Who are you? Not your name (although it says a lot about you). I want to know your essence; your passion. I want to know the you beneath the mask.

Since we’re getting intimate, let me give you a little history about myself and how I became a self-improvement teacher. To do so, I must begin in 1995 when my own reinvention began.

Like Steve Olsher who wrote the foreword for this amazing self-help tool, I was working every day, sometimes 12 to 14 hours, in a job that was killing me.

My retail career had started when I was fourteen years old and by the time I was nineteen, I was the manager of Rave, a retail store that catered to teens and young adult women.

I was young and quite frankly naive enough to believe that I was doing a great service by starting my day before sunrise and falling asleep with the phone in my lap. I felt I had to be available in case one of my employees called to say they could not come in to work or when mall security called to say the alarm went off.

Fear of losing my job stayed in the forefront of my mind primarily because I myself had fired so many people over the years that I was terrified of being unemployed. Adding to my fears, I was also responsible for raising my two brothers Tad and Isaac.

My teachers; my former district and regional managers taught me to get rid of under achievers or I would be “gotten” rid of myself. So I became tough. My standards were high and I kept my job.

Years had passed when, in the summer of 1995, I underwent surgery to remove fibroids from my uterus. After spending some time off as a result of my first and only (knock on wood) operation (which came with a ninety day recovery period), it occurred to me that a change was needed and that it had to begin with me.

At first I prayed for an early release by the doctor because I didn’t know how to rest. Fortunately, after thirty days, I realized that the world would continue to turn whether I was alive or not and that I had to determine what footprint I wanted to leave on the face of this earth that would say “Versandra was here.”

By now, my brother Isaac was nineteen and I now lived with him in Columbia, MD. I lay outside on my comfy lounge chair on Isaac’s patio reading what I consider, my first personal development book, “Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice,” by Dennis Kimbro. Reading this powerful book during my down time helped me change my perspective about the life I was living. Acting out of fear was ripping me apart on the inside. As a result, I became committed to being more aware of my driving forces.

My sister Sheila came from Birmingham to be with me during my recovery and for once, the oldest sibling who had been the caregiver for all of the others at some point and time, was now receiving the family support she always longed for. It felt so refreshing to relinquish control for once. Besides Isaac being somewhat of a party animal, it was all-good. After recovering from surgery, I returned to work with a new attitude.

Earlier that year, I had been skipped over for the district manager-in-training position because I wore my hair natural, called my customers “honey child” and did not fit the middle-age, white-male demographic that my regional manager described when he frankly explained his decision for not giving me a promotion while signing off on my superior performance evaluation.

This and my new found sense of self-worth were enough to finally push me to seek another job. I had been a loyal employee which to me was synonymous with being a good employee. In reality, the fear of having to learn something new was what really held me back. So in a life changing act to break free from the grip of fear, I resigned from the company and accepted a demotion with higher pay from a retail competitor.

Working at Express was a phenomenal experience. I upgraded my wardrobe to include the hottest most fashionable women’s apparel the Limited Corporation had in stock – New look; new attitude; new me!

Only six months would go by before the manager who hired me six years prior would be promoted to Regional Vice President of Edison Brothers. His name was Bruno and he tracked me down and arranged an appointment to offer me the promotion I had worked so hard for if I returned to Edison Brothers immediately.

A new sense of self-worth was not the only thing I gained. I also learned that personal development was an ongoing process and that in order to be my best “me”, continuing education was mandatory. I learned better time management, business management and negotiation skills through the Franklin Covey training program.

So when Bruno offered an eight-thousand dollar a year increase in pay with a company car, I did not say yes right away. I countered, reminding him that he came to me with this offer because he was aware of my previous potential. I outlined my enhanced human capital, acquired since leaving the company, and asked for an additional five thousand dollars along with a signing bonus for starting within the next week. To top it off, I requested to have my tenure and benefits reinstated immediately.

I got what I asked for. I had broken through my self-imposed chains of fear and became the business woman I dreamed of when I was a little girl.

My imagination had been ignited by working in a new atmosphere with ambitious, energetic people and a company that was thriving. I brought everything I learned, from the temporary gig at the Express store, with me and began to develop a team of managers. I started with 8 stores, then expanded to twenty-two stores in three states. I offered every tool that had been used for my own transformation to my managers and assistants in order to help them realize their own human and professional potential.

In my previous book, “Thank God for the Shelter: Memoirs of a homeless healer,” I chronicled what happened after working as a district manager for a few years before Edison Brothers Inc. closed its doors in 1999. I invite you to check it out and see how my reinvention from homelessness to life changer began.

In this book however, I want to focus on how one ignites their imagination in order to reinvent themselves. I want to answer the questions that many of my clients ask in their first visits. Why do so many people continue to live lives that do not support or serve their higher good? How do you know when what you have invented needs an overhaul? How do you find resources to support your reinvention process?

My goal is to empower my readers to dream again. I want my readers and workshop participants to know that they create, they invent every single day. Whether you know it or not, what you think, the words you speak, the words you write are manifesting all around you. I want you to tap into your power to reinvent the life you desire by surrounding yourself with people and resources to help you embrace a new perspective that serves all humanity. The time is now and we have the tools to reinvent ourselves and the worlds we live in.

Author's Bio: 

For more than a decade holistic health educator and author Versandra Kennebrew has assisted the masses with options for optimal health and well-being. After losing everything she owned she emerged from the darkest days of her life to become a community leader and reinvention expert.

Her memoir shares the principles she embraced in order to reach her divine greatness. She knows the struggles of becoming homeless and she also knows the joys of igniting your imagination and using your gifts and talents to add value to the lives of others. Anyone experiencing a life transition would benefit from reading her inspirational story of triumph over adversity.