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“Remind yourself of the reasons WHY you are an entrepreneur” with Dr. Angela Reddix

I think it’s extremely important to be connected to what you are doing. I don’t mean just showing up to work everyday and paying attention to the day to day. You must be dedicated, committed and ready to be challenged. For me, when you remind yourself of the reasons WHY you are an entrepreneur (or […]

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I think it’s extremely important to be connected to what you are doing. I don’t mean just showing up to work everyday and paying attention to the day to day. You must be dedicated, committed and ready to be challenged. For me, when you remind yourself of the reasons WHY you are an entrepreneur (or in any profession), the uber stressful situations don’t end up being that stressful because you are able to see the bigger picture. As for strategies, I revert back to my steps for taking care of your mind and body. When you are in a healthy state of mind and body, while that doesn’t shield stress entirely, you ultimately have the strength to control your outcome of any situation.

As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewingDr. Angela Reddix, Founder, and CEO of ARDX, highly sought-after speaker, entrepreneur, innovator, philanthropist, wife, and mother.

Angela is armed with faith, vision, and confidence to live out her dreams as a successful business leader. She created ARDX, an independent healthcare consulting organization, which has emerged as an award-winning, thriving healthcare management and IT consulting firm with multi-million dollar contracts.

The Virginia-based businesswoman is leading social change by providing the blueprint needed for girls around the country to transform themselves into business owners and CEOs through her non-profit Envision Lead Grow (ELG). In its first year, Envision Lead Grow touched the lives of over 400 girls.

In staying true to her mission to help women, young and old, grow, Angela penned “Envision. Lead. Grow: Releasing the Boss Within,” which includes action steps to shift one’s mindset from helpless to a life of purpose and fulfillment. Angela hosted a successful virtual book tour to engage women around the world with the support of female CEOs, executives and media personalities. She is also the author of a digital book, “The Reddix Rules: 5 Principles for Becoming a Successful Leader.” It highlights the fundamental principles to her successes, insights on becoming a leader, shaping a corporate culture that builds success, and overcoming life’s obstacles.

Angela is multi-faceted and has real-life experience, and can speak to womanhood, parenting, Christianity, and lifestyle.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

From humble beginnings, I was born to a teenage mother who was mostly away in college and law school. I was primarily raised by my grandmother during my formative years in Virginia.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.

My grandmother ignited my imagination and passion for leadership. She instilled the confidence and love that I needed to succeed in this world. I am forever grateful to her.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

That has to be my grandmother again. She loved me unconditionally. She sacrificed so much for her 10 children and grandchildren. Everything I am today, I owe to the love and determination of my grandmother.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

When I started ARDX, I knew the road to our future successes would likely come with some challenges along the way. I was faced with one of those challenges when I was hiring and building my team. I was very intentional with my hiring process, creating core values that would help me find the right people. I remember employing a lovely group of women, one in particular who was highly skilled. These women developed a group mentality and had a report with one another. It was the comment of this highliy skilled employee one morning that took me by surprise. Apparently, another employee was prepared to share recent work with me when I overheard, “Well don’t do that because she is a beast when it comes to stuff like that.” I was crushed. I had overheard something that didn’t resonate in a positive light with me. It made me feel terrible and over time, I began to lose trust with that employee. She has since moved on from ARDX and we flash forward to about 14 years later where I catch my husband commenting on a pro football player during a Sunday game. He calls the player a “beast” on the field and I immediately realize he’s complimenting the man. I laugh now because it just goes to show you that I was wrong. It also didn’t help that at that time in my life, I felt like everyone was out to get me. Looking back, I see it’s not what they meant. It just goes to show you that in life, you can choose what you want to see.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

Success is a long journey met with hard work, definitely difficult and trying times, but also extremely rewarding. I’ve always had to work for the things I’ve wanted and I’ve done just that. I think a dedicated and strong work ethic is paramount if you are looking for success. You also need to have a passion and love for what you do — it’s what drives us each day. Without passion, you are punching a time card. Lastly, I believe success is part of leaving a legacy. Your desire for success must have an altruistic approach.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes is a book that I reread each January. I remember how she explained what it meant to be the first and only and that spoke to the story of my life. I was the first of my family to move away from my birth city and attend middle school and high school in a predominately white environment. Growing up as a minority in the school, I was the first and only to African American to be involved in many programs, for example, the Latin Club. Later in life, I would begin my professional career and move up the ladder rather quickly, where I was almost always the youngest and the only African American at the table. After starting my Healthcare Management Company, I would experience being the first and only in my circle with the role of CEO and employer. These first and only experiences often led to a feeling of isolation. I found myself, at times going inward and thinking “no” as a defense mechanism. The Year of Yes reminds me of the liberation of saying “yes” to living and fully experiencing the perks of success.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“If you always do what you’ve always done. Then you will always get what you’ve always got” Albert Einstein.

When I was in graduate school working on my master’s degree, my favorite professor would always say that quote. Almost 23 years later, I think about that message. In my company, I always challenge the staff to question the process and ensure that it makes sense for the direction we are going today and tomorrow. Yesterday brings experience, but we always have to question if the results of yesterday have the same results we expect tomorrow. If not, we have to improve our processes.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Most recently, I started a podcast with a dear colleageue and board member of my nonprofit, ELG. Our podcast is called The Vine Experience Podcast. Our intentions are show that we are all in some way connected. Our lives intertwine in more ways than we realize and it’s important to understand that and be able to talk about it. We are having those hard conversations and talking about subjects that are having a significant impact in our lives today — everyone and anyone can benefit from these episodes.

Our mission is to discover each other’s truths and find common ground with one another. I think that’s special and important in today’s current economic and political climate.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?

Stress can consume anyone, but it’s especially important to learn how to cope as a leader. As a leader you designate the culture and internal processes of the business.

Very simply, I follow a few strategies that resonate with me.

  1. I meditate every day. I allow myself that deep, connected peace where I can meditate on words, on scripture and it’s just what I need to either recharge, disengage from work and re-engage with my faith.
  2. I write in a journal. All entrepreneurs have ideas and they have those ideas at opportune and inopportune moments. It’s always good to write it down because in a matter of seconds, your attention can be taken away. Writing in a journal is also cathartic. Beyond your ideas, you can make mental notes of your current state and your plans of action.
  3. I take care of my body with exercise. My home gym is my happy place. Being married to a fitness entrepreneur and gym owner, it’s nearly impossible to not have the resources for exercising. I love to accomplish things and working out leaves me with a sense of accomplishment at the start of my day.
  4. Simply said, although it isn’t always that simple to apply, I think it’s important to have a strong mindset and unwavering passion. Bumps and twists in the road may knock you down or challenge you, but your passion and positive outlook will always bring you back in the race.

Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

I think it’s extremely important to be connected to what you are doing. I don’t mean just showing up to work everyday and paying attention to the day to day. You must be dedicated, committed and ready to be challenged. For me, when you remind yourself of the reasons WHY you are an entrepreneur (or in any profession), the uber stressful situations don’t end up being that stressful because you are able to see the bigger picture. As for strategies, I revert back to my steps for taking care of your mind and body. When you are in a healthy state of mind and body, while that doesn’t shield stress entirely, you ultimately have the strength to control your outcome of any situation.

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.

As I mentioned in an earlier response to one of your questions, I am very invested in my faith. I’ve developed what I like to say is my own personal kind of meditation where, after working out in my home gym, I allow myself the time to take everything in. I meditate on the words in scripture. I let go! I can be as loud or as quiet as I want to be. I can sing. I allow the peace, the quiet, the calmness and it is then that I am able to set my intentions for the day.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

I am a planner. I know that I need to create plans for myself, my teams, etc. in order to feel that we are all working towards a larger goal. I also love revisiting goals, plans and learning how we grew from what we may have started with. Change is inevitable, but it’s important to either adapt or create a better path. By creating and reminding yourself of your goals, you never lose sight of your mission.

We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey? What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

Habits are part of my routine and for me, routine cannot happen without discipline. My routine is very important to my day to day, my organization and my personal life. You can certainly have grand ideas about what healthy habits would look like for you and what you may want to incorporate in your life, but unless you are disciplined, you will never execute them. You must first learn what discipline means to you, your boundaries and what you are willing to change in order to create discipline that will work.

As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

One of my moments in which I experienced a state of Flow was the moment I realized my dissertation for my PhD would become a living and breathing nonprofit, Envision Lead Grow. One takeaway from that journey and experience is to follow your instinct and what drives you. I knew very quickly from the beginning that ELG was going to be something much bigger than any of my expectations with the girls. I’m so proud I never lost sight and never gave up on them.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I have been able to make that dream of inspiring a movement a reality. My idea was to transform communities of poverty into communities of prosperity through the promise of middle school girls. I believe my story of humble beginnings in public housing to becoming an employer of approximately 100 in the STEM field can be replicated. Therefore, I have built a model as the founder of Envision Lead Grow. Through this program, we are increasing self-efficacy, self-control, consciousness, and the ability to delay gratification. I believe we can change the face of the boardroom by creating an entrepreneurial mindset in middle school girls. They will become employers and top-performing employees and infuse capital into at-risk communities

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.angelareddix.com

www.envisionleadgrow.org

IG: @iamdrangelareddix

FB: @drangelareddix

Twitter: @thevineexperiencepodcast

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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