Sunday, November 25, 2018

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Felicia Shakespeare

Felicia Shakespeare is an author, speaker, educator & entrepreneur. Felicia's career experience spans through many years in the business and education sectors, working for Fortune 500 companies & for the third largest school district in America. Felicia’s mission is to inspire others to be intentional about living a life of faith & purpose.

What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
One of the major obstacles that I faced many times over when starting my career was (by no control of my own) being the only person or woman of color within the organization. In most instances, the level of effort required to succeed was inequitable whether it would be for promotion opportunities, raises, etc. It was unfortunate that each time I joined an organization, I had to prove the value beyond the color of my skin, age and/or gender. Another obstacle at the beginning of my career was finding someone to truly invest in my success through sustained mentorship efforts. It took some time, but after the intentional efforts of seeking someone out, I did not only gain a mentor but a lifetime friend.

What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
I really enjoy the aspect in the business of meeting the goals of my organizations and the needs of my clients. After entering the business arena at such an early age I saw that if people received what they thought they wanted or deserved from an interaction with you, they were willing to invest in themselves and in you in some capacity. Whether in a referral for more business, a recommendation to management, etc., it all counts. A high level of commitment and professionalism is key. This mindset has transferred to everything I’ve done in every sector.

How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?

I am always seeking new ways to balance my life personally and professionally. The first method of operation for me is always “prioritization”; God, Family, then everything else. When thinking of the top two, it’s about how I allocate my time and all of who I am.

What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
There are two:
“This above all, to thine own self be true” ~ William Shakespeare
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” ~ Maya Angelou

Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
Local Mentors:
I’ve been influenced and deeply impacted by the life and actions of my mother, Ruthie Shakespeare. She is a woman of wisdom and resilience. She’s shown me how to persevere through the twists and turns of all components of life (personally, spiritually and professionally).

Virtual Mentors:
Bishop T.D. Jakes and Oprah Winfrey I’ve followed on a consistent basis for many years and they both continue to inspire me to live a life that includes my dreams. I’ve seen them “stretch out” in areas that may have seemed impossible to achieve, but through their life, I see what “IS” possible.

What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
Innovation and inspiration. I have to stay “in the know” of technology, resources, processes, and means to stay the course of being on the cutting edge in what I’m doing. I also “must” stay inspired and motivated to keep going regardless of whatever obstacles I face in life. I refuse to quit!

What is your definition of a BOSS?
Being an authentic person. One that knows how to dwell in the space of humility
Staying strategic in business and personal affairs
Slowing down enough to celebrate the wins (no matter how big or small)

Provide us with two words that describe you?

Empowerment Speaker

To learn more about Felicia Shakespeare Twitter: @iamfelicias

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