I recently had the amazing opportunity to serve as mistress of ceremonies for the inaugural Women's Excellence and Leadership awards luncheon hosted by the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation. While I was there, I was introduced to the dynamic keynote speaker, Dr. Gloria Mayfield Banks.
Dr. Banks is Mary Kay's No. 1 sales executive and a Harvard Business School graduate. She is also a survivor of domestic violence. She shared that on her first day at Harvard, she showed up with a black eye. My heart began to sink as I listened to her story, only to have Dr. Banks' words pull me out of my slump after hearing the second half of her triumphant journey. She was strong enough and confident enough to leave her situation and go on to raise her children as a single-parent while building a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR marketing business at Mary Kay.
Here are her 10 tips for success:
1. Make a Decision as to what your next step to greatness will be.
2. Grow Your Confidence. It compels and attracts others.
3. Use Your Imagination. Be so imaginative that others have to recognize your worth and that they need you “at the table.”
4. Master these four skills because you need them:
(1) Time management;
(2) Money management;
(3) Emotional management
(4) Skills management
5. Strategic and Deliberate Goal Setting: Focus on the stair in front of you, not the whole staircase.
6. Mind Your Image: Have the courage to be spectacular!
7. Use your smile unapologetically
8. Passion will push you past fear
9. Be disciplined in your hustle
10. People skills: Kindness can be your strength
Dr. Banks' final thoughts: don't sacrifice long-term success for short-term gains.
She ended by asking everyone in the room to say the following quote in unison: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
It was a powerful moment, inspired by a beautiful powerful woman.
Markette Sheppard is host of Great Day Washington, the lifestyle morning show on WUSA 9. She is also a wife, mother of a rambunctious 3-year-old and avid movie lover. You can watch her live weekdays at 9 am.