We had the good fortune of connecting with Marlene Maina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marlene, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
It was the British writer, James Allen who said, “The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest, the vicious, although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so; rather the universe is ready to help the honest, the magnanimous, the virtuous.” Taking risk is really a matter of faith for me. A resolve that fights to exclude doubt and fear, an endless endeavor to protect the unwavering confidence that says: favor, blessing, and help await me on the other side of every single costly risk I am willing to take for the benefit of mankind. We all brought with us a valued gift into the world. Our purpose, lofty dreams and aspirations are all tied to this gift. This purpose that seeks to elevate the lives of others will often call for a costly sacrifice. No wonder it is said, he who wants to achieve little will only have to sacrifice little. But if you are looking to affect the world on a grand scale, then you must be prepared to sacrifice greatly. I love what Elon Musk says: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” My life and career have never been without risk. I can think of life-altering junctures in my journey that involved burning boats with absolutely no reserves. Leaving a continent, a state, a city, even a well-established career. Yet in each of those instances I found—visions realized, character strengthened, faith rewarded, and more grace to exercise greater risks for the impossibilities and giants that stand before me. As James Allen puts it: “You will fall or rise with your vision. You will become as great as your greatest aspiration.” In the Parable of The Talents, the Bible describes three stewards who each receive (five, two, and one talent each) respectively. The first two double their talents, while the last guy decided he was too afraid to do much with his. His talent is later snatched away from him and given to the guy with 10 talents. This is what Jim Rohn calls the Law of Use. Simply put whatever you do not employ, you forfeit. Lack of use causes loss. Ambition unused decreases, faith unused diminishes, energy unused is lost, strong feelings unused dissipate. “You will always miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” (Wayne Gretzky)
What should our readers know about your business?
Our mission at JosiahKids is to educate, empower, and equip young students and TEENS, in the local community in the areas of faith, leadership, community service, and the performing arts. We bring in lost of quality guest speakers, organize community service events, plan panel discussions, and offer leadership & development classes for students ages (7-17). Hard work, sacrifice, and the help of so many amazing people is how we got here. No, it was not easy, but we continue to work hard, believe, and persevere. Some of the most important lessons we have learned along the way. (a) Life comes in seasons—accept the springs as well as the winters. (b) Refuse to compromise, no matter what. (c) Hold each gift lightly. Be willing to let it go. Know that God sees you. He will provide. (d) Keep your motives and intentions pure. (e) Do what you know is right, even when it is terribly difficult. What most people do not know, is that only a month after I turned 19, my mother died. At her gravesite, we watched in slow motion as our beloved Dad threw his hands up in frustration and walked away—for good. My younger sisters were only 15, 12, and 11. We were devastated. O’ how we longed for a place, a person, a community of loving people who could support us through such a tumultuous season. This is the big why behind JosiahKids. We want to journey with each child through the joys and challenges of childhood and to help them transition into adulthood—loved, fulfilled, and empowered to make a meaningful life, as well as a meaningful difference.
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?
Day One: The World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium (The Dolphin Show would be a must)—followed by dinner at my favorite restaurant in ATL. A classy Thai restaurant on Spring Street that offers upscale eats: Nan Thai Fine Dining. It is fabulous! My favorite dish there is Kai Yang Massaman, a grilled lemongrass chicken breast in massaman curry with avocado (of course) green beans, cashew nuts, shallots, and a cucumber salad. Yum! Day Two: Lake Lanier—Only 15 minutes from our house. The water is breathtaking. Such wonderful trails to walk. I especially love the sunset. Watching the boats with the sunlight hitting the water is so beautiful. We would rent one of their golf carts to make it around the entire island and then finish the day at the Sydney Restaurant at Lake Lanier. They have a steak to die for. It is delicious! Day Three: Get an early sunrise hike at Stone Mountain Park. Enjoy a nice clean brunch later that day at Panera Bread. Day Four: Take a drive to the North Georgia Premium Outlets. Get some good window shopping and ice-cream. Day Five: Shop and hang out at the Mall of Georgia, and call it an early dinner at La’ Madeleine French Bakery & Café. Day Six: The Atlanta Botanical Gardens would also be fun. As well as the National Center for Civil & Human Rights. Followed by dinner at Marlow’s Tavern in Midtown. Day Seven: Rest, hang out and enjoy a neighborhood walk : )
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The living God will forever be the STAR of my journey! I owe all I have to Him. I am still amazed that He could do anything through a vessel so lowly and broken. He gave me a kindhearted husband whose efforts, encouragement and unwavering support for these last twelve years have allowed us to accomplish what we have achieved together. I am also grateful for our daughters Joy and Journey who inspired me to empower young students. We could not do what we do without our team and board of directors at JosiahKids. They are selfless, generous, committed, full of excellence, with such a genuine love for our students. We are always so humbled by what they have all made possible through their unwavering support. The amazing parents of our fine students make this mission possible! While the quality guest speakers, panelists, donors, volunteers, and our families have all served as the catalysts that continue to inspire the best stories of success for our students’ futures. For these and so many others, we are most grateful.
Justin Jones – Photographer & Content Creator