As the world continues to evolve and change, it’s essential for individuals to constantly adapt and find new ways to grow. For many, this means looking for new opportunities and experiences to help them achieve their goals and aspirations. London-based mother of four and an international speaker Khalila Lister, always knew the importance of being a responsible and dedicated parent. But for over a decade, she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more for her to do.
Despite building a successful career as a public speaker, radio host, and actress, Khalila felt something was missing. She noticed that many celebrities and ‘successful’ individuals she worked with were empty, numbing their loneliness with intoxicants and drugs, which made her realize that the glitters and golds didn’t really mean much and often numbed the sting of loneliness.
When she embraced Islam in 2007, Khalila began to understand what that missing piece was. She claims that finding spirituality helped her gain a more profound sense of purpose and meaning through her faith. She was determined to find more in her life.
But embracing Islam also meant making some difficult choices. When her then-agent called to tell her she had been selected to tour and host a massive celebrity, a multi-million-dollar record company owner, Khalila knew she couldn’t promote the indecencies the celebrity spoke of. So, she turned it down and, with that, buried the girl she was. She had no idea how to bring herself into the woman she was becoming, so she silenced her voice and ended her career.
Years passed, and in 2020, after the birth of her beautiful fourth daughter, Khalila became a single mum. Suddenly, the weight of the world was on her shoulders. She returned to university, studied storytelling at Goldsmith, and worked as a teacher. She knew it would be impossible to work a 9-5 outside the home with four children on her own. She needed to work in a way that would suit her family and her time. So, she took a considerable risk, quit her job, and started a business in education with a beloved friend of hers, Ruqayyah: Home-school Queens.
The business grew to success very quickly- in under a year, it had a thriving international audience of almost 10,000. During a live masterclass, Khalila really saw the benefits of using her voice again. She saw how much speaking up benefited her in so many ways. Her bank balance grew significantly, and more importantly, she was able to connect with her audience on such a deep level. It was like fireworks. She finally remembered that feeling she had once loved so much in the past and knew it was time!
Khalila started training with some of the best public speakers in the world, and from showing up and sharing her story, she was invited to speak on TEDx Santa Barbara California, a platform with over a billion viewers. It was time for her voice to be heard and taken seriously. With this success, Khalila then opened Power Of Voice Academy, the first public speaking academy for Muslims worldwide. She has been blessed to work with some extraordinary, inspirational Muslim talent, helping them to step into the most excellent speaker they were born to be.
Khalila truly believes that everyone can be a speaker- you have been learning to speak since inside the womb. With strategies and voice coaching, anyone can be speaker ready- to take on any stage or platform they dream of. Speaking up changed her life, and she is passionately on a mission to help other Muslim creatives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders share their message so that it deeply inspires and makes changes for the people who need to hear it. She wants to empower and inspire other Muslim women to follow their dreams and not be afraid to use their voices, just like her. Her success story is truly inspiring for people across the world and perfectly depicts how success is so much sweeter when you gain it while still holding your values.