Woman Wednesday: Normadelle


Q and A with Normadelle, Jamaica

Know your worth, your skills, and your value.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: What am I passionate about is visual arts, art education/art therapy, children, nurturing, counseling, nature, ocean, and the outdoors. I grew up in Jamaica, and I always liked creating with my hands, acting, theatre design, hand painting on clothes, piano playing, music, collecting, making things, painting, collage, jewelry making, and paper mache. My parents allowed me to choose my profession, allowed me to be creative and to be me. I’m a retired art educator and art therapist. I worked at a psych hospital doing art therapy groups groups. I have a natural skincare business, creating body butters, soaps, scrubs etc. I also teach part time at an art studio.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I went to high school, art school, and received a master’s degree. I had an early exposure to the arts: ballet lessons, piano lessons, and acting classes. I also write poetry. Early exposure allowed me to have an appreciation for all things artistic—possibilities and opportunities, problem solving, etc. I’ve been asked and paid to do many artistic activities, set design, banners, workshops, curate exhibitions, and hang art privately and in a gallery where I was a director, wrote publications attached to exhibitions, made pinatas and face painting for parties. Any and everything art-based, I’ve experienced. That’s my passion!


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

A: Follow your dreams. When I was about nine years old, I sat on a rock and painted and declared that I would become an artist! Don’t be scared; just do it! Know your worth, your skills, and your value. When asked to do a job you’ve never done before but it’s within your discipline, pull on all that you know and utilize it! You can vere off from your intended career path once you’re passionate enough. Know and study yourself to know your capabilities.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means empowering yourself with an education, financial know how, self-esteem, confidence, and independence to succeed!

MORE FROM NORMADELLE: My organic skincare business evolved through my creative and artistic streak! So did my jewelry making. I love what I do; it’s my passion! I also love to write about personal experiences in the form of poetry. I’m originally from Jamaica, West Indies, and have lived in Atlanta, GA, for the past 27 years.


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Woman Wednesday: Anessa


Q and A with Anessa, from USA, living in British Columbia, Canada

“You have far more influence than you think, even when you don’t speak.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am on a mission to increase the number of women participating in our governments, communities, and economies through use of strategic communications. 

Fewer than 50% of women-owned businesses will survive to their 5th year due to the same systemic reasons—access to funding and lack of skills in the areas of business finance, strategic planning, and strategic communications (influence, conflict, behaviors, and negotiations.)

I am a Harmoni coach who specializes in bringing harmony to scaling entrepreneurs, their business, and their clientele through strategic use of mindful influence. Specifically, I teach women how to use mindful influence to motivate themselves as leaders, keep their clients engaged through their transformations, and adapt their processes to serve themselves as individuals. I can be reached through both LinkedIn and Facebook.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in a large blue-collar family filled with entrepreneurs. My life has been blessed with incredible mentors and parents who wielded mindful influence toward the achievement of my goals. Honesty, in all contexts, but particularly where money and value are exchanged is essential to my happiness as an entrepreneur. I was the first girl in my family to get a degree and move out of state while being the last to marry. 

To supplement my athletic scholarship in university, I worked as a wildland firefighter, living and working with four wonderful men. They are one of the many reasons I excelled in corporate America.

For those who may not know, a wildland firefighter is dispatched to the high mountain terrain to suppress fires. The duties of the role include serving as a firefighter or engine operator during prescribed burning and wildfire suppression activities; conducting regular maintenance and repairs on various equipment such as fire engines, tractors, mowers, chain saws, and hand tools. Aside from bearing a child, it was the most difficult mental and physical role I have ever served in. Working with men, living with men, and having to carry all the same equipment while weighing far less, was cathartic. After this, my self-confidence was impenetrable. I pursued this line of work because other work available to me and other young women paid so little.


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

A: You have far more influence than you think, even when you don’t speak. The behaviors and mindset it took for you to reach your first level as an entrepreneur will have to change for you to reach subsequent levels.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means empowering other women through the explicit decision to support them directly and indirectly in my behaviors.

MORE FROM ANESSA: I am always available to entrepreneurs who are in their 2nd year and beyond—should they need a sounding board and not a sales pitch.




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Woman Wednesday: Jacquelynn

Q and A with Jacquelynn, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

“Life is so short and so beautiful.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My first love, outside of being a mother, is music. Ever since I was a little girl, I vividly remember singing my little heart out. My first performance was with my grandmother, Peggy Sue, singing gospel at my baptism, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Which is super interesting to me because I’m an introvert at heart. I’m not passionate about just one thing though. As I mentioned, I love being a mama. But when it comes to work outside of motherhood, I genuinely enjoy helping and pouring into other women. It lights me up! I’m into breastfeeding awareness, embracing your weirdness, helping mamas figure out how to turn their passions into income, creating courses, cooking, writing and singing my own songs, big fan of naps, and all the little things in life. But above all, being a mama and wife is my favorite, and they’re the very reason for all the creating I do. They motivate me. I want to make them proud. I want to set a good example and show them how something can be made from absolutely nothing. Like my children’s book, I Think I Need Glasses. It started with one little idea and evolved once it hit paper. The eBook is my most recently finished project. It’s about a little girl who has an imagination out of this world. She tells of her adventures and life experiences from her point of view, but her older brother pokes fun with her and tells her throughout the story that he thinks she needs glasses. It’s a playful and magical transitional story for children who wear glasses. It’s available for download on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/I-Think-Need-Glasses-ebook/dp/B099V1WH56/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=i+think+i+need+glasses&qid=1627277487&sprefix=i+think+i+need+glass&sr=8-3

My next upcoming appearance/teaching is a super powerful onetime workshop called “Monetize Your Passion” on Thursday, August 5 @ 6pm CST / 7pm EST. The workshop is for creative and passionate aspiring or “stuck” female entrepreneurs. I’ll go over getting clearer with what your passion is and how to turn it into not one, but multiple offers. All the details are on the registration page. It’s going to be pretty epic. I’m so excited! You can also catch my podcast “Just Women Talking Sh!t” just about anywhere you get your podcast. I’m always looking for women to interview, so if you give it a listen and send your story in for an interview, you so should! And last, but certainly not least, I have a free online community for growing and unapologetic women. It’s called Female, Fearless, & Bad-Ass. That’s about all I have going on at the moment!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: This is a tough one to talk about. Because I truly believe that my childhood and younger years, as an adult, have everything to do with the woman I am today. Fun fact about me: I am the oldest of my mother’s six children. Yes, six. How badass is that? She’s such a fierce and strong woman! Shoutout to my Ma in case she reads this. [She laughs.] Anyway, she did the whole single mom thing up until I was about 13 years old. I vividly remember having a baby on each hip, making lunches, doing dishes, playing house at a young age. Everyone called me a little mama, but it’s all I knew. I remember wanting to buy something but always knew how hard my mama worked to take care of us, so I set up my own lemonade stand. Okay, I’ll be honest. It was a Kool-Aid stand. (Southerners know what I’m talking about.) [She laughs.]

In one day’s work, I made $40. I remember dividing the money up among my sister, cousin, and me. We walked down the road to a florist and I bought my mama some silver dangly ball earrings. She wore those suckers out. I was so proud. I’ve had the entrepreneur bug ever since. I am one of the few in my family to graduate from high school. I did attend college but found myself stuck in this viscous cycle of changing my mind on what I wanted to do with my life over and over again. It became tiring, frustrating, and a total waste of money. I’ve honestly done it all trying to find my place in this big and crazy world. I cleaned houses and babysat as a young teenager, got my first big girl job at a Joyce Leslie women’s retail store, went on to have multiple jobs throughout high school, bartended at 18, cashiered at Goodburger on Chestnut in Center City Philly, became a nanny when I was let go abruptly, continued nanny work for the next several years up until my first child was born, wrote for a local newspaper, freelanced at marketing events, was a personal assistant, cleaned houses yet again as a young mom, waited tables as a single mom, made my way into a daycare where I taught and later worked in the office, was introduced to network marketing and multi-level business models, tried those out and did okay, found myself obsessed with finding the next big thing, failed over and over again, finally went back to corporate America after my first marriage went to crap, worked my tail off, never saw my daughter, ran myself and health into the ground, was scouted by one company, hired just to be fired a week before Thanksgiving of 2019. I told myself I would never allow someone to have such a hold over me. My health was crap, my mood fluctuated, I was so burnt out I couldn’t enjoy the money I did make. Even though it was scary as hell being let go that day and I had no idea what I was going to do, I knew it was all going to be okay because, well, it just had to be. This was yet another test. Fast forward to now—I’m a mother for a second time. I’m creating like I’ve never created before. I’m living authentically and really smelling the roses like I’ve never smelled them before. Because life is so beautiful. I don’t think people stop and think about that enough. We are all here as a result of millions of tiny things that all had to go right for us to even be here. Think about that and don’t take one second for granted. Life is so short and so beautiful.


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

A: You have all of the tools to do something great in your lifetime all within you. It all starts with you. I don’t think this is talked about enough. You are so powerful. Your life experiences, wisdom, story, downfalls, triumphs, testimony, all of it. It’s so powerful. I just want to see everyone around me happy, healthy, successful, and wealthy—whatever that may look like for them. And I think that happiness starts at the core. It starts with you. So, take good care of yourself so that you can excel in all the things. Self-love takes priority so that everything else runs like a well-oiled machine. I think several women with past traumas and insecurities tend to seek validation from others. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a romantic partner because maybe she grew up without a father present in her life. (That was me.) Sometimes, it comes in the form of being stuck in a career that makes her unhappy to the core because she was taught that the only way to make it in life is to work her tail off and put her time in like everyone else until retirement, but what she really wants is to somehow find a way to monetize her passion. (That was also me.) All in all, I just want women to realize that they don’t have to settle for someone else’s idea of what life should be like is all. I’ve been there and done that, so if me sharing my story helps others navigate through life and/or business journeys easier, well I’m all in. Just know you can literally do anything you set your mind to!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: When I think of feminism, I think of how far women’s rights have come in general. It goes to show just how powerful women are. I mean really think about how far we have come in such a little amount of time. And now? I bet if I was to ask any of your readers to name an inspiring woman who makes multiple six figures or more a year…someone would instantly come to mind, no? It isn’t about proving I’m better than or equal to a man. It’s about celebrating the power that’s within us all and shows in the growth and impact we each have in this world. It’s about the growth and impact the women before us had in this world and then the ones before them and so on. The world is so big and so vast, yet we can create such impact that is on a level so deep it changes lives. Like how cool is that? That’s the ultimate girl power if I’ve ever seen it.


MORE FROM JACQUELYNN: I was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I primarily lived in a small town called Dixie, but I moved away to New York when I was 16. I graduated high school in the Poconos, attended college in Philadelphia, PA, for a year, and moved back down south when I was 22 or so. My roots are firmly planted back in Mississippi with my beautiful family.

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Woman Wednesday: Darlene

*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 Darlene, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

“You become a light in the world when you step into your own innate wisdom and purpose.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: If I stood on a street corner and shouted my truth, I would say to women to find your power and love within yourself. It is there! Your real, wonderful self is waiting for you to discover it! You are God and Goddess. You are divine. Find that within you and live from there. All else then falls into alignment. When you know that you are divine, you live joyfully. We are all here to learn our purpose and then give it to others to fulfill ourselves. It’s a neverending circle.

My clients want a clear plan forward, based on what they really want.  Finding their passion and their path forward is always easier than they think. It’s usually staring them in the face…they just can’t see it yet. Their path forward then serves as a roadmap to know how to bring in the success they’ve wanted with life and business.  Especially for women who are starving/hungry for meaning in their lives after being defined by outside parameters. A source of inner peace.

 

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I guide women to find a joyful, deeper connection to what really matters to them. The women that find me often have deep, self-worth wound(s) that have held them back. They believe they are “not enough.” I use proven methods to help them identify exactly what is holding them back. 

Then together, we create a simple plan forward. They end up feeling confident in their choices and happy in what they are doing. (Actually I get tremendous joy from this, but don’t tell anyone!)

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I remember growing up feeling insecure and an outsider. I did the “good girl” things that were expected of me–and was deeply unhappy–always pleasing others. I realized later that so many of my life choices were based on what I was “supposed” to do. Be the “good daughter,” “good wife,” “good employee,” no matter what I felt inside.

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The final straw was working in human resources at a bank. Employees were considered literal “resources” to be used as needed by the big corporation. I’m amazed how bad it had to get before I had the nerve to quit and stop selling out my soul, but I finally did.


It took me years to have the compassion with myself and the clear perspective to choose another way—a way that was based on what spoke to my soul, not what I was “supposed” to do. I shorten that time for women to find their own self-compassion and perspective. It doesn’t have to take years!

 

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

A: That putting yourself last doesn’t serve anyone.  You become a light in the world when you step into your own innate wisdom and purpose.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: That women can choose to know they can own their own greatness.  A greatness that comes from integrating all the pieces of themselves and letting go of what does not serve them. To know deep within they have a choice to thrive. To make their lives rich, abundant, and deeply satisfying.  Women can choose to make their lives WHAT THEY WANT IT TO BE.


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Woman Wednesday: Thao

*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 Thao, Newark, California

“It’s best to live life to the fullest of our ability, and it’s critical to keep going and get back up when life knocks you down.”

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about connecting with and helping people! I have been a stay-at-home mom with a home-based business, but prior to that, I was working in corporate in the human resources field. Despite being great at my HR jobs, I was not fulfilled. Then I became a full-time stay-at-home mom, and that has been challenging. For years, I felt guilty about not fully enjoying being at home with my kids as much as I thought. The thing is, I know to my core that I’m made for more. It was not until I decided to take a huge leap of faith last year and started my home-based business that I finally feel empowered to create my own joy.

I now have a balanced life in that I get to be home with my children but also have something of my own! Aside from the flexibility, what I love about my current job is I get to help and impact other people’s lives in ways I never knew I could. It brings meaning and purpose back to my life all because I learned to listen to my gut instincts and did it despite uncertainties.

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old. Growing up, my parents had a successful home-based bakery and were extremely busy with their business that there was no family structure and minimal quality time. Needless to say, I was an unhappy child and didn’t feel I had anyone to go to. My upbringing definitely had a huge impact on the person I’ve become. I struggled with self-esteem and insecurities as a child, and this played well into my adulthood despite having a bold and outgoing personality. However, I’ve done well academically and achieved both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the age of 24.

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I was ambitious, focused, hardworking, and driven. It wasn’t until after finishing my master’s and entering the real world and workforce that I became more lost than ever. For the first time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life! I went into HR, left it, came back to it, and then finally left it altogether after having kids. I desperately tried to figure out my purpose and direction in life, but I wasn’t able to do it for years. I think my self-awareness, resilience, and persistence have been instrumental to my growth and overcoming challenges. After I became a mom, I have been secretly living with depression and anxiety. Finally, I had the courage to share my story last winter on Facebook. It’s mind-boggling what these mental disorders can do to someone’s self-belief and ability to enjoy life. I realized during my darkest moments that the one person who was always there for me despite anything has been God. My struggles have indeed deepened my spirituality and commitment to redefining my life. The only person who could bring real change to my life is me and only me. I am not a quitter!

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

A: I have learned that no worldly achievements will bring lasting meaning and happiness to my life if I don’t make an effort to develop myself and become the best version of who I am meant to be. Self-growth is the best gift anyone can give to themselves and has personally helped me cope with my mental disorders and life challenges in general. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma in our society and in most cultures about mental illness. I want to be the voice of people living with mental illness and show others that it is definitely possible to thrive in life despite your mental conditions. I also want young people to know that it’s okay to not know what you want to do in life. Some of us still couldn’t figure it out in adulthood! It’s best to live life to the fullest of our ability and it’s critical to keep going and get back up when life knocks you down. I also wish I was less fearful of trying new things for most of my life. Now, I’ve learned that doing things despite fear is the key to unlocking my best self and best life. It’s never too late!

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: For years, women have been limited by what we can do, and feminism to me is about breaking boundaries and glass ceilings. I see the ideal world of equality, and if that is desiring the same rights and privileges as men, then call me a feminist!

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