It was fate that this episode of In The Suite was recorded on the anniversary of MLK Jr’s I Have A Dream speech. It was the energy of that auspicious day that set the tone for my conversation with Velera Wilson, a powerhouse author, speaker and coach who is committed to supporting ambitious women.
Currently serving as the Director of Marketing at Fiserv, Velera has over 15 years of marketing strategy experience at Fortune 500 companies. As a champion of women, Velera is committed to helping women lead with confidence in relationships, careers and everyday life. In fact, Velera received industry-wide recognition when she was named as a Money 20/20 USA Rise Up Woman in 2018.
In her latest book, “You’re Absolutely Worth It,” Velera has written the handbook she wished she had as she moved throughout her career. Velera often found herself struggling or shrinking at various points in her career – despite the outward accomplishments she had early on. And she wasn’t the only one. In time, Velera realized that countless women she coached, mentored and spoke to expressed that they, too, were silently dealing with self-doubt.
Her book unpacks how women can move past this negative internal chatter and begin to own their greatness. As Velera shared with us, the first step is to use the SHE acronym to start acknowledging what you’ve Seen, Heard, and Experienced in your past that has influenced your self-perception today. Once you do that, it’s important to get curious about these things and start to ask yourself whether there is truth within these fears.
Velera speaks from her own personal experience, which includes being the “first” or “only” women or person of color in rooms she sat in. She details that while working at AT&T, she was frequently moved to cities around the country to lead people who were oftentimes 15 years her senior. Believing that “your previous experiences lead you to be successful in your next” – Velera was able to use her time at AT&T and other corporations to become a more courageous leader who could drive results in unknown situations.
This sort of insatiable desire to learn and improve comes alongside Velera’s desire to always pay it forward. That’s what she does with “You’re Absolutely Worth It” and that’s what she does through her volunteering and coaching efforts through organizations like National Black MBA Association, and Positive Identity, an organization she founded that is focused on helping women develop personally and professionally.
Velera story is one still in the making but you can get a peak into it by following her across the digital sphere, where she has beautiful leant her branding prowess. According to Velera, so much of our confidence – whether connected to how we show up on social media or how we move forward in our careers – is tied to knowing our worth. Take a listen to the episode and follow the below three steps to help you turn off the negative self-talk and approach life with greater confidence.
- SHE Exercise: What are some of the beliefs you hold sacred? Why aren’t you asking for the raise or promotion you know you deserve? Why are you letting someone bulldoze you in a meeting? Use Velera’s Seen / Heard / Experience exercise to start assessing what influences from your past may have impacted your self-perception today. Ask the question of what fears are based in truth versus disempowering stories. Try to suspend judgment as you go deep into your past.
- Strategize: Now that you have a better idea of what from your past greatly influenced who you are today, begin laying out a plan to move forward in a positive direction. Follow Velera’s tips and first outline your objective (i.e. where do you want to go in your career), then identify skill gaps, and find support so you’re not going at it alone.
- Personally Branding: As a marketing strategist, Velera highly believes in the power of crafting the brand you wish to create. Ask yourself the question of “what do I want to be known for?” and then think of what you can share across social media that connects to that idea. And, of course, be sociable on social media.
This week In The Suite welcomes Velera Wilson into the guest chair. Velera is a powerhouse author, speaker and coach with 15 years of marketing strategy experience working at Fortune 500 companies. As a champion of women, Velera is committed to helping ambitious women lead with confidence in relationships, careers and everyday life. In fact, Velera received industry-wide recognition when she was named as a Money 20/20 USA Rise Up Woman in 2018.
In her latest book, “You’re Absolutely Worth It,” Velera is speaking to those ambitious women she’s mentored and coached throughout her career who silently battle with self-doubt. Using her own experience in Corporate America, Velera unpacks how to move past negative internal chatter and begin to own your greatness.
In our discussion, Velera dives into what causes self-doubt, along with her process for shifting past it; how she’s successfully navigated corporate settings; and how all women can start to build their personal brand – even when they’re feeling timid.
Join the discussion to hear about:
- The inspiration behind “You’re Absolutely Worth It” (4:18)
- Why so many high-performing women struggle with self-doubt (7:30)
- The three things that hinder or propel us throughout our lives (9:20)
- How Velera managed to move past her own feelings of insecurity and self-doubt (16:52)
- What Velera learned working at AT&T (18:55)
- Tips and tricks for navigating the unknown of your career (23:08)
- Why it doesn’t matter how small or big an organization is when it comes to achieving success (24:15)
- The Kenny Roger’s approved career guidance (27:00)
- How to start moving past limiting beliefs and self-doubt into a positive direction (31:02)
- How to get involved as a mentor or mentee in the National Black MBA Association (35:36)
- What to do to improve your personal branding – even as an introvert (41:21)
- What Velera uses to tap into her own superpower (50:11)