“Have Woman Will Travel” by Valerie Cheers Brown

I have worked so many jobs and at 60 years of age and college educated most of my life, I can do about anything. It is common sense which has made me versatile at most any kind of job and I have managed a medical office in the dentist field, managed a family owned travel agency, worked at Monsanto World Headquarters as a teletype girl delivering telexes and worked my way up to becoming a Secretary for 4 product managers, telephone operator, substitute teacher, etc.. I trained as a casual for Roadway Trucking Company in my younger days and became a local trucking union member and made over $500 dollars a week and this was in the 1980’s and was only a casual or a temporary, and being a casual was the days when unions were unions and shop stewards for seriously for their people, and the people were for the union being united, and being a casual meant when anybody was out on vacation, you picked up their job from dispatching, to bookkeeping, to tracing trucks, etc. and knew how to do every single job in that office and this job was the most money ever made in my life on any job I held in my life.

I have worked for Union Pacific Technologies, KMOX Radio, Television, KADI AM/FM, Maritz Travel, Brown Shoe Company, AG Edwards, Provident Counseling a proud member of the United Way, Flight attendant, worked as student worker for many colleges I have attended, etc. I can go on and on and because I chose to do different jobs and not stay on one job a long time, was because I was interested in knowing how to do many things, rather than retiring and staying on one job which would eventually buy me out, etc. One of my favorite jobs was working for Goody Restaurant and pretty much my real job and me and my sisters all worked for Rich and his family the Connelly’s, and one thing which sticks with me right now today, and especially with being a new business owner, was all you need is one customer. You treat that one customer the way you want to be treated with respect and you got more customers coming to you from the experience you gave to that one customer from word-of-mouth. That stuck with me for the rest of my life and I thank Rich, who has now retired himself from the business. But, I will never forget that lesson and it holds with any job in the real world whether your own job, your own business, etc.

But getting one job and staying on it was just not my cup of tea and saw there were just way too many good jobs out there with vast experience to be learned and it was mine for the taking and getting the experience. Most of the companies I have worked or either not here anymore, bought out the employees who had the years but not the age and saw this a lot at all of the companies I worked for, so I just decided to leave before they let me go. No job is promised to any human and was taught to get on a job work and stay there for life and just was not having it. I always tried to do the opposite of what was told, and no disrespect, but always felt that because it worked for you, did not mean it would work for me.

When early on in college, I found that if you could find a job making tips, you could at least be able to eat and they were very hard to find for African American smart and personable females. I even had a phone interview and will never forget with a very well-known restaurant in Saint Louis on the Delmar Loop, and for privacy sake, will not mention the name. But, he interviewed me on the phone and when went for actual interview and got there, he saw that I was African American, he had the nerve to tell me, he thought I was white on the phone and yes he did honestly say this to me. I did not get the job and it was so strange the next day on the news I saw that this restaurant had caught on fire, and I just shook my head and said to myself, “Hmm karma is a bitch!

And now, here I am starting all over again at the ripe young of 60, but this time, it is for me and my own company with many partners, stakeholders, preferred suppliers, vendors, wholesalers, etc. and loving every bit of it. It feels so good not to have to wake up by an alarm clock, even my body wakes me up, my God does, but for the first time in my life, even though no clients yet, I feel that I can do almost anything I set out to do and so far, so good! I am accomplishing everything I have set out to do including finishing my education, for without, none of these goals would have even been possible. It is because of education that I am and was able to start my own research, implement project papers to perspective partners, and pursue my dreams, goals and visions.

For now, I am finding that it is most important and being an Organizational Leadership major, to learn about my partners, stakeholders, etc. and basically learn about the different cultures, different laws of different cultures, learning how to research and find out things which people want to hear about and finding out which things interest people who may be perspective travelers, clients, partners, etc. It is most more important than being concerned about making money when you first start off with any business and have been very blessed to have a supplemental income which can take care of my roof over my head, and a very understanding family support both blood and angels. I am finding out while going through this new business phase, what is most important is having moral support and God has blessed me with angels who are there for me all of the time and they can tell when I am down and bring me right back up, and I don’t know what I would do without these most beautiful angels who accept exactly for who and what I am and I am this person with so much love to give and love helping others and this is my passion on a global perspective. These angels range from first and foremost God, my school support, Facebook support, family, church family, etc. Everybody needs people in their lives to boost their moral especially when they all know that you are very capable of pursuing what you set out to do, but you cannot do this by yourself and teamwork is hard when you are used to doing it all yourself, but instead of me or my it becomes ours and my team instead of mine and I love the sound of this and it has not been too hard, somewhat, but not real hard because I have never been a very selfish or selfless person. I refuse to quit or give up and my God angels have been assigned to me as love from heaven and am so grateful for their great support.

I consider myself right now financially blessed and working very hard at becoming even more financially blessed, so that I can provide for myself and for my family. I do want to stress that reading and staying knowledgeable about things which are going on around us all of the time is most important when starting a business and reading is so very important. I am constantly sticking my nose into books reading about success stories which were failures and made it and for some big reason of sticking it out and never giving up and struggling and this truly impresses me and motivates me in more ways than one. I just feel that I can learn from everybody and any kind of situation, therefore, I read everything I get my hands on. I would ask myself I can even learn from an already successful person who was born with money and to me this would not be a challenge nor encouraging to me at all, but then I thought I can learn from their mistakes just as much as my own and thank God for mistakes for they are really are what help and make us better. Now, I must say that I do read up on people a lot such as Fran W Kiradjian, CEO/Owner of the Boutique Lifestyle Lodging Association, who made my company Culture and Places Boutique Travel a proud member of, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Air, who had a learning disability and look at him now, Oprah, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Milton Hershey, T Boone Pickens, etc. but these people have real struggle stories to tell both of how they got what and where they are today, and most importantly, how they keep it! I know one thing for sure, when I do become financially more blessed, I won’t have any problems giving, for I have been doing this as a child and to keep anything in life, you must give and take care of those less fortunate than us.

We are blessed and I am so grateful and do really realize this every time I volunteer and fix a plate for a homeless child. Giving does not mean monetary all of the time and sometimes giving of your time is way more valuable and to share time and share a laugh or a smile with somebody who wants to pour their hearts out to you really helps us too in the long run. I have made it my lifelong duty to share and help somebody each time I walk out of my house, if nothing but a smile and a hello and how is your day? This is why I so love volunteering and there is always something which you can do to help and lend a helping hand, a smile, fix a plate for a homeless person, etc. You don’t have to be rich to help others, nor do you have to have lots of money to help anybody either and have always believed in volunteering.

Volunteering has been in my blood since age 16 when I was a Candy Striper, and when I put that pink and white stripped uniform, you would have thought I was a nurse practitioner or something, and the way it made me feel when I walked into a patient’s room, and they raised up and smiled when they saw me come in, was just a rush from heaven. I guess that is why when I prayed to God to put me with the best auxiliary at my church when I could not afford uniforms for many others, i.e. Usher, etc., God chose the Sisters of Mercy for me, and that was and is just like being a Candy Striper all over again; and to see those beautiful smiles when you go to the sick’s home or nursing home room, makes your day and they cheer you up!
Knowing how to do many different jobs has made it very lucrative, however, have been threats to many bosses who would always ask………

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