Quick, jump ship and drop the corporate mindset for a life designed just for you. Funsherpa discovers ways to experience the gift of life with blogger Akilah Richards. Finally crossing the chasm in 2007, Akilah has never looked back at the corporate world and now helps others with her Life Design Agency.
Can you talk about your initial transition from a traditional career path toward an entrepreneur? What were the big surprises?
It took me two tries to fully leave the traditional corporate career model behind. When I left for good in 2007, I had a really good first year (financially and emotionally). The big surprises came later on (years 2-4) when I realized that even though I had left corporate, I was still using my corporate mindset (following, not leading – needing external validation – allowing others to manage my time, etc) in my entrepreneurial journey. That was a huge eye-opener, and it piqued my interest in cognitive science, specifically NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), fear sciences, and self-exploration.
What are your favorite things to do in Atlanta? What about your favorite places to dine?
I enjoy hanging out in Little 5 Points (East Atlanta) because I always see people willing to risk expression, and I get to enjoy Indian and Caribbean foods nearby. I also love going to public parks with my daughters.
What exactly is a Life Design Agency?
The Life Design Agency is where I get to put my passion for cognitive science and personal development to use. I help people to recognize and explore their “perfessional” (personal and professional) patterns, and design alternatives based on what they crave in life, not what they think they “should” be doing. I focus on emotional wellness, because I find that most of our struggles with life/Self come from being victims of our own emotional patterns and baggage. I LOVE what I do, and I would be doing it whether I owned The Agency or not, so this lifestyle I’ve built is really serving me on all levels.
Some of our readers want to venture out into a better designed life. Can you provide us with some tips into how they can best explore life design to move away from the trappings of a 9 to 5 job?
Absolutely. I offer a complimentary Life Design webinar for subscribers to my blog (execumama.com). I created that webinar with your specific question in mind, so I’d say start there. It talks about patterns, self-inquiry, and some of the other tools I’ve found incredibly helpful in my own Life Design practice.
If you could design a perfect life, what would it look like?
Okay, here’s what’s so freakin’ awesome about my life—I’m living the life I craved for a long time! Awesome, right?!! *Squeeaaal!* I’m married to one of the coolest people I’ve ever met; I birthed two warrior princesses (Marley and Sage-Niambi) who motivate me to keep honoring my gifts; I work with amazing women who are interested in showing up more as themselves in their lives; and I get to travel doing work I love! Sure, I’d like to own property in several parts of the world, and I’d like to have my own personal tailor to make clothes that fit me like “Whoa!”, but while I’m working on that, I’m happy with my current Life Design.
What’s in your bucket list? Which ones do you plan on crossing off soon?
I hiked Mt. Shasta in 2001, and I want to do it again since I’ve learned/grown so much since then.
I crave ownership of five acres of land in Jamaica (where I’m from).
I want to see my body at its absolute best (washboard abs and all!)
…and the personal tailor bit.
I’m walking in the light of all of those cravings, so they’re on their way to being crossed of the list.