By Mikala McCurry
Felishia Franklin has a fervent desire to help others to better themselves, both physically and mentally. Although she is a full-time member of the United States Air Force, she has started her own physical training business- ALL ABOUT YOU Fitness, LLC. She is also hosting the “Out Of The Darkness” Suicide Prevention Walk in Montgomery, Alabama.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF. I was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. I was raised in Greenville, Mississippi, and Odessa, Texas. After graduating from Odessa High school, I moved back to Mississippi and attended Mississippi Valley State University. I moved to Alabama after my first year and transferred to Troy University Montgomery majoring in Psychology. In 2012, I attended Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee, majoring in Criminal Justice. I am currently working towards my Master’s degree in Professional Counseling at Amridge University in Montgomery, Alabama.
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? It was really not my intent to start my business as it is today. I started my business by helping people. I would be in the fitness center or a local gym working out, and I would get asked about workouts and different things to do in order to get in shape at home. This started happening so frequently that I began putting together at workouts for people.
As fate would have it, a military sister and close friend starting referring me to individuals. She has a website, www.aimhigherin.com, where she helps individuals prepare for basic training by giving military acquired knowledge and guidance. Several people asked the best way to prepare for the Physical Testing (also known as PT Test). Jokingly, she would say that was not her lane but knew a “beast”. Erin and I live across the country from each other, but she had faith and confidence in me enough to refer me to her audience. From that point, people started contacting me from different states to help them get prepared for United States Air Force Basic Military Training. It was at this time that I started a Facebook page. After praying about a simple Facebook page name, I felt led to call it ‘All About You’ Fitness. From a Facebook page, my business has grown to now also be ‘All About You’ Fitness LLC.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUTH ASPIRING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESSES?
Pray about it, then: “Write the vision and make it plain”.
Pray on it, then: Remove all doubt, follow your heart, and do the work.
Pray for it, then: Stay consistent, be patient, and stay spirit led.
Remember… God’s plan is always better than our plan.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO HOST THE “OUT OF THE DARKNESS” SUICIDE PREVENTION WALK COMING UP IN OCTOBER? June 2014, I became the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for my home unit, the 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery, Alabama. Within my first month of taking over the program, a young man died by suicide. Roughly two months later, one of my relatives died by suicide. I began to understand more and more that suicide has no age, gender, or ethnic preference. Those two deaths seemingly back to back gave me the desire to do more. After also seeing an increase of suicides on the civilian and military side, I researched the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and became a Field Advocate. This gave me the opportunity to go into the schools and educate students, educators, parents, and clergy on suicide prevention. Earlier this year, my chapter director reached out to me about Chairing the Montgomery, Alabama “Out of the Darkness” Walk. Hosting a 5k walk/run was already on my list of ‘Things To Do’, so I gladly accepted the task. I felt this would be a great opportunity to get the community and churches involved.
HOW IMPORTANT IS PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH MAINTENANCE IN REGARDS TO PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS? Physical health and Mental health go hand in hand with professional success. Physical health is being in good condition, having a healthy eating lifestyle, and being regularly active. Mental health, to some degree, is happiness within one’s self, being in a good state of mind, and self-motivating. Professional success is also personal success. Maintaining good physical health and mental health are personal.
HOW CAN YOU USE YOUR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE TO IMPACT THE COMMUNITY? One of my goals is to always lead by example. It is a “practice what you teach” mentality. I want to give back to the community by using my profession/business to do just that. My plan is to take on more volunteer opportunities, such as the 5k walk I am hosting. Volunteering at a retirement residence is also on my agenda. I have brainstormed on a few ways to help boost the morale of our elders up to show them they are not thrown away and/or forgotten. I am also working on a fitness program that will cater to seniors. I am also a mentor to adolescents and young adults. I am interested in developing and pursuing mentorship opportunities further. Taking my personal life experiences and what I’ve learned along the way- the positive and negative- to help others become better individuals can have a tremendous impact on the community.
WHAT WOULD MAKE MONTGOMERY MORE ATTRACTIVE TO YOUNG PROFESSIONALS? A major attraction to up and coming young professional in Montgomery, Alabama is simply seeing that it can be done. Often times young professionals lack guidance. Wanting to do something that they have not seen done before is a challenge. Starting a business when no one in your family has ever owned a business before can be overwhelming. Programs to teach young professionals how hard work and dedication are the key to being successful would be beneficial. The opportunity to shadow or intern with successful professional business owners could also be a great asset to the up and coming and those that are already in business. So many young adults could benefit from a Reach One Teach One Program for young professionals.
Felishia has a 13 year old son, Titus Franklin II. Although she has family in almost every state, she and Titus are the only members of her family who reside in Alabama. Her motivation to succeed comes from her son, Titus, and my her late grandmother, Gladies Williams. “My angel here on earth and my angel in heaven.”
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