The BOSS Network: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
Anika Kai: When I started in the business there were not a lot of people that looked like me who were being widely recognized. As with most things there were the 2 or 3 that were plat formed. The Diann Valentine’s and the Preston Bailey’s of the world, so it was difficult at times to garner the level of clientele or notoriety that our non-minority counterparts were garnering. Unless you know where to look it can often be hard to “break: into the business. I am now a part of some amazing event planning groups but in the beginning I was learning pretty much blindly, so it took a lot longer for me to get to the place in my business I wanted to be.
BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
AK: I’ve actually always loved helping others make their creative dreams come true, I just didn’t know how to translate that to my everyday life. There were no events planning college’s or event management concentrations available when I was in college like there are now. I was in a Sales career in 2006 that I despised and if I can be honest, I wasn’t the best at it, the lure of the company car and the increase in my bank account kept me there. When I was laid off from that company I had a decision to make, was I going to continue to place my trust in something that wasn’t truly profiting me anything or was I going to step out on faith and give my destiny a chance.....Fast forward to today…Destiny won!
BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find balance?
AK: It depends on what day you ask me. I’m known by my friends and family as the person who does 10,000 things a day on my own. A very wise man (Brian K. O’Neil) said “if you are a business owner, and you are doing all the work, you are an employee. So I learned very quickly to delegate some things so that I can have some personal time to make sure that I am taken care of. This is a work in progress.
BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
AK: “He has made everything beautiful in its time” Ecc 3:11(If it was promised to you and you haven’t received it, just wait, it’s on its way)
BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
AK: I have a few, some in real life, some in my mind J. My late grandmother, Agnes always told me, “baby one day they are going to love your work, she passed before my business really got off the ground. My spiritual parents Brian and Carla O’Neil, were very inspirational. They pushed, pulled, corrected and loved me into the person I am now both personally and professionally. Most of my industry mentors are mentors in my head. We don’t know each other (yet) but I “stalk” them and their work daily, Mindy Weiss, Diann Valentine, Preston Bailey, Rebecca Grinnals & Kathryn Arce and Karen Tran to name a few, for the sheer fact that they are leaders in their respective craft. They never gave up, they never let adversity or circumstances hinder their goals.
BN: What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?
AK: My 5 must haves are: 1) Faith in the one who destined me to do what I am doing long before was ever a thought 2) Client Relationships (This is so key, you HAVE to know who your client is, and who isn’t your client, it will save you so much headache, time and money if you are honest with yourself and them upfront) 3) Integrity 4 ) Friends and family who are not afraid to hurt your feelings 5) A love and a drive for what I do.
BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?
AK: My definition of a BOSS is one who knows and understands who she is; her strengths and her weaknesses but doesn’t let either of those get in her way!
Connect with Anika Kai on Twitter at @anikakaievents and FaceBook
For products and services visit www.anikakaievents.com
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