[quote style=”boxed”]Start with the end in mind. I proselytize that once you know where you are going and who you want to be, then you can work backwards to develop the action steps and behaviors necessary to close the gap between the two.[/quote]
Alexia Vernon is a certified coach, speaker, author, trainer and owner of Alexia Vernon Empowerment, a Las Vegas-based company that helps leaders build careers and companies that are successful, sustainable and full of soul. Alexia specializes in helping grow the next generation of heart-centered and high-impact communicators who are also ethical leaders. Her new brand, Step Into Your Moxie, helps women listen to their inner voices, sculpt their powerful messages and use their power to affect change in the world. Alexia has worked with companies, college campuses and professional associations across the country. While a college student, Alexia won the title of Miss Junior America. She went on to win the Independent Means Business Plan competition and the Doublemint Gum Award, the proceeds of which she used to start a Las Vegas nonprofit, Girls’ Activity and Leadership Institute. Alexia is the author of the new book, 90 Days, 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance and in 2010 released Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career. Alexia has shared her advice with CNN, NBC, FOX Business News, CBS MoneyWatch, Forbes.com, the Wall Street Journal and dozens of other media. She is also a career and workplace expert for Mint.com and Careerealism.com.
What are you working on right now?
Under my new Step Into Your Moxie brand, I’m launching Moxie Camp. It is a playspace for female changemakers who want to develop the vision and voice to create big-time social impact in the world. The weekend event will be in New York City on June 29-July 1, 2012.
In addition, my next book, 90 Days, 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professional to Peak Performance will be released in April 2012.
Where did the idea for Alexia Vernon Empowerment come from?
There’s not a doubt in my mind that I was put here to create a movement around heart-centered, high-impact communication and ethical leadership. I really enjoy a balance between working hands-on with emerging leaders (like I will at Moxie Camp) and with the managers and leaders responsible for developing their talent (like I do in my corporate training and in my writing).
What does your typical day look like?
I usually wake up at 6:30 AM. I go immediately to my yoga mat, and I stay there, letting go and letting goodness in, until about 7:15 AM. Then, I make myself some green juice or a protein shake and get to my computer by 8:00 AM. Typically, I spend my mornings coaching clients, responding to potential clients, crafting copy and developing new products and services. I try to get out in the afternoon. I’m often either speaking or training. If I’m not, I take my computer to a communal workspace. Most evenings I’m either networking, at a professional development event or volunteering with a sexual abuse prevention and rehabilitation organization in my community called Family and Child Treatment. I try to get home by 8:00 PM for an hour or so with my honey. Then I read and close my eyes by 1:00 AM.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I always talk them out, usually with my husband and coach. Then I bring a few people I trust into the conversation. I let what we come up with percolate for a while to see if the idea has meat to it.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Social enterprise; I think it’s the only way we will solve the world’s largest global problems. Business and social good must learn how to play nice together!
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My first job was working at a concessions stand at a movie theater. In high school, I refused to wear anything resembling a practical shoe. I lived in platforms and heels. Not good when you’re working in a movie theater. I slipped dozens of times on butter, soapy floors, you name it. I learned how to be resilient and always get back up again.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have done less work on my own. I believe that everything flows better when you have a team in place.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Start with the end in mind. I proselytize that once you know where you are going and who you want to be, then you can work backwards to develop the action steps and behaviors necessary to close the gap between the two.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Whenever you’re thinking of launching a new product or service, ask yourself, “what if I don’t?” If you answer that it won’t matter,then you know you don’t need to do it. On the other hand, if your answer is, “I’d be devastated” or “I’d be denying people something that would make their lives better,” you’ll know you should get on it.
Tell us a secret.
I have an irrational fear of bed bugs. I check my mattress for them daily, even though I live in a new home community at the foot of the mountains on the outskirts of Vegas.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- Twitter: It’s cliche, but I’ve found so many of my professional colleagues and personal friends through Twitter.
- Instagram: It lets me pretend I’m an artsy fartsy photographer. I love documenting my life and surroundings and then making them look pretty.
- Dropbox: Almost everyone I work with is virtual. What a godsend to have a secure way to share documents with them all. And, I can back everything up.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
David Rock’s Quiet Leadership. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Learning how to recognize your barriers to listening, asking good questions and getting people responsible for their thinking is the key to empowering people. Anyone who wants to be a leader or an influencer should have it on her book shelf.
What’s on your playlist?
I’m all over the place. My current top 10, in no particular order:
- Adele’s Rumour Has It
- John Legend’s Wake Up Everybody
- Lady Gaga’s Born This Way
- Soulfood’s Om
- Lykke Li’s Get Some
- Kate Nash’s Merry Happy
- LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It
- Stevie Wonder’s A Time to Love
- Rilo Kiley’s A Better Son/Daughter
- Metric’s Help I’m Alive
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Thirty seconds ago. I am a compulsive giggler. Any time I find myself getting too cerebral, I bring myself back to the here and now by redirecting my attention to anything that makes me laugh. In this case, a poster in my office that says, “fat kids are harder to kidnap.” It works better if you’re looking at it!
Who is your hero?
I adore Melinda French Gates. She was my high school graduation speaker and since then, I have been in awe of her ability to lead change in her company, in the global community and in her family.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned that you never need to learn again?
“If you see something, say something.” For a long time I had some big ole risk aversion. Engaging in high-stakes and potentially high-emotion conversations is critical for success and for living with integrity.
What’s the #1 thing you’re letting go of in 2012?
The fear of fear. It’s totally normal to feel sick to your stomach when you’re pushing yourself to your edge, taking big risks and creating that which has never existed before. I’m learning to embrace fear as a sign that I’m playing big!
Hop on my list! And as a thank you, I’ll deliver the 7 Biggest Obstacles to Success and the Sinfully Simple Formula to Shift Them Into Opportunities straight to your inbox: http://www.AlexiaVernon.com
Moxie Camp Website: http://www.MoxieCamp.com
Alexia Vernon Empowerment on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AlexiaVernonEmpowerment
Alexia Vernon on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AlexiaVernon
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.