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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Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Sophie

*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 Sophie, Lichfield, England

“Most successful people have been through a struggle at some point, and I believe it is these hard times that create the grit necessary for entrepreneurship.” 

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I believe that through struggle, comes light.

My younger years weren’t filled with rainbows and unicorns. My amazing mom suffers from bipolar disorder and 20 years ago, when I was growing up, there was not as much support or understanding around the topic. This meant that I was more the parent in our relationship. I believe this experience is the catalyst to why I carry so much compassion towards women and the reason behind my passion as a coach.

 

 

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m Sophie Starkey, a women’s sales strategist and founder of The Authentic Selling System. I am on a mission to change the way that women feel about selling.

I know far too many women who have amazing talents and gifts to share with the world who deserve crazy success and they never get there because they aren’t comfortable with selling.

Having spent most of my career coaching women, I noticed a trend that crops up over and over again. You see, we are such heart-driven beings that selling makes us feel uncomfortable, to say the least!

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

A: Going through struggles can often reveal the core of who we are. One thing I have learned from my own background and others like it is that most successful people have been through a struggle at some point, and I believe it is these hard times that create the grit necessary for entrepreneurship. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: If I was to be honest with you, “feminist” isn’t a word that I would associate with, but at the same time, I suppose “feminist” is a perfect word to describe my values!

I often get inquiries from men who want to work with me, I will work with men if we are the right fit for one another, but my passion lies with coaching women. I once had a guy that said he was offended that my marketing is aimed at women. I told him that I am not anti-man; I am just pro-woman!

 

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Connect with me! Here: 
Website

Facebook

Insta

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Keisha

*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 Keisha, Antigo, Wisconsin 

“Life is not defined by circumstance but instead comes from an understanding of yourself and your true power.” 

 

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Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Nothing excites me more than to see a woman step into her true power, her purpose. I am passionate about helping women realize what’s possible for them. I love providing the tools and guidance to shift their mindsets, manifest their dreams, and shift their whole life experience. Check out the Abundant Mother Hustler email list and more here.

 

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Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My childhood and young adolescence molded me to be and live in survival-mode most of my life. I grew up in multiple homes between my grandparents, father, and mother, but around age 14, I permanently moved out and bounced around from friends’ homes throughout high school.

 

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I believe my struggles, my life stories, and living with constant uncertainty developed this passion inside me to overcome, to learn, and to discover that life is not defined by circumstance but instead comes from an understanding of yourself and your true power. I am living proof you can transform your outside world and life from within your mind.

 

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

A: Every single person has a gift, talent, and ability. Every single person has the power to transform their lives if they shift to a higher level of thinking. 95% of what we do is controlled by our subconscious minds, 5% is influenced by our everyday level of thinking, known as our thoughts. When a person discovers and learns how to master their thoughts, they can transform their subconscious and accomplish/attract their desires, unearth their talents, gifts, and abilities, which allows them to live a much higher quality of life. That’s where my passion to teach comes in and why I do what I do.

Read about the unconscious mind here. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism means to me that every woman has a birthright to live her best life.

 

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Thank you for reading! 

 

 

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

Click here to connect with Keisha!

 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

Woman Wednesday: Jamie

*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 Jamie, Vancouver, Washington

 

“Limits are a mindset, not a reality.  Allow yourself to try things and treat life like a game.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am incredibly passionate about being the architect of my life. I am consumed and wildly in love with this idea that as I build a business, I’m creating something in our world that was never there before and can help people along the way.

 

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I run a digital agency called Trend Rocket Digital, and I’m a business coach focused on female empowerment. I believe it’s my duty to show women that you CAN have it all and that happiness gets to look like whatever you believe it to be.

I found this passion when I was 18, and truthfully, it came to me suddenly. I was sitting on the floor of my 650-square-foot apartment, 6 hours away from home, after being let go from a nursing job due to my brain condition and I had no clue how I was going to move forward. I knew that I couldn’t live a normal life if my health continued to get in the way and then I realized, I was going to have to build my life. So, I dropped out of college that day and pursued entrepreneurship.

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years really made me who I am. I have an incredible family. I was raised out in the country with my mom who was my best friend, and my step-dad who was in my eyes, my dad. He was an entrepreneur himself, but also incredibly down to earth. I had 3 brothers and a sister, too. But, my childhood was also incredibly full of struggle. At 14, I began having health issues where I’d lose my vision and get incredibly dizzy. For a couple of years, it was pushed off by doctors as puberty and hormone imbalance.

 

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However, by my senior year, I was now in a wheelchair with an undiagnosed condition that was getting progressively worse. I was passing out up to 50 times a day. I’d broken ribs, sprained everything imaginable, and yet, every test came back normal. I had grown masses on my spine that were affecting my nerves and every day was potentially my last. Not only did doctors not know what was wrong, but they also couldn’t tell me that one more concussion wasn’t going to kill me.

It took us 5 years to finally find out I had a rare brain disorder called Dysautonomia.

 

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My childhood and high school years were obviously life-changing, but I believe that this was a massive piece of who I am now. Without this illness, I wouldn’t have learned to be independent, strong, and a problem solver. I wouldn’t have had the interest in self-love, and development. I would never have imagined that I should run a company on my computer. But all of this came because this rare disorder shaped me into a capable woman.

By the time I was 20, I had also unfortunately lost my step-dad to a battle with stage 4 cancer, and my brother to another illness. My family has been through so much, but because of it, I’d say we value our lives, health, and time more than anyone else I know.

 

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

A. I think if my story can teach anything, it’s that if I can find joy and happiness in life after dealing with all that I’ve dealt with, and still build a business—you can truly do whatever you desire.

Limits are a mindset, not a reality.  Allow yourself to try things and treat life like a game. No one gets out alive anyway, and the worst that will happen is that you’ll end up in the same spot you’re in now.

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I think, for the most part, feminism is a great concept. However, I think that at the core, many women also seem to lean into their own excuses and place sexism as the reason they’re not where they desire to be.

 

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There’s an episode of The Profit where a woman who runs a successful online flower shop continually brought up sexism as the reason she wasn’t getting investors, when truthfully, it was because she was incredibly hard to deal with as a person and basically cried “sexist” to anyone who told her that something was wrong in her business.

You don’t get to be the empowered woman you are capable of being and play victim at the same time. Believe it or not, the market will buy a great product–regardless of who’s selling it–man or woman. The market isn’t sexist, and you can’t allow feminism to be the reason you’re losing.

Go grab what’s yours, empower yourself, empower your fellow sisters in business (or just other women period), and earn the life you desire!

 

On the images I’ve attached:

One was on Christmas day with my dad who was battling stage 4 cancer, and me in my wheelchair. We were still having so much fun that day and making the most of it.

There’s also an image of my man and me. He’s been there through so much and has been the greatest support system in my life and business.

There’s an image of myself and a large group of friends. That was at my company launch party!

There’s an image of my mom, my sister, and I.

And then, just one of me! The reason I chose that one of me is because I’m sitting on my desk by my computer, and it represents so much to me. I built my desk by hand. I used all the tools, sanded it, painted it, and then it became the space where I built my business. So much of me has gone into this desk, and this computer–so, I think it’s a perfect image for this!

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

Comment below!

 

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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