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IAM1999 – Life Coach Shares About Overcoming Adversity and Empowering Others

Podcast Interview with Tamieka Smith

In life, we often face challenges and obstacles that test our strength and resilience. It is during these moments that we have the opportunity to rise above and inspire others with our stories.

In this episode, Tamieka Smith, founder and creative director of Word Smith Enterprises, is a true example of someone who has overcome adversity and has dedicated her life to empowering dreamers to become doers.

We will delve into Tamieka's incredible journey, her impact on the community, and the lessons we can learn from her experiences.

Tamieka's work extends beyond writing. She is a certified life coach, transformational speaker, blogger, podcaster, and self-publishing consultant. Through Word Smith Enterprises, Tamieka empowers individuals to embrace their potential, offering them life coaching strategies, confidence-building techniques, and guidance in self-publishing.

Her emphasis on community and the importance of having a support system is a testament to the fact that we achieve our best when we lift each other up.

Tamieka Smith's journey from adversity to empowerment serves as an inspiration to us all. Her dedication to helping others embrace their potential, rise above challenges, and reclaim their power is truly commendable.

We can all learn from her resilience, courage, and unwavering belief in the power of storytelling. Let us strive to make a difference in the world, just as Tamieka has, by embracing our own stories and empowering others to do the same.

Website: tamiekasmith.com

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Full Interview:


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Tamieka Smith Teaser 00:00

And when it comes to whether it's telling a story of being confident even when it comes to life coaching, just helping them to know that they can do it. Because so many of us are just running this race of life and not having the community because we run best in community to help push them along the way.

Intro 00:24

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:52

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest back on the show today. I have Tamika Smith. Tamika. It's great to have you on the show.

Tamieka Smith 01:01

Thanks so much for having me on the show again,

Gresham Harkless 01:03

Gresh. Yeah, absolutely. You're doing so many phenomenal things. I know you have a phenomenal story. So super excited to get more into that. See all the awesome things you've been working on. But of course, before we do that, I want to read a little bit more about Tamieka so you can hear about some of those awesome things that she's working on.

And Tamieka it is the creative director and founder of Word Smith Enterprises, who empowers dreamers to become doers of the world while unapologetically allowing their light to shine in a dark world as a four-time author, certified goal life goal, success, life coach, transformational speaker, blogger, podcaster, self-publishing consultant and talent.

Acquisition professional. She is a servant leader at heart, compelled to do more than survive. Tamika began her process of thriving after leaving an abusive relationship in 2010 with her children, one in pull-ups and one in diapers at the time. It's not how you start, but it's how you finish. And as an English major, I've always marveled at how powerful words and writing.

And I absolutely love that. I think that is part of what Tamieka is all about. So I love that. First of all, she embodies it in the books that she helps and writes about, but also in. Helping other people to see and reclaim that power, very inspirational change agent testimony of the power of how telling your story, not only I think, freeze you, but it also, I think, freeze other people because it gives them permission to be themselves.

And as I mentioned, she was a former guest on episode number 205 of our podcast. So Tamieka excited again to have you on the show. You're ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Tamieka Smith 02:32

I am so ready and it's always a pleasure. Thanks again.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:35

Yeah, absolutely. Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off, I know I touched a little bit upon your story and how powerful it is.

Could you take us through a little bit more on that story? What you've been working on and how you've been making that impact and then in the world.

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Tamieka Smith 02:47

Yeah. And so back in 2010, I was in an abusive relationship for nearly five years. And as a little girl, always writing journals, and I remember reading of Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and thinking, wow, this story is so gripping.

It's so compelling. And I want to do this one day. And years later,I manifested something there. And with everything that went on, unfortunately, but fortunate to be able to tell my story. And when I would tell my story when I did leave the situation, I could just see the reactions in people eyes and it would just like in disbelief oh my goodness, you have to, for one, you have to believe in something higher than yourself.

And for two, you have a story on your hands. And so. I took that into inventory hey, I know I want to tell my story. I just didn't know how to do it. And so, when I left back in 2010, and it took about 4 years later to really be serious about it, and, had to do the work, the internal work and just making sure that we were okay in a safe space and had to really build ourselves from the foundation back up to, having a sustainable Income to having a, having some stability when it came to housing as well.

So it took 20 2016 not only wrote one book and released it in one month, it was two books in the same month, which is unheard of. So one was the first book, Shouting The Glass House. That was the memoir of me telling my story and also given exit strategies on how to get out to bring some humanity into abuse.

And even though, here it is 2023, possibly 2024 when we, release this, but just letting people know, Hey. It happens, it can happen to anybody and doing advocacy work and years later getting degrees and human resources. So really pivoted since we have talked to not only help people tell their stories, but like you say, as a.

English major. The power of storytelling helps you get a job. It helps with marketing. It helps with so many other things besides writing a book. So just helping people in their personal and professional development.

Gresham Harkless 05:17

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Why? I appreciate you obviously sharing that. Obviously, sorry, that you went through that experience, but I think, as you said so well, or even, I think Steve Jobs has this quote where he did this.

Stanford commencement speech. And he said that a lot of times you can't tell like why things are happening in your life until you look backwards and you start to see how you can connect the dots and you reading that story.

And like you said, the power of the manifestation of putting that out there who, probably would have known at that time that that story would sounds like it was really a foundational point in you being able to Do that within yourself, but also do it for so many other people.

Tamieka Smith 05:50

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it was like almost like the floodgates when I would go live on social media or be on TV or on podcast. When I would tell my story, it gave them Powers will empowered them and I would never forget. One of my grandmother's friends wrote my book and I didn't know, that she was in an abusive relationship and it gave her the courage to finally get out of that situation.

So, when you say that, you just never know that the power that you can give somebody else. You're absolutely right.

Gresham Harkless 06:24

Yeah, absolutely. And then the power to know that there is probably something on the other side and that the other side doesn't have to be what you're experiencing at that time. It's so powerful.

So. I wanted to drill down a little bit more. I know we talked a little bit upon like how you serve and work with your clients. Could you take us through a little bit more of what that looks like and how you're making your impact in the many ways there?

Tamieka Smith 06:45

Yeah, absolutely. So when it comes to Word Smith Enterprises, I like to do an inventory, like just an assessment, almost like an interview, but not with that pressure of, an interview, just a casual conversation, just to see what it is that I can serve.

To the best of my ability. And when it comes to whether it's telling a story of being confident even when it comes to life coaching, just helping them to know that they can do it. Because so many of us are just running this race of life and not having the community because we run best in community to help push them along the way.

So, whether it's giving them the confidence to self-publish, or just doing some life coaching strategies to help them obtain. Not only obtain, but supersede their goals. That's what we're Smith Enterprises is all about.

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Gresham Harkless 07:46

Nice. I love that. And I was almost wondering, and this might even be part of your secret sauce and what sets you apart and makes you unique.

I almost wonder if, especially that, that life, because I often say we forget about the human aspect of business, but I almost feel like you having that, experience and being a life coach.

I feel like that it makes it more of a, let's just have a conversation because I think you can easily say Hey, I want to be able to have a speaking engagement or I want to be able to write a book.

But I think if you don't really drill, drill down deep and understand that confidence issue, like there could be like gaps or things that don't happen as a result of you having that goal and that ambition.

Tamieka Smith 08:24

Yeah, I definitely agree. And a lot of us. Especially when we are selling and pitching, we have to learn that it's okay to hear.

No, you're going to hear. No, before you hear. Yes. And 1 of the things that I did since we last spoke, I took on a sales job before I went into HR and it helped me not only have that confidence to pitch, but to also. Okay, we're here. No.

Because when you are in sales and a lot of people say, oh, sales this sales that, but it's a really great tool to help you have the confidence to pour out and get some feedback. So that really helped as well.

Gresham Harkless 09:07

Yeah, it ends up being so powerful.

Tamieka Smith 09:09

So many of us, especially in the generation that we're in, they're so used to running towards a bag, but we have to get back to our why just like my mentor.

Joseph Foster told us in class, we got to get back to our why. Yeah, it's great to have money and all those things that will come from you selling and getting clients and all those things. But you have to get back to the foundation to the basics of what you're doing in the why.

Gresham Harkless 09:41

Truly appreciate you obviously for doing that. And of course, empowering people to do that as well. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack.

So this could be like an apple book or a habit that you have, but with something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Tamieka Smith 09:55

Good question. So something that makes me more effective and efficient is just writing the old good old to-do list. I know we're in a world of apps and there's an app for literally everything known to man, but just getting a good old piece of paper.

Sticky notes, reminders because my attention span can be all over the place at times being a creative. So just something to hold me in and also having an accountability partner. Hey, did you do what you say you was going to do earlier today? If not, why you didn't do it? So just making sure that I'm not above the approach and as I'm helping people, somebody is helping me along ways with them.

Gresham Harkless 10:37

Yeah, that's extremely powerful. So what would you consider to be what I call a CEO nugget, A little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice? You might've already touched on this, but it might be something you would tell somebody if they're starting as an author or getting started with their business, or if you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Tamieka Smith 10:55

It's a great question. So I was. Say give yourself grace. A lot of people wait to do things when it's the perfect time, the perfect situation, the perfect environment, but allow yourself to make mistakes. That's how you learn your way. You can edit it as you go remix it should go. I remember even with my 1st book.

Trying to save money and edited the book myself, which I would never do again. But it was funny because my youngest was reading the book a couple of days ago. It's did you edit this yourself? I said, yeah, I did. I see the mistakes, but we got that fixed since then.

But even then, but the message still came across the message still, went around the world and, I didn't lose sight of the goal that was in mind was to tell the story to help other people. And even though there was mistakes, I allowed myself to have that grades to just keep going forward and make changes along the way.

Gresham Harkless 12:00

I love that. And I think again, going back to, seeing people's journey and also things that they're doing, you don't see, we always think it's perfection.

And we always think it was right on day one. And in reality, the journey is Rarely ever perfect. And often people that are doing better and greater have done that because they've done it over and over.

Tamieka Smith 12:19

Yeah, and that's what it's about. Impact at the end of the day. How are you doing? Whatever it is that you're called to do and allow yourself to be human because a lot of us as entrepreneurs, a lot of people are looking for us for all the answers. And yes, we are problem solvers, but sometimes. When we are in the middle of our journey that we forget that, hey, that we're humans and that we have to have safe spaces as well.

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You gotta be more than money. That's a byproduct. It's a nice byproduct to have, but you have to know your why. So it's really foundational for me.

Gresham Harkless 12:58

Absolutely. No, I love that. And, I love that. You said doing what you were called to do.

And I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show.

So Tamieka, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Tamieka Smith 13:12

For me, that's a great question. For me, being a CEO is me commuting because I am strong on my faith. It's just commuting with. The gifts and the abilities, I was 1 of those kids that could do a whole bunch of stuff. And it's just okay, why do I have all these skills?

What am I going to do with that? And I'm just thankful that I'm able to create a foundation, create a hub speak for people that are like me that don't have all the answers, but they know that they're called to do something and being able to give them ideas, like a spitfire around and just hey,

have you thought of this and seeing their eyes light up? That's some of the joys that I get for doing this work and to help other people to give them the confidence they may not have had before to get out and just like I say, not only be a dreamer, but a doer. I think it was, it might have been Gary V that said that a lot of dreams are in the cemetery.

And they shouldn't be. It's about our legacy at the end of the day. So that's something else that I put into perspective as a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:23

Nice. I absolutely love that. Absolutely. Tamieka, truly appreciate that definition and perspective.

And of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know.

And of course, how best people can get ahold of you, find out about your books and all the awesome things that you're working on.

Tamieka Smith 14:41

Yeah, and thanks again for this opportunity to be on I Am CEO podcast. And for those who would like to follow me, I am Tamieka Smith my last name. Smith. You can also find me on my website where it's with enterprises that business. I'm on most social media platforms. So I'm not hard to find.

Gresham Harkless 15:04

Absolutely. We'll make it even easier. We'll have the links and information to show notes so that everybody can get a hold of you. And to me, I don't know if I can ask this, but if somebody might be listening to this and they're going through any domestic violence situations, do you have any like places, resources or things that you can mention to them that might be helpful?

[Tamieka Smith 15:20

Yes, and so much has changed as far as technology is concerned. There's the national domestic violence hotline. I do just want to ensure that anybody that may be going through this just to make sure that you at least use the incognito browser. Because when you're dealing with someone in that kind of a situation, they can look at your history.

I've been through it too. Just to make sure your safety, especially when you leave that kind of situation, because the 1st, 72 hours after leaving can be very dangerous for individual looking at resources in your local areas. There's plenty, plenty of resources that are out there. You just have to reach out in the 1st, 1 for anyone that may be in the United States is the national hotline.

Gresham Harkless 16:04

Awesome. Thank you. So much to me. I appreciate you sharing that. We're going to have that. information as well on the show notes. So thank you so much for, being that change that you wish to see in the world and empowering so many people to do that as well too.

Tamieka Smith 16:16

It's a pleasure. I'm glad to be able to do that.

Outro 16:19

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am cEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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