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Hidden Gems: Meet LaKendra Smalley

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaKendra Smalley.

Hi LaKendra, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I remember feeling like I had all these things that were supposed to count me out from success. One, I’m from inner city Dallas and was born with an Attention Deficit Disorder where I struggled with focus and academics earlier in life. Two, I had to repeat a grade and graduated on my 19th birthday.

I also watched my mother battle with clinical depression- which is what ultimately inspired me to start my journey as a global leader, coach, and heart expert. I’d always go with my mother to the public library and watch her read self-help books in attempts to improve her quality of life. Realizing the amazing impact these self-help books had on her by helping her conquer unfavorable life challenges, I became passionate about humanity, psychology and in dismantling trauma and loss of hope in order to create a better and happier life for people.

Set on the career path I’d chosen for myself, I started my 15-year journey in the industry. Prior to deciding to open my life coaching school, I’d worked in behavior management as a parole officer and as a behavior adjustment educator working with at-risk youth with various mental illnesses for independent school districts all around the Dallas metroplex.

Despite my challenges, I am the founder and CEO of a 7-figure-earning company, The Global Institute for Coaches & Entrepreneurs, Inc. The Global Institute for Coaches & Entrepreneurs, Inc., a school dedicated to training and certifying one million life coaches around the globe. As a certified life & business coach, I’ve made it my mission to help leaders with their self-healing.

Too often, those who have not done their inner-work transfer their suffering onto others and inadvertently contribute to problems they are trying to solve. Affectionately known as ‘The Heart Expert’, I help my clients and coaches substitute the suffering in their lives with love via the institute’s iCARE model.

Due to the impact I’ve had in the lives of people I’ve touched around the world, I gained the following accolades: Top Executive Female — Addison Magazine, Pioneer — Nationally recognized SOS Award, Home-Town Hero — Radio One, 10 Shades of Success Dallas- Elite Award of Growth, and Community Service Award — Sons Of Light Grand Council, and A.A.S.R.M. & Seraphina Grand Chapter, O.E.S.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No, and yes. No, because I really faced a lot of difficulties in my childhood. I grew up with the absence of my father, my mother struggled with her own personal issues, and I had a learning disability.

All of that impacted me as a young girl trying to find her own identity and my grandmother had to step in to be a parent/guide for me. She instilled in me that I needed to believe in myself, be tough, and to believe in God. She once told me “put your faith in God. And when you do, you won’t struggle academically. You won’t feel lonely from the absence of your mom or dad” and I believed her.

Because I believed her, I started believing in my own capabilities. So I literally went from having to repeat a grade in school to being gifted and talented academically.

My grandmother’s involvement in my life was the catalyst for me to discover that I wasn’t “dumb”. I tested ‘gifted’ in the areas of creativity and leadership from an essay I wrote in school that my teacher entered into a contest that I ended up winning.

That win encouraged me to keep excelling and I was enrolled in a Montessori school. I graduated with high honors from high school up until the completion of my Masters degrees..

Granny said you gotta believe in yourself and be tough. You can’t let people bring you down because they are always going to find a way to bring you down if you let them. I took that to heart and excelled.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Global Institute for Coaches and Entrepreneurs Incorporated?
The Global Institute for Coaches and Entrepreneurs is both an online and offline school that teaches leaders how to use life coaching principles to build their platforms. In addition to offering life coach certifications, The Global Institute for Coaches and Entrepreneurs is credentialed through the state of Texas’ Medicaid systems to provide targeted mental health case management and rehabilitative services. By doing this, I am able to not only offer certifications to those who wish to become certified life coaches but offer potential employment as well.

With HUB’s in both Texas, USA and Tacloban, Philippines, The Global Institute for Coaches and Entrepreneurs has become a diverse and inclusive community for leaders wanting to expand their global impact. Committed to helping our leaders make a difference in the world, we utilize a powerful combination of high-level strategies, transformational practices, multimedia tools, and life-changing sessions to prepare our leaders for greatness.

What were you like growing up?
As a child, I was radical. Due to me being triumphant in conquering my learning disability, I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. So, I did everything.

I did ballet as a child.

I played tennis, basketball, and shot archery. I played the flute for one day – lol! But, I enjoyed the violin, piano, and bass clarinet.

I loved challenges growing up and always tried out for leadership opportunities in school. The highlight of my childhood was saving my money and starting a business at 7 years old. My brother was a football star all of his life, and I wanted that “It” Factor like him.

He inspired me because he showed me that in order to be good at something, you must have discipline and do it all of the time. So, I developed the discipline needed and saved my money to start a cheerleading team in my neighborhood. I convinced the parents to allow their daughters to cheer on my team so I could hang around my brother, and made a business out of it.


  • Mental Health Life Coach Certification: $1,497- payment plan available
  • 2-Day Life Coaching Certification: $1,797
  • Life Coaching Certification + Mental Health Life Coach Certification: $1,997- payment plan available

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