…because Black millennial women who balance the personal and professional need the spotlight, too.
In life, our main assignment should be to use our influence to impact. Today’s millennial woman is multidimensional and chooses to define herself by her acts of service in the community, by whom she raises in addition to the lives that are impacted by her influence. Aaja Corinne Magee is a brand strategist, mentor, and speaker. She has sat at the table with today’s leading millennial voices and continues to let her light shine by crediting God as her ultimate connect. Above all, Aaja is Austin’s mommy, and she is here to speak with the Chicago Defender about balancing the personal and professional.
Aaja, how does your influence impact the world?
Aaja Corinne Magee: Wow…such a loaded question. I choose to believe that my greatest impact is inspiring others to walk in authenticity, purpose alignment, and pursue their God-given potential. Daily, I seek to be more of myself, the person who God has created me to be in the purest form, and I put that on display for others to see. I do not aim to be an inspiration; I just aim to be. But I am so grateful that people are inspired by my growth journey and work, and that God gets the glory out of my life.
You are currently curating an experience for millennials called Purpose Potential™ Mentorship. Can you talk a bit about your mentorship program in addition to what compelled you to create this?
Aaja Corinne Magee: Purpose Potential™ Mentorship is a purpose and personal development program for Kingdom entrepreneurs and leaders. By Kingdom, I mean those that have submitted their gifts, craft, and work for God’s purposes. You can think of this program as branding from the inside out. By taking individuals on a deeper exploration of self, they clarify their purpose even further, which is their “it” factor, their difference. As your brand is your difference, aligning with purpose is the key to achieving competitive edge in the marketplace.
People have come to know me over the past decade for my expertise and professional accomplishments. This mentorship program is unique in the sense that I can open up about the journey beyond what meets the eye as well as the things that have made me the person that I am and cause me to have sustainable success. Until you deal with your identity and personhood, you will have a professional ceiling. Purpose Potential™ Mentorship helps entrepreneurs and leaders to reach their next level and become the person that can handle the weight of elevation.
In your work, you reference God as the ultimate influencer and what it means to give him a “wholehearted yes.” Can you speak to what that means to you?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I joke around a lot in saying that I am out here like Gumby for God, flexible and nimble, but it is true. At this stage in my life, I am completely submitted to God, career included. He is my boss, and I work for Him.
As an entrepreneur, my business is my ministry. The marketplace is the territory that God has given me. The teachings, strategies, and solutions that I provide to others are God-breathed and divinely inspired.
I have developed a track record of excellence and impact in my industry. It is the anointing of God that rests upon me when I complete my work that makes this possible.
You have managed to navigate yourself as a leading millennial. For anyone that may consider you an overnight success can you break down your background, industry and how it led you to the 10.1K followers you now have?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I am cracking up at this 10.1K mention. I was so salty because I could not wait to hit 10K on Instagram to get the swipe up feature and like a week later, it was released to everyone. Lol. It is still pretty cool to know that I organically built an audience of five figures plus across platforms over the past decade.
As I reflect on my professional journey, I am reminded of the years that I spent sowing seeds whether that was helping people, internships, speaking engagements, etc., paid, and unpaid. Those seeds produced a harvest from which I am still eating.
I have touched many people, places, assignments, and industries, so I did not arrive at this place by chance. I did the work…my best work…and God’s favor did the rest.
What advice would you give the professional just starting out as a brand strategist and coach?
Aaja Corinne Magee: Find your sauce. Both the branding and coaching industries are highly saturated, so you want to identify your focus within those industries to differentiate yourself from others. As a branding strategist, I focus on personal branding, and I am also a messaging specialist. The art of communication is indeed my sauce and what I have become most known for professionally.
To find your sauce, dig deep to uncover the areas that your gifts and skills speak to the most. Also, consider the ways in which you show up best and how you most prefer to connect with your audience. Additionally, pay attention to what people are requesting you for as they are providing helpful insights as to what the market wants from you specifically.
Shifting gears, you are a mom to the cutest little boy Austin? What does balance look like as a mother?
Aaja Corinne Magee: Thank you! I adore my sweet boy. I have gotten very clear on my priorities; the well-being of my son and being present in his development is at the top of my list. Because of this, the other commitments in my life must mold to my role as a mother.
For my business, I have a specific window of time each day that I take appointments and meetings to be able to drop my son off at school and pick him up. I do not take appointments on weekends.
Since before Austin was born, I have made him a really big deal, so when I communicate my boundaries about anything, pretty much everyone is understanding. He ends up being invited/accepted at a lot of adult functions with me, too, because people know we are attached at the hip.
I am not sure that I would call any of this balance. It is more of a flow.
As a mom, what do you feel is the hardest part about millennial parenting?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I am extremely grateful at how I am able to maneuver motherhood without compromising my professional success. Even still, things can get a bit exhausting and tiring, at times. Having a career and being a parent is like two, full-time jobs. Add entrepreneurship to the mix, and it becomes another dynamic.
Another hard part is making sure that you are raising your kids and not YouTube and society. That is one of the reasons that it has been so crucial for me to put boundaries in place professionally, so that I can be a present parent.
Shout out to all the parents making it work every single day.
You and Austin go on a lot of mommy/son dates (according to Instagram). What is a typical mommy/son date night for Aaja and Austin?
Aaja Corinne Magee: LOL! Do we? No really, I would say that we live a pretty adventurous life. The park in the summer. A movie in IMAX. Sky Zone. His suggestion or mine. If we have the time, we go for it. We go with the flow.
What is your proudest moment personally and professionally?
Aaja Corinne Magee: I would say that the past year has been my proudest “moment” across the board. God has brought me to such a place of confidence in my identity, and I am living in full expression. The internal work that I have committed to is beaming from me externally and having a resounding impact on everything around me. Even over the past week, the heartfelt words that people have shared about how I have impacted their lives have blown me away.
I am also extremely proud of the mother that I have become, and that my child feels my love and affirms me in my parenting.
Lastly, finish this sentence. As a millennial mind, it is important for readers to know…
Aaja Corinne Magee: …that knowing who you are is the game-changer. It impacts how you move, who you connect with, what you do and choose not to do, and if you will have the confidence to walk boldly in the things that God has called you to. Perfect your skills, but also make sure that you have the right perspective about who you are. No one can offer you more clarity on that than God, your Creator.