Upcoming Speaking Engagement @ the Black Women's Expo
Friday @ 3pm (I will present my seminar, "Class is in Session")
Sunday (I will host the "Ask the Doctor's Panel at 2pm)
My journey is still ongoing but my start is what pushes me to be a better woman and role model everyday. I was born to a schizophrenic, drug-addicted prostitute. At the age of six days old my twin sister and I were placed in a foster home due to my mother's inability to care for us. The woman who took us in not only did foster care, but simultaneously raised 15 kids of her own! Needless to say, my childhood was a struggle. We were often times mistreated and weren't shown what love truly meant. I believe that this altered my perception of self and misconstrued what I understood to be real love. Despite the hardships, I managed to gain entrance into Purdue University. This was an experience of pain, miseducation, and identity. After completing this difficult journey, I pushed myself to obtain both my Masters and Doctoral degrees. I have been an educator for 11 years on both the secondary and collegiate levels. After much prayer, I decided to take a leap of faith and leave the educational arena a few months ago to pursue writing and motivational speaking full time. I desire to educate on platforms that exceed the classroom. I aspire to inspire people to pursue their purpose in excellence.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
While I’ve read this book a thousand times, I’m always led back to The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’m also reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (for the second time, I’ve taught it as an educator) and I’d recommend Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey by Colin Grant for ALL entrepreneurs. Infinite wisdom and knowledge will encompass you.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I believe that I have a unique story to tell (as everyone does) and this is what has ignited me to pursue my dream of both writing and speaking. My second novel, Inevitable, was inspired by life itself. What’s Inevitable, is that with God ALL things are possible. Your destiny is ultimately determined by the decisions you make including the people you choose to surround yourself with. You inevitably have to find value in your purpose and work daily towards this purpose to leave an imprint.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle has been the harsh reality of the financial investment that it takes to fund my dream. I defeat this by setting aside a certain amount every month to ensure that I always have the resources for marketing and other business expenses.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Several of my associates often criticize me for leaving a job with steady income and benefits, but I’m okay with this. I listen and follow what I believe God wants me to do. My story has already been written. The naysayers fuel me to flourish in life. I handle the negativity by praying and settling in positivity. This is probably one of the most DIFFICULT times in my life, but I know that this is all a part of the process and I will propel forward in pursuit of my purpose!
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I believe that the most influential factor in any business success is knowing your why. It’s our job to fulfill our destiny by helping others. None of this is for me. I live day to day knowing that I can possibly help someone else.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I would have known that things will never be perfect! Overthinking obstacles that you cannot annihilate does way more harm than good. I now know and understand that this is a part of my journey. These obstacles are chapters being added to my life narrative. Learning from these same stumbling blocks will ultimately set you up for success!
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I would advise everyone to keep in mind how they want to be remembered upon departing this world. Life is a direct reflection of the choices you make. It’s important that you complete the mission that God has called you to fulfill. It’s never about you, but always for the betterment of others. True humility is remaining teachable, regardless of how much you already know. Commit yourself to excellence in all that you do!
Photo Credit: Blair Devereaux