We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Elizabeth and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Barbara, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
My work-life balance has changed drastically over the years. I moved to Metro Atlanta 7 years ago. During the first 3 years, I worked north of Atlanta but lived south of Atlanta. My commute was 2 hours each way, to and from work. As a single mother, I found myself not seeing my young child for days at a time. I left for work before he woke up in the morning, came home after he was asleep. We did manage to talk on the phone every chance I got. Fortunately, I had my mother to help me with him. One day, my son told me he missed me and wanted me home more. That was a real eye-opener. Shortly thereafter, I quit my job and drove rideshare to make ends meet. I figured since I was used to driving a minimum of 4 hours a day anyway, I may as well get paid for it. Rideshare not only made it possible for me to be with my son more; it became great for networking. I met many people from all walks of life who encouraged me to start my own business and told me what I needed to do. I had tried starting a couple of businesses before moving to Georgia, but neither were successful. Motivated by the necessity of a better work-life balance for my son, I decided to start my business in Atlanta. Just when I was tying up loose ends, about to launch, the pandemic came. The struggle was real! I couldn’t get my get my business off the ground, couldn’t drive rideshare anymore and my son was in remote learning the entire 2020-2021 school year. This past school year, we were able to get some normalcy back into our lives. I was not only able to reorganize and take my business in a direction that was needed, but for the first time, I was able to take my son to school and pick him up everyday. That was a big deal to me because I’m the only parent my son has. It is important for my schedule to be flexible enough to make time for him.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started my business because I wanted to make enough money to give my son the life he deserves while doing something I love. A few months after giving birth, I was diagnosed with life threatening blood clots. Unable to work, I decided to start my first business. Needless to say, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I made a lot of mistakes and had a few failures along the way, but learned from them all. I acquired a thirst for knowledge, so I read books and took a lot of courses. This was quite surprising for me since I hated school passionately after being told by a graphic design instructor that I was wasting my time. Once I discovered that I was capable of learning, I honed my skills in graphic design, web design, coding and digital marketing. My primary focus was digital marketing until I realized there were many people who wanted to start businesses but didn’t know what to do. For years, I had random strangers, people I hardly knew, as well as family and friends asking me for business advice. My failures had unwittingly made me sort of an expert, so I became a Certified Entrepreneurship Coach. In addition to coaching services, I offer digital workbook guides on relevant topics that are easy to read, understand and implement. I finally found my passion in helping others fulfill their dreams of starting their own businesses.

At the end of my career, I would hope that I was instrumental in normalizing entrepreneurship for women, especially single mothers. Currently, 80% of single parent households are headed by women. Only 34% have college degrees and even that’s no guarantee for earning potential. Women still on the average earn 83 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Some women work multiple jobs, but their children still grow up in poverty or lack and don’t have access to their mother.

Recently, I was inspired to start a “No More” movement in support of women who want to leave their jobs and become entrepreneurs. The workforce is not designed for women to succeed. Often, they are forced to choose between their job or family. I want these women to take risks and explore other options. Our female ancestors had entrepreneurial spirits and found ways to exist in the economy. They earned income as seamstresses, hat makers, spinners, weavers, knitters, quilters, housekeepers, etc. I believe everyone has a potential “money-maker” that can be turned into a legitimate business and marketed.

Pinnacle Digital Academy is a catalyst for changing mindsets from that of an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset. I want Women Entrepreneurs to make our female ancestors proud by attaining financial freedom instead of being enslaved to jobs that only make other people rich. Maybe I can lead by example.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to do in Metro Atlanta. I am very familiar with all ten counties and don’t mind driving. Let’s see. We could start the week off on Monday by showing them around the South side. If the weather permitted, I would rent a golf cart to hang out in beautiful Peachtree City for a while like the locals. Eventually, we would have dinner at K-Pop Korean Barbecue and Bar in McDonough. On Tuesday, we would go on the North side to the Woodstock Outlet Mall and eat at Marietta Fish Market. Wednesday, we would visit the Aquarium and Apex Museum in the City of Atlanta, then go to Busy Bee Café or Old Lady Gang for Soul Food. At the very least, we must drive by Tyler Perry Studios if they aren’t open for tours yet and end up at Top Golf. Thursday, we could tour Mercedes Benz Stadium, go to Phipps Plaza and take the kids to Nitro Zone Indoor Park in Peachtree Corners where they can play and there’s an adult area with great music, food and drinks. Friday, we would spend all day with the kids at Fun Spot amusement park in Fayetteville. Saturday is for adults. Start the day with brunch at Escobar in Atlanta. My favorite dish is the fried lobster tail and grits. After enjoying our meal and a few mimosas, we would head to a local event or festival happening in the city. For dinner, we would go to The Juicy Crab for deliciously messy seafood, then end the night with a trip to The U Bar in East Point for good music, hookah, and drink specials. We would finish up the week on Sunday by attending church at Limitless Church in Fayetteville where Kim Jones (Real Talk Kim) is pastor and go to Twisted Taco for lunch afterwards.

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?
Some of the best “mentoring” I have ever received is through books, so I would like to dedicate my shoutout to Robert T. Kiyosaki and Daymond John. Their books had a significant impact on my life. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki taught me about how important your mindset is when it comes to business and everyday life. It made me assess my own mindset, unlearn some ideas that were passed down in my family and learn concepts that will take me where I want to go in business. The stories in The Power of Broke by Daymond John encouraged me at a low point on my entrepreneurial journey. I was motivated to keep trying when I felt like giving up and learned to navigate obstacles instead of being hindered by them.

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