In conversation with Alysha Ellis | Podcast Founder ‘Mas LaRae’ & Author of ‘COMPLETE’
How did you transition your phases from being a host to a writer, & then handling altogether?
Recently a good friend of mine told me that I’m poetry in motion after he experienced my latest Mas LaRae Celebration event. I was a host, I shared my book, some poetry and even interviewed a few authors at the event in front of a live audience. So, for me it’s all encompassing. I am poetry in motion! I’ve always considered myself a writer however the world is just now seeing this version of me. Since I was a young girl I would write short stories and poetry. With the Mas LaRae platform I am able to be all of me at different times. Which I believe is one of the reasons why people are attracted to the platform because we create safe spaces for creators to express themselves! Whether I am hosting, writing, or consulting I’m able to express the diversity in myself in different ways.
What would be some of the biggest challenges that you’d foresee as a business leader and how do you think you’d go about overcoming them?
Business is hard work! But being a leader is even harder work! One experience that changed my perception regarding business was having to really be honest with myself on my business approach. I was raised in a survival environment. Growing up living in poverty barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck brought on its own barriers. In my first business venture I had to realize that there was no way I could scale a business that had a survival mindset. Oftentimes our communities of color, specifically impoverished ones function at the core of survival. We fight for everything we have but this doesn’t translate well into business. We can only go so far with the survival mindset in business. I learned this early on in my business ventures which led me to think about business in a different light! As a business leader now I always start there when having conversations with entrepreneurs. At times I have to even stop and ask myself “where is this coming from, are you scared, or operating out of survival?” I’m glad I was exposed to it as early as I did because many people don’t ever realize it.
What is your book ‘COMPLETE’ about ?
COMPLETE is about my personal transformation journey! I’m brutally honest about the devastating factors that have kept us in boundage generationally. I expose the hidden strongholds and blockages that typically feed the cycle of poverty. I share my story about embarking on being the first-generation college graduate in my family, investing in the importance of personal, professional, and social development, but most importantly, I partner with God to create and sustain truth and freedom within my beliefs, culture, environment, and language. I wrote this book to encourage others. We live in a world that has the influence to tear us down and make us feel like there’s nothing worth living for. In sharing COMPLETE, I believe it has the power to bring people a sense of hope and self value! We all have a light within us that is waiting to shine!!
What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges was actually leaving my job to further pursue my purpose! In Fall of 2020, I left my job in the middle of the pandemic to grow Mas LaRae. I felt as if I wasn’t able to be my true authentic self 100% of the time. I felt like I was being held back. To be honest, I couldn’t find joy in it. I speak a lot about purpose-filled work. I believe that we have gifts and talents that have the potential to sustain us. But most of the time fear limits us in pursuing those things that can free us! For me I overcame this challenge by facing my fears!
Which skills/tips do you think are important for a businesswoman leader, in specific if any, for all women starting out there?
There’s so many skills and tips that are important for any business leader. But specially for businesswomen I have to definitely mention confidence. We as women are already at a disadvantage compared to men from a career perceptive. I’ve always used what people said was a disadvantage to my advantage. One way to do this is to have a strong sense of confidence in yourself and your abilities. Which leads me to my second tip, know your value and worth. We live in a bargaining economy. If someone doesn’t see the value in your work do not lower your price! And as you grow in your expertise and portfolio your pricing needs to reflect that! In Fat Joe’s voice “yesterday’s price isn’t today’s price”!
How would you go about balancing work with personal life ?
I take great pride in my holistic approach to my entrepreneurial lifestyle. For me I have to be the number one priority! If I’m not in a good mental, physical, and or spiritual state I’m not going to be efficient in my work which leads to low performance and results. I only know this because I’ve lived it. I’ve been in situations where I was working multiple projects, doing school, etc and I put myself last. As women statistically we do this by nature, serve everyone first then us last! I personally can’t afford it. And to be quite honest none of us can. I live by my essential practices to keep a well balanced lifestyle including traveling, writing, eating clean, and physical movement. Taking time to breathe can go a long way! I also take a ton of mental breaks throughout the day and week.
One thing you swear by that is considered to be self care for you ?
My personal “Me Timeouts” whether I read, rest, walk, or just sit in silence at times I feel overwhelmed, tired, or frustrated throughout the day!
How do you envision your success, what is your definition ? Out of everything, tell us one thing that has inspired you to take this path.
I value success as personal peace, calmness, and happiness. I’ve learned that these attributes are priceless and necessities in life. Without them we can be overcome by chaos, sickness, and dysfunction. One thing that has inspired me to take this path is my family! I’ve seen my family struggle for so long and I’m not willing to continue in that struggle. The generational cycles must stop with me!
What do you think is more of an important quality for a leader, street smart or honesty ?
Honesty is always one of the most important qualities of a leader. In my opinion it’s a requirement.
What are you planning next ?
So much is in store for me and Mas LaRae! I’m currently working on a workbook that will complement COMPLETE. Readers can participate in a self-help guide to applying specific techniques to discover and sustain their true-self! I’m really excited about the official launch of the Mas LaRae Show and season 2 of the podcast! We’re always looking to connect with others that want to share their story with us!