In this episode, Christina interviewed Leticia Francis. She overcame trauma and adversity, found herself motivated to do more than working in the corporate world, and took her business from idea to reality in just two months.
Let’s look at how she did it.
Questions and Answers
00:29 You said you started from a place of trauma and adversity, can you elaborate on that?
02:14 What obstacles did you face and overcome?
09:58 How did you launch your business in just two months?
16:53 What do your days look like now?
21:27 What do you do?
27:10 What’s your website address?
27:58 What advice do you have?
Links and Resources
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[00:00:00] Christina Hooper: Hey, busy business people. I am here today with another entrepreneur taking action, Latisha Francis. She overcame trauma and adversity found herself motivated to do more than working in the corporate world and took her business from idea to reality in just two months. And I'm going to get the scoop today on how she did it.
[00:00:29] To kick things off, man, there's a lot to unpack in your story there, isn't there? Like I know you said you started your journey into adulthood from a place of trauma and adversity, and it obviously had an impact on you. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? As much as you're comfortable sharing.
[00:00:43] Leticia Blaque Rose: Yes. At the age of 14, I entered into an inappropriate relationship with someone that was twice my age.
[00:00:52] Um, I ended up marrying him, which is a whole nother story, but that relationship was very abusive and it really impacted my view of myself and my self worth. Um, the relationship ended with me being staled by my husband, um, in his drunken rage one night and I was kinda left to figure things out for the first time in my life.
[00:01:27] Um, because I have been in that relationship literally from childhood, I am now a 20-something year old woman. Never, ever been on my own. Didn't know who I was and there was a long journey for me, um, to pick up the pieces and put them back together. Uh, I grew up in Bermuda and I needed a new start.
[00:01:55] So I ran off to university. I left a career in law enforcement to pursue a career in insurance, which is how I ended up in corporate.
[00:02:07] Christina Hooper: So a lot of, kind of finding yourself there and, you know, making your way into the corporate world and figuring out who you are, like you obviously had to overcome obstacles, right?
[00:02:17] Like I know we just kind of skimmed right through, like, you know, you had to find yourself at 20, all alone in the world now, and then you had law enforcement and then you went to university and, and insurance and in corporate, and like, there were obstacles all along that path. Like, what did some of those look like and how did you, I can't even imagine picking yourself up from all that.
[00:02:38] Leticia Blaque Rose: Some of the obstacles, sorry. Some of the obstacles for me were. Really trying to find my voice in this world. So I described myself as a self-contained hurricane. I mean, despite the abuse, I have always been authentic to who I am and for a lot of people that is uncomfortable. Um, I've had a narrative since I've been very, very young that I am.
[00:03:08] Much too much mouth, too much attitude. I'm too opinion, opinionated. I'm too smart for my own good. And that was very heavy for me in finding myself, because you hear this narrative for so long, you start to ??Crash. You're rather not ??Those things. I call them my thorns. Those thorns actually have a place in your life.
[00:03:35] And for me, particularly moving from law enforcement to corporate, that was a huge adjustment. Um, I wasn't used to not being able to be myself. ?? In law enforcement. You know, you, you have to have a certain aspect of professionalism outside of dealing with the public. You can be yourself around your co-workers.
[00:04:05] And I moved into, uh, environments where I kind of stood out. At the time I had dreads. By the time I left corporate, my dreads were to my knees. And that was always a story for somebody. They always would say, "Is that your real hair?" You know, I always, my appearance made me stand out. My personality made me stand out and it often left me feeling
[00:04:41] bad about myself. So going into corporate, especially, I didn't understand the dynamics. And I think that put a huge damper on my ability to progress. Um, I was in an environment where to be honest predominantly white people progressed. I was in situations where I literally trained people who I knew would end up being my supervisor.
[00:05:14] or would be moved on to go into underwriting. Um, I was a catastrophe modeler for 14 years. And in that process, I remember I, okay. So I went to university in Atlanta and I went back to Bermuda where I was working for two years. And one of the things that I noticed very quickly is if people don't like you, they overlook what you bring to the table.
[00:05:48] A lot of the corporate environment is networking outside of work hours to build relationships with people. And I wasn't about that life. I give you eight hours which you pay me for so that I can live my life. I worked so that I can live. I don't live so that I can work. And that was something that I struggled with because the people that I saw.
[00:06:17] Progressing where the ones that were going out for drinks, were the ones that were going out in boat parties and stuff like that. And I don't believe, like I struggled with that. Why am I expected to give you more than what you pay me for? And if I don't, um, criticize or penalize for that. And I was very vocal, probably to my detriment.
[00:06:45] Bermuda is a very small place. And if you get blackballed, you people know about you and I'm not saying like I was famous, but I, I understood the dynamics. It was a very small market in a very small island. And. I came in and I made an impact, which was not necessarily the best. So I tried to press reset and I moved to England for an opportunity to really, truly
[00:07:20] expand and excel in my career. And even after pressing reset, you find yourself constantly being pushed back in the box to keep people around you comfortable. And eventually I got very tired of that. I don't believe that we have these traits, these personality traits to ignore them. And for me, I, I wanted a way to capitalize on my, the ones so that I was fulfilled in life because I'm a non-conformance and I'm not about fathering, social constructions and sexual controls, just because, and.
[00:08:05] The corporate world for me was just a cage.
[00:08:11] Christina Hooper: Yep. And I hear that so many times from some really successful entrepreneurs that it's like, you just don't fit in that box. I mean, I know I had a similar experience. I worked in a cubicle for six years in corporate America and, you know, in an engineering firm and it was one of the only women there.
[00:08:27] You know, it was one of the youngest people there. I think I was like the second youngest one in the entire engineering floor, you know, I was doing software programming and stuff for them. In addition to, you know, drawing blueprints and stuff, it was just, you're in a box, like a literal box. They put you in a literal box, like it's a cubicle that you live in all day long with almost no sunlight.
[00:08:45] Like I would come in some days and the sun wasn't even up yet. And when I left, the sun was down and I'm like, did it even come up at all today? I didn't see it. It's like, wow. You know, and then you just start looking and it's like, you realize there's only so far, you can go and that you're going to be in this box forever.
[00:09:00] And I'm seeing some of the people that have been there for like 40 years and 50 years. And the company is just looking at, exiting them out because they're not learning the new stuff fast enough. And it's like, they've been giving you literally their entire life. And the company doesn't care and it's like, oh man, this was a good company.
[00:09:18] It wasn't a bad company. It was a good company. Good benefits, good pay, good everything. But it's like, man, that's not going to be me. I'm not going to be 50, 60 years old sitting in that box. And I hear that from so many entrepreneurs that they're just like, it's corporate, it's just this box, this limiting thing where they're building someone else's dream and they didn't want to do that.
[00:09:39] So you decided to get out of the box. And to do your own thing. And that's a big decision. And I mean, it sounds like you're not afraid to make big decisions. You've jumped around a bunch. You've moved to different countries. You expanded your horizons. You've lived her authentic self, like making that decision to say, okay, I'm done.
[00:09:57] I'm moving out. What did that look like? How'd you figure out what you wanted to do. How did you decide to make the leap? I know you said you launched your business in just two months, like walk us through what happened, how did that work?
[00:10:10] Leticia Blaque Rose: I was a manager at a Lloyd's of London insurance syndicate. And for those who don't know, Lloyd's of London is the oldest insurance institution in the world.
[00:10:22] So for me, this was the pinnacle of my career, a black woman in this environment. And I will say, I didn't see many of me at all in that building. If I did, they were security or cleaners and. I struggled in my last role because I was not respected. I was bought in and I always, I used this analogy. I was bought in to be a heavy weight boxer.
[00:10:52] But expected to go into the boardroom as the wrong girl ?? Up the numbers. And that to me was a problem. Like I said, strong personality. I stand on what I bring to the table and maybe my experience has shaped me in that way, but I'm very confident and being in a position where I am literally putting my physical health, mental health.
[00:11:21] In jeopardy to build someone else's dream never sat well with me, but you do what you gotta do. You gotta put food on the table. You've got to have a roof over your head. And I had two children back to that. Um, so in England, our maternity leave is up to 12 months. So in a period of three years, I was out of work for 18 months, dealing with my family.
[00:11:50] And during that time, I was really in a place where this cannot be life. You know what I mean? And I started a really huge soul search. What is it that I want? How can I take the things that make me uniquely me and make money off of it? And it wasn't until I had my second daughter and I received an email from a co-worker six hours after giving birth, they acknowledged my child by name and then proceeded to ask me about work.
[00:12:30] And I'm going to be honest with you, it pissed me off. It was like, they might as well have just said, "F you Latisha," and it angered me, but it also fueled me to dig a little deeper. And one of the things that was very instrumental for me once I left my abusive relationship, was working with a coach. So I, I thought I was like, you know, I'm a person that all of my friends and acquaintances come to, to help them solve their problems.
[00:13:07] Maybe this is what I need to do. So I spent some time during my maternity leave, getting certified. And I decided, okay, I'm going to start a business. And I worked so hard in two months with a newborn baby that's breastfeeding and a 19 month old to build this business because I wanted an opportunity to start generating money so that I can pull away.
[00:13:37] From my nine to five, um, in the UK, they're very flexible with work time. So I thought, okay, maybe I'll work three days a week, and then I'll fix this two days a week on my business. I then went back to work after 10 months maternity leave to absolute chaos. And I was reminded immediately of why I wanted out.
[00:14:02] And I think the straw that broke the camel's back if I'm honest was after months of telling my boss that we were in crisis state and we needed to do something about it, the crisis happened. And then I was left to clean up the mess, which I'm good at. That's what I was brought in to do. However, in a meeting just before Christmas of last year, I had this old English white man shouting at me, cursing at me, calling me out of my name.
[00:14:39] He called me a little girl. And then getting a message from my manager who didn't even have the balls to call me. He sends me an email telling me that I was the cause of the tensions on the ??. And that for me wasit. I had built my business and I was doing life coaching, but I made the decision December last year, cut ties with the corporate, go full-time into my, my business.
[00:15:08] And as a result, I pivoted my business, um, to focus on helping others get out of that toxic corporate environment.
[00:15:20] Christina Hooper: I love all of that so much. I can resonate with all of that in so many ways. It's like I had a similar story. My kids are like two years apart. And I was in college and I was working two jobs, two part-time jobs, but we don't have maternity leave.
[00:15:36] I literally gave birth to my son, my second kid, the day before Thanksgiving, over here, which was on a Wednesday. And I was told if I was not back at work by that weekend, that following Monday, if I wasn't back at work and back at school, I would be fired and I wouldn't be able to do my final exams and my classes and I would be dropped from the class.
[00:15:58] And it's like, wow. So here I am. I can't even put regular shoes on, you know, it's like my two year old daughter's putting on pink, fuzzy house shoe slippers for me. 'Cause I can't even bend down to get to my feet. 'Cause I just gave birth. And I'm back at work. I'm back at school, the following Monday. And it's like, you just have to, the things we can overcome sometimes.
[00:16:19] I think are astounding,
[00:16:24] Leticia Blaque Rose: I'm so angry by this story.
[00:16:27] Christina Hooper: Yeah. I mean, that was, but I mean, it built me, right. It built me into a person that, you know, there is no obstacle I will like will jump them. And I feel like so many of us are so good at that. And we don't realize we have that in us until you're just faced with it.
[00:16:44] And you have to, and you have to persevere and that we've talked a lot about your past. So let's move forward into now, right? Like you're a wife, you're a mom, you're an entrepreneur. You've left the corporate America. What do your days look like now? Like you have been all about building this dream life.
[00:16:59] What does it look like?
[00:17:00] Leticia Blaque Rose: My days? So my babies are three and almost two. And one of the things that was very important to me about building this businesses is having the opportunity to home school them. So all the little bitty babies, I homeschool my babies. So I get up in the morning, we do class, I go off and go to the gym, do some self care.
[00:17:27] And then my days in the afternoon,are clients or do implore CAS, you know, business focus, um, and. I love being able to be 's been doing that with COVID, but that was ultimately my go. Um, my bigger for my businesses to world school, my children is what talking about Spain.
[00:17:52] We're learning about span this month. We are in Spain. That's I want them to experience life through experiencing. Culture and diversity. And I think that there's a lessons that a lot of us don't learn. Right. We stay in our small little box. We never really venture outside of that. And I want for my kids to truly be world children and understand the dynamics around the world as they learn and grow.
[00:18:22] But yeah, I love my days of no stress, no headaches, you know? Just up and do what it is that I absolutely love to do while spending time with the people that mean the most to me, my babies,
[00:18:39] Christina Hooper: uh, that it's amazing. Get mine are 16 and 18. Now they're about their birthdays are in November. So I'm like this close to having two adults.
[00:18:48] But they're both actually working with me now in the business. And like they're sitting in on some of these business meetings and my son's like, man, I get it. Now. He actually asked me if he could just be done with high school. He's like high school is useless. I would learn more sitting up here with you than I would in my last two years of high school is, I don't know.
[00:19:03] I was like, well, let's think it through. And we did, and we sat down and he's actually going for his GED. He dropped out of actual high school and he's up here learning how to do stuff. He actually produces these podcast episodes for me. Um, and he taught himself, like he taught himself how to do it all, you know, over the summer.
[00:19:18] And I was like, if you're serious about it, I want you up here showing up and let's do it. Yeah.
[00:19:22] Leticia Blaque Rose: That's amazing and you know what? I am a person who I appreciate education. I'm highly intelligent and I love knowledge, but I don't have a strong trust in the traditional educational system. It doesn't teach us about life.
[00:19:48] Christina Hooper: Well, that's kinda what I learned.
[00:19:49] Like, you know, I was never big on homeschooling. My kids went to public school just because I felt like they could do a better job of it than I could. But then even before the pandemic, we started having like all the shooting scares in the high schools and stuff. So I pulled my kids out and we did Georgia Cyber Academy, which is online learning sort of homeschool, but they still had teachers seemed like a good middle ground, but then I was sitting there watching this stuff, they're learning and seeing how they're teaching it to them.
[00:20:14] And it's just like, It's pointless. Like it has gotten so much worse than even when I was in school, like they don't teach anything useful. And maybe that's just the U S education system versus because I know I've heard better things about some of the other countries, but I mean, they're not. Nothing usefull, nothing usefull at all.
[00:20:31] Leticia Blaque Rose: I went to a private school Private school. And I can tell you, I have never, ever had to calculate gravity in my life.
[00:20:38] Christina Hooper: Yeah. Well, and I mean, nowadays, you don't even have to do basic math. Right. You know, they always said, oh, you'll never have a calculator with you everywhere you go. And it's like, I literally have one here. I have one here. I have Google speakers all through my house.
[00:20:51] That will just answer any question that I have. You don't have to just memorize stupid knowledge nowadays. It's, it's out there. It's everywhere. And it's like, all they're doing is Googling things and then answering the questions on the test. So it's like, what's the point? So when he asked me about that, I was like, you know, okay, let's do it.
[00:21:09] It's non-traditional. I was like, but let's do it. And I mean, it's just, it's just such a different world when you start thinking about things like, you know, it doesn't have to be a certain way. It doesn't have to be the way we were taught. It has to be like, there's different paths for everybody. And I think it's awesome now.
[00:21:25] Okay. So I have picked your brain about your entire backstory. Tell us what you do, right? Who do you help? How do you help them? And if someone wants to work with you, where do they go?
[00:21:35] Leticia Blaque Rose: So I am a business mindset coach that is passionate about helping women build their dream business and leave that soul sucking career behind.
[00:21:50] Um, I really help them work through their fears and hesitations with building businesses. I think a lot of times we get stuck. Unable to move forward because of the narratives that we're telling ourselves about business. Um, a lot of the women that I work with have success in their corporate life, but they are so unhappy and they convinced themselves, you know what?
[00:22:15] I don't have what it takes to be a business man. No, wait a minute, lovely. You are successfully building someone else's dreams miserably. You have everything that it takes to build your own dreams and find fulfillment and success as you see it. I think a lot of times we get caught up on someone else's vision of success, even with the education, right.
[00:22:41] It's amazing that society is very comfortable with us putting ourselves in that for 30 years. To get educated, to build someone else's dreams. We are picking up skills that really don't mean anything to us. Like I went into insurance, I got a full scholarship, so I couldn't switch my degree. They won in an insurance company.
[00:23:11] I knew it wasn't for me. I used to liken it to Robin sandpaper on my eyeballs. That's how much I hated it, but I was knee deep in a commitment that I couldn't see out of. We encouraged people to go off to college and become these big things. And you know what not knocking anyone that becomes an accountant or.
[00:23:35] Doctor, lawyer, whatever, if that is what they're passionate about. But what about the people who are passionate about something else? What about the people who are passionate and have been since young? Like I remember someone saying to me then they were in primary school. I want to ride horses for a living and they were talked out of it.
[00:23:56] That is not a real job. You can't make money. You won't be successful. They went into corporate they did that for 10 years. And you know what they're doing today?. Riding horses for a living. We give away years and years and years following someone else's version and vision of success. And I'm here to interrupt that flow. I'm here to show women that it does not have to be that way.
[00:24:26] We sacrifice so much. You sacrifice a lot. I've seen all the women's sacrifice so much wanting, a woman that I really had so much admiration for, she built a life insurance company, but that came at a cost. She lost her marriage. She lost her relationship with her children. And guess what? After 20 years they kicked her to the curb.
[00:24:52] Now, after what sacrifice, years and years. We are left with nothing. We are left to retire and then try to figure out what it is that we like. Then we don't even have the dexterity to crochet anymore. And I don't believe that that is what life's about. So my, my passion, my mission is to really encourage others to stop out there.
[00:25:18] Take a gamble. Trust themselves and put in the work that you have put in for someone else's dreams.
[00:25:29] Christina Hooper: And you are beyond qualified at that. Like you were the embodiment of the things I tell everybody they need. It's like, if you want to succeed and be happy, there are three things you have to fully understand your personal superpower, your unconscious capability, the thing that you are really good at, whatever it is, if you're really good at riding horses, if you're really good at organizing your kitchen, drawers, whatever, find your thing.
[00:25:50] That you're really good at that. Everybody's like, man, you're awesome. Find that. Figure out what makes you happy every day? Like if you spend all day, every day with somebody doing something, what would it be? You know, who are those people? And only then can you invent the service then can you figure out what you offer?
[00:26:06] Can you build a business around it? If you do it any other way? You're absolutely miserable. It's like I did the same thing I spent like fricking 10 years with everybody telling me the direction I needed to go. Like, oh, you're web development company. You can't do that. You're chasing projects all the time. You need to be a marketing agency.
[00:26:21] Like, okay, fine. I'll do that. So I'm a marketing guy and miserable, then they're like, well, now you can't work with small business owners. It's like, well, wait, I like working with small business owners. I know I got out of corporate America. I don't want to go network for them as a marketing agency. Why would I want to do well?
[00:26:35] You have to, they're the only ones who can afford to pay you. Like that stinks. So I tried that for the us still miserable, you know, and I was like, I'm going to, I'm going to do this. Like, I'm really good at working with small business owners. It's what I do. I help them with their marketing. I help them with the branding.
[00:26:49] I helped them with like, that's what I like. It's what not. So we're going to figure out what to do about it. Part of that's why this is happening, why ETA was born. Cause it's like we can learn from other people that like somebody has walked this path before us, somebody has figured it out. Somebody has already done it and it's like, let's bring them in and let's talk to them.
[00:27:05] Let's pick up their brain. Let's get motivated. Let's get inspired. Let's find the steps. So like where does someone go? What's your website address? And I will have it linked everywhere, but tell us where to go.
[00:27:17] Leticia Blaque Rose: blaquerosecoaching.com is my website . Blaque is spelled B L A Q U E and is actually my nickname so it ties into everything but yes, blaquerosecoaching.com
[00:27:31] And also I spend a lot of time on Instagram, so it's blaquerosecoaching on Instagram as well.
[00:27:38] Christina Hooper: Awesome. So you guys definitely go check her out follow her. I mean, you've heard her whole story. If anybody can help you overcome your mental blocks and, you know, move forward on something that, you know, living that life that you actually enjoy and being happy.
[00:27:52] Um, Leticia, is it, I mean, she's going to get you going in the right direction. So definitely check her out now to wrap it up here. Is there any advice, like if somebody is on some part of the journey that you've already been on and they're trying to figure out where's the light at the end of the tunnel, like what advice would you share with them in these last couple of minutes here?
[00:28:10] Leticia Blaque Rose: My advice is to first of all, believe in yourself. That is, that is where success is born. A solid belief that you can do whatever it is that you desire. But I also tell people that whatever it is that you are desiring for yourself. You need to treat it like a newborn baby. One thing about mothers is that we will go to the ends of the earth to make sure that we do what we need to do for our children.
[00:28:40] And if you have that vision for yours desires, you are willing to do whatever it takes. Forget the failure, forget the rejection, forget it all, and just really be willing to go all in. You will see the success that you desire.
[00:29:01] Christina Hooper: I love that. I love thinking about it like that. Cause that is so true. We will do anything.
[00:29:05] We will give up anything to protect our kids. And if we treat our dreams the same way, oh, that's powerful advice. I absolutely love that. Thank you so much for coming on for doing this for being vulnerable, for sharing your story, sharing your pain, sharing motivation. Um, this has been amazing and I hope our audience just eats this up.
[00:29:25] You know, watch this over and over again. Take this in. There's so much good stuff here. So thank you so much for doing this today.
[00:29:30] Leticia Blaque Rose: Thank you fo having me .
[00:29:32] Christina Hooper: Entrepreneurs. This is your call to take action, right? Join our firstname.lastname@example.org where our whole focus is helping you build a business that enables your lifestyle instead of taking over your life or constantly bringing on amazing people like the Leticia to train you, to help you, you know, be your best self and live that best life.
[00:29:49] So head over to ETAtoday.zone and join. Until next time, bye guys.