Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joy Blakeney, founder of Making Life Joyful Life Coaching, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Making Life Joyful Life Coaching - Don't let the past dictate the person you are today!

As a life coach, my goal - my purpose is to help as many women as I can to learn to let go and move forward, regardless of their past - especially women who were sexually abused or molested as a child and still feel guilty and/or ashamed of those not-so-proud moments from the past or even now, which stemmed from the trauma of being abused sexually. I get it because that was me - my story.

Even though I went through counseling back then as a teenager, I wish I had someone to talk to who actually went through what I experienced and figured out and shared what could help me get through this. By combining what helped me move forward on my own and my coaching training, etc. I know that with my program, Joyfully Empowered, I know that I can make a difference.

Tell us about yourself

I'm Joy; I'm a sag, a wife, a professionally trained chef - who loves to travel and eat amazingly good food, an author, someone who enjoys and live my best life....oh did I mention a life coach? No, seriously, I am all of these things, but at one point, it wasn't always rainbows and unicorns. I was sexually molested as a child and raped a few times throughout my life. I had learned how to put on a smile and keep it moving, which led to a whirlwind life of neglected emotions, lack of self-worth, and just holding everything inside. I was constantly making bad decisions and settling for less, which led to promiscuity and heavy drinking.

Then one day, I just couldn't take it anymore, so I prayed, asked for help, and started taking action to improve my life. After being hit by a big pickup truck while walking across the street (I had the right of way) and basically "walking away" with just a few contusions and bruising. During the recovery period, I sat still long enough to reflect on my life and purpose because, for real, I should have been more hurt than I was, and I'm a petite 110 lbs. woman, and the truck had damage from the impact.

Throughout all of this, I always ended up talking to random people at the bus stop, in stores, in bathrooms, and at a bar or club - for some reason. They always say, "I usually don't do this," but it's something about you that makes me feel comfortable opening up and talking to you. That's when it hit me that I should be someone people can talk to and help them work through whatever it is that's bothering them or help them set some goals to achieve for themselves. So, after doing some research to compare and see if I wanted to become a therapist or life coach, I set out to get my certification as a life coach, and the rest is history!

What motivates me to do what I do is that I'm actually helping someone to become their best self ever, especially since deciding to focus on women who were abused sexually - is knowing what they went through, the struggles it brings both mentally and physically, not having someone they can talk to that actually "been there" and was able to get myself out of that space and move forward with life. Now I can help others do the same by showing them once you learn how to forgive, be accepting, and then let it go - you can definitely go and live the life you truly deserve without letting the past dictate who you are today.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

To co-author not one but two books - 20 Beautiful Women Vol. 3 and I Am Beautiful, with some of the most amazing women ever, with whom I developed friendships and awesome support.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Finding the time, especially if you are still working a full-time job. It can be challenging to work all day, come home and take care of the home - i.e., cook, kids, spouse, etc., and then finally sit down to work on your business until midnight or later - then start the cycle all over again the next day, wondering if all of this is worth it.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Love what you do. You want to make sure that the business you're getting into or starting is something that will not only help you financially but also something that you're truly passionate about. If you do not do something you truly love or have passion for, you're not going to be happy, and it will show in your performance as a business owner.
  2. Don't quit your day job if you have one. Use it as a stepping stone to help you financially until you can replace your monthly income - preferably more before giving your 2-weeks' notice.
  3. Believe in yourself. You know what you're capable of even if no one else does. You are in charge of your destiny, your dreams - so dream BIG! You got this!

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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