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“Make Tomorrow Better Today” With Collette V. Smith, the NFL’s 1st African American Female Coach

My favorite quote that I happened to come up with is “Making Tomorrow Better Today”. I was speaking at a fundraiser event to support a new Women’s Shelter for women facing domestic violence. As I was speaking my energy was on level ten and I was in a zone! I was pleading with everyone in […]


My favorite quote that I happened to come up with is “Making Tomorrow Better Today”. I was speaking at a fundraiser event to support a new Women’s Shelter for women facing domestic violence. As I was speaking my energy was on level ten and I was in a zone! I was pleading with everyone in the room to be kind to one another and to look out for others that may need help. This phrase/quote organically evolved as I continued to speak. I now use it to this very day in a plethora of situations. This quote to me means to put the work in now to prepare for your future and the future of others. Time is fleeting so we must act now which will put us in a better place for our future!


I had the pleasure of interviewing Collette V. Smith. Collette is the NFL’s 1st African American Female Coach, the NY Jets 1st Female Coach in their Franchise History, Former Women’s Pro Football Player, and Founder & President of BELIEVE N YOU, INC.


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?

To be quite vulnerable and transparent… my life took a turn when I was raped my freshman year in college by a family member off campus and I struggled with loving and valuing myself for most of my life as I didn’t have support from my family in the south on my mother’s side. So the rape was bad enough but to be “shunned” and told to leave it alone by my family deflated me. Once I found football as a player in my adult life at age 42 with a Women’s pro football team in NY, I felt empowered and I understood just how strong I was both mentally and physically and how valuable my life was/is and felt invincible as I always loved football but was never allowed to play because I was a girl. This never sat right with me and so when the opportunity presented itself to actually be allowed to play football, a sport I always loved that the world said I couldn’t and to actually do it, it empowered me and I wanted to share this with others who are oppressed and treated differently because of gender and race. So I started doing speaking engagements at schools as a football player for a women’s pro football team to let girls and boys know that there are NO Limits to what a person of any race or gender can do! I wanted to spread the love and knowledge and have been able to reach out to children and young adults to stand up for themselves and defy the odds.

Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

It was a very trying time for me as I was a former real estate agent working for a top firm in NYC making a great living until the market crashed and I had little to no income and found football which eventually led me to believing in myself. I was totally scared to start my company but took the plunge nonetheless because my spirit told me I had to and could do this. I had to challenge myself and look at my life and how it could positively impact others and myself, so I took the leap! The difficult part was funding my company with no income coming in. I cut more corners like learning to make what little money I had stretch as far as I could to make this happen. I never gave up and saw a bright future not only for myself but for the children’s live that I could reach!

Coming out the gate after starting my company BELIEVE N YOU, INC. I had great response from schools that knew I could be an asset to motivating their students to do better and to believe in themselves and overcome obstacles. It was quite exciting and still is every time I see children’s faces where I can almost see their brains engaging and them learning and getting a new perspective on what they are capable of doing, which is ANYTHING they put their minds and efforts into!

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

The drive for me to keep going was that I have come too far to give up now and also knowing that I have success stories from others that I reached through my story of Hard Knocks and Triumphs that uplifted them and they have turned their lives around for the better. For me it is that Grit that comes from remembering how I felt unworthy and unneeded and the low parts of my life that are behind me and I have a mindset of forward progress that I like to call “move the ball”. It is as if I want to pull out my super-hero cape and do the right thing not only for myself but for others.

So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?

Having Grit made me successful mentally because I found dignity and freedom in wanting to better myself and to empower myself and others. Turning my pain into power, to know that anything I want to do, that I put effort into, will be successful. Without Grit I would be living a mundane life and who wants that?! Not me, I want to live a life of purpose.

So, how are things going today? 🙂

Today because I have Grit, my company is thriving and I am gaining a bigger audience. I wake up every morning excited about the endless possibilities of doing more motivational speaking engagements at schools, colleges, universities, corporations and organizations to help inspire and empower others through my story. BELIEVE N YOU, INC. will be going global as I have been invited to go to Africa to coach girls and women in American Football and do round table forums and speaking engagements. I don’t die, I multiply!! Lol We must keep pushing forward no matter the obstacles in front of us!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote that I happened to come up with is “Making Tomorrow Better Today”. I was speaking at a fundraiser event to support a new Women’s Shelter for women facing domestic violence. As I was speaking my energy was on level ten and I was in a zone! I was pleading with everyone in the room to be kind to one another and to look out for others that may need help. This phrase/quote organically evolved as I continued to speak. I now use it to this very day in a plethora of situations. This quote to me means to put the work in now to prepare for your future and the future of others. Time is fleeting so we must act now which will put us in a better place for our future!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn: Collette V. Smith

Twitter: cocovee28

Instagram: collettevsmith

YouTube at Collette Smith and Collette V. Smith

Or my website at www.believenyouinc.com

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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