A veteran entrepreneur, Dr. Tanisha Denise Manning, better known as “Wonder Woman,” is an inspirational game-changer with an impressive resume. She has built a career dedicated to public service – leveling the playing field for some of the most at-risk youth in various communities. She’s a “Light” combat veteran, a highly sought-after author, a motivational speaker, a Holistic Health practitioner, an International certified birth doula, a 1st HBCU (Historically Black College and University) certified life coach, a certified yoga instructor, a Forensic fingerprint and mortuary expert, a Juvenile Justice Advocate, a former deputy sheriff, as well as an active humanitarian. No wonder she was dubbed as “The Wonder Woman Life Coach” by Source Magazine in 2014 and featured as “The 2018 Wonder Woman of San Joaquin County.”
Raised amid rampant gang violence and poverty in South Stockton, California, Denise managed to claw her way out of poverty through sheer willpower. She overcame hardship and loss and actually succeeded where failure was almost a certainty. Thus, her life is a shining example of what the human spirit can endure and achieve as long as there’s determination and willpower.
When it comes to public service, Denise is undoubtedly in a league of her own. She has worked diligently for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, advocating for youthful offenders and creating their first re-entry and mentoring program in Tallahassee, Florida. She has established and facilitated several creative writing and poetry classes for young offenders already in the criminal justice system. In fact, Denise implemented the first poetry creative writing classes in Orlando, Florida, Killeen, Texas, and Stockton, CA, and has received numerous commendations for Outstanding Distinguished Service.
Back in 2015, Denise opened her business, “Pretty Lady Boutique.” The boutique provided services for women and housed a mentoring non-profit for teenage girls. She took to local schools and created “Pretty Lady Sisterhood” – she became the first in the city and school district to incorporate and implement a mentoring program for high-risk teenage girls. Because of her extensive public service, she has been featured for community service leadership in several print and online publications, television as well as various organizations and universities.
Fast forward to today, and Denise currently has over thirteen years of military service in the United States Army under her belt. She holds degrees in Criminal Justice Administration and Business Administration, and she has received an Honorary Ph.D. in Theology and Spiritual Counseling. Denise has also worked with various police departments in fingerprint analysis, crime scene processing, and violence prevention strategies. She holds membership in several prestigious social and civil organizations where she has been recognized as a Visionary Pearl and Charter President and she’s currently a Master Counselor/Life Coach. She’s also a new mother to a beautiful baby boy.
MoneyCentral magazine recently caught up with Denise to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:
Can you tell us more about your life coaching journey since you’re a pioneer in the field?
Coaching and counseling was always a calling in my life. While deployed to Baghdad during Operation Iraqi freedom, I made up my mind that I was going to become a life coach; however, years prior, I had implemented programs and held coaching groups in local detention centers for high-risk youth. My passion for helping high-risk youth drove me to implement mentor coaching programs for state departments of juvenile justice, local city governments, juvenile detention centers, and federal correctional facilities for women.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
There’s no better feeling than creating something from the ground up without someone telling you what you can and cannot do. I remember working a job and realizing I was giving them all my creativity for pennies. I didn’t particularly appreciate feeling used. I was motivated by freedom – the freedom to create, serve, and give back without restrictions.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
The need and passion for helping others. Being the person I needed when I was a troubled youth or young woman who was in need.
It has come to our attention that you made history as one of the first women to obtain a Master’s degree in “life coaching” – can you tell us more about this?
I started coaching before it became popular and saturated with people that didn’t have life experience or education. Life coaching degrees weren’t offered until 2016-2017, and I jumped on the first outstanding accredited program.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business, and how did you overcome them?
Overcoming the fear of doubt. Understanding that oftentimes your worst enemy and worst critic is yourself.
You recently trademarked “Venting Session” as a service in your private counseling practice. Why did you feel the need to trademark this service, and what makes this service so unique?
Many people don’t want, can’t afford, or don’t trust therapy. I’m an advocate of therapy; however, I also understand that sometimes you just want to get something off your chest, get some unbiased advice without the hassle of insurance or high copays. Sometimes you need to talk to a professional with no strings attached, someone that relates and can identify with your situation. Someone other than your relatives or close friends – that’s me. Venting session is a 45-minute session that offers more than a space to let go but a space to heal and be heard, become grounded, and get a clear perspective on what’s next.