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

Hi Kailei, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I started my business almost eight years ago after several simultaneous life events. I was leading a marketing department at a tech company and decided to decline a relocation. At the same time my mom lost her battle with stage 4 esophageal cancer, just a month and a half after I got married. Needless to say, everything in my life changed. Though it would have made sense for me to get another six-figure job, everything in me said that this was a time to use my talents and gifts to serve women and especially women of color advance their careers, but I wasn’t sure how at the time. After some introspection to get clear on what I was good at, passionate about and skilled in and evaluate what was truly needed to help them advance, I was able to see what I was poised for. So, in 2014 I launched The Asbury Group as a practice focused on image consulting and personal branding for women. Over time I realized that focusing on only the external was doing my clients a disservice and now our work focuses on “whole person” transformational leadership development.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Asbury Group is a transformational leadership development firm that specializes in helping women and people of color rise and elevate in their careers and beyond. We have a “whole person” approach to leadership development and focus just as much on personal development and purpose as we do professional and leadership development. Our corporate side of our business includes leadership programs, experiences and executive coaching, where we have helped leaders around the globe thrive and advance to the most senior levels. We believe great leaders are great human beings first, so we start with building up the individual so they can lead most effectively. On the consumer side of our business, we create content including the Beyond the Business Suit podcast and curate events and experiences, including the Beyonding Community which is a community for high-achieving, purpose-driven women of color. In everything we do, we help our clients go beyond in their lives by overcoming barriers and achieving their highest potential.

What I’m most proud of and excited about is that we are building out our team of coaches, facilitators and practitioners to support our corporate and individual clients globally. What I love about our team the most is that they are all working in their zone of genius. The work they do is the work they are truly purposed to do, so it is thrilling to me to see the magic that happens when we all bring our best selves to the work we do.

I believe I have been able to get to where I am today in the business through amazing clients, following my intuition and being fueled by my faith. I believe that had I only relied on what I “thought” I needed to do in order for the business to be successful, I would have been able to do good and decent work, but not make life-changing impact. By paying attention to my intuition, aligning to my divine path, and having courage to make difficult decisions, I have been able to build a great business that I am truly proud of.

Some of the lessons I have learned along the way are: 1) Be patient. Things may take much longer than expected, but stay the course. 2) There are projects that you could do, projects that you want to do and projects that a you are called to do. Spending too much time on things you “could do” takes you away from what you have been called to do or are passionate about. 3) Take time to recharge. As an entrepreneur it’s easy to be in “go-go-go” mode and not take the time needed to recharge. Downtime is necessary in order to have the energy to make big moves and do great work.

What I want the world to know about me, my brand, my story:

Part of what I believe I am purposed to do is to help others (and especially women and specifically Black women) realize their unique brilliance. No one on this planet has the same passions, strengths, experiences and purpose each of us has. And it is that unique combination that is our personal power, which is the fuel that can catapult into doing some amazing things in this world. The problem is, so many of us have had experiences that tell us we are not good enough, smart enough or valuable enough to be powerful. In the work I do, I am able to help others tap into that power and reconnect with their truth. Whether it is a leadership development program I run, an experience for the Beyond Community, a workshop I lead or a retreat I organize, I am holding space for others to evolve and become the highest version of themselves. And in order to do that effectively, I have to focus on my own personal development each day as well.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If one of my good girlfriends was visiting from out of town, I would want to show her some of the best of what the city has to offer. From a culture perspective, I would take her to check out an exhibit at the High Museum, take a stroll through the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Gardens and experience The Center for Civil and Human Rights. We would probably both need to get some work done, so we could do that at Dairies Cold Brew or The Gathering Spot, where we could also check out whatever events they have going on (and grab a bite or a drink at the club too!). When we want to be active, we could go on a walk at the new Westside Park, or hike through Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trail. We would definitely want to get in some good food, so for brunch, I would take her to Home Grown, Buttermilk Kitchen and Murphy’s. For lunch, we could check out Chattahoochee Food Works, Bartaco, Slutty Vegan or Upbeet. For dinner we could go to Girl Diver, Le Colonial or BoccaLuppo, with drinks afterward at the St. Regis or at the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel rooftop.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom, Dr. Cheryl B. Richardson, deserves the biggest shoutout. My mom was one of the most amazing people I have ever known. Though she had humble beginnings, she grew up to be the first in her family to go to college, get a Masters degree and PhD. She had a successful corporate career and later a successful business. She was a master networker, a world-traveler, a generous spirit who many considered to be an angel on earth. As her daughter, she was my greatest role model. She left an indelible impression on not only me and so many in our family, she also impacted many people and organizations that she came into contact with around the world. Though her death in 2013 was the toughest moment I have had to endure in my life, it was also the catalyst for me to do the work that I do. She is the inspiration behind so much of what I do and is who I dedicate my life’s work to in order to continue her legacy.

Website: https://www.groupasbury.com/, www.beyondthebusinesssuit.com, www.kaileicarr.com

Instagram: @kaileicarr @beyondthebusinesssuit

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaileicarr/

Twitter: @kaileicarr

Image Credits
Nick Nelson

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