Lyfe Smarts with Necie Black
By Ashley A. Love
Necie Black from Lyfe Smarts, LLC is a great example of how transitioning from corporate America to entrepreneurship is not only possible, but can be life-changing. As a young girl from Los Angeles, she found her way into corporate America where she worked for almost thirty years before deciding to branch off and start her own business. With her husband’s support and her love for helping women live well and make better choices, she founded Lyfe Smarts, LLC where she began private and group coaching sessions, intelligence training, speaking services, and created round-table seminars and workshops to help those women gain the clarity, confidence, and the courage they need to live the life they want and achieve the goals they’ve only been dreaming about. Black is in the process of expanding the services she offers to include corporate trainings and is currently writing her first book. While entrepreneurship has its bumps and hurdles, Black continues to be a highly regarded influencer in her field and believes the connections she is making on her journey are “priceless”.
Keywords: Necie Black, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship
Lyfe Smarts with Necie Black
When I think of entrepreneurs that I know, Necie Black of Lyfe Smarts, LLC comes first to mind. After almost 30 years in corporate America, she stepped out into the exciting world of entrepreneurship. She founded Lyfe Smarts, LLC in 2014 and serves women who desire to “gain the clarity, confidence, and courage they need to live the life they want and achieve the goals they’ve only been dreaming about…” (Black, 2016).
Black was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the housing project of West Dallas with five brothers and two sisters. She stated that one of her favorite things to do as a child was to “get up early Saturday morning and sit outside while it was still quiet and the morning dew covered everything” (Black, 2016). She attended Amberton University in Garland Texas where she received both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Business Management. She is also a Certified Master Coach, Speaker, and Clarity Counsel and is currently residing in the Oklahoma City area.
In 2013, Black started the transition from working in corporate America to becoming an entrepreneur due to her dissatisfaction of all she had not yet achieved in her life. “I felt the urge to do something different; something meaningful with a greater impact in the world”, stated Black (personal communication, May 6, 2016). After teaching office administration at a local Job Corps, she realized that she could “impact change on a greater scale” as an entrepreneur.
Black founded and registered Lyfe Smarts, LLC in 2014 with the intention to serve women ages 35-60 who feel like life left them behind. Her business name, Lyfe Smarts, was inspired by her own book smarts. Growing up, she had a love for education and still carries that love with her today. Although she excelled academically, what she didn’t learn from books, she learned “the hard way in life.”
“Being book smart is great, but you must couple it with intelligent choices, creating practical and tangible goals, putting in the work, and holding yourself responsible for creating what you want in life”, says Black (personal communication, May 6, 2016).
She offers private and group coaching sessions, intelligence training, speaking services, and round-table seminars and workshops to support women who want to make better choices, and create the life they want, but are unclear on where to start or what their next best steps are. Black spoke on what her ideal client is going through by stating, “Where they are in life is a result of poor choices, and they are weighed by guilt; suffering silently in the shadow of past hurt and fear. They may have spent the majority of their life putting the needs of others over their own and settled into a life of mediocrity. Their self-esteem and confidence are suffering” (personal communication, May 6, 2016). Black’s passion for supporting women comes from her own real-life experiences. She has been where they are and wants to help them get to the other side of fear, pain, and frustration. She believes the keys to working with her are clarity, action and accountability. Her passion for serving women was evident when she stated, “We all know women are the backbone of the family, work place and community, so imagine how many women can heal and begin to live the life they want.” (Black, personal communication, May 6, 2016).
By helping others lead better lives, Black stays motivated to continue pursuing her purpose in life. She enjoys watching women grow their confidence and lead lives where they are truly happy. Black has connected with women from all walks of life and has formed many lasting friendships through her international speaking presence. She is currently serving as a board member and volunteer for Dress for Success Oklahoma City, whose mission is directly in alignment with hers. She believes “these connections are priceless” (Black) in business and in life.
When she is not acting as the CEO of her business, Black enjoys doing anything and everything with her family including traveling, shopping for her grandbabies with her husband, and enjoying the leisure time she gets from working at home. Her husband, Michael, has inspired her to follow her dreams with his continuous support even back when her business was just a thought she had. By listening to her vent, always standing in her corner, and providing encouragement to stick with it, Black calls him her “greatest cheerleader.” (Black, 2016)
The best advice she ever received regarding entrepreneurship is “Give yourself permission to pioneer” which comes from the Profit Accelerator, Ms. Allyson Byrd (Black, 2016). Many times in business, I believe we can develop a fear of success and wonder how we will be able to adapt to the changes that comes with it. Black stated the following when asked what her best piece of advice is for new and emerging entrepreneurs, “You can’t build and grow alone. Surround yourself with people who speak positively into your life, who refuse to let you give in, and who are not afraid to tell you the truth. You won’t know it all so be open to unlearning some things so you can learn the most important things to be effective in your new space. Allow yourself grace as you progress” (personal communication, May 6, 2016). That advice reigns true regardless of where you are on your entrepreneurial journey. I have learned from many mentors, including Necie Black, you mimic the top five people that you are around most often and that has led me to re-evaluating toxic and meaningless friendships and ending them to make room for intentional, powerful and supportive relationships.
This is only the beginning for Necie Black and Lyfe Smarts, LLC. She is adding Corporate Services to her list of offerings where the focus is “wellness through confidence, employee engagement, and agility in ever-changing corporate environments” (Black, 2016) and is in the process of writing her own book. From a little girl from California to a life-changing entrepreneur in Oklahoma City, Black has faced ups and downs along the way, but she continues to stay focused on her mission to touch as many women as possible. She has definitely touched my life through her kindness, thirst for inspiring others, and positive attitude.