An interview with Career + Leadership Coach and Speaker, Kimberly A. Brown of Manifest Yourself

An interview with Career + Leadership Coach and Speaker, Kimberly A. Brown of Manifest Yourself

If you've ever been to a networking event or conference where you don't know a single person in the room, then you know how magical it is to find someone with whom conversation is easy and intimate. Kimberly was that person for me, and I found myself clinging to her like a piece of velcro. #realtalk

The more we talked, the more I felt like Kimberly was a kindred spirit — someone who is driven, smart, funny, and passionate about having an impact on the world. The longer we remain in contact, the more I continue to be in awe of the work Kimberly is doing and, quite frankly, the volume and speed with which she does it. 

So settle in for an inspiring interview. And then go take a peek at Kimberly's online world. You won't be disappointed. 

X+O,
Emily

An interview with Career + Leadership Coach and Speaker, Kimberly A. Brown of Manifest Yourself

Name: Kimberly A. Brown
Business: Manifest Yourself, LLC
Website: manifestyourself.com
Other Links: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

For those that may not be familiar, tell us about yourself and what you do. 

I'm an entrepreneur, speaker, and career + leadership coach. Through my personal and professional development company, Manifest Yourself, LLC, I provide in-person and virtual workshops, trainings, and coaching to millennial professionals looking to lead a dynamic career and life. 

I've been fortunate to speak to and create workshops for many organizations, including the New Jersey Conference for Women, Ellevate Network, Urban League, Princeton University and National Sales Network, among others. I am also on the Board of Directors for The Power of You Teens organization and am a graduate of Long Island University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (2008) and Master of Science in Counseling (2013).

How did the idea for Manifest Yourself take shape? 

Through my experiences as a career development adviser in some of the nation’s top universities, I've learned that there is so much more to career development besides having a high paying job. It’s about creating a lifestyle that allows you to do more, be more, and achieve more. I've had an online presence since April 2011, but in June 2013 I rebranded and focused on creating a platform that allowed me and others to work on creating a lifestyle that feels good.

I used to keep my entrepreneurial/online life completely separate from my 9-5 career, but over time, it made sense to merge all of my skills and interests to create a platform where I could inspire and help others.

Talk to us about the power of manifestation and what that has meant for you in your own life. 

Manifestation is a unique thing because so many people don't really understand it. Manifesting something doesn't mean that you're doing yoga, eating raw vegan meals, and lighting candles every day. It's really about getting clear on exactly what you want and believing that achieving your goals is the only option for you. We all manifest things without even knowing it.

Having said that, I've worked to be extremely intentional about my goals through vision boarding, creating affirmations, reading, and even a little bit of meditation. The M.Y. motto is "You must believe in yourself and your vision. When you do this, you will manifest the life you desire." That's the essence of manifestation, in my opinion.

While work is important, so is having a life outside of work. What do you do to take care of yourself and fill your cup up, so to speak?

I'm so so so bad about doing this, so I want to be brutally honest. I've been known to run myself ragged when I'm working on a major project or have a tight deadline. However, in 2017 I started scheduling monthly facials and massages for myself and makE a conscious effort to get my nails done bi-weekly. I also have a personal trainer and workout 4-6x per week at 6am at a gym less than 5 minutes from my apartment in New Jersey.

I'm not the best at caring for myself, but I'm working on it. I've found that I have the hardest time taking a "guilt-free" day away from my business, but I'm able to integrate moments of self-care throughout the day, week, and month to fill up my cup. 

An interview with Career + Leadership Coach and Speaker, Kimberly A. Brown of Manifest Yourself

Having been blogging and involved in the online world (business or otherwise) for the majority of your adult life, what are you most you're proud of? 

I'm most proud of being able to create something that I'm proud of and make an income. Back in college, I didn't even think about blogging or sharing inspiration online — I didn't think it was for me. And I definitely didn't think it could be profitable.

The growth of M.Y. over the past few years represents the growth I've experienced in my own life. I'm extremely proud that I've been able to create a platform where I can share my knowledge and expertise in personal and professional development. It still surprises me when someone says that they follow me online or they were moved by a talk I gave or an article that I wrote.

Anything you wish you would have done differently?

I wish I had started sooner and hadn't been afraid to make mistakes. I was so afraid that I would say the wrong thing or make a mistake that I played it too small in the beginning of my blogging journey. For the first 6 months, I didn't even use my real name; I had an alias! Playing it small is never helpful - but when you're a perfectionist (*raises hand*), you cannot help yourself.

I also wish that I committed to being more consistent in the beginning. When you look at the "mega-bloggers" out there, they all started with having a consistent presence online and being an early adapter of technology. My business model now consists of coaching, speaking, and workshops in addition to blogging, but I still wish that I moved a little faster when I was just starting out.

What does the future hold for you, your work, and your life? Anything you've been dreaming of doing and/or any new projects in the pipeline?

So many! I'm newly engaged, so I'll be planning a wedding in 2018! 

On the business side, I'm launching more online courses and products in late 2017, early 2018. I noticed that I did a lot of small workbooks and gifts for my private clients, and I'd love to bring those to a much larger audience.

The first class I'll be launching is called "Stop Dreaming & Start Planning" which is all about getting clear on your goals so you can create a 90-day action plan.

I'm also bringing back The Empowerment Social in June 2018. This is a day party with an agenda that takes place in NYC. We had our first event in July 2017 and over 147 people purchased tickets and over 123 were in the room to network and listen to 5-minute empowerment talks from experts in fitness, wellness, career and personal development, all over a buffet brunch. 

Last but not least, I'd like to start writing a career-related book. So many of my speaking engagements are about career related topics and I'd love to share my tips, tricks, and insights in a book sometime soon. This is a HUGE goal, so I have no idea on the timeline just yet.

An interview with Career + Leadership Coach and Speaker, Kimberly A. Brown of Manifest Yourself

Famous last words... What advice would you give to women who want to harness the power of manifestation and do big things in their lives?

Believe in yourself. Know that what you want is within your grasp. Pay attention to your thought patterns and educate yourself so you can make your dreams a reality.

Having a positive and affirmative mindset is a major part of achieving your goals. If you have trouble developing a more positive mindset, I highly recommend checking out my affirmation cards in the M.Y. shop. I created these first for myself, and then for my clients. I recite my favorites every morning and when I'm not feeling like myself.  I try to replace the negative thoughts with positive affirmations from the cards. At first, it feels a little corny, but it works. The key is repetition.

Also, having accountability partners to support and motivate you to achieve your goals is very beneficial. You can create a plan, recite affirmations, and change your mindset, but you also have to execute. Having accountability to ensure you're moving forward is always helpful.

Stop playing small to make other people happy.

Stop playing small to make other people happy. | wepropelle.com

How many times have you felt the need keep playing small in order to make other people happy?

I’ve done it a thousand times.

I did it a lot when I first hung my shingle out in the blogging world, having a Twitter account for each of my varying interests. I was the crafter over here, the vegetarian over there, and the community builder way over in the distance.

It was fun for a while; being super niched in allowed me to find a lot of people who were super into that one thing that I was also super into. But it also felt extremely fragmented and more than a little exhausting.

Introducing myself to others at events became a game of “who should I be today?”

Posting online became an exhausting mental debate about what thing belonged where.

In my attempt to be what I thought other people wanted, I was left feeling scattered and annoyed.

This mentality was actually doing me more harm than good.

And it reminded me of something that I read in Marianne Williamson’s, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles:

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The first time I read that, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But the more I am exposed to it and the more I let her words sit and marinade, the more I love them.

Playing small doesn’t do anyone a bit of good. It makes YOU feel angry, fractured, and resentful. It prevents others from really knowing who you are at your core. And it leaves the world with a little less sparkle.

And lord knows that we need all the sparkle in today’s world.

So.

I give you permission.

To march to your own beat.

To be yourself.

To shine brighter than a pile of glitter on a gorgeously sunny day.

#doyouboo

X+O,
Emily

An interview with founder + creator of the BeFree Project and Girl Be Free, Siobhan Sudberry

An interview with Founder + Creator of the BeFree Project and Girl Be Free, Siobhan Sudberry | wepropelle.com

Have you ever met someone and knew instantly that they were destined for greatness? That's exactly how I felt when I met Siobhan Sudberry of the BeFree Project. From her personal journey to the passion she feels for helping others on theirs, Siobhan is living out her purpose.

Whether you're looking for clarity in your life or work, or are looking to cultivate more enjoyment in your life, Siobhan has you covered with a blog full of resources, a shop filled with inspirational items, and a Facebook group to connect with like-minded individuals. 

But before you do ANY of that, make sure to read what she had to say in today's interview. 

X+O,
Emily

An interview with Founder + Creator of the BeFree Project and Girl Be Free, Siobhan Sudberry | wepropelle.com

Name: Siobhan Sudberry
Business: BeFree Project + Girl Be Free (online shop)
Website: befreeproject.com 
Shop: girlbefree.com 

For those that may not be familiar, tell us about yourself and what you do. 

I am the founder of BeFree Project where I teach women how to get unstuck and gain clarity in their life through my in-person events, online programs, and coaching resources. I’ve been married for 14 years and I’m the mother of two children that I homeschool. 

Outside of my roles, I am passionate about personal growth and living life on my own terms so I can be free. As I grow to become the woman I desire to be I am doing my best to make an impact in the world and in the lives of women that are connected to me. 

What does it mean to be a clarity cultivator? 

I come in contact with women, all the time, who don’t know what they want for their life. They’re moms, partners, daughters, and employees but at some point, they lost themselves. They thought that once they got to a certain point in their life they would feel fulfilled, but instead, they feel empty and stuck. 

As a Clarity Cultivator, I teach women that it’s okay to make yourself a priority without feeling guilty. I give them permission to discover what they want for their life, why they want it, and actionable tips on how to make it happen. I teach women that it's important to show up for themselves every single day, and that their dreams are possible as long as they put forth the effort. I help women cultivate the life they desire by first getting clear about who they are and what they want. 

Talk to us about this feeling of knowing you were meant for something bigger. How did that show up in your life and what did it lead you?

I was emotionally and mentally stuck for a very long time due to my mother abandoning me when I was a child. I held on to a lot of pain and carried unnecessary baggage that kept me stuck. After going to group counseling for four months to specifically deal with my mother wounds, I understood that what I went through was for something bigger than my situation. I know that what I went through wasn’t about me, but it was to birth the BeFree Project.

My purpose in life is to be a light and empower women to be free.  Now that I’ve healed from my past I know that my story is no longer my own and it’s my responsibility to share my journey to empower others. 

I decided to choose me and show up as authentically as I can, and, honestly, I am still learning and growing every single day. As a result, I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur for 3 years and I’ve been intentional about creating services, resources, and products to help women get started with changing their life.

An interview with Founder + Creator of the BeFree Project and Girl Be Free, Siobhan Sudberry | wepropelle.com

What does feeling stuck mean for you and how has it helped you to get where you are today? 

I felt stuck in so many ways. I was stuck in a job that didn’t fulfill me. I was stuck emotionally due to things that had happened in my childhood. I was stuck in my personal life because I felt like there was more to my life than being a wife and a mother.

There was a time when I felt like I was just existing in life without a plan; I had no goals, no ambition, no purpose and no clarity. I had mental blocks and I felt stuck in every area of my life. 

I got tired of being tired and I decided that if my life was going to change I had to do something about it. I started my self-discovery journey where I asked myself very specific questions that are similar to the prompts you’ll find in the Free Your Mind Journal. Through this journey, I got crystal clear on what I wanted for my life, why I wanted it, and I decided to start making positive changes to move forward.

It’s been a long process but it’s a beautiful thing to see how much I’ve grown over the years. 

What role has the BeFree community played in your growth and evolution?

When I launched BeFree Project I had no idea the impact that I would have in the lives of women all over the world. I receive messages all the time of women thanking me for the work that I do. I am honored that I’ve been able to cultivate a community of women who desire to get unstuck and they trust me to help them do it. My BFF’s, whom I affectionately call my community, inspire me every day because they’re are trying to improve their lives and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. 

What does the future hold for you, your work, and your life? Anything you've been dreaming of doing and/or any new collaborations in the pipeline?

I’ve been sharing with a lot of my friends that I feel a shift happening in my life that’s going to make a huge impact in my business. I feel like I am just scratching the surface of the great things that are in store for me.

My big dreams are to one day speak at Essence Festival, to create a line of journals, and open up my own empowerment space where women can come to take workshops and connect with other positive like-minded women. 

An interview with Founder + Creator of the BeFree Project and Girl Be Free, Siobhan Sudberry | wepropelle.com

Famous last words... What advice would you give to women who want are looking to figure out what the heck they want their life to look like?

One piece of advice I want to share is that it’s okay to put you first without feeling guilty. No matter how you feel at this very moment there’s a purpose for your life that’s bigger than your job, your family, etc. Your dreams matter. Your ideas matter. Your goals matter. Your life matters. You matter.