We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Maurya Cockrell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Maurya, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I officially launched YKNOT Consulting in 2015. After graduating from college, my peers and I struggled to find jobs because we did not fit the “minimum 5 years required” criteria. Faced with anxiety and depression, I used my knowledge of human resources and career coaching to help millennials prepare for job interviews. Later my company evolved to included coaching, consulting, learning development, and community building.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the founder of two companies, YKNOT Consulting and Leaves Speak Healthcare. I use serial entrepreneurship to address barriers to the social determinants of health. YKNOT offers workforce development (career coaching, career mapping, training) and learning solutions (program evaluation and curriculum development), while Leaves Speaks is an intergenerational healthcare consulting firm. I started these companies because I saw the gaps in our society. As an SDoH Solutionary, I am more than a problem solver. I see unsuitable and unsustainable interconnected problems caused by the social determinants of health. Through academic entrepreneurship, I address the five domains: economic stability, education, neighborhood/environment, health, and social community.
Entrepreneurship is far from easy. I was a side hustler for 5 years before jumping into entrepreneurship full time in Oct 2020. Yes, I quit my job in the middle of a pandemic because I thought it was time that I bet on myself instead of fighting adversity in corporate America. My experience as a side hustler led me to create my signature event brand, Side Hustle Honors. Through YKNOT, I annually celebrate individuals balancing a 9-5 and their own business.
My personal philosophy is to turn pain into power. In my first anthology chapter, YKNOT Me?, I discuss how all the difficulties I faced in the workplace shaped my services and my own company culture. I learned how not to treat my clients and employers.
I am most proud of reaching the point of career success that I have clients and partners internationally. I also now serve in advisory capacity to mentor new entrepreneurs.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Knowing my best friends, brunch is the main item on the itinerary. For bottomless mimosas we might explore Bosscat Kitchen + Libations or Hearsay Gastro Lounge. I would also take my friends to visit my Aunt Virginia, Aunt Debbie, and cousin Danielle who live in Houston.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I want to thank Charlene Jean-Pierre for recommending me for this interview!
I wouldn’t be the entrepreneur I am today with God and the example of entrepreneurship shown to me by my grandfathers.
I also want to thank my partner, Dr. Glenn T. Miller, my best friends Janine Brownridge and Almedina Bracic, my parents, Marvin and Dr. Vivian Cockrell, and my aunt, JoAnn Lyles. These individuals have supported my business ideas over the years and encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Instagram: Dr. MD (@drmauryadominica)
Photos by: Mena Darre Pose Coach: Chi The Model