We had the good fortune of connecting with Fatimah Williams, Ph.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Fatimah, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?

I wanted freedom. At the time, I didn’t really know what that word meant. But I knew I felt stuck in my job. I managed a high-profile project at an economic development agency. But often felt like a “creative misfit”. Colleagues and supervisors loved me, my strategic thinking and creative problem solving, but my work environment was traditional and heavily bureaucratic. This gap left me feeling stifled and underutilized.

So in the evenings, I would blog and give advice to career changers who were desperate to leave the ranks of the Ivy Tower and get a “regular” job, any well-paying professional job where their skills would be useful other than being a university professor.

That work made me feel alive. I got to be creative, learn exciting new skills, and supply a real solution to a niche community of elite job seekers. My career and professional development coaching was so effective for my clients that I turned it into a licensed program that went on to serve 85k advanced degree holders in the US and Canada through my licensing partners. And it landed me a book contract with Oxford University Press.

What should our readers know about your business?

We equip high achieving organizations and people to not be overwhelmed by growth. Expansion and innovation sound great during strategic planning but these growth goals can be challenging to leaders and their teams. Using our VOICE Method, we bring order to chaos so you, your team, and your organization can grow sustainably without burnout or attrition.

What sets us apart is that I truly believe our clients’ innovative ideas for products, services, or next-level goals are divinely inspired. We know that when you, your idea or your organization get unstuck, the world gets unstuck.

As a founder, I have learned that we must evolve to best serve our clients and our mission. In business as in life, there is no standing still. That’s exciting and also challenging. We’ve worked extensively in health care, philanthropy and education, and at this point in our work, we are especially interested in partnering with growing, innovative organizations on the cusp of their industry who need customized strategy to manage planned or unexpected growth. There is so much opportunity for innovative, risk-taking organizations to win in this shifting workplace and workforce environment, and our firm wants to be there with the bespoke strategy that situates them to dominate their field.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We recently opened an office in Atlanta so it’s been exciting to explore our new city. My favorite spots in the city are all related to food, wine, and getting to know people. Garnet Gal Organic Coffee in Lenox offers the best housemade gluten-free pastries like their kale cheddar biscuit and an extensive herbal tea selection, which is perfect for someone like me who does not drink coffee but loves coffee shops. Farmer’s markets across the city are great places to meet and patronize fellow entrepreneurs and creatives.
We’d head to lunch at Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen and Bar in College Park. Outside of New Orleans and my grandpa’s kitchen, here’s where I’ve had the best fried oysters.
There’s a quaint wine shop tucked away in Castleberry Hill called Wine Shoe. You guessed it, it’s woman-owned by the most unpretentious yet extraordinarily knowledgeable wine educator.
My last gem is the sophisticated dining experience at Lucian Books and Wine that especially appeals to wine lovers and bibliophiles. You can find the most gorgeous limited edition coffee table books in their modern design book nook.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Success is a team effort! I am grateful to successful business leaders like Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Lawrence Hibbert, LaNella Hooper Williams, Jeffrey Robinson, Dharius Daniels, and Randall Pinkett who gave me advice and direction when all I had was an idea. I would not be where I am had I not moved mindset blocks to envision a new way of being, working, and excelling in the world. I am forever grateful to Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection and The Power of Vulnerability for being the first tools to help me reset my mindset back when I started my business. Finally, I am grateful to my mother for seeing my potential and encouraging me to hire my first business coach to help me jump into the world of entrepreneurship with up-to-date information and a success-oriented community.

Website: www.fatimahwilliams.com

Instagram: instagram.com/fatimahphd

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/fatimahphd

Twitter: twitter.com/fatimahphd

Facebook: facebook.com/fatimahphd

Image Credits
Christine Jean Chambers

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