Seek professional help while building a support system around you if you do not have one in place. You have to talk to someone who you trust and will be able to help you. Someone who is mourning cannot help you. Those who cannot identify with what you have going on will not be in a position to authentically help you without judgement.
The world seems to be reeling from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, political and social turmoil. Then there are personal traumas that people are dealing with, such as the loss of a loved one, health issues, unemployment, divorce or the loss of a job.
Coping with change can be traumatic as it often affects every part of our lives.
How do you deal with loss or change in your life? What coping strategies can you use? Do you ignore them and just push through, or do you use specific techniques?
In this series called “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change” we are interviewing successful people who were able to heal after a difficult life change such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or other personal hardships. We are also talking to Wellness experts, Therapists, and Mental Health Professionals who can share lessons from their experience and research.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Francis Perdue.
Francis Perdue was born in Los Angeles, California with strong Alabama roots. She was born to Birmingham, Alabama natives Franklin R. Perdue, a Navy veteran who earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology and mother who ended up running the BX/PX, Navy Exchange. She grew up the first part of her childhood in Compton, California and remembers the diversity she experienced from her Navy Brat years. From eating Lumpia, walking to the corner candy store to seeing her babysitter smoke a pig in the ground.
Francis’ contributions in philanthropy and her work ethic in Entertainment Public Relations and Talent Management has deemed her a hot commodity in the Product Placement side of events and television & film. With 100 plus products placed for high end events, The Doctor’s TV Show and her annual FUSE Pre-ESPY Event Ms. Perdue added a products division to her company.
Ms. Perdue’s the owner of Perdue Inc. (formerly PS Media Talent) has been a full-time publicist since 2009. Perdue inc. where she has several projects for inventions, restaurants, business consulting and branding is the staple of her business. Recently she held the position of The Director of Communications for My Beverages, a new water company, based in West Hollywood, California. Force Brands recognized the appointment of Ms. Perdue to My Beverages in 2019 as part of their “Movers and Shakers” newsletter that is recognized globally in the Food & Beverage World.
After purchasing her franchise in 2018 she became determined to have the best experience for her location in Birmingham she was offered the position due to her experience in public relations and willingness to make experiences for owners easiest. In April 2019, she was appointed Director of Public Relations for Burgerim, which was one of the fastest growing burger franchises in the United States.
Currently, she has added Perdue Beauty to her repertoire of businesses under Perdue Inc. and expanded talent management to Influencers.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
As a child I was nurtured by two loving parents. My mother, Carolyn Jean Walton Perdue, always wanted a house full of kids so soon became a mother to all who knew her. My father, Franklin Roosevelt Perdue, was strict yet loving and taught me a lot. I grew up with him pursuing his psychology PhD. so I was in class with him and he took care of me while mama worked during my formative early years. I saw my dad a military man pull himself up by his bootstraps and worked as a Post Man, a MP, an Educator and a Psychologist. At one point both parents worked, and I was a latch key kid a lot of the time. My mother’s favorit story is that she tried to drop me off at school and stay for Kindergarten or 1st grade and I turned to her and said whild patting her on the leg, “ I’ll be ok mommy, you can go now.” I turned to a crying kid and rubbed them on the back and said, “ It’s going to be ok your mommy or daddy will come back for you.”
I grew up very independent and could cook and do a lot of things at a early age. I was asked to skip grades from the 2nd grade to the 4th grade. I remember my mother told me later on I told the teacher and my parents, “Switch me back because I like being the smartest kid in the classroom”. That was the funniest thing ever to me. Later in my junior high and high school years the roles reversed, and my mother was a stay-at-home mom. My mom went from running the BX/PX, Military mall to becoming an entrepreneur and stay at home mom. She had Perdue Typing service and I watched her push through her disability with her eyes, Keratoconus, to actually type of documents at the speed of over 90 words per minute. She bragged about going to Booker T Washington’s School of Typing.
I had a happy childhood growing up in Compton. Long Beach and Montclair, California. I grew up knowing that my mother had my back and that I can do anything in life. People can’t hold me down.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”. Maya Angelou
If I would have listened to my first mind when it came to people, I feel that I would have not suffered so much heartache and pain. I trusted a lot of people that I should not have. People have agendas and through self-care and self-work I have discovered that The Game of Life is to be played delicately and not taken lightly. My first mind is always right, and man does not have to understand. I am in tune with the universe, and all will be revealed. Discernment sometimes can be challenged by people in masks or simply put pretenders. People can only pretend for so long. Then it’s about protecting yourself weather that is in terms of business, your feelings, your heart or your physical wellbeing.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Three-character traits that were most instrumental to my success are: determined, fearlessness and grateful.
One thing a person who knows me or watches me knows is that I do not give up; I am determined.
When I wanted the information for the press release to release for my franchise, I kept contacting corporate until they gave me the answers that I needed to give to my team. In fact, I was so determined that the owner offered me the position of Director of Public Relations. He kept saying, “We need you.”
I will try almost anything at least once. I sky-dived with my ex over15 years ago and I was so scared that the locals and regulars were worried that I would have a heart attack. I told my tandem jumper and “trainer” I was going down with the plane. I was a very erratic person who was by the door because my partner was late and last on was first off. There was a team of professionals who slid out on boards early and they did not go by the rules I learned and the rest of our crew. I made it through and Sky Dived.
When I started my business, I sacrificed getting a new car and reinvested in my company. I had a Chevy HHR, and it was my point a to b. One day I was at the office in North Hollywood and my intern, now super publicist, Regan Farley, came in and was shaking. She was so scared. I thought someone had hurt her and she finally spoke and said she hit my car on the pole. I was simply grateful she was ok. She was so stunned she thought I’d be upset. I was grateful she was ok and to simply have a car while I was on my journey.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Healing after Loss’. Do you feel comfortable sharing with our readers about your dramatic loss or life change?
I had a dramatic loss of my mother. My mother, Carolyn Jean Walton Perdue, was amazing and the only way I can explain my loss is that I lost my covering. With her not here physically it is a real hole in my life. Behind the scenes my mother kept me together with a spiritual background and physical support that was like no other. She knew when I was depressed because I’d let clothes pile up and just go buy new everything and she’d actually text good morning, good afternoon and good evening daily. She’d even tell me when to move my car for street sweeping to avoid tickets. When there was a need financially my mama would sacrifice everything to help me.
As an only child my mother was the center of my world and losing her took my equilibrium from me. I still feel the loss so much so that it is embedded in everything that I do.
What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?
The scariest part of the event of losing my mother was having to see her corpse. Seeing it in person prior to her being cremated was difficult. My cousin came down with his wife and picked me up after I flew in to bury my mother. They were a tremendous help.
The worst thing that I thought would happen to me is that I would be alone and want to join her. I felt my walls come crashing down no matter how hard I attempted to hold it together. The vultures in my mom’s side of the family were actually the worst thing that happened to me since my mother’s death. Greed is a horrible thing and it was prevalent in my family.
How did you react in the short term?
In the short time I shut down. Sleep was a luxury that my body did not respond to anymore. My mind raced constantly, and I would watch tv to the point where I caught up on everything I thought I liked. I felt disassociated and did not tell people that my mother died until 2 weeks later. I did not want them to make the mourning about them and their relationship with my mother.
After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use?
I enlisted the help of my tribe. I call my best friend, my only cousin on my mother’s side and my tribe of people when I feel down,
Visualization, Meditation, Counseling from a Life Coach, Check ins with a Psychologist and focus on letting my no need no explanation are the coping mechanisms that have helped me cope with the loss of my mom. I have a visualization coach by the name of Mrs. Naimah Ali. She is a trained hypnotherapist and transformational coach. She has a podcast entitled, Naimah Northstar “Plug Into The Wonderful You” Anchor podcast, https://anchor.fm/asknaimah Naimah Northstar: Plug into The Wonderful You • A podcast on Anchor or on Youtube The Wonderful You Channel — YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi42mRnrlv7qGHo_DddoQKQ )and you can visit her website Naimah Northstar, LLC. (https://naimahnorthstar.com/ ) .
Can you share with us how you were eventually able to heal and “let go” of the negative aspects of that event?
I have not necessarily let go of my mother’s passing but am learning daily to invest in putting positivity in my mind. I say my affirmations that I got from positive workshops, a book: The Game of Life and How To Play It by Scovel Shinn and my visualization calls. I do Yoga to relax my mind and I speak to my mother through my thoughts and sometimes out loud. I vent when I need to vent to my tribe of people and do my best to focus on the great things around me. I do not dream often but when I do I hope that she enters into my dreams.
A combination of constantly allowing myself to feel mourning, sorrow, anger and any emotion allowed me to start to heal but I will never let go of my mother. I feel the loss daily when I pick up the phone to call her, miss her constant texts and Facebook messages about how proud she is of me or her hugs.
Aside from letting go, what did you do to create an internal, emotional shift to feel better?
The negative aspects of her dying were filled with me thinking about why she left me. It was a self-centered way of thinking and I have changed it by looking at the memories of what she has done for me. Also, I like to think she is always with me.
The emotional shift to feeling better happened by filling my life with positive opportunities in my personal and professional life. I take every day as it comes and I feel better and better everyday.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?
I am particularly grateful for my cousin, Trey who helped me so much by walking with me and helping me go through the process of identification of my mother, financially and emotionally. The coping mechanisms from my “Fairy Godmother”, Ms. Naimah Ali, my cousin Dee Dee, my best friend, Komaneche and a multitude of others. Strangers even gave me cards expressing their condolences.
My gratitude could never amount to what I have experienced which is kindness and love from others.
Were you able to eventually reframe the consequences and turn it into a positive situation? Can you explain how you did that?
I turned this into a learning experience and started to grow faster in my career than I ever have. I have now taken on a mentality of do things now, do not wait and regret and be open to new possibilities. Saying Yes and like Eckert Tolle stated Live in the power of now.
This is how I coped and turned things into a positive:
Daily affirmations, taking Sunday/Monday off for “Me” or “Self-Care Days” and Sabbath for my religion,
What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? Can you please explain with a story or example? c
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give others to help them get through a difficult life challenge? What are your “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change? Please share a story or example for each.
Here’s my “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change”
- Seek professional help while building a support system around you if you do not have one in place. You have to talk to someone who you trust and will be able to help you. Someone who is mourning cannot help you. Those who cannot identify with what you have going on will not be in a position to authentically help you without judgement. I sought professional help after my mother passed with a psychologist because I felt like the walls were closing in on me. After speaking with a professional about mourning my understanding of coping mechanisms were praised and some were added. I am not saying it’s easy to do but it is definitely worth it to get unbiased opinions but you have to be ready to heal to accept advice from anyone from your tribe or a professional.
- Know that it is ok to mourn, cry or be sad. I would talk to people everywhere I went about my mom and my loss. I do not regret anything, and my mother knew I loved her yet I felt really like she left me. I changed how I viewed her leaving this Earth. I viewed it as if it was her choice and I should not be selfish about her. She raised me and as an adult I am a great person because of her.
- Take time to get back to a normalcy. Getting back to you is so important to healing from any loss of life change. There are many things that you do that make you feel good.
- Your health is wealth!!! As I am talking to you I am preaching to myself. Take care of your body take extra supplements, eat right because you are going through stress. I became depressed when my mother passed away, stopped my Yoga and other exercises and ate whatever my heart desired, being a semi-hood Chef that was really bad because I can cook a gourmet meal with no additives, sugar etc. and I worked to control my Type 2 Diabetes. I am in the fight for my life now because my doctor’s checkup said everything was fine except my Diabetes. So, I am walking, doing Yoga, watching what I eat and taking my organic and homeopathic regimen(Apple Cider Vinegar, Ceylon Cinnamon & Black Cumin Seed Oil) to bring the A1C down to normal. Take care of your health by getting an accountability partner.
- Make a list of goals that are pertinent to you. Make a list of 300 goals broken up into categories: Family, Lifestyle, Love & Personal. I made a list of goals to focus my attention on living. Living is important and the only way to start living is to make an action plan and focus on the action more so than the planning. Get up and do something to bring you back to normalcy. Through my list I have bought another Burger franchise, wrote a book about Life entitled, Life Is In Session available on Amazon, helped others, started taking on clients again, started an online beauty supply, bought tax lien properties and those are only a few of the things I focused on.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Creating a social justice endowment that recognizes laws that need to be changed would start a movement of legislature amelioration as well as “good” laws being placed on the books.
My movement would still be my Social Justice Endowment that invokes change into the legislation system. The idea is to take 2 lawyers in each of the states and pay for their law school in full in exchange for them not going to work for a major law firm and creating their own law offices that we would supplement their expenses in exchange for erasing legislation remaining that promotes racism in the form of lynching and other ways. Creating landmark cases that combat the laws that are unjust will be the outcome. Landmark case examples are Brown Vs. Board of Education overturning Plessey Vs. Ferguson which overturned segregation and integrated the nation.
This will bring about justice through actual laws in place to overturn the enforcement of the police brutality and weaponizing of the police against Blacks and other groups in this country. It would hold those who commit the crime of death and other offenses no matter what title that they have. Bringing justice to those who are wronged by this country would be the ultimate outcome.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to meet Magic Johnson and would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with him and his wife Cookie Johnson. They are “couple goals.” I want to live with love in my heart like they do and live my life to the fullest while I help 100,000’s of people with my own finances and breaking barriers in health in terms of HIV/AIDS awareness, biases in healthcare and overall poverty in the US.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Amazon for my book, Life Is In Session: Accomplish The Life You Want With Daily Living
I’m on Clubhouse, Clubhouse: Drop-in audio chat (joinclubhouse.com) , as @francisperdue
Author Page: Life Is In Session
Website Link for the book:
https://www.instagram.com/lifeisinsession/ -Book Page
https://www.instagram.com/frannubian/ — Personal Page
https://www.instagram.com/perdueinc/ — Business Page
www.facebook.com/francisperdue — Personal Page
https://www.facebook.com/perdueinc Business Page
https://www.facebook.com/lifeisinsessionbook — Book Page
— Personal Page
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!