I wanted to be a test pilot and go to WTI and be a flight instructor. But things absolutely worked out as a blessing because I ended up going to headquarters Marine Corps and started my own company. Had things been different I wouldn’t be talking to you today. Where does your strength come from? It comes from community. It comes from the women that I talk to everyday that want to start their own businesses because they know they can and they have an impact to leave on our community. My strength comes from the people around me who we are feeding and giving to each other. And I have to say to who much is given much is required, and the more money you make, the more people you can help. And my goal in this coming year is to help five women break six figures in their business, because there’s more than enough to go around. A lot of it has to do with my coaching business that I have now. I don’t just speak anymore with corporations. I actively coach women on creating a flight plan. And there are so many principles that I took from the military that I apply to everyday life. The reason those principles work in the military and we accomplish the mission is because they work. When I think of your story I relate it to President Obama becoming our nation’s first African-American President. I think that there were specific events that occurred over the course of his life and even before he was born that prepared him for his destiny of becoming President. What were some events that occurred in your life that prepared you for your role as a combat pilot? There is a string of things. Number one, I believe everything in my life prepared me for that mission. I believe that when people feel pain and when I feel pain I like to say its growing pains, because I’m being prepared for that next mission that I’ve been called to do. I had three brothers growing up, I played in the trombone section, I was a Soldier enlisted in the Army back in 1993, I was a cop, then became a Marine. I was around guys my entire life from the start of having three brothers growing up. One of the things I do is I say I work with women in a male dominated field. And for a while, I’ll be honest, I fought it. I did not want to speak to women, because I felt like I fought my whole life just to be a part of the team. And when I got out of the military people were like, oh you’d be great to speak for Black History Month, you’d be great for Women’s History Month. I said wait a minute, you mean white guys get all twelve and I’m just stuck with two? It pissed me off, so I really focused on my message and not the package that the message is wrapped up in. I really fought hard to be 52
out in the mainstream community, but one thing I was denying myself was I would say well I don’t want to speak to just women. And even putting the word “just” in there says a lot. If I had I room full of white guys would I have said just white guys? At that time no, because I felt at that time that was the mainstream, where I was trying to go. But really, my story, my experience, where my power comes from is being a woman in a male dominated world. From the three brothers, to the trombone section, to the police department, to the Army and Marine Corps. So of course, my story and my experience is going to resonate with the women who are experiencing many of those same things. Now you have women entrepreneurs. Business has always been a male dominated field, and now you have women starting businesses 4 to1. I didn’t teach myself how to be a cop, a Soldier, a Marine, or a pilot, I had a coach. I had coaches to help me start my business. So now it’s time for me to help the 4 to 1 women who are starting businesses and want to be successful. A friend of mine stated a statistic at a conference back in April that most businesses fail within the first 3-5 years. Well, she said that’s not true…They give up. And I said, wow! That’s deep! Are you familiar with Tyler Perry’s story? Yes. He slept in his car, homeless for two years! Now you know after six months his mom said, baby get a job. After a year, after a year and a half, after two, this brother didn’t give up! How many people do you know are willing to be homeless in their car for a month, let alone two! And he is now the first African-American to own his own production studio. Are we willing to do what it takes to be where we want to be? That’s the ultimate question. I have lost control of this interview; I’m being ministered to (laughter). That is so powerful. Isn’t that how it works? Yes! So you have been an inspiration to many people. What is it that inspires you? Building true, true relationships that create abundant lives. I heard that you have a passion for motorcycles. I’m outdoorsy! I love riding my motorcycle, which is a GSXR 750. I love snowboarding and skiing. I love weightlifting and reading, but most of all, I love my business because it’s not a business, it’s my life’s work with a capital “W”. If I couldn’t do it, there would be no reason for me to breathe. That’s great! You played professional women’s football as well, right?