Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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Woman Wednesday: Carly

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.     


 

Q and A with Carly, Melbourne, Australia

 

I used to give up on projects too early without enough feedback to see it through, and I attribute my giving up too early mostly to self-limiting beliefs. You can have the best business model and the best-looking website and great marketing strategy, but if you don’t believe in yourself first, you will fail every time. So for me, first and foremost is get your mindset right in the beginning, and set the foundations to build an amazing life for yourself and stick at it! The only way you will stick at anything is self-reliance, discipline, and self-belief.”   

 

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am most passionate about creating personal and financial freedom for not only myself and my family, but also empowering women to create the same for themselves.  For me, it’s always been about being able to live my best life on my own terms with the flexibility and freedom to be able to help and inspire others in my own unique way. I have always been passionate about the online business space, and I started my own affiliate marketing site back in 2002 and never looked back since. From there, I went into web development and search engine marketing and helped businesses grow their online presence. I also studied personal and business coaching and assisted a mentor of mine to build an online course that helps people to change self-limiting beliefs and mindset coaching. I now own and operate one of Australia’s largest Christian dating websites and have just started compiling all my knowledge to build a platform for women to grow personally through an online business called InspireHer Online. InspireHer Online will help positively change the lives of millions of women around the world giving them the most effective path to their personal and financial freedom on their own terms.

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I love to share my skills, failures, and successes with others in an effort to help them avoid the pitfalls and misdirection that is rampant in the online business world.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned that you can apply to both personal and business is consistency and self-belief! Never give up on your dreams! Realize that lots of failures lead you closer to success. I used to give up on projects too early without enough feedback to see it through, and I attribute my giving up too early mostly to self-limiting beliefs. You can have the best business model and the best-looking website and great marketing strategy, but if you don’t believe in yourself first, you will fail every time. So for me, first and foremost is get your mindset right in the beginning, and set the foundations to build an amazing life for yourself and stick at it! The only way you will stick at anything is self-reliance, discipline, and self-belief.

This was a big one for me, and it is what lead me to learn how to remove and change the old belief patterns I had and replace them with ones that align with my values. Developing a set of values for yourself is so important; they are your foundations and backbone that guide you through your life. Having no/a poor set of values or compromising your values to suit your needs at that moment will always create self-doubt, lack of direction, lack of purpose, and anxiety for you. Not correcting your old beliefs that don’t serve you will have you chasing your own tail and repeating the same old behavior and ultimately, lead to self-sabotage. So, I would say this is the most valuable lesson I can pass on and teach with my passion to help others finally achieve the long-term success they deserve.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like? 

A: I grew up in a small town near Melbourne, Australia, as an only child, and my mother was a hard-working single mum. During my younger years, I was always painting and drawing and ran art classes for other younger kids to raise money to go on a 12-month student exchange trip to Sweden which had a huge impact on my life—showing me that life experience and experiencing different cultures and people are things you can never learn in a classroom. I backpacked all around Europe afterward and have now traveled to 21 countries and counting! I started online marketing back in 1999 and developed a long-standing background in I.T. and digital design and marketing. 

I combined both talents and first began designing websites in 2001 as a web designer for a Melbourne-based company, then started my own business developing online businesses for clients, and then later studied and taught coaching and consulting. Since then, I have been married and divorced, I have a wonderful 12-year-old son, and I have started many businesses (some that failed, some that succeeded). I have been flat broke, I have had wealth, and I have come through it all into total prosperity now, and I feel so privileged to be able to help other women achieve the same and more.

 

 

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Pictured: Carly and her son. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I have never been a fan of labels, so to me, feminism means being a good human and treating each other as equals. I don’t believe women should have to be a certain way due to societal beliefs, and I also think men should be able to show emotion and cry without being perceived as weak. We are all human in the end—no matter what kind of body parts we have, I hope in time we can love and respect each other for the individuals we are and celebrate that.

 

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Carly’s collage to remind herself of her path to success.

 

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Business Links:

www.inspireheronline.com

www.instagram.com/inspireheronline

 

 

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Jessica K

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.    


 

Q and A with Jessica from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada  

 

“We are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.”  

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about so many things! I’m an enthusiastic person by nature, and everything I discover is always “the best thing ever” [laughs]. Things I love that have stuck are reading, cooking, red wine, and hiking.

I’m also super invested in (and passionate about) helping other women succeed in their own entrepreneurial businesses. Once upon a time, I was a freelance copywriter and found such success that I was able to quit my full-time job to focus on my writing. Now, I’m giving back and helping other women achieve success like I once did, and girl, it feels amazing!

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: It’s funny because I don’t really feel like my younger years influenced where I am now. I’m completely different from my family and have always marched to the beat of my own drum. My family is very much the “you get a good job, work all day, come home to live your 4 hours of normal life until it’s time to wake up and do it again” mentality, whereas I’ve always been extremely expressive, creative, and nontraditional.

My mom often asks where the heck I came from [laughs]!

But you know what? I really enjoy that part of me. I love being able to teach my family new things and hearing the surprise in their voices when they hear my latest endeavor because it’s just so different from anything they are used to. We certainly learn from each other!

 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: I’m an extremely positive person by nature and genuinely love helping others find their way. Over the years, I’ve really learned to be accepting of others and keep the judgment at the door because you never know what someone else has been through. Above all, always be kind!

Of course, I’m not perfect and neither are you. Try and practice these things, and if you catch yourself being judgmental, don’t beat yourself up. It happens, we are human. We can only learn from that and try to be better next time.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism is about equality. No matter what gender we are, we all deserve to be treated as equal human beings. And that’s it. It’s quite simple really. Treat others with kindness, respect, and equality. Women are strong, and we deserve the same treatment as any man. Girl power!

 

 

Connect with me!

You can find me here:

Facebook

Instagram

Website 

https://www.bravedigitalcoaching.com/

 

 

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Woman Wednesday: Author, Dee J. Stone

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Author, Dee J. Stone 

“Don’t be afraid to put your work out there. It’s very daunting at first, but it’s so rewarding when people read your book and tell you how much they love it. What makes us feel good is when we get a message from a reader telling us how she had a pretty hard day and our book made her feel better.”

 

Q: Who are you?

A: We are Dee J. Stone, a pseudonym for two sisters who write and publish young adult and adult novels on Amazon. We’ve been doing this for over five years. Here is our Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Dee-J.-Stone/e/B00BA4JK8S/ref=series_rw_dp_un.

 

Q: What got you interested in writing?

A: We were always creating stories since we were little kids, although we didn’t know that at the time. As young kids, we would sit with our dolls and play for hours, creating a story and running with it. When we were a little older, around middle school, we would draw comics and create stories that way. But we didn’t actually start writing until high school. We started off writing plays before moving onto novels.

 

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Pictured: Dee J. Stone’s most popular novel, “Merman’s Kiss.” Available for Kindle or paperback, click here. 

 

Q: Why did you choose self-publishing and can you explain it?

A: Self-publishing is when you write and publish a book all on your own, without reaching out to an agent and/or publisher. A self-published author has to handle every aspect of the publishing process including providing a good cover that would catch readers’ attention, editing, proofreading, and marketing. Many authors hire other people to take care of the cover and editing, though marketing is usually on their shoulders. The reason we chose the self-publishing route was that we like the freedom to make our own choices when it comes to our books.

 

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Pictured: Dee J. Stone’s novel, “Cruiser.” Available for Kindle or paperback, click here. 

 

Q: Can you tell us about some of the books you have published? 

A: Sure! Our most popular books are a part of a paranormal romance series called “Merman’s Kiss.” Here is the link to the series: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0772WT36Q/ref=series_rw_dp_sw. It follows the story of Cassie Price, who stumbles across a merman that has washed up on shore. The two of them become close and eventually fall in love.

Another series we have is a superhero series called “Keepers of Justice.” It’s about a school for kids with powers. Here is the link to the series: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N0AO6N5/ref=series_rw_dp_sw. We also have a fairy-tale retelling series: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L6K6VT1/ref=series_rw_dp_sw. We write in many genres, such as paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, and romance.

 

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Pictured: Book one of the series, “Keepers of Justice.” Available for Kindle or paperback, click here. 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

A: Don’t be afraid to put your work out there. It’s very daunting at first, but it’s so rewarding when people read your book and tell you how much they love it. What makes us feel good is when we get a message from a reader telling us how she had a pretty hard day and our book made her feel better. Another piece of advice would be to make sure you give your book to someone to read before publishing it. Someone who is not a family member or friend and can give you honest feedback. A writer constantly needs to learn from her mistakes. And another piece of advice? Try not to take bad reviews too seriously. Every book gets them, and they hurt really badly, but try to focus on the good reviews and continue writing.

 

 

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Pictured: Dee J. Stone’s “Falling for the Genie,” available via Kindle or paperback, click here. 

 

Q: Is there anything valuable you have learned throughout the writing/publishing process?

A: Stay true to who you are and what you believe in. Many writers feel like they need to change themselves in order to fit in and sell more books. If you want to sell, you may need to make some changes to your writing, but you shouldn’t have to compromise your beliefs. Readers will love your story if you write it well and touch their hearts.

 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your stories?

A: We believe in writing characters who respect one another. When we write romance novels, we try to portray sweet and kind guys/men who treat women with the utmost respect. There are so many books out there that have male characters who don’t treat their women very kindly, and that is not something we believe in. Hopefully, readers will walk away from our stories with a better understanding of how people should treat one another.

 

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Pictured: “Chasing Sam,” written by Dee J. Stone, available via Kindle or paperback, click here. 

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Expanding on the previous question, we believe that feminism is about people respecting one another. No two people are created the same, and there will always be a difference of opinion or arguments. It’s how a person treats other people that matters. Feminism is not only about women feeling equal to men, but showing men how to treat women, and how women should treat one another as well.

 

As the golden rule goes, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

 

 

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