Grace – Reimagining Hustle with Shakiyah Demelien

My big takeaway:

Give yourself grace, grace, grace.

Shakiyah Demelien is a coach, counselor, author, military spouse, mom of 2, and all-around incredible woman! After marrying her Army husband, she realized a portable career was a necessity, so she took her future into her own hands and created a business supporting women and moms, seeing them as their whole selves.

In this episode we talk a lot about grace, the chaos of military life, and the importance of being still.

Links from the show:

Show Notes:

Roxanne: Podcasting from under my blankets. So it’s quiet enough to hear me. This is Reimagining Hustle, a podcast for entrepreneurial parents, creating a life or business and parenthood live peacefully in the same space. I’m your host, Roxanne Merket, a mom of two micro business coach and serial entrepreneur on a journey to prove that. It really is possible to do what you love. Without sacrificing all of your precious time. Let’s do this.

 Welcome back to Reimagining Hustle. I am already so excited for my guests today. I have Shakiyah Demelien, AKA Shakiyah Sherill. How are you Shakiyah? 

Shakiyah: I’m doing so good. I’m excited to be here. Thank you for bringing me in. 

Roxanne: Oh, my word. This is extra special for me because I, I love all of my guests, but military spouses for me are like the icing on the cake as it were.

And we were just chatting, not a pretty cake, cuz I’m not a pretty cook, but you know, It’s it’s, you know, it is the, the, like best part of the cake. So I’m just like so excited. I’m so excited for you to be here. So can we just dive right in, will you tell us about you about the work that you do and your journey to get there?

Shakiyah: Yes, of course, of course of course. So I am Shakiyah Demelien, like you said, but I am also AKA coach Shakiyah Sherill. Right. So I kinda wear many hats these days. So not only am I a licensed professional counselor associate here in South Carolina, but I’m also a certified life coach. And actually as a life coach, that’s kind of where my, my journey kind of began.

Right. So, uh, just as the podcast is called reimagining the hustle, it’s, that’s kind of how my journey started with a decision, right? So I fell in love with an army man, and I was like, Hey, we’re moving a lot. And we’re doing a lot of things. And so I’m gonna have to be able, um, to satisfy part of my life that equals ambition. But also have the personal side that equals love. Um, and so what I did was started, I started to research, you know, I was already kind of had a sales background. I have a business, um, degree and I have a marketing minor. Um, and so I was doing sales. I was doing the business thing and I realized that, well, that was just gonna keep me in corporate America.

And I was just gonna keep bouncing around, bouncing around from different jobs. And sometimes that’s very hard and you know that very well as a mil spouse that 

Roxanne: I do. 

Shakiyah: The industry can be, you know, not so nice to us sometimes and so I said, what do I do with that? And so I really sat with myself. I was being very still and I said, what am I really trying to accomplish?

And I said, you know what? Even with all these sales, even with all the business stuff, I just wanna help people. Gosh. And then I was like, you know what, uh, I just love women. I wanna help women. Oh my gosh. I love y’all. Y’all so great. Um, and so that’s what I did, you know, I went to, I went and got certified as a coach, because I thought that that was super important for me.

And I set up shop. I was like, listen, anybody, everybody, family members, cousins, friends, come over here, let me help you because I’m gonna get this thing rocking. And so that’s how it grew. And so I, um, created the business intrinsic growth. Um, and so intrinsic growth is all about uncovering and discovering your talents.

Right. I believe that everything that you need is already inside of you. Mm-hmm we just gotta get it out of there. We gotta develop it. We gotta, you know, throw some little, little sprinkles on it and then we’re gonna make it work. Right. So that’s what I did. I set up shop and we moved probably six times in between that.

And so it became my portable career and I love it. I love it so much to this day, but what I found in between that was okay. Yep. This is great being portable. Seeing these, these beautiful, amazing women, but something was missing with them. And I was like, man, like you, it’s nice to have repeat clientele.

Right. That’s great. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for coming back. But what I realized then was that, oh, this is a problem. They’re having a problem that at the current expertise that I had, I could not help them. Mm. So I started trying to figure out what was it, and I realized it was mental health. Mm. It was mental health.

And I said, you know what, either I can, um, you know, tell this person, referred them out to people that I know or to sites that I know, or am I gonna be the girl? Am I gonna be her? And guess what I did, I went back to school. And so I did, and I said, you know what, I’m gonna be the whole person for some of these people, cuz obviously if I’m having this repeat traffic and these individuals are having these problems. Clearly I need to upgrade my skills. And so that’s what I did. I went back to school. I became a licensed counselor and I was like, there we go. I’m gonna help the whole person now if that’s what they need. Right. And so, yeah, that has been my journey. And in between that, I have done quite a few more things.

Right. I had two babies. Yes. my babies. I love them so much. Oh my gosh. They are. When I say balls of energy, , it’s like, just think of Sonic the hedgehog, like just bouncing all over your house. You know, like they’re just like their mother full of energy. 

Roxanne: I was gonna say if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right.

Shakiyah: Then feel bad for my poor little husband. I’m tell you. Because he is the introvert of all introverts. Just think you, sometimes he looks at us. I think he thinks he lives in a zoo. My son’s talking up a storm, my daughters run around us in circles and we are all just. The energy bubble, but, um, but you know, it, it, so all of that to say that, you know, putting all that together as a therapist, as a coach, as a wife, as a mother, it has definitely been a journey.

I will say that much. Yeah. oh yeah. 

Roxanne: Oh my goodness. So how I wanna ask, just kind of, for point of reference, how old are your kids right now?. 

Shakiyah: So I have a six year old boy and then I have a two year old girl, 

Roxanne: so fun. Okay. So this is really this. I had no idea you had like a marketing background. Cause I’m like all my words, samesies, like this is, I like, like this is making sense.

This is making so much sense and like your journey as well. It’s I think this is one thing that really, um, gets lost in conversation is how difficult it is for a military spouse to have a career. Mm-hmm I mean, that’s just something that we, and yes, like obviously we know it, right? Like we know what we’re getting into.

Right. But. Still hard. It’s still really hard. And so to hear that, like, this is where you started, right? You said you wanna help women. You wanna get there. And like, you took that so seriously that you’re like, I wanna help women. And this is what they need. This is the mental health piece of it as well.

That’s so, so admirable. So I am just like, Already mildly obsessed with you and trying to play it cool, like trying to be super cool about it. So, OK. So Shakiyah as we are, like talking about all these things, right? So you’ve got the, the coaching aspect of it. You’ve got the counseling aspect of it. You’ve got the, like, Business aspect of it itself.

Right. Which is a whole different ballgame, but you’ve gotta be working on the business as well as in the business, plus the, the mom time, plus the spouse time, plus the like actually being your own human. Yeah. Like, you know that. Yeah. When, when it’s convenient maybe. Yeah. I know. What does, how, how are you defining success?

[00:07:48] What does success look like to you?

Roxanne: What does success look like to you? 

Shakiyah: Yeah. You know, for me, I, one, I always give myself grace, I will start with that. Um, I gotta put that out there first. This, what I do know success changes with the seasons of my life. That’s what I do know. Mm-hmm so when I was a single person, success looked like, you know, Enjoying life making good money, making sure my bills are paid, making sure I’m fulfilling those things.

But then when it became two people, right, me and my husband’s success meant, you know, building and growing that foundation, making sure that I was still fulfilling myself personally, and with the career, which is kind of how like the coaching kind of came about making sure that that ambition. That light, that fuels ambition didn’t die, you know, essentially mm-hmm mm-hmm

And then when I started adding each baby, you know, it was, it was the same thing. It was like, well, success to me. Isn’t um, just about me, it’s about the family too. And so it had to look like. Somewhat of a balance. So if my kids are happy, healthy, and, um, well rounded, then that was success in that area.

Mm-hmm and then if I felt fulfilled, not overwhelmed and overworked in my, in my per, in my career life, then that’s what success looked like there too. Mm-hmm . And so for me, it’s not, when I think of success and I’ve heard people define success, they only talk about the career side. Well, that’s not success.

Success is a well balanced home and a well balanced career life. Hmm.

Roxanne: It looks like I’m already like the chills that as you talk about that, it’s so. It feels like it should be so obvious, right? It should be so obvious to be like, yes, like there are all these different areas of your life. So of course you’re gonna look at them all differently, but you’re right.

Like we do focus so much on the career. Like, oh, we’ll be successful if we hit, you know, uh, this many dollar month or this many clients or whatever it may be. But just to, um, and to view that as like seasons of life too, I really like that perspective. And I appreciate that very much. 

I wanna ask you a little bit more about the coaching aspect. So you talk about how you help people uncover and discover their talents. Mm-hmm what do you think is maybe the most surprising thing as you’ve been working with with different kinds of people throughout, you know, many years that you’ve done this maybe surprising or is there, or, um, like even trends that you see, especially with mom.

Shakiyah: I think that for me, the demographic that I work with, um, they’re already busy. Ah, they are already so busy being moms or they are already so busy just putting things in their lives, um, that they have put their self on the back burner and they don’t even know what a talent is. Ooh, they could be an amazing singer.

They could be, have the gift of the gab and they couldn’t see that that was a talent if it was right up in their face, they see it. Um, and so that’s the biggest thing. Like I’ll, I’ll ask them a basic question. Like, what is their favorite color? And they couldn’t tell you, they probably could tell you what their kids’ favorite colors were.

Yeah. know. Right. 

Roxanne: And like the very specific shade of that color. 

Shakiyah: Yeah. Yeah. Or they’re so, um, They have become so enmeshed in their family lives or just, and not even just like, um, wife, husband, that type of life, but even just like their parents or their grandparents or their cousins or their, you know, they’ve become so enmeshed in other people’s, um, situations that their situation just no longer exists.

Mm. And so you just have no idea, like, that’s the first thing I’ll say, I’ll say, you know, what’s your favorite color? Oh, I, um, um, oh, maybe purple. Um, but you know, my son really loves the red dragonfly. That’s outside of the such and such, you know? So I’ll get that a lot. Yeah. Or I’ll say, well, can you tell me, like, what would you consider a strength?

Can you define what a strength is? You know, I’ll get that. Yeah. You know, and so a lot of times we have become, and not that, you know, it is neglectful in a way, but it’s almost so nuanced because you are expected to, to enmesh yourself into your family, into those type of things. Or if you don’t have a family, you are also expected to give all of yourself to this job.

Mm. All of stuff to this career, to the point of, again, What, what is your career? Oh, I am a accountant or an analyst or I am this. Oh, okay. That’s great. But who are you outside of those things, you know? And they still couldn’t tell you, cause they’ve again, put theirselves back there. 

Roxanne: It’s so interesting that that’s, um, that, that was the, the piece of it that you bring up.

I, one of my favorite questions, because we move a lot too. One of my favorite questions to ask new people, especially new moms is if you had a day to yourself, what would you do? And this question has been revised over the many years. So now I say, if you had a day to yourself, the house was clean, the laundry was done.

Everybody was entertained. You were caught up on like, uh, you know, everything that you feel behind on. Then what would you do? And it’s that stupor right? It’s that absolute stupor so for people listening, who find themselves in. Kind of enmeshed in everybody else’s lives. They don’t even like, they can’t even . I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie runaway bride.

They don’t even know what kind of eggs they like. Right. Like they love, right? Yes. Mm-hmm is there, is there, I mean, obviously like working with you is like brilliant, but if they can’t get there yet, is there like one tip that you could give them right off the bat that’s like, stop everything you’re doing and do this one thing.

Shakiyah: That is literally what it’s about to say. Oh good. I was about to say be still, oh, tell us more about that. Yeah. Yeah. And so this is the first thing I, um, it’s called a cleansing is what I call it. When I first start working with my clients, their first activity literally is to be still for 30 minutes and see how long it takes them before they start to break out of it.

Start to itch, try to pick up their phone, try to turn on the TV, try to catch, um, you know, Find their kids try to figure out what else is going on. Yeah. And I asked them to mark that time. So if it only took five minutes for that happen, we know how much work we need to do. Oh. And so that’s literally the first thing I asked to do.

I said, you just need to be still and tell me what your thoughts are in that moment of stillness. Mm-hmm tell me, who are you thinking about in that moment of stillness? Tell me what negative thoughts pop up in that moment of stillness. And this will help me tell me what direction we need to go in your life.

So be still, I, first thing you need to do is be still 

Roxanne: the physical reaction that I had when you said that like, look for like the time I was like pushing my phone away. Right. like that. What an interesting, so I, after we record this, I definitely am gonna try that exercise as well. I love that exercise just to kind of check in with yourself, what a great, oh, what a great exercise.

Um, okay. So in the middle of all of these things that you’re doing. Which is like, you do wear many hats. You also wrote a book and I need you to tell us about the book 

Shakiyah: right. I know. Right. So then I like added author to it. Right, right. Like, why not agree? Um, so author Shakiyah is, um, the part of her that is trying to make sure her children are okay.

That’s me. So that is, you know, Hmm. It’s, it’s, it’s actually quite emotional for me because that’s how I feel about the book. 

Roxanne: I saw the change in your face and , I have the luxury of seeing you, right. We’re recording for an audio podcast, but , I just, I watched your whole body language change and it’s, I’m gonna try to describe it to people listening, but like I watched you go from , this really.

We’re gonna, we’re gonna fix, , we’re gonna fix the things going on really strong and powerful. Like we’re here, we’re here to get it done to this. , almost nurturing state. Like you’re gonna bring me in for big hug. That’s how it felt. Right. So I cannot wait to hear about this. 

Shakiyah: So, you know, as a military spouse, we just talked about, you know, the constant moves, but I didn’t even talk about the multiple deployments that we’ve also experienced and.

I already know, you know, we’ve been through, um, just before the kids were born. I was three deployments before they were born. Oh my word. 

Roxanne: And you’re army. So these are long deployments. 

Shakiyah: They are. So the first one was a year. The second was six months. The next one was nine months. And so, and then they took away R and R.

So, you know, you don’t get that two weeks in the middle of your. deployments anymore. And so that, that definitely puts a damper on things, but, you know, so even before, um, the kids came along, I knew how hard it was for me to stay present with myself, to be mindful with my time, um, to not allow loneliness and sadness to seep in because I miss my person.

And so then. My son was the first to explain experience a deployment. It was a nine month deployment mm-hmm um, and he was very young. Um, but I saw how it affected him. Mm. And at the same time, I had several friends who kids aren’t exact same age as mine, their, their, their person deployed too. Mm-hmm . And so we all would have these experiences of like, Hey, such and such heard, you know, sometimes when you open a door in one part of the house, another door might close.

Yes. Okay. Guys, it’s not ghosts just by the way. That’s just right. 

Roxanne: It’s like the air flow of the house and the other one slams. Yeah. Mm-hmm 

Shakiyah: right. And so that would happen in our townhouse that we lived in at the, all the time. Cuz you know, those houses are like shotguns. Yeah. Um, and so my son would go, daddy.

Daddy. And he would look around corners and search for him and look at me like, oh, um, Is is daddy here? Or like, what are we doing? You know? And so we would have FaceTimes and all this stuff, and all my friends were so sad and they were feeling the same kind of things with their kids and I, and that thing that kept happening.

And I just was like, you know what? I feel like I need something to help those around me, but also help. My son, right? Yeah. And so I sat down one day and I, and I’m a dreamer and I, I had this dream and it came to me and it was like, you’re gonna write this book. It’s called, um, the character’s called Jojo.

And I swear, I woke up the next morning. I wrote a book. Oh, my word. Am I ordered it was there. It was there. If all the words fell out, did it have some revisions over time? Of course. Cuz you sit with it. The writing process is definitely kind of foreign to me. We’ve always been a book reading family. Um, it’s part of our structure.

It’s part of our lifestyle. It’s part of our culture. Um, you know, bedtime read a book like my son loves it’s our it’s our favorite time. Yeah. And so I went from the reader’s side to the author side and it has been amazing, but the book is about a little boy named Jojo it’s from his perspective, he is telling us about his family of heroes, because that is how I had to explain it to my son.

How do I explain why dad is away? How do we have that conversation, but keep it in a kid friendly, you know, Type of thing, you know? And so he says, my dad’s a hero. My mother is also a hero because she’s holding down the home front. Right. You know, and it’s, it’s, everybody is involved. And so he goes on the journey.

He tells us about, you know, when he’s sad, when he’s upset, when he’s confused and the mother in the book, she models the perfect behavior of one, not lying to your children. Yeah. Right. And being very honest with them about what they’re experiencing, allowing them to actually have the emotion and not stamp it out of them.

Mm-hmm and especially for little boys, we tell ’em not to cry. We tell them, you know, that is very, very common in our culture, but this in the book you can see, he says like, Hey, I must have gotten taken home from the hospital from the, from to the wrong family. That’s how angry he is in the book. Yeah. And he’s like, you, you take, I wanna go to a regular family, you know, he’s so upset in the book, but she allows him to have that.

She lets him feel it. And then she reminds him of how amazing he is. And so. That comes from just my philosophy as a parent too. I said every day, I wanna make sure I told my, my kids that I love them every day, every single day, every day, I make sure I touch my children. I make sure that’s a fist bump, a hug, you know, a pat on the head, whatever is, um, and then every day I make sure I encourage and affirm my children.

Hey, you’re doing a great job today. Hey, I really like how you, um, how you, um, read that book today. You did a really job. Good job on the second half. And those are my, my, um, You know, tenants a parenthood. And so I wanted to make sure that was experienced in the book. And I also wanted to make sure the.

Portrayed a whole family. Whenever I see army families, sometimes they don’t always look like us. They don’t always look like me. Yeah. And so the entire brown family on the cover, there’s an entire brown family throughout the book. And I thought that was just super important and it just, my, my son, he absolutely loves it.

Wants to read it all the time. Oh, He told the teacher at school, he brought a book to school and it’s just, it has been an amazing journey. And it just, every time somebody mentions the book, I literally like almost melt like every single time. Yeah. Cause it just makes me so excited. 

Roxanne: oh, my word I’m feeling so much over that.

 Every children’s book should be written by somebody with your background, right? Like is somebody that’s coming from a really place of. Mental mental wellness and mental health, and also safety and, and strength through your kids. So what an amazing gift to your kids and to every other military child in existence.

I’m, I’m very anxious to go order my copy for my kids. Yeah. I’m sorry. Yeah. 

Shakiyah: And the book is called. We are a family of heroes. I’m sorry. Didn’t no, I, I was gonna plug it here, but yeah. Yeah. We’ll make sure we get it there at the end. So yes, we are a family of heroes. Yes. And it’s available on Amazon if you’re looking for on my website, but, um, yeah, I please go out and, and I always remind people too, like, yeah, it may be validation and understanding for military families, but it’s education for non-military families.

Yeah. So that you can learn cuz military kids go to regular schools, they don’t just go on base. You know, we are embedded in the community. I think people forget that part. Yeah. Um, you know, it’s so, so true. This will help your kid’s friend. This will help your, your kid become a better friend to their military, you know, friends.

And so yeah, 

Roxanne: teaching all those skills and just, and, and those wonderful behaviors as well. Oh, I’m so this is. You’re amazing. Everything you’re doing is amazing and I’m already your biggest fan. So can we, I wanna shift gears a little bit and talk about parenting through all of this mm-hmm so I wanna know how being a parent during all of this has changed you as a person.

So , obviously it’s, it’s changed your career trajectory a little bit. You became the author because of this, but how about you as Shakiyah? 

Shakiyah: Yeah, me as Shakiyah the parent. 

Roxanne: As the person, oh, as the person, you know, what, how has it changing you? 

Shakiyah: I think for me, it. It changed me in a way of being just super intentional about fulfilling those aspects of my life.

Yeah. Right. And so, you know, yeah. Shakiyah, the mom does these certain type of things, but Shakiyah Shakiyah is making sure she’s fulfilling, you know, fulfilling the things that she enjoys. I think that’s the biggest thing. Um, and so we go to so many different places that the first thing that I’m doing. Figuring out what’s the, what’s the event that’s happening on Thursday because I’m gonna be, you know, yeah.

Cause I’m making sure that I’m fulfilling that part of myself and not allowing that to be dormant. I don’t wanna be, I want, I don’t wanna be the person that says Shakiyah, what’s your favorite color? And I say, ah, right. Ah, I want to be, what’s your favorite color? And I say, teal, you know, I want to stay in that space because then I am present with myself and I have gotten to a point when, you know, my daughter was a newborn.

I had a five year old and I was doing, you know, I started losing her cause I couldn’t go anywhere. I had a C-section and you know, I was kind of stuck a little bit. Pandemic was raging and there was a, there was a time in there where she started to fade mm-hmm and it terrified me a little. And I was just like, you know what?

I have to learn how to love me, whether that means the door has to be locked or not. You know, I have to learn how to figure out how to do that. And so I think how it changed me is just really learning how to be intentional with my self care and my self-love. Mm. 

Roxanne: I love that you just separated those two as well, self care and self love, because I feel like so often they get kind of smashed together, but they really are two separate skills.

Shakiyah: Agreed. Yeah. 

Roxanne: Do you ever experience guilt? Around your business and being a parent 

Shakiyah: oh my gosh. Let me tell something, you know, what’s funny, it’s funny. You said something earlier. You said, well, I asked somebody, um, I asked when I asked my clients, I say, uh, what’s your perfect day when this is, I was gonna say, I would add, and there’s no guilt.

There is no more. Yeah. Add that to the list. 

Roxanne: um, yes. Yeah, done. That’s being added. Oh, okay. So you come with a really unique, , education and experience behind you. So how do you deal with the guilt for yourself and follow up question to that? How do you tell your clients to deal with. 

[00:25:10] Let’s talk about guilt

Shakiyah: Ooh. Yeah. So, you know, for me originally there was a lot of guilt when I had my first kid, obviously every, that’s probably the strongest level of guilt that you’ll have.

Right. Yeah. Um, but I had to do some of that work of saying. If I am away, have I done everything I can to make sure my child is safe? Yes I have. Right. There is food in the refrigerator. There’s safety locks on things. Do I trust my husband? Yes, of course. I married that man. Right. So he’s not gonna let them die.

you know, they’re gonna be okay. Um, and so I had to remind myself that. Kids. And, and this is just for married people right now, because that’s who I am. Right. And that’s, so this podcast targets, right? Yeah. Right. Yeah. And so the, I, I there’s two parents. I cannot make myself the sole parent. And then he’s like the, you know, the, the co the co-producer over here, you know, or something of the sort.

I have to make sure that we are doing all the equal tasks. And so for me, the guilt was real alleviated. When I said I have done all the things that I can do, I have to trust and lean on my partner. Mm-hmm to make sure that you know, that I feel good, but sometimes when I do allow the guilt to seep in, it just simply means that I’m only gonna let it happen for a little while.

And I’m gonna give myself grace when it does happen. I’m not gonna beat myself up, but it is always there because you wanna make sure that your kids are happy and okay. And my kids, oh, my. Let me tell you something they’ll they make me feel like I am like, I don’t know the Beyonce or something because when I come through the door, they’re like, mama, oh, I miss you so much. [laughter] It’s so awesome. But yes, I hadn’t experienced that guilt. But yes. I have to remind myself to lean on my partner, trust that he and I are a team. Yeah. And do all the things that I’m supposed to have done before I left. Yes.

Roxanne: Oh yeah. I like that. You keep using this word. , grace I have on, and if you’ve listened to the podcast before, you know, I have a pair of, of converse shoes that on the back, one of them says space and one of them says grace, because those are the things that I’m like for me, it’s space and grace and space and grace.

So tell me then how do you talk to your clients about guilt?

Like how is that? What comes up for them? And do you offer them the same advice that you’re giving to yourself. 

Shakiyah: Yeah, for the most part I do, I do ask them, I said, Hey, listen, I gauge first. How strong is the guilt? ah, first is the first thing that I do. Right. And so, and, and the things that I ask, I say, Hey, when was the last time you operated in self-care what does that look like for you?

When’s the last time you did something for yourself? And, um, I do not accept the answers of got my hair done. Got my nails done. And, um, Hair nails. I don’t accept no hair nail. Oh, OK. That’s those two. It got my hair done. Got my nails done. I don’t accept those because to me, for women, sometimes that’s maintenance.

That’s not actually self care. 

Roxanne: Ooh. Okay. That’s a good distinction. 

Shakiyah: Yeah. So I asked them, you know, and then I said, what else have you done? What is something that you were interested in before that you don’t do anymore? Mm-hmm and so we just go through a series of questions. So. See how strong that guilt is.

Right? Mm-hmm . And so if it’s kind of just, um, if it’s pretty mild, I’ll say, you know, I’ll make a challenge and I’ll say, okay, I want you to go out and do this. I want you to take your journal. And every time you start thinking about your kid, I want you to do a tally mark. Okay. And I say, and then if you go out with friends, I want you to tell me how many times you redirected the conversation back about your kids.

Ooh. Okay. Okay. And so they put tally marks, right. And they go through it and they go through and so then they meet with me again, I’ll say, okay, now we know how strong your guilt is. Right. And so then I tell them again, I said, Hey, Now we can also see where you, where you’re trying to overly control things, because you need to lean on your partner.

If you have a partner, um, if you are, uh, afraid to leave your children alone with your partner, and he’s a great guy, then the problem is with you. Right. You know what I mean? And so I’ll say, okay, well, uh, is he gonna feed. Yep. All right, he’s gonna get feed. Are they gonna take naps on time? Nope. They’ll find they’ll go to sleep tonight.

You know, it’s not your problem. Lean on your partner leave. And if you, and I tell ’em, I say, you know, if it’s really strong and it makes you feel any better, write out some directions, but don’t talk about, ’em leave them on the table and remove yourself. Mm, that’s it. Leave you on table and remove yourself.

You said what you had to say. So if you, if it felt better for you to make pack lunches for the rest of the day, then do that. Yeah. Do that. Put ’em in the fridge. Write your little note, tell me you’re out and then walk out the door. I was like, but it’s not for you to control the environment when you are gone.

Mm. You have to let go. And I tell them that all the time. Is it hard? Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, absolutely. It’s super hard, but you have so it, so when it’s all happening that way, and that guilt is like that, you have to just remind yourself that I have to build a life in which that my kids too are able to develop their own coping skills.

So if you were always there 24, 7, every five minutes picking up this stuff behind them, you know, making sure they’re not doing certain things, you are then trying to overly control the environment. Your kids will not create the coping skills in which. Remind yourself of that, because we already know the fact that you have mommy guilt means that you’re a good parent.

We already know that. So the other side about being a good parent is making sure your kids are well rounded. So that means sometimes mommy has to remove herself. Sometimes, 

Roxanne: this is like the most important information ever. like, I’m, I’m like this, this is it, right. This is why I’m doing the podcast. But I’m so fascinated by the idea of measuring your guilt.

 This is something I had never even considered of like, uh, How do you measure, right? Like, of course we feel guilt, but how guilty do you feel? And to actually create tally marks and to actually pay attention to that is such a, a unique take on that. And I’m so glad that you shared that with me.

So thank you for that. Thank you so much for that, because that is such a, like I said, such an, a unique take that really, um, it almost takes the emotion out of it as you’re trying to deal with it. Thank you for that. And, and for that wisdom as well. Wow. I’m my goodness. You’re just like dropping micro microphone, microphone.

Super Mario. I have all the gems, my goodness. Oh, this is fun. I knew this was gonna be fun. This is even more fun than I thought it was gonna be. So

[00:32:03] What do you wish people knew about parenting and entrepreneurship?

Roxanne: what do you wish people knew about parenting and entrepreneurship at the same time? 

Shakiyah: Oh my gosh. If I say grace, one more time. I don’t even know, you know, mean, 

Roxanne: listen, grace, are we gonna title the podcast episode this right? Yeah, absolutely. It’s gonna be grace with Shakiyah, thank you very much for coming to her Ted talk.

Shakiyah: That’s a Ted talk. That’s hilarious. uh, but yeah, I, for real it serious. Seriously is grace. Yes. Structure is important. Being intentional about your time is important. Celebrating the small victories. Of course. Is important. Yeah. But guess what? Sometimes kids get covid. Sometimes they get pneumonia. Sometimes they are just sick.

Hell. Sometimes you are sick you know, and so, and in those moments, everything falls to pieces and sometimes our spouses are deployed. Sometimes they are on temporary duties stations and you do become a solo parent. I will never say single because I will give them all their credit, but you will become a solo parent.

And in those moments when things just fall to crap, you know what. Do not apologize for it because that is life and that you are a parent, um, and it is important to you. And then just give yourself grace, you will, they don’t stay sick forever. You know, I mean, for the most part, you know, right. Allergies year round, but you know, so, you know, just give yourself grace, allow it to fall apart, reschedule those meetings, reschedule those sessions, do what you have to do, recruit help.

Oh my gosh. Ask for help. And I know that military spouse. To have a hard time doing this because we’re always in cities in which we don’t know anybody. Right. We don’t know anybody, we know what’s going on, but you know what, if you gotta give them the $10 an hour to, um, come watch a sick kid, while you finish this project, do what you have to do, but give yourself grace in the whole process.

Sometimes it will just fall apart. It will just fall on the ground and break and roll over and fall to the ground, you know? Oh yeah. Don’t do that. Yeah. All in all. Yeah. Just, you know, just give yourself grace. That’s what I. 

Roxanne: That’s so it reminds me of actually a TikTok video I saw the other day and the guy said, I don’t know how true any of this is.

Right. It’s the internet who knows, but right. Um, but he said animals are born with the instincts that they need to survive. So a giraffe is born with the ability to run right off the bat. A snake is born with the ability to bite right off the bat. And as human beings, we are born with the ability to ask for help right off the bat.

That is our most important instinct is to ask for help. That’s what I mean, that babies cry to ask for help. Right. And so that’s, it really struck me. And I was like, I don’t actually care if that’s true or not, because the message is profound enough to me that it hit me. Right. I know. Right. Yeah. And so that’s totally, as you’re describing, like ask for help, don’t, you know, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I’m gonna just piggyback on that and remind all of our listeners here that , this is one of your most important survival skills. It is the thing that you are born with the ability to do so lean on that. Don’t shy away from that most important survival skill. 

Wow. I know. I really loved it. So I, I wanna see that tiktok now.

I’ll no mind it. I’ll send it to you. That’s awesome. That very true, huh? Yeah. 

So Shakiyah, I wanna ask you a question about the name of this podcast. So when I first started my business, I also was not a parent and I loved the idea of hustle. Right. It felt good to me. It felt, you know, it felt important to me and I loved it.

I was very much the hustle, hustle, hustle, go, go, go, do everything. Be everything, work hard, play hard if there’s time. Right. And then I had my first child and my whole world stopped and I realized. The life I was living was not sustainable. And I was going to have to reimagine the idea of hustle. So I feel like you have given us a pretty good idea of how you do it, but I would love to know, um, kind of in your own words, what does reimagine hustle look like to you?

[00:35:56] What does reimagined hustle look like to you?

Shakiyah: Yeah. And so I think it goes back to, um, those seasons in life. And so I have had to reimagine it over and over and over. And so I think I actually did it again recently. Right. because when. Had my second child, um, I had to make room, right. I had to make room for those kids and I have a girl and I have a boy.

And while I don’t, while at this age, there is not a whole lot of differences. I still wanna make sure they feel like individuals and I still wanna make sure, um, that they are getting equal time of their mother and of their father. Um, and so for me, it, it means. Being even more intentional about how my, the trajectory of my business.

So sometimes I will not, um, I will not take on certain level of clientele and somebody else. And I remember somebody told me, like, why would you do that? That’s like more money. And I was like, yeah, but remember my definition of success is to have a balanced life in my home life and have a balanced life in my career life.

And so I’m not gonna inundate my home life by trying to. You know, grow so exponential to the point that I, my family suffers because that’s not what success to. And so for me to reimagine, it is again to make sure that both sides are pretty well balanced, um, or it doesn’t feel worth it for me or that guilt seeps in.

And then now I feel guilty for not spending the appropriate time with my children. And so reimagine hustle is just that, making sure my definition of success is still the same, having that balance within my home life and still having that balance within. Career. 

Roxanne: Mm that’s beautiful. Thank you for that.

That’s oh, yes. Again, I’m running out of microphones for you to drop. Thank you for that. oh, my word Shakiyah. This has been so much fun and I feel like I could talk to you for like days on end. I’m like fingers crossed. Like hopefully we get stationed at the same base sometimes so that we can be like even more friends.

But in the meantime, will you give us a pep talk for other. Moms who are on this journey of entrepreneurship. 

[00:38:02] Pep Talk

Shakiyah: Yeah, of course. You know, the first thing I would say. Girl, you got it. you got this, you are raising those babies. You are juggling your love life and you are making sure your career is breathing.

It is beautiful and it is growing. You got this, take it one step at a time. Don’t pile too many things on your plate. Be intentional about your self care. Remind yourself that you are loved, reach out for help, but ultimately you got this. that would be my. 

Roxanne: I’m like, this is really bonus for me because as we’re recording really early in my morning.

And so I just get to start my day with a pep talk from Shakiyah so thank you for that for me personally, very selfishly. Um, okay. Shakiyah, we need more from you. So I know we’ve talked about it a little bit, but will you just hit us with all the places? Where can we find you online? We need more of you. 

Shakiyah: okay. Yes.

Yes. So you can find yet intrinsic I’m sure you’ll be able to see the spelling in the show notes. Yes. Um, you can find me on Facebook at life coach Shakiyah Shirell, and you can find me on Instagram at intrinsic growth. And if you are looking for the book, you can also find it on Facebook at Jojo hero adventure.

Roxanne: Awesome. And we will make sure that we link everything in the show notes, Shakiyah. This has been, like I said, I’m gonna just call you every morning and just start my day with you every morning. I wish I won’t actually do that to you, but this, this has been an absolute treat for me. Thank you for just the gift of you, the gift of your wisdom of your.

Experience of just you in general. Thank you for the gift of your time as well. This morning, this has been a blast. So thank you so much. 

Shakiyah: I appreciate you. Thank you for having me . 

Roxanne: Yeah, absolutely.


Thanks for listening to Reimagining Hustle with Roxanne Merket. If you like the show and want more, check out and please leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll be back next week with another episode. See you soon.