Please introduce yourself and your business to our community.
I am Lakila Bowden, co-founder of Dope People Who and I help Black singles and couples amplify their internal dopeness so they can experience wildly healthy and fun AF relationships!”
At what point in your life did you realize your passion?
I’ve always had a passion for sharing light and helping other people realize their dopeness but I don’t think I fully understood how to formally harness that power into something coachable in a way that aligned with the lifestyle I want to live until after turning 35. I was in Corporate America for over 15 years, excelling, progressing, but never really passionate about the work. When I retired from Corp at 37, that’s when the light bulb went off. My time in Corporate served a purpose but I was never meant to stay there.
What did you learn about yourself in 2020?
I learned that sitting still is my SHIT! I’ve never in all of my adult life not been jet setting. Flying multiple times per week, running off to some adventure here or there, busy busy busy, running running running. Turns out, I love sitting still and I’m damned good at it! I got a lot done just sitting in the pocket at the crib, focused, and taking regular naps. #NormalizeNaps
I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to flying the way I used to and my husband, Eric and I are committed to flying private when we do start regularly traveling again.
What do you attribute to your success in life and business?
As I once overheard my 95-year-old Gran Gran tell a friend over the phone, “Lakila’s got a determined mind.” And when I look back over my life it’s true. Anything I’ve put my mind to I’ve brought into fruition. Between my determined mind and my belief in expectancy…I expect everything to work out in my favor or better than I expect…I make shit happen!
It is important for us to nurture a community of black women that share, learn, and thrive together. Please share a story of failure that taught you a valuable lesson.
At this stage of my life, I don’t subscribe to the concept of failure. I honor every experience in my life as being for my good whether it was pleasurable or painful or somewhere in between. Having said that, I’ve definitely learned some lessons on my journey.
In my 20’s I lost a significant amount of money in what I would later come to learn was a Ponzi Scheme. I was embarrassed and too ashamed to tell anyone. It was more money than some people make in a year and I naively handed it over. I trusted but didn’t verify and in hindsight, I didn’t fully understand what I was investing in in the first freaking place. I remember running on the treadmill at the gym with the fact that the money was really gone sinking in and a song came on my headphones, “I’ve got something the world can’t take away.” And that song immediately brought me back to myself. I may have lost the money but I didn’t lose my light and that it in fact could never be taken away. That realization helped me to make that money back several times over since then.
I also advise all people, but especially women, to make sure you completely understand any investment and have something securing your investment whether that’s property, a lien, someone lined up to go break some knees if needed…have something, Sis! If they can’t explain it and you can’t secure it, PASS!
I grew tremendously from that and I’ll never forget the lesson of mental fortitude and showing myself what I’m really made of during the down moments and the bounce back.
Please let us know the woman you were 5 years ago and who you’re becoming?
Five years ago was 2016 and I was turning the corner to becoming the woman that I am today. I’d recently started significantly reducing unnecessary expenses to stack bread and began a Private Lending firm to secure residual income and make that money work for me so I didn’t have to rely on my corporate salary. I knew I’d eventually leave corporate america and I eventually retired from Corp in 2019.
But the single most important thing that I did five years ago was manifest the most magnificent human being into my life…my Lover, my Best Friend, my Husband, Eric Bowden! I didn’t know him but I wrote a list to myself called “His Attributes” that year. There were 11 characteristics on the list that was deeply meaningful to me and when I met Eric a few months later, I looked back at that list and knew I’d written about him.
Eric’s powerful and comforting presence in my life has been a huge part of who I’ve become and continue becoming and that woman is an intuition led visionary who manifests her destiny and has a massively transformative impact on the world around her.
What women in your life have been a source of inspiration?
My Mom, Jacqueline, for sure! Growing up I learned so much from her resourcefulness. She always found a way to make sure I experienced a world outside of our own and held a deep appreciation for the skin I was in. From a young age, she instilled so much pride in me for who I am. My super sized self-esteem was definitely imbedded by her.
Then there’s my two grandmothers, Nellie and Ruby. They both loved their families powerfully and made a lot of quiet sacrifices that have allowed me to be unapologetically bold. My Grandma, Nellie, passed in 2018, and I miss her everyday but she visits me often in my dreams. Gran Gran, the one who proclaimed my “determined mind” is going on 96 and going strong! She’s got a memory like you wouldn’t believe!
And of course my sister, Kamille. We’re not even a year apart in age so we grew up with all the twin tendencies and our bond is indescribably close. My Sister was born blind and being “differently-abled” is something that she’s used as her superpower. She’s a real dynamo and a company founder herself. She founded iSee Technology where she trains other blind and visually impaired people to use their mobile devices. And she’s hilarious…we talk on the phone laughing for hours almost every day.
And I have a gang of wonderful, beautiful black queen girlfriends. I’m blessed beyond measure with my Black Girl Magic Tribe, especially my two sister best friends, Destiny and Illia. We met in college at North Carolina A&T and have been inseparable ever since!
Celebrate your wins! Brag, sis. What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of our coaching program “Unleash Your Dopeness”!!! We designed it for Black singles and couples, who’ve experienced one or more failed relationships, have had it with inconsistencies in dating experiences, and/or whose existing relationship needs a serious pick me up.
It’s in line with our massive transformative purpose to empower over 1,000,000 other wildly healthy and fun AF Black Love relationships.
Black Love matters and when we have exposure and access to the tools and mindset that amplifies our internal “dopeness”, we are empowered to foster fulfilling, high functioning, and fun relationships that improve our overall community in health, wealth, and wellness for generations to come!
Plus, we tryna #EliminateStruggleLove
Quoting Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Please share your self-care routine.
My self-care routine is fire and I’m fiercely committed to not only maintaining it, but adding to it as I learn more.
My day starts with active meditation, which includes specific envisioning techniques and active gratitude. I move my body everyday…that could be locomotion training, mobility routines, or jumping on my mini-trampoline…some kind of way, I’m moving. Then I follow it with a hot-cold contrast shower, 10 rounds of going between freezing cold and hot water is like rocket fuel for your day (and it keeps your body in fat burning mode.)
And on top of all that I’m just really really good to myself all day…I infuse a lot of rest, self-kindness, and pleasure into my days, including self-pleasure but that’s for another discussion!
You are part of our melanin muse tribe. How can we help you on your journey?
Aaayyyyyeee. I love this question. Let’s just keep showing up for each other and celebrating each other’s wins! Our mantra at Dope People Who is to “surround yourself with dope people who inspire you to be your dopest self!”…and the melanin muse tribe is Dope AF!