Alicia Rodriguez is a successful entrepreneur, author, blogger, leader, mother and dynamic business woman based in Annapolis, MD. You may have read her thoughts in SmartCEO magazine where she has been a frequent contributor, or had the pleasure of hearing her speak – or better yet been lucky enough to attend one of her leadership retreats, or conferences. MyCity4Her Media recently caught up with this busy lady and got to know her better…

Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?

I was brought up to believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind on if it genuinely mattered to me and if I worked hard to make it a reality. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I was telling someone stories of my life and she commented somewhat incredulously , “Wow, you’ve done all that in your life?” I really hadn’t thought about it until she made that comment.

What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?

I’ve worked in several industries. I have reinvented myself several times and it is very likely that I will do so again. I think what I underestimated was the resistance in organizations to thinking in innovative ways. I underestimated how much safety and knowing is valued in organizations and how much systems resist change even if it is change for innovation and inspiration.

What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?

Trust yourself. I’ve given that advice to others as well.

What do you love most about what you do and why?

I love that I get to be authentically me, full of curiosity and questions, and that out of that authenticity my clients receive the powerful questions that allow them to grow and develop themselves. When they tap their inherent wisdom and leadership, their organizations reap the rewards too.

If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently and why?

I would’ve sought out a mentor more purposefully. When I was growing in my career, there were few women that modeled the type of leadership that I valued and that had the authority to impact change. It would’ve served me and saved me much learning by fire.

When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?

I am a writer, a blogger and a paddler. Living on the Chesapeake Bay allows me to be in nature most of the year. A number of years ago I sought out a paddling coach to help me learn to kayak and through kayaking I learned more about myself than I ever expected to learn. We now take groups out to learn on the water what can’t be learned in traditional environments. I also do yoga for physical benefits and to calm my mind. I have a teenage son that I spend time with, as much as a teenage boy will allow!

How do you define success?

I define success as being at peace with myself and being attuned with my fundamental nature. When I am at peace and attuned I choose wisely, I take on the right work, and I do my best work with clients. I am able to offer more and to receive more.

If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business, what would it be?

One final thought. Accept yourself, flaws and virtues. No one is ever going to fill in the blank spaces; only you get to do that. Know thyself and work with what is there. Be the best YOU you can be, keep learning, stay curious, share and be generous. Find joy even in the shadow spaces. Pay it forward; we need mentors, leaders and role models. Be that for someone. At the end it won’t matter how much money you made, what kind of car you drove or what neighborhood you lived in. What will matter is how you made a difference for someone else and how at peace you were in your heart.
About Alicia Rodriguez

As President of Sophia Associates, Inc. Alicia works with visionary CEO’s, social entrepreneurs and non-profit executives who are making an impact in the world. Her coaching focuses on cultivating a leader’s ability to make decisions in the face of ambiguity, to manage competing commitments and to develop the skills to build collaborative relationships. Her approach is holistic, combining spirit, heart, mind and body. Alicia leads kayaking trips and works with equine assisted learning specialists to create events that result in transformative experiences. Alicia has a Masters of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and is an ICF certified P.C.C. level certified coach. She graduated from the prestigious Leadership Coaching Certification Program at Georgetown University. She lives in Annapolis, MD and enjoys yoga and kayaking on the Chesapeake and its tributaries.