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

Hi Araina, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think of risk as an inevitable part of life, when you pursue your dreams and what you truly know is best for you (and your family). Taking risks has led me to become the woman, mother, and wife I am today. I took a risk when I moved to Los Angeles several years ago. Before I left the East Coast to move out here, I knew people, who said things like, “you know the unemployment rate is really high there?” and “Good luck,” among other not so positive things. And when they said “good luck,” it wasn’t in the most confident or positive tone you want to hear from those you care about when you’re making a huge life decision. I understand that my friends were concerned about me, but their concerns and kind of “doomsday” mentality could have really deterred me from making the move. However, I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do. I didn’t have a job when I moved to L.A., and I didn’t have any friends or close family who lived here. I had only visited the city a handful of times in the past, and although I had done as much research as I could, I was still nervous when I arrived here.

I can remember sitting down on the bed in my room where I was temporarily staying in L.A. during my first full week in the city. I was staring at the TV, and I suddenly shouted to myself, “What have I done?” But as quickly as I said it, I immediately told myself, “I’ve done exactly what I am meant to do. I am meant to be here right now.” And that was that.
I never felt like L.A. would be the “end all, be all” for me, but at the time I knew I needed to be here.

If I had never moved to L.A., there is so much that I would have missed out on in terms of experiences that have truly enriched my life. I would not have met some of the wonderful friends I’ve made out here; I would not have joined the Street Smarts of Acting, which is an amazing group of talented actors run by Elizabeth Regen; and I don’t think I would have started my Life Coaching business, among other things.

For me, taking risks is sometimes necessary in order to experience what is meant to be.

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?
The name of my business is Clever Girl Coaching LLC. I am a life coach, who specializes in helping:

Black first-time moms.
Mothers of Biracial families.
First-time moms, who have lost their mothers.
Those who are looking to make a transition in employment (Career Coaching).

Although I understand that there are a lot of different types of life coaches out there, I feel as though there is a lack in coaches who work specifically with Black first-time moms, mothers of biracial families, and first-time moms who have lost their mothers. I have looked for coaches who work with these groups, and I didn’t find very many options. I feel that these Individuals are not seen in the way that they should be, and I want those who need coaching to know that I see you. I identify with these experiences, and I am proud to hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

I believe that if you are intentional, believe that your life can be better, and put in the work, things can become better. You hold the keys to the future of your dreams, and I am just the guide along your journey who will help you when you need it.

I am in the early stages of my business, and I am working hard to build it up. One thing that I learned is that it’s important to know your worth. I offer a free 30 minute consultation for my services, and I have to remember not to let that overlap into a coaching session because people can take advantage of that. Aside from the typical lessons you learn from running your own business, everyday is different and I love helping people!

I want the world to know that ultimately my goal is to simply help others achieve their goals. That’s what I care about.
Like many others, I have had my share of grief, sadness, and obstacles, but I always keep going. I believe that deep down, we all have something in us that steers us in the right direction, but many don’t listen to that feeling. It may not always be the easiest path, but our life’s path is just that; our path to live. I know that every time I’ve listened to that feeling, became intentional and worked hard, things in my life have turned out the way they were meant to be. Sometimes better than my original goal.

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.
The City of Los Angeles is so big and eclectic, which helps give it so much charm. I’ve definitely been asked by visiting family and friends for recommendations in the past, so here are some things that I would find fun to do and visit.

Monday – Hollywood: Hollywood and Highland and the sights surrounding it, including the Hollywood Museum, the Walk of Fame, the TCM bus tour, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is a lot of fun and has great drinks. Generally, people like to see a taping of a show when they visit, which is a lot of fun if you’ve never been to one before.

Tuesday – Nature time! Griffith Park is huge, so it pretty much needs an entire day.

Wednesday – Some hiking at Runyon Canyon, the Original Farmer’s Market and dinner at Gracias Madre. (I love Gracias Madre! Delicious vegan fare.)

Thursday – Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Most people want to see Rodeo Drive, so that’s something to do, and then Santa Monica is nice because of the beach. Definitely check out Omusubi at Sunny Blue! Omusubi is so good.

Friday – Go on a studio tour! My favorite is Paramount’s because I really like classic TV and film, but Warner Bros. is definitely worth it too. I have not been to the other studio tours before. I can’t speak about the tour at Universal, but the CityWalk is a neat place for visitors to go. Also, Go to a Laker’s game if you can at the Staples Center, and visit the restaurants at LA Live in the evening. That’s an experience in itself. Plus, I’ve been a Laker’s fan since I was a child, so it’s a must.

Saturday – Malibu is beautiful. I love Malibu. Geoffrey’s and Nobu have beautiful views but they are pricier. You can also find a nice view at Malibu Farm cafe and restaurant and Sunset restaurant too. Visiting any of the beaches in Malibu is a wonderful experience.

Sunday – Brunch at Sunset in Malibu is beautiful because you’re pretty much right on the beach. And, you might want to spend the rest of the day resting :).

There’s so much to do though that there are way more things you wouldn’t have time to do in one week. There are many things to do outside, restaurants/bars to visit, and the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures looks like it’s going to be amazing! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh my goodness, well I would have to start with a shoutout to my late mother. She always supported me 100% in pursuit of my dreams, and she taught me that not only can I do anything I want to in life, but also that I shouldn’t let others tell me what I can and cannot do. I will tell them what I will do. Also, my father deserves credit because he came to this country as a young man for school, and then proceeded to earn his PhD, and help build successful businesses. He showed me, by example, what it means to be a successful business leader and be your own boss. I didn’t quite understand how much this impacted me until I started my Life Coaching business.
In addition, I have to recognize my older brothers. My oldest brother passed away several years ago, but when he was alive, he and my other brother always supported what I did. When I told them I was going to move to L.A., they were so happy for me, and always believed me. I was fortunate to have them because I had lost my mother by that time, and their encouragement meant the world to me.
Lastly, I need to recognize my husband and friends.

-I had the opportunity to join the Street Smarts of Acting about four years ago, which reignited my interest in acting and developed my talent unexpectedly. Being part of this group changed my life. The encouragement and support you receive when you are in the group is undeniable. I discovered that I am a producer, and I met wonderful people who became good friends.

-Another friend to mention is Lucy Yeh. One of the reasons I knew that Life Coaching could be a career was due to my friend Lucy, who is a fantastic L.A. based Life Coach. I met Lucy in a business capacity as a client, and she showed me, by example, that you can have a successful and long-lasting business.

-And, of course, I must mention my husband. He has encouraged me in my Life Coaching business, and he’s been so helpful in terms of “bouncing” business ideas off him.

Website: www.clevergirlcoaching.com

Instagram: clevergirlcoaching

Image Credits
Susannah Kent Canva

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