Welcome to our MogulMoxie feature interview with Shameka Brathwaite, founder of Shameka Brathwaite Speaks.
MogulMoxie: Tell us about your educational background.
Shameka: I earned a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fashion Design from Syracuse University. I attended the High School of Fashion Industries where I was able to earn both a high school and vocational diploma. I am a New York University Certified Life Coach and practitioner of the world’s most trusted personality assessments; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong’s Interest Inventory. I am a life-long learner, so I am constantly investing in my professional development.
MogulMoxie: Being a ‘life-long’ longer certainly represents and ambition nature. Tell us, what does ambition mean to you? What role has it played in your life?
Shameka: I believe in living a purpose driven life and consider myself to be a very ambitious person. I want to enjoy all that God has in store for my life and leave an impactful legacy. Every day, I am growing in my faith and comprehension of understanding God’s promises that I am fully equipped and supported to achieve success. It gives me the confidence to step out and try different things and accomplish new goals.
MogulMoxie: Accomplishing new goals sounds both interesting and exciting – it’s also the perfect transition into our next question. Tell us about your business and your career.
Shameka: “Let’s start with career: I work full time in higher education where I have the opportunity to manage a program that allows me the opportunity to recruit, educate, engage and empower the next generation of leaders of educators. My path to becoming a professional development expert became clear at an early age. I was a natural leader and was elected by my high school peers to serve as freshmen class representative, sophomore class president and student body president during my junior and senior years. One of my responsibilities was to serve on a search committee to hire a new assistant principal. It was then at age 15 that I discovered my talent for identifying top talent.”
“In my business I am a keynote speaker trainer and coach. I started speaking professionally ten years ago. I am fiercely committed to guiding emerging leaders to achieve profitable intergenerational relationships, strategic career planning, and mobility so they can become the top-echelon performing members within businesses and associations. Organizations hire me to guide their millennials in addressing dysfunctional team dynamics, low engagement, and retention.”
MogulMoxie: You are certainly a busy lady! Tell us about a typical day in your life.
Shameka: “I am juggling multiple responsibilities in a full day and it is NEVER typical. I am very thankful for my virtual administrative team, especially my administrative manager Fluer who is able to help me get things accomplished for my business while I am managing my full-time career and family.”
MogulMoxie: We’d love to know what motivates you. Please share.
Shameka: “I am motivated by living intentionally, working purposefully and maximizing my value.”
MogulMoxie: Have you ever struggled with confidence or courage in your professional life?
Shameka: “Yes, there were times when I felt challenged with my confidence or courage in my business and career. I had to “grow” through it. I’ve utilized prayer, scriptures, gospel music and conversations with my supportive husband Ezra or close friends.”
MogulMoxie: A strong faith and supportive system is so imporant. We’ve heard this from many of our moguls with moxie. Tell us about one of the toughest things you have had to do in your professional life and what you’ve learned from it.
Shameka: “In business and in my career, the toughest thing I had to do was take risks when I didn’t know what the outcome would be. I learned that everything is a teachable moment. I rather live a life of “oh well, then what if”. Now I know how to approach things differently and have new perspectives. That is one of the beauties of growing wiser over time.”
MogulMoxie: That is fantastic insight and wisdom. Speaking of wisdom, what has been helpful to you in increasing and managing your cashflow?
Shameka: “I make sure I have multiple streams of income and thinking about new ways that I can maximize my value. I have always been a person who was able to manage and budget my money very well.”
MogulMoxie: Now, from money to language … what’s your favorite word and why?
Shaemeka: “Faith. It is the core of everything for me and my relationship with God as a Christian.”
MogulMoxie: As you think about your dreams, ambitions and life journey thus far, do you consider yourself unusual, strange, weird or pretty normal?
Shameka: “I consider myself to be unusual. That is why I am very intentional with surrounding myself with other dynamically driven people because iron sharpens iron.”
MogulMoxie: What have you accomplished, created or built that makes you the most proud or brings you the most joy?
Shameka: “My greatest creation is my son Elias. He is such a dynamic little person with unlimited potential. I am joyful that I have the opportunity to support him and nurture his development.”
MogulMoxie: What awards or honors have you won that make you the most proud?
Shameka: “My award-winning poem “Virtuous Woman” is published in the anthology entitled Our Stories, Ourselves: The EmBODYment of Women’s Literacy. I was able to impact so many people through my performance of that poem. There is an interesting back story to what inspired me to write it. I was working all night on a project for my fashion design class in college. I felt like giving up. The words to the poem got through to me and any other time in my life where I needed the extra motivation.
I am also proud that I was able to complete graduate school with a 4.0 gpa. I had so much in my life to balance all at the same time, and I was able to do very well.”
MogulMoxie: That is awesome, congratulations! What’s coming up that you want our readers to know about?
Shameka: I am looking forward to having an exciting year with a few new projects on its way and excited to be able to work with professionals or organizations that can utilize my services.
MogulMoxie: Would you like to share anything else that hasn’t yet been asked?
Shameka: “A college student of mine one said to me “What I like about you is that you are not only a go-getter, but a bringer backer!” I chuckled, but I do believe in serving my community through active involvement in civic organizations with missions to educate and empower. I served on the local, regional, national and/or international level with several organizations that uplift the African American community.”
MogulMoxie: That’s an awesome story. You are certainly a ‘bringer-backer’ lol! How can our readers keep up with you?
Shameka: “Readers can connect with me on my website at www.shemekabrathwaite.com. Please feel free to connect with me as well on social media. I can be found on all of the major sites which links from my main website.”
1. Become very intentional about surrounding yourself with other dynamically driven people because iron sharpens iron.
2. To increase and maximize your cashflow, make sure that you have multiple streams of income and are thinking about new ways you can maximize your value.
3. Position and encourage yourself to take risks when when you do not know what the outcome will be. Treat every occurrence as a teachable moment.