Episode 43 with Isis Breanna 

 

Isis Breanna is a marketing expert, author, storyteller, and a lighthouse for those who want to make a living pursuing their purpose and passion. She joins us to share her transformative journey—from a beloved kindergarten teacher, to a highly sought after business coach. Isis explains how her faith has always been the driver of her transitions, the role submission plays in the process and the natural fear that emerges along the way. Isis isn’t just here to tell us her story. Whether you have a faith tradition or not, she provides tools about strategic shifts you can implement to align deeply with your purpose.

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Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

It is so lovely to meet you in person. Thank you so much for being here.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Absolutely. Thank you for inviting me. I’m excited for today. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Me too. Our word for the year is intentional. And I wanted to start there. I decided this year to just have a word where last year I launched the podcast and I just did it right. Like, I just need to prove that I could do it. But this year I was like, no, the word of the year is intentional. What does that word mean to you?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

For me, I would say it means moving with Christ personally, like anything that I do, making sure I’m moving in the direction that he wants me to be. And that also means meditating on the word, asking what I should be doing throughout the day, because my word for 2022, because I had to repeat it for 2023, was submission and submitting to Christ. And so I had this realization at the end of 2022 that I had not submitted the way that I thought I did. And in a way, I had submitted only my plans, but not my actions. So at the beginning of the year, I went and I prayed and I was like, hey, what are the things that you want me to do? I’m ready. And then I just kind of cut him off at that point and was like, okay, I have the plan. I can move every day doing what I want. And that led me, I think, to just doing a bunch of different things that were not really aligned with the original plan. Things that kind of made me feel stressed and overwhelmed, a little bit burnt out, not aligned.

So, yeah, me moving with intention now means making sure that I am staying in alignment through everything that I do.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

There’s so much there I want for people who maybe might not have a faith tradition or a faith practice. Can you explain what that submission looks like? What does that mean? What are the practices to put you in that space?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

If I can simplify it down to one word, I would say it’s flow. It’s just allowing things to flow and being in acceptance of that flow. So for me, when I am submitting, I’m big on fasting and prayer at the same time. So I will go into a fasting season. For me, that typically looks like a Daniel fast. And for those who don’t know, that’s like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains basically for an extended period of time. But the idea is that you are sacrificing something in order to make more room for the Lord in your life in simplest ways that I can say that. And so when I am in these seasons of submission or really all the time now I start my day with prayer.

I start a meeting with prayer. Even in going into recording this podcast, I said, Lord, please speak to me, through me, with me and for me, and let it be your will and not mine. Let people hear your words and not mine. And so me submitting is just always leaning on him and listening to him. And in a way having to step back for myself, which is hard to do. I’m not going to say it like it’s easy because you have to also start to understand, am I hearing from God or am I speaking to myself?

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

And how do you differentiate? 

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

For me, one of my favorite words from the Bible is that again, you would know him by his fruit. And one of those fruits for me is peace. And so I know of Christ when I have peace behind it and any decision that I want to make. And that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy decision or that it’s going to be a decision that necessarily benefits me, which is crazy to have lived. Because I’m even now in a season where I’m transitioning my career and I started to have this, I don’t know, this kind of feeling that I never thought towards this new industry that I want to step into. And though I have tried to fight it and though I have no idea what I’m doing, I have such peace around it. I just have a supernatural peace and understanding that it is going to be okay and it’s going to turn into something beautiful. And I don’t know what that is yet. And I have learned to accept that.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Yeah, I do want to talk about that transition because you posted on Instagram, like, I’m going to quit business coaching. Before you were talking about understanding that some things were not in alignment. Explain the realization that you came to that the way you were doing it was no longer in alignment?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

So, I think it’s important to first note that assignments can change, the things that you love can change, seasons change. Right. And so I had prayed so heavily over becoming a business coach and wanting to do this and put so much time, effort, schooling, education, hours into doing this that I was like, okay, this is my forever thing because I had this yes. And I didn’t realize that yes can be yes, and. So I started to feel again, that piece that I once had around business coaching just started to slip away shortly. Or over time, it started to kind of surprise me. I would leave meetings with my clients feeling drained, whereas I once left meetings feeling fulfilled and excited. I would dread going into consulting calls, whereas I used to wake up ready to go and like, okay, I’m going to do this. I’m so excited. 

And so I really had to pay attention to those things. I have a friend, Imani, who’s really big on reminding me to trust myself and trust my body and how I respond to things. And I was like, okay, there’s something here. And I remember August of, when did I get married? 2023. 2022. I don’t know, girl.

August before that October, I remember I was driving down the street with my then fiance, and it literally just hit me, right? I can’t explain. I just felt I was like, oh, God, I have to quit. And my husband was like huh, because we’re just driving down the street, and he was like, I have to quit. And what people don’t know is, you have a little tea for your podcast, what people don’t know is, at that time, we had this major stock investment that had just plummeted. It was like one crazy day in the market. And so I was like, okay, we had just lost this huge chunk of money, and now you’re telling me to quit at the same time that my husband is trying to decide if he wants to transition.

And so I thought that I was going to take a two week sabbatical during that time, and we were going on what we called it our pre-wedding moon. And I was like, okay, I’ll take the time off and see what we’re doing. And it turned into about seven months of me in prayer and figuring out, what am I doing? I didn’t take clients during that time. If I was working with clients, they were like old clients who were still on contract. So I started closing off people’s contracts. And, yeah, I started to get the same feeling of excitement towards the end of that seven months that I had when I transitioned from being a kindergarten teacher into owning my own business. And so even though I didn’t know what exactly was coming next, I started to feel that excitement. And it was kind of like my, okay, this is going to be good. Whatever is coming, it’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be my next thing, and I’m ready for it. So it took a while to get that clarity.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

I relate to that so much. Where I was talking to my therapist at the end of the year, and I was like, there is so much that’s uncertain, but I am so calm about it. And I was like, am I delusional? I was like, I shouldn’t be this calm right yeah, I shouldn’t be this calm, but I’m so excited and there’s so much possibility. But the math hasn’t started mathing quite yet. Right. I should be concerned, but I’m not. And she’s like, no, you’re not delusional at all. That’s kind of what alignment feels like. Right? 

So how do you align your heart posture with your work when you have bills? There are some very practical matters here. Right. And when you’ve already established yourself, maybe with a different brand, that’s working. It’s not like coaching wasn’t working for you. Coaching was really working for you. So how do you kind of align your heart posture in that way to align with the work that you’re doing?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Yeah, it’s tough because the first realistic answer is, like what my husband always says, you have to do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. And there was a time period where I was like, okay, I have to continue this. I’m going to set aside. I’m going to continue to save until I can step into this next thing with some financial security. Same thing I honestly did, stepping to business coaching. I was like, I’m going to teach. I want to finish this out. I want to save so that I can go into my first year of entrepreneurship, before I got to business coaching, going to my first year of entrepreneurship without any stretches or worries financially.

And so that was a choice that I made. Again, I’m going to hit you guys over the head with this prayer. I started to pray, and it has worked tremendously. I started to pray specifically, Lord, allow me to love the things that you love, want the things for me that you want for me, and have peace over where you’re taking me. And so once I started praying that I was like, okay, it kind of became smooth. And I will say, too, I also have a little bit of spousal privilege where I have the opportunity to say, okay, hey, babe, are we cool with this next year of me not working and me kind of figuring my thing out? And he was like, yes, I understand that is a privilege to have. But I think regardless, a lot of communication, whether that be with yourself, whether that be with your spouse, whether that be with your therapist, creating a plan that is going to get you to where you want to go. I also had to really sit and start paying attention to my heart and paying attention to the things that I craved.

And surprisingly, it kind of came easy. I was like, oh, Lord, I’m going to be in my eat pray, love, journey, trying to figure out. And I sat and I was like, what are the things that people have always complimented me on, the things that I’ve always loved, the things that excite me? Teaching has been always one and the second is writing. And so I was like, okay, if I’m going to do this, if I’m going to continue business coaching, even just for a little bit until I kind of get my footing because I knew I wanted to go into writing, I was still trying to figure out what that looked like. I was like, well, I’m going to incorporate more of that into business coaching so that I can enjoy my work more. So I stopped taking less clients and started doing more newsletters instead around, okay, I’m going to write these strategies and things out. I’m going to do more of my little think pieces and thoughts. I’m going to bring back my podcast back where I’m more so writing a script. And so I’m incorporating the things that I enjoy and the things that make my heart flutter into my work as part of my exit plan. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

I love all of that because I think one thing, I think that when people talk about faith, they’re like, just have the faith and it’s not about planning. And I really appreciate you saying, no, I have faith, but we also saved money. I also had communication with my partner because I think that especially the money piece, it gives you space. Because I always tell people you should run towards something and not away from something. When you run away from something, you’re not always making the best decisions, right? You’re coming from a desperation. You’re coming from thinking the grass is always greener for this other thing just because it’s not what you are trying to leave. But I do think, at least for myself, that just having some money in the bank frees up some space to figure out how do I feel like? Let me have some quiet. Let me have time to think. Let me have time to listen.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Yeah. You end up not trying to jump on every idea or making scarcity decisions where you’re like, I have to do this to make money. I have to do this. Maybe I should try this. Maybe I should try this. You have more time to really settle in your thoughts and who you are and how you want to show up and what you want to do.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

That’s hard for people, though. It was hard for me, too. It was just really hard to figure out what I wanted because I had this trajectory in mind. And when it no longer, the plan, I love how you’re saying, that’s what I used to want to do, but then I didn’t have the same feelings about it anymore. And it’s really hard to reconcile when that thing that used to be joyful no longer feels the same way.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Absolutely. Especially when it’s the thing that also brings other people joy. It’s the thing that people have started to fall in love with you for. Because don’t get me wrong, there are many times I have cried to my therapist and to my mentor, and I’m saying, I don’t want to step away from this because I don’t think people are going to like me in this new space. I think people have, in many ways, treated me as a commodity, and I have accepted that in the business coaching space. And I was like, this is what they want for me. Who am I if I’m not putting money in their pockets? Who am I if I’m not helping them with their business? And that was a lot for me. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

To break that down. Say more about that.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

I think I realized that I had placed a lot of value of my value and my ability to help people. And this conversation started, actually, I was speaking to my therapist, and when I started to have those feelings of, oh, should I quit? What’s going on? I don’t really like this anymore. I don’t know what to do next. I started to feel very unsuccessful, and I looked down my full list of all the accolades and all that, and I still just wasn’t feeling it. And so my therapist was like, if you could define success in one word, what would that look like for you? And I said, success for me is my ability to help people. And then she stopped me, and she said, well, let me ask you this. In this moment, don’t second guess your answer. Is it more important for you to help other people or help yourself? And I just spilled out, and I said, oh, I want to help myself. 

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

I need to help myself. And she said, well, by your definition, taking time to help yourself is still success. And I was like, okay, you pulled that, pulled it on me. But it took some time to now see, one, that I can be all these different things and still be amazing and still be successful and still act on all of these different things. And also that it wasn’t my accolades, it wasn’t my degrees, it wasn’t my certification. It wasn’t any of those things that qualified me for the platform that I want. It was nothing but, God, it was who I have innately been created to be and me following my purpose. And as long as I am in alignment, I’m always going to attract the people who are right for me in that season. And learning to accept that and speak that over myself and really believe it has changed the game.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Say that one more time. As long as you’re aligned. Say that one more time.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Okay.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

People need to hear it again. No, it was so good. I was like, I think people need to hear it again.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

As long as you are aligned with the things that you’re supposed to be doing, you will always attract the people that you are supposed to attract. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Yeah. Because what attracted me to you was your intention. It was the fact that I was like, she is here and her passion is on display. Right. I was like, you are a teacher at heart. Your passion is on display. It was very evident that you wanted to help people, that you were really about your business in that way. You weren’t just happy to be there. You wanted to make an impact, and that’s what set you apart as a speaker at that conference. 

And, yeah, it was just like, there’s something really special about her. There’s something really special about her. So it wasn’t necessarily the commodity piece, although you were giving us tools about how to be more efficient in our days and how to make your kind of dreams come true by breaking it down into small, practical steps and things of that nature. So that was really helpful. But what made me listen was your energy and the intention that was so evident in your first sentence by just your presence alone. It translated. 

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Wow, Thank you.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

So that’s why I was just like, I need to pay attention to her. I need to figure out, who is this girl? Who is this girl? And so I want us to go back to you talking about being a kindergarten teacher.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Yes.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

And turning to become an entrepreneur. Is the fact that you were able to make that transition now give you confidence or give you the muscle that you can constantly make transitions, like other transitions in your life?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Every time I’m about to make a transition, I go back to all the transitions that I’ve made. And I am a journaler as well, so I’ll go back and read my entries. I’m not doing it daily.  Actually, lately I’ve been getting closer to daily, but it’s amazing to see how much I have been able to make it through with community, with God, with just being obedient and taking the steps. Yeah. Mind you, becoming a kindergarten teacher was a transition within itself. I was on track going into my senior year of college to be a pediatric surgeon.

So I had started the track of applying to medical schools. I actually really enjoyed biology. I was doing well, minored in chemistry. And again, the piece just started slipping. I realized that’s kind of like God’s way of starting to transition me is when I start to lose a little of that peace. And so I just started to have different thoughts of, like, is this really what I want to do? Are there other options? And then I called my grandmothers, who both are educators, and I thought they were a little biased at first, and they were like, we always thought you would be a teacher because you always know. I grew up tutoring. I taught gymnastics, you know, how kids play house and all that. I used to play teacher and force my siblings to sit down. 

And so I was like, you’re right. I do love kids. That’s the only reason I went into pediatrics. Wanting to go into pediatric surgery is because I love children. And I wanted money because I grew up without it. And so I was like, okay, let me put my two loves together. And so I started to pray, of course. And this is when I really started my faith journey, too. And I said to the Lord literally every day for about a month, I believe you need to tell me something pretty direct. And I literally said, if you want me to be a kindergarten teacher, I need a random person to walk up to me and say it. Otherwise, I’m not believing it. Now, I know not to test the Lord, but I think I needed it at the time. I was doing service in the park, community service in Atlanta, and I see this guy talking to another girl, and she’s boohoo crying, and we’re doing service with the homeless. So he was homeless. And I was like, okay, why is she crying? Let me sleep over and see.

And I realized he’s kind of like prophesying over her and telling her about, I think it was law or something like that. And I was like, okay, let me get out of this circle. And he turns to me as I was about to walk away and says, God told me to tell you you’re about to be the baddest kindergarten teacher out here. And I was like, what? And now I’m crying. And so fast forward, I go into teaching. I did a semester in Atlanta because I graduated in December. I took over a classroom, and then I moved to Dallas, did a year in Dallas. The start of that year, I kept feeling that it was going to be my last year.

And this was my first time kind of testing my faith because I kept telling my coworkers that, and they can tell you to this day, I have one amazing coworker, Luciana. She jokes about it all the time. She was like, the first day you were like, don’t get used to it. This is going to be my last year. So I went into that year not knowing what my business would be. And again, I started to kind of lose that peace over teaching. I started to lose a joy, and I was like, man, I love my babies. How is this happening? And it wasn’t until I started traveling and started creating lightroom presets for my photos, which are basically filters for your pictures.

And someone dm’d me and said, how much for your presets? And I realized that I can sell them. And that business started to out earn teaching and it just continued to grow. And I had a friend who every year he does this big birthday tour, and he goes to different countries. He was like, I want you to create a cohesive Instagram feed where people can follow my tour. And so I created this template and it just kept going from there because people saw that and wanted to hire me. Before business coaching, I was more into branding your social media platform for growth. And then that is how that started. It’s been a journey.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Yeah. That’s so cool. And so you were, like, kind of pioneer, and that’s what I admire so much about. Because you’re Gen Z, right?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

You know, I don’t know. I’ve been trying to figure this out. Okay. Because some people, I say I’m Millennial Z.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Oh, you might be millennial Z. Yeah.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Okay.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

I’m the oldest millennial that you could be. Yes, you probably are. Yeah. Millennial Z.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

You look younger than me. I am not kidding. I just love Black that doesn’t crack. Wow. What? You have blown my mind, honey.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

So it’s like, I love…because you all are like digital natives, right? So it’s like the way you all navigate the space is something that I’m trying to learn from. I absolutely love that so much. You’re so funny. You are so funny.

But I think it’s also too. Something that I’m going to be continuing to talk about on the podcast is that you can make money from the Internet, from social media. You can leverage that because you’ve gotten crazy amounts, because you’ve leveraged partnerships and stuff like that.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Yeah. And I didn’t even realize how much partnerships could pay until I have a few friends who are influencers, and I’ve never quite considered myself an influencer. Some people do, and so I just kind of let them. But I would ask them, I’m like, hey, what do you charge for this? I remember my first digital speaking engagement. It was a virtual conference. It had thousands of people, and they paid me $300, and I accepted it, and I signed the contract, and I went to my friend, I was like, hey, I got $300 for a 30 minute speaking engagement. And she was like, hey, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’m doing the same speaking engagement, they paid me $6,000, and I was like, oh, my gosh.

And I realized brands will just give you whatever you ask for, first and foremost. And so then it just continued to grow from there. I found friends who are in a similar following size as me, and they’re getting paid $30k, $40,000 a post.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Are you kidding me?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

I’m not kidding. And I realized what? Again, they’re influencers, though. So I’m realizing different industries have different pay maxes, it seems, right. I’ve learned that family influencers, this is another topic for another day. Family influencers get paid. I guess it’s because. I don’t know, there’s a book that’s called, “Why She Buys,” and I think it’s because women leave the household. Family influencers get paid if they ask for it. Yeah.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Wow. Yeah. That’s so wild to me. But now I see corporate postings on LinkedIn where they have, like, there’s a job for somebody’s job to work with influencers specifically, and I see more and more of that, and I would send it to my friends, and I’d be like, look, we did it wrong.

So I want to make sure that we close the loop. How do you describe yourself now? And what is it that?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

What do you do? I think you’ve caught me in a transitional period, and I’m totally fine with accepting it. I would say in this moment, I am still a marketing expert. I’m still consulting. I was just consulting yesterday. If I can give myself one word and where I want to be, I would say storyteller and teacher. And because that encompasses all the different things that I can and want to do, I want to go into film. I want to tell stories that help people heal and grow. I want to tell more stories that help people become better entrepreneurs, because I found that a lot of my clients, I wouldn’t say that they didn’t need that strategy, that marketing strategy, but they definitely needed more mental support and guidance and mentorship. And so I want to provide a little bit of that, too.

ACT UP Segment

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Yeah, I love that. I love that. Our last segment is called ACT Up. I really wanted to kind of lead into it this way. It’s something that I heard you say about being a genius. You said a genius is “someone who knows what to do with their blessings.” And so how can people, for the act up segment, how can people know what to do with their blessings? What are some things that they need to do today to help get them clarity around that?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

I would say, first, accept the fact that you probably are a genius and not genius by Albert Einstein level, I mean, just the fact that you are a genius in someone’s like, when I taught kindergarten, I was their genius. They thought I was the smartest person in the world. So realize who you are genius, to. What knowledge do you have? What experiences do you have? What have you gone through that has helped anybody or can help anybody in any way. Take action on using that thing to close the gap? And I think a lot of that, when I say take action, is as simple as stop being afraid and start having more faith to use your voice and realize that your voice has power. Even if you’re just creating a blog and you’re saying, I’m going to talk about my experiences, even if you’re going on Instagram and saying, I’m just going to post a reel every two days and I’m going to just talk about something until it starts taking off. Because a lot of people want to wait until they see the plan. But a lot of the times your path unfolds as you’re taking steps, you start seeing the light the closer that you get to it. And so you just have to make movement first. 

So, yeah, I would say that, figure out what you’re a genius of, who you’re a genius to, who needs the knowledge you have, the experiences, have the tools or resources that you have, and how can you get it in front of them. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

I love it. I heard recently somebody say that you don’t have to be a level ten expert. If you’re a level two expert, you can teach somebody at a level one. There’s always people who don’t have the knowledge that you do that you can serve. You don’t have to wait till you’re a level ten to be considered an expert along the lines of what you’re saying.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

Yeah, I’ve met people who are very cynical of people who are teaching simple things. And I’m like, don’t be mad because you didn’t do it. I see people who are teaching others how to use Google. My grandmother was just telling me that she and my great great aunt are signing up for a computer class. I’m like, wow, what are you guys learning? And I’m thinking it’s going to be amazing. And she’s like, yeah, we’re learning how to send emails on Google’s new platform. And I’m like, Gmail? Yeah, right. And how to store our passwords. I’m like, wow, somebody’s making a buck, as they should because they are a genius to someone.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

I love that. I love that. Isis, how can we support you?

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

You know what? I don’t know how crazy this sounds, like just be transparent. When I make a post, I like to create conversation and I love when people meet other people in my comment section. And I would say, if I make a post and it resonates with you, just be transparent. Don’t be afraid to answer. And I say that because if you know me, you know, I’ll ask some deep questions. I’m like, when’s the last time you cried? And so, yeah, just be real and transparent. But I would say you can also purchase my book, “Skyrocket Your Business with Social Media Branding.” That’s anywhere that you can buy a book. I think Amazon is easy for a lot of people. You can even go to Barnes and Noble, but, yeah, Audible as well.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

We will put all of that, all the links to all your things in the show notes for sure, so people can easily click on it. And I hope everybody supports you. Isis, you’re so refreshing. You’re just really, like your vibe. I just love it so much. I really appreciate your time. Thank you for being here.

Isis Breanna, Storyteller + Teacher

You’re so amazing and easy to talk to, by the way. And that’s a beautiful compliment. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas, Host

Thank you. Please keep me posted on your journey, and if I could help you in any way, please let me know how.

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