Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeannetta Collier.
Jeannetta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up as a little girl, I often wondered “How high can a balloon float in the air?” and “Will there be something in the universe to stop it or force it down?” My parents taught us to dream big and that there was nothing that we could not achieve in life.
They were inspirational not only to me and my six siblings but to everyone who had an opportunity to meet them. They always took time to speak power into our lives. Their legacy lives in me, and I will always be grateful for what they gave me — the ability to dream, live my life without fear, and to give back through acts of love.
As I grew older and started my own life’s journey, not everything went according to plan. I realized that everyone did not see the beauty of dreams and encouraging others to dream as well.
Especially, if those others did not look, act or conform to the way that they saw the world. Right out the gates as a young adult, I learn quickly how I was viewed. Fortunately, I was lucky to have found a female mentor early in my career who looked like me.
My first career opportunity was as an Asset Manager for a mid-size real estate investment firm. At my mid-year review, the company’s vice president of my department gave me feedback and helped me navigate through the process of being a woman in corporate America. I received a glowing review on my job performance but, to my dismay, that was not enough.
My lack of not fitting in was the main topic of conversation. All this time, I thought my job performance was most important. It seemed that by me working through lunch or using my lunch to go to the gym, I was considered “not getting along with my peers.”
Keeping in mind that my “peers” were white males that went to bars and played golf; I did neither. My mentor instructed me on how I should dress in a majority all white male environment per my Vice President. I guess he didn’t feel like bringing my attire up in the review, so he asked my mentor to address me. However, he did suggest that I wear dark color suits and not too many dresses.
My mentor explained that the upper manager felt that it would make the executives more comfortable working with me in a one-on-one setting. I guess since I wasn’t walking around looking like a hot mess they couldn’t focus on what they needed to do…… which is their work. By the way, within 2 years I was promoted to Director of Operations for the firm.
I learned I had to change my thought process from “work hard, and success will follow” to “work hard and conform, success will follow, and make changes when you get to the top.” After becoming gravely ill, we decided as a family to move back to Dallas so that I could get the medical care I so needed and be around the love of my family.
After approximately 3 years of rest, I was determined to jump back into the business world all while hoping that “Corporate America” had changed a little within those 3 years. I was so wrong! So, instead, I jumped into politics for 8 years, I started a mortgage company, and then I got into the commercial real estate, all of which were quite successful.
As a little girl, I was told that whatever I could dream, I could do. No one told me any different. Therefore that was and still is my reality. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Who said that other people get to write the rules of your life? I say, write your own rules.
Out of my life’s journey, Imaginary Glass Ceiling was founded.
Has it been a smooth road?
Haha, no smooth road for me. Being an entrepreneur can be challenging in all aspects! But it is your dreams that force you to want to do it all.
I have had my share of bumps in the road, but for me, that’s all it is. Bumps. And like so many other entrepreneurs I will have many more. And I’m okay with that!
One of my biggest struggles was understanding that I can’t do it alone. I needed to partner with like-minded entrepreneurs that has similar struggles and stories.
Networking gave me the ability to do more and, in return, gain more knowledge. So, if I can give one valuable advice to others is to “Network! Network! Network!” Ask for help and allow others to help you on your journey. It’s great to have an idea, but you need to prepare and plan.
Now, I have a full team on board, event planner, photograph, make-up artists, assistants, etc.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Imaginary Glass Ceiling – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Imaginary Glass Ceiling, the definition of the term glass ceiling, is an unacknowledged, an ultimately illegal barrier to advancement, especially for women and people of color.
The metaphor has been used since the 1980’s when it was coined as a phrase indicating that many professional women could not break through the “glass ceiling” to the upper level of management. This past May marked 40 years since the phrase “glass ceiling.”
My personal mission is to break the invisible barrier, not just the corporate glass ceiling, but also our own personal ceilings. You see, I recognize the power of personal motivation to empower women to break through their own barriers and, consequently, corporate barriers as well.
I am an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, a Published Author of The Best YOU: A 365 Day Motivational Journey, which utilizes short motivational passages as springboards for guided journaling. I host workshops, seminars, and give personal coaching sessions.
But what I’m most proud of as a company is the overwhelming feedback that I received from attendees of my workshops and seminars. The testimonies of from so many people starting that business that has been burning in them for so many years. The encouragement that they receive to start to move toward their passion.
The joy in their voices when speaking with them about how they never thought that having their own business as possible. Or just receiving a hug from someone that heard you speak and felt that “yes they can ask for that raise” or “go for that job opening.” The love I feel when people read my book and tell me that they life has been forever changed.
What sets me apart from others is that I believe that we are of one. We all have some of the same fears, doubts, pains and yearning for understanding and fulfillment of self. No matter what area of business you are currently in, it first starts with self! I started with myself.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Some of the things I like best about Dallas are the people.
Dallas is becoming more of a melting pot of people which is wonderful and some of the greatest networking opportunities is right here in the Big D. Dallas also has some of the friendliest people (but I’ve been told that I’ve never met a stranger), some of the best entertainment venues, restaurants and, of course, shopping.
Since I travel quite a bit, having the DFW Airport so centrally-located helps me get to my destination timely, and the majority are straight flights. Well, you’re asking a “born and raised” Dallasite, but we can work on a better transit system, so I can get around town without me driving. LOL!
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