What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
My story is ever-evolving. What I know today, I did not know last night. Hour after hour, minute after minute, I am constantly searching for areas to grow, to do better, and to be better. I have become more vulnerable over the years, which has created a more authentic way of being, this has allowed me to search for truth, for answers and for guidance from others and my creator. I have many women over my life that have mentored me, supported me, and left me with diamond nuggets of information, affirmations, and love. My story is one of hard work, sacrifices, failing, growing, breakdowns, and breakthroughs. Today I am a work towards Awesomeness, today I am a student of Peace and Universal light...So today I am almost Awesome.
What message do you promote?
As a little girl, I was always curious, I learned to cook from my dad, I learned to pray from my mom and I learned to dance from my brother and today I am learning to be more patient from my students and my team. I promote the message of being present to everyone and everything that you have in front of you. I promote a message of stillness when listening to others, hearing what they say and not how they say it....If we could all connect with others without the inner voice, the need to respond, and to rebut, The ultimate message I promote is PATIENCE.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
My mother always said I am the keeper of the wayward people, you will often see, over the years, homeless people sleeping on my couch or once a friend was living in her car and I gave her a key to my house so that she could eat, shower and sleep, that reassurance provided security, pride and the mental capacity to get out there and do good for others and not fall into depression. I bought a cheap car for others to use for job interviews or go to church..the car was called THE BLESSING, it transformed over 10 lives. I not only teach performing arts to the indigent community, but I come from a long legacy of giving back, my mom has a church, we feed hundreds of homeless families once a week, my dad dedicated 40 years as a pediatrician to 99% of public aid in the State of Illinois, I ran his company for 20 years. I created an advocacy group call CHANGE TOGETHER, we lobby for many causes, challenging legislators to address the needs of small businesses, minority businesses and we have been successful in writing laws, passing legislation to bring safety to communities. I managed Real Men Cook that addressed food deserts and initiatives that uplift urban families and communities in poverty striker neighborhoods. We started an urban garden to teach young children cultivation and nutrition through a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and I produce festivals and events in Chicago with free health screenings, Mammograms, frees dental checkups and cleanings and more.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to.
I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. I overwhelm myself with trying to do so many things for others that I have forgotten self-care. Today I am focusing more on my meditation, guilt-free naps, and nature walks. I am filled with gratitude about the sun and the birds chirping then closing a deal. I've learned to sit and listen to the laughter of children playing outside then turning on the news. I have learned to not take things personally. I recently read a book entitled THE 4 AGREEMENTS, it set a path of a way of being that frees me up from guilt when I make a decision to focus only on me. I know that in both business and in life we all struggle with deadlines, meetings, conference calls, but the moment you remove the need to make those things a priority and make being present to yourself and sit in a place of gratitude those obligations become less stressful and allow the panic and anxiety to become manageable until a time when they don't exist anymore.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I get to show up to my company every day and see a bunch of people that are standing for me and for my vision. I get to listen to input from my team, families, and the community we serve on ways we can improve what we do and how we can grow. I get to be in the midst of others that have so much passion and zeal for change, for offering the world love and creative vibrations. I am most rewarded with the ever-evolving products and services we provide to our consumers and seeing their appreciation, thanks, and results from what we work so hard to create and distribute.
How do you SHOW UP?
I show up with a sense of humility and gratefulness. I make a decision each day to live with the notion that I will create a new possibility today and then I set that path in motion to achieve it. I will be fearless and I will be open today. The moment I became real with myself, I took responsibility for everything, I starting showing up being more kinder, more patient, more loving, more giving, and more vulnerable.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
Seek out information from others, attend workshops, read books relevant to your business, and on marketing, branding, etc., be open to advice, find a mentor, pay for business strategists. Join organizations like LEAD UP FOR WOMEN so that you are in a community of like-minded women who are open to sharing. Don't beat yourself up when you fail..failing is the biggest reward, it resets you so that you can go left and not right..be grateful for the times that you messed it up, be grateful that you have a chance to try another time.
FB: Epic Arts and Entertainment and Allison Jordan
I was also the first women to run a Professional Women's Basketball here is a vintage interview of me: https://youtu.be/Kp7Pl-OqMcA