Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Belkis Clarke-Mitcham, CEO of Belkis Clarke LLC, located in Corpus Christi, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an international speaker, communication consultant, and mentor to women. I help women who have been through emotional hurt, betrayal, and abuse to let go of the past, heal and thrive so the experience down not keep impacting them in the present or the future. Many women act as if they have healed when they haven't. Additionally, they cannot identify why they can't have the relationships they want, feel as good about themselves as they should, stick to their boundaries, and be happier. I facilitate as they learn to identify why they struggle in relationships, aren't happy, lack self-confidence, make poor decisions, and either is overly rigid in expectations or do not manage their boundaries well. Generally how to let go of the things that are standing in their way and truly love themselves and thrive.
Tell us about yourself
Coming out of childhood sexual abuse, I felt as if part of me that should have been allowed to choose for myself, the part of me that was allowed to be self-confident and be a happy person, was ripped away and tossed aside, so I became a shell of myself. Sexual abuse seemed to set me on a path of making repeated mistakes. I could not have healthy relationships, I didn't feel good about myself, and I acted as if I had it all together, but I really didn't. I was lonely, I was sad, and sometimes I was even a bit depressed. I was on a path of repeated failure, bad decisions in relationships, and social activities, in making decisions for myself and even about my health because of my experiences. Abuse and molestation robbed me of my sense of self, my self-worth, and my ability to make better decisions, so I found that I had made one disastrous decision after another. I was seeking validation. I wanted to be loved, I wanted to know I was valuable, and I looked for that in one relationship after another, but it just didn't work. Then I thought maybe if I got a degree, it would make me feel better about myself. There were times I even sought that validation in a bottle of wine. But beneath, I had this hunger, this desperation for something more, for something different. I knew I had to change something. It was hard knowing what needed changing. I often heard the phrase that "knowing is half of the battle," but that was a lie for me, and I know it's a lie for many because many times we know something, but it's not enough. To know wasn't enough to break the cycle. I had to get into action, and I had to do something. For example, I knew that some relationships I entered were not good for me, yet I hung on. So, knowing wasn't half of the battle but an awareness that there was a battle to fight. Knowing was not enough for consistent change. It was not enough to build my esteem. It was not enough to help me make better choices. It was not enough to interrupt the cycles that were so closely tied to my past. Though I did not realize how much of my actions then were tied to past experiences. Eventually, I got to the place where I hit rock bottom, and I decided o had nothing to lose by doing something that would really help me. I went to therapy. I did work. I attended seminars. I spent almost $80000 getting help from experts. I read more than 100 books on overcoming trauma, building self-confidence, and the art of effective communication. As I healed and then thrived, I realized that there were a whole lot more women out there like me. Therefore, I got educated. I had the experience and the education, and the training. Firstly, I started volunteering to help women who were in similar situations as myself. Women who had been abused, who kept making choices that did not turn out right, were emotionally hurt, women. I realized that I had an overwhelming desire to help. I decided that I needed to know how I could help. So using my experiences and training, I designed a system. Firstly, I put myself through my system, which took me from where I was to where I desired. I realized sometimes it is hard to disconnect the person we used to be from the person we are now, and I realize that to move forward, to thrive, to really be happy, to find the kind of relationship we desire, to love ourselves, we needed to be able to do that. We needed to understand who we were and who we are now. So I facilitate women and girl's journey in knowing who they are, overcoming past hurts, developing coping mechanisms, and cultivating skillsets necessary to bounce back, make better decisions, be brave, know their strength, make better decisions on their behalf, be happy and be self-confident regardless of the experiences they've had. Today I'm certainly more confident, and I've helped a whole lot of women. There are several things that motivate me. The truth is I am motivated by the women that I want to help. It really distresses me when I see women living below their potential. I'm not just talking about career potential. I am referring to their potential as a human beings, as a person. Too many women fail to understand their value beyond the bedroom and to truly live that value knowing that they can have the life, relationships, and happiness they crave and be valued all at the same time. That's a motivating factor, but I also have two beautiful little girls, and I would not like for them to not have the experiences or the struggles with their self-confidence that I did. That lack of self-confidence and feeling that you are not worth much leads to poor decisions and lots of hurts. We don't realize how much it is tied to our experiences. So I would like my girls to know who they are. That they deserve to take up the space that's been given to them and then impact those who've been assigned to them. Wherever they go, they must always bring positive change and be positively impactful. They do so knowing the power that is within. So I do this as a living example to my daughter' so they can emulate and improve on what I do, and then I want to take as many women on the rise up with me as possible those are the things that motivate me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say that my biggest accomplishment as a business owner would be the women that come I have helped. Those who come back and tell me, "you know my life is better after your guidance." The impact that I've had would be my greatest achievement. The impact where I support women to the point of change Where they are really proud of who they are.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being both a business owner and the one who executes the plans.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Decide on one business idea, learn all you can about it and execute, refine and execute again.
- Forget the easy shiny objects; they are often distractions. Work your core idea until it has a solid foundation you can create a series of profitable, repeatable actions on. That's your money there.
- Know what you want from the business. What you want determines how much time you are willing to invest and what your core principles will be and helps you refine how to reach your goal.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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