For Women’s History Month I will be sharing the stories that define and provide examples of women empowerment, uplifting stories of personal triumph and businesses that are inspiring and are making a difference for women. Women’s History Month is a declared month each year that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
I want to introduce you to Tonya Franklin.
Tonya is an internationally-selling award-nominated author that is a business empowerment educator where she teaches and trains clients to take their passion and turn it into income. As a virtualpreneur, she provides small businesses and career professionals with professional development/customer service, event marketing, PR, marketing and branding as well as content writing services that help to give them the support they need and additional time to work in growing their business. Tonya recently added consulting to her brand and uses her own start-up experiences and transparent struggles as an entrepreneur to provide start up consulting for new small business owners and side hustlers looking for momentum to springboard their dreams of business ownership. She takes her over 20 years of experience to craft customized services and give empowering experiences to her clients for them to achieve their next success level.
Here is HERstory:
My story starts with fear and being comfortable in being caught between a rock and hard place. Losing my job, losing my home, and then my husband leaving, left me in a place that was not only hard, but despairing. In a matter of 10 years I lost everything and ended up homeless with my three children…twice… I was three years in my business but didn’t have a secure roof over my head, but every week, I was going online sharing my business wealth with my audience, speaking on live and virtual panels, working with clients….while homeless. In 2019, my life looked like it was turning around, and one of my major clients bailed. It took me an entire year to get back up again. I was determined to not be homeless again. My journey has not been easy or a crystal stair, but it has been a journey of determination and rediscovery. In 2019, I took the leap of rebranding and focusing more on my passion of marketing and PR. Per encouragement from colleagues, I also added start up consulting to that brand as well. Not only was my business getting a do-over, but so was my life. My entire mentality as a businesswoman elevated, propelling me to not compare myself to my past nor compare myself to others who were succeeding. My definition of success became my own and continues to soar by leaps and bounds, and I’m simply enjoying the ride.
Her business is MJS Virtual Collaborative.
What does women empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment means being a cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on, a safe pace to be flawed, and being comfortable in your story and knowing that your story won’t outshine your sister’s story. Coupling your story with your sister’s becomes a greater light.
What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share with someone?
Even if you have to step back; never give up. And don’t define your success by what someone else is doing! Know your purpose and define your life by your own standards. Own your purpose; know that you are enough!
What do you want your legacy to be?
With each person I come in contact with, I want to be known for being a game changer and changing lives. I want my children to not only inherit a financial empire, but my tenacity, my strength, my humanity, and my work ethic.
What inspires you?
Seeing other women who were told “no” go out there and make their dreams come true!
She has authored business development books and faith-based fiction including her internationally-selling novel, “Devil in Disguise”, and she has also authored a faith-based devotional, “A Woman Not Ashamed” and business development books for faith-based entrepreneurs. All books are available on Amazon.
What does self care mean to you?
This is an area I’ve struggled in, but I’m learning that self care is so important. I think it is all about putting you first: whether it’s taking your own time out and laying on the couch with your favorite drink and binge-watching your favorite show, or taking a walk to clear your mind while burning calories, writing out your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and dreams, or simply just saying “NO” to tasks or jobs that overwhelm your plate. Whatever will make you be the “best” version of you, take care of YOU.
When did you realize entrepreneurship was right for you?
I’ve always desired to be in charge. My mother always said I was bossy, and as a child, I would be offended, but as an adult I learned to take it and fuel my purpose. I’ve always wanted to be in control of my own destiny and have the freedom to share my gifts with others. Entrepreneurship is my comfort zone.
What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business and personally?
Aside from financial goals, I want to be more comfortable in my purpose and learn how to take my own advice that I give others. My goal is within the next five years, I want to be one step closer to solidifying my empire and have developed solid partnerships to be the game changer I know I’m destined to be.
What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you?
I’m looking forward to reviving some e-courses and I’m working on a book that is for entrepreneurs.