5 Questions With Lisa Bennett
For some people, battling depression and suicidal thoughts lead to circumstances that may not end well. Instead of letting that happen, Lisa M. Bennett used journaling to start healing herself. She is a speaker, serial entrepreneur, Youtube personality, and author. Last year, she released her first book, “Just Keep Living: Conversations with Granny” where she recalls particular and life-changing discussions and wisdom-filled anecdotes her grandmother shared with her.
Bennett started Fearless Coaching LLC and is also a partner and executive coach with C-Crets Podcast, a coaching and corporate training platform, and podcast focused on providing career advice to underrepresented employees seeking to reach the C-Suite.
The Industry Cosign caught up with Bennett to discuss her book and why she wrote it, what she does as an entrepreneur and what advice she’d give to someone who wants to pursue their passion as a career.
Lisa has 4 adult children and majee (grandma) to six. She is passionate about purpose, manifestation, entrepreneurship, and traveling with her family.
You have written a book, Just Keep Living: Conversations with Granny, and have already won 2 awards for it. What is your book about and what prompted you to write it?
First, I am proud to say, the book has won its third award and was considered for a 2023 NAACP Image Award. It has really been an honor to know that people are finding some hope and inspiration in the pages of my life.
I never had an intention of writing a book. The book was written as part of my recovery effort in response to a very dark time in my life. I was depressed, grief-stricken, and recovering from a suicide attempt in early 2016. I was in therapy, trying to find the “will” to live, the desire to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. I didn’t want to be here, meaning alive, all while feeling obligated to be here. I leaned heavily on my 93-year-old grandmother for emotional support. She was born in 1924 and had a different view of the world…often getting me to see a side of an issue that I hadn’t considered. She knew how much I was grieving the loss of my mother who had passed away in January 2016. Granny made it her purpose to help me through a really dark time using love, laughter, and wisdom. I found our exchanges (well most of them) to be funny. Upon Granny’s passing in 2019, I started slipping backward. By this time, I had also lost my other set of grandparents and my children had moved on to college. Although I had a professional therapist, Granny’s commentary had become a very important part of my daily recovery.
Trying to reconcile grief in a healthy way led to my writing the book. As I spoke with my therapist and journaled about my conversations with Granny, the better I felt. When I posted a few of the stories, people immediately started to respond. They were also grieving her loss. I had no idea. People started sharing their favorite stories and interaction with her. Others said they looked forward to seeing how she would react to the news reports or headlines of the week. It was at that time the demand for a book was ignited.
The book documents some of those exchanges that gave me the will to laugh and continue living. It covers everything you can imagine including politically incorrect topics like R. Kelly, Donald Trump, sex, drugs, alcohol, and politics. She had an opinion on all of it.
You are also an entrepreneur and CEO of Fearless Coaching, what is it that you do in your day-to-day and how has your career helping people lead you to want to pen a book?
Fearless Coaching focuses on the mindset. We help individuals build the confidence and courage to live the lives they desire. I have a client who said, “Your superpower is your ability to help others find their superpower”. I think the experience (grief, hopelessness) that led me to write the book is the connective tissue. I understand the depth of despair a person can feel. I know how it feels to want to give up. So when I address “mindset” and hope, I am not talking as if I haven’t felt it before. I can confidently express empathy for my clients from a place of familiarity. Like everyone else, I knew some “bad” days, but prior to that period in my life, I never would have understood.
What are your immediate and future plans when it comes to you being an entrepreneur?
Right now all of my projects are in the personal development or transformation space. I partner with my wife, Rasheida, to do some of the same kind of work in the LGBTQ+ community. There are 1.8 million youth in the US and 40 million worldwide who attempt suicide due to a lack of hope and support. We use our youtube channel (https://www.Lisaandrasheida.com), other social media, and speaking engagements to reach that audience. I will continue coaching and building out programs to reach out to those who feel marginalized. My grandmother would always say, “You know, we are really here to serve”. I think she is right and that is what I believe I will be doing for the rest of my time on this earth.
What motivates you to take on the type of work that you do? What drives you to want to help others?
It is an amazing feeling to watch someone blossom and discover their skills and talents. It is rewarding when people call you excited about something they never thought they could achieve, but they have because you helped them dig deep enough. That motivates me. More importantly, it makes me feel like I am walking in my own gifts and purpose.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to embark on a similar path that you have taken in the line of work that you do?
Make sure you complete the practical business steps like writing a business plan, building an online presence, building a client attraction system, networking, collaborating, getting certifications and testimonials for proof, etc.
Personally, the most important elements are your soft skills. Although people want to improve their current situation, it is still a scary process for them. I laugh every time my wife or children buy new jeans or shoes with the intent of replacing an older one. Yet they hold on to the older stuff. It is really the same as mourning. People are just naturally adverse to change–even with simple daily things. Your clients will need to feel safe. You will need good customer service skills, practice empathy, compassion, patience, good boundaries, and a thick skin. Any coaching business can be challenging, but with dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others, it can also be incredibly rewarding.
5 Questions With Lisa Bennett