Latoya Benson is a woman who found her own empowerment in her journey and now transforms women all over the country. Whether it’s her book, business or her magazine, she aims to help clear the fog and replace it with a clearer vision and focus. She has triumphed through while maintaining and holding steadfast to her faith. It hasn’t always been easy but she’s here to stay.
Who is Latoya now? Who was she at 23? Latoya now is bold, brave, confident, fearless, and she knows exactly who she is, what she wants and what she is called to do. She is not afraid to be the authentic and blaze her own trail. Latoya at 23 …wow, she was young, inexperienced, and unsure. She had an idea of who she was but not enough to own it and walk in it. She was ambitious but lacked the “roar” necessary to take the world by storm!
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self? Embrace your difference because there is power in your difference. Love who you are, know your worth and value and don’t let ANYONE treat you less than you deserve.
“My favorite color is purple!”
Name a time when you feel-now looking back- was the lowest point in your journey to now. What was going on in your life and how did you overcome it? My journey has not been easy but in terms of my lowest point I would have to say was the battle within myself. During my early twenties when I was just in a self-destructive mode. I was angry at myself for not doing better and pushing myself to achieve greater. I was frustrated, I made bad decisions and just wasn’t honoring myself that I should have.
DOING IT SOLO
As someone who has encountered the hurdle of Divorce, what were your initial fears when you realized your marriage was ending? My initial fears were regarding the emotional state of my children and how the divorce would affect them in the future. I wasn’t fearful about how I would make it or provide for myself and my children but I was honestly very fearful of what people would say, mainly the church. I was a preacher of the Gospel and wondered how others would react to me being a “divorced preacher.”
Did the experience bruise you in terms of how you felt about love and marriage from that point on? I wouldn’t say bruised. It definitely changed my perspective and caused me to be cautious and more aware of new relationships in my life. I am a hopeless romantic. I am a fan of love and I want to be married again because I believe in marriage.
What did you learn from the experience? I learned first and foremost to listen to God when entering into a relationship. Oftentimes we ignore his guidance because we want what we want. I also learned a great deal about myself. I learned my breaking points so to speak. I learned that I am responsible for my own happiness not my spouse. Being a wife is one of the greatest responsibilities and it requires you to be selfless and truly operate in the fruit of the spirit. Marriage is for sure a ministry and it should be treated as such.
Did you have a support system/sister circle around you at the time as a comfort resource? Yes. My family was very supportive as well as my church family. I also have amazing friends who supported me during the entire process one of which had already experienced divorced so she knew exactly what I was feeling.
AT HOME: ” I am a mom of 2…9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. I love family and I have a big family.
WRITE AND LEARN
What demographic of women would enjoy your book, “The New You Revolution: A 40 Day Journey to Discovering and Becoming the New You?” Based on feedback, what would you say are the top three things that have caused these women to lose themselves and seeking “newness” in their lifestyle? The New You Revolution is for all women of all races. Women from 18-60 more specifically but also even beyond the age bracket. It’s for the everyday woman, the single woman, the married woman, the divorced woman and the career woman. Wow, the top three things I would say is: 1) Losing their Identity in their roles 2) A traumatic experience/life transition such as divorce or loss of a job 3) The need to truly discover purpose.
Your background/education started in Systems/Computer Science. Did you feel like something was missing when you were on that career path or did you find yourself participating more and more in things outside of work in regards to empowering others? I received my degree from the School of Engineering at Howard University. By the time I began taking the courses that were directly related to my major I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. But once you endure the rigorous courses that I did…you don’t change your major. 🙂 So, I made a decision to allow my degree to work for me indirectly and while doing so I began to empower and operate in my gifts outside of that career path.
With Inner Visions Consulting, you provide help with branding and vision for professionals. Can you tell me your experience with that arena in your businesses prior to this and explain to our readers how important it is to have branding and vision alignment in their endeavors. Yes, Inner Visions Consulting Services is my business and I am actually in the process of rebranding so I’m super excited about that. While empowering others by way of women’s conferences, women’s newsletters and ultimately an online magazine…I was using my branding knowledge that I didn’t know I had. People would ask me who did my branding and graphics and I would say, me. I soon discovered that I had a gift and began to study the craft. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur having clarity of vision is crucial to not just your success but the direction you go and the decisions that you make. If your vision is not clear you will continue reinventing the wheel and staying in a cycle called stuck and your goal should be to move forward and make progress. Branding really deals with you understanding who your company is and what your services are. What are you promising? Building a brand is more than just the visual elements that we are all familiar with such as a logo, flyer, or website. Branding is about an experience. If you don’t know your who, what, and why and you aren’t able to articulate it in a message then your success at building a great brand is in question.
“I love to dance and laugh and I love getting together with family and friends.”
While every accomplishment may not receive recognition or applause, what do you consider your biggest triumph in your business? Staying the course. Yes. Entrepreneurship is not for quitters or the faint at heart. Many people start on the journey and quit before they see the results they were seeking. I entered into entrepreneurship by faith and continue to walk the journey by faith. It’s not easy but it is so rewarding!
How has your faith guided you along the way? My faith is everything. It’s not every day that you hear of someone leaving their good job at the White House to pursue purpose. Well, that was me. And it was totally a faith move and an act of obedience. I don’t make a move without consulting God. Daily I go to him for direction and strategy and it has been my faith that has allowed me to be successful thus far. As long as my faith stays in-tact, I’m good!
“I wouldn’t change anything. I believe that everything happens for a reason and it all has played a part in the woman I am today.”
Tell us about any upcoming endeavors, events, books you have coming up? I am rebranding my branding business as my vision has evolved. I also have an initiative currently going on for women in business called Rock Your Authenticity that includes women in business teleconferences, networking event and a main event in September. I am working on two books one of which will be released in the coming year.
What makes you a connected woman? I am connected to God, connected to myself and connected to that which is bigger than myself; a community of women that are doing amazing things.
Latoya Benson is a forward thinking pioneer for every facet of the modern day woman. Latoya’s style of empowerment is untraditional yet refreshing. She has helped women around the country transform their lives by switching gears from Neutral to Drive. For more information, purchase products and support please visit latoyabenson.com.
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