With the Fearless Woman I am website being developed, I decided to wait until it’s completion to post any new FWIAM Features. Today, however, I knew I had to introduce this Fearless Woman – I just couldn’t wait to share her story! Erika Akwo, Founder & CEO and author of Know Your Worth, is someone I truly admire. Over the past year our friendship has blossomed into what I believe is a divine friendship. We discuss our business ventures, our everyday lives, attend the same events but most importantly, we pray together. Erika is a fearless entrepreneur with a heart of gold and a passion to serve others. As a wife, mother, daughter, big sister, friend and business owner she navigates her way through life effortlessly, all while keeping her faith in tact and purpose in mind.
1. What’s a typical day like for Erika?
Depending on the season I’m in, my days change. However, there are a few things I do on a daily basis. At least 2 hours before my son Joshua gets up, I like to have time with God. During that time I meditate, pray, listen to sermons online, etc. I also check and respond to a few emails. Once Joshua is up, I’m in “Mommy Mode”. Usually between 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. I get him washed up and fed, we make time for lessons and play time, then maybe run some errands.
In the evenings I’m usually preparing dinner – this is after Joshua has had a nap and I’ve been able to rest a bit. By this time my husband Rich is home and he’s able to help get Joshua washed up and ready for bed. Once he’s is sleep I start working on my brand. I’m one who loves to work through the night – that’s when I do my best work. I try not to stress about what didn’t get done that day. Like Steve Furtick says, “do what you can and leave the rest up to God to fill in the gaps.”
2. What inspires you & what makes you happy?
Meeting and engaging with everyday people inspires me. Being able to connect with others and share those “me too” is something I love! When I’m able to step outside of my comfort zone, that’s when I find myself intrigued and inspired as well. What makes me happy? My passion and purpose. When God can elevate me and when I’m able to use my purpose for a greater good, that too makes me happy.
3. As a wife, mother and an entrepreneur you’re constantly serving others. How do you make time for yourself?
Lately I’ve been getting back in the gym. Self-care is a must and being able to workout feels great! I also make time to read, listen to music and make time for my faith. My faith is my foundation and what keeps me going.
4. What inspired you to create the the book and the company, Know Your Worth?
I honestly feel that God has used my pain to birth my purpose. While reading Steve Furtick’s book Sun Stand Still, he talked a lot about having audacious faith. After I finished reading the book, I realized that I was living in darkness. I kept a lot to myself in my 20’s and spent a lot of those years in darkness. The book made me face my insecurities and made me want to start living life outside of my comfort zone. Stepping out of that comfort zone, I booked a speaking engagement for a women’s empowerment event. It was after that event that I knew I wanted to start writing the book, so I began.
During this time I was pregnant with Joshua and to my surprise, I ended up being hospitalized during my pregnancy. While in the hospital my son was born prematurely. Joshua’s birth signified to me that which is born prematurely (my book) will not prosper. Therefore, I knew it wasn’t the season to write my book and although I had the vision, I had to be patient. I had to focus on being a mother.
Once I was ready to start writing again, I realized I’d lost everything prior – what took me a year 1/2 to write was deleted. But I knew God had a different story He wanted me to share. Once I started writing and it took me 2 1/2 months to complete, Know Your Worth. Releasing the book felt like the launch of something greater, so I decided to brand Know Your Worth and turn it into a company. I’m now able to connect with women by sharing my story and allowing them to do the same through hosting my Girl Talk events.
5. Tell us a little about the Girl Talk events. Who should attend & why?
I wanted to start conversations about topics that connect all women together, which lead to the creation of my Girl Talk events. These events give women a chance to get out and interact with one another. The upcoming event will allow these conversations to take place. It will also give women a chance to experience those “me too” moments I mentioned earlier. These moments allow me to connect with women on a deeper level and reaffirm that we’re not on our journey’s alone. We all go through the same things and we need to talk about it. Our stories deserve to be heard. Therefore, I think all women should attend.
6. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far as an entrepreneur?
Understanding that your network is your net-worth. The relationships I build are intentional. As an entrepreneur strategic relationships are a must.
7. What is your definition of a Fearless Woman?
A Fearless Woman is one who is confident, yet not without fear. She sees beyond the fear and is driven to achieve greatness. It’s OK to have fear and to acknowledge it, but don’t stay stuck in it. In life, you have to feel the fear to produce. Lastly, a Fearless Woman knows that she is enough, but can always get better. She is content, but not complacent.
8. How can we keep up with you?