We had the good fortune of connecting with ShaCarolyn Halyard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi ShaCarolyn, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
My business is my baby. Over time I have learned to drown out the noise and get intentional about who I connect with professionally. Parents would not hand a newborn baby off to a stranger they met on social media or in the grocery store, neither do I. I take my time observing and getting to know the people that want to pour into my purpose projects. It is important to note that cultivation is attractive to supporters and sabotagers. When you are starting a business it is important to discern who your true purpose partners are. I have turned down some lucrative opportunities that would have cost me more than I gained in the long run. I am grateful that taking the time to test the intentions of the people that wanted to connect with me helped me to dodge several bullets that might have stopped my progress before it began. It is also important to my success that I stay anchored to why I got started in the first place, even when my business goes through periods of evolution. Evolution and growth have never taken me too far from the original “why?”. My “why” is my anchor.
What should our readers know about your business?
The name of my parent company is Virtuous Life Coaching and Empowerment. It is a Christian coaching company based in Atlanta, Georgia that caters to women and empowers all women to live a purpose-filled virtuous life. Virtuous Life has allowed me to bring my authentic self to coaching, while also staying true to the original and very specific purpose of the organization. What sets Virtuous Life apart is that it is a Christian-based organization that does not discriminate against the clients that choose to join our coaching program. This is important because I firmly believe that faith should unite rather than divide. It is through God’s love for people that my coaching style is inspired rather than Christian legalism. Since 2015 when Virtuous Life was founded, I have had so many opportunities and I am incredibly grateful. I coach and consult with organizations geared toward assisting marginalized communities. I have also had the privilege of providing evidence-based mental health coaching to private clients and leadership and diversity coaching to executives in Corporate Suites along the East Coast. Currently, I am training coaches in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as coaching corporate leaders around the same topic. I also love helping sisters in the coaching industry get to the next level. What fascinates me the most, is that God has guided opportunities to me that are far beyond what I could have ever imagined. I recently launched a bible study that is exclusively for women called The Well. This bible study is for sisters of all stages in their faith journey and is based on the practical application of the Word. You do not have to be a bible scholar or know any scripture to join us. We just want sisters to feel comfortable finding their place in the group. In April of 2021, I will be launching Queen’s Boutique, which is an online boutique that donates brand-new clothing to women in transition or women that are starting over whenever sisters shop with us. How thoughtful of God to divinely inspire my love of shopping into a ministry. In May of 2021, I will graduate from the Candler of Theology at Emory University with a Masters Degree in Divinity with a triple concentration in Religion and Race; Formation and Witness; and Justice, Peace, and Conflict Transformation. As a serial entrepreneur and a student, I am consistently learning how to manage my time and seeking ways to be who I needed for others. My most impactful lesson has been to attack the purpose projects that God has given me with zeal rather than filing them away for later. Sometimes I have to remind myself to “just get started!”. What I want the world to know about my story is that it is still being written and there is life after sexual assault, domestic violence, and overcoming everything sent to overcome you. What I would like the world to know about my brand is that it literally is the beauty I was given for my ashes. I hope that anyone reading this will find the courage to build something great even if the only thing they have to start building with are tears and ashes. I did not always like the hand I was dealt, but I ran a Boston anyway!
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.
I have never been one to jam-pack a vacation itinerary because I believe strongly in coming home from a trip rested when I travel. However, the kick-off to our “best time ever” would certainly include a picnic in the park during a concert or festival. I have an intense love of picnic baskets, coolers, and the sun beaming down on a floppy hat. We would probably eat at Flying Biscuit, Seasons 52, and wherever seafood was swimming in butter and garlic! I also love Taki Japanese Steak House, be sure to try the Lobster King Crab roll! I love anything that includes the arts so the Fox Theatre would definitely be on the list along with St. James Live, my favorite spot for food, ambiance, and music. Of course we would have to check out Ryan and Britney over at Hip Hop Tours of Atlanta. Then we would shop, shop, and shop a little more before ending the weekend with a trip to Church at Shaw Temple AME Zion Church in Smyrna. The preaching is poppin’ and we have the baddest band in the land! Shout out to Pastor Morrison, Jon Rankins, and the fellas! It’s lit!
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?
Shoutout to God who has given me the great privilege of using every single drop of my giftings! It is a blessing to know that at the end of the day, you left it all on the table and used everything you had. At this stage of my journey, I am grateful for my family and friends that continue to support me relentlessly. I am also grateful for my clients all across the country that give me permission to enter their lives and trust me to journey with them through some of the most challenging transitions they will ever face. I do not take it lightly or for granted that week after week they choose me. There are so many others they could have chosen and still they invest their time and money in our coaching relationship. I am also grateful for the sisters at the Lee Arrendale State Prison for Women. These sisters teach me about courage each time they reach beyond their current circumstances to prepare for their future, even when they are unsure if they will ever live beyond the wall again. I am blessed to be their Chaplain and grateful that they trust me to be their spiritual guide. I am also grateful for my leadership in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. My Bishop, Pastor, Elders, and Colleagues who are carriers and defenders of the Word have lifted me when I felt weak and protected me while I found my voice. Their transparency and wisdom give me the strength I need to lead in excellence, Last, but certainly not least, I am incredibly blessed to work with my amazing Therapist Chana. She helps me to hold it all together and keep this plane in the air. Get a therapist people and a coach 🙂 !
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