What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?
My story is one of leadership and embracing the role. As a young girl, I dreaded being seen. In grade school, as we lined according to height, I was always the last in line because I was the tallest in the class. Not only was I tall but considered skinny. This came with taunting and I wasn’t thrilled at sticking out and tried to make myself as invisible as possible. That, however, didn’t stop teachers from calling on me or picking me to do special projects. I thought if I wasn’t so tall, they couldn’t see me.
I didn’t understand why. As I got older, I realized they weren’t calling on me because I was the tallest in the class and stuck out but because I was a leader. This became more apparent as I found myself constantly in leadership roles whether I asked for it or not. Learning to embrace it was a much bigger task. It took me some time to truly be comfortable in the role of a leader. What I can tell you is when I stopped fighting what was natural and accepted the role along with the responsibility that comes with it, my life changed.
During this time, I learned to forgive myself, often for things that only mattered to me. I also learned that no one takes care of me better than me.
I truly became who I was always meant to be.
What message do you promote?
Everyone has something they are good at and so it is about catching people doing something right and letting them know. Seeing the best in people instead of thinking the worst.
People are the same in their professional life and personal life. If I can help someone to be better in their professional life it will spill over into their personal life.
Work is essential for most of us but how many people enjoy their jobs and what they do. I teach people how to better communicate with each other so that they feel empowered to be and do their best.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
I am where I am because I had a strong network of women who supported and mentored me throughout the years. They always made the time for me, so I just feel that I need to pay it forward. I continuously mentor individuals both men and women and share my experiences and knowledge with them as an entrepreneur. There is so much to being an entrepreneur and you don’t have to fail or fall flat on your face first before you experience success.
Giving people the resources is the easy part, staying with them through their own personal transformation is the commitment. The joy however that I feel as I witness someone going through and coming out the other end of their personal transformation can’t be explained. Through this, I change not only my community but have an impact on communities that expand outside of my reach.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to.
I was in my mid-thirties when I had my son. While I waited to have children because I wanted to have everything perfect life did not work out that way. My husband and I separated when I was four months pregnant. While my son was growing up, I was a single mom and an entrepreneur. There were times when I didn’t know how I would make enough money to pay the bills and provide the basics. Hard times became a learning lesson that I was able to use as I continued my entrepreneurial journey. What I found was a community of women that supported me emotionally during that time. More importantly, I learned to let them be there for me. Something I had to grow into. When I got to the other side of adversity, I realized that I was a lot stronger than I thought. Now when I look back, I also realize and know that with all the experience and learning lessons that I will always be okay.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I get to see the good in people sometime when they can’t see it in themself. I get to acknowledge people and have them see the possibilities for themselves. When I am through, I always see a smile on their face. Knowing that I left someone in a better place is the reward. I always say you don’t know what type of day someone is having and just a hello or smile can change that for them.
How do you SHOW UP?
I SHOW UP boldly and unapologetically myself! I show up comfortable to be who I am. I show up excited that I get to create my day. I show up to enjoy life each day because I have created what I want and I am living my dreams. I show up with gratitude.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
Be true to yourself and confident in knowing what you know. Find that community or tribe of women that you feel embraced by. Never stop learning. Even people at the top of their game have coaches. Give back as much and more than you are receiving. Be Free.
Nelson Mandela said “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.
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