Lisa and Jessica Reedy receive a blessing by Pastor Olu.
Finding Faith in Our Passion
Last Sunday, Carol's Daughter the company and Lisa Price, me, as Carol's daughter, launched the Transitioning Your Life Tour. I visited three churches in Atlanta with gospel artist and Sunday Best, second-season finalist, Jessica Reedy. Jessica sang for each of the congregations and I shared my testimony with each of the churches.
We visited Elizabeth Baptist Church, Changing a Generation, formerly known as Greater St. Stephen's and Impact church. Following each service we provided members with the opportunity to give us their email addresses in exchange for memberships and also bounce back cards with discounts on several products.
I was nervous about speaking. I have spoken in public before, but was not used to speaking in church. Also, I was raised Episcopalian in New York and our services, aside from praising God, have very little in common with a Southern Baptist church. My goals were to be calm, clear, concise and most of all, authentic.
The night before I was still not sure what to say or how to say it. I began to review notes that I had in my iPad from some of the speeches I have given in the past. I like to jot down bullet points and ideas that will spur thoughts and conversation versus reading a speech verbatim. I came across seven principles that I try to live by in life and in business and I thought to myself - this is it. This will be my tool.
When I arrive at our first church, Elizabeth Baptist, my heart was pounding. I was so nervous. I knew I needed something to go with my seven principles but I still did not know what that would be. Jessica was scheduled to sing before I was to speak. This also made me nervous. What a tough act to follow. As she began to sing I felt she was singing just for me. "All the things you have been worried about - put it on the altar. And all the things you've been stressing about - put it on the altar." I listened and I prayed and asked, "What should I talk about?" And instantly I heard, "talk about your mother and how her faith and belief and positivity in life influenced you and taught you how to be and then segue into your seven principles."
When I stood at the pulpit I was comfortable. Still a bit nervous but I had a plan. I spoke about Mommy. Her life, her love, her faith and her belief in her children's ability to succeed. I also spoke about her death and how through losing her I found strength in myself.
The congregation let out a few "Amen's" and some "Mmm-hmm's" and by the time I was speaking at the third church there were even several "Well, alright." Being someone who speaks mostly at business conferences, this was new for me but assured me that my speeches were connecting with parishioners. I was moved to share a different story at each church and closed each one with my seven principles.
After the services I had the opportunity to meet and greet, take pictures and do what women do, talk about hair. It was a beautiful experience. Something I would welcome doing again. Jessica Reedy could not have been more perfect. I heard her sing three times in a row and wanted her to sing even more and with each performance she gave me goosebumps. I LOVE her voice. It flows from her body so effortlessly yet I packed with so much power.
At our last service, at Impact Church, Olu, the church's pastor, closed the service with a prayer for Jessica and I. We stood there arms around one another forever bonded to each other from the journey we took together that day. I felt so blessed and so empowered and so loved. Here are my 7 principles I'd like to share with you:
1. Passion - Identify your passion
2. Research - do the research on whatever field you wish to pursue. Know where your industry is going and from where it came.
3. Trust - you must have trust in your team. No one does anything alone.
4. Authenticity - remain authentic in what you do.
5. Adapt - you have to figure out how to adapt to the changing landscape around you or you will be left behind.
6. Mentorship - if you can, be a mentor and if you need a mentor - remember, they do not have to be people you know personally. Two of my mentors are Martha Stewart and Tyler Perry. I have appeared on Martha's show once and have never met Tyler, but they both have taught me so much.
7. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable - if it is too easy, you are probably not growing.
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