Build Inner Strength and Confidence Through Pole Dancing with Kelechi Okafor – Episode 23


In this conversation, Maven Miara Shaw interviews Kalechi Okafor, an actor, director, author, and founder of a pole dance studio in London. They discuss Kalechi’s journey of starting the studio and the power of pole dancing as a form of empowerment. They also explore the concept of the erotic and its connection to personal strength and creativity. Kalechi shares her experiences writing books and the inspiration behind them. They delve into the Say Your Mind podcast and its role in giving a voice to important social issues. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the interconnectedness of destinies and the importance of living in one’s truth.


Key Focus Areas:

  • 00:02 Introduction and Background of Kelechi Okafor
  • 002:07 Starting a Pole Dancing Studio
  • 03:13 The Power of the Erotic
  • 08:01 Journey to Authorship and Exploring Twerk Classes
  • 17:41 Power of Voice and Podcasting

Listen To This Episode:

Watch this episode on YouTube!

Unleashing Potential Through Passion and Perseverance

In our latest episode, “How Inner Strength & Confidence Can Come Through Pole Dancing,” we delved into the captivating journey of Kalechi Okafor, an embodiment of strength, creativity, and resilience. Her story is not just a narrative of individual triumph but a beacon of inspiration for women everywhere, particularly those who dare to dream big and break barriers. This article expands on three key points from our conversation, offering insights and motivation for high-performing women leaders, entrepreneurs, and founders.

1. Embracing Your Unique Path: The Story of a Trailblazer

Kalechi’s journey began with a dream to be an actress, a vision that gradually evolved as she navigated the challenges and limitations within her industry. Her story teaches us about the power of embracing change and being open to new paths. When faced with obstacles, instead of succumbing to disappointment, she channeled her energy into exploring her other passion: fitness. This pivot was not a step back but a bold leap into a realm filled with possibilities

  • Key Insight: Life may not always go as planned, but every challenge is an opportunity to explore new avenues. As high-performing women, when one door seems to close, our creativity and resilience empower us to find new doors waiting to be opened.
  • Motivational Takeaway: Be fluid in your journey. Embrace the detours as they often lead to unexpected and fulfilling destinations.

2. Turning Anger into Action: The Birth of a Revolutionary Studio

Kalechi’s foray into pole dancing and her subsequent experience with discrimination fueled a transformative anger, leading to the founding of her pole dance studio. This was not just a business venture; it was a statement, a stand against stereotypes and limitations placed on black women. Her studio became a space of empowerment, where women could explore their strength, both physical and sensual, in a supportive and liberating environment.

  • Key Insight: Anger, often viewed negatively, can be a powerful catalyst for change when channeled constructively. It can drive us to challenge the status quo and create spaces where none existed before.
  • Motivational Takeaway: Harness your emotions as a force for positive change. Let your passion and conviction be the driving forces that turn challenges into impactful achievements.

3. The Power of Voice: Advocacy Through Podcasting

Kalechi’s venture into podcasting with “Say Your Mind” further exemplifies her commitment to using her voice for empowerment. By sharing stories and addressing issues often sidelined, she creates a platform for dialogue and awareness. Her podcast transcends entertainment; it’s an educational tool and a source of empowerment for her listeners.

  • Key Insight: Your voice is your power. In a world where many feel unheard, using your platform to speak up on important issues can spark significant change and inspire others to find their voices.
  • Motivational Takeaway: Never underestimate the impact of your voice. Whether through podcasting, writing, or leading, your words can be a beacon of hope, change, and empowerment.

Kalechi Okafor’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the courage to redefine one’s path. Her story resonates with many high-performing women who navigate the complex landscapes of career and personal aspirations. Let her journey inspire you to embrace your unique path, turn challenges into opportunities, and use your voice to make a difference. Remember, the journey to success is not linear; it’s a rich tapestry woven with experiences, learning, and growth. Embrace your journey with confidence and let your light shine brightly in a world that awaits your unique contribution.



Gain access to three valuable videos designed to empower you in breaking free from the hustle culture and establishing your unique Balanced Rhythm™ for work-life equilibrium. Whether you’re a dynamic executive professional or a successful entrepreneur, these videos will equip you with the tools to develop a life strategy that places you firmly in the driver’s seat. Opt-in now to unlock this transformative content with  3 MOVES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITH SANENESS!

Rate, Review, & Follow on Apple Podcasts

Love the show? Leave a 5-star review and let us know! Scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.”

Get Connected with Maven Miara

Are you a dynamic female executive or women entrepreneur craving proven business growth strategies and leadership success? Do you yearn for more fulfilling work-life balance? Are you seeking unwavering leadership confidence as you navigate the complexities of life, all while maintaining your holistic well-being (spiritual, physical and mental)? Welcome to ‘Success with Saneness. This transformative personal development podcast is designed exclusively for high-performers who seek to excel in both their professional and personal lives with balance. Each episode features expert insights and thought-provoking discussions about building unshakable leadership confidence, business growth and designing harmony among them.

Join your host, “Maven” Miara, a professional speaker, business strategist, leadership development facilitator and author. Embark on an enlightening journey towards success with saneness, where holistic care, confidence building, and leadership unite.

To find out more, join the Maven Nation community by visiting

Reach out to Maven Miara at:

Website:  /  Episode Website LinkedIn: @miarashaw  /  Instagram: @mavenmiara  /  YouTube: @mavenmiara

'Maven' Miara Shaw (00:02.843)
Hey, hey, Maven nation. Welcome back to another episode of success with saying this. I am super, super excited today to have, listen, a new friend, a new connection in Maven nation all the way from London. Kalechi Okafor is, well, listen, we just met a couple of months ago. Well, by the time you see this, we met 2023 in the fall in Baltimore at a podcasting conference.

She doesn't know this, but I was already full working on my season two schedule and I intentionally left a spot open because I said to the team, I'm going to meet someone in Baltimore that I need to interview that I want to have on this. So it was very intentional. As soon as I heard her speaking, I'm like, she's the one she, she's the guest that I need to have. So listen, welcome to the show.

kelechi (00:47.453)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (00:59.527)
Give us a little bit of introduction about yourself. Listen, I was scrolling all and digging through your Instagram and I was like, sis is over in Britain doing her thing. So welcome to the show.

kelechi (01:03.69)
I'm sorry.

kelechi (01:11.928)
Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, I'm an actor, director, as well as an author now. And I have I founded a pole dance studio in 2016 in London, South East London, and I do a lot of social commentary, you know, across the news platforms and things like that. And I also host a podcast called Say Your Mind.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (01:37.607)
Say your mind like that. That sums it up and says so much. I absolutely love it. So let's first start off with this wonderful pole dancing idea. And it's so interesting. Kalechi and I were talking before we started recording. Yes, she's a black Briton. I'm a black American. We're women. And the uniqueness and the barriers, struggles, listen, the distance of the pond doesn't really change them much.

kelechi (02:07.714)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (02:07.775)
It's so many similar things. So what encouraged you or gave you the idea of opening a pole dancing studio? And you know, I know some people here that they're like, oh my gosh, clutching their pearls and I'm like, yes, get it. That's because that's a power in a way, right? For a woman to be able to do that and be confident in it. Body wise, mentally, all of the things, you know, for those that's not your thing, don't do that thing.

kelechi (02:21.848)
Get into it! Get into it! Yes.

kelechi (02:30.107)

kelechi (02:37.282)
I'm sorry.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (02:37.627)
don't hate on someone else that's doing a great thing. So what made you start that? And what does that do for the students or clients you're working with?

kelechi (02:46.93)
I started it, started Collection of Cough Pole Dance Studio because of Black American women. Actually, they were, you know, part of that sort of genesis. Why? Because I, you know, focused on acting most of my life. Oh, I'm going to be an actress. I'm going to be a famous actress one day. That's what I'm going to do. And then with the nature of, you know, misogynoir, you know, general anti-blackness, the way it works, and Britain.

at that point being very limited in terms of acting opportunities, hence a lot of black actors, black British actors going over to the US. I was still in Britain and I was working at a call center, you know, waiting for my big break. I'd go to an audition after audition. I just thought this is ridiculous. What else do I enjoy outside of you know acting? Well, fitness. I was sports captain, a sports captain in high school. I was also head of sports or you know sports captain again.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (03:26.29)

kelechi (03:42.87)
while I was an air cadet. So there were so many different instances where I was just like, well, sports is my other thing. So I decided to train to become a personal trainer. So while I was doing the course, I continued working at the call center and I started gaining extra knowledge in that vein. And once I got my personal training business going, I started thinking, okay, what else can I do for myself? Because I was weightlifting, I've been going to the gym, I've been doing athletics for years. So what else?

you know, what else can I do? And I decided to try a pole dance class, especially because I remember when I was living in Atlanta briefly, I went to some clubs and I thought, you know, while everyone else was just like, oh my God, these women are so sexy, oh my God. Yes, they are and were, but I was fascinated by the strength that it required because I know that strength. Like I pulled myself up a rope before. So I'm like, why are they all going up and down that pole? The core must be tremendous. So.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (04:15.635)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (04:26.917)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (04:32.359)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (04:39.74)

kelechi (04:41.534)
you know, I kept that at the back of my mind. So when I was in London, I thought, okay, I'm gonna go try a class. And within six weeks, you know, I'd kind of zipped through the level I was at. I was zipping through another level. And then they said to me, oh, do you want to teach? You know, and so I started teaching for that studio. And they also asked me at that point, do you know how to twerk? I thought that's interesting. Do you ask every teacher if they know how to twerk? Like, you know, if they know how to twerk, why is it because I'm black? So I said, well, I...

'Maven' Miara Shaw (05:04.839)

kelechi (05:10.646)
do this and I showed them what I do and they said, oh yeah, teach that. And the class became so wildly popular. I, we had to add another class that a timetable. So I thought, why don't I take this class across the UK? I reached out to a studio in Manchester, which is the North of England, reached out to them and I said, Oh, I would love to bring my twerk class to you. Cause I noticed that on their website, they'd written that Miley Cyrus was one of the originators of twerk. And I thought, see.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (05:24.755)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (05:28.947)

kelechi (05:39.794)
Now you are being inaccurate, so you probably need some education. You need somebody to come through and kind of like shake things up, you know, you know, shake things up a bit, season things up a bit. So I reached out and I said, you know, I'd love to come through and teach this workshop and the white studio owner, she reached back out and she said, thanks for your message. I don't enjoy your style of twerk. When me and my girls twerk, we put our knee pads on and throw down.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (05:45.86)

kelechi (06:06.198)
So I went and looked at the video just to see what they were throwing down. And my God, my God, it was a catastrophe. Nothing was thrown nor was anything picked. It died. The music was over here. Their moves were over there. It was shambolic. And so I posted the videos side by side, a video of my class and a video of her class.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:12.731)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:25.048)
Oh my gosh.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:32.57)

kelechi (06:34.002)
online and I said and I also posted a screenshot of what she sent me and it went viral it went everywhere I said I'm just trying to understand because I sent her this video and she said I don't enjoy your duh so let's just look at what she is doing and um yeah it went viral and so many black American women were like why are you know even looking to work at somebody else's studio

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:39.604)
You were like, I am not afraid of smoke.

kelechi (07:03.462)
open your own studio, do your own thing. And you know, the American women were very, very adamant. And they were like, you can start a crowd fund. You can do this. And at the time I was saving for a wedding instead of going ahead with the wedding, use the money instead plus crowdfunding to then open this small space. So that happened like, let's say January 2016. By August 2016, I'd opened my first studio. And I think that we talk about anger.

as if it's a destructive force. Anger, based on how you use it, can be such a liberating and constructive energy. Because I was angry about her response, I took that anger and I got to work. And between January and August, I'd opened my first space. And that's how I've kind of been here ever since. After a year, I couldn't contain the classes in that studio, so I closed it and opened another one in 2017.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (07:35.216)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (07:43.579)

kelechi (08:01.158)
in South East London and Peckham, the first one was in East London, opened this one that had two rooms instead of one. And I've been there ever since. And it's now what, 2023, you know, that, you know, I've been doing that.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (08:12.399)
Yes. Wow. Listen, I love the whole story. And I... Ha ha.

kelechi (08:17.908)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (08:20.947)
Sometimes we just have to show people this this. OK, this is what it is. So and you mentioned the American women. Were these women there in London? OK, this is just followers and supporters. Excellent.

kelechi (08:22.96)

kelechi (08:30.462)
no they were just on the internet yeah just yeah just on the internet and they just looked at it and they said no and i think that it was important to mention about it being black american women because there was an enterprising spirit there that wasn't necessarily there with the black british women at the time that's not to say that black british women aren't enterprising it's just the culture that we have to navigate means that we would have been furious that woman did that to me we would have had a whole discussion about it and then done that's it

'Maven' Miara Shaw (08:44.816)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (08:50.172)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (08:57.999)
Right. That's me. Okay.

kelechi (09:00.15)
done. But then since then I've noticed a marked sort of improvement in how many businesses we now have that are you know confidently black woman owned. We have so many wonderful businesses popping up now and I love that because we are seeing that we have to do for ourselves if we want to continue.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (09:12.765)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (09:20.367)
Yeah. I love it. Listen, that whole story is simply inspiring, right? You said it best. You took a moment of anger and used it to change, to do something you wanted to do. Again, I'm always talking about the power of community. Your social media community, go for it. Get it done, do it yourself. Giving you the ideas and the support, and here you are years later, still.

kelechi (09:47.926)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (09:50.251)
empowering women through pole dancing classes. You're right. Listen, I work with a personal trainer and I work out consistently. But listen, that pole, that's, listen, you better have it together.

kelechi (10:00.818)
This is really something and you know, there is a power in the erotic. Audre Lorde talks about it, the power of the erotic. Sometimes we because of the way that's a patriarchal society operates, we conflate the erotic with pornographic, you know, and they're not the same thing. We are we all create from an erotic space, whether we call it that or not. And so that energy is our driving force. And we.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (10:15.922)


'Maven' Miara Shaw (10:23.696)

kelechi (10:29.238)
we do ourselves a disservice when we kind of listen to the ways in which, especially as black women, we've been hypersexualized. So we don't want to engage with the erotic, especially not in an overt way, in a overtly sensual way. But that in and of itself is our power. If we look historically, the ways in which that we've been depicted, the ways that, when we think about Sarah

We think about Josephine Baker, we think about Nina Simone, we think about all of these women and the way that they were depicted to us as over sexed, like all of these things. And so we don't wanna be that, we wanna be respectable. And that means that we then shut off that sacred energy, that driving force that allows us to create in a way that means that we become immortal, right? From that energy. And so.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (10:57.991)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (11:03.123)


kelechi (11:21.526)
with the twerk classes that I was teaching as well as pole dance, I'm asking for us, women specifically, but anybody of any gender expression to come back to source, to come back to that power, to the power of the erotic, using it to build physical strength, because it's no joke to get up that pole and swing yourself around, but at the same time, building up the sensual strength that I can transmute.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (11:42.365)

kelechi (11:48.423)
this energy any which way I desire. Like you become an alchemist.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (11:53.203)
I love that. Listen, so well said. I have never heard sexuality in erotica and power explained so well together. So let's, let's switch gears for a little bit. You recently came out with a book edge of here. Then I was on your Instagram and saw strong like me. I was like, wait, what is going on here? So tell us about the two books. I know strong like me is a children's book.

kelechi (12:00.663)

kelechi (12:09.577)

kelechi (12:21.143)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (12:21.583)
So cute, beautiful cover. But Edge of Here, is that more fantasy?

kelechi (12:28.122)
Yeah, so that's um, so as you've hear is speculative fiction is what I'd call it, you know mixed with Love and the protagonists are all, you know black women. So I wanted to write it because I love technology. I use technology a lot and I think that we are science fiction black women. We are That's how it is really. Um, we have been imagined from consciousness

and we are here and every time we're blowing people's minds. If you think about Henrietta Lacks and the way that her cells were used over and over and over again, without her family's consent, without her consent, but the fact that her cells could do that, I'm just like, it's been clear from the beginning of time that there is something so special, so magical about what we are and who we are. And yet the vilification that we see in mainstream media,

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:03.879)

kelechi (13:22.174)
opposes this reality that we know. We have therefore been made science fiction. So I wanted to explore that further where my protagonists, some of them have special powers, some of them are just interacting with technology. So it's kind of like Black Mirror but Black women and better.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:28.573)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:40.781)
I love that. So we'll be dropping the links to that book and then tell us a little bit about Strong Like Me.

kelechi (13:49.13)
Strong Like Me, I just, yeah, I love it. It's a picture book for children from zero to six, but I say that it's for everybody's, for everybody's inner child. So we meet Kamara. Kamara is the little girl who has a lot of strength. She's super fast. She can do all of these things. She's just very physically capable, but her friends around her in her class don't like that she's so strong.

because first of all, girls aren't meant to be strong. And then, you know, she's just doing all of these other things. So it's the journey that Kamara goes on to love her own strength, regardless of what anyone has to say about it. Because statistically speaking, around 15 years old, I know, definitely in the UK, young girls drop out of sports and they drop out of sports because it becomes this whole thing of like, oh, but you're a girl, you're not meant to be doing sports. You're not. You're a girl.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (14:36.187)

kelechi (14:43.382)
don't be strong because you're gonna look like a man. And all of these things are said to deter girls, deter women from any sort of physical strength. But then if we then look at the expression of gendered violence, I feel like if women were stronger, we would have some, we would be able to fight back in certain regards. It doesn't solve everything, but it is something. And so when I think about...

'Maven' Miara Shaw (14:59.471)
Yeah. Right.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (15:05.968)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (15:09.788)

kelechi (15:11.85)
women like Serena Williams and how she's depicted as an ape sometimes and people made fun of her because of her physique and I had similar happen to me when I was younger because you know I was doing athletics And you know various sports when I was growing up. I remember friends would say to me

'Maven' Miara Shaw (15:16.38)

kelechi (15:28.25)
oh yeah, you know, you're so muscular, you're so athletic, you can't be more muscular than your boyfriend and things like that, that would put me off enjoying my body and the things that it's able to do. If 37 year old me now could do what like 16 year old me was able to do, ah, I would be laughing. I would be laughing. But you push it down because of what other people are saying to you. So strong like me is that reminder.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (15:31.579)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (15:45.938)

kelechi (15:55.118)
not just to us as adults but to the little children and growing up that there's nothing wrong with having the strength that you have especially little black girls there's nothing wrong with being like strong fast all of these things own it own it celebrate it because my god one day you'll be glad that you did

'Maven' Miara Shaw (16:09.683)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (16:15.023)
Yeah, I love that. And here's the current, consistent current under all of the things you've talked about you're doing is lifting others up, getting people to believe their power, their strength. Absolutely love that. So this next shift we're going to take is your podcast, Say Your Mind, which when we first started talking, when you were talking on the stage in Baltimore, that's a little bit of what you were talking about.

kelechi (16:25.555)

kelechi (16:34.741)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (16:45.095)
And I find it, again, incredibly strong that after your runs, you have your phone out, you're sharing the thoughts of the day or whatever has happened on the news or the missing black person that has, you know, been body has been discovered and you're sharing that and you're not using your voice just for, hey, look at me.

is to bring enlightenment, to bring light and really shining light on some things that people would prefer. Like, let's just let this all go away. So what did your podcasts of your mind start out with that in mind? Like, this is the goal, I'm gonna be talking about these things. And how have you seen that grow? And I would imagine really giving power to other people to also

use their voice. I think in one of your videos, I saw you say that other people at the end of their walk or their run was also sharing some message at the end of that.

kelechi (17:51.597)

Yeah, I'm loving that I'm seeing that now because I feel like for me, I always talk about the fact that running for me is a moving prayer. You know, it's my time of connecting with spirit, thanking God for my lungs, thanking God for my heart. Like sometimes those runs feel brutal, gosh, but just doing it and thank being thankful the whole way through. I know that it centers me and then it gives me this clarity of mind. And then suddenly something that I've been really grappling with, trying to find the words for.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (17:59.187)
Oh, I love that.

kelechi (18:22.14)
of the words that you know they make themselves known so I you know really appreciated that and ultimately I started Say Your Mind because initially it was about me not being erased I don't want to be erased that I ever existed I was here like this is why I'm doing this why because I remember writing a thread about Muhammad Ali years ago when he passed away and I could because I noticed that the media outlets kept saying things like

Oh, Muhammad Ali, he transcended race. He transcended race. And I was like, what are you talking about? It's like, you're almost saying that he's now being bestowed the biggest honor that a black person can get, which is to transcend race. And there was something very problematic about that because we know that we now see many people trying to transcend race. So I'm not like the other black people. Look at me, because I don't do that. And then they're met with the stark kind of realization that you can't.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (18:56.051)
Thank you.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:04.347)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:19.791)
You can't. Yeah.

kelechi (19:20.606)
you cannot transcend race and if they give you that title it's because you are no longer a threat because you're dead you know and so and you see that in a way that we see the ways in which people conflate and misconstrue and misuse the words of Martin Luther King Jr. they rarely try that with Malcolm X they rarely try that with Malcolm X because he was it was very clear

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:27.203)
Right. Yeah, yeah.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:44.848)

kelechi (19:46.838)
that don't, you know? And so it was interesting why they wanted to then try it with Muhammad Ali, but it's because as he grew older, maybe that fighting spirit, those very acerbic words that were very clear on his stance, you know, they couldn't, they could play with him in his later life because they felt that they'd almost softened him up and they pacified him. And so I wrote this long thread about that and how it even interlinks with when Kanye has shared some

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:47.271)
Yes. Yeah.

kelechi (20:16.162)
frustrations online in the past thinking that by marrying somebody like Kim Kardashian, by doing this, by doing that, that he would, you know, one day be able to break through this ceiling and then he'd be somewhere else. And he was frustrated when he realized that he could not. And so I wrote this thread. I went back to go and look for my thread one day and it was no longer there. Don't know what happened to it. It was just no longer there. And I thought, okay, I've said to people that I'm not going to start a podcast because I don't have time for it. But in that moment, I knew I had to.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (20:25.084)

kelechi (20:45.782)
So my things couldn't just disappear because they're on somebody else's platform. So that's what led to me starting the podcast. But then once I started it, there were so many stories I wanted to talk about. There were so many things that I wanted to kind of shine a light on that was happening all around the world. And then it just took on, the podcast took on a life of its own. It no longer became about me, it became about us.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (20:49.683)
Thanks for watching.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:06.211)
Okay, okay. I love that. And you know, these, that strong voice, oftentimes, you know, I think when the person that has, I call it the capacity to be the strong voice, then others can come and say, well, here's my story also. So it gives other people a place, a safe place to come and share their story, which is, you know, the...

kelechi (21:26.3)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:34.707)
thought that I share with people that everyone is not waiting for Maven Myra. Someone's waiting for you. If you're not doing the thing you're assigned to do, who else are you holding up? If you were not using, say your mind as a platform to share stories, how many other people's stories would not be out into the world?

kelechi (21:56.894)
Absolutely, that is a word. Gosh, because I've spoken about it previously on the podcast as well, that a blessing isn't a blessing unless you're blessing somebody else, right? And somebody is, as you say, waiting for us right now to give ourselves the permission to speak our truth to power, to be exactly who we were destined to be. And by doing that, they see it and they go, oh, it's possible for me too. And not even just that they see it, but for instance,

you're working on a script or I can't be the one to write it. I don't have the talent. But by you not writing that script, there's an actress or actor somewhere that cannot have their moment, the moment that they emerge into the public consciousness because your script has to happen before their thing that can happen. Our destinies are interlinked for a reason. Like God didn't flop on that part. It was made so. If we do not live out our destinies, we hold up.

other people's destinies. So if we are truly thinking about being of service and being of service not just to ourselves but to the world, then it's important for us to boldly, courageously live in our truth because somebody else's life depends on it.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (23:12.291)
I love that. And listen, no truer words have been said that we are all connected. I'm in Houston, Texas. You're in London. We are still connected. We talked about doing, looking at doing other things together. Other the destinies. Um, and I love the way you place that, like that person, that actress can't get their time. If the person that needs to write the script is so worried that it's not perfect.

kelechi (23:18.132)

kelechi (23:26.987)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (23:41.207)
And that, well, what if they reject it? All of the things get, listen, um, men and women, but my audience is definitely predominantly women do the thing you're assigned to do. Do it scared, do it. Um, and it's we're not looking at perfection. Deliver excellence. Excellence is doing the best you have with what you have right where you are. Do that part. If we take the steps, then

kelechi (23:59.113)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:10.159)
the journey is going to bring us the other people we need to make the improvements. Like if we it's just moving past fear to take that first step and your journey. You wrote the post about Muhammad Ali and then that platform deleted it. I'm going to start a podcast, the decline of proper twerking classes. No.

kelechi (24:32.289)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:39.035)
I'm opening a studio, right? I love that you're sharing with us how someone else's no means, okay, that's a no for you. That doesn't mean that's a no for me and to keep going because these different things you've done, the pole dancing studio, the podcast have led and touched so many other people in your lifetime that if you had not done it, what, what would those people be? Where would they be?

kelechi (25:08.822)
Where would they be? Where would they be? And realizing how much people, like so many people stopped me in the street on the daily basis saying how much the podcast means to them, how much my videos on social media mean to them, how much my, you know, just my general posts across social media through the years, how much it means to them. And I never thought that this was what I was meant to do. My, if you asked me to write out my plan, my destiny, it was like, yeah, feeling cute, gonna be a famous actress, thanks so much, done.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (25:28.965)

kelechi (25:37.002)
But those skills are transferable. Those same skills, you know, you act on stage, that means you can do public speaking. And so that public speaking aspect of it is what I'm then using, you know, the quick wit, the humor, the memory, because with the scripts, you have to remember things, you have to memorize. So that means I memorize a lot of dates, facts before going on the news to say certain things. Facting requires you sometimes to improvise. So sometimes you go on the news to go and talk about something, they put someone wayward as your opposition.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (25:43.003)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (25:49.405)

kelechi (26:07.118)
to debate with you, you have to know how to pivot, you have to know how to quickly pick up what they're trying to throw down and you keep it moving because you have to arrive at your point, right? So looking at how, what I thought I was gonna do, I was looking at the seed of the thing, not knowing what was programmed into the seed and what that seed would then go on to be, right? I'm just seeing a seed, it goes into the soil, done, that's me done, not thinking about what tree that is growing on, growing.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (26:22.652)

kelechi (26:36.334)
to then be and ultimately I'm learning all of the time because I often forget that rejection is redirection. It's redirecting us back to self, it's redirecting us back to purpose, it's redirecting us back to source. And oftentimes I would forget that. I still forget that now, something I don't book a job and I'm like, and I'm going off, I'm fuming. But then I have that moment of stillness and I think, but I have not been failed yet. Every point.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (26:44.336)

kelechi (27:05.694)
you know, I look at what happens, I go and do the next thing and the next thing. And then what I have is much better than what I thought I should have.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (27:14.127)
Yeah, I love that. That is, that is a, a perfect wrap to say the maving quote of I call, there's a quote I use that says go BAM, which stands for bust a move, do your thing. Again, you're going to do it with flaws. You're going to do it imperfectly. Um, sometimes you're going to redo it. There's a U-turn around about all of the things. There is nothing, any of us, um, that people look at.

kelechi (27:30.014)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (27:43.239)
that follow that say you're the successful one. There's nothing we produce created that has been perfect. That has been without some pain, some growth, uncomfortableness, all of the things. But that is the power of within us to keep going and to never let the outside voices say you're not capable. You can't do it. Um, because we need, we need more collection. We need more myras in the world.

kelechi (27:59.534)

kelechi (28:05.567)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (28:13.307)
And ladies, if that's you, we're waiting for you. When someone's waiting for what you have, someone's waiting for you to write the book, to write the script, to do the talk, to send the email to whatever it is. So when you see this video, wherever you are in your journey, use it as encouragement to say what the seed I have is not just for me. This is

This is something being planted to grow into something much bigger. And someone's waiting for the gift that I have. And listen, I, when my friend told me that 10 years ago at this point, it felt like the biggest weight ever. And I looked at her like, why would you say that? She just said, imagine if you're not doing what you're doing, how many women you're holding up? And I wanted to fold inward, like, and now it's my reminder when I'm tired.

kelechi (29:05.706)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (29:09.243)
When I'm frustrated, when I get the know that, yes, I can rest, I can regather, but I absolutely cannot quit because someone's waiting for me to do what I'm supposed to do so they can go do what they're supposed to do. So listen, grace to you all the way in London to keep doing the amazing things you're doing. If I'm in London, we're definitely going to connect in person. If you're in Houston, uh, we'll need to connect. Have you been to Houston?

kelechi (29:19.301)

kelechi (29:33.258)

kelechi (29:38.362)
No, but one of my best friends from high school, she lives in Katie now, so I absolutely have to come through.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (29:43.495)
Girl, I live about 10 minutes from Katie.

kelechi (29:47.914)
Woo! Ha ha ha!

'Maven' Miara Shaw (29:51.219)
There it is. Well, you're gonna have to come see the best friend, Katie. We will all have to connect, because literally, we're like literally in Northwest Houston and that's 10 minutes or so from Katie. Yes, love it. Listen, thank you so much for joining Maven Nation today and sharing your beautiful insight. Again, I just love the undertone of all that you're doing of empowering others and letting them see their light and using their voice to also be leaders.

kelechi (29:54.506)

kelechi (30:02.098)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (30:19.139)
So Mava Nation until next time, keep doing your BAM thing.

Check out  Kalechi’s resources mentioned in the episode!

Strong Like Me (Paperback)

Purchase Now

Purchase Now


I’m Maven Miara

I’m a Hope Curator & Confidence Cultivator who works with high-achieving, purpose pursuing baddies to help them move from STUCK to EXECUTION in creating the lifestyle they desire. Contact us at


Are You Ready to Transform Your Life?

Book a free 20-minute consultation and let’s discuss how you can create your own balanced rhythm.

Need to Show Up More Confidently

Need a powerful speaker for your next meeting or event? Miara will bring her proven strategies to help high-performing leaders show up more confidently.

Related Episodes

Subscribe Today So You Never Miss Another Episode!

Listen or Watch the Success With Saneness Podcast on your favorite platform!

miara shaw

'Maven' Miara Shaw is a Hope Curator & Confidence Cultivator who works with high-achieving, purpose pursuing leaders to take action in moving from stuck to execution without sacrificing their relationships, health & mental sanity. She calls this a Balanced Rhythm™.


Miara Shaw is based in Houston, TX but serves clients globally. She is a certified to do business with local government and federal agencies.