TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
Aria Craig: Obstacles that I faced were finding paying clients and ways to maximize my brand potential on a small budget. However, the biggest obstacle was building enough confidence to use the same skills and talents that I obtained in the corporate world towards my own business.
BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
AC: My inspiration started with the compliments that I received for how I raised my son. People (including perfect strangers) always saw something exceptional in his character since he was a toddler. A member from my congregation suggested that I share my experience as a single mother in hopes to encourage and inspire those who felt broken, discouraged or heavy-laden. I received that and began the writing process in 2013. I gave birth to The Single Mother Diaries™ series: Volume 1: Tips and Wisdom on Being a Fabulous and Successful Single Mother on Valentine’s Day 2014 (Volume 2: Being Business Savvy to be released this Spring; and Volume 3: Finding Love to be released by 2017). Also, because I was approached by single and blended parents often (even fathers), I thought it was fitting to complete the requirements to become a Board Certified Coach. Because I endured many challenges, I began to speak at groups and different events where the attendees resonated with my life’s journey. My desire is to be of service to parents and give them the tools to empower themselves through leadership strategies that can transform them and their children personally and professionally.
BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
AC: The key to balance is to prioritize, create boundaries, and learn how to respectfully say, “No.” I live with my husband and teenage son. Because men feel love through respect and validation I carefully balance my priorities to make sure there is a winning dynamic between them, my business/creative flow, and myself.
BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
AC: I live by four, actually - “You cannot pour into someone if your cup is empty”; “A setback is a setup for a comeback”; Romans and Proverbs 27:17.
BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
AC: My mentor from my last place of employment was very significant.I scheduled meetings with him to discuss my desire to leave my department because I was disgusted by the deviousness, beguilement and viciousness from African-American women leaders in my department who perceived talented, assertive and tenacious women (such as myself) as threats. That behavior led me to develop anxiety and depression. However, he gave me oxygen. He insisted that I shift that energy towards completing The Single Mother Diaries™ book series.
BN: What are your must-haves to keep your career or business going strong?
AC: My must-haves are: faith and determination, a goal-planning board, and a consistent support system who challenge me to continuously grow even when it’s uncomfortable because they see beyond what I see in myself.
BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?
AC: A BOSS is a phenomenal woman who is bold enough to stand in her purpose, increases her worth, and leads by service and influence.
Connect with Aria Craig, on Twitter @Aria_Craig and Face Book MNT Publishing, LLC and learn more about her products and services at www.AriaCraig.com