Business of the Week

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: MEET TIFFINI HOLMES OF TOTAL TRANSFORMATION WELLNESS COACHING

Tiffini Holmes knows people… and she has the resume to prove it. She is the founder of Total Transformation Wellness Coaching, LLC–an Evanston, Illinois based practice. Prior to starting her coaching and personal development practice she helped over 1,000 professionals, as a human resource professional. In her combined experience as a wellness coach and human resource professional, she has over 15 years experience, helping individuals to achieve their goals through personal development and problem solving.

Ask Holmes and she’ll tell you that helping others is a part of her DNA. As a matter of fact–known to her clients as Coach T–she has dedicated her life to helping others. “Life coaching is what I do best and something that I can best relate to.” says Coach T. After her own milestone achievement of losing 100 pounds, Coach T decided to start Total Transformation Wellness Coaching, LLC (TTWC) in 2011. She knew she was ready for her own journey to a healthier version of herself, but it wasn’t until she began that journey that she realized the impact it would have on her entire life. Her lesson– “Anytime you are working in an area of your life, it will strengthen the rest of you.” If you have ever tried to overcome or achieve something in life (sound familiar entrepreneurs?) you know exactly what Coach T is talking about. It was that very personal experience that ignited her passion to help others in more personal ways–hence the birth of TTWC.

So what is a wellness coach you ask? Well, in the case of Coach T, a wellness coach assists people in finding healthy alternatives to their current lifestyle. Whether it is losing weight, finding work-life balance or learning to live a generally healthier lifestyle, Coach T’s job is to help others in their health and wellness journey.

As an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Health Coach and a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Holmes takes her passion seriously. She credits her success to both her no-nonsense approach to consulting and compassion–lots of compassion. “People will present some heavy stuff”, she says. So in her line of work you have to be prepared, both emotionally and mentally. It’s a delicate balance she admits, because you have to have a compassionate heart when you are dealing with others and the issues that are very personal and important to them. However, “you can’t let that compassion make you soft”, she adds.

For Holmes, coaching was a no-brainer and not a far cry from her career in human resources. Her love for helping others and giving them the tools to empower themselves was a great catalyst in her transition from employee to wellness coaching practice owner. As she did during her career as a human resources professional, Coach T lends herself as a guide and facilitator. She’s not about dispensing answers. Instead, she says that her job is to assist clients as they figure out the best answers for themselves, by asking questions that will prompt them to think about the possibilities. “Being a part of someone’s changes is so rewarding for me.” says Holmes. Whether it is coaching a client towards starting a business or helping another in their weight loss journey, Coach T loves what she does.

Holmes is honest and realistic when she admits that like any other business, coaching has it’s difficult side. She says that the biggest challenge has been generating new business. “If you are hosting a new event, they come out in droves. People are engaged and ask lots of questions”, but that’s where it ends. People are not willing to spend money on personal coaching and development, even though the discretionary income is there. On the contrary, they don’t mind splurging on designer clothing, going out to eat or expensive hair extensions–ironically covering up or exacerbating the very issues that are probably plaguing them. Unfortunately, she notes, that it is especially hard to get the Black community to understand the value of coaching, so Black people aren’t as willing to invest in themselves from a wellness standpoint.

Part of the problem with getting Blacks to value wellness could probably be attributed to the lack of Black coaches and other wellness professionals. “I think it’s slowly growing”, says Holmes, “but we need a greater presence.” As in the case of healthy living, “those outside of the Black community don’t generally understand our traditions, the importance of food to our families or how food affects our body types.” As with other industries, it’s important to have professionals that can relate to the target market. Holmes points out that if there were more Blacks in health and wellness the literature would be more relevant and she believes that the community as a whole would be more interested.

Coach T remains positive though. She’s not willing to let any roadblocks that she may face in developing her practice or assisting her clients affect her negatively. Her motto: “I can do anything, but fail!” She says, ” It was really once I started to live according to that motto, that life began to turn for me.” She says prayer has helped her the most. “This can be a hard, thankless job, but every time I start to think negatively God sends me someone to remind me of my destiny!”

Like any other entrepreneur, Holmes knows you can’t do it alone. She credits her younger cousin with being her greatest supporter, cheerleader and helper. Her cousin is always there to pass out flyers, post to Facebook or offer an encouraging word. It seems that coaching is in the blood, too. Her cousin is in the process of starting her own coaching business and Holmes is hopeful for a future family partnership!

When it comes to Minding Your Black Business, Coach T believes that the success of the small Black business is two-fold. Black small businesses are plagued by negative stereotypes of providing inferior quality services and products. The [Black] community must remember that this is not how the majority of Black businesses operate. In every community you will find good and bad service. As business owners, we must be willing to help one another out–network, refer one another and exchange ideas. As a community, it is up to us patronize Black businesses and not let stigmas dictate where we spend our money. Let’s support one another.

To learn more about Coach Tiffini Holmes and Total Transformation Wellness Coaching LLC visit her website.

Do you know of a Black business or entrepreneur that gets it right? If so, we want to know! Get all the details here, including how to nominate your favorite Black business.

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Louiseza Sanderson

Louiseza Sanderson

Louiseza Sanderson is a business consultant, writer and the founder of www.MindYourBlackBusiness.com. She is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. It was during her time in the military that she learned the value of hard work, community and serving the needs of others. Following her military service she earned a bachelor's degree in business and an MBA in business communications.

She began consulting with the explicit goal of providing affordable business consultation and guidance to those who might not otherwise have access. "I started consulting by 'inherent accident'. I've spent my whole life gathering information, in hopes that it would benefit someone," says Sanderson. When it comes to working with her clients, she believes that the key is to find the human factor. By doing so, she helps her clients to find the best solution for their business, by first figuring out what is best for the person. Her hope is to help such entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits who share her vision of giving back-- be it through job creation, innovation or a cause.

As a consultant and business owner herself, Sanderson came to realize that while there are many resources for small business owners, there were very few that provided a platform for micro and small Black owned businesses, as well as the information germane to them. These are the mom and pops, solo-preneurs and other businesses and organizations that are really the heart and soul of the local (Black) community. She shares, "The vision of Mind Your Black Business is the culmination of what I am most passionate about and what I do best--helping others to achieve their dreams and helping small businesses grow."

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