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#Thrive Thursday: Meet Sandra Hill Life Transition Coach, Speaker, Author, and Radio Host

thrive thursday May 19, 2020

What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?

I am ME and there is no other like me!  I have always been told I have a twin but beyond looking like each other, I think that would be it.  I am complicated.  My awesomeness is made up of my experiences, my knowledge, and my being.   So, here are the highlights as concise as I can be:  

A – I am authentic.  What you see is what you get.  Don’t ask me if you don’t want to know.  I won’t mince words but if I don’t have anything nice to say…well, I will be quiet. Enough said.

W – I have this uncanny wisdom which I can only explain from a prior near-death experience where I was told to “remember”.  And, when needed I do.  So, I would say ‘wise beyond my years”.

E – I have experienced in all things eclectic.  Growing up overseas, traveling often, moving sometimes 2 or 3 times in a year caused me (later in life) to appreciate the many experiences, cultures, and diversity that today involves.

S- I am self-aware.  I know who I am, where I am going, and who I want to be.  As a life/business/career coach, this understanding about myself and what makes me ticks enables me to facilitate discussions with others.

O –I am open to change and an eternal optimist.  If you tell me I can’t, I will show you how I can.  Case in point, after being accepted to the only college I applied to only be told that girls don’t need to have a college education, I got three jobs – one of which was full-time, bought a brand new car, car-pooled with siblings and graduated on time from college. All this after being labeled as ‘retarded’ (don’t mean to offend but that was the term my kindergarten teacher used) even though I was able to speak two languages and had started school (overseas) at age 3.  (Hard-headed or hard-willed??, hmmm)

M –I am a miracle.  As the story goes, the doctor who delivered me didn’t expect me to survive.  I was one of the last ‘forceps’ babies delivered at an Army hospital.  So much strength was needed to bring me into the world that my head was mis-shapen, my back out of alignment and my feet were so pigeon-toed, the prognosis was that I wouldn’t be able to walk or talk.  My mother didn’t abandon me.  She and my paternal grandmother were both nurses and they ‘rolled my head’ daily til it looked relatively round…. good thing I had a head full of hair!   I wouldn’t talk (except in a special language to my sister who was born 11 months after me).  I obviously understood so my mom talked to me…about the same phrases each day to get me to talk and walk straight.  She didn’t want braces on my head.  She didn’t want me to have spinal surgery.  She didn’t allow me to have braces on my feet.  Her will actually became my will.  I went on to participate in track and field, being offered an opportunity to participate in the Junior Olympics in Texas (my mom didn’t approve so enough said).  I also spoke and wrote 4 languages, receiving an award in my second high school for translating for Vietnamese children who attended the school.  I also was the valedictorian, but I refused to accept it because 1). The school principal – who I didn’t like – had to approve the content of your speech, 2). I didn’t like this particular high school, I liked the first one, but we moved after I was only there a short time and 3) I didn’t want to be acknowledged by a school who said that since I hadn’t been there long enough, I wouldn’t be recognized for my grades BUT it was ok for me to participate and qualify for state championships …hmmmm

E – I am definitely the energizer bunny.  As a child, my mom tells me she had to tie me to a bed so she could rest.  As I grew older, I functioned most of the time on 4-5 hours of sleep although I can go days on 2 hours of sleep.  You see when I am in the zone…when I am focused… I work off adrenaline…. I have this urgency I just can’t explain.  Things get done!

What message do you promote?

This describes me:  You can BE and DO anything you set your mind to do.  

This is my personal mantra:  Each one, Reach one; Each one Teach one

This is my business mantra:  Making the seemingly impossible, possible

Scripture Foundation:  It is the power of GOD that makes what seems impossible, possible.  Nothing is impossible with God.  (Luke 1: 37)

Radio Show Message:  Grow your Voice/Overcome your Fears


In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?


  • I raised two biological children and helped with 8 other non-biological children.  
  • I mentor middle school children, coach and teach high schoolers and vocational/technical young adults 
  • I volunteer primarily with food banks and Habitat for Humanity.  
  • I minister via song as a member of my church choir and also serve on the Media Ministry currently delivering online services via our website and Facebook live sessions.



In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to

I think we all go through struggles in life for a reason…there is a lesson to be learned.  And sometimes, others watch and we, unknowingly inspire them.  That is what happened to me early in my career.  As an over-achiever, I wanted to get into management because I thought I could be a better leader than those I had as managers and leaders.  It wasn’t easy and the in-house training didn’t come for 5 years so I learned from the school of hard knocks and read every and any book I could get my hands on.  (This was pre-Internet) It didn’t help that I was in an environment where no minority had ever succeeded as a manager.  It didn’t help that, at that time, I was not even given the tools to succeed yet given higher expectations than my peers.  It didn’t help that the behavior was overt.   What helped was that I kept my eyes wide open, watched my back, and excelled despite the odds. 


  • I didn’t react to comments about going back home and being barefoot and pregnant.
  • I didn’t react to comments about ‘black people not cutting it’.  
  • I didn’t react to questions.  
  • I didn’t react to comments.  


My mindset was to win…by using the rules in my favor.  


  • I used the phone to do my work when no one was around. 
  •  I read the user guides/manuals, etc. and could quote rules and regulations like there was no tomorrow.  
  • I used my ingenuity and creativity to work inventory.  
  • I learned my way around a new city (on weekends and by ‘reading’ the Atlas…yep no GPS had been invented).  
  • I wrote well and could speak multiple languages so no one could read my notes and HAD TO ASK ME FOR HELP.  
  • I wrote reports using large words that others HAD TO LOOK UP FOR COMPREHENSION.  
  • I spoke to the cleaning staff and admin staff who gave me the 411 and access to equipment like the copier, soda machine, etc.   


I was always professional, even when I filed a formal complaint based on the detailed notes I took each day.  I was always professional when I reprimanded or provided feedback.  I was always professional as I continued to be promoted until one day, I found myself supervisor of those who had been my bosses; those that hadn’t given me a fair shake; those who had gone out of their way to mistreat and misrepresent.  HOWEVER, I treated each one with the respect that I would have wanted them to have given me and told them that I held no grudges and was planning on treating them well.  Some didn’t give me the time of day, instead of resigning or retiring early rather than work for me.  Some hung around and tried to get under my last nerve but found I wouldn’t let them.  

I overcame because I know that I am a conqueror.  (My name interpretation is warrior AND peacekeeper).  I knew it wasn’t my job to ‘put anyone in their place’.  Without knowing it at the time, I had established my brand.  People only had to mention my name and others knew what I was all about; they knew my work ethic.  

For years I endured so that those who came behind me wouldn’t have to.  I didn’t want the accolades or acknowledgment for becoming the First Black…. Or the First Minority…. Or the First Black Female……   I wanted what I thought I deserved – to be treated just like others.   And “Each one, Reach one” helped me to reinforce the same mindset and determination in others who came after me.

Did I have a support system?  At work, not initially. As I leaned more and more on the God-given inner strength and support, my protectors, my angels, appeared and held me up when I felt like giving up.  

So, what was the result?  Not only did I get a promotion, but I also received promotions for 8 years straight.  I became a successful manager.  I became a leader (my ultimate goal). I knew more about the work in most of the departments and worked on several cross-functional teams for high-profile projects.  I received a great deal of unwanted recognition and helped found an internal organization to assist other minorities in the workplace.  Most of all though, I caused a cultural shift and continued to do so until the day I retired, some 36 ½ years later.


What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

Helping others move forward and grow is the most rewarding aspect of being a life, business, and career coach.


How do you SHOW UP?

I show up by being me (see my response for what makes me awesome).  In short, I am present and when I listen, you have my undivided attention.  I want to know how I can help you move forward, grow your voice, overcome your fear(s), be who you are.


If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be? 

Whatever you do, give it your all.  Your all means your mind, body, and soul.  And know that YOU will be your worse critic so stop listening to the NOISE!!

If you are entering the workforce for the first time or after a long time, make sure it is what YOU want to do and what you have a passion for.  Otherwise, you will end up spinning your wheels and working for that paycheck.  It is ok though if you change your mind.  Sometimes, you might not know your passion, but you have bills to pay.  Sometimes you don’t even know who YOU are.  Have self-passion for yourself – don’t beat yourself up.  Everyone is different and has a different timetable to work from and with.

If you are launching your own business, I would suggest you do your homework – that is, know the difference between a business and a hobby; research their field of interest and/or passion.  If working, I suggest continuing to work until time to launch since working capital might be involved.  As a planner, I usually suggest having a plan…it doesn’t have to be detailed but at least have a plan, a mentor or a coach to use as a sounding board. BEFORE launching.  This will save you from losing large amounts of money and time.



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