We had the good fortune of connecting with Atenya Dillon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Atenya, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The single most important decision I made in deciding to work for myself which contributes to my success was to first believe in myself , make an intentional decision to change my mind set, and consistently work on my personal development. I conditioned myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. After working for corporate America for years, I was institutionalized in my thinking as I was always the employee. I knew and understood along with my work ethic, my belief system had to be strong and evident. My position changed. Now, I am the boss and I have to demonstrate the same commitment and dedication in building my own dream as I did building someone else’s dream. Ideas and opportunities don’t just materialize out of thin air.. It takes work and sacrifice. You have to be strong and resilient through your failures, disappointments, obstacles, and challenges. This is why it’s important to have a healthy mindset. You can’t just get up one day and decide to quit. Quitting is too expensive. You must understand success will cost you and you must be willing to pay the full price. There are no shortcuts to success. You’re either all in or not in at all.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Speak Life Coaching focuses on total life transformation. I specialize in financial services, health and wellness, and life coaching. I intentionally seek out to provide services which provide the answers people need. I am grateful and proud of the personal investments that have gone into developing the coaching program. It has always been important to me to be authentic, effective, and impactful in my coaching practice. I want my clients to see real change and believe in themselves and their dreams again. To see someone who battled with their weight, tap into their power and lose fifty, sixty, seventy pounds, to meet families who desire financial freedom and home ownership get into homes and improve their credit scores, and to witness the trajectory of lives changing from the coaching program has been both humbling and rewarding. I am humbled and blessed to serve in this capacity and impact the lives of others. I love to empower people. As a coach, I take full responsibility for investing in myself to become more knowledgeable and skillful at what I do. I understand you have to participate in your own rescue first. I understand how important it is to study your field. In the process of becoming a transformational coach, I took the necessary steps to improve my life in all areas I specialize in. For example, my weight was a huge barrier for me for years. I decided to get a health coach and face a major barrier in my life. Within a year, I loss over 75 pounds and counting. I’ve gone from not being able to run five minutes to running a 5k marathon. I believe this is what sets Speak Life Coaching apart. I lived it, I experienced it, I defeated it, I overcame it, and now I can coach others to do the same. This journey has been nothing short of amazing, yet it has come with its set of challenges, successes, and failures. I had moments where I questioned if I was pursuing the right thing and if I was good enough. My struggles and obstacles came from my perceptions of myself. I had to speak life to myself constantly. The more I spoke life, the more confident I became. I just changed the narrative, the story I was telling myself. I also faced a lot of opinions. One thing I discovered is some will only accept you and see you at the level of their perception. When I came into this understanding, I overcame the challenge of trying to fit in and fully embraced who I am and who I’m becoming. I discovered there are two questions everyone should know, who you are and what you want. Challenges play an important role in our development and growth. No great accomplishment is ever achieved without a process. Trust the process, never abort it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My friends and I love great food and live music. We love to hear a great band. We are music lovers with an eclectic taste for music. I reside in the beautiful city of Savannah, GA. My friends and I would enjoy the markets, desserts at River Street Sweets, ice cream from Leopold’s, local artist, and market shops in the City Market. We also enjoy walking on river street and enjoying a live band on the rooftop at the Bohemian Hotel. Recently, we just had an amazing hotel open in our city with an amazing art museum, restaurants, and yes of course music and live bands. We would definitely enjoy the new JW Marriott and all the artwork , music, fine dining , and exquisite cuisine. There is no trip complete without enjoying some amazing seafood while in Savannah, GA. Our favorite spots are The Shell House, Juicy Seafood, and Pearls. All these places are exciting and fun. There’s definitely something for everyone in Savannah, GA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am blessed to have an amazing husband. My husband, Adrian Dillon, entered my life at a time where I was searching for more. He motivated me, encouraged me, challenged me, and cultivated me to become a higher and better version of myself. I’m so grateful for all he’s imparted into me. My children Marion, Ashlee, Alyssa, and Lauren, are my cheerleaders and my why. To hear them say they’re proud is priceless. It has always been my desire they wouldn’t have to look far to be inspired and know they can do anything. My family has also been supportive of my journey and encouraged me along the way. I do believe when God wants to bless your life. He sends a person. Well, I’ve been abundantly blessed. I have the most amazing team ever. I’m so grateful for my administrator, Harriet Dandridge, Stephanie Simpson, Stephanie Dasher, Latosha Green, Salena Eason, Devaki Gordon, Sonya Boscoe, William Kirkland, and Yvette Chaplin. They hold it all together. I couldn’t do this without a great team. The vision is too big to complete on my own. I have consistent supporters who push the vision and mission of SpeakLife as if it was their own and I humbly say thank you to each of them. Last and not least, I’m grateful for my business coach, Blossom Suber. She entered not only my life but my family’s life and shifted the trajectory of our lives.
Photographer: Aubrey Bryant of Savannah Headshots Marketing and Branding: Crystal Pitts of Crystal Clear. MUA: Onzetta Roberts of Makeup By O Custom Branded T-Shirts: Nikki Simpson of 912 Designs