Alionka Polanco is a leading Life & Success Coach for Powerful Women and the author of “Beyond Profit: The Successful Woman’s Guide to a Meaningful Life.” A graduate of New York University’s Personal Life Coaching Certification Program, she believes true success requires courage. Alionka has helped dozens of women achieve personal success. She has spent the last several years coaching top performers in fields as diverse as ad-tech sales at Google, Broadway stars, and high-level business owners and CEOs from Dubai to Australia, and everywhere in between.
How did that affect you and influenced what you do now?
She is a first generation American but was always upset because she always felt like she was living in two different worlds. She had to be Spanish at home and American at school. Now she thinks that was one of the greatest gifts she had because now she knows how to exhibit different Alionka in different scenarios. Growing up she learned how to advocate for what she needed and she learned to fight for what she needed. She learned at a very young age the art of selling her ideas.
What made you get into coaching? How did you discover this profession?
She did her master in education. She loved teaching and her favorite part about it was helping high school juniors and seniors do planning. She knew she didn’t want to be a teacher at least not in the traditional sense. She took the Myers Briggs assessment test and for her personality type, she discovered she was more suited to counselor/coach. She didn’t know much about coaching and felt like she didn’t want to be a counselor and felt coaching was more suited to her. It was a shorter trajectory and she ended up going to NYU for coaching school. She completely loved it. After her first session, she cried because she felt she was finally doing what she was meant to be doing. She felt like a failure when she couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do. She felt very happy when she found out something that could bring her joy. She was 24 at that time. Coaching is a way of life and it has improved her communication skills even in her normal life.
How did you start your business? What was the process?
She started her business after coaching school. However, before she joined NYU for coaching, she put out a Facebook post in which she told everyone she was starting a new career as a life coach, that she would start school in two weeks and she that she is looking for five clients whom she would coach for free and in the process, practice what she would learn in her coaching classes. She had 45 responses to that post, but she only took five because she had other jobs. Of the five she picked, three people, became her paid clients. She got paid as a coach while she was still learning to be a coach. The first three clients helped her establish herself as a coach and many new clients approached her through referrals from these clients. She officially started her business by launching a website in September 2015 and with the help of a business coach, she could promote and design her programs and earn money from them.
What do you think is a formula or a method to cultivate happiness?
Happiness is a feeling that you can feel in any given moment. In any moment, you can smile. Alionka talks a lot about feelings and emotions in her coaching. She doesn’t believe there is any formula or method to be happy in our lives, it’s just an option we must make for ourselves. You can be happy in almost every moment if you feel you deserve happiness. Think of the easiest way you can make yourself happy in given moment.
What have you transformed in yourself that impacted your life?
Alionka always had one limiting belief about herself and it was the belief that there was something wrong with her. She had many accolades to her name but always felt that wasn’t enough. She realized having this feeling stems from the belief that there was something wrong with her or that she was defective. When she transformed that belief during her therapy, Alionka completely changed as a person. The way she interacted with people changed, her perceptions and her beliefs about success and failures changed.
What does your current business look like?
She runs a business which is mostly virtual. She conducts six events in New York every year and between those events everything is virtual. Alionka mostly works in summers, from Monday to Thursday. Monday and Tuesday is for growing business and she meets and interacts with her clients on Wednesday and Thursday. Now, she is only offering group programs and focusing less on individual programs.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
Alionka used to believe her purpose was to help people to be happy and as she achieved it, her vision grew and she got this opportunity to be on a big stage and that is when she realized her biggest purpose is helping women rise and do great wonders in this world. Her business has taken that direction as well and now it is more centered towards serving women.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
She got this advice from her dad and the advice was to learn to close the loop. Roughly speaking closing the loop means getting things done once you have started them. Whenever you want to do something you must make sure it’s done, do not leave it in the middle, make sure it reaches its final stage.
How can we connect with you?
You can connect with her and Giordana Toccaceli through the website: