We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Lynita below.
Lynita, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Can you share a story about the kindest thing someone has done for you and why it mattered so much or was so meaningful to you?
Kindness is the gift that keeps on giving, and it amazes me how the smallest, most random acts of kindness pop up in my life. I am so grateful to say that I am blessed daily with kindness from those I know and love, and also from people I meet momentarily (I no longer call anyone a stranger, as I realize we are all interconnected, and there is a reason we meet every person in our lives).
I recently had coffee with a new colleague, something that I strive to do at least twice a month to get back into the swing of “faceworking”, networking face-to-face post-COVID-19 quarantee/stay in place orders. She had requested the meeting so we could explore ways we could work together more frequently, I as an attorney and business coach, she as a notary and education professional. I was running a little behind due to the weather and parking was a beast at the local coffee shop. When I finally sat down, my soon-to-be new friend announced that she had done her research. My eyebrows went up, not sure what to expect next. She said, “I noticed some of the things you like, and I wanted to give you something that showed my appreciation for your time.” She shyly slid a beautiful aqua gift bag toward me, and inside was a lovely custom water bottle featuring my sorority. I was so pleased by the thoughtfulness of the gesture, and said so “six ways to Sunday” during our 30 minute meeting.
My colleague did not realize the depth of how her kindness touched me, or the reason why. This is one of the few times where words are not enough and feeling – intuition – must take over. She was a mom of five children, working a full-time job, and at least two part-time jobs that I gleaned from our discussion. Yet she had allocated precious moments from her free time (if she really had any) and resources to do background recon on me to find a gift that I would like to convey her gratitude for a few moments of my time.
While we talked a bit about working together, I guided the discussion toward ways she could take her current gigs and form a full-time organization that she owned and operated, creating more time for herself and her family. She was very receptive, as her primary goal was to do just that, but she had not wanted to come full out and say it in fear of foreclosing opportunities to work with my firm.
The Intuitive Business Approach(r) allows us to see what is in front of us and what is behind what people say and do. In this instance, behind my colleague’s act of kindness and genuine gift of gratitude was a request for help to fulfill her deep desire for freedom and flexibility. To feel the unspoken messages we all exchange everyday, we must open our minds and listen with all of our senses to respond appropriately and fully.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I have been a coach most of my life, but I made it my profession about 10 years ago, a few months before I published my first book, Leading Through Living: A Guide for Women Seeking Growth Through Leadership. After transitioning from accounting into law, establishing my own firm opened my eyes to the challenges that we face in continuing to develop as a professional and as a person. To ensure I stayed up to speed on best practices as an attorney, I served on several boards that included the American Association of Attorney CPA’s (and was president of the Georgia Chapter) and the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (and was president of its Foundation).
While I enjoyed these experiences, I realized that I needed to expand beyond my profession and increase my community activism. About this time, I was invited to join the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (and served as president of the Stone Mountain-Lithonia Chapter), and joined with three other members to found the Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI). Over the next 10 years, we led over 400 women and girls nationally and internationally through a multi-level, immersive leadership and professional development curriculum to educate, develop, mentor and empower them to lead organizations. I was very blessed to be recognized with several state and national awards due to this work that included the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation Lifetime Service Award and Black Enterprise Magazine’s BE Next 35 rising leaders.
My travels with ELI led me to India as a delegate for the Art of Living Foundation’s biannual Women’s Leadership Conference. As I traveled the world, I was dismayed by the negative portrayal of people of color in the media and determined to do something about it: I founded BOLD Favor Magazine, which expanded into a full-force media group over five years. We highlighted primarily people of color and those whose work positively and directly impacted our communities, which included community leaders, non-profit organizations, and a couple of celebrities as well.
Concurrently I published two more books – The Leading Lady Legacy: 10 Steps to Becoming the Leading Lady of Your Life and Empire Builder: How to Build Your Business Empire One Brick At A Time; and expanded my business Leading Through Living Company to a publishing house, and we published six other bestselling authors.
While I was riding high on life with my successes, the stress caused by chronic poor nutrition, inadequate rest, frequent dehydration, and extreme exercise led to my health failing me. It was a rude but very necessary wake up call when I developed grapefruit-sized fibroids and stage four endometriosis, the uncontrolled growth of uterine cells outside of the uterus. I had a series of progressively more serious surgeries that forced me to come to terms with my new normal: I had to scale back if I was going to live to see my daughter grow up. So I did.
I paired down all my holdings until my law firm and coaching business were the last (wo)men standing. About four months before the COVID-19 pandemic, I published my fourth book Knocked Down, Set Straight: Face It, Speak It, Forgive It, Release, introducing the concept of Aggregate Intelligence, the combined quotation of the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual quotients. And then the pandemic hit and all was still. Instead of being frustrated, I embraced the silence so I could tackle the nagging question, “Why did I push myself beyond the brink chasing success?” It took two years to answer that question: the bridge between my success and happiness was out. The awards and accolades no longer provided the fire to keep me going, yet I continued to go to those things for fulfillment because that was all I knew. So I turned my attention to building a new bridge, establishing a new way to be fired up and excited about life – not just the accouterments of a materially successful life, but the satisfaction of a wholly fulfilling life.
The answer was found within: my intuition. I listen to and follow that small, insistent voice which led me to develop Intuitive Intelligence(r) – a five step approach or formula to live life on fire: one full of peace, joy, and fulfillment. As the Intuitive Business Coach, I really love using the wisdom gained from my experiences (the good and the bad) to guide my clients through the process of establishing their own standards of excellence to build lives beyond material success and achievement. I have a full suite of tools to help my clients stay accountable and encouraged during this intuitive journey through the Leading Through Living Academy, a portal of personalized master courses, webinars, and short shots of inspiration.
While it took me a moment to get to this place of peace and fulfillment, I am not content by any means. I am challenged every day to incorporate new methods to maintain joy in my life and I enjoy that everyday. But my absolute delight is helping others to do the same.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
One of the most valuable unlearning lessons I explored was to stop striving for perfection, instead strive for excellence. The difference is that perfection is someone else’s standard, while excellence is a personal standard. By shifting my focus to excellence, I was able to reset my expectations to that of my personal purpose and journey, and not someone else’s vision for my life. The freedom in doing so has allowed me to hear other people’s opinions, but not take them inside to influence my self-worth, esteem, and life value.
There were a series of instances that led to this epiphany, but the most influential was when I refocused my businesses to coaching/speaking/writing and law. There were several people who whispered not-so-softly that I had failed, was a failure, and that I just couldn’t cut it in the businesses of media and publishing. I remembered feeling stung by those words because the facts of my successes showed they were lies – six bestselling authors at the time (eight at the printing of this article) and red carpet invitations (not petitions) to cover the Soul Train Music Awards are successes in my book. Yet I found myself trying to mentally justify what others were saying, spending precious time and energy refuting those statements. And that’s when it hit me: some people are never going to be happy, they are going to create situations that create unhappiness, and if I did not stop participating in their situations, I was going to be a passenger on the unhappy-train forever. I pulled the emergency cord and got off the train once I had that realization, and I never looked back.
In looking forward, I took time to understand why I was bothered by what those people said. They were not my family or friends; I knew they did not love me… yet I allowed their negative energy to come into my inner sanctum. That is when I understood what I had done: I allowed other people’s ideas of success to become my ideas of success. Other people’s ideas of success are fluid; it is like trying to hit a moving target on train going 100 miles an hour backward and blindfolded. Their ideas are rooted in God-knows-what kind of mindset, influenced by their own life experiences (joys and failings), and attempts to achieve other people’s ideas of success themselves. That is a convoluted mess to try to wade through to get to someone else’s ideas of “success”.
So instead, I created my own ideas for success: a joyful, peaceful, fulfilled life. And once I created that paradigm, my businesses and clients came in line with those ideas. My stress levels plummeted, my daily satisfaction skyrocketed, and the power behind those positive shifts in my mental acuity and emotional intuitiveness directly – and positively – impact my clients’ bottom lines.
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
I am very grateful to my current and former clients for spreading the word about their positive experiences and successes working with me. As a result of their generous praise, I have not had to invest much in terms of marketing. Instead, I invest a great deal in training programs and resource guides to learn new and better ways to serve my clients, stay ahead of industry trends, and remain agile during times of change in the financial and spiritual economies. The financial economy is cyclical, and once we know how it moves, we can make predictions as to how to ride the waves of change. The spiritual economy is also cyclical, but I strive to ensure that it is more an upward curve in nature, always striving to grow and expand beyond where I am – and therefore my clients can do the same.
- Website: www.lynitamitchellblackwell.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/lynitamitchellblackwellesq
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/lynitamitchellblackwell
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/lynitamitchellblackwell
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/lynitamb
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LynitaMitchellBlackwelllmb
Michael & Friends Morning Show (marked) SettleFree TV (purple gowns) Skyy Wonders (marked) Charde’ Edney (4 women in glitter tees in front of the water)