to us about a legacy of empowerment and what it means to be a BOSS [BOSS] interviews feature women and couple entrepreneurs, trendsetters, and difference makers. We're very proud to showcase their stories.Native Houstonian Akilah Bacy has been interested in the legal field from a young age and has been fortunate to pursue her dreams. Akilah Bacy graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelors of Arts in English and concentration in Political Theory and went on to graduate from Texas Tech University School of Law. She worked with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, in Houston, Texas. In 2015, she established Bacy Law, PLLC specializing in criminal, immigration, estate and family planning.

Did you always know you would start a practice and why?

I did. When I was younger I wanted to work in the legal field, but not as far as having my own practice. As I grew up I always knew God gave me a heart for justice and righteousness. When I was at Spelman I was looking into journalism and becoming a legal analyst.

How did attending an HBCU such as Spelman prepare you for your challenges today?

I would say Spelman along with my upbringing and even law school prepared me for what we are seeing today. I think Spelman was definitely one of the most influential decisions I made in my life. It’s not only a school on academic excellence, but a school that pushes and strives for social excellence. Spelman channels you to focus on what you need to do and what areas you need to grow in. You don’t have all those answers right then and right there, but there is room for growth.

Does law school prepare you for anything?

I think having a law degree is a very valuable asset because it can open a lot of other doors for you. The law plays a part in all areas in any type of professional endeavor you might seek out.

Why leave the District Attorney’s office?

I think what a lot of prosecutors do is extremely noble with the commitment for justice often times what you see in places like that people are blinded by their desire for a promotion or the desire to be liked hinders their ability to do what the community has placed on us to do. I’m a person with a strong conviction. I saw a lot of injustices that were going on in the office. I felt like God was calling me to take a stand and now it’s time to move on to other things in this practice.

Why do you think the rate of black women owned businesses is rising so quickly?

To be one of the demographics that’s receiving college and advanced degrees at the highest level, it’s a natural progression to raise the status quo. We are past the point where we have to depend on someone for what we want. Never lose sight of yourself. As African-American women so often do, we will give a portion of ourselves or rather it’s not standing up for something we see happening with women from equal pay or a type of policy in place because we want to get to the next level. If I’m quiet here, I can speak louder the next level. If I’m quiet this level when I get to the next position I’ll speak up. The truth of the matter is if you’re quiet at the lower levels you’ll be quiet at the higher levels. I think it’s important that you go fill a space where you can be unapologetically you.

Akilah Bacy, Managing Attorney at Bacy Law, PLLC
Akilah Bacy, Managing Attorney at Bacy Law, PLLC

What is your advice for professionals that are balancing new families and aging parents when it comes to estate planning?

A lot of times we think if we are not Bill Gates rich, or too young, or no children we do not need estate planning. The moment you have any type of asset you do need an estate plan. Make sure your family or parents have a will. It’s easier because no one has to determine who will pick up the slack or determine how to divide things up. It’s also important to have a living will for medical decisions. It allows the family to work together without stress in a tragedy. Estate planning takes care of basic life questions.

What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?

I would want people to say I used everything Christ gave me to affect positive social change and empower those disenfranchised groups. I was unapologetically true to my convictions.

In your own words, what does it mean to be the BOSS?

Own your own space. Stand unwavering of your convictions, that’s a boss move to me.

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Dad 2.0 Summit 2016: Day One in Washington DC

Dad 2.0 Summit 2016: Day One in Washington DC

And this is precisely why you gather a bunch of emotionally frustrated fathers in one place who's most healthy form of catharsis is writing online vs. face murder charges, which is totally inexcusable. That would make us a shitty parent. For the record, murderers fall in the shitty parent category more times than not, and these fathers gathered at Dad 2.0 can stomach being called many names, but a shitty parent is probably the worst. So they write instead.

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[BOSS] Melisa Alaba shows you how to find your Vision

What’s your vision for your life? How many have you struggled with this question? I know often times we get stuck trying to clarify our vision for our life. Melisa Alaba a well versed and talented thought leader and vision coach helps clients by reclaiming and discovering their vision and purpose. She is the author of Live Out Loud: 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit & Live a Life of Purpose, illustrating eleven principles to elevate your life.

How did you get to the path of calling yourself a vision coach?

I’ve been in this field for over 15 years, working with different clients they would say, “that vision you just said is so much bigger than what I thought.” I help people pull out the vision then create a dynamic strategy so the vision comes to life. The title Vision Coach came from my clients.

Did you transition from corporate to entrepreneurship or were you always an entrepreneur?

I have always worked in this field. A couple of nonprofits and moved up the ladder to director of the agency. At the age of 25 I launched my first company in Chicago. From that I got a few people that wanted me to coach them on starting a business and therapy center.

How would you distinguish between a therapist/counselor and a coach?

A therapist is someone you are talking to about your issues. For example, if you are going through a divorce and need someone to lean on, a therapist is giving you tools to help navigate that. Your coach in the same situation is giving you tools to move on from that issue without holding your hand. A coach provides action tools to move out of that space to get rid of those blocks and move into your next storyline of life. We need both.

Why did you transition from counselor to coach?

I became a coach because I wanted to see people be action oriented and to start moving on with their life. With therapy it’s a longer process as a lot of people get stuck in process and never move to their next level of life. With coaching we’re going to move through steps I’m going to hold you accountable.

Is there a difference between a calling and finding your purpose?

I think a calling is very specific. For instance, I’m called to empower women so they don’t struggle. I’m called to make sure women are not struggling and are given the tools to live in abundance.

My purpose is multi-faceted. I have a purpose with my kids, being a good friend, with a spouse, or work in my community, that all revolves around my calling. Those talents that I have I can use them in different ways.

What advice can you give to those that are considering on seeking a professional coach?

Start off with a personal life coach and get a good vision for yourself. Next move into getting help to raise your income. Assess who you are, figure out your gifts and talents, and start consulting to earn extra income. With the new money you have coming in that can be used to fund your business.

Do you feel that meditation and visualization are leading tools to success?

Absolutely! Meditation is really good, but action is needed.

I see you run a Mastermind group. Can you speak to the importance of a Mastermind and the types of relationships that come from the group?

Get in the right group. The group that will make you comfortable and slightly uncomfortable. Comfortable meaning that you understand the principles, guidelines, and accountability. Slightly uncomfortable because you have to step up your game and you don’t know what that feels like. You want to be with people that up level where you are. You need someone to help you step out of your comfort zone to step up so you can get to that next level. Masterminds are purposeful and people should really work to be a part of them. We can do a lot on our own, but we can do so much more when we have a powerful network.

People in my last mastermind we do things together from speaking engagements to launching new products. We support each other.

What do you have coming up?

Elevate Me Global Network is a network I recently started. I solidified a great partnership with Georgia Tech with their global initiative working with women in Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana. We will launch on March 8, 2016, on International Women’s Business Day.

For more information on Melisa please visit her website

To hear the entire interview, listen to the podcast Networking With Michelle available on iTunes on February 15, 2016.