Kouture Squad: Ahyiana Angel
Name: Ahyiana Angel
Age: (Age ain't nothing but a number...)
Hometown/Current place of residence: California girl!
Occupation/Business: Author, Chief Encourager + Switch, Pivot or Quit Podcast Host
I am so excited to continue with the Kouture Squad. I have some cool and what I hope to be helpful interviews lined up for you all this time around. The Kouture Squad posts are some of my favorites to create. Not only do I get to connect with amazing women but I get to help promote their businesses and endeavors all while dropping some gems to the next woman. This is exactly why I started blogging in the first place. This Kouture Squad interview was super special for me. If you remember from a while back I made a post titled I Need New Friends, which highlighted a brunch that I attended upon first moving to California. Today's interview feature the creator of that brunch. Since I moved 3 years ago Ahyiana has been nothing short of amazing to me. Taking me under her wing, in a sense, acting as a mentor, connecting me, teaching me, and pushing me to be my best self and share that with the world. Find out how she went from PR to podcast power house below.
You have a very relatable story. You literally went from a 9-5 to an entrepreneur. Can you give us a little background of what you were doing before you took the leap into entrepreneurship?
I was a sports entertainment publicist at the NBA (National Basketball Association) where I was charged with managing the player's images off the court in addition to managing the red carpets at the NBA All-Star Game, booking and prepping executives for media interviews, conducting Rookie of the Year promo tours and remote shoots with television programs among a zillion other things. At a time, I also co-created and ran a jewelry brand on the side that was worn by Beyoncé and Solange as well as featured in Vogue magazine.
What were some of the initial obstacles you faced after quitting your 9-5 and becoming a full time entrepreneur?
Finding my voice, my lane and realizing that I was free to show up as my authentic full self and not a version of what was expected of me by a corporate community. I did not leave my career in PR to become and entrepreneur specifically. I left because I needed a change and I initially found what I was looking for in writing. It offered another avenue and I was intrigued. Naively, I did not plan to become an entrepreneur or even think about what being a freelancer really meant so there was a huge learning curve.
Your brand started out as Life According to Her. What prompted the transition from Life According to Her to Switch, Pivot, or Quit and how do the two differ?
The transition was based on seeing the need and filling it. I realized that there are so many people that feel like I felt at a time in my life. They want and need inspiration, encouragement and resources. Life According To Her started to feel like it spoke to more of a personal brand, especially in the podcasting space. Initially it started off as a blog when I began my writing career and it served its purpose. Just as with many things it ran its course. Consequently, in order to maintain clarity for my audience and their needs I felt it was necessary for the transition.
Tell us a little about your brand. What is the overall mission of Switch, Pivot, or Quit?
The overall mission is to create a media company that encompasses the ability to create and produce content that tells the stories of, engages and educates contemporary women via digital mediums of communication.
How did your work in PR influence your success as an entrepreneur? What lessons/skills did you learn that you still use now? What are some take aways hopeful entrepreneurs can take from their current 9-5's?
I would encourage anyone looking to make a transition to absolutely utilize all of the resources available to them through their current employer like classes, workshops, certificate programs etc. It is never a bad idea to learn, especially if it can help advance your agenda with your side projects or areas that you would like to pursue.
Having a background in PR made it easier for me to understand what I needed to do to market myself and my skills in order to compete. The inability to sell oneself really can hinder people. You can be talented but you go unnoticed if you can't sell yourself. My general business background has also been useful in the way that I am equipped to create proposals, engage with colleagues and understand some of the ways that I can proceed more strategic in my business.
How did the podcast come about? What prompted you to add that medium to your resume?
The podcast was actually a natural progression as a storyteller. It also helps that I love to talk! Creating a podcast was actually on my mind for about a year prior to the actual launch. I took that time to do my research on podcasting and to develop the idea and format for my show. I also wanted to be sure that a podcast was something that my audience wanted, so I asked and it was an overwhelming yes! In the year since the podcast launched I have received daily feedback from listeners all over the world sharing the impact that the show has made on them so I know that I made the right decision.
What's next for Switch, Pivot, or Quit? Where do you hope to take your brand over the next 3 years?
I plan to continue expanding the reach of the podcast and overall Switch, Pivot or Quit brand with tools, workshops, courses and Switch, Pivot or Quit strategy sessions that will assist the community in making the changes they want to see in their lives. Eventually I'm sure that I will get around to writing a Switch, Pivot or Quit book!
What advice would you give to other women (or people in general) who want to take the leap from full time employee to full time entrepreneur?
I would say to do your research so that you have a full understanding of the market, test the market that you're planning to enter and don't be blinded by the lure of the social media lights. Social entrepreneurs seem to live a beautiful life and some might, but that can't be the motivation to become an "entrepreneur."
Coffee or Tea?
I actually don't drink either!
Bay Area or New York?
Go to cocktail?
Top 5 podcasts:
I don't have favorite podcasts but currently, I listen to the following: How I Built This, Robin Sharma, The GaryVee Audio Experience, Oprah's Super Soul Conversations.
Crystal Bliss: Attract Love. Feed Your Spirit. Manifest Your Dreams. by Devi Brown
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
Explore all of your interests thoroughly and believe in yourself more than anyone else.
For all things Ahyiana and switch, pivot, or quit check out www.SwitchPivotorQuit.com
Love, Life, & Light
Trying to Live in my Dreams,