Women who make it real: a course in success and achievement

On Sunday, March 8 people celebrated International Women’s Day around the world. I couldn’t help but think about the women in my circle who I have the privilege of knowing. In honor of International Women’s Day – a day that recognizes the achievements made by women and brings awareness to the obstacles that still stand in their way – I am taking time to recognize some exceptional women I get to work with in my business and career and the lessons you can learn from them. This list is by no means complete.

• Brenika Smith is the only Lamaze certified childbirth educator in The Bahamas. If you are pregnant, she is your go-to! This woman’s mission is to support, inform, celebrate and pamper moms for stronger generations. What’s not amazing about that?!

• Shekia Albury is the founder and owner of SD Marketing Agency, the most personal and relatable marketing agency in The Bahamas and the Caribbean. The drive, quality and excellence she puts into her work and the work of her clients are extremely inspiring.

• Keisha Cleare is currently a private banker by profession and a gifted business systems expert and founder of Cleare View Consulting. She is extremely passionate and dedicated to helping business leaders identify, design and document strong systems and processes to improve their efficiency and results. Working with her is a must if you are a growing or an established business that is struggling with a lack of standard processes and procedures in your company.

• Kathy Lloyd is an up and coming realtor who believes whole-heartedly in educating her clients to make the most informed decisions around real estate. Founder of “The Real Keys” — a soon to be announced podcast – she is committed to helping people achieve their real estate dreams.

• Chevette Williamson is the most sought after jewelry and apparel designer for standout women around the world. Her timeless neckpieces have been featured literally around the world and will continue to help women standout out when they step out. A week doesn’t go by without me wearing one of her masterpieces.

• Sheree Flowers, I call her the queen of operations and execution. She is a master at helping people execute their vision no matter that size. This lady opened hotels around the world for a living. Need I say more?

These are the current members of The Boardroom, my newest business mentorship program. I get to work closely with these women monthly to help them become the next leading women in business. Hearing their wins each week keeps me inspired. Other honorable mentions of amazing and memorable women I’ve worked with in the last 12 months include Lindsey Aranha, chief executive officer of Dunbay & Associates and C. Gillian Gray of The Faith Group.

Another powerful group of women includes:

• Gia Dee, one of the most positive and upbeat women I know. She made her weight loss goals real when she lost 60 pounds and now coaches others to a similar success.

• Mechelle Sweeting, who started with a dream to grow her business and now has a popular and growing skincare business brand that is growing fast. I salute your drive and willingness to keep moving even in the face of doubt and uncertainty.

• Asline Blanc, a dynamic and driven female who is undoubtedly on the rise. She is dedicated to mental health awareness in The Bahamas and is the founder of Blanc Notes and Mental Health Bahamas movement that is gaining steam every day.

• Raine Thompson, who made her book publishing dreams real when she finished and launched her book of romance poems called “Incognito Dwellings”. If you want some words to spice up your love life, you must get her book.

• Helen Narsh, founder of the IMPACT Network, a teen empowerment program. She also became a published author in the fall of 2019.

• Ann Rolle, who started the program with a dream to start a business and ended the program with not only a business but a handful of new clients to hit the ground running with.

• Tiffany Johnson-Thompson, who launched GEMMS (Gather, Empower, Motivate, Support and Socialize) after having a deep desire to connect women together for a cause in Eleuthera.

These women are a part of my Make it Real Method community, an amazing group of dreams (and achievers) who are on the path and do the work every day to make their many dreams real!

Yet four more amazing women:

Tamesha Cash, Kenny Dee, Olivier Armbrister, and Shakeisha Johnson. Who are they? These brave women have taken on the mantle to facilitate the fulfillment of people’s dreams. After leading Dreamboard parties for an entire decade, I opened for the first time in the fall of 2019 an opportunity to teach everything I know in this field. They each joined and have together hosted six dream board parties over the last three months. They have been my extended facilitator family and I truly appreciate the work they have done and the impact they have already made toward the mission of inspiring people to dream. They are coaches and mentors who will continue to “put a dent in the universe” as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would say.

I must also give an honorable mention to Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson, chairperson of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation. I felt a deep sense of accomplishment and delight when I learned of your new title. When I served as executive director of the Chamber Institute, I went to work every day to see a wall full of men in the leadership of that organization over its 80-plus-year history. There were two women on the walls. And while there have been women who’ve sat as directors over the years, being a female chairman in what has been known as a male-dominated entity is a huge deal and I support her wholeheartedly.

Finally, in my role as chief executive officer of The Training Authority, the corporate arm of what I do, there are women leading human resources and training departments too numerous to mention that I’ve had the awesome privilege to work with over my almost two-decade career in the professional training and development industry. I also salute my team of women Raine Thompson and Laval Burrows who support me in the work we do in the industry. I couldn’t do what I do without your support.

What lessons can you take from these women? To rise. To achieve. To make your dreams real despite what comes against you. To max out your potential and live a life empowered. On this International Women’s Week, I celebrate you.

• Keshelle is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, corporate and business trainer and the founder of the Training Authority. She is the former executive director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Institute and an internationally recognized speaker and author. A leading expert in corporate training, technology performance and entrepreneurship, she has helped thousands of people fulfill their vision, obtain mastery and become more productive in their lives.

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