We recently connected with Sunny Kelley and have shared our conversation below.
Sunny , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Can you open up about a risk you’ve taken – what it was like taking that risk, why you took the risk and how it turned out?
Wheww.. Talking about…risking it all!
I left the life that I grew to know- in search of the new version of me!
It took courage for what I was about to do! I lived in Arkansas for 32 years. I had a home, car, and was financially okay, that is until I accepted a calling within myself to take the leap.
I remember taking this drive to work each morning feeling like, “this cant be it”. I was grateful but bored. From time to time, when I wanted a change in scenery, we would play hooky from work and school and drive to a different state. Spontaneity suited me well!
So much about the space I was in was tied to my purpose!
I remembered praying, “if there is anything about me, my walk, my behavior, or even the people I was around that was hindering God’s will for my life- to make that clear”. And soon after it became very clear!
While at work, I focused less on the people there and more on where I saw myself. Our company had merged with another leading company. This caused a tremendous shift in employment. Some people were laid off and others were offered different positions. I stayed, but remained searching for work within the company. I began connecting with people in other roles that could help me tap into other opportunities.
I had the desire to move out of state. I just didn’t know what would navigate me there. I was offered a role in my field of Technical Writing in North Carolina. At the time, my perception of NC wasn’t all that great, so I declined.
Now I’m forced back to spinning my wheels; confused if THAT was my moment!
I allowed false perceptions to cloud my judgment. So, I prayed again and vowed that if another opportunity came along (no matter what that role is) I wouldn’t hesitate to jump on it.
I believed I would work in my field one day. But, that day never came. Not even after I moved. More than just praying- this go round, every moment (after passing up the 1st opportunity) I would wake up at 3am, meditate, and “go to work” on my laptop. I would search schools in the cities I desired to live in; Atlanta and Manhattan. I searched for apartments. I hired a company to assist in my search. I learned the commute in which I planned to travel. Not only that, I began packing all of my belongings- that I didn’t readily need. So much til there was barely walking room in my house. I didn’t have the greenlight yet, but I was ready in my head!!!
Then it happened! I received communication and an offer to relocate and it was on from there!
I never once sought anyone for their opinion or approval. As a matter of fact, I didn’t announce it until – 2 weeks before it was time for me to leave. My mindset was “NO turning back!”
Life that I once knew was no more. It was a whole process. We had to meet and learn new people. I had to foster a new method of operation. I had to adapt a new way of communicating with my family. But in the end, it was worth it.
When I finally left, I had a team of people welcoming me!
By now, you know- I am an entrepreneur, actress, and author. I wouldn’t have known this would be my life, had I not taken the leaps of faith and several risks.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I am an entrepreneur, actress, and author.
I relocated to Georgia, working for a leading Fortune 500 company. Working there afforded me many lessons that I mimic in my personal business. I am the owner of Sunn Legacy Group. I broker for several insurance carriers, as well as contract out to different companies, in an effort to educate the employees of their benefits and opportunities.
Balance is always my goal. While I lead a very calculated lifestyle, I’m careful to invest in my career as an actress and author. Planning and flexibility is imperative. This vision isn’t easy to come by. I’ve had to overcome several NOs and still tell myself YES, you can! It takes hard work, dedication, and a team who gets it. I’m most proud that in each facet I serve, I’ve remained hungry for knowledge and remained teachable. This has yielded growth and winning relationships!
As I move about, I now understand the power in documenting. What started as me journaling for my legacy has now morphed into me, not only becoming the author of Pickles and Peppermints Memoir, but a publisher; ready to propel others into the newest versions of themselves!
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
I struggled with this. The way I measured success was totally off! It was a reflection of things that had nothing to do with my internal growth. It was measured in how other people viewed me. I needed to look like I had it together! There was no room for disorder. I would work, tirelessly on me- for them. Until one day, a light bulb went off and for the first time I practiced not getting it right- on purpose. The world didn’t end and I discovered I had less headaches. Today, success
for me is meeting one goal and that is being 1% better each day!
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
The most rewarding aspect of being a creative is- it serves as therapy. In addition, there is literally no ceiling to what you can do!
- Website: www.sunnykelleyaiken.com
- Instagram: sunny_kelley
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ActressSunny
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sunny-kelley-210706b0/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsoarqiH4gO35qKLURsQrtg
Ira Carmichaeal Photograohy and Cedric Mohr Photography