An Interview with Nayoka Simone: Author of Leap Before You Look
Nayoka Simone is the founder and CEO of NyRai Interior Designs. She is also an author. Her new book Leap Before You Look: The Principles To Conquer Fear and Pursue Your Life's Purpose has recently been released. A Houzz award-winning Interior Designer of Customer Service, she has been featured on FOX 5 DC. Nayoka Simone strives to design unique interiors that will have a positive impact on her clients’ lives. She possesses a desire to create and design interiors that exceed her clients’ expectations. Nayoka guides her clients through every phase of the design process. She remains committed to cultivating valued relationships and helping clients reach the best version of their overall vision. Her mission is to assist both residential and commercial clients in creating timeless spaces.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Describe your new book and why you decided to write it.
Nayoka Simone: My new book, Leap Before You Look is based on the principles to conquer fear and pursue your life’s purpose. It’s a personal story of how I leaped into pursing my passion for interior design prior to having a complete business plan mapped out. It will motivate any entrepreneur, divorcee, single parent or anyone who struggles with their purpose in life.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Once you decided to write it, how hard was it to sit down and start writing something? How important is research to you when writing a book?
Nayoka Simone: Writing this book wasn’t challenging for me because I’ve been journaling my life and business experiences throughout the years. I shared with a friend of mine my love of journaling and she encouraged me to write a book. Once I decided to write the book, I started researching quotes and success stories of other entrepreneurs who shared their stories through booking writing. It was important for me to do my research to get a better understand what readers are looking for and what they can connect with. I know from my own experience, I loved reading books where I could connect with the author. Immediately I knew it was time to write a book that my readers could connect with on a personal and business level.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Nayoka Simone: When a friend of mine told me, it was important for me to share my story with the world. She also emphasized how imperative it was for black women to let other black women know they are not alone in their struggle. Sharing my challenges of being a single parent and trying to start a business is something a lot of women, not just black, could connect with. I was starved in my journey trying to find other black female entrepreneurs. This is how I knew being a writer wasn’t just important for me, but for other women who felt as I did.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Nayoka Simone: The goal was to have at a minimum 10,000 words. Prior to hiring a publishing company, I had over 6,500 words. I knew there were several pieces missing to my story I still hadn’t written. Once I added those missing pieces, I exceeded the required word count.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Nayoka, besides writing you also have your own business. How did you make the decision to become an entrepreneur? Have you always wanted your own business, or did it evolve?
Nayoka Simone: Entrepreneurship has always been a goal of mine. I had been a full-time federal employee for 24 years. I knew it was time for me to be my own boss and build a legacy my children would be proud of. I shared my pathway in my new book which demonstrates the groundwork was instilled in me. My business is greatly evolving. I look forward to even better things in the future.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: What is the name of your business and what services do you offer?
Nayoka Simone: NyRai Interior Designs is an Interior Design Company that offers e-design and luxury interior home designs. We are a full-size company that works with real estate agents and investors staging properties on the market for sale. In addition, we offer home organization, decluttering service, custom wall art, space planning, commercial renovations and rehabilitation.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Wow, running a business and writing a book is a lot of work. Have you ever considered or used an intern to assist you in your business?
Nayoka Simone: Absolutely! I hired an intern for my business, and it worked out perfectly. My intern has helped me tremendously. I didn’t realize how much work I was doing until my intern took some tasks off my plate. Daryn Carl Ramsey: What was the hardest part in starting your own business?
Nayoka Simone: The hardest part in starting my business was finding my ideal clientele and allowing people to trust me with an important asset, their home. Also, if I’m being honest, believing in myself enough to just get started. Entrepreneurship is not an easy feat, so it isn’t something you jump into without having a self-confidence.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: If something catastrophic was to happen and you were to lose your business, would you start it over? If so, would you keep the same name and concept, or would you change it completely? Would you walk away and get a job?
Nayoka Simone: Yes, I would. I believe everything in life, bad or good, teaches us to reinvent ourselves and to see things from a different perspective. I love the name of my business, so it depends on what the vision/mission of the new business would be. This is not my main revenue stream; so, if I had to walk away, I wouldn’t need to get a new job. I am currently a full-time employee qualified to retire soon due to my years of service in the government. Although I am not old enough to retire and collect on social security, I believe all things will happen in Gods timing. I have contingencies in place if I need to walk away.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Did you have anybody to help you at the beginning?
Nayoka Simone: Yes. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor in the beginning. Daryn Carl Ramsey: What are some of the benefits to owning your own business and some of the disadvantages?
Nayoka Simone: Advantages – Being my own boss, having my own schedule/flexibility, networking opportunities, and personal development.
Disadvantages – The lack of financial stability, staying competitive, administrative tasks that take up a lot of time and energy if you’re not building a team. Daryn Carl Ramsey: What inspires Nayoka Simone? What excites you the most when you think about your new book being released soon?
Nayoka Simone: The name of my business is a combination of my children’s name. They inspire me to continue pursing my goals. Also, the abundance of God’s grace and favor He has bestowed upon my life and business has helped keep me inspired. If this wasn’t something I was supposed to do, I don’t believe God would’ve put this fire in my soul for interior design. I get excited knowing the impact I will have on so many lives. This story is a tool that’ll help those know they’re not alone in their life journey. As an avid reader of self-help books, there aren’t enough books that cater to women like me. I’m excited to be able to give readers like me material they can connect with.
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Have you noticed a change in attitudes, interaction or communication with friends and family when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
Nayoka Simone: This area is usually an issue for most entrepreneurs and the answer is YES! When you’re in elevation seasons in your life everyone can’t go with you. Therefore, there will be people who don’t mesh with your new lifestyle and those who want to stick close by but for reasons other than what’s good. Unfortunately, sometimes your biggest cheerleaders will be those who don’t know you at all. From this process, I have learned having a tight knit group of supporters is the best way to survive and continue to thrive in business. The best thing I’ve done for myself is accepting that not all my friends and family will support my goals; and that’s fine because my value isn’t based upon outside acceptance. Daryn Carl Ramsey: Do you want to share any current or future events that you are or will be working on?
Nayoka Simone: I will be doing book signings in different cities and here in the DMV area. Stay connected by visiting my website (www.nayokasimone.com) and signing up for my newsletters to check out my upcoming events. Daryn Carl Ramsey: Where can our readers purchase your new book? Where can they find and follow you on social media?
Nayoka Simone: My book can be purchased on my website www.nayokasimone.com
FB: NyRai Interior Designs
Daryn Carl Ramsey: Nayoka this interview was awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your professional experiences and successes that you have achieved in business and in life. I pray that Leap Before You Look will cause a major impact in the lives of those who purchase and read your book. Until next time Nayoka Simone, be blessed!