TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
La’Keisha Gray-Sewell: I have to be honest, I faced tons of obstacles in the beginning process of my career as a girls advocate.One was moving from the mindset of being a charity worker to a leader of an institution. Also faced challenges around administration, which is my weak spot. I was surprised to learn all my challenges stemmed from my own sense of worthiness. But that’s another story for another article.
BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
LS: What has always been a passion for me, advocating for marginalized voices and justice has become not just my career but my lifestyle. As an involved parent I was at the tables where decisions were made about the quality of life of my children and their peers. I made the decision that I didn’t want to be present as a volunteer or bake sale mom, I wanted to have influence. My desire to move girls and women beyond the block superceded any other interests.
BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
LS: I am blessed that my professional life is an extension of my personal life...it’s my lifestyle. I do find time to decompress though. I do that by unplugging and focusing intensely on my family. Also, I love to escape in a good book.
BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
LS: Ida B. Wells is my Shero. One of her quotes motivates me daily, “The people must know before they can act and there is no educator to compare with the press.” Then too, I find comfort and conviction in the words of Audre Lorde, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect.
BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
LS: So many...my mothers. Biological and bonus mothers through my fathers relationships and marriage. Church family. Junior High school principal, Yvonne Minor...teachers. My coach, Monique Caradine. So many!
BN: What are your "must-have" to keep your career or business going strong?
LS: Must haves are investment in coaching and professional development. My library card!
BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?
LS: A BOSS is a woman who recognizes her power to influence and effect change is merely a reflection of The Most High God within her. She is a woman of consequence who sets the intention to make the world better through her service and interactions.
Be sure to follow La’Keisha Gray-Sewell on Twitter @MrsGirlsLikeMe and check out her products and services https://girlslikemeproject.org