Permitting herself to dream big and always striving to prove to naysayers that they are wrong about her are the main driving forces behind Tanisha Denise Manning’s success. Manning is a heroine, a community leader and a successful entrepreneur who has faced adversity all of her life but still managed to come out on top. She may have been raised in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in California, but she somehow managed to make her way out of Oakland and Stockton and make a name for herself. Manning didn’t allow others to define who she was – she turned her pain into power and her doubts into hope and now she’s inspiring and empowering others and letting them know that they can make it despite their current circumstances.
From a tender age, several people told Manning that she was destined to fail at life. Hell-bent on proving them wrong, Manning eventually graduated from high school and she decided to join the army. She was deployed in Iraq for a long time, and her hard work was able to prove to everyone that she was indeed a fighter and a go-getter. After serving in the military, she eventually started coaching people at the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, which earned her the title of “HBCU’s First Life Coach.” Nowadays, you can find Manning helping her community with the same passion and dedication when she served her country as an Iraqi veteran. She has touched many lives and constantly inspires anyone she comes in contact with via her holistic wellness studio in Puerto Rico called “ Dama Bonita.”
From surviving one of the toughest neighborhoods in California to serving her country as an Iraqi veteran for over 13 years to achieving numerous degrees including a Ph.D., to becoming a bestselling author with 4 books under her belt – Manning is hands down one of the most qualified people to give certified life coaching advice to anyone in need. StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Manning to talk about her life and her impressive accomplishments and here’s what went down:
Tell us your full name and something about yourself.
My name is Tanisha Denise Manning and I’m a woman of many hats. I have helped bring life in this world, coach them while they’re here and bury them when they leave. I’m a certified birth doula, life coach/counselor, as well as a mortician.
How did you get into the wellness and life coaching business?
I started coaching over 15 years ago. I started as a volunteer for an organization called Aware Central Texas. While serving as an active-duty soldier in Texas, in my spare time I went through the training to become a life coach for the organization. I handled child protective agency cases and work with families that needed extra care, accountability, and support.
What do you like most about being in the holistic wellness business and being a life coach/counselor?
Relocating to Puerto Rico from California and opening my Holistic Wellness Studio has provided me with the opportunity to combine recreational therapy, coaching, and mindfulness and create a wonderful experience for women to find peace and solitude.
The downside to being a life coach/counselor?
Honestly, there is no downside. I’ve been coaching for a very long time and had the opportunity to work with different agencies, create coaching programs for state and local governments and become the first Life Coach to serve at an HBCU. There is no downside, however, I’m not that fond of people in the field coaching others and yet they have no experience in the matter they’re coaching their clients. I once saw a young woman profess to be a “ marriage and family coach” and she had never been married. That’s probably the only downside I can think of.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
I’ve traveled all over the world coaching and have done a great deal of services in correctional institutions and all of my experiences have touched my heart. However, I remember traveling to Sri Lanka and my most memorable moment there was when I had a school of 400 Sri Lankan students listening and receiving my lesson and they surprised me with a heartfelt thank you. 400 students at the same time, saying “ Thank you Mrs. Manning” – it was really indescribable.
We’re guessing you’ve been in the wellness industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned.
I have learned that I’m a healer because I’ve hurt and healed my own wounds. I’ve learned how to use my pain to power. I’ve learned that no one’s opinion of you matters but your own. I learned that you define WHO you are and never let someone tell you or make you feel that you’re not good enough. I learned my true power by helping others.
Is your family supportive of your career?
Absolutely. My husband is my best friend and number one supporter. I married the smartest man I know. An Aerospace Engineer that allows me to be ME and loves me for my imagination and drive.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I’m living my dreams! My future plans would be to introduce my business “Dama Bonita” to women all over the world and let them know that I have created a wonderful experience for them and they have an opportunity to find rest, peace and solitude and work with me privately in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.
The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. What do you consider beautiful and why? Nature. I love to be outdoors.
2. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I have completed my bucket list. I have not yet shown my face on the screen in a movie.
3. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” 120 pounds! (laughs) because I LOVE TO EAT!
4. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Being impatient at times. I wouldn’t change it. I’m a go-getter, I’m the type that’s going to GO GET IT!