I didn’t have the chance to meet with Makini Smith face to face for this interview, but we did actually meet briefly 2 years ago. We were both in attendance at the #HowSheHustles pop up market – I was hanging with a friend, who also happens to be a friend of Makini’s. My friend discretely pointed in Makini’s direction and told me, “You should interview her for your blog.”
I walked up to her said hi…….. and that was that. She was talking with someone else, but she politely slipped me her business card. (psst, can you believe that I held onto the business card for 2 years?!)
Since that really brief encounter, I started hearing Makini’s name everywhere. I found out that she is an author, motivational speaker, businesswoman, mom and one of the 150 women featured in Emily Mill’s #herstoryinblack digital photo series. So it completely made sense why my friend told me that I should interview her.
Makini Smith is the author of “A Walk In My Stilettos – a book which recounts how she overcame the struggles and hardships she went through in her marriage and in life. When she realized that she wasn’t living the life she and her family deserved, she decided to make changes to better herself as well as her children’s.
After hearing about her book and her courage, I really wanted to find out what gave her the strength to leave a bad situation, and what it felt like to take that huge leap of faith.
To find out more about Makini’s story, please keep reading.
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Astrological Sign: Aries
First Book: A Walk In My Stilettos
What gave you the courage to leave an unhealthy marriage and pursue a better life?
The thought of my children’s future gave me the courage to leave an unhealthy marriage. Enough had become enough. I didn’t want my kids to grow up and think that what they saw was normal. I didn’t want my daughters to grow up thinking it was okay to be treated the way they saw their mother being treated. Making excuses for another human being’s behaviour or actions had taken its toll on me. I wanted better for my kids and myself.
What did it feel like to make that leap?
Looking back now it was scary at first to make a leap into the unknown. I didn’t have the income to support my family on my own at the time. I wasn’t sure how I could handle the kids on my own or even the change in lifestyle. I took a giant leap of faith. I trusted that God would take care of us. I jumped into entrepreneurship at the same time and God has taken care of our every need since then.
Now I can say it feels great. I don’t walk on eggshells everyday and every struggle since then strengthened me to the woman I am today.
Why did you write “A Walk In My Stilettos”?
After my divorce and the death of my sister I was sharing my story in support groups for healing. The women would hang onto every word of my story and thank me for my transparency because they could relate. I was told I needed to write a book because of how well I had dealt with the adversity. So I put the wisdom into a book to help others.
The first book “A Walk In My Stilettos: How To Get Through The Struggle With Grace” is my testimony with tips and tools to help others get through adversity gracefully. The second book “A Walk In My Stilettos: 111 Affirmations To Help You Heal” are faith based affirmations that I use to re-train my mind. The most recent is “A Walk In My Stilettos: The Gratitude Journal” to improve your physical, psychological, and mental health giving you a year’s worth of your greatest moments to reflect on once you’re complete.
The series is to help others walk in their purpose and is being called a “source of inspiration.”
What gave you the strength to keep going?
My belief in God gives me strength and confidence. Knowing who I am and whose I am helps me when I feel weak. I believe I can do all things because my Father is the creator of all things.
My kids are my “why” for everything I do. Looking at them drives me. They depend on me. Life isn’t just about me. It may have been easier to throw in the towel if I didn’t have them but I don’t even want to imagine what life would be like if I didn’t.
Why did you start your motivational speaking career?
I was literally pushed into motivational speaking against my will…basically. Haha!
When I published my first book, I was told I would need public speaking training in order to promote the book. My response was “Why?! Can’t someone else do that?”
I was told that sharing my testimony had to come from me to be most effective and authentic. In that same timeframe I was encouraged by Bob Proctor’s daughter Colleen (Bob Proctor is a prominent coach, author and mentor), that others needed to hear what I have to say because it was important. Her encouragement gave me the push I needed to get out of my comfort zone and take the stage.
The feedback from the audience of how I touched them as well as the referrals to speak to other organizations snowballed my speaking career from local to international. Despite my fear of public speaking I’ve spoken for personal and corporate audiences in North America and Africa.
Did you ever think that you’d become a motivational speaker, author, and mentor?
I never thought I’d become a speaker or mentor. Author wasn’t too far a stretch because I love to write. It all happened when helping others break glass ceilings in their life became my passion. I’ve recently stepped up my game to become a Proctor Gallagher Certified Consultant, coaching others to get results for personal/business development.
What’s next for Makini?
Currently working on a platform for women, by women, to build each other up. We’ll be able to share resources, tips, blogs, and more.
I’m sure that platform will help a lot of women. Thanks Makini, for sharing your story, and showing us that we can overcome any adversity.
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