We had the good fortune of connecting with Ena Coleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ena, how do you think about risk?
One of the key principles of my business is taking risks. My entrepreneurial journey started while I was in a toxic cycle. I wasn’t managing money well, I was in a bad marriage, I was undervalued and underpaid at my job. I was depressed.
It wasn’t until I took a chance on myself, and realized that I had to change from the inside out, that my life started changing. At almost 40 years old, I left my relationship and my job (after saving for over a year) to pursue the life I knew I deserved.
As the saying goes, “nothing grows inside your comfort zone”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So I, like many, have a full time job in addition to my business. When I quit my job in 2017 I started freelance consulting as a social media manager working with mostly non-profits, and political organizations, while also building The Energy Exchange Community.
Through my community I wanted to show other women who looked like me & had lived similar experiences that it was never too late to make a change in their life. That their dreams deserved space and that we are in mentors in some way. I got tired of the way Black women were portrayed on TV as being messy, catty, and generally unfriendly and I wanted to be a part of changing that narrative.
I’ve been very transparent about my journey because this is all brand new to me. IT. IS. HARD. Entrepreneurship is an ongoing journey, there’s always more to learn & do, and when you don’t have the right people in your life you’re more likely to quit. I hope that by helping people network and see the power of sharing their stories that they’ll be empowered to push through when it gets rough because they’ll see they aren’t alone. I’ve gotten through my challenges because I have the right people around me. This isn’t a mean girl gang, I want to see everyone win.
In the midst of all of this I was asked to join the team at The Solutions Project, a non profit organization that supports frontline grassroots orgs at the intersection of climate + social Justice. I’m able to use my community building skills & my social media expertise to help them amplify their initiatives. These organizations have been overlooked, underfunded, and really disregarded for so long, being of service to them and seeing them thrive has brought so much purpose into my life.
And this is the work I want to carry over into my business. Re-energizing women to pursue all that their heart desires.
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?
Whew. Pre-COVID I think my answer would be a little different but let’s see.
We would probably stay at The Intercontinental DTLA, they have the tallest rooftop bar in the city & a great pool! I love great music and have the pleasure of being acquainted with the resident DJ at the W hotel, Roxcizzle, so that’s definitely a move. Of course there would be Sunday brunch with live Jazz, most likely at Spaghettini in Seal Beach. We’d go to The Broad & hopefully find a marketplace where we could shop from small Black owned businesses.
I don’t tend to be “outside” heavy. I love to lounge, watch movies I’ve already seen, take naps, talk about life, and enjoy the company of my friends. So there would be a lot of food & alcohol deliveries with last night girl talk until we fall out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I met this incredible woman named Yanira Castro in 2017 at the inaugural Facebook Community Summit. I was at the very beginning of figuring out entrepreneurship and she had just quit her job to start her communications firm. She was where I wanted to be. Over the next 3 days she spoke so much life over me & into me that I knew I could do anything as long as I believed in myself and aligned myself with people who were on a similar journey. She has been an amazing friend, mentor and partner a lot of my experience has come through her referring me to clients.