CEO & Founder, YJ Empowerment Solutions LLC and YJ Inspire
Dr. Yolanda Jerry is retired Air Force veteran, best-selling author, speaker, business guru, and CEO and Founder of YJ Empowerment Solutions LLC and YJ Inspires, a multidisciplinary advocacy program, invented to help clients push beyond their past traumas, and elevate to the next level, both personally and professionally. Affectionately known as the “Empowerment Advocate”, Dr. Jerry is known for her innate ability to exhort multi-generational audiences through her powerful and relatable messages; as she passionately advocates for truth, healing, resiliency, and personal growth. Yolanda delivers an awe-inspiring proponent perspective against domestic violence, youth bullying, and sexual assault. Through the vernacular of a survivor, she impacts many, inspiring them to create the best version of themselves despite tragedy, and to become intentional, in the pursuit of their life’s purpose and goals.
What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?
I remember why I started. As a survivor of Domestic Violence Abuse, I want to always be a light for those who suffer in silence. Additionally, even before my father left this world, in his last days he spoke life into me, and I promised I would never give up. My business was born because of my father. I know he isn't physically here with me, but I carry him in my heart. I want him to always be proud. I'm thankful my mother is still alive and well to witness all I've been able to accomplish thus far. Lastly, I stay in prayer and lean on God not just in tough times but praise Him in the great times as well. I know my faith in God is greater than any obstacle I'll ever face.
What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
1. Pick your niche and know your ideal client.
2. Hone in on essentials skills for life coaches and advocates: Effective communication, active listening, awareness, action planning, zero in on non-verbals, show compassion, empathy and give people grace.
3. Ensure you are set up and protected legally.
Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?
I am most inspired by the beautiful and graceful Michelle Obama, including having read her book Becoming. I love how she carries herself with poise and I love how she is family-oriented and supports her husband. In her book I was able to relate to how she talked about losing her father too soon, as I've lost my father. When she talked about her love for her father, and how painful that loss was, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Her book shared her vulnerability, authenticity, true self and showed we all have experiences in life we grow through. Despite all odds and hurdles, she kept going. There are a lot of things I want to model about myself that I see in her. Such a phenomenal woman and leader.