I was so excited to talk all things entrepreneurship, business, and branding this week with my latest girl crush, Maya Elious. This CEO of Built to Impact and Rebelious Activewear schooled us on how to break mental barriers, bring your whole self to work, and recognize your capacity. She’s learned a lot since getting her start building Myspace pages to building and running multiple 7-figure companies. If you’re an entrepreneur, leader or go-getter get ready to be inspired!
Maya is the CEO of not one, but two companies! Recently she declared she just wants to own companies, not run them. I love that she’s owning her power to make money while she sleeps which is a lifestyle many desire, but don’t understand the work that has to be done to achieve.
“Making money while you sleep doesn’t mean you’re avoiding work; it means your work is always producing benefits versus only producing at the time you’re doing the work.”
Maya’s first business was making Myspace pages in the early 2000s, now she’s running an ecommerce business and working in her “impact zone” as a brand strategist.
I was curious to know if she always had a vision to get to where she is today.
“I’ve always been ambitious, but I haven’t always had this level of vision. When I first started, my highest vision for my life was making money consistently by designing websites. Now I have specific numbers I want to hit versus just making ends meet.”
This same ambition and mindset expansion prompted her to buy her favorite lipstick brand that was going out of business and start an athletic wear company when the one she was a patron of wouldn’t pay her as an influencer.
If you’re still wondering if you can do something great Maya asks, ‘Why can’t you?!’ “When you pay attention to the privileges you have you understand there’s no excuse for you to not produce and live the life you want. If you have internet, running water, and a place to live, anything else is just a mental block.”
Maya and I are all for side hustles! Some would say ‘be all in or get out’, but here’s what she advises.
“Side hustles are a great way to beta test the ideas you want to go all in on. But be mindful of your true and honest reason for doing it. If you want it to be a full-time business, run it like a real business, pay attention to data and make a decision numbers wise of when you’ll feel comfortable going full time with it. If you just like making extra money through a therapeutic avenue, then keep it as a side hustle and stay away from advice to do otherwise.”
Though she’s never had a corporate job to leverage experience from, Maya agrees that you learn so much about running a business by actually being in a business.
“There’s a difference between generating money online and running a company. I’ve learned many lessons from my employees who have been in corporate and elsewhere about business structure, HR, policies, etc.”
One of my favorite questions to ask coaches is if they have coaches themselves. Maya admits to not having a formal coach but a set of people she leans on for checks and balances.
“My “coaches” right now are members of my team because they have an expertise I do not. I also mastermind with friends who have 7 and 8-figure businesses for direction on how to grow my own.”
Whether it’s a mastermind, advisor, or mentor it’s important to have trustworthy people to run ideas by at all levels of success.
If I had a fight with my friend or am not feeling well, you’re going to see it at work. That’s because I’m one whole person. In the same sentiment, Maya doesn’t shy back from sharing her faith. I asked her advice for others who are struggling to bring their whole selves to work.
“We love to believe that business and personal life are not the same, but business is extremely personal. How people talk to me in business is going to affect me personally. The level of respect I demand personally is the same level I demand professionally. The standards I hold, the way I show up, my level of integrity personally spill over into my business and I expect that of my employees and clients. In regard to faith, I don’t try to hide or be super obvious, but I talk to God every day and I make decisions guided by the Holy Spirit so that will come out because it’s part of who I am. When it comes out it either resonates or it doesn’t and that’s how business works, you attract or repel, and you want to keep the people you attract and be ok with those you don’t.”
Something I hope we all remember as we enter into post pandemic life is our own personal capacity. Personally, I never want to go back to pre-pandemic busyness! I was burnt out and had no idea!
Maya shared, “The average person would feel guilty about getting help – a therapist, a nanny, a housekeeper, etc. – but I hired a housekeeper and a chef to help fight decision fatigue because running a business is mentally draining. I’ve learned the reason we procrastinate isn’t always because the task is hard but because it’s mentally draining!”
In this new season I believe it is important to know what burns us out and what lights us up!
What have you started doing or using lately that you love?
Skin Tightening treatments called ‘cavitation’.
What is the best gift you’ve given yourself in the last year?
Career wise, hiring the right people I needed. Personally, getting my parents to move to Atlanta.
What’s the next thing you’re hoping to learn in 2021?
How to be a better CEO.
What are your favorite social media accounts?
Homework: Raise your rates and read ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ by Joseph Murphy
I’m changing things up a bit! Drum roll please.. I’m hosting a training session! I’m bringing all of my knowledge to the table in a classroom/ mentorship type of way. I’ve learned a lot about LinkedIn over the years and I want to help you leverage the platform just like I have. Can’t wait to see you there.