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Pushing Past the Negative Voices and Self-Doubt to Become the Leader of your Dreams

By: Shelly-Ann Brown, CEO, Victoriann Health and Wealth Management (VHWM) LLC.

The Thought Process Behind Becoming an Entrepreneur

I currently have three businesses. These include:

1. Victoriann Health and Wealth Management LLC (started in January 2021),

2. Your Best By Faith Inc (a Nonprofit Corporation started in January 2018), and

3. Your Financial Factsheet (an online financial information and resource center, which started in January 2009 and the philanthropic arm of the NPO since 2018).

When I reflect on the thought processes behind starting each, they are somewhat different, as you could guess. However, overall, what drove me to entrepreneurship was a deep desire to solve practical problems and meet societal needs in the financial, socio-economic, health/ wellness, and wealth management areas. In a sense, although I have had a career and specialized training in financial economics, law, and other fields, I would say I was born to innovate and lead with problem-solving in ways that indeed continue to accelerate my progress and surprise others. It is a fascinating thing that happens in the mind of an entrepreneur at the start. I may be incorrect, but I do not think any of us gets up one day and say, “ha! I am going to be an entrepreneur.” At least for me, I believe that you recognize certain innate gifts and capabilities from childhood. You have this knack for innovative ideas and problem-solving, and you observe and ponder and dream of a better reality, which initially frustrates you.

Using Frustration as Fuel to Lead Yourself

It frustrates you because you were either taught to aspire for other things or were limited by the lack of resources and support to be and do those things you dream. I had both frustrations from very early and recognized from before I was 13 years old that I am very different in ways that sometimes scared me. To be sure, it definitely scared others who thought they knew what was best for me, or even worse – had difficulty understanding the depth of who I am. Of course, at some point, I had to decide to be true to myself and listen to the desires of my own heart. Had I not taken baby steps to start putting some initial ideas into reality in 2009, I would not have become progressive nor happy today. I saw this very clearly, and as a highly discerning and decisive person, I was able to withstand others’ negative voices and those in my head telling me who I cannot be and what I cannot do. However, it took a lot of time to observe the realities, analyze things, self-assess, and finally accept that I must be who I was created to be. Through wisdom, I realized that doing otherwise can never be a wholesome solution. I also believe that having done so, as an entrepreneur, this mindset has to remain sturdy to continue growing, owning, and doing more.

Moving from Self-mastery to Leading Others

This process is how one masters and leads themself, which is necessary to lead others both in business and generally. As such, heading into each of the three ventures, I had to keep reminding myself of that mindset and other truths while taking the leap of faith to establish. Essentially, to reach your dreams, the desire to self-actualize and solve the societal problems within your abilities and power must be more compelling than your fears, and any hardship and opposition faced. Consequently, today, I am not only an entrepreneur and business manager but a leader in the field as the Dallas and Caribbean Chapter Leader here at Dell Technologies Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). As the leader for both Chapters, I enjoy helping to support the global initiative of facilitating the success of female entrepreneurs, thus accelerating their power to drive global economic growth. Although leadership comes with significant responsibilities, the same perseverance and zeal for problem-solving continue to be my motivating force. If you also allow yourself to persist and overcome obstacles, this can drive you to succeed in business and leadership.

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