We had the good fortune of connecting with Ayana Blount and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ayana, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” Brene Brown I happen to love quotes in general but this is one of my favorites. I feel this one embodies my brand which is a reflection of my life. I have learned that in order to achieve success, we must be true to ourselves. To truly experience the joy of personal success, each of us must be willing to embrace our individual course throughout life, emerge through each encounter with greater strength, courage and wisdom, and evolve into a place where we celebrate our most genuine selves with a gratitude that transcends the applause of others in favor of the peace that comes from knowing I am enough.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am often asked what I do. When I share that I am a Success Coach, the next question naturally is what is that? Simply put I am a purebred encourager, a natural born creative, and a skilled strategist. My job is to combine my superpowers of being a creative (free spirit) and a strategist (structured results driven planner) through coaching, speaking, and consulting to help creatives and entrepreneurs stop self sabotaging and start succeeding. It brings me the greatest joy to see people win the battle again imposter syndrome by recognizing and owning their authenticity over the temptation to seek others applause. I spent a great deal of time from childhood well into adulthood down playing my gifts to make others feel comfortable being in the room with me. I overthought every decision, underperformed too many times to count, and gave away my gifts for free all because I did not value my self or fully understand what my secret sauce added to the recipe of life. Eventually, I realized that by playing small all I was succeeding at was stunting my growth and going broke. Then seven years ago, my life changed when I became a mom. I found myself willing to commit to doing whatever it would take to make my daughter proud and keep her protected from the notion of not being good enough, gifted enough to soar to any heights she could imagine for herself. One day, she tried on a pair of my high heel shoes and while most people would melt I had a moment of reckoning. I immediately asked myself am I leaving her shoes that are worthy of being walked in or just worn down as a result of wasted steps to nowhere in my life? I decided at that moment to no longer let others inability to see my worth pigeonhole me. I made up my mind that day that I would own my birthright of brilliance and model for my daughter what a strong, secure, stellar woman can do. In that space the Passion Strategist was born. Now it is my mission to teach creatives, innovators, visionaries and entrepreneurs to embrace, emerge, and evolve into their uniquely focused vision of success by teaching them the 4 K.E.Y.S. to Success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Born and raised in Philly there are so many iconic and historic things to see and eat we could literally not cover the entire city in just one week. However, as your friend and tour guide I would feel obligated to show you: The Rocky Steps aka The Philadelphia Museum of Art to take in the culture and capture your iconic moment as the champion you are. Next we would visit the Liberty Bell and walk the cobblestone streets possibly even taking a ride on a horse and buggy. This would allow you to connect to history while experiencing the beauty of centuries past with an appreciation for modern day achievements. Lastly we gotta eat right? So a cheesesteak it would be but not at Pat’s or Geno’s lol. No we would venture into the heart of what Philadelphia is a melting pot of neighborhoods where good friends and good food meet and greet each other with Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Reading Terminal or South Street whatever culture you have a taste for we have it all. I know a few storefront spots that will have you making an annual trip for a real Philly Cheesesteak and knowing how to answer the question wit or wit out 🙂 For dessert a wooder (not water) ice and a soft pretzel is the icing on the Philly Cheesecake.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mentorship has played a huge part in my life and career. Relationship building is a skill that once learned can always be called upon to reinvent, reignite, and rediscover your role in your community and the world at large. As I reflect on some of the great mentors I have been blessed to have as integral parts of my journey line, I would honor Nik Scott and Michelle Snow. These two women are phenomenal thought leaders, relationship builders, and womenpreneurs who pour into others with kindness, consistency, and intentionality that produce bold, knowledgeable, savvy women in all areas of business.
All images credited to Nik C Photography