Here at Business Building Women we live for personal development. If you’ve been following us for any amount of time you know we firmly believe that the success of any business hinges on the owner’s willingness to learn and grow. Alisha Nicole Whaley embodies all of that and more. She has done the incredibly hard work of breaking past self imposed barriers and discovering all she is capable of.
What she is capable of is inspired work as a brand curator and strategist. Her company, AlicoleCo., provides brand photography and logo design. You can check out her work on her website, Instagram or Facebook.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Alisha Nicole Whaley. I grew up the oldest of two, just my sister and I, on 96 acres that butted up to miles of logging forest. I thrive in rural areas, with the exception of the Big Apple and San Fran, the city life stresses me. I met my husband just before I turned 21. It was like a fairy tale. No joke, we snuck out of the house at night to drive to the coast and watch the waves. He showed me all his favorite spots. He still gives me girly butterflies after almost 10 years of marriage. We were blessed with twin boys that keep me busy.
As a kid and through my teens I was labeled brutally honest. I tell it like it is. Which is probably why I was also told I acted 30 not 13. I can’t help it. I don’t like sugar coated fake. Girlfriend, if it doesn’t work I’m gonna tell you why and how to fix it. But that’s why I’m good at what I do. You know when I say it’s perfect, it’s PERFECT!
My super power is in the hidden details. When my close friends, family or clients ramble because they feel overwhelmed, I am able to pick out key details and organize it all for them. As a Graphic Designer & Brand Photographer, I use this special skill to create designs that capture the very essence of who the client’s Brand.
How did you get into your business?
I’ve always had this need to serve others. I am drawn to other creatives like bees to honey. I want to see them succeed and be extraordinary at what they are passionate about. I’ve spent years silently critiquing other women’s graphics, often thinking “oh sweetie, if you just had better graphics you’d get SO much more business”. I know it sounds judgy but I really just wanted to see them succeed. One day, through a series of events, I had an epiphany, “Why can’t I be the one to help them?” It’s been a two year long process of defining what exactly I’m offering but I’m finally in my own zone of genius and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been overcoming self doubt and learning the difference between shame and guilt. Recently I’ve learned that I have mild depression, which stems from my childhood. Carried into adulthood, never knowing that I even had depression, the mindset of you’ll never be good enough, you should just quit has been the primary battle from day one to overcome. Something I am happy to say I am way better at but still struggle with and am learning to move through it as it comes. One day at a time.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
I wish I would have known that mindset is everything. That the permission I was seeking from, really anyone who would give it, only needed to come from me. I was who my permission needed to come from. No one else could give it to me.
If you could narrow your success down to one thing, what would it be?
Belief in myself. It might sound selfish and self focused, but in all honestly, I would not be where I am if it were not for the very long (and not yet over) constant work in believing I can. Simply knowing that I am capable of anything I want to achieve. Just takes hustle and big dreams to get there.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
A year from now I see myself attending my first Rise conference and I’m gearing up to bring on my very first assistant. I’ll be launching my very first podcast and possibly a webinar (big dreams all the way!)
What are your top three tips for women starting a business?
My top 3 tips for any woman starting a business would be:
1. Give yourself permission. I don’t care what it’s for, just believe you can.
2. Don’t get hung up on the idea of needing everything to be perfect. Just start doing something and it’ll all get figured out when it needs to.
3. Hire a coach! I know they cost a lot but you can’t do it alone. You can always make more money, you can’t make more time. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and who can keep you moving in the direction you desire to go is a HUGE asset.
What is a typical day for you like?
Well, as a mom-preneur, a typical day is never typical. With my kiddos only being 7, life is one constant interruption. My days start at 4am. Why? Because it’s the only time in the entire day I get (me) time. All three of my guys are up between 5 and 6am. Mornings are filled with making breakfast, cleaning up, getting Raylan and Peyton (my twin 7 year olds) dressed. Then I work on my laptop from 7 to 11. The rest of the day is often filled with interruptions of life as an entrepreneur who’s married to an entrepreneur that has twin 7 year old boys. (#Lifegoals, hire a personal assistant. ) While the chaos of non-organization does get to me, daily, I know it’s just a phase and try to remember to live in the moment and not get too worked up over what’s not done.
What’s your business motto or quote you live by?
Be shame-resilient, own your own creativity and let God do the rest.
If you were starting your business over again, what would you do differently?
The one thing I would do differently if I were starting over, really the only thing, would be to find a mastermind or small group of women that would support me and help me achieve my goals and that I could do the same in return. If financially able, I’d hire a business coach. Kelly Roach Coaching has been my sanity in multiple ways.