top of page

Toyinda L. Smith-Bestselling Author, Certified Master Coach, and International Speaker

Updated: Mar 23

Women's History Month Spotlight

Toyinda L. Smith


Toyinda L. Smith, MS, is at the helm of The Coaching Seat, LLC, a corporation dedicated to improving employee experiences and boosting organizational performance. She equips professionals with potent strategies for increasing revenue and supplies educational tools that facilitate their certification in coaching, speaking, and facilitating roles. This paves the way for their strategic entry into the industry, enabling them to help others and secure financial stability. Her coaching skills have been imparted across large educational institutions, major corporations, and statewide agencies, certifying over 75 professionals as coaches and facilitators, and training over 400 individuals to confidently articulate their ideas. With a wealth of experience spanning 25 years in education and business, Toyinda effectively harnesses leadership abilities, individual strengths, and team dynamics to drive profitable outcomes.

An internationally recognized speaker, Toyinda assists individuals and groups in reshaping their mindset, reigniting their enthusiasm, and realigning their path to success. She has authored three books: The Handbook to Unleash Your Potential, The Handbook to Dominate Your Confidence, and the Handbook to Coach Yourself.

In 2019, her transformative contributions earned her a spot in the top 20 of the Dr. John C. Maxwell Culture Awards. In 2023, Toyinda took center stage at a TEDx event with her enlightening talk, "Bravery Determines Whether You Are Active or Inactive." Her speech captivated the audience, leaving them inspired and motivated to embrace courage in their lives.

Toyinda is the Executive Director and Founder of the 501c3 organization, Legacy of Women, Incorporated, demonstrating her commitment to community service. She is also a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority, Incorporated. Toyinda is a mother of two adult biological children and married to her life partner, Mr. R.L. Carter, Jr.

Women's History Month Spotlight Interview

Please introduce and tell us about yourself.

 I am Toyinda L. Smith Carter, a mother, wife (again), child of God, servant to the Body of Christ, educator,  and champion. I was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, and spent 21 years of my life in West Lafayette, Indiana. I attended Purdue University and graduated with a double bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology and earned an associates of science in organizational leadership and supervision. I hold a masters of science in student affairs and higher education. My brand is Champion Influence® and my purpose in life is to make contributions that create champions.  I live that out everyday.


Ms. Toyinda L. Smith, you are Founder/CEO of “The Coaching Seat®, LLC” Please tell the readers about your company and the services you offer to clients.

 As the principal of The Coaching Seat® our aim is to be the go to learning and development firm known for creating cultures of coaching, communication and collaboration in academia, industry and government. In addition, we are interested in economic empowerment especially for entrepreneurs who are a part of historically underrepresented populations. This is why we have created credentialing programs in coaching, facilitating and speaking so that career professionals can generate additional revenue leading to financial freedom and sustainability.


We provide service to mainly two types of people. The first population are those who self-identify as a coach, but oftentimes feel as though their coaching work is questionable because they haven’t gone through formal training. So, we educate and certify non-credentialed coaches so that they have more weight and credibility in the profession leading to more confidence, clients and coins.  The second population are people who have gone through coaching programs but they don’t immediately start coaching because they didn’t learn enough technique. So, we teach credentialed coaches to use the SEATS Process™ Model for Coaching so that they can put knowledge into action right away.


This year we are adding a focus for credentialing students affairs professionals and educators. I worked in education for 25 years - 14 years in student affairs, 6 years as an adjunct faculty and a combination of 5 years in athletics for junior and senior high schools. I have found that students are struggling to focus on academics because they are distracted with personal problems. They look to a trusted educator for advice. Because of this, we plan to teach faculty and student affairs professionals structured coaching language and methods so that they can quickly help college students navigate their personal issues, employ life skills and holistically take responsibility for their own success as students, empowering them to graduate and move their future forward.


We offer self-help books, coaching flash cards, and t-shirts. Our services are as follows:

●     Customized Coaching Skills Training for Corporate Partners

●     International Champion Influence® Coach & Facilitator Certification Program (distance, classroom and hybrid modalities)

●     Champion Influence® Speaker Certification Program

●     Champion Influence® Create Champion Conversations Public Speaking Course

●     Book to Booked™ Master Class

●     Sales & Influence Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs

●     The Coaching Seat® Online Business Builder Program

●     Champion Influence® 1:1 Business Breakthrough Consulting & Coaching Services


You are a Master Coach who has taught coaching skills in larger education institutions, corporations, and statewide agencies. What is the reason you became a certified coach?

 The long and short story is I was going through a career transition. After 14 years of working in higher education at Purdue University in different leadership capacities, I became a certified coach because I transitioned from being a higher education administrator. My connections and community only knew me as the work I did at the university. I needed to rebrand. I called one of my favorite professors and mentors, Professor Rodney Vandeveer. I told him that I wanted to make a change and move into the consulting world because I believed I could add more value to people as a leadership consultant. He encouraged me by saying, “if anyone can transition, you surely can be successful.” I just needed one person to believe in me. As a side bar, I was 38 years old and refused to tell my parents, who happen to be baby boomers, that I had left my secure and stable position. I waited 30 days, so my mother wouldn’t make me go back. Anyway, I began to research leadership authorities and came across Dr. John C. Maxwell, the number one leadership guru on the planet. At that time, he was offering a service that would certify you as a speaker, trainer and coach. In 2014, I dug into my retirement and dropped five figures to join the program and since, have invested several thousands of dollars to be mentored in business and as site host for his leadership simulcast Live to Lead. In all honesty, I didn’t want to coach, I was more comfortable with speaking and training. But as the Proverbs says, “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” In 2017, I became serious about being a business coach and in 2018, launched and certified our first cohort of professional International Champion Influence® Coaches & Facilitators. Since then we have 77 professionals who are a part of the family in 2 countries and 12 states. My 2024 answer for becoming a certified coach is, “I became a certified coach because I want to function as the coaching vessel, taking people to their destination to facilitate progress and create winning effects in every area of life.”


If someone would like to become a certified coach and facilitator, where can they sign up for your certified coaching services?

 It’s very easy to sign-up and learn about our coach and facilitator certification program. We have informationals ( on Vimeo, just search for Toyinda Smith. We also have weekly educational broadcasts on YouTube (, just subscribe to @thecoachingseat. Additionally, our website site, is filled with registration information, including testimonials about the experiences of current coaches and facilitators.


Ms. Toyinda L. Smith, Congratulations on becoming a TEDx Speaker. Tell us about your experience as a TEDx Speaker. Also, what topic did you speak on at the event?

Reflecting on my journey to the TEDx EvansStreet event in April 2023, I am filled with gratitude. After three rejections, I was finally given the chance to stand on the revered "red dot." The experience was a profound challenge, but I am thankful for the growth it sparked in me. It wasn't just about the countless hours spent crafting and rehearsing my talk. The real challenge was reshaping my approach from a motivational speaker to a thought-provoking conversationalist. TEDx's beliefs of sparking discussions and driving change required me to become a curious speaker. I faced the daunting tasks of changing my entire theme and reframing my presentation style. The eve of the dress rehearsal saw me in a moment of panic, requesting to use note cards, which was swiftly declined. Yet, I am grateful for the unyielding faith of the curators and the genuine feedback I received from high school students during the rehearsal. The day I finally took the stage was an enriching exchange of thought-provoking questions and non-verbal responses, and I am deeply grateful for the attentive audience that engaged with me throughout the talk. My talk underscores the importance of bravery in determining our level of activity or passivity. (


You are a business consultant and corporate educator. Tell us about the great work you are doing in your industry.

 Currently, my efforts are aimed at establishing business relationships and fostering a sense of community in Charlotte, where I relocated 13 months ago. Each week, I spotlight certified coaches and facilitators.  I have spent a year in the hospitality industry, training 50 managers in coaching techniques, trust-building, situational leadership, and restorative conflict resolution, with the goal of enhancing employee retention. Having concluded that assignment, my focus has shifted to corporate engagements, where I offer keynote speeches and help companies save money by training their managers to become coaching leaders. This approach helps reduce employee attrition, silent resignations, and disengagement.


In addition, I continue to certify coaches and facilitators and collaborate with authors to monetize their books. Finally, In collaboration with Legacy of Women, Inc., we're curating an anthology project that brings together diverse women to share their unique journeys, tribulations, truths, and experiences of being marginalized in the workplace. This initiative invites you to ally with women leaders, unearthing stories that offer insights, potential solutions, and demonstrate how we're aiding others to prosper in their careers. A portion of the sales will be graciously donated to the non-profit organization, Legacy of Women, Inc., furthering our commitment to support and uplift women everywhere.


You are a Bestselling Author of many books. Tell the readers about a few of your books.

I have three self-help books, The Handbook to Unleash Your Potential, where readers learn six practical steps that, if implemented, will prepare you to unleash your potential in any of these areas of life: sports, family, career, spiritual, personal, financial, physical health and mental health. The Handbook to Dominate Your Confidence, where I share realistic steps for individuals to sacrifice the comfort of being concealed, declare and express their expertise and judgment at the most impactful times, focus energy on projects and priorities that benefit them, enter an atmosphere carrying poise, self-assurance and authority and develop a positive outlook by not second-guessing themselves. My newest release, The Handbook to Coach Yourself, guides readers to practice self coaching to transform and win in every area of life by extracting limiting beliefs, distractions & interferences that cause you to forfeit the joyous life you deserve to live. In addition to these published works, I have partnered with our certified coaches and facilitators on two volumes of The Coaching Posture, a series of anthologies that shares how established and emerging coaches posture themselves to leave a legacy, establish generational impact, and create winning effects.


Where can the readers purchase copies of your books?

All books and products can be purchased in the store on my website:


As a Kingdom Builder and the Founder of “Toyinda LaShea Ministries.” Tell the readers about your ministry work.

I am a licensed minister and function as an affirmed prophet which simply means I am a servant with a vision to create stability and sustainability within the Body of Christ. Our mission is to expand the kingdom, teach, intercede, and our prophetic voice so that kingdom citizens can increase their faith, access abundance, and prosperity, and live according to biblical principles with maturity and authority.


At the heart of our teachings is the wisdom found in James 1:1-8, teaching us the importance of stability. It's about cultivating an unwavering spirit, enabling us to remain whole and complete even when faced with life's trials. It's our sincere belief that the wisdom of God offers guidance in every life situation. We strive for a focused, settled mind, enabling us to hear and understand the divine wisdom that provides solid answers. Our teachings on sustainability find their roots in Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15. The Genesis Mandate is our beacon, encouraging us to embody God's likeness. It speaks to our responsibility of caring and exercising dominion over the earth, developing it, and thriving while maintaining its balance.


Our ongoing gatherings are as follows:

-       Prophetic Intercession takes place the 3RD Sundays of the month. It is a time to pray and prophesy the heart and mind of God for his people.

-       Press & Pray takes place the 2ND Monday of the month and is a time to press into the Word of God and pray the Word through to completion.

-       Prayer & Pursuit: Mountain of Business happens every Thursday in Clubhouse and is a time to pray for coaches, entrepreneurs, and marketplace leaders.


Programs and Prophetic Evangelism Academy activities:

-       Prophetic Consortium™ Ten Month Mentoring and Mobilization Program

-       Ministry Leaders Coaching Skills Course (On-Demand)

-       Ambassador for Christ Coach Certification (Distance Education)

-       Personality Assessments & Workshops for Ministry Teams

-       (Utilize coaching methods to transform ministries.)

-       Results Driven Evangelism Course

-       TLM 6P Prayer Process™️ Clinic

-       Amplifying Your Pulpit Message

-       Ensuring Congregation Engagement


Frequently, I have had global ministry assignments in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Santiago, Dominican Republic, Nassau Bahamas and Mexico City, Mexico and virtual assignments within Pakistan. In addition, I am partnering with my husband, R. L. Carter, Jr. as co-host for A Choice to Love Podcast, where we take a faith based approach to marriage, marketplace and ministry so that both married and unmarried kingdom citizens have the strategies necessary to build and maintain meaningful and reciprocal relationships that produce long lasting fruit. The podcast is available on Apple, Spotify and iHeartRadio.


Where can the readers learn more about your ministry work?

My YouTube and Facebook Page is the best way to connect to the ministry.


For people who would like to get keynote speaking and leadership training. How can they find out more about the training you offer clients?

I have a booking form that individuals may fill out ( after they complete it, we will reach out to them to schedule a consultation. Many of our presentations and training are customized, so we work to understand the needs of our potential clients through the consultation call. However, there are about 10 videos on our website that describe some of our training and talks. They are located under the ‘Corporate Development’ tab on the website. Here is the direct link:


Last year, you were the Summit Host of “P5 Empowerment Summit.” Tell us about this summit and if you will be hosting another “P5 Empowerment Summit” this year.

The International Champion Influence® P5 Empowerment Summit is a half-day gathering where our certified coaches and speakers train and speak to entrepreneurs, leaders and collegians in an effort to expand and influence the P5 areas: Potential, Purpose, Personal Growth, Power and Progress. Participants are equipped, empowered and inspired with tangible takeaways and valuable strategies designed to transform their entire life.  This year, Saturday, July 27, 2024, we are hosting an International Champion Influence® Ministry & Marketplace Summit, on the beautiful island of Nassau, Bahamas. Our vision is to alternate summits each year.


Do you have any upcoming conferences, events, or workshops?

Yes. I will list them as we are hosting several gatherings and training sessions.


  1. Book to Booked™ Masterclass: 8:00-11:00AM EST - Saturday, March 9, 2024.

  2. Coach Yourself Book Tour & Talk: 11:00AM-1:00PM EST-  Saturday, March 30, 2024 - Move Gym, Florence, SC.

  3. Ambassador for Christ Coach Certification: Distance Education - April 1-May 6, 2024.

  4. Coach Yourself Book Tour & Talk: 5:30PM-7:00PM EST -  Thursday, April 4, 2024 - Faith West, West Lafayette, IN.

  5. Virtual Sales & Influence Bootcamp: 9:00AM-12:00PM EST - Saturday, April 6, 2024.

  6. The Official Book Club Bash: 7:30-8:30 PM EST - Thursdays: April 4, 11, 18, 25, 2024.

  7. Coach Yourself Book Tour & Talk: 1:00PM-3:00PM -  Saturday, April 20, 2024 - The Renewal Center, Concord, NC.

  8. Book to Booked™ Masterclass: 8:00-11:00AM EST - Saturday, April 27, 2024.

  9. The Official Book Club Bash: 7:30-8:30 PM EST - Thursdays: May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2024.

  10. International Champion Influence® Coach & Facilitator Certification Program: Distance Education - June 3-30, 2024.

  11. International Champion Influence® Ministry & Marketplace Summit: 10:00AM-2:00PM - Saturday, July 27, 2024 - Nassau, Bahamas.


Please give us some words to educate, inspire, and encourage women and the readers of Growth Women's Business Networks Magazine.

Embark on your path without seeking validation, concessions, or motivation from others. Pursue your goals fearlessly and earnestly, and achievement will emerge naturally. In essence, it's about taking initiative and proving your commitment through action, which in turn attracts the right kind of attention and assistance. It’s time to possess your possessions because the Lord is with you!





For more information about Toyinda's services, you are invited to visit her website at


bottom of page