In Women, Are You Serious, author and life coach Sharif K. Rasheed asks women to question their relationships with both self and others. Rasheed, 28, speaks to Chispa editor-in-chief, Mavian Arocha-Rowe on the purpose of his book, the journey, and more. He believes happiness starts with awareness and honesty and wants to help women embrace their personal strengths; the building block to their new foundation of love and happiness. “Looking at past relationships is a thought-provoking self-empowerment tool to motivate while embarking on a personal journey to self-love,” he says.
What path did you take, what roads have you walked, what hills have you paved?
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Aurora, CO. I grew up in a single parent household with my older brother. My amazing mother raised us both and if not for her, I honestly do not believe I would be here. Growing up was tough at times, but always filled with love and support. My brother and I still laugh about “wish meat” sandwiches. Unless you were poor, you probably never ate potato chip sandwiches that “you wished” had meat on them. I gained a lot of life experience at a young age due to circumstances out of my control that most people never have to face. But I am the person I am today because of my experiences, not despite them. Contrary to popular belief, I did not speak much as a child. I was a people watcher. I was always creating stories about the adults in my life.
When I was in 4th grade I wrote my first short story. It was about a woman on a cruise ship named Sarah. Long story short, Sarah saved the ship and fell in love. It was a story dedicated to my friend that was in a car accident as a child. It was not the most creative story, but I was only 9 years old and I thought it was the best story ever. As I grew older I gravitated toward the human services fields and after I graduated from Wright State University, I moved to Pittsburgh and began counseling adolescent females.
I continued to pursue a career working with and empowering young people, which led me to try and start a non-profit. The non-profit did not pan out, but it was a great experience and valuable life lessons were definitely learned during the process. At the time I had guest lectured at Wright State University and the pursuance of my non-profit led me to me receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012. Social work is hard, despite what they tell you but I knew I wanted to do something meaningful with my life and shortly after that I began to take my writing seriously.
Why write your first book on women? Are the majority of your coaching clients women?
Women raised me and I took this as an opportunity to give back to those who gave to me so freely. This book is my thank you to the women that raised me into the man that I am today. All of my clients are women at this time. I have always wanted to work with women regardless of what I was doing in my life. When I began life coaching, women were ultimately my target market but that was never the reason behind the book. Fortunately, I now have the ability to support and coach women through their journey in life.
Photo by Erika Banks
For more of the interview with Sharif K. Rasheed, order your copy of the February/March issue here.