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

Hi Taina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve had a very untraditional career path since I left college in 2001. I spent ten years working in ministry at a well-known megachurch in the Atlanta area before going back to finish my degree when I was in my early thirties. Since then, I’ve my path hasn’t been all that linear. That, coupled with the fact that I have a chronic disability which makes it difficult to work traditional office hours lead me to really consider what was the best move for me professionally. I knew I loved working with people 1-on-1, I loved training people, and whatever I ended up doing it needed to be mission-driven and impactful. From there it was an easy decision to go back to coaching and truly make it my profession.

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?
What really sets me apart from most career coaches and DEI practitioners is my degree in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. This allows me to do an in-depth power analysis when working with clients that lead to transformative results. Most coaches and DEI practitioners place a huge emphasis on individual behavior and responsibility. Which is necessary, but only really addresses part of the problems most clients are facing. Without an analysis of what causes the need for coaching and DEI work in the first place, true transformation is not likely.

I love working with values-driven clients and organizations. When a client is truly ready to do the work, it leads to such impact and is such a better experience than working with clients who are tentative. You really have to be ready to get vulnerable and confront your own shortcomings to be ready to work with a practitioner like myself.

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?
The thing I love most about Atlanta is the food scene. It is a foodie’s heaven! When friends and family come for a visit, I try to fit in as many of my favorite spots as possible. As an Agnes Scott College alumnae, Downtown Decatur is a must! I love Calle Latina’s menu; I’ve never had anything I didn’t love there. A quick stopover at Homegrown for local products (including jewelry and artwork) is always fun. And I know people love Jeni’s but the OG Goodness at Butter & Cream always hits the spot. An early morning visit to any of the local farmer’s markets on the weekends is a must-do. And picking out some beautiful stems for a DIY arrangement at Candler Park Flowers is always a fun experience.

Brunch is definitely a must and Atlanta has no shortage of amazing brunch spots. Buttermilk Kitchen is always a winner and the chicken and waffles at Rosie’s Cafe is *chef’s kiss*

For cocktails, I love Kimball House in Downtown Decatur and The James Room on the beltline. For pizza, Fellini’s is a trusty favorite and Antico is really special. I prefer Fat Matt’s or Heirloom over Fox Bros. The ribs at Fat Matt’s are perfect and the brisket at Heirloom literally melts in your mouth!

The dumplings and lamb skewers at Northern China Eatery on Buford Highway are the best you’ll ever have. I have to thank Anthony Bourdain for showcasing that spot on his show No Reservations.

And if I have enough time to plan, I’d definitely order some treats from one of my favorite local bakers: Bakey Bakes, Sweet Details, or 3 Lolas. If not, I usually pick up some treats from Cafe Mozart on Buford Highway to welcome guests staying overnight.

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?
I really have to shoutout my close friends and my wife. When I first considered the idea of starting my own coaching business, I ran it by them for feedback. I guess you could say they’re like my own private team of coaches! They were so supportive, but even beyond that, instrumental in reminding me of all the ways I had already been doing coaching work and the impact that I’d already had on people’s lives. That really helped me find the confidence to pursue my dreams.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out the book Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown (lowercase intentional). Brown is a longtime organizer and facilitator and her methods and principles in this book have helped me create a very specific framework for how I work with all my clients.

Website: www.tainambrown.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/tainambrown

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/tainambrown

Image Credits
Headshot by Alexandra Toy

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