When using social media as it was intended--as a communication tool--I get to see peers who are doing amazing work! A Facebook video caught my eye and I knew I HAD to have Antonette share her changemaker story with you.
But first, please check out her Facebook video here. I am THRILLED Antonette shared details of her work with us.
What is your company name?
What problem does your company solve?
We focus on empowering, supporting, and strengthening the local community through preventive and curative measures that create family-centered and culturally relevant educational, spiritual, social, and clinical initiatives both virtually and locally.
When did you see this problem as one that needed to be solved?
As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I have seen that children are often one of the most vulnerable and compromised groups around the world, especially when it comes to access to health and resources. I also believe that health and wellness are a worldwide necessity.
I have also always viewed health and access to comprehensive and holistic healthcare as a human right, not a privilege. After many years working nationally and internationally, I noticed that the way to change was stepping outside of the traditional clinical arena, and broadening my scope to initiatives that addressed the community at large.
Did the problem ever seem like it was bigger than you?
Oftentimes solutions to problems are bigger than just us. However, there may be strengths that we have that can we can use to tackle those problems and help them be a bit more manageable. For me, environments that children come from can often also determine their understanding and success of a healthy life - not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as well. Additionally, all of these factors affect their future and our world's future. For myself, I simply acknowledged that healthy families equals healthy children, and, in turn, healthy communities. So, although this solution to this problem may require many hands, my personal desire is to see the world well - one child, one family, one community at a time.
How did you know you were uniquely positioned to solve this problem?
I am often characterized as a passionately compassionate individual, and strive to blend my interests in faith, education, global health, and community outreach. I have had over 10+ years of experience developing national and international health education initiatives and outreach that have proven to be successful and impactful to the broader community. It seemed only a matter of time before I had to take next steps to think bigger.
What, if any, concerns are there related to nurses not knowing about non traditional roles?
The world is shifting, and traditional nursing as we know it is changing. In order for nurses to continue to be relevant and embrace the uniqueness of our profession, we must be visionaries in how we use our talents, skills, and energy to make major impacts on healthcare, both locally and globally.
Some say, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." In terms of developing business relationships, do you agree with that statement? Please explain your rationale.
In nursing, and any profession, it is imperative to determine early on with whom you can collaborate, will help you grow, and is willing to understand you and not stereotype you. Collaboration is the foundation to great relationships, and helps build trust when trying to make progress. When each person knows his/her strengths and how s/he can contribute, the tendency for conflict, jealousy, and poor work environments minimizes considerably. So, I believe a percentage is who you know, but I also believe it’s what you know, and knowing HOW to use, work with, and value what and who you know for the betterment of your goals.
Tell us about your transition. What was the process of moving away from the clinical role into a business role like? What mindset shifts, if any, did you need to make?
At the time of this writing, five to six months prior to making the decision to move (both geographically and professionally), one of my brothers passed away unexpectedly. Of course, it was a major blow to our family, and completely threw me off course. It caused me to re-think a lot of things, and forced me to be reminded of the fragility of life and the inevitability of the unexpected. It took some time for my family and me to heal, and only now are we catching glimpses of peace and clarity in the process. However, in the middle of the crisis, several opportunities arose, that if missed, could have been lost. I was also forced to take a hard look at my life track and evaluate if the things I was doing were out of comfort, or if I was still in line with my life purpose. I suddenly saw life as temporary and fragile, and was challenged to take a pause from my personal comfort zone of over-thinking or over-analyzing myself out of BEING absolutely influential and life-changing for others.
For me, it required being okay leaving familiarity for the unknown, and in few words, leaving a comfort zone. Change comes with uncertainties, but in many ways, those uncertainties are often just based off of the assumptions that what I have now may in some way be better than what I could have. But, these are life's constant challenging truths – understanding that no major life movement, invention, company, revival has ever come easily.
Once we are comfortable seeing crises as opportunities, you can boldly be willing to take risks where all else seems impossible, and provide the potential to transform your world and the world of those around you.
What has been the hardest thing in starting in your specific type of business or job role?
Starting something new is not easy. And continuing to move forward on something new - especially when there may be slow progress or little to no tangible result - is equally, if not more, difficult. The waiting game often keeps you on pins and needles, and sometimes causes you to second-guess if you’re on the right track. But with every step, there must be a confidence that keeps you moving forward, even if growth seems “slow.” Even more importantly in the waiting, is who or what you surround yourself with to give you support, encouragement and true motivation in your vision and dreams.
What has been the most rewarding thing about being in your type of business or job role?
I finally have the freedom and flexibility to allow my passions to flourish and ultimately impact others in the process. By diving into what I am equipped and designed to do, I am able to elevate others to reach their highest potential as well.
What would you say are the five important resources (books, conferences, associations) for a nurse who wants explore a role in business?
- The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling
- The Holy Bible - especially the book of Proverbs for wisdom and wealth management
- The Principles and Power of Vision by Myles Munroe
- Debt-Free Living by Larry Burkett
- SCORE mentors from sba.gov
Let's talk legal stuff. Many nurses are afraid of this part of business. How did you address this in your business? How did you get past this concern?
Starting a business does not mean you have to have everything figured out. However, I have also reached out to alumni networks, friends in the business, and read books and articles that help give me insight where I feel I'm lacking information or knowledge. I have been willing to see the vision as bigger than just the details, but still am also mindful that these concerns will come up, and need to be addressed along the way. Establishing a “board of advisors” that provide practical insight into areas where you feel ill-equipped not only gives you accountability, but also real guidance, especially in the way of legality and other areas of business where one may feel “weak.”
Who supported you during this transition? Did you have paid mentorship or coaching? If so, what made you make that investment?
Family, friends, pastors, personal and professional mentors, my academic network, and of course, my husband and parents. It was truly a "village" moment, and continues to be. Once we are humble enough to see that our vision can only be achieved with the support of others, our foundation is solid.
I did not have paid coaching, but instead, have been fortunate enough to be "gifted" with incredible mentors that are willing to invest their time, energy, and wisdom into my life. At any cost, linking up with other people who are "bigger" than you helps you keep a firm perspective, as well as grow and develop in your endeavors. Mentors are worth more than gold, because the level of wisdom and experience they attribute to your growth can go a long way. Find people who will know how to guide you to your next step, but also reassure you when it seems the process is too overwhelming.
What would you like others know about what you do?
Because of my ability to both empathize and integrate myself into diverse settings culturally, economically, and geographically, I have had the privilege to understand and connect with people and places across the nation and internationally. I have found in my 10+ years of experience in community development, health education, and advocacy work that my strengths are:
- Strategic development and organization of community advocacy and health outreach initiatives
- Basic individual health and community health education
- Pediatric primary care and health management
- Life coaching, consulting, and mentoring, and
- Connecting and networking across disciplines
I am excited to see individuals, organizations, and institutions reach their highest potential to impact those around them for the better.