Tamiko Cuellar is the CEO and Founder of Pursue Your Purpose LLC, – a global coaching, consulting and training firm for emerging entrepreneurs, corporate intrapreneurs, and leaders.
She spends at least 6 months each year traveling throughout the continent of Africa where she speaks, coaches, and trains leaders, entrepreneurs, students, and women.
In addition, Tamiko was appointed as a mentor to emerging entrepreneurs in Africa as part of the Tony Elumelu’s Entrepreneurship Programme in 2016.
Tamiko has been a guest contributor on Forbes, The Huffington Post, amongst other publications.
In this article, Tamiko shares with us her journey to becoming a smart boss lady, and how she’s helping ladies on the continent do the same.
What made you decide to launch your own business?
There were multiple catalysts that compelled me to launch my own business I had survived three rounds of layoffs (retrenchments) at my corporate job in the United States as a result of the 2008 economy.
My job was becoming more stressful and adversely impacted my health, and I was only given a $700 bonus after helping to acquire a $30 million client for my company.
Besides all of that, I felt that my potential was being stifled and I was not fulfilled.
I then decided to monetize my gifts and skillset on my own terms, by launching my business to help other women transition from corporate and grow their businesses.
On your journey to becoming a Smart Boss Lady, What are some exciting things while launching your business?
Since there weren’t many coaches that were doing what I was doing when I first started, I looked for as many existing coaches as a template and tried to emulate them.
I later realized that it was my uniqueness that caused my brand to soar internationally. I would encourage aspiring and emerging boss ladies to harness what’s unique about you.
That’s your sweet spot. People don’t need a clone. They need you to show up in your authenticity
What are some of the common problems entrepreneurs hire you to solve?
The most common problems that women hire me for are helping them to narrow their focus, defining their target market, creating/refining a brand that attracts their target market, and also how to sell and make money consistently
Established larger organizations usually hire me to develop their leaders.
Why did you choose the business name – Pursue Your Purpose LLC?
My company’s name was birthed from a common answer to a question that I would often ask people, which is, “What would you be doing if you could do something other than your current job?”
The answer was always something different than what they were currently doing! Then my follow-up question would be, “Then why aren’t you doing that?”
This was usually followed by a blank stare because people didn’t know why they weren’t getting paid to do what they love. It was then that I realized that most people that are working are doing what they have to do rather than what they want to do.
I’ve mastered a system that creates entrepreneurs who get paid to do what they love and I simply coach others on how to profit from their God-given purpose.
Tell us about your experience working almost exclusively on the continent of Africa.
I absolutely love it! I am called to Africa. The Africa I see is very different than the Africa that is portrayed in the media.
Africa is rising
It’s ripe with potential because the majority of the population in many African nations is very young (ages 15-25) and emerging leaders are going to be at the helm of solving Africa’s problems very soon.
Someone needs to develop and train these emerging leaders. I also feel a deeply personal and cultural connection to Africa being an
African-American women of the Diaspora who can also bring a high level of skills to the continent that I’ve acquired in the States.
Who is your dream client/partner?
First and foremost, my dream partnership would be with SLA in some way to build capacity in its community of professional business women from a global perspective.
As a former Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management in the U.S., I also love working with Universities throughout Africa on entrepreneurship curriculum development as well as being a guest lecturer to business and entrepreneurship students.
Additionally, I love working with agencies and the Ministries of Trade & Industry to teach sub-Saharan African businesses on how to export their products into the U.S. duty-free.
Lastly, I love training corporate leaders and HR managers on how they develop innovative entrepreneurial thinking in order to be on the cutting edge of what the rest of the world is doing.
I would love to do more of these three types of training and coaching. I’m very open to being contacted by your readers for partnership and speaking opportunities throughout Africa.
What’s the most exciting project you’re currently working on?
I’m very happy to say that my fourth book, “Cultivating An Entrepreneurial Mindset” should be out by the fourth quarter of 2019.
This will help thousands of aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs both inside and outside the classroom to develop the right thinking that leads to having successful, profitable and sustainable businesses.
My calendar for 2020 is filling up quickly with organizational partnerships, speaking and training opportunities with universities, corporations, and government agencies throughout Africa, so I welcome as many strategic alignments as my company can accommodate.
I am also adding new Global Brand Ambassadors to my team all over Africa who are highly influential and can help us impact more people.
This article was put together by Lungiswa Mzimba