Today marks the launch of a new weekly series that I’m calling “FREEDOM FRIDAYS.”
Each Friday I will be featuring individuals who have taken a leap of faith to launch their vision or birth their dream.
FREEDOM FRIDAYS will highlight entrepreneurs who have founded or created any of the following:
1. A business venture
2. A ministry or missions organization
3. A new book & the platform it will rest upon
4. A non-profit
Not every person was called to the 9-to-5 marketplace. For some, your their life’s calling requires much more than a 40 hour structured work week entails. Their calling requires much more sacrifice to embrace who they are and what they do 24/7 – 365 days a year.
Becoming your own boss is serious business, and not for the faint of heart. Running your own business, ministry, or book platform is the real deal. It is where the rubber meets the road. It demands faith, perseverance, and prayer…prayer…and more prayer.
So if you or someone you know fits this category, please send me your story to firstname.lastname@example.org – for a chance to be featured on FREEDOM FRIDAYS.
NOW DRUMROLL PLEASE……..
For our first FREEDOM FRIDAYS entrepreneur, I have the pleasure of introducing to you……..
Miss Keenya Kelly Griffin
The following is our interview, and I hope it will inspire you to step out as the Lord leads you to do.
Wendy: Keenya, First how would you describe yourself?
Keenya: When people ask me about myself I like to tell them I am mix between Spongebob and Oprah Winfrey. I have the heart and free-spirited personality of Spongebob but the drive, passion and tenacity of Oprah….of course with a heart like Jesus Christ.
Wendy: What is your background, basically what did you used to do?
Keenya: Most of my life has been spent in Sales and Marketing. I graduated with a degree in Communication and spent most of my 20′s working with a Network Marketing Company Prepaid Legal Services (which is now Legal Shield) as a Sales Representative. After leaving that company I worked as an Account Executive selling advertising space for the local newspaper.
Wendy: What is it that you do now?
Keenya: I recently left my job and started Keenya Kelly LLC where I am hosting Curly Hair Expo’s for Men, Women and Children.
Wendy: My blog – THE END FOCUS- is all about inspiring others and focusing on what matters the most in life. Could you share what matters the most to you at this point in life?
Keenya: When people ask me this question I have to be honest as it pertains to how I feel about what matter most to me in life. For me I would have to say finding out who I am, who God created me to be, what he wants me to do and then doing it. We can make a great deal of money, have a lot of people know our names, but if we aren’t ultimately helping people to become better than all of our efforts are really for nothing. The ultimate aim is to help others so that they can develop a relationship with Christ.
Wendy: At what point or what was the deciding factor which let you know that now was the time to step out on faith to become your own boss?
Keenya: There were a number of things that were occurring. I was no longer ok with waking up in the morning and working hard at a job that was constantly changing up how they were paying me. Also, I didn’t like how stressed I felt everyday hustling for my job, then not knowing if I was going to be paid ANYTHING for the work I had done all month-long was another factor. I was trying to make time for the gym, time for my relationship, and then having some time for myself. My house was only getting cleaned once a month. To top it all I had gained over 25 pounds since working at that company. I was just being the Keenya that I knew Keenya to be, and I recognized the need for Natural Curly Hair Expo’s. I also knew the provision and favor that God has on my life, and how He has NEVER failed me. I began taking steps to own my own business. After my July event, I honestly thought about leaving my job at that time. However in my quiet time one day at work, the Holy Spirit told me to put in my two weeks notice….when I heard that…….my excitement shifted to fear.
Wendy: So would you say Fear has been your biggest emotion to have to overcome since making your decision to leave the 9 to 5?
Keenya: YES—FEAR FEAR FEAR!!! After hearing God tell me to leave my job I was crying and praying ALL OF THE TIME!!! I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly, so I asked for two UNUSUAL confirmations…and of course he did just that. He even used a squiggly bug on the ground to minister to me. I asked him for a certain amount of money to hold me over and HE DID IT! I began writing everything I was feeling on my tithe envelope. I wrote the names of things and companies on my envelope. Basically I was naming my seed with what I needed to make the event successful, and He did EVERYTHING I wrote on my envelope. Now don’t get me wrong, some days I still feel as though I heard wrong. It’s a CONSTANT faith journey. A journey that requires me to fully rely on him to come through for me. have a history with God coming through in the most unusual circumstances. Since my company is completely GOD CENTERED and the goal is to bring people back to Christ; I am reminded that He is going to take care of me and my company.
Wendy: In the end….what tips, suggestions, or words of wisdom would you give to someone who feels led to step out like you did and launch a new venture or business/ministry/book?
Keenya: PRAY, PRAY , PRAY!! FAST AND PRAY!!! Stepping out away from your job is NOT something you need to do because you WANT to do it. It is something you do ONLY because God has TOLD you to do it. Doing something and then requesting God to bless it may not be a part of His plans. But when God tells you to do something that means He already has plans in place for you to prosper. Meaning all the money you need, open doors, car, an office, staff, whatever, He will bless you with it.
I also advise people to GROW!! Not just in the WORD of God….you need to grow in the Word no doubt…but you ALSO need to up your game in whatever arena you are about to embark upon. With owning or running any company you will need to understand Sales/Marketing, otherwise people will never know that you exist.
You also need to know what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. Continue to grow in your strengths, begin to develop in your areas of weakness. Also surround yourself with people who are stronger in your weak areas.
Recognize that you are going to begin asking people for advise, their opinions and help…but everyone’s time is valuable because we only have 24 hours a day and if they give you 2 hours of their time that is 2 hours they can never get back…so make sure that you are WORTH the investment. I sincerely have a heart for people, but when people come to me and want advice but they want to do ALL of the talking or don’t take my advice and run with it…..the time is UP!!!
Wendy: Is there anything else you feel led to share?
Keenya: Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. God gave them to you for a reason. There is no time like the present. I’ve always told myself that I wanted to leave a legacy to my children, that money problems would never be an issue in my marriage, and that I would go into my marriage as an asset and not a liability. You can start your growth plan WHILE working your job. Instead of watching tv at night or on the weekends take an online class in the area you are attempting to start a business in, read books, or listen to audio books.
We spend a lot of time in our cars….you can get a whole college education in your car!!! Don’t be afraid….or feel the fear and do it anyway.
I believe you can jump off the building, and grow wings on the way down.
Check out Keenya Kelly’s website or visit her company’s website: Return of the Curls