When you consider your gifts, talents and purpose, you may wonder what do you need to focus on primarily and when? How do you know if this is what God is calling you to do? And the all too familiar question: how can you balance it all?
We asked Chicago based artist, speaker, certified life-coach and author, Nikeya Young about her own journey in career and purpose. She takes on many roles with style and godly grace in music, writing, speaking and acting. We wanted to get to know the woman behind all of these accomplishments to get the inspiration behind her music, book, and her passion to inspire others.
ArtSoul Radio: How would you describe your journey through music, acting, modeling to where you are now with writing, speaking and more?
Nikeya Young: Though I have been singing and dancing at church and school for pretty much my whole life, I didn’t officially launch my career in entertainment until January of 2008. I would pretty much describe my journey as a gift diving journey! For the past decade I have been exploring all of the gifts that God has given me, and Father is slowly but surely showing me how they all work together to bring Him glory. Now, as an author, master life coach, and speaker, my goal is to help others discover and pursue their purpose as well!
ASR: What specifically inspired you the most to write this book for women?
NY: I was most inspired to write this book by my own journey to womanhood as a young, twenty-something virtuous woman. I didn’t have my mother here to guide me (she passed away when I was 14), so I was really just getting to know God on a deeper level and the process was rough at times. From navigating the dating scene, finding clothes that were fashionable, yet holy, to deciphering which friends to keep in my circle and which ones to let go.
I remember thinking “It would sure be nice if there were some sort of handbook to help me out here”! Well, “Virtue Chic: Classy Takes Center Stage” serves as that handbook for Christian Millennial women. I really want to help my fellow Virtue Chic Divas find their purpose, love themselves, and live their best life!
ASR: What would you advise someone who is multi-talented but not sure what to focus on to pursue as a career?
NY: First things first, what do you love to do? What things are people always asking you for advice about? Those are good places to start gift diving! Next, prayer is key! Definitely seek wisdom from God with regards to what you should pursue, and when to pursue it! Also, know that you may not be able to do everything at once! To gain traction, at some point you’re going to have to narrow your focus.
Sometimes the thing that you think is going to be the main thing, just isn’t…but it serves as fuel to push you towards the next piece of the puzzle. When modeling stalled, I simply shifted into what was working and it paid off. Then I released an album called Victorious One (2013) and promoted that for a while. Then I got pregnant with my son in the fall of 2015. But instead of moping around and lamenting the fact that there just weren’t a lot of roles for pregnant women, I decided to write my first book throughout my pregnancy. You have to be willing to adjust as the seasons in your life change, and trust that God is always working all things together for your good!
ASR: How do you personally balance your career endeavors and your role as a wife and mother?
NY: For me, family is definitely of utmost importance after my relationship with God! I still consider myself an entertainer, but making sure that I am giving my family what they need is key. Shout out to my amazing husband Rodney Young Jr. and our son Rodney Young III (“R3”)! My son just turned two years old and he needs a lot of attention! I do have friends and my dad who help me out from time to time by watching my son while I zip off to auditions.
It’s not always easy to find a sitter at the last minute; and the industry is good for posting last minute castings and expecting talent to drop everything on a dime and hop to! My agents know that I’m not about that life, so they give me as much notice as they can when possible. They have been sending me tons of voice over auditions because we have the equipment to record from the comfort of our own home if needed. God gives me the grace to balance it all. Right now, I am promoting my book and blog “Virtue Chic,” teaching fitness classes part-time, and focusing on life coaching and speaking because these are all things that I can set my own hours or work at my own pace to a certain extent while caring for my toddler.
ASR: What are some upcoming projects or events that you’ll be a part of to put on our radar?
NY: I have a Virtue Chic Chat, Shop, and Chew event coming up on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Wired: The Design Boutique in Hazel Crest, Illinois! I’m super excited about this event! I will be sharing nuggets of wisdom from my book and doing a book signing. There will also be light refreshments, raffle prizes, a mini fashion show and more!
To connect with Nikeya for life coaching, or speaking at your event, please visit nikeyayoung.com.
Listen to Nikeya Young’s Victorious One album Here