Monday, August 28, 2017

BOSS Spotlight: Tamica Smith Jones, Author of "A Ball and a Dream"

A Ball and a Dream, by Tamica Smith Jones, the Athletic Director at the University of California Riverside, was published by MEWE, LLC, located in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, GA.  Jones writes about her life’s high points – success on the basketball court, marriage, the birth of her children – as well as the lows she goes through – lashing out at a fellow student and having to change schools as a result, and later, struggles in her career such as unemployment and questionable employment practices. Jones’ course in life is anything but a smooth journey, but she has faith that God is guiding her.  A Ball and a Dream is available in paperback and eBook online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold. This is the first book by Jones. The Atlanta native of resides in California with her family, who fully support her in ministry.

1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
Finding my career niche, focus and purpose, as an entrepreneurial spirit very verse in my skills and ability as a thought leader.

2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
I always wanted to be a business owner and obtain a degree in business administration but got a call from a former coach who asked would I be interested to join his staff as a graduate assistant basketball coach. My mom encouraged me to continue my education and that has made the difference in my journey.  So I worked with the student athletes and coaches all day and then balanced graduate school class in the evenings from 6-10:00 pm.  I had a lot of traveling and did almost everything the full time head coach did which was a tremendous growth spurt as a professional.  So I went from a player to pro with one encounter where someone saw a gift in me that I didn't see in myself. I was not just a leader but remained coachable!

3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I absolutely have to prioritize everything and have it accessible on my handheld calendar. I realize that if I don't maintain a healthy lifestyle: physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I will be no good leading or aiding others I care about or responsible to.  So I try to eat well, exercise daily, read devotionals to keep my spirit up, vacation and when I have conflicting interest I ask myself "what's most important to me right now?... And that's what I do, unapologetically.  Over the years I have been more selective of things I add to my already busy life and more thoughtful of what I compromise if I take on more responsibility.  I also take what I call "love breaks" whereas I will step away from the busyness of the day to go peak in on team practices, my children at school, call my mom or text best friends, colleagues or significant others to let know I am thinking about them.  Other than that I continue to find a way to get for family vacations. So, life has been good and I can't complain.

4. What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
Life is what you make it, always has been and always will be is a favorite because it's about perspective.  

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My parents were there from day 1; dad encouraged and funded me in sports and mom pushed education, my core values and faith to see it through. Outside of that, probably single handedly the president who appointed me to my first director of athletics job has been the most influential.  He was a very authentic leader and fearless.  Very direct in his approach so he sharpened my skills like no other and really prepared me to work and excel in a male dominated industry like intercollegiate athletics.

6. What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?
Good people are must haves. Being in the people business where you are aspiring to empower and provide access to education for youth and young adults we must surround them with the best leaders to develop and prepare for an impactful career and life.  

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
My definition of a BOSS is a person who is the head or director with vision and extraordinary instinct.  One who will not just point but also knows enough about the details to participate. It's a person who has resources to lend. A person who is always going to be above the standard and gets uncomfortable being status quo, always striving for better. A BOSS has good judgment, high business acumen and influential amongst a diverse audience.  BOSSES make sure whatever the task at hand, it gets done with no excuses – they find a way or make one!

To find out more on Tamica, visit her at:

Twitter: @tjsports23