We had the good fortune of connecting with Shynikia Means and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shynikia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
It was a quote by James Baldwin that resonated with me, and it stated ” Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Fear in this life is a constant variable that can halt one from changing an outcome, it is sometimes paralyzing when you see how much you have to lose especially, when you have a family. But as a single mom, I have had to take risk to improve our situation from negative to positive and I understood that if I didn’t move correctly I could put unwanted stress on my family. Yet, it has been worth it as I continue on my journey to build and define my brand.

Sometimes, I have found that I will feel alone, that I may not have the support I want or need but I still have to forge a head in order to get to my purpose, so the risk I take are worth every step; because as I walk my faith reminds me that God is walking ahead of me and even if it’s rocky road the path he cleared for me is truly greater than anything I could have seen.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a writer and public speaker who speaks mainly about sexual abuse and domestic violence. Everything that I speak about I have lived through it and it has not been an easy road. What sets me apart is I am telling my own story, and I am speaking loudly because for so long I was quiet and scared of judgement. But if I can share my story to give others the strength to want to live, and to want to find a way to get out of a bad situation then I have done what I came to do.

I am proud of myself, for choosing to love me. I have put myself out in the world and have been able to do and accomplish things I wouldn’t have dreamed. I chose to abandon my fears to seek the desires of my heart, and in doing so last year in the pandemic I published a children’s book called ” The Train” that ranked number #5 on new baby books for a week. It may seem like a small accomplishment for many but the love and support from children, family and friends made me feel like I had won a Pulitzer Prize and was on the New York Times best selling list. Professionally, I am sure I will see those accolades one day.

In the meantime, trying to accomplish what I want to professionally today takes risk and perseverance, due to the fact that I may not always be victorious in my endeavors, I am still willing to celebrate failures as well because it’s worth all the blood, sweat and tears to be able to say, “I am working in my purpose doing the things I have always knew I was suppose to”.

When it comes to lessons of life it is a trial and error. We will always be learning and discovering new things. As we live, lessons are treasured to be valued even when we don’t see the worth. I know one day the world will know my name because what I am trying to accomplish is not so much about the brand because brands come and go; I want to leave a mark on this world that will help generations now and generations to come.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Breakfast Klub
Lost n Found

Trez art and wine bar

and Bar 5015

But then we got the museums and enjoying Montrose, Typhoon Texas waterpark, etc.

The art, culture and the beautiful people has been such a welcoming presence since coming to Houston two years ago.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to Shoutout, my mom and dad who both encourages me with their words of wisdom, love and just the way they believe in me.

Shoutout to my daughters Taseauna, Si’an and Ariana they always encourage me with their love and words.

Lastly, my family and friends who have supported my crazy ideas without even questioning them because of them truly believing in me.

I just want to say “Thank You”

Instagram: @elavated_to_live

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