Speaker

Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Zakiyrah Of Her 20 Somethings + H.E.R. Foundation.

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


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In this Mindshift Interview, I have Zakiyrah Ficklin of Her20Somethings + H.E.R. Foundation. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. Zakiyrah is an entrepreneur who has the heart to see young women succeed. She's all about using her God given purpose to spark others to live a purposeful life. The journey of entrepreneurship isn't always glamorous, but she's giving you the gems she's learned along the way.

Behind the Person

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Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do. 

I like to describe myself as “A Voice For The Millennials”. I am an extremely talented young lady who understands that my purpose is to serve others. I am a firm believer in building my lifestyle based on my passion and purpose. I am very hard working, loving, and ambitious.

I am the author of Her 20 SomeTHINGS and the founder of H.E.R. Foundation Inc.

Which is a 501(c)(3) organization that works with young ladies who have absent fathers, and focuses on personal development in the areas of education, financial literacy, and health/wellness.   

What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

“The most important thing you can do in life is to find, live, and share your purpose”
— Zakiyrah

Living out my purpose which includes impacting, inspiring, and helping ladies reach some of their personal goals has taken precedence over a lot of other things in my life because I now understand that we are here to serve.

What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?

Being consistent.

I truly believe that consistency is a main ingredient to success. Me developing a consistent schedule for everything that I had to do as far as reading, writing content, nurturing relationships, and constantly speaking has contributed to my success thus far.    


All Things Business

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How did Her 20 Some Things come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

I wanted to create a guide for young women in their 20’s to transition from pain to purpose.

After going through my own experiences and learning and growing into my purpose I wanted to help other young women grow into their purpose.  

What’s the purpose of the H.E.R Foundation? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?

H.E.R. Foundation is one of my passion projects. The purpose of H.E.R. Foundation is to reach young women with absent fathers. We focus on building those broken relationships and personal development in the areas of education, financial literacy, and health/wellness.  

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a personal brand or being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

It takes a lot of money to start a business.

 I totally disagree that it takes a lot of money to build a business because I started my business with no money.   

As an entrepreneur, often times you are required to make tough decisions.On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration. What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

Women have to compete instead of working together to accomplish things.

Some women think that they are in competition with each other and that they can’t share their ideas and resources with one another. I truly believe that when women support other women amazing things happen. We are a much bigger force and can accomplish way more together than we can competing with each other. 

Give an example of how collaboration has benefited the H.E.R Foundation.

When we first began our organization in 2015 we did a lot of networking and connecting with different people and organizations. When January 2016 came around we were able to partner with the WNBA Atlanta Dream basketball team to do a holiday party at the Atlanta children’s shelter, which turned out amazing. We collected winter wear and went down to the shelter, played with the kids, ate, and gave out everything we had. That was a great partnership that grew.

In order for a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well.  What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?

In order for me to thrive each day I have to start my mornings off praying and spending time with God. That will set the tone for your day. I also like to read and learn something new each day, even if it’s only for 10-15 mins.

What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

Social media and word of mouth.

Social media has been great for marketing!

  • I use my social media to engage with a lot of young women in my target audience. It’s good when you post content that requires a response so that you become interactive with your audience.

I also use word of mouth a lot.

  • So, everywhere I go I’m selling books. LITERALLY! The gas station, restaurant, grocery store, dmv, anywhere you can think of. This allows me to connect with people offline and also helps with referrals.  

Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

I’m very personable, so when someone orders my book I reach out to them and make sure they received it, feature them on my social media, and try to get some feedback from them on how it helped them. 

As an author, what was the toughest stage of the publishing process? –Writing? Editing? Formatting?

The toughest stage for me was the writing process. I had to really discipline myself to write consistently and allow everything to flow. I got overwhelmed a lot of time during writing the book because I was working full time, obtaining my bachelors degree full, time, running a non-profit, and writing the book. Once I created a specific writing schedule and outlined everything I wanted to cover it became very easy.

What tools or systems were essential for publishing Her 20 Somethings?

A strict writing schedule was needed so that I stayed on track with accomplishing the book. It’s good to start with a template that way when you type it will already be formatted. That will save you time at the end trying to format your book. A great editor was also essential for publishing my book. A great editor will not only check for grammar, but will check for organization, structure, and flow. Making sure I set up an effective campaign for launch my book for pre-orders was essential for publishing because the pre-order helped fund my initial order.  


The Future

What are some accomplishments of Her 20 Some Things + H.E.R Foundation Inc.? And where do you see its future?

H.E.R. Foundation Inc. has been extremely successful thus far. We have partnered with the WNBA Atlanta Dream to do a holiday party, we have done two annual care package drives partnering with Partnership Against Domestic Violence, this past March we sent five deserving girls from Grady High School on a prom makeover, and have been to several different group homes and organizations to serve. H.E.R. Foundation Inc. plans to go international this coming year. We are planning a service trip to Malawi, which we will eventually build a girls group home over there.

Her 20 SomeTHINGS has been very successful as well. I have had the opportunity to sell hundreds of books from when I first released it, have completed a whole college book tour with young women organizations, and have done some radio interviews. In the future for Her 20 SomeTHINGS I plan to sell a few thousand books this year, complete another book college tour, create opportunities for more exposure, and just continue to impact young ladies lives with the book.  

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?

Sometimes the media can portray women as something we’re not, or in a negative light, or that we have to be up-to-date with the latest trends. In reality, women are way more than the box society puts us in. I remember wanting to be just like the people on tv, wanted to wear the latest things, and do and have what they had. I did not have my own identity. My mindshift moment was when God started revealing my purpose to me. I was able to learn that we as women are worth so much more, and we can do and be anything we want.  

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Fall in love with the process.

If something doesn’t work out don’t stress about it. If your circumstances seem like they are never going to change just keep pushing through it. Don’t complain about the struggles because what you learn during the process is way more valuable than the outcome.    

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

There was a point in my life where I was a total people pleaser. I would do everything to make everyone else happy but nothing to make myself happy. The only person who suffered in the end was myself. I learned that we shouldn’t be living for our family, friends, or society, but for ourselves and what makes us happy.  


Additional Gems from Zakiyrah:

Be Vocal. Live on Purpose. Be of Service.


Connect with Zakiyrah:
Facebook/ Twitter / Instagram
Connect with H.E.R. Foundation:
 Website


#MindshiftMaterial

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Let's create the biz + life you want on your own terms!

Your FREE resource guide is waiting for you. 
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Mindshift- The Interview Series: Featuring Darryl Bellamy Of Bellamy Inspires

Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.

This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences. 

 Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!


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In this Mindshift Interview, I have Darryl of BellamyInspires. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. This interview was so much fun. Darryl's smile and infectious personality can light up any room. Here, He gets candid and shares his journey from corporate America to becoming an entrepreneur. And all the fears he has conquered along the way! 

Behind the Person.

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Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do. 

I am the founder of BellamyInspires, author of Waking Up Chase, and a full time speaker. I lived in Raleigh from 8th-highschool and now reside in Charlotte NC

In college, I was always very involved and participated in numerous student leadership events. These experiences sparked my passion for freshmen and student leader success! So much so, I decided to open my first business right after graduating called, Kollege Koncierge. All I needed was for 100 students to  sign up. I got one. Yes, one. Needless to say, I got a corporate job.

But my passion never altered, I knew the day would come, where I would have my own. As of May I have been able to leave corporate America and run BellamyInspires full time. 

What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
— Steve Jobs

When there are moments that require me to step outside of my comfort zone or venture into something new, I know if I look to the past it's reassuring that the dots will connect. 

What’s one habit that has impacted you on your journey toward success?

Early Morning Routine.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod was a game changer for me. My morning routine consists of the following:

  • Gratitude. Mediation. Motivation. Visualization. Reading and writing my goals. Gym.

I usually awakened around 4:30-5:00 AM by the sound of my TV automatically turning on and the light next to my bed doing the same. I quickly grab my phone, open up my YouTube app and type “motivational video.” Using my google Chromecast I send that quick video to my TV and watch while awakening fully. This is generally how my morning starts. It's how I set the tone for my day.

What are two books that have impacted your journey toward success?

The Defining Decade
— Meg Jay
Go for No! Yes is the destination, No is how you get there.
— Richard Fenton

Go for No! is actually meant for sales personnel, but I think the lessons written can be applied in anyone's life. It teaches: Everything is a numbers game. One No is one step closer to Yes. 


All things Business

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How did Bellamy Inspires come to form? What was the idea that started it all?

I had gotten to a point in my life where I needed a change. So, I hired a life/business coach. I began to tell her of my frustrations. She asked me general questions such as, what do you like to do? I began to go down the list until she stopped me.

"Speaking, there's something there! Your whole face and energy changed when you mentioned it. Let's explore it further." - Coach

Fortunately, my coach was also a speaker, and she invited me to a National Speakers Association meeting. Here, I realized I could do it too. 

I hired a coach and everything changed.

What does Bellamy Inspires do? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through Bellamy Inspires?

I work with educational professionals who want their students to conquer fear to achieve more.

 My goal is for my audience to embrace fear and achieve.

There are a lot of misconceptions about running a small business or being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?

People overestimate how hard it is to start a business.

It's not hard to start a business, it only requires one step. Become fearless in your pursuit, and continue building one step at a time. 

What tools or systems is a necessity for running your business smoothly?

Insightly.

This customer relationship management software (CRM) handles all my emails, tasks, etc. It's highly beneficial to my everyday operations. Insightly takes the guessing game out of follow-up tasks and relationship management. 

Whiteboard.

A whiteboard lets me see my thoughts visually and I am able to see the connections or work through a process better. When using only pen and paper, I feel limited and restricted. A whiteboard is simply more freeing. Try it! Lowes and Home Depot have huge panels you can buy and they can cut down for free for about $12. 

In order for a business to thrive there must be clientele. What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?

  1. Word of mouth is huge for my business. 
  2. Social Media has allowed me to connect and be on the radar of thousands. I make sure to use these platforms to consistently share my overall message. 
  3. Cold Calling. I am constantly reaching out to people and following up. I’ve made 60 calls in one week before, I believe in putting in the work to get the results!
  4. Grind it out!- ask yourself how bad do you want it?

Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?

I aim to go above the necessary requirements. For example:

  1. I send my clients a video to use to introduce their audience to me ahead of my arrival.
  2. I aim to be pretty easy going, speakers can get a representation of being difficult to work with requiring certain types of waters,etc. I try to avoid putting on any airs with my clients. 
  3.   I aim to over-deliver and connect with as many as possible when I’m on-site.

  4. Follow up. I like to randomly send gifts to past clients. This helps build and maintain a personal connection.

What are some current pain points or frustrations you are working to overcome in your business? 

Wanting to grow too quickly.

I have to exercise patience. Our generation is used to being able to have everything within a matter of seconds. Technology has really changed the game. However, when it comes to building a business for longevity, I realize it's going to take time.


Influencing the Future

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What are some accomplishments of Bellamy Inspires? And where do you see its future?

Being able to leave my corporate job and pursue my business full time has been huge.

Last year I booked my largest corporate gig as well. Not only did I get paid for speaking, but the company also purchased over a hundred of my books for their employees. 

I was mentioned in an interview, a guy was asked to name a few ways he stay motivated and he mentioned BellamyInspires instragram page. This was such a humbling moment, to see the impact and reach of my message. 

I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?

My Mindshift moment occurred one summer working for an internship. I was so excited to be making roughly fifteen dollars an hour. I had mentioned to my manager of a trip I was looking forward to attending later in the summer, and would need three days off. According to the rules for interns, the maximum about of days allowed off was set at two. I was told the rule would still stand, and my request for three days off would not be honored. 

As time grew closer, I mentioned to my manager that my flight was being taken care of for me, and if I did not attend than I would be held responsible for the reimbursement of the ticket costs. The company said my request for three days off had been denied. No exceptions could be made. Needless to say, I attended my trip. Upon my arrival back to the office, all my things were waiting for me in a cardboard box. I had been fired from the program. 

This experience made me realize that I never wanted a company to have total control over my life. This experience could not happen again. Thus, I'm an entrepreneur.

What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Your mindset is everything.

Be cautious to everything. Be mindful of the things you watch and the things you hear, these influences have the ability to impact our minds on a subconscious level. It is crucial to surround yourself with like minded individuals. Create a mastermind group with individuals who are constantly pushing you to achieve your better. Know what friends you can call for motivation or where your source of inspiration comes from. When you’re down an out go to those sources.

Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.

My ideal situation would be the ability to work from anywhere, money never being of concern, creating generational wealth, giving abundantly to organizations and communities, and being able to impact as many lives as possible.

Freedom. Cash. Giving.

Additional Gems from Darryl:

Seek Advice. Fail forward. Nature your Mindset. 


Connect with Darryl and BellamyInspires:

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Videos


#MindshiftMaterial

Exclusive content, free downloads + entrepreneurial tips direct to your inbox!

Let's create the biz + life you want on your own terms!

Your FREE resource guide is waiting for you. 
#Mindshift#Createthelifeyouwant