Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiana Shaw.
Kiana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It started with heartbreak! I had found out my boyfriend of 4 years had been cheating on me for 2 of them. My heart was so broken and I felt so lost that I reached out to my friend and Pastor, Rafer Owens, Sr. for help. He asked me a few questions that included; “What do you like to do that doesn’t involve him?” and “How much of your goal list have you completed?”
Well, I hadn’t done anything toward my goals even though we were already in September of that year. As far as what I liked to do that didn’t involve him… it took me almost 2 weeks to write out 10 things. Before we left that meeting, Pastor Owens had instructed me to write down my process of getting myself together and when I was done, I realized my journal entries were a complete program. That is when I started my non-profit, Village of Truth, Inc.
Fast forward 5 years, I was a new single mom and was both mentally and emotionally tired of the drama and heartache from the relationship with my daughter’s father. I needed an outlet and decided I wanted to create LeadHERship Academy to be a voice for women. A place where I could highlight trailblazers, get great stories of triumph from women around the world and showcase how strong I had become. Basically, this was a printed “I am a woman, hear me roar’ movement.
The problem was that I had created it in bitterness and it just didn’t feel right with my spirit. I was still hurting so it wasn’t like I could showcase myself on the winning side of my journey. So I had to be honest with myself and understand that using that platform to vent about my relationship or the lack thereof, was not the way I wanted to present myself. So, I took some time off and revamped it to be more in line with my life’s purpose. So, I scraped the focus on adult women and decided to focus more on young ladies so I could transition from non-profit to for profit.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Heck no! Being an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. I was constantly worried about how I will live, eat, shoot, even breath. I had to move back home with my mom so I could invest more into learning, building and coaching. There have been days when I had to make tough choices and bet on myself even though I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be or even how committed I really was.
Having my daughter pushed me to play full out but also made me second guess a lot of the risks I took. At that time, I was still living with my mom and bonus dad so I could do more and I am glad I did. I got some great experience and laid a strong foundation that I am still building on.
I have cried for many days. I have wanted to give up and started looking for a regular 9 to 5 like normal people. I have even fired myself. I have taken on contracts that seemed great but when I calculated what I was doing vs what I was getting paid, I was only making $10/hour.
Smooth road? Not if you are taking risks and betting on yourself. No one wants to move back home to their mom’s house and have rules and a curfew as an adult but someone said to me at the beginning of this journey, “You have to be willing to take a few years to do what no one else will if you want to live your life the way no one else can.”
So, as you know, we’re impressed with LeadHERship Academy – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
LeadHERship Academy teaches your teenagers all the things they think they know so they can grow into responsible adults who make integrity-based decisions. We specialize in personal and professional development and teach teens how these two areas are interdependent for a well-lived life.
We are the ‘cool aunt’ your teens listen to that says the very things you have been saying but in a way, they can receive it without feeling judge. For example, we don’t tell them their attitudes suck. We say, here are negative and positive ways your attitude can affect your ability to get and retain a job. This opens the door to what they want to hear and then we teach them how to apply these teachings to their personal lives as well.
We get great results and are proud that former students still contact us today for refresher courses and advice.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I would love to be able to have our program apart from every program that services youth. Probation Department, Children and Family Services, high schools, and all incoming college freshmen curriculum. On campus and online. Private and public institutions. That is our goal.
- $97 Summer Series
- $27 Back to School Webinar
- $17 Monthly Membership Program
- Website: www.KianaShaw.com
- Phone: 424-242-8879
- Email: Kiana@KianaShaw.com
- Instagram: CoachKianaShaw
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KianaRShaw
- Twitter: CoachKianaShaw