ValiantCEO Magazine is excited to introduce Akai Jackson, founder of IXL, a personal and professional development agency that curates mindset shift programs.
Akai’s journey started in the fitness industry, where he discovered his passion for helping people become their best selves.
He went on to found IXL, which offers a holistic approach to wellness, catering to physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Akai Jackson: I fell into my industry by overcoming a major challenge at that point in my life. I suffered an injury, that I was not mentally prepared for, and had little direction regarding what I wanted to do with my life.
I knew I was passionate about helping people, but I just didn’t know how to facilitate that into my career. So I took advice, I worried about my next step only and began my career in the fitness industry back in 2004 as a personal trainer.
I was privileged to work for one of the top brands in the industry early on in my career, which laid a solid foundation on fitness industry principles that help me find success today. I have always been passionate about helping people grow into the best version of themselves.
But when the brand I invested so much of myself in, suddenly closed without warning or severance, I no longer trusted corporate America. I had so much passion and love for this company and the culture it created, I tried to recreate it in other companies as I was now in upper management, and it just was never the same.
So I took the life change as an opportunity to reinvent myself, and then help others do the same from a mind and body perspective. Through outcome-driven motivational interviewing sessions combined with neuro- and exercise science tools, I curate mindset shifts in behavior change in my clients, and help them go from existing to excelling.
IXL was founded with excellence in mind and using exercise and sport as a conduit to curate mindset shifts that help them ultimately become the best version of themselves.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffett, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Akai Jackson: If I found myself in an elevator with Warren Buffett, I would describe my company as a personal and professional development agency that curates mindset shift programs that take our clients from existing to excelling in physical and mental health.
Our agency focuses on empowering individuals to achieve their fullest potential through a variety of services, including one-on-one coaching, group training, and online courses.
What sets IXL apart from other personal development agencies is our holistic approach to wellness. We believe that true success comes from a balance of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. That’s why we offer a range of services that cater to all aspects of wellness, from fitness and sports to mindfulness.
Akai and IXL’s biggest strength lies in our ability to provide customized and tailored services that meet the specific needs of our clients. We understand that everyone has unique goals and challenges, and we work closely with each individual or business to develop a customized plan that fits their needs and lifestyle.
Our commitment to providing personalized attention and support has earned us the reputation of America’s favorite mindfulness coach.
At IXL, we’re committed to providing personalized solutions that help our clients overcome their unique challenges and achieve their goals. We believe that everyone has the potential to be their best self, and we’re dedicated to helping them get there.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Akai Jackson: The Great Resignation wasn’t the only byproduct of the pandemic. A greater push for mental health, rises in anxiety, depression, and uncertainty also surfaced. Therefore, I have a unique perspective on what keeps employees happy. From my experience, there are a few key factors that can contribute to employee satisfaction and retention.
Firstly, providing clear communication and open dialogue can help employees feel heard and valued. By creating an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns, they are more likely to feel appreciated and engaged in their work.
Secondly, offering opportunities for personal and professional growth can be a major motivator for employees. Providing access to training and development programs, mentorship, bringing in guest speakers like myself to talk about mental health and mindfulness, and opportunities for advancement can show employees that they are valued and invested in their success.
Finally, promoting a positive company culture that prioritizes employee well-being and work-life balance can also contribute to employee satisfaction. This can include things like flexible work arrangements, regular team-building activities, and providing resources for mental and physical health.
I personally do not have any employees; however, I do partner with businesses and organizations that do. As for adapting to the current shift we see, I believe it’s important for businesses to recognize and address the factors that are causing employees to leave.
By creating a culture that values employee input and prioritizes their well-being, businesses can not only retain their current talent but also attract new talent looking for a positive and supportive work environment.
It’s also important to be open to new ways of working, such as remote or hybrid work arrangements, to accommodate the changing needs and preferences of employees.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Akai Jackson: The book that influenced me the most was “The making of a man, True Manhood Lies in the Process. There was a lot of self-discovery and actualization that took place while writing this book along the side of my co-author. I give this book the most because I believe in the value of the content.
The book makes you imagine for a moment what could be……. a world where all men take responsibility for their role as a man. A world where men lead in all aspects of their life, and where they lead in the protection of those that need protecting.
To be a loving husband who communicates, supports, and cherishes his wife. A loving father who teaches, communicates, is present, and loves his children. A man who helps others, the community, and anyone that needs guidance.
It is the most important journey you will find yourself on. There is a great deficit in manhood today and a great need for men to rise up, stand in the gaps, and plant their flag. This book is written for men who struggle daily, by men who struggled daily to find the true meaning of authentic manhood and masculinity.
This will speak directly to your life as a man and has the potential to grow you in mind, body, and spirit. We want to equip you to excel in all areas of your life that matter most. Manhood is found in the process.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Akai Jackson: In my experience, the most underrepresented and underestimated topic is the mental discipline needed to run a business.
That is the means to keep going on the days when you are fatigued, leaning on people for support when you need it, and the constant organizational systems needed to always keep moving forward.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Akai Jackson: I would choose foresight so I could predict market trends, industry shifts, and communication strategies needed to excel in the business.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Name for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Akai Jackson or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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