We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Williams-Dope and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
I absolutely love this question! Reciting inspirational quotes and declarations is my jam! It’s essential to my daily routine which helps me jumpstart my day. I have so many favorite quotes and declarations but the one that I regularly say throughout my day is as follows:
“I declare and decree that the work I do is not in vain, but it will build discipline, perseverance, and other characteristics needed to thrive in life”
This declaration aligns to one of my favorite Bible scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:58. Reciting this declaration consistently ignites my soul to keep pushing towards my business and overall life goals. It also reminds me that no matter how hard it may get, especially when I don’t see the results of my work right away, I must continuously activate my faith and believe that the work I do as a part of my divine purpose is not in vain. Additionally, I love this declaration so much I included it in my book, Soul Ignition, that will be released to the public in June 2021. Soul Ignition is my debut poetry collection full of intellectual prompts, affirmations, and more that will truly ignite your soul to emerge into your calling.
What should our readers know about your business?
The YOU Brand Academy, is my career coaching, and consulting firm that assist individuals in authentically excelling in their career of choice. Specifically, I offer strategic career coaching to professionals and assist them in RECLAIMING: Authority. Victory & Happiness in their ‘9 to 5’ Career Journey! I consistently let my audience know that life is too short to stay stuck in a career or career situation they are unhappy with or simply just not fulfilled. Therefore, my career coaching services aid individuals in rewiring their mindsets to begin believing they deserve better and can have better.
I’ve been career coaching since 2017 and I am proud to say I have impacted hundreds of people within their career journey. Doing this type of work is very fulfilling for me because I simply want to see others thrive and not just survive their career journey. I take personal approaches with each client because everyone is unique. Additionally, the goals my clients have become my goals because I’m partnering with them in their career success!
Prior to becoming a career coach or entering into the professional development industry, I was a thriving corporate & government professional performing financial information technology auditing work at top corporate firms and government agencies. Yes, my background is very non-traditional for a career coach; however, I view my background as my strength because I truly know and understand the strategies to navigate and authentically accelerate in Corporate America as well as the government. Therefore, I’m not just educating folks on what could possibly work for them but I have truly used these strategies in my own experience as an employee.
Being honest, open, and transparent about my background, my experiences (good or bad), and my personal career journey has attracted people across the nation to work with me as a client or simply partner with me to elevate and educate job seekers. However, I must say that breaking into this industry was not the easiest because I suffered from a severe case of imposter syndrome or a lot of doubts on whether I really belonged in this industry. I now know how to strategically manage my imposter syndrome by doing these top three things:
1. Consistently encouraging and affirming who I am and who I am becoming. I developed a morning routine where I recited affirmations or declarations that keep me focused on pursuing the industry I was called too. I also, kept in mind that if God called me to this industry He will propel me to exactly where He needs me to be and allow me to encounter those I need to serve.
2. Consistently seek out opportunities or create opportunities for myself in the professional development field. These opportunities consisted of obtaining speaking engagement, being a guest on various podcast, creating my own career empowerment podcast “Peculiar Career Chit Chat” (you can listen on all podcast platforms), joining professional development communities, and much more! These opportunities not only exposed my brand as a career coach but also helped me become more confident in how I served and operated my business.
3. Consistently journaling my fears. Journaling has become my outlet where I simply release all my imposturous thought or added burdens that I release to God. Being a poet by nature, a lot of my journals became poetic expressions which really helped me to better transition gracefully to the professional development industry and boldly emerge into the person God has called me to be. I recently published a host of my poems into my book, Soul Ignition, releasing in June 2021 to the public (p.s. to learn more on how to get your copy of Soul Ignition sign up for my email list at www.theyoubrandacademy.com). I’m sure the poetic expressions and action items will remove or certainly reduce any imposturous thoughts you may have because it definitely did for me.
As you see the main keyword those three things have in common is CONSISTENCY and all three things have played a vital role in helping me manage my imposture syndrome. Additionally they have made me an overall better business woman that can serve in a greater capacity. Actively managing my imposture syndrome has even enabled me to partner with a friend to launch another business entitled, Praise Fit, which is my fitness company that empowers and encourages other to maintain a healthy holy temple (aka body) as they pursue their life goals.
I have certainly learned plenty of lessons along the way but the main one I have learned is to never ever compare your journey to anyone else’s journey. I had to understand that ‘my testimony, my journey, my path is unique that will one day inspire the weak to get up off their feet and pursue that dream’ That’s actually a stanza from my poem ‘Trust the Process’ in my book. Trusting the process is exactly what I had to do and continue to do as I walk in purpose.
A personal goal of mine is to die empty of all the gifts that God has bestowed in me. I personally refuse to dismiss any gifts because I know if God gave them to me He wants me to use them to serve His people…point blank period! At this point in my life I recognize that it’s not an option but an obligation to use my gifts to show the world what God is workin’ with and to ultimately encourage and empower others to do the same! After all, you never know who you will impact. Therefore, I want the world to know that I am a courageous, resilient, bold, savvy, and brilliant individual that never gives up on bringing dreams/visions to reality.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am originally from Chesapeake, Virginia (aka the 757) but I currently reside in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Therefore, when people want to visit I’d take them to a few of my favorite restaurants because I’m a foodie (p.s. I’m a foodie that is very mindful of her holy temple aka my body). Let’s see I would definitely have to take them to G&M’s which is my favorite spot to get an amazing crab cake, Next, I would take them to the National Harbor where we would grab a nice beverage because I absolutely love the scenery down there. I’d also take them through D.C. to and stop past my favorite vegan soul food restaurant, Nu Vegan. My husband and I love bubble tea so I would definitely take them to either Kung Fu Tea or AunTea Boba’s. There’s plenty of fun things to do in the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) are so I’m sure there are other places we’d go and see to enjoy outdoors!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I must give honor to my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ for giving me strength like no other to continuously push through and work in purpose. Next, I want to thank my husband who is my lover, best friend and confidant who consistently encourages me to be all that I can be and believing in me even when I don’t believe in myself. I also want to shout out my 2- year old daughter who knows exactly when to pop her beautiful bright smile in my office to say ‘Hey Mommy!’ I want to shout out my family and friends who have stood beside me as I go forth and conquer unchartered territory. I also want to shout out all my business coaches/mentors, spiritual mentors, and financial mentors who have played a part in assisting me build my business as well as my confidence to get me to where I am today. All I can say is I thank God for the evolve!