Sierra Rainge: “Resilient people are optimistic and forward thinking”

Resilient people are optimistic and forward thinking. They believe in possibilities and are driven by their dreams. When they fall down nine times, they find the strength to heal in order to get up ten times. Their hope for the futures fuels them to continue to get up. In this interview series, we are exploring the […]

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Resilient people are optimistic and forward thinking. They believe in possibilities and are driven by their dreams. When they fall down nine times, they find the strength to heal in order to get up ten times. Their hope for the futures fuels them to continue to get up.

In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sierra Rainge-Jones.

Sierra Rainge is a sought-after and celebrated Brand story strategist, author activation coach, Inspirational Speaker, millennial entrepreneur and Founder of Limitless Cares Inc., a nonprofit organization on a mission to disrupt generational poverty. She is a three-time Bestselling author, and CEO of Live Limitless Media Group, a full-service author development, ghostwriting and book publishing firm.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

When I reflect on my journey, I often find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. I can’t help but feel like I’ve been preserved for a greater purpose.

Growing up in West Orlando, FL, I was raised, in adverse conditions where I was exposed to drug addiction, violence and abuse during my early childhood. Developing resilience proved to be my superpower. It was my will to win that allowed me to persevere despite childhood trauma.

Higher education was my outlet. After graduating from Maynard Evans High School, I went on to attend and graduate from Florida A & M University where I earned a BS in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. After college, I moved to Phoenix Arizona to accept a job as a Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Officer. Working with at-risk youth in this capacity helped me to discover my passion for helping others realize their potential, discover their innate gifts and tap into their God-given talents. In an effort to reduce tension and conflict among the detainees during my work shift, I started creating programs to engage them in learning more about being creative and how they could maximize their gifts. I saw so much potential in the youth that I served, and I wanted them to see it too.

In fact, I knew how important having a vision for the future was. If I’m being honest, it’s the very thing that fueled me to push through difficult moments in my life. When we are bold enough to hold a vision of possibility, it empowers us to get out of bed every day and take action.

Although I had survived a challenging upbringing, it was watching my grandmother take her last breath after being her caretaker, that pierced my soul and activated my purpose. With a shattered heart and a heightened awareness that our human experience has an expiration date; in 2013, I launched the Live Limitless brand with a mission to inspire growth, produce purpose and ignite greatness around the world.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I remember being pregnant with my youngest daughter “Dream” and working the overnight shift as a correctional officer; I would cry in the parking lot before walking into the compound. I’m not sure if it was my pregnancy hormones, the fact that I was struggling to stay awake during my shifts or the recurring feeling that although I was grateful for my job, there was something MORE….something BIGGER, that I was supposed to be doing with my life.

After one of the inmates in my care approached my desk at 4 am in the morning and said, “Officer Rainge, wake up, it’s time for us to set up for breakfast”, I knew that it was time to create an exit strategy lol.

The next night I brought a journal in with me to work; when I would get sleepy overnight, I would pull it out and write out my ideas and my goals. I decided to take a bold step in the direction of my dreams; I gave myself permission to pursue what I believed to be possible. Determined to both stay awake during my shift and step out on faith, I created the Dare to Dream Empowerment Experience; a hub for creatives, visionaries, speakers, authors, coaches and community leaders to connect, learn and grow.

I developed this conference with no budget. All I had was an idea that I believed in, and that turned out to be more than enough. After hosting this sold out conference, I decided to walk away from my job and focus on my entrepreneurial goals full time.

What I learned from this was

  1. Having the courage to dream is an important first step, but if you don’t back it with belief, persistence and action, your vision will never manifest
  2. Making the decision to walk away from your stable job, with full health benefits while pregnant and newly-wed was not the best idea lol. While I felt a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment after making such a liberating decision, my excitement would turn to frustration and despair shortly after when I realized that the size of my dream far exceeded the numbers in my bank account. Within a year of being my own boss, my car was repossessed, I was evicted from my home and I was in debt from trying to run a larger than life business on a shoe string budget. The funny thing is that If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Being broke taught me the importance of managing money and it compelled me to get a better understanding of building wealth, financial planning and effective budgeting.
  3. When we Dream, we often only visualize the most glamorized aspects of what achieving our goals looks like. What we often neglect to fully investigate, are all the little moments along the way that challenge, test and prepare us. This is why faith is the evidence of things not seen, because if we saw in totality what we needed to endure in order to materialize our Dreams, many of us would throw in the towel in order to avoid suffering. Imagine how many of us would settle. The journey to the Dream requires resilience; it demands durability and it draws from the depth of our strength.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The thing that makes Live Limitless stand out among other publishing companies and empowerment brands, is the fact that while we value the art of motivating; we understand the importance of educating, equipping, and providing tangible resources. Those who engage with my business and brand do so because not only do I work to add value to my audience and clients by sharing solutions; they’ve been able to see me navigate the tough terrain of dream chasing, and can bare witness to my authentic journey as I’ve always been very transparent about the good, the bad and the indifferent seasons of my life. It’s important that we paint a real picture about entrepreneurship, especially in a time where it’s become aesthetically pleasing to only share our highlight reels on our social media feeds. Live Limitless is not only my motto, but it’s my personal call to action and life mission.

Traditional publishing companies tend to focus primarily on book sales based on what I like to call the celebrity appeal. Popular culture paves a way for this type pf business model to thrive. The truth is, many of us tune in, subscribe to advertising, and pay attention to what’s happening in the lives of the well-known. I get it, I too purchased the book “Becoming” because, let’s be honest, I’m an admirer of Former First Lady Michelle Obama and her name and face across the book cover made it an easy sale. But, what about the those who have powerful stories, motivating messages and transformational solutions with no social media clout, notoriety or national exposure? Live Limitless Publishing gives access to professional, and cutting-edge book release services and strategies not only for celebrities, but for anyone who has a message to effect change, inspire growth, impart education or add value to the lives of others…and we don’t stop there. We help our author develop influential brands that drive business revenue from their books.

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 get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

What I know for sure is that it was the mentorship, guidance, pep talks and support from so many people along my journey that helped me to survive every season. I can remember a nurse who lived in my apartment complex; she would look after me, buy me clothes, and stress the importance of education to me. I started to affectionately call her my God-mother. Then there were my college professors who would allow me to bring my daughter with me to class and even baby sit for me so that I can study and take final exams. When I think back, there has been no shortage of support. I’m so grateful that during every tough season, there was always someone along my path who I’ve been able to learn from; who has imparted some wisdom, offered some comfort or has graced me with guidance. From the barista at the local coffee shot who passed me a napkin with the words, “Keep Going” scribbled on it after a challenging day, my father who keeps me covered in prayer, my mother who inspires me to be boldly authentic, to the MANY YouTube sermons from Bishop T.D Jakes that always deliver an insightful nugget that feeds my soul. All of these amazing individuals along with too many more to name, have contributed to my growth and I’m extremely grateful for them all.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

When I think about resilience, I think about those who have mastered the art of enduring until the end. I have a unique perspective on both resilience and endurance. I used to believe that resilience was the embodiment of fighting relentlessly for what you wanted. My definition was simple, “just don’t give up” but what life and experience has taught me is that resilience is not just about recovering, and endurance is not just about withstanding hardship. Resilience is more about rest; and endurance is more about exercising your personal will to pause than we give them credit for. We’ve been conditioned to believe that killing ourselves to achieve success is #goals, but in reality, it’s about pacing ourselves in order to finish the race with our mind, body and souls intact; Resilience is a perspective. It’s belief in the idea that where you are in your life, no matter how difficult it may appear, is not the end for you, it’s not how your story will end, and that thought is what pushes you to take another step. Resilience is about knowing when to rest, when to reflect and when to rise up.

Resilient people are optimistic and forward thinking. They believe in possibilities and are driven by their dreams. When they fall down nine times, they find the strength to heal in order to get up ten times. Their hope for the futures fuels them to continue to get up.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

When I think of resilience, I think of the spirit of humanity and how it has survived so many unprecedented times throughout history. I think about all of the atrocities that have taken place on the planet, and how the people always find a way to recover, to rebuild and to be restored. I think about men, women and children all around the world right now who are severely impacted by a global pandemic, but still manage to smile, be kind to their neighbors, or even create content that lifts the spirit of their followers during a worldwide crisis. I think about communities who ban together to support the most vulnerable among them, I think about first responders working to serve the sick during a shortage of PPE equipment and minorities all around the world who pursue success despite the many obstacles that they face. I think about all us, knowing that struggle fails to discriminate.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I was 19, a freshmen in college and pregnant. There were several family members who encouraged me to drop out of school, move back home and get a job. They may have had my best interest in mind, but they were projecting their fears and limitations on me. They would say, “you can’t finish school and take care of a baby, you don’t know the first thing about being mother, you can barely feed yourself, how are you going to feed a baby?” I heard it all but I believed none of it. I decided to bet on myself! I didn’t drop out of school and I didn’t send my baby away to be raised by someone else while I finished school. Instead I rose to the occasion. I got a part-time job at cvs, I joined the psychology club on campus in order to be connected with other scholars. I needed to be around people who were pursuing at excelling at the things that I want to succeed in, I started interning with the at the Attorney General’s office and I worked to become the woman I needed to be in order to earn a college degree as a first generation college graduate in spite of being a young mother. It was the hard but I did it!

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

On March 25, 2019, I received a call from my little cousin that my grandfather who I was very close to passed away suddenly and unrepentantly. It was a huge blow, I had spent the day prior having Zaxby’s with him and my husband. It didn’t seem sick at all. He was strong, full of life and funny. My grandfather was the type of person who would say what everyone was thinking, but dared not say; for that reason, he would ride with me to family functions, I was one of the family members who could laugh off the crazy stuff that he would say. I understood him that way. That evening, we decided to grab food after leaving my cousin’s wake service. He was 34 years old and had lost his battle to skin cancer. My family was devastated and we were leaning on one another for comfort. So, the next morning when I got the call that he had died on the morning of my cousin’s funeral, it proved to be too much to bare.

I was grief stricken, emotionally bankrupt and unable to grapple with the loss. I cancelled my annual Dare to Dream conference that year, I abandoned my work and ghosted family and friends. Losing my grandfather brought all of the childhood trauma that I had ignored for years to the surface. I was finally forced to heal. Grief of this magnitude wasn’t a problem that I could just push through, it was the type of pain that required me to finally unpack…and I did. I become more intentionally about healing from my childhood trauma, I signed up for therapy, I walked away from toxic clients, relationships and partnerships. I got clear about my boundaries and I learned to prioritize self-love.

Today, my business is thriving. My relationships are healthy and reciprocal. My goals are clear. My marriage is filled with love, adventure and laughter, and my daughters get to grow up in a happy home that holds space for them to live full out.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Raising my daughter, managing college coursework, working part time, interning and healing all at once, tremendously contributed to developing resilience in my life. Every semester, eviction notice and dollar less day that I survived, is a constant reminder even now, that where there is a will, there’s a way. I have developed the habit of always being willing to step into a challenge, rather than running away from it and life always makes a way.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

Since I believe that resilience is a perspective, becoming more resilient requires a mindset shift.

  1. Focus less on the problems that you face and instead channel that energy into discovering solutions. Resilient people know that, “what you focus on is what will expand” so if focusing on problems only amplify them.
  2. Know when to rest. Resilient people have learned that taking good care of themselves is not selfish; but it’s self-preservation.
  3. Practice gratitude daily. It’s really hard to give up when you are so thankful for how far you’ve come. Gratitude is the gateway to abundance.
  4. Fail and forgive quickly. You don’t have to spend a long time grappling over a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. Rise up, you don’t have to stay stuck. Learn the lesson, apply it and then level up. Don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself. Remember, your best days are ahead of you.
  5. Know your support system. I have what I like to call my Top 5 starting line-up. These are the most important people in my life. They all have different things that they add to my life. I recognize what each of them bring to the table, how it makes me better or bring more fulfillment to my life, and I honor these relationships by being intentional about nourishing them. You have to know which areas of your life require help and you have to be strong enough to ask for it and receive it. Success is not achieved in a silo, don’t be afraid to rely on the strength of your village.

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. 🙂

I think what we collectively need the most right now is a vision for the future. A common goal to make our planet better for all. I’d love to see a global collaboration to study truth, history, and science, and then make a collective effort to move humanity forward. A worldwide tolerance and acceptance challenge where we focus more on what we have in common rather than our differences; a global trend of offering one another grace and compassion.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders 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, especially if we tag them 🙂

Without a doubt, the one person that I’d love to share a moment with is Bishop T.D Jakes. His messages, articulation of biblical principles and example of excellence has inspired my life’s journey. When he speaks, I know that he understands what it feels like to bare a gift so powerful that it can feel like both a burden and a gift. He has been my mentor in my head for the last twelve years. Being able to meet him and personally thank him for answering the call of purpose on his life, sharing his wisdom, and teaching me through scripture how to turn pain into purpose.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @sierrarainge or connect with me online at

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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