I’ve got a treat for you guys! An exclusive interview from a woman of color who took a negative experience and used it as motivation to pursue her passion, and turn it into a successful business.
Jersey Garcia, a licensed family and marriage counselor, runs her own counseling business helping black women recognize the emotional struggles in their relationships, and provides proven methods to change their circumstances. She’s dedicated to helping black women have healthy relationships by investing in themselves as well.
So I wanted to pick her brain a little bit and find out how she got her motivation to start a business, what familiar struggles she’s faced as a black woman, and how she makes herself a priority.
Want to Know How She Did It? Keep Reading!
Why did you decide to make the leap to go out on your own?
I decided to take the leap into having my own business because I had wanted to have more control over my time as well as how I served others through my work. Sometime in 2011 I was called into the office of my then boss to discuss what she expressed as a concern with my work. During the meeting, she proceeded to scold me, ordering me to stop allowing my co-workers to come talk to me during work hours about their relationship problems. She reminded me that I was not at the job to serve as a counselor but to do the job she was paying me to do. That conversation propelled me to pursue my second Master’s Degree, in Marriage and Family Therapy, which I decided to complete because I eventually wanted to have my own therapy/coaching practice where I could help women manage and overcome relationships disharmony that kept them pissed, stuck, and feeling lonely. That scolding propelled me to take back my power to create the work that I enjoy while doing it under my own terms.
What emotional obstacles did you face getting your coaching business up and running?
The biggest emotional hurdle that I faced before when getting my coaching business up and running was all about myself worth and what value I bring to my clients. I struggled at the beginning in believing that I could charge money for my services, especially since it was something that I really enjoyed and was doing it for free for such a long time. I am getting better now, as I see the value I bring into the lives of the clients I serve. How I use my lived experiences, skills and education to deliver a service that helps people feel more at peace with themselves and others.
As black women, we are faced with battling certain societal stereotypes and expectations on a daily basis. How do you deal and stay motivated and confident in your business?
The societal stereotypes and expectations that I’m often battling have come predominately from my own family and community. Being a black-Latina single mom, I’ve been told by some friends and family members that I am being selfish by wanting to pursue more education and building my own business. Selfish, because they believe that I am taking time from being with my children because of my business. The funny thing is that actually my kids are the ones that help me stay confident and motivated on pursuing my entrepreneurial goals. I am glad they can see that being a mom does not have to stop you from pursuing your dreams and accomplishing your goals.
The life of an entrepreneur can be very busy. When and how do you find time to recharge?
My time to recharge often happens on Sundays. If I don’t have conference call meetings to conduct, I like to spend the day in silence. No TV, music, or social media, just the humming of the air-conditioning or the chirping from the birds outside. I go around the house and tidy up, clean up my office, or cook a meal, all in silence. This helps reset my thoughts and allows me to recharge for the week ahead.
Need some help creating a self-care routine? Some proven tips here!
What emotional/spiritual advice would you give a fellow black woman who is an aspiring entrepreneur?
My spiritual advice to a black woman who is an aspiring entrepreneur, is the same advice I give myself: to remember that you are a child of God, that God will never place the seed/idea of entrepreneurship inside of you if God did not believe and know that you are worthy, capable, and fully supported to do it. Stay the course because you been divinely ordained and chosen.
Leaning on my intuition has led me to so much personal growth. How does your intuition play a role in the success of your business?
I’m pretty impulsive in my decision making, primarily because I don’t want to give my brain too much time to rationalize and take me to a place of indecision. This is not to say that all my decision making comes from a not thought out impulse. Intuition is a feminine trait that often, in this society, is not valued, because we are commonly pushed to more masculine energies that trust the outside responses than the inner knowing. Intuition is what sparks my passion and creativity on how I can be of service; it motivates me to jump in instead of playing it safe and staying in the sidelines; and it helps my business exist despite any societal reservations of its relevance.
Jersey is an inspiration example of a black woman who trusted her intuition to guide her to her true purpose and passion. She was scolded for counseling women, and now she gets to be the big boss doing it herself! I truly believe that entrepreneurship is the new FREEDOM. And despite her conflicts within her family and career, she didn’t let it hold her back. She knew her real truth, and that she had to find out where it would lead her.
Want to get to know her and book an online appointment? Get to know her here:
Jersey Garcia is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Relationship Coach, and Certified Family Mediator, who helps Black and Brown People improve the relationships that matter most to them; relate to others in a meaningful way; and promote relating that is honest, happy and hopeful through one conversation at a time. Her preferred pronouns are she/her and the 5 things that usually bring a big smile to her face are: a sunny day; podcasts; slang words in Spanish; music; and some soft mangú with fried cheese on top. You can follow Jersey by visiting jerseygarcia.com and following her on facebook at www.facebook.com/relationshipharmony/!
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