Miss Know it All
I’m often asked why I’m called Power Starter. The answer is simple; I was born to identify and show others the Unique Power that they possess, then help them strategize how to use it so they live the life that they truly desire. The journey began in elementary school when I was in the fourth grade, just before my peers began calling me “Miss Know it all” and I would be reprimanded by teachers for talking too much. One day I overheard my teacher telling another that his students were not as smart as the students in the other fourth grade class. In that moment I began to look at myself differently. I realized that I was one of his “not as smart” students which I interpreted as, “something is wrong with me, I’m not smart”. My mode of operation switched, I became intrinsically motivated to learn nonconventional ways to make it in the world. I went into Survival mode.
However, fifteen years later I decided that I was going to Stop Living to “Survive “and Start living my Dreams! I was a Cosmetologist who was a hard worker, who understood how to survive. I had no clue I could live a life that I truly desired. Back then the fact that I could survive and thrive spiritually at the same time while being paid for it sounded like a fantasy.
I owned a hair salon where my staff and patrons were women who I loved, they were my family. I’ve always connected to others in a way that was deeper than most. I’m interested in people’s stories, choices and helping them strategize for better outcomes. I enjoyed the women who frequented the salon, however I hated the work. I was torn; surviving and seen by many as successful yet not fulfilled in my purpose to empower others.
Oprah would play on the television every day in the salon at 4:00 pm est. Everyone knew that at that time they were to be quiet, so we could engage in whatever she was teaching. Oprah is my mentor (in my head). One day Oprah said, “to be fulfilled you must find your purpose for living. Your “Purpose” is that thing that you would do most days if you didn’t have to be concerned with earning money to pay bills, if having enough money was never an issue”.
Hmmm..I had been married for three years but I knew I didn’t want to be a stay at home wife. I recently had my beautiful baby who had just turned one year old and because of the postpartum depression I was experiencing I knew I did NOT want to be a stay at home mom. However, the one thing that always made me happy was talking to others about meaningful topics, men and women alike. I was the person who many would come to, to ask my opinion and to help them process through tough times. I was born with a plethora of empathy and a spirit to motivate others to grow past their current unwanted circumstances. That’s when I realized, I wanted a job motivating others!
I did research and found many motivational speakers. They had an empowering story to tell and a motivating spirit but that was not enough for me. The reason I am so good at surviving is because in all situations before I move forward I always need to know all things about the situation. I need to be educated. I’m that girl...I need to know “why”. To strategize successfully through or around any situation you must know all factors, why that situation is occurring! It became clear to me that as a motivational speaker I would need to know all about the brain and the pathology to complacency. I needed to know why people get stuck and stay stuck. Why they are not motivated and what happens in their brain when they become motivated. I needed to study the brain. I needed to be able to decipher the difference between how the brain works when it is functioning and when it’s dysfunctional. I needed to understand the state of the brain when a person is intrinsically motivated and the state of the brain when they are not motivated at all. I realized quickly that I needed to go to school!
Putting in the Work
Then it happened! A feeling of Fear came over me. Oh boy, I thought! I can’t go to college, people in my neighborhood and family don’t go to college, we go to work! I was afraid. I then tried to rationalize how I could become a speaker by just taking one class. So, I signed up for “Toastmasters”. My first assignment after paying the fee and completing paperwork was to speak in front of the members in a competition. I was nervous, however decided that I would tell my story of growing up in the hood because it was my story, and I knew the story well.
On the Tuesday after signing up I was in my first “Toastmasters” competition competing against 4 other members who all held positions on their board. I was the last person to go up in front of the group and speak. As I began to tell my story I was nervous, it reminded me of the times as a child when I would stand on the stage at church in front of the congregation and a microphone to welcome the visitors. Nevertheless, I began to feel more and more comfortable as I told the story and then I finished. I looked around and everyone in the room was looking at me while appearing to be engaged, then all of a sudden, they began to clap louder and longer than they had clapped for anyone else in the competition. I won the first-place trophy! On that day it was confirmed for me, I was born to reach others by using MY POWER because I was enough! I became dedicated to do whatever it took to become the best at motivating others. I signed up for school.
Now, again In Survival mode I figured out that I had to pull all the strength that I had to face my fears. I began to look up colleges that had psychology programs that were close to me. The first hurdle was getting admitted to a college after being out of school for 10 years. As I began to look I found a school that was near the salon that I owned and near my baby’s nursery school. I applied to a program that the university had for adult applicants and I got accepted!!! I was so happy because I could see that things were working in my favor, but the next five years was a struggle. I almost lost myself, I gained 60 pounds because at that time I did not have the coping skills to process the added stress. It was an unhealthy defense mechanism to ignore my emotions with the distraction of food, but I’m grateful because I believe it helped me keep my sanity at the time. For those five years I strategized taking care of my baby, my husband, my home, my business and now my education, but I did not lose my mind! I graduated with a dual degree in Psychology/Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Kean University and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, with honors and top of my class. The same girl who was told in the fourth grade that she was "not as smart as" the other class. At that point, I understood how the brain worked and what stimuli it needs to get motivated and stay motivated.
Facing MY Fears
I moved to Texas where I was able to lose weight and maintain my pursuit of education. I obtained a master’s degree, then became a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor; I have Mastered how to motivate the brain! I connect people with their purpose, teach couples the tricks that keep relationships together, help people find a better quality of life and businesses strategize to increase their bottom line by employee retention and shifting culture. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience working with people, while helping them break cycles, face challenges, and overcome barriers to live the life that they desire. In addition; I’ve worked for Department of Family and Child Protective Services, truancy offices, emergency psychiatric services, inpatient facilities, facilitated group services, worked as a trained hostage negotiator, mental health expert, trainer and team member for the police department. I have also opened a private practice where I am able to empower individuals, couples, and families to face dysfunction and soar in their goals to live a better life. Today I have the privilege of sharing my expertise all over the nation through speaking engagements, relationship seminars, and appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Fox 4 News, Tom Joyner Morning Show, Heart & Soul Magazine, and many more.
Making Moves & Using My POWER
We are all created with the Purpose to live a grand life with luxuries beyond belief. However, it’s not until we connect with our purpose for being that we align with the best of life. Our purpose is served when we realize our unique gift that we were created with and connect to it in a way in which we can share it with the world. Connecting to others is how we feed our souls and elevate to a life of luxury as we see it. I help people identify the unique Power that they possess, my goal is to inspire, educate, and EmPower women and men to live their best lives.