Vicki Wright-Hamilton is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, television personality, and the CEO of VWH Consulting. On a mission to help women to thrive in life and to help them navigate the slippery slope of home and work life, she has recently launched two TV Shows. She talks to 35 Thousand about unexpectedly becoming an entrepreneur, how her life has changed due to COVID-19 and why she truly believes there should be no limits to what we can achieve in life.
Describe yourself in 3 words…
“Faithful, Strategic, Reliable”
Tell us about your work…
“I have worked as a corporate strategist and change management advisor for nearly 30 years. In the last few years, I have set my sights on sharing my personal and professional experience with a broader audience through my coaching, speaking, and television initiatives. I recently launched two shows, “Hidden Stories, Healed Now” and “Strategic Minds: Making Money Moves” to help women navigate the slippery slope of balancing home and work life. Both shows are featured in Atlanta, the District of Columbia, California, and on YouTube and multiple streaming services.”
Do you work in the spare room, a skyscraper or other?
“I work from home, mostly in my home office and at my kitchen table. I like staying close to the heart of my house during the day.”
What parts of your work give you energy?
“I get energy from making a difference, whether seeing technology efforts come to fruition or the changes that individuals are making as they learn and grow from coaching. I love to see positive change and advancements in both individuals and organizations. “
What parts of your work drain you?
“My least favorite task is creating proposals and RFP’s (Requests for Proposals). It drains me and takes so much energy. I also do not particularly enjoy the seemingly constant hunt for new consulting opportunities. Having to sell myself, again and again, is daunting. Even after thirty years of corporate experience and ten years of being an entrepreneur, still, I wouldn’t say I like it.
The whole process is draining and takes a lot of work. Furthermore, sometimes all of this effort feels wasted if the said proposal’s answer is still ‘no’ since nothing is guaranteed. You spend so much energy and time for it not to work out. It is part of the process, but it is not fun.”
Most pivotal point of your career so far?
“The most pivotal moment in my career was entering entrepreneurship. I never saw myself in this position. At times I did not know if I would be successful as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship has profoundly changed my mindset and allowed me the opportunity to pivot and see things from a different perspective. I could not have done this without taking the time for self-reflection and being willing to do some profound personal and professional growth. I am beyond thankful for all of the trials and tribulations that I have conquered. This reflection reminds me that I can face any challenge both now and in the future.”
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others…
“Never let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do or let them create your narrative. You can do whatever you envision and want to do. I believe that God has given us all talents and gifts, and you have the right to use as many of them as you desire. There is no limit on what we can achieve. We do not have to fit into someone else’s standard or be forced into their predetermined box.”
What’s your context outside of work – do you have family, other people counting on you, pets, hobbies, external commitments?
“I am a wife, mother of two adult sons and a grandmother to two – a granddaughter, and a grandson. My daughter-in-law is just like the daughter that I never had. I love my family, but more importantly, I like them. I want to be around them and explore things together. We spend a lot of time laughing together, going to sports, restaurants, and even dancing pre-COVID.
In the last year, we have spent a lot more time at home together. I also love my new standard poodle Max. He enjoys all of the attention – he thinks he is the life of the party.
I am passionate about being an active member of the community, from mentoring to board membership. I live by the mantra “to whom much is given, much is expected.” I always pray to be a blessing to at least one person each day.”
Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day…
“My day was always busy. I continued to work for my clients while still hunting and developing strategies for business growth. Although I was dedicated to my one night out each week with my husband and I saw my grown kids, it was very casual and not planned. I just let it happen organically. I did work out, but I would sometimes let work interrupt that time and did not keep it sacred.”
How has your daily life changed? What is your new normal?
“One positive change from my new normal of working from home continually is that I have learned to work out every day, without fail. I have made working out a primary focus of daily my routine. I find that exercising daily helps me to have a clear and focused mind. I believe it allows me to create a mindset that is ready to prosper and succeed both professionally and personally.
I am very intentional and committed to my six days per week workout plan. After my morning prayer, meditation, and workouts, I come to my home office and start my day. I typically pre-plan the night before so that I can jump right into my day. Of course, there are always meetings. Sometimes, I choose to walk around with the phone to my ear. I call those my walking meetings as I walk around my kitchen island and family room which is a way to get some exercise. I also have one-on-one coaching sessions with clients. In between, I am sure to schedule time to “Think and develop my own personal and professional strategies.”
Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?
“For me, COVID has been a blessing and a curse. The devastation and loss of life are beyond devasting. On the flip side, it has helped me to slow down and focus on what is essential in my life. I believe COVID has allowed us to put our families first, care about our neighbors, and slow down. During COVID, I have done just that. When everything was closed, it made me reprioritize every single minute to move forward.
Professionally, it was up and down — some significant periods of increased revenue and gaining business opportunities, as well as some very low ones. Corona impacted me personally like many others; I miss my family out of town, the girl’s nights out, date nights, and traveling. I use technology to help, but there is something to be said about connecting with your loved ones in person.”
What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
“I am a woman of great faith, and I believe in the power of prayer. I am at peace and leave my worries to God when I pray, so I am not up at night.”
What have been your best coping strategies over the past year? Do you have any objects, routines, or tools that you found particularly uplifting? Gin or Gym?
“Praying, meditating, and working out have been the tools that I use to cope. I also have allowed myself to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine and relax. I think I understand relaxation better now than I ever have before.”
What has kept you sane? And kept your family sane?
“We have had more planned family time together. I love having my children and grandchildren come over for impromptu visits so we can enjoy each other. It truly helps.
Sometimes, it just is not often enough as work continues for us all. I value every moment that I get to spend with my family. I also spent more time with my husband watching movies and checking out new shows. It has given us time to find other areas of enjoyment and different kinds of content to absorb.”
Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?
“No, it just reinforced what I already knew and believed. I am thankful for the new awareness amongst challenges that have existed for a long time. The Black Lives Matter movement has brought many of the injustices that Black people have experienced in this country for hundreds of years to the forefront.”
Are you travel-ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?
“I can not wait to pack a bag and head abroad. I have been creating a list of all of the places that I would like to go. I plan to visit family, go on trips with my husband, and perhaps even a family trip. I want to bring fun and experience other places and cultures again.
I look forward to checking places off my bucket list, which is quite extensive. Dubai is at the top of my list.”
Finish this sentence “If you look in my handbag at any time you will ALWAYS find….”
“Hand sanitizer. During these times, it is a must!”
What are your work from home saviors? (routines/ products/ coffee/ music?)
“Coffee and tea for sure!”
Name your 5 essential items of clothing:
“Workout pants, t-shirts, dress pants, wrap blouses, and long dress jacket.”
How do you see your business or career in two years from now?
“In the next two years, I see my business flourishing and becoming a multi-million dollar organization. I will also be expanding my current offerings to reach more client needs as things grow and change. I don’t see anything but exponential growth!”
What’s something you haven’t conquered yet but really want to?
“I have always wanted to go sky diving. It is on my bucket list!”
What could you say to your 20-year-old self that would help her the most?
“Incorporate more fun into your work and moving forward in your life. You can still be successful and grow. It is not a matter of either-or; it is a matter of balance.
I was totally out of balance regarding fun and laughter. I enjoyed my work, so I did it all of the time. But, I did not take moments to celebrate, laugh and enjoy the moments of life. I recognized the good times and experiences but did not allow myself the opportunities to relax and have fun.”
Do you have a life motto or mantra that really resonates with you?
“When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry – your lifeguard walks on water.”
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