Juggling marriage, motherhood, and multiple businesses along with making time for self-care isn’t always easy, but it’s inspiring to watch and learn from women who seem to get it all done and make it all happen effortlessly. Keyauna Chantel wears many hats as a successful blogger, business strategist, and serial entrepreneur. Although she is constantly being pulled in different directions, from family to clients, Keyauna manages to maintain her sanity and consistently operate in excellence by prioritizing her personal and professional responsibilities. She’s like a modern day superwoman. In this candid interview, Keyauna shares her personal perspective on what it takes to be a woman who wins both in life and in business. Get to know, connect with, and learn from this week’s winning woman, Keyauna Chantel, creator of “The Chatterbox” and CEO of Maven Consulting.
Who is Keyauna Chantel?
- Keyauna Chantel is a changemaker. From my blog to my company, everything I do is motivated by the desire to make the world a better place for my 7 year old son. Personally, I’m a bit quirky. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, I’m an “anti-social extrovert”. When I’m around people I’m chatty and social, but then I need two weeks before I can engage that way again lol. I need to recuperate and recharge. I’m very simple and realistic. The cup is always half full for me, never half empty. That’s me in a nutshell.
What does the typical day in your life look like?
- It can be crazy. I like to wake up early before both my husband and son have awakened because I need to start my day quietly. I take a few moments to pray and gather my thoughts then I grab my phone. Entrepreneur life is nothing like a 9-5. It’s a when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes lifestyle. Once I at least see what happened overnight I wake up my guys and get ready to get going. I take my son to school but that’s where the routine ends until the evening when it’s family time again. What happens after I drop him off varies from day to day. If I’m working an event, I may have to do a site visit. I hate those lol. I do legal work for a law firm as well so I may have to head into downtown DC for that. If I’m lucky I get to go back home to my office and write or do client related work. Those are the things that I enjoy the most. Sometimes I may have an interview to conduct. I enjoy those as well because it means I get to chat and have dialogue with others about things that matter. I may be editing an interview, making graphics for social media or strategizing for a client at any time. My day is really dictated by what client matters I have going on and what I’m working on for the blog. I try to keep the weekday evenings for family time. My number one job is still being a wife and mother.
As a busy serial entrepreneur, what are some of your self-care rituals?
- So I re-did my home office earlier this year. It’s warm and earthy and my desk and walls reflect some of my favorite mantras and quotes. Since I did that, I’ve made it a habit to ALWAYS work in there, never from my laptop in bed or on the couch. I feel good working in there and although entrepreneurs can work from almost anywhere, I’ve realized that the environment where I work is key to my productivity. I read a bible verse and pray every morning and start my day quietly as I mentioned before. When I don’t do those things I can literally feel the difference. Another thing that I do is take quarterly “blogger breaks”. Blogging means you have to stay in the know and you end up exposed to so much crap. The internet and social media can be crazy. I used to feel the need to always be “on” but I learned from a burnout early on that taking a break and disconnecting from the world wide web is necessary every now and then.
How long have you been an entrepreneur? What do you find to be most rewarding and challenging about your lifestyle?
- The first leg of my entrepreneurial journey was my blog which I started in early 2014. I launched my business services company in mid 2015. The most rewarding part is helping other entrepreneurs. Featuring them on the blog gets them exposed to thousands of readers each month and helping them launch their business through the company brings their dreams to fruition. The most challenging part is juggling it all. I’ve had client emergencies when I was in the middle of family time and I had to deal with it. My husband is super supportive, but it’s still a struggle to maintain the right balance.
What inspired you to start “The Chatterbox”?
- My opinionated personality and big mouth lol. I just wanted a place to share my thoughts. I was once told that I had an opinion about everything. The person was saying it like it was negative thing. My view is, if more people had real opinions about things instead of “whatever” attitudes the world would be a better place. Too many folks feel like they don’t have the answers so they don’t engage in the dialogue, but the dialogue is where the answers come from. I just wanted to keep the dialogue going. It became way bigger than I imagined.
What are some tips for standing out and being successful in the blogging world?
- Wow…one lesson I learned really quick was that you must stay true to your voice. My blog gained popularity really quick and I found myself trying to keep up with that. I hired bloggers to keep the train moving. One day I looked up and realized that I hadn’t written any of the last 25 posts on the blog. I was simply running the blog. I was getting comments from my readers asking when I was going to write something and saying that they wanted to hear my view on certain topics not the other bloggers. The people who read my blog did so for MY opinions and MY style of writing so I went back to what worked for me in the beginning. Another thing I would tell bloggers is to focus on what makes them unique. I’m pretty good at interviewing so I do a lot of that. I’m not a fashionista AT ALL so I stopped trying to write about “the latest fashion trends”. Sometimes we try too hard to do what we think people want instead of what makes us who we are and what made them like us in the first place. The last thing I would say is make sure your website is on point. No matter how great your content is, people will not read it if the website isn’t inviting and pleasing to the eye or if it’s confusing to navigate. The presentation is just as important as the content.
You wear multiple hats as a wife, mom, blogger, and business strategist. What are some tools that you use to juggle it all?
- Because I’m always on the go I use automation apps. I have no time to write a whole post or interview THEN have to share it individually on each social media platform. All of my social media posting is automated or scheduled. My calendar gets crazy as well so I use an app that reminds me of my tasks and helps me to organize my editorial calendar. A few of my favorite apps are Asana for calendar and task organization and Evernote for jotting down my thoughts on the go. I don’t know where I’d be without Canva to design templates and graphics and Textgram to personalize them from my phone while I’m out and about.
As a business strategist with your company, Maven Consulting, what exactly do help entrepreneurs to do?
- Everything. Our services range from helping you launch your business to helping you take it to the next level. One of our most popular services is branding and design which helps entrepreneurs and businesses with creating a cohesive visual brand. From the website to your social media, everything needs to have a cohesive design and message. Another is media strategy. After having some mainstream success with my blog people wanted to know how I secured celebrity interviews, sponsorships, and advertising. There’s no easy answer to that. It took a lot of hard work and strategizing. We help our clients to create a strategy tailored to getting their business the right exposure in their market.
What is one of your favorite client success stories?
- I can’t pick just one. Most of my clients are the ones who have a great business structure or great content, but their brand isn’t cohesive visually or their website sucks or they don’t have one at all. To watch my clients products thrive or their content get exposed after helping them create their place in the universe is just so dope. I can’t even put it into words.
With all of your endeavors, what are you most passionate about?
- At this stage of my journey it’s entrepreneurship. Becoming financially independent is what I’m after at this point. Financial independence for myself and others. Entrepreneurship is a huge part of that.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- The plan is to branch out into media a bit more. I’ve worked with Sony and LifeTime and the big companies on the content and marketing side through the blog. I want to get more into the side of creating and producing the media next.
What does “winning” mean to you?
- Winning is financial freedom and peace of mind. Not being “rich” per se but making enough money to own your time and enjoying and being at peace with what you do between the time when you open and close your eyes each day. Winning for me is not needing a vacation for your life.
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