Name: Alexia Vernon
Twitter or Instagram Handle: @AlexiaVernon
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Occupation: Keynote Speaker, Transformational Speaking Coach, and Author, Step into Your Moxie
Secretly Obsessed With: My family! (Okay, I guess that's not exactly a secret.) I co-lead my business with my husband and although we work and parent our daughter from home together, because I travel a lot, I'm often missing them fiercely.
On My Nightstand: A white noise machine, Young Living's Sacred Mountain oil, and Parents Magazine
Last Thing You Read: Girl, Wash Your Face (I've been a little behind with promoting my own book, but it was well worth the wait. Rachel Hollis is literary magic!)
How did you get started on your career path?
When my husband asked the rather rhetorical question, "Will you marry me?" I realized that before I could say "I do," I needed to answer a much more pressing question. "Who do I want to be by the time I walk down the aisle?" Or in our case, along the sandy beach in Kauai!
At the time I owed more in student loan money than I made in the course of a year leading a professional development program for a nonprofit, and while I loved the coaching and training I got to do for our clients, I found myself enmeshed more and more in program administration which wasn't my jam.
So, I made a bold leap to take back control over my earning potential, hung out my own shingle, and launched a new business as a coach and speaker.
What key elements played into your success?
I have always believed that if it's not a Yes, then it's a Not Yet. When a door doesn't open for me, I simply find another one that will. Also, I love to learn - and for the most part - I'm not afraid to ask for help. Surrounding myself with people who can show me how to close the gap from where I am to where I want to be has been tantamount to my success.
What struggles did you face getting to this point?
During the first few years of my business, I was...All. Over. The. Place. I was constantly contorting myself into whomever I thought companies and clients wanted me to be, rather than focusing on one specific area. As a result, I had a hard time securing business, was again worrying about money, and was perpetually in my head second-guessing my decisions and comparing myself to other colleagues who I thought were miles ahead of me. Once I got clear that my purpose is to empower women to reclaim their voices and speak with moxie on stage, in their careers and businesses, and to the people most important to them (the very thing I had been struggling with), everything turned around.
Who was the biggest influence in your professional life?
My parents. My mother helped me find my voice at a very young age and showed me the value of rehearsing my communication in order to have the impact I want. And my dad, a born salesman, showed me that sales doesn't have to be slimy. Actually, it can be a holy experience, when we know that we are offering products or services that can positively (at times even radically) improve people's lives.
When do you feel most successful?
I love delivering keynotes, leading live events, and writing books, but nothing compares to seeing one of my coaching clients achieve success with her speaking and business. As I like to say, I 'step into my moxie' so other amazing women can step into theirs.
What’s the best piece of advice you received?
Don't compare your beginning to somebody else's middle.
What advice would you give to women looking to enter your industry/space?
Build a rockstar, personal board of advisors. You need mentors who have done what you are doing to share their success steps. You need coaches who can ask you the questions that stretch you into building a successful business - your way. And, you also need to surround yourself with a tribe of sisters (and brothers) who are doing similar things and conspiring for your success.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I'm super-duper proud of publishing my book, Step into Your Moxie. I got my book deal at the same time my husband left his full-time job to join my (now our) business. And with his support, I carved out the space both to birth a book that is 100 percent unapologetically me and also double our business revenue the year I wrote it.