Tamara M. Allen
Tamara M. Allen, MSML is a passionate motivational speaker and Certified Life Coach known as T. Allen Speaks™. As the Founder of Speaking Out! Media, LLC, she empowers individuals, organizations, and communities with creative tools for success in various aspects of life.
In her own words, “My mantra, “I can, I will, I AM!”, drives my purpose to positively impact the underrepresented through interactive workshops, seminars, mentorship, and transformative initiatives. My nonprofit efforts, Re:BRAND Initiative (life coaching) and B.R.I.D.G.E. Innovation Project (module mentorship training program), reflects my commitment to fostering positive change. Holding degrees in English and Management and Leadership, I’m dedicated to uplifting others.”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I was raised in a Pentecostal household where religion played a central role in my life. Growing up with my parents and two brothers, our strict upbringing aimed to shape us into virtuous individuals in the eyes of God. Although the church environment wasn’t the healthiest, it instilled in me the value of community service and aiding others in overcoming challenges. Engaging in orchestra, playing the violin, and immersing myself in classical music became a significant part of my life. Despite participating in the academic team and singing in the high school gospel choir, I left home at 18 due to the non-acceptance of my sexuality in my religious community. Seeking authenticity, I briefly paused college but later returned, completing my undergraduate degree. As a first-generation college student, this journey underscored the importance of education and a robust support system. Subsequently, I entered the higher education industry to assist individuals facing similar challenges. Subsequently, I dedicated my career to assisting individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in navigating the realms of education and careers. As a Student Support Services Counselor, part of my responsibilities included offering career counseling, where I discovered my true passion. Recognized as a natural leader, people consistently sought my guidance, prompting my decision to pursue life coaching certification. Over the past 8 years, I’ve been immersed in career services and workforce development, guiding individuals to discover their passions and forge fulfilling careers. Transitioning from one-on-one coaching to becoming a public speaker and facilitator broadened my impact, leading to the evolution of my platform, T. Allen Speaks. My business has now expanded to DiverseAllen Horizons, Inc. (Managing Speaking Out! Media, LLC and Tamara M. Allen, LLC), housing various ventures, with Allen Coaching Group at its core.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!
Recognizing the demand for a support system, I understood that disenfranchised and underrepresented individuals, specifically black masculine-identified women, required a reliable sounding board. They needed someone with shared experiences, ready to provide practical tools for navigating and overcoming life challenges.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Given the opportunity, I would aspire to see a world where women like me, particularly black masculine-identified women, experience increased representation, inclusivity, and access to resources. I envision a space where their unique challenges are acknowledged and addressed, fostering an environment that not only recognizes their resilience but actively promotes their success and well-being. This involves dismantling systemic barriers, creating equitable opportunities, and amplifying their voices, ultimately contributing to a more empowered and thriving community.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
In my perspective, women have become a formidable presence in workplaces globally, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. I see encouraging signs of glass ceilings cracking, with numerous women successfully breaking through to claim their space at the pinnacle of organizational hierarchies. This evolution in women’s leadership is a cause for celebration, reflecting the strides made and the ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive and equal workplace. The narrative embraces the empowerment of women, recognizing their capability to shape and lead in various professional spheres.
What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
The most crucial lesson in both my personal life and professional journey has been the significance of resilience and adaptability. Navigating challenges in various aspects of life and the workplace requires the ability to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to evolving circumstances. This resilience has not only shaped my personal growth but has also been instrumental in achieving success and overcoming obstacles in my professional endeavors. Embracing change and maintaining a resilient mindset has proven to be the key to continuous learning, growth, and ultimately, fulfillment in both spheres of life.
My motto in life – Encourage yourself, “I can, I will, I AM!” I can = I know my ability. I will = the action behind my ability. I AM = is the manifestation (I become what I always knew I was)
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
To our young women leaders and audience, I want to convey that your journey is uniquely yours, and your aspirations are valid. Embrace your grit and determination as powerful tools on the path to success. Remember, setbacks are stepping stones, and resilience is your greatest asset. Surround yourself with mentors, seek knowledge, and be unapologetically true to your vision. Break through barriers, pave the way for others, and let your journey inspire those who follow. Your voice, your ideas, and your presence matter—forge ahead with confidence, and know that you are capable of making a lasting impact.