Sasha Laghonh believes passionately that every individual, team, and organization possesses the tools they need to thrive when they’re given the right direction. For nearly two decades she has worked with clients from all backgrounds and walks of life to connect them with their goals through meaningful action. Her mission in life is to show anyone that no matter how complex or daunting the issues may be, they can drive change by approaching life with confidence and clarity.
As a holder of an MBA and a specialist in Organizational Behavior and Leadership, she thrives under pressure and understands how to make lasting connections. Through her work as a strategist, speaker, and author Sasha strives to make a real difference to every aspect of her clients’ goals. The end result is a holistic approach to evolving performance that’s delivered through a combination of unique insights, clear direction, and a definitive purpose. Sasha’s spiritual craft and ability to simplify the complex allows her to make a real difference to the thought processes and goal setting of clients around the world. Everything is then brought together to form a key group of tools for self improvement which are shared in-person and through digital media. Learn more by visiting Sashatalks.com.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Thank you for accepting my interview invitation! I’d love to know how you ended up becoming an entrepreneur? Tell me your story.
Sasha Laghonh: When I began my professional journey, entrepreneurship wasn’t in the cards until I allowed life to direct me to my higher purpose. In hindsight, my entrepreneurial training traces back to my childhood. I was engaged in artistic and business endeavors granting me an opportunity to earn pocket money. I’ve contributed my professional services to childcare & education, sports management, CPG industry and more business spaces as time unfolded in my path.
Each of these endeavors have challenged me to acquire new skills and learn how to apply them optimally in my respective careers. Learning never ends in entrepreneurship because there’s always something new emerging in the markets that can benefit individuals and organizations.
Tell our readers what your company does differently than your peers and why that difference is so important to your audience?
Sasha Laghonh: Sasha Talks focuses on the human condition in all aspects of its work. Business, spirituality, self-development — there are no exceptions. As human beings we’re all learning to be human. It’s easier said than done. It challenges myself, audiences and those who engage to approach the platform with integrity. No one is perfect. We’re all work in progress. I do my best seeking out individuals and organizations that will positively nurture my growth. There’s always a learning curve when co-existing with strangers even in this business space that I’ve created.
Many universal and human topics are explored and celebrated through the wonderful contributors of the platform. The human condition demands us to engage intellectually and emotionally in ways that we’re not always comfortable. Connecting audiences with contributors who can enhance their life outlook is always a plus.
Running a business, your’s or on behalf of someone requires great leadership skills. What are some of the biggest challenges you faced as you took on a leader’s role and what did you learn?
Sasha Laghonh: Well, I learned really fast that I’ll be investing more than half of my time initiating and nurturing relationships. Not superficial relationships. Actual relationships that translate to real connections whom I care about and respect over time. Leadership to me was always exhibited through people trusted with responsibility to lead the way by elevating voices that mattered.
I often tell people – “You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like my work but we should still host respect to learn about one another.” I’m fortunate that I wasn’t lured by the “liking” game where leaders compromise their values to create the optics which appear favorable in the eyes of the beholder so they are liked. I believe a true leader should be able to walk alone at times. It shouldn’t be frowned upon. I believe it should be encouraged. Also if you want to lead and contribute to leadership, don’t offer a watered down version of yourself. Offer all of yourself or step aside. Good people deserve sensible leaders who are able to admit their mistakes and show their human qualities.
The world of leadership is not a straight line. One needs to discover their path along the way while also helping others serve. If anyone claims leadership is easy and it’s a straight line — they are posturing, or they are simply going based on assumptions. Skip that source and move on. Leadership comes with its privileges but 90% of the time one is honoring their obligations when not focused on putting out fires. Leadership is real-time, this is when beautiful realities are created. Overall, it has challenged me to exercise my voice to bring change in communities online and offline from business settings to social change.
Success is not an accident. What are some routines and habits you learned to master that contributed to your current success?
Sasha Laghonh: I believe adhering to simple habits and practicing them everyday leads to mastery in survival. My daily rituals include: working out, paying attention to nutrition consumption, prayer, practicing gratitude, reading literature related & unrelated to my work (feeding the mind) and updating my activity list of things that need attention based on self-imposed deadlines. I make sure that I’m committed and on track for completing tasks that demand attention.
As some items drop off the list, there are new initiatives that are brewing as work in progress. I’ve removed ‘busy’ from my vocabulary because busy doesn’t mean anything other than saying , ‘not now’. Instead, I ensure my days are productive because that is what they are – productive. Productive with a purpose which allows me to create bandwidth for things that do matter to me. No one is so busy that they can’t acknowledge you. Think about it. Either people are busy to avoid or defer situations they choose to pass up. I know successful people are very decisive and forthright about their yes’s and their nos’. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I will engage either 100% or opt out – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Say ‘yes’ when you mean it. Say ‘no’ (and) mean it – stick to it. Don’t negotiate with yourself or allow emotions to blur your judgement. Long term decisions shouldn’t be dictated by short term fleeting emotions. Become decisive and it will change your life for the better. Being confident and decisive helps, or you’ll be constantly second guessing your decisions.
Can you share with us defining moments in your journey, please give us details and stories to illustrate?
Sasha Laghonh: I’ve always managed to focus on my lane and not become distracted by others around me. It’s wonderful to learn that people you admire become aware of your work through word of mouth. My work has managed to attract private parties seeking private production and professional services from different industries over time.
The universe is taking note when private parties are inviting me to foreign places to honor commitments on their behalf by being generous with their resources. It’s fun to be visiting geographies that are new to me. It’s humbling to know the work is recognized because I never intended the platform to be a flash in the pan. I believe I am worth the time, effort and resources. I remain open to new possibilities for partnering with worthy contributors and organizations. Patience is key.
What are the five things you wish someone had told you before you became an entrepreneur?
Sasha Laghonh: Here’s my answer:
- Some days you’ll be managing personalities 90% of the time.
- Address any personnel and commercial conflicts the (first) time they spring up. Integrate the lesson learned to refine your day to day operations.
- The only uncomfortable conversation is the one when you don’t stand up for yourself. Remember you’re in the driver’s seat. Not the clients, not the audiences, not the strangers.
- If you can’t respect your audience then get out of their space. Don’t cheat your audience of a worthy experience and don’t cheat yourself from thriving forward. Your audience can be an organization/brand, a work environment, a single personality or groups; etc. If it doesn’t feel right or they aren’t evolved to welcome you, then leave.
- Don’t negotiate with yourself to take on a commitment when you already know the process and/or the results will outright suck. Don’t play God. Don’t be selfish. Be honest with yourself.
I will add an additional one although it’s not a lesson learned. I believe people should always be themselves. Be authentic. The right people will find you even if it takes a while. Be patient for the right people. I never set out to be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not and it’s a good thing. Standing for everything yet belonging to nothing equates to …nothing. Stand for things that resonate with you.
Oftentimes we hear: “Your network is your net worth”, please share your thoughts on that adage and illustrate your experience.
Sasha Laghonh: I grew up hating the term ‘networking’ and anything related to networking. 🙂 When surrounded by dignitaries and elite personalities, it was normal to witness people seeking these individuals for various reasons. I’ve seen people approach these personalities with the best to worst intentions. Desperation and ulterior motives reek from miles away. I’ve witnessed this in different realms of life from business to social settings. Such activities are not bound to specific geographies or industries.
I eventually outgrew my initial mindset when I accepted an invitation to accompany a professional peer to The National Press Club in Washington DC for an event. My peer was well aware of my views on networking that he felt I would benefit from acquiring a “fresh look” into networking from a learning perspective. It’s been over 17 years since that experience yet I can still recall the engagement. Networks are important when wanting to connect to people with the intention to serve. Some people take it to extremes by becoming freeloaders while others abuse the concept of selling by exercising aggressive tactics.
There are sensible and ethical ways of networking which permit engaging parties to be heard so potential collaboration opportunities may unfold later in time. Networking may serve as a crutch but people need to remember there are no short cuts in life or business. People can guide you along the way but it’s not a substitute for hard work nor being mindful.
What are some professional or even personal goals you plan on tackling during the 2022 year? Share the battles you expect to face.
Sasha Laghonh: I look forward to engaging with live audiences and with new collaborators. Writing will be added to the agenda. As long as people are in good spirits and health, there’s nothing to complain about.
With all the social media platforms available, it’s increasingly difficult to be present everywhere. Which ones do you favor for your company and why?
Sasha Laghonh: Sasha Talks has historically grown and evolved through word of mouth. I prefer the grassroots approach even though it was never intended to be ‘that’ way. Audiences are encouraged to visit sashatalks.com to engage and inquire about activities. Sometimes we partner with third parties to sponsor and cross market initiatives. Twitter isn’t updated often, probably a few times a month. Snapchat and Instagram are updated occasionally. Social media was never a primary force impacting Sasha Talks performance due to the nature of its services and niche engagements.
Social media is leveraged to make announcements when needed as well paying members are granted exclusive access to content through shared links. Sasha Talks remains neutral in its views towards any social media due to its limited engagement in that realm. Some people are uncomfortable learning this while others admire our ability to reach audiences through creative and holistic means. It’s more important the right people seek out the platform because custom services are not meant to be one size fits all.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Sasha Laghonh for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out similar stories:
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.