Chereace Richards has figured out that the key to living a purposeful life is to create a life that’s aligned with one’s values. As a successful entrepreneur and mentor in her community, she has created a life that allows her to empower young girls and women while constantly committing to the small things that allow her to grow and thrive as well. Her commitment to helping women discover their passions led her to create the 21st Century Women Movement, which is hosting its second annual conference this month in Maryland. Chereace has won several national awards and been featured in numerous magazines, radio, and television outlets, including Washington Post Magazine and Black Enterprise.
Tell us about a day in the life of a direct sales entrepreneur.
My daily routine entails consistently performing five activities. They include quiet time with God, exercise, listening to / reading business building or motivational/inspirational audio or books, spending at least 2 -4 hours on money making activities to grow my business, and spending time with my family. I’ve learned that this routine holds me accountable to the results I want in my life personally and professionally. The compound effect says that it’s our small consistent actions over time that yields the big results in our life. My goal is to remain consistent in the small things and ultimately I get to reach my desired results and live my ridiculously possible life.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
The favorite part of what I do is showing people new possibilities for their lives spiritually, mentally, physically, relationally, and financially with my actions and words. My work allows me to participate in a person’s transformation into the person they are meant to be!
What are some of the challenges you faced while building your business, and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was finding my authentic voice. I am naturally an introvert. As I started building my business, extroverts who had big personalities surrounded me. I thought I had to be like them to have success and the more I tried to be like them, the more I failed miserably. The turning point came as I began to do my work spiritually and mentally through my church ministry and personal development books, audios, and seminars. I became immersed in the work to discover who I was and how I needed to show up in the world to serve and impact. I had to confront some parts of me that had been hidden for years as I climbed the corporate ladder. I realized that if I was going to have lasting success it was going to start internally and then move externally – from an invisible change to visible manifestation. And as a result of the inward change mentally and spiritually, my disempowering thoughts that were holding me back transformed to empowering thoughts that moved me forward, my circle of friends changed and thus my vision for what was possible for my life increased, and my purpose for living became clear. I moved from fear to faith to be, do, and have more for my family and myself.
You are involved in several not for profit endeavors as well. Tell us about The Richards Group Foundation, the non-profit organization you founded with your husband, as well as your Girls Who Win mentor program.
My husband and I started our non-profit organization to serve the communities where we grew up. We believe that exposure is key and that when you can expose a young person to people, events, and circumstances beyond what they know and see everyday, they dream a bigger dream. Our goal, through our mentor programs, is to give our youth hope in a future they have the power to create. The young ladies in my Girls Who Win mentor program range in age from 14-16. Through our work together weekly, I show them how to win in life thru their academics, relationships, self-esteem, self-respect, and their actions. Our work allows them to see themselves positively as the beautifully and uniquely created beings that they are. The goal is to work with a core group of girls as they matriculate through high school and reward their commitment, efforts, and growth with an academic scholarship at their graduation.
You also started the 21st Century Woman Movement, which has its 2nd annual conference, “It’s Go Time”, coming up on December 12th, featuring Iyanla Vanzant. What can attendees expect to learn at this conference?
It’s Go Time is more than just a mantra, it is a bold call to action towards moving women from where they are to where they want to be. At the conference women will be empowered and will receive key strategies and content that will equip them spiritually, mentally, and financially. Ladies will learn how to find their voice, define their voice, and monetize and systemize a business that feels good because it is an extension of who they are. As a result, women will be able to move in to 2016 renewed, refreshed, and positioned to serve and impact the world uniquely and powerfully and live a life they love and love the life they live!
Let’s talk style and beauty. What does “power dressing” mean to you as an entrepreneur?
Power dressing as an entrepreneur is way of representing and expressing a style that exudes confidence, femininity, uniqueness, and beauty. When you feel good on the inside, it shows on the outside. One of the pillars of the 21st Century Woman Movement is image. Power dressing is a reflection of who you are and as a result, when you show up, people are watching and listening!
What three products are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal–those Holy Grail products you can’t live without?
The three products I cannot live without are Vaseline, eyebrow shadow, and lipstick. The shade of lipstick varies based on the season, outfit, or occasion. I keep it simple, so as long as I have these three items, I am good!
How do you maintain your fabulous short haircut?
My hair has been short for years. I’ve mastered keeping it up while sleeping and working out. I keep it wrapped at night and at the gym then put light oil on daily to keep the shine and moisture. My style is maintained through weekly visits to the salon for cuts, relaxers (yup, I am still a part of the creamy crack club – lol), and color (I can not and will not allow the grey to show – lol).
Tell us about your self-care routine. How do you incorporate eating well and exercising into your busy schedule?
My self-care is one of my priorities. My schedule is busy with me pouring into other people and activities that I have to be intentional about restoring my soul, spirit, and physical body. My daily trip to the gym is my time to think and create because it’s typically the time I’ve allotted for personal development via an audio book. So my thirty to forty minutes of cardio goes by quickly as I listen something inspiring and motivating.
Secondly, I adopted a habit of healthy eating because I work so hard in the gym with cardio and weight training. So the last thing I want or plan to do is eat the calories back! I am mindful of my what I eat everyday and still allow room for the occasional “cheat meal or snack”. Lastly, I take an all-natural and organic supplement that was specifically designed for me based on the results of a free health assessment. Because the product is individually designed for me, I get to experience amazing results such as more energy, less stress, and increased mental clarity and focus. I’ve lost 12 pounds since I began incorporating all natural and organic supplements to my regimen. The reality for me was that although I ate fairly decent, I still was unable to give my body all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to perform ultimately. Now I can get more done and look and feel great because my body is getting the nutrition it needs.
Finally, what advice would you give to our readers about what it means to be empowered?
Empowered is a state of being that naturally flows from the person to others not just because of what you do or say but also because of who you are and how you show up in the world. You attract the people and opportunities that are a part of your destiny because you show up authentically powerful!
This article, Chereace Richards, Entrepreneur and Community Leader, first appeared on COCOTIQUE.