My Story

I’m passionate about helping diverse people achieve more. I grew up in poverty and became a teen mom. Over time, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I slowly grew into the middle class and felt the stigma associated with growing up poor. I realized just how many more obstacles I had to overcome. I firmly believe that a society with greater diversity in decision-making will benefit all of us. That’s why I’m here.


What Happened

I am an exception because I dared to believe in myself when everyone else counted me out and made hard changes. As people saw my struggle, a few kind people decided to help. They did so first because I believed and was determined to find a way, with or without their help.

One of the most challenging battles I had was to obtain welfare benefits without looking for work so I could attend college full-time to get a bachelor’s degree. I got in just under the wire before laws were passed to prevent poor folks from getting a university degree. This is one of the major steps I took that changed the course of my life.

I received constant harassment at that time, encouraging me to “go work at Walmart and work my way up.” Because retail managers work many non-standard hours, I’m skeptical it would have happened. It’s not conducive to caregiving. Some social workers were deeply troubled that I was “gaming the system” and getting “undeserved privileges.” I met other women who wanted the same thing but couldn’t get access due to the new laws. Because the program’s goal is to have people work based on agency metrics, even if it sets them up for poverty, it remained a well-kept secret even before the law’s passage.

After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I got off welfare shortly after starting a new job because I made too much money. Since then, I’ve never been back on welfare. That’s many years of paying taxes instead of relying on the system, something I would likely still be doing while working at Walmart. I believe in retraining because I see how it changed my life, set me up for success, and kept me off welfare permanently. How’s that for solving the problem? I can now give back—to donate time and money to my favorite causes (homeless pets) and share my story.

I sincerely appreciate the people who have helped where they can along the way, which is why I’m here.

Who I Help

Many female life coaches have different life journeys than mine, making it hardto accept their advice. Many of them come from privileged backgrounds with connections already built in. That’s great for them. I clap for everyone. 

However, when they aren’t dealing with racial or cultural issues themselves, I’ve attended some pretty subpar diversity discussions where white women have criticized women of color for not trying hard enough. The criticism was entirely oblivious to the real-life struggles faced by women of color. The statistics don’t support their theory, according to reports like Women in the Workplace 2023. From a common-sense perspective, am I to understand that women and people of color don’t want to grow? They can’t find a few who want to and can do better? Everyone wants to do better for themselves. So what’s the problem? Frustrated, I wrote my book, “Breaking Barriers: A Women of Color’s Guide to Tech (and Other) Sales.” My research for the book revealed that biases and systemic barriers often prevent us from being selected. That’s for women in general. The added burden of other -isms seems to decrease our chances of career advancement.

I’m here to help others looking for guidance. I share my story as someone who’s been down the path and made her share of mistakes, so you don’t have to. I share practical strategies for finding work and developing a network based on what I’ve done. I also share the many challenges I’ve faced in the workforce, because I believe that if you know the challenges you are potentially facing, you can be prepared to handle them. When people don’t believe you, you won’t be as surprised. It happens, and for that, I’m sorry. I’ve also linked to supporting articles for more information from area experts. 

I wrote it so you would have the information at your fingertips. My hope is that you face far fewer obstacles than I do and won’t have to use them. If you do, they will be there for you.

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My Experience

Even back then, the tech industry had a strong reputation. Male-dominated industries, including roles like sales, generally offer higher salaries. I heard about the good money, the parties, the free food, and the swag. It sounded like paradise. Sure, it was male-dominated, but what did that matter when it comes to ALL of that?

What I learned was that it did matter—a LOT. I had to interview more and get typecast into customer service and pink-collar roles, despite having the background and training to do more. I got a job in sales and was the only woman on an all-male team. After receiving five (5) weeks of training on selling technology, a computer, a phone, and a paycheck for the ramp period, we began cold-calling businesses.

It was a difficult job. It was also one of the best training experiences, because I got to make mistakes and learn how to sell while making money. Because their money was at stake, they provided excellent training. Although the culture wasn’t the best, it provided me with an entry into the tech sales world since I didn’t have any connections. For that, I’m grateful.

About Failure

I held an inside sales role, which meant I could work 8–5 p.m. office hours, Monday through Friday. It worked better than most jobs as a full-time mom, and I still get back in time to pick up my daughter from daycare. It could also lead to a managerial role in inside sales. They told me that all I needed to do was work hard on this job and perform well. My career progression has been lacking, so I don’t focus much on that. I do recommend speaking with female WOC leaders about their advancement. Many of them said they had sponsors—someone in executive leadership who fought for them behind closed doors. Getting one of those is the harder part. 

Going into sales meant a complete mindset shift. It meant embracing rejection and failure. I counted the wins, which were few. I did it, even though it was hard on my self-esteem. In order to stay sane, I learned not to take it personally. One of those roles with high earning potential and a gender- and race-neutral commission structure. It was more merit-based than many jobs. Many people worry about taking the risk of going into sales. With more openings and fewer people applying, it’s an easier entry into male-dominated industries than many other roles. 

It is because of many failures that I’ve succeeded. If we’re willing to learn, failures teach.

Let's Rise Together

I held on and kept pushing despite the obstacles. I’ve read countless sales books. I’ve networked.

I’ve also learned some hard-won lessons.
Despite this, I didn’t give up.
I’ve taken chances, doubled down on risky opportunities, and won.

I wish I had known back then what I know now, which is why I wrote this book. I’m hoping that you can learn from my mistakes and challenges so you can move farther faster. I don’t want to be an only in a room. I want to be one of many women from all walks of life doing our part to change the world. What I know is that we can’t do it alone. Throughout history, men have helped each other rise. Many women have tried to keep others down, competing for a token spot as a diversity hire instead of questioning why there aren’t more seats for us at the table. Or we could make our own table. We can rise together.

The old way hasn’t worked. Isn’t it time to try something else?