Find a lesson in every experience without judging the experience as good or bad.

 

Marlena Cole, Relationship Expert, Strategist, & Life Coach. She is the Author of Renewing of Your Mind & Spirit For Marriage. Marlena is the creator of The Love Me Right Coaching Program serving African American women in transforming their lives by overcoming limiting beliefs and the paralyzing voice of their inner critic. She helps position them to attract, connect, and build meaningful relationships in their personal and professional life.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I purchased my wedding dress 5 years before I met my husband. That’s how sincere the desire to be married and raise my daughter in a two parent home was for me.
As a young single mother, I felt stuck in a cycle of failed relationships. I struggled with the fear of rejection and abandonment. I lost my sense of self-worth in relationships where I constantly poured love and care into men who only drained me.
I started researching and teaching my self about relationships. That is when I discovered I was not the only African American woman struggling to have healthy relationships.
I learned African American women are the least likely to get married among all other races and across each age group.
My mission to find love and have a family was no longer just about me. I was determined to figure out what was happening with the relationships in my community and create a solution to bring more families together.
My vision is to help rebuild the African American family structure and improve our communities while making a positive impact globally through my proprietary coaching programs.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start with the scariest things first. I call them my morning slays. I don’t take any phone calls, appointments or check email until the afternoon or when my morning slays are completed.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I gain inspiration from everywhere. Everything I see, read and hear I relate it to relationships. The best way for me to bring an idea to life is to take my thoughts and write them down using good old pen and paper.
I use the agile approach to executing on my ideas. Therefore within two weeks, I have created a prototype and recruited at least 3-5 people to test it out the product. I gather their feedback and testimonies and use them to improve or kill the idea.  If I commit to taking it live, I give my self four weeks to market and launch it to my target audience.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Life coaching and therapy are conducted live online instead of needing to meet in person. This gives access to more people and diminishes the stigma that comes around getting help. It allows people who need extra support in improving their life & relationships to get it from the privacy and comfort of their home.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I strive to practice what I teach. I go through my curriculum every time I launch a new class. I am continually using the tools and strategies from my program in my relationships and life. It helps me stay connected with my clients’ experiences of working to shift their mindsets and create new behaviors while continuing to improve my life.  This approach gives me even more ideas on how to improve my client experience and the overall coaching program.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t allow your faith to fail because things did not turn out as I had hoped.
I would tell her to find a lesson in every experience without judging the experience as good or bad.
I would let her know that it’s just as important to be able to receive as it is to give.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Going to a university before knowing what you are passionate about is a waste of time and money. Most people end up in careers that pay the bill but does not feed their soul. Asking a young teenager to spend 4-5 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in college right after high-school is limiting their full potential to become who they are meant to become.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Because of the nature of my business people are less likely to comment about their personal life online. Therefore I do not get a lot of engagement on my posts. Nevertheless, I keep sharing my story and my work.  I don’t give up because I know someone is always watching and when they are ready to buy, they will come to me. Women I have coached told me that they were following my posts and related to my story and by me continuing to put things out there it helped them decide to join the program.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

When I am generous with my one-on-one time making my self available to coach my clients even if it’s between their scheduled time with me, it’s somewhat of an unspoken “bonus” for those who are willing to take the initiative and reach out to me when they feel stuck or have a quick question.
This strategy is truly a win-win because they are not left stuck and I get a more in-depth understanding of their level of needs and challenges which helps me make my coaching programs more effective.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

When I was testing out my product idea and looking to understand my idea clients hopes, dreams, and fears I interviewed over 40 women that I thought was my ideal client. I took the information they had given me to make a post and speak to my target audience.  Once I put it out there, I heard crickets for months. No one contacted me or bought from me.
I had to go back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong. I realized that the audience I interviewed was much younger than who would buy my product. I regrouped and did more interviews with older women and got to the real pains, hopes, and dreams of the women would become my clients. That made all the difference, and I was able to build momentum in my business.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

One huge gap in the industry for entrepreneurs is more diverse stock art. The stock art business grew by 63.7 Million in 2017
However, it is almost impossible to find good stock art of African American people that are relevant to my business.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I ever spent in business was on software called Optimizepress. It allows me to build my websites, membership site, landing pages with no developer help and within a few hours.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Grammarly is a life saver for me. I type everything into Grammarly first. It goes beyond the standard spelling and grammar checks that I have seen in other software. It also has a feature that will allow you to get help from a writing expert. I can access my work from any computer or phone, and it autosaves, so I am not afraid of losing anything.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Hands down I recommended Bruce Schneider, Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core. This book changed my life and the way I get things done. I was struggling with analysis paralysis and could not move my business ideas forward for months. Since reading this book, I have raised my level of productivity, and I can quickly identify any fears or thoughts that are keeping me stuck and move past them.

What is your favorite quote?

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. ~Leo Tolstoy
I believe it’s a universal truth that when one person changes, it changes the whole world. If we want the world to be a better place we are the ones that need to change.

Key Learnings:

  • Having meaningful relationships makes for a happier and healthier life. Period.
  • Knowing what you are passionate about and then figuring the right vehicle to teach you how to amplify your passions is to the key to success
  • Be willing to give extra access to your clients so that you can really understand their hearts and then you can serve them better

Connect:

www.linkedin.com/in/marlenacole
https://www.facebook.com/LoveMeRight.net