Written by: Special Interview Exclusives

K.I.S.H. Magazine Exclusive Interview with Dr. Karen McBride

Tell us about you…

Well, I was born in California so I am a native of California. I know that’s a rarity these days. I was raised in the inner city of Compton, and I just was destined to reach higher heights in the entrepreneurial space and the leadership space. I was leading and starting businesses in elementary school. As a teenager headed to college, I sold my flower business to a florist and received $11,000 to pay towards my education. I was always an entrepreneur. I always believed in leadership, and that brought me to a place where my goal was always to lead people.  Leading people in a way that would produce results, that would create opportunities, and that would shift the norm of what people would consider leadership to be.

Today, I am Dr. Karen, a renowned Social Psychologist, Executive Business Coach, Business Strategist, and Motivational Speaker. I am one of the most sought-after executive coaches and business strategists for non-profit organizations and small businesses in Southern California. I hold two Doctoral degrees, a Master’s and a Bachelor’s in the areas of Business Administration, Social Psychology, and Organizational Leadership.

I now have realized my dream of helping individuals and businesses grow to their highest potential.  When people ask me what I do, I say, “I create the highest level of emotional intelligent leaders to support professional and organizational growth.”

What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?

The realization of my dream is to teach others my method of sustainable growth. It is my desire to reach as many people as possible and have them discover their growth potential by simply completing our Operational Style Assessment and using the result to shift their perspective to a growth mindset.

Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?

I was blessed to have amazing mentors in my life. My dad was the first entrepreneur I met. He was a DJ; he played music at parties, clubs, and events; that is what he did as a side gig. He showed me how to pursue something you love and monetize it. He also taught me how to finance my dream by working a full-time job and letting the job be the financier to my dream. In addition to my dad, I had great professional mentors that I sought out. I looked for people I wanted to emulate and learn from, and I asked them to mentor me. I made that my practice in every position I held. Leadership and mentorship are so important to me because there are individuals who do not know that they can seek out mentors and don’t have to wait on someone to come to them. Hence, the work I do today, executive coaching is a way to enhance emotional intelligence, leadership, and my theory of the new leadership language.

I wholeheartedly believe, none of us can achieve success without some help along the way.

What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?

Starting as a small business and now scaling into a more mid-level business, presents some challenges. Our main challenges have been funding for expansion and hiring new coaches with the proper education credentials. But if I am speaking about my small business clients, they experience the same challenges around funding. However, they also need support in marketing, customer engagement, understanding their business, and making it profitable and sustainable within their community. The pandemic has been a struggle for some of my small business clients, but it’s also been profitable for some. I always encourage my clients to use my EOES Business Growth Model to plan for the unexpected. The EOES Business Growth Model represents, Emulate, Originate, Establish and Sustain. We support them in creating a plan using the model to follow, which ultimately promotes sustainability during challenging times.

Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?

As it pertains to the work I do now at MKCircle Enterprises: CEO Institute, I would have to say, my husband. He is my greatest encourager. One day, I had been doing some work for the pilot program, an executive coaching group. At that moment, it dawned on me that it was time to start scaling out of my 6-figure, 9:00 to 5:00 C-suite position and move into the executive coaching program full time because this work was what I love. I am a professor, and this work allowed me to teach my curriculum. So, I went to my husband and said to him, “I need to scale my job, and I’ll need to do this work full-time, and I need your 100% support.” Without hesitation, my husband said, “Let’s do it. I believe in you. You are doing what you love, and you are exceptional at it. I see you changing people’s lives daily.” From that point, I created a scaling plan and executed it. Within six months, I was full-time at MKCircle Enterprises: CEO Institute.

Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.

I wrote a quote that says, “High heels are not about being comfortable; they are for leveling the playing field.” I wrote that as an end to a talk I was giving to a group of young female professionals who needed to hear that we are enough. We are tall enough, we are smart enough, we are strong enough, to stand equal to our male counterparts in any sector. Although we have come far, there is still inequity in pay, position, and perception. But, anything is possible and it starts with a dream.

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Last modified: May 10, 2021