Why she rocks: After leaving her husband with nothing but her clothes on her back, Erica rebuilt her life to become a successful business owner and author, recognized for her work in the community.
Erica, a native of Atlanta, moved to Las Vegas after an opportunity to sing overseas didn’t quite work out as she planned. It was there she met and later divorced her husband after several years of marriage and two kids.
“My husband and I separated in 2007. He was a wealthy man, but I left with nothing but my clothes and my children. I started over in low income housing, and after not having worked for most of our marriage, I was suddenly back in the job market. It was challenging, but it made me even stronger than I already was!”
Erica struggled with adjusting from being a stay at home mom to a working mom balancing the needs of her children with the demands of her job.
“There was just never enough time in a day! I went from being a stay at home mom, never having to worry about money, to living in public housing, working 8 hour days. I felt bad about not having enough time to spend with my kids but over time I had to forgive myself. I was trying the best that I could.
I worked several side jobs while trying to get back on my feet. In one job, we would go door to door selling energy drinks and I realized the girls’ sales pitch did not accurately describe the product. So during a meeting with sales personnel and executives, I approached the CEO and asked if I could develop a training manual to help the others with their pitch. His initially reaction was who are you but after asking me a few questions about my background, he realized that I had much more to offer the company and really took me under his wing. I learned a lot and over time was able to earn enough to move out of public housing and make a better situation for me and my kids.”
Motivated by her drive to inspire women, Erica founded Coacheeka, a coaching business aimed at helping others find their purpose and path in life.
“With the coaching business I didn’t want to follow this step by step process that everybody else was following. I wanted to inspire women to reach their full potential. I meet so many women, especially single moms who are very susceptible to getting in toxic relationships whether it be a lover or friend or even work. We tend to forget our own self-worth and let people take advantage of us. I feel like we are way too hard on ourselves, and don’t give ourselves enough credit. We are beautiful, inside and out, powerful, and strong! And we should admit that and embrace it!”
Not only the owner of a chain of bars in Las Vegas, but Erica is also the author of 7 Steps to Being a Phenomenal Woman, has received numerous awards for her outstanding work in the community and has been named one of the top 100 women of Las Vegas.
“I was nominated for the Women to Watch award because I was due to open a third bar location that was going to bring several jobs to the area. It’s awesome because I don’t know who’s nominating me for these things as they are done anonymously but I would love to thank them.
I’m also a volunteer victims advocate at the rape crisis center of Las Vegas. What that means is that after extensive training, I answer hot line calls and meet victims at the hospital to walk them through the entire process. That can be anything from helping them with filing a police report, choosing rape kits, setting up counseling to getting clothes if they need it. Sexual assault is often times not reported so the fact that they even show up to hospital is huge. Knowing that I’m helping them make those steps and that they’re not having to do it alone is very rewarding.”
Erica has struggled with coping with the challenges and daily limitations imposed by the recent diagnosis of a chronic illness but is still determined to use this experience to help others in similar situations.
“In the last few months, it’s been determined that I have a chronic illness and the doctors and I trying to figure out exactly what it is. We suspect that it’s Lupus but the diagnosis is not official. I’m not really able to be as active like I used to be. I’m very limited as to how many hours of the day I can put into all of the things that I’m invested in. It’s a very sobering and humbling experience to go from this fitness queen, motivational person to someone who deals with a chronic illness. Although I was hesitant at first, I’ve accepted the fact that this is my new journey and that I need to share this with people. There are women out there who do need to be inspired who have chronic illnesses and seeing my struggle might help them to know that they’re not alone.”
Erica, we are inspired and you are a mom who rocks! Check out Erica’s blog here: http://blog.coacheeka.com/
7 Steps to Being a Phenomenal Woman can be purchased here: www.book.coacheeka.com