Accept that you are perfect, just are you are, today. We are all unique beings, no two the same. As a young girl, I struggled with curly, unruly hair. There were no products for “my kind” of hair. I’ve had more hairstyles than 10 people combined, as I attempted to control the curl and frizz. Fast forward several decades — — today, I am the envy of women and many men for the beautiful locks of luscious, auburn hair that I have…same hair that found the right products. We ALL have that uniqueness inside of us.
As a part of my series about “Grit: The Most Overlooked Ingredient of Success” I had the pleasure of interviewing Kimberly Rice.
Kimberly Rice has been a changemaker her entire life and personifies grit, in innumerable ways. Daring and adventurous, she was that girl who would prove a teacher and boss wrong when they said something could not be done. Before it was chic, Kimberly’s motto was and is: “I can. I will. Watch me”. This is her mentality in all aspects of her life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path.
Story telling is where it all began. I have traveled the world and experienced so many fabulous adventures that I love to share through storytelling. That’s the personal genesis. I leveraged this to drive my love of public speaking, which instigated my corporate communications then business strategy career. I learned to use my voice, tone and non-verbal cues to draw applause at delivering the morning announcements to my 12th grade English class. Throughout college and post-graduate jobs, I honed these skills that lead me to legal marketing in Philadelphia (where I served as Chief Marketing Officer for three law firms for nearly 20 years).
In almost every instance, I served as a corporate spokesperson for large and mid-size law firms, before starting my first business KLA Marketing Associates. Now, I speak up and stand out for our clients as well as for women professionals who often haven’t found their voice.
Can you share your story about “Grit and Success”? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
Hmm, let’s see. Through numerous severe vehicle accidents, medical procedures and other precarious situations, I came close to dying three times. Surviving, spending months recovering and learning to live again certainly provided opportunities to build and strengthen my resilience and grit.
Given various familial circumstances, I have been self supporting since I was 19 years old. I alone was responsible for making my life work, beginning in my sophomore year of college until present day. I lost my dad when I was 19 and my mother moved 2,000 miles away from where I grew up. The phrase “If it is to be, then it is up to me”. I learned how to be a survivor, resourceful, self-reliant and resilient in those years.
Separately, when I was 27 years old, I moved 500 miles away from the life I’d always known to make a new life for myself….I had no job, no connections, no computer, no internet, no iphone. Every single day for months, I searched for a job, networked my eyeballs out and created a new life for myself. That further strengthened my resilience and grit. To say I have experienced “no” more than most would be a vast understatement.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Having a “drive” begins with a deep belief in oneself, which I have (I grew up with an iron-strong mother as a role model). Then, the “drive” is strengthened through faith in something or someone greater than oneself. I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, attended church and Bible study multiple times a week for many years.
I know that the Universe has a purpose and a plan for my life, talents, gifts and abilities. These experiences lead to an all knowing that I am here on this planet for a purpose, which is to uplift, empower and equip women professionals to develop the career of their dreams by charting their own course. That is my passion aligned with my purpose.
The deep sense of knowing took decades to cultivate and strengthen.
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
Based upon the experiences and practices above, I came to know how extraordinary I and my gifts and talents are, all here to serve a purpose. The phrase “Yet, I persist” describes my drive, my tenacity, my never-ending persistence, in service to others.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)
1. Accept that you are perfect, just are you are, today. We are all unique beings, no two the same. As a young girl, I struggled with curly, unruly hair. There were no products for “my kind” of hair. I’ve had more hairstyles than 10 people combined, as I attempted to control the curl and frizz.
Fast forward several decades — — today, I am the envy of women and many men for the beautiful locks of luscious, auburn hair that I have…same hair that found the right products. We ALL have that uniqueness inside of us.
2. Stare down the Comparison Gremlin. When you lack confidence in yourself and abilities, you look externally, to your left and right, for approval and validation. With my curly hair and weight issues, I did not see anyone like me. I literally had to grow up to grow out of the need to conform.
As the saying goes about shattering the glass ceiling. I don’t try to shatter the ceiling, I build my own ceiling. According to Dr. Seuss “Why should we fit in when we are designed to stand out”? That’s my motto. I am very different then most, and I have learned to embrace these differences, knowing that they make me uniquely me.
3. Stand confident in your own worth. I’ve worked in a male-dominated industries for my entire career. I’ve struggled to have my ideas and voice be heard and considered. I’ve been at the receiving end of male condescension and marginalization, just because I’m a strong woman. My life changed when I dug deep to build my confidence (underscoring my self worth) and set boundaries of what is acceptable behavior from others. I’ve learned that we teach others how to treat us based upon what we are and are not willing to tolerate. I no longer suffer fools. I respect and value myself too much.
4. Be kind and loving to yourself, every day. To borrow the phrase, “No one promised you a rose garden”, meaning, the path to success, fulfilment and wealth may not be a bed of roses — not always the easiest path. That’s where all of my pieces of advice are relevant and timely. We must continue to move forward, do the work and surrender the outcome, knowing that it WILL come.
Over the years, I have developed uplifting and soothing self-care practices — — thrice daily meditation, stretching, regular massages and skin treatments and time away from the office to feed my soul, exercise my body and challenge my mind. Success does not come at the expense of one of these, though there will be different combinations, on any given day.
5. Never, ever quit. Over the years, I’ve witnessed highly capable and accomplished individuals (mostly women) give up on their dreams because they were unwilling to do the work required, remain consistent and persistent in pursuit of their goals/dreams despite not seeing immediate results. My motto: “I am positively expecting, ready to receive and manifest into my life great results, regardless of what I may see in front of me today. I know that the Universe is re-arranging itself right now for my greater good”.
6. Be Grateful in ALL things. I deeply believe that all things happen for a reason (though I may not understand it, at the time) that there are NO accidents and everything that does happens has a divine purpose, for the greater good.
As I have developed my attitude of gratitude, more goodness flows my way. I keep a Gratitude Journal, write down three things I’m grateful for every day, with a deep knowing that gratitude is the highest vibration in the Universal Laws.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?
Though I have always been self-driven and motivated, I have received encouragement along the way.
- My mother set a high bar for me to achieve. She required that I always do my best, even when I didn’t feel like it.
- Kathleen Cashman — my business coach — has always believed in me with whatever vision I have had for my life and business. She has lent her relevant business experience to guide me along my journey.
- My husband — Tim Rice who believes and cheers me on, no matter what.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
1. I have shone a light on female rising stars through my various volunteer work with the Girl Scouts, Center for Family Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other non-profits which focus on uplifting and empower girls and young women
2. I have coached thousands of women professionals across the globe to recognize their true value, to re-claim their confidence and to dream big. Everything is possible if you can dream it.
3. I facilitate a global virtual women business owner Mastermind program to educate and equip women to build and grow prosperous businesses while re-claiming their lives.
4. I host two podcasts (available on over a dozen podcast platforms) on which I showcase individuals whom are making positive change in their lives and in the lives of others. (CHANGEMAKERS and Secret Sauce Marketing Tastings).
5. I have published over 400 articles, blogs, vlogs, books, e-books and video series on The Confident Woman, The Rainmaker Roadmap and How Women Can Create the Career of their Dreams by Charting their Own Course. I speak frequently before business and women professional groups across the globe to spread the message of hope, to embrace our magnificence and unique brilliance.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, we always have projects in development.
Given the current virtual environment, my team and I are transitioning our CHANGEMAKERS business accelerator program to online. Much of the components were already designed to leverage the “freedom of time and location” and we are up leveling it to create world class experiences for our members.
Specifically, we are leveraging the conscious engagement approach to create a high touch experience in our high tech world to further advance our members’ desires and visions to create the careers of their dreams by charting their own course. We teach and empower women across the globel to embrace their magnificence and step outside their comfort zone, since that is where the magic happens.
What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?
1. Create an environment of collaboration among your team.
2. Empower everyone to work in their zone of genius realm.
3. Develop processes/systems to build a process-driven business
4. Delegate as much as possible so that you, as the leader of the firm, can function in your unique brilliance as much as possible.
5. Avoid taking yourself and your business too seriously. This is, after all, the classroom of life. Have fun with it…learn, embrace the divine re-direction and trust that everything will work out for the greatest good.
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? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
In light of the fact that the number of women on the planet is nearly 50%, we should assert our powerful voices in every aspect of our lives — — personally, professionally, in our families, communities, governments, and across the globe.
As former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously said, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights”. Until women stand confidently in their worth, embrace their power and space in the world, they will truly never achieve their dreams. It is my and CHANGEMAKERS’ mission to advance this cause, beginning with young female children to senior women. We deserve to be heard, recognized and valued, if not for ourselves for the generations that will stand on our shoulders.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
1. You teach people how to treat you — — too many times, particularly when I was younger, I allowed others to disrespect and mistreat me, which adversely impacted my self esteem and self worthy. As I grew and learned better, I have made different choices. I no longer allow myself to be disrespected nor mistreated.
2. Hope is not a strategy — I know that I, alone, am responsible for my life, its choices, its destiny. It is by taking small steps every day that I advance my dreams and vision.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Kimberly Rice LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlyalfordrice/
CHANGEMAKERS — https://www.linkedin.com/company/wearechangemakers
KLA Marketing Associates — https://www.linkedin.com/company/kla-marketing-associates
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.