We had the good fortune of connecting with Lani Gahiji and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lani, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was my strong desire for freedom. I had just finished getting a Master’s and working in an extremely toxic work environment where I was restricted in every way. My Blackness, womxn-ness, and my overall presence was minimized and I knew that no matter where I went I wouldn’t be as free as if I would work for myself. I also knew it was time to take the leap because I always knew I’d be a CEO, I just thought it would be a little later in life when I had more “ducks in a row.”
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?
What sets me apart is my authenticity. I don’t show up as who people expect me to be. I show up as who I am which allows me to attract clients that are on the same wavelength. Together, we mirror each other and show each other how to do the healing work necessary to liberate ourselves. I tell my clients and my tribe all the time that I am not just the teacher. I am also the student. I learn from them just as much as they learn from me.
I’m most proud of my growth and commitment to my vision. I started my business in September of 2019, and since then I’ve had so many hurdles and opportunities to really dig deep and see if this is what I wanted for myself and if this is something I could do. I’ve done it and I love what I do. Through my business, I’ve been able to liberate myself and that means more than I can ever express. My vision of empowering 1 million Black womxn around the world to love themselves fully and out loud is a big one, but also a worthy one. I am committed to seeing it through and I am so excited to watch this play out.
I got here today by getting back up every time I fell. Even when it took a little longer to dust myself off, I kept getting back up. Getting here today wasn’t easy at all. It was one of the most difficult things I could have ever done because it was and is a story of me betting on me–over and over again and that’s scary. It’s also wild how I know that I am the only person that can stop myself. Knowing that somehow changes it all and helps me to reground and recenter so I can get back to doing what I am here to do. All of my challenges have been overcome by me choosing to love myself and show up for myself in the ways that fill my cup so I can have enough to give and serve the collective.
The main lesson I’ve learned along the way is to truly allow myself to enjoy life and to believe I deserved that. For much of my life I was caught up, and sometimes still do catch myself, thinking that things have to be difficult or that I have to suffer. I’ve decided that my life will be filled with the opposite. Of course, I’ll have my low moments, but I know that I am meant to enjoy this life so I prioritize my joy and let life unfold as it naturally should.
What I want the world to know about me, my brand and my story is that this is just the beginning. One liberated Black womxn can change the world and I will.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Now this is a bit of a hard question to answer because I am still fairly new to HTX, but I would take my best friend to see all the sights. We’d patronize all the Black-owned spots we could find and go out for a night on the town. I’d also take them to the community garden I am apart of called The Divine Black Queens Garden. I feel healed and renewed every time I visit. 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?
My shoutout is dedicated to my soul tribe. Over the past year, my crew has evolved and I’ve attracted some powerful and inspiring folks. My life and business literally would not be where it is if not for the overwhelming support of me in all of my endeavors. I am so so blessed and honored to be surrounded by the community I have. Words can’t do my gratitude justice.
Mxkaxli @mxkaxli on Instagram (instagram.com/mxkaxli)