Azina Amar knows how hard life can be. At a very young age, she had to work to support her five younger siblings due to her parents being swept up in the crack epidemic.
“At the age of fourteen, I was arrested for a murder that I did not commit,” Azina says. Because of this, she was forced to spend a year in jail. This incident was enough to make her question life and everything else that was happening to her. However, this also made her realize that Allah doesn’t really let anyone go through life alone—thanks to her teacher. According to Azina, it was Robert Allekote who inspired her to take her current career path.
“My teacher Robert Allekote would come to see me in while I was in jail and show me pictures of the places he went to for a vacation. He told me that once I get out of jail, I could travel the world as well. He made me hope that one [day] I would be free. From then on, I vowed that one day I would own my own business so I could travel the world.”
Her difficult upbringing provided Azina with the tools she needed to succeed. After receiving her GED, she went to college in West Virginia through Job Corps. This was another blessing that turned her life around.
But what exactly does success mean for Azina?
Reading Robert Kiyosaki’s bestseller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is what convinced Azina to start her journey as an entrepreneur. When she moved to Atlanta, she opened her first business—a clothing store. This was after an incident she experienced while working at a post office. An angry customer spat on Azina’s face just because she had returned her mail. After that, she realized that if she didn’t want to feel belittled again, she had to do something different.
“Success for me is whenever I’m told ‘No’. My doctor told me and my husband we would never have children. But, after five years of trying, we now have a four-year-old kid. That is a success—going after what you want despite everyone telling you it’s impossible.”
Now, after finding success, Azina Amar continues to share her story in the hopes of motivating others to find success. But what made her decide to be a motivational speaker?
“People would call me and ask for advice about their issues. I would give them advice and towards the end of the conversation, they always told me ‘You need to be a motivational speaker’.”
Starting wasn’t easy for Azina, for one thing, she had a huge fear of speaking in front of massive crowds and being asked questions that she cannot answer. But just how she overcame the challenges of childhood, Azina overcame this fear as well. Before a big talk, Azina prepares by practicing to make sure that her speech goes perfectly.
“I practiced and studied what I was speaking about. It always turns out better than I expected when I meditate and pray. I just speak from my heart.”
After achieving success, what motivates Azina to continue?
Azina Amar is an entrepreneur who runs a non-profit organization for abandoned babies that also offers free childcare for single parents. As a motivational speaker, she focuses her talks on people who are coping with stress, depression, and those who can’t seem to find a way out of their troubles.
“I suffered from depression and tried to commit suicide. So, I know what it’s like to suffer from mental illness. I want to give them the assurance that they can still heal, recover, and live a full happy life.”
“Waking up and seeing the things I have accomplished. I am a high school dropout and I should either be in jail, dead, or in a mental institution. But despite my circumstances, I was able to start over and run several million-dollar businesses from educating myself through reading books. My goal is to share my story to encourage people that their dreams can come true.”