Do you feel you are not born to succeed? Do you think you don’t have what it takes to take off and conquer the world? Do you feel it is better for you to just continue what you’re doing because it feeds you and that you are not good with any other else, anyway? Do you want to share your story with the world but you think no one will listen? A lot of people feel that way, but if you ask these questions to Tera Carissa Hodges, our episode guest for today, she’ll tell you what you should hear and believe: You are enough, you have what it takes to succeed. You just got to figure out who you are, be authentic, and work on what you have right now. Figure out what your purpose is today and work on it. The best thing is, Tera will be sharing the formula for figuring out your purpose and start to walk in it.
Ever since a little girl, Tera has always been a leader and speaker. She was the senior class president, so even her younger self has enjoyed serving other people. Today, Tera is an empowerment champion through her speaking, media appearances, coaching, and mentoring. Helping people become empowered despite their past and mistakes is her passion. Discovering and learning about your gifts and working on it will take you to places. She believes God would open your door if you just worked your gift where you were. Her pro tip? Remain true to yourself. Don’t chase people, develop your platform by using what’s in your hand, and watch everything begins to chase you.
However, in order to succeed, Tera points out that you don’t need an innate ability to lead, serve, and to share your story. There are things she is not naturally good at, but she’s come to learn and master them. She believes anyone can do has the ability to learn and succeed. Today, she’s dropped major truths about finding your purpose, using what you currently have to pay the way for your future success, looking for a mentor, and finding life balance. Be sure you are all ears to Tera, the empowerment champion.
Here’s What You Missed
- Can you figure out your purpose? How?
- There can’t be a resurrection without a crucification
- How and why you should share your story
- Who should mentor you?
- Do you really have what it takes to succeed?
- How to find life balance?
[00:02:24] I really tell parents to be careful how you raise your child, be careful how you speak to them because there are some innate personality traits that we are born with and it’s not going to change. So just be careful about how you correct your children.
[00:04:46] Your purpose is a combination of your past your pain and your passion.
[00:05:53] Your purpose is seasonal. Ask, what’s my purpose this season? What am I supposed to be doing today? And when you start taking care of the things you need to take care of today, you serve your purpose.
[00:06:52] There can’t be a resurrection without a crucifixion. Everybody wants the glam, everybody wants power, but nobody wants the process. The glitz and the glam that you see if you are to obtain that, it is going to require a process.
[00:09:00] So instead of harping on what happened and what wasn’t fair, look at it and say, how can I use this as fuel to get me to a destiny that my haters never saw coming.
[00:09:59] You don’t need an innate ability to tell your truth. Your life experience, that is your expertise. Get busy telling your story because you’re not an imposter when you’re telling your story.
[00:11:10] Who mentors me in business, is not necessarily who mentors me in marriage. So I have different mentors for different aspects of my life. No one should be your one-stop-shop because nobody is qualified in every way.
[00:13:52] You don’t always need a one on one to glean from someone, to learn from them and to grow from the wisdom that they can impart.
[00:15:15] Develop yourself before you market yourself. You don’t want to meet a mentor to soon. Because if you meet someone too soon, they might see you as an understudy, where if you wait and go through the process of becoming and meet them at the right time, they’ll come to see you as a partner.
[00:17:28] I never believed I had to kiss anybody’s tail to get in with. I always knew that God would open my door if I just worked my gift where I was.
[00:19:54] So remain true to yourself. Don’t chase people, develop your platform by using what’s in your hand, and watch everything begins to chase you. Everything that’s for you begin to chase you.
[00:21:54] I scheduled my life. I live by a calendar and I’m not afraid to say no. At the end of the day, while I’m grateful for the impact that I’ve made in other people’s lives, I still have to have a positive impact on my own life and the lives of the people that are closest to me.
[00:24:12] You have to believe in you before you can get others to believe in you. A lot of times we don’t believe in our selves because we’re comparing ourselves to other people. You got to stop comparing yourself to other people because you’re comparing your ‘now’ to their ‘now’. When they had a beginning, just like you got a beginning
Important Reads and Links
Tera Carissa Hodges Website: https://teracarissa.com/
Tera Carissa Hodges Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpeakTeraCarissa/
Tera Carissa Hodges Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teracarissahodges
Tera Carissa Hodges Twitter: https://twitter.com/teracarissa
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What’s up DreamNation. We are back again with another episode that I am sure will not only inspire you, but it’ll have you really figure it out. How can I take my life to the next level? And so without further ado, please help me in welcoming my sister, ms. Tera Carissa Hodges.
I’m excited to have you on this show today. Cause I know that you’re going to inspire me to be able to figure out a little bit more about who I am just as you have for so many other people. So I always like to make sure that we can give the proper introduction and I like to compare us as entrepreneurs and thought leaders, just as superheroes and the reason being is because we’re constantly putting on a Cape.
We’re flying around the world and we’re trying to solve the biggest problems. So before you became this unified superhero, let’s take it back to when you were just a young girl and tell us who is Tera Hodges,
you know, it’s so funny that you say take it back to when you were a little girl, because just yesterday I was speaking with my classmates and I cannot believe that we are preparing for our 20th year high school class reunion.
So I’m like, where did the time fly? But. Every, since I was a little girl, like I was senior class president in high school, I have been a leader. I’ve been a speaker. I’ve been outspoken. I’ve always spoken my truth. I’ve truly always been authentic to what I believe. Right, wrong or indifferent. I I’ve always had a mouth on me.
My mom still has letters to this day, what teachers would write her and say, okay, she’s smart. She’s getting all A’s, but she talks too much and that’s not going to change that hasn’t changed. And my little mini me, she’s going to talk a whole lot to.
So where do you say you got that from? Like, was it your mom always instilling that into you to like speak up?
And the reason why I ask is, cause right now there’s a lot people wondering, should they be speaking up? Obviously there’s so many injustices going on and a lot of people feel like they have that truth. But yet they don’t speak up and they can’t show it with the type of conviction that you have. So where do you feel like that that first came from, from, is it all an innate ability or did your mom instilled something in you.
You know what? I actually believe that it’s like Maybelline, maybe I was born with it. And I really believe that. And this is why I really tell parents to be careful how you raise your child, be careful how you speak to them, because there is some innate personality traits that we are born with and it’s not going to change.
And so if you see that your child is being a little bit too bossy on the playground, you know, don’t say quippy and bossy said, Hey, I noticed that you like to take the lead. That’s good. It’s great to be a leader, but learn how to share sometimes. And so it’s speaking to what needs to be corrected in the child in that moment without killing their spirit, because if they were born with that, and I’m a believer, if they are Christian and God gave that to them somewhere down the road in their life, they are going to need that boldness, that leadership.
You know, in the ministry that I’m in., as a life coach, as a thought leader, I need my boldness. I need my outspokenness. I need to have an opinion. I need to constantly be putting out there. What I feel God is putting in my spirit to share with others. And so imagine where I would be, or the people connected to the ministry.
God has given me, where they would be if. Who I am had been killed too soon or ahead of time were just killed at all. All because I was misunderstood or maybe people were trying to put me in a box that they said, Hey, you know, a little girl shouldn’t be out as outspoken or whatever the case may be. So just be careful about how you correct your children.
I love it. I love it. And that gets me to thinking about, obviously right before we went live, I had my son and my daughter and here, in there are so many things that us as parents, especially in the black community, we grow up. And so many things that are off limits as in speak, when you’re spoken to stay in a child’s place.
Right. We don’t talk about money. And so with you. Saying, make sure that you protect your child’s mind. I think that that’s so crucial, especially in the world that we live in today, where social media is constantly putting something else on them to make them think that maybe they aren’t where they’re supposed to be.
Maybe they’re behind. And so for you, as you now have seen and helped so many young minds and even older minds figure out that they are where they’re supposed to be. Talk to me about what is the steps for someone to figure out who they are. Because I’ve heard you say that a lot. Is there a way that someone can figure out their purpose and start to walk in? If they’re confused right now?
Absolutely. You know, I have a formula for purpose and I’m sure other people have kind of taken it and run off with it, but I, and I’ve been ministering on it for years now. Your purpose is a combination of your past your pain and your passion. Let me say that again for people listening in your past your pain.
And your passion, your past, what do you live through? What have you been through your pain? What caused you pain? What you have to learn, how to kill through and what are you passionate about? So for instance you might say, oh, I am passionate about podcasts and great. Okay. What have you, what have you lived through? What have you survived?
How can you encourage other people? That’s your purpose.
And where did well, I guess, so how did you figure that out? Was there a time that you were ever lost? Because now when people look at you and they see that again, you have the ministry, you have thousands, hundreds of thousands of followers and an audience and a tribe, but for people right now that said, look, I’m so far behind that it feels like I’ll never get there.
Were you ever at that point, like a low point, then you said, here’s how I got to develop this formula and start to walk in it.
I will say this. I have been sure of who I am and my calls since I was a teen. So for that I’m grateful. However, and I just did another magazine interview on this earlier. Your purpose is seasonal
.For my Bible readers.
You understand in one season of David’s life, he was a shepherd in another season. He was a warrior in another season. He was a King. And so yes, along my journey, there have been times where I’ve been like, okay, what’s my purpose this season. I know where I was. I know where God is telling me I’m going to end up, but what am I supposed to be doing right now?
And that’s a great question for anybody to ask themselves, taking one day at a time that the Lord’s prayer give us this day, our daily bread. Right? So instead of trying to figure out, well, who am I supposed to be? you know, on the grand stage, who am I supposed to be 10 years from now? Who am I supposed to be five years from now?
Say, what am I supposed to do be doing today? And when you start taking care of the things you need to take care of today, you serve your purpose.
Hm. I heard you say something one time, which I thought was super dope. And you said there can’t be a resurrection without a crucifixion. Talk to me about what that means.
You know what? Everybody wants, the victory story. Everybody wants the glam. Everybody wants the power, but nobody wants the process, but it is your process. It is your crucifixion. It is your low moments. It’s your Valley moments that make you going back to the Bible again, first Samuel 17.
David was the only man out of thousands of men able to defeat Goliath because he was the only man out of thousands of men. Who was stepped on the back side of a mountain wrestling with lions and bears. And so he got the crown and the victory of defeating Goliath, because he had been through the process of wrestling with lions and bears.
And the reality of it is, is that the glitz and the glam that you see if you are to obtain that, and not just obtain, but maintain it is going to require a process and you can’t fight that process. You can’t despise that process. The only thing you can do is go through that process now, like Jesus, even Jesus cried on the cross and said, listen, Why have you forsaken me even Jesus in the garden of Getsemane, he said, if this cup pass from me, let it be. So, so the pain of the process is that either your past the things that God has used to develop you, it’s not easy and listen up and it’s not even fair. It’s not fair. That’s the biggest hiccup that I see so many people go through in life. “What happened to me wasn’t fair.”
Name one person in this life that can say everything I’ve been through is fair. Nothing has been fair. When you studied the autobiography of Nelson Mandela in prison for what? That wasn’t fair. Dr. Martin Luther King killed for what? That wasn’t fair. We can go down the list of people who’s lives, impacted this world in ways that will forever be remembered.
And they experienced things that simply were not fair. So instead of harping on what happened and what wasn’t fair, look at it and say, how can I use this as fuel to get me to a destiny that the enemy, my enemies, my haters, whoever never saw coming.
I love it. Talk to me about how people can, right now, if they’ve never listened to anything that you’ve said before, but they want, now they’re inspired.
They listen, they listen to you right now. And they say, listen, I would love to be able to speak with that type of authenticity, that type of conviction, but I’ll tell you, I’m afraid to speak to other people like that, because I don’t know that I’ll come off as an expert. I feel like I would be an imposter because I don’t have that type of longevity.
What do you say to people like that? How do you get them to start to speak up? Because you said in the beginning, some people just have an innate ability. So if they say, well, you know what, I don’t have that innate ability, but I want to be trained to be able to speak like a thought leader like you, especially if they’re you know somebody who’s always been timid and introverted, what would you say to that person?
You know, the reality of it is, is that you don’t need an innate ability to tell your truth, your life experience, what you’ve been through, what you survive. That is your expertise. Nobody can tell your story. Like nobody can talk about what they’ve survived like you. And so embrace that, understand that.
Yeah. I may have been born with the gift of gab, so to speak, but guess what? There are other things that I wasn’t born with that I learned that I learned along the way. And so it is with other people, maybe you weren’t born with it, but if you have a passion for it, and it’s truly something that you want to do to empower yourself into empower others, get busy telling your story because you’re not an imposter when you’re telling your story.
And that’s the key, your story.
I love it. I love it. Has there ever been, but as you’ve been, obviously you’ve had people in the, the church community, I would imagine you’ve mentored you. But outside of that, has there been anybody that as you refer, starting to come up in the business world that you looked at to be a mentor that really helped you?
what was that like for you?
I have so many mentors, I’m afraid start naming who they also fear of not naming all the people that need to be named, but I have mentors across the board. I’m there that you make the differentiation between ministry and business, because there is a difference. I am a business woman, but I’m also a minister.
I’m also a life coach. I’m also an entrepreneur. So thank you for that. and with that being said, I have so many mentors across the board and, and I want to pull that point because. Who mentors me in business. Is not necessarily who mentors me in marriage, just because they know how to make a million dollars in 30 days doesn’t mean they know how to hold a marriage together.
And so I have different mentors for different aspects of my life. Yet there are some people that give me great marriage advice. I wouldn’t necessarily take their parenting advice. And so the Bible is clear that there is wisdom in the multitude of counselors. No one should be your one stop shop because nobody is qualified in every day.
So you need mentors for your business. You need mentors for your marriage. If you’re single, you need mentors for your singleness. You need mentors for your ministry. You need mentors for helping you parent. If you love to the lupus is get a mentor. There have many mentors. Okay. Think about their advice, research, pray over their advice and then make the best decision for you.
So for somebody that’s listening and they say, man, that’s a lot of mentors. And I would even love to have you be a mentor for me, but they don’t necessarily know how could they approach someone like you, your time is super valuable, but they know that you have so many seeds that can be sewn into them.
How would you advise someone who’s just coming up in the game to be able to have a mentor? Like you.
Great question. Most people who are thought leaders or are well known, they have books out, they have online courses. And so before you try to establish a one-on-one personal relationship with that person, Read the materials.
I’ve never met Dave Ramsey, but I read the stuff all the time. I’ve never met John Maxwell, but I read the stuff all the time. And when this pandemic is over, I’ll probably probably be going to one of his conferences. And so there’s a way to glean from people that you want to learn from. Without being in their personal space.
And that’s something that I really, you want to drop home again. I’ve never met Oprah in person, but I learned so much from her about watching her old stuff on YouTube or reading her articles in O magazine or watching her do interviews today or following her on Instagram. So you don’t always need a one on one to glean.
From somewhat to learn from them and to grow from the wisdom that they can impart. You look at people like Joel Olsteen, who has written countless books. You look at people like Bishop TD Jakes, who has written countless books. And so I would say, do the research to find out what have they already released?
What have they already given of themselves in the atmosphere? You wrap that and you run with it.
Got it. I love it. I love it. And that’s, for me, it’s, it’s been crazy as well because I got a lot, there was a guy who do you know, Jack Canfield is.
Yeah. So I had Jack Canfield on the show yesterday and, it was, yeah, it was phenomenal conversation, but when I was first coming up and my personal development journey, I read the success principles by Jack Canfield, phenomenal book.
Obviously a lot of people know him for chicken soup for the soul. And so that was a phenomenal conversation, but that was just to your point that he was a virtual mentor and I never met him before. I just read his stuff. I felt like I took action on it. And then at the end of the day, you just allow things to play out how they will.
And eventually if you set it out to, to meet that person, whoever it is, you can especially thinking in the world today, people are more accessible than they’ve been, never been. So that’s, what’s crazy. And you know, your courses, your, you know, your tribe, everything. If somebody wanted to get to, it takes a little bit of work, but if you’re willing to put in that work and that investment, you can definitely make it happen.
I’m on social media. Just about all day, every day. You might not ever get a one on one with me, but you can hear what my thoughts are, what my philosophies are just by going to my social media pages. And that’s true for just about anybody that’s out there. You can gauge a lot about people just from visiting their websites or social media pages, et cetera.
So take advantage of that. And let me say this, you don’t want to meet a mentor too soon
. Okay. So I always tell people, develop yourself before you market yourself. Because if you meet someone too soon, they might see you as a understudy, where if you wait and go through the process of becoming and meet them at the right time, they’ll come to see you as a partner.
Listen. Tyler Perry makes no bones about it. Oprah has been a tremendous mentor, to him and his life, but Tyler Perry didn’t meet Oprah. And so we all knew who he was. Imagine had Tyler Perry met Oprah when he was homeless. He probably would not have the same connection to her that he has now, now that he’s met her after he had already made a name for himself.
So don’t rush trying to meet people of a certain caliber because sometimes you can put yourself out there too soon, and then people have a tendency to relate to you based on the first impression that they had of you. But when feel that they’re meeting their equal and that you’re bringing just as much to the table, as they are just from a different perspective or more diversity, et cetera. Then you open the door, not just for a meeting, but for a relationship.Casanova Brooks:
Absolutely in relationships of everything or everything, you know, if you can cultivate the right relationship, you can get anything that you want in this world. Right. And it doesn’t have to come from a monetary value. It just has to come from one person solving another problem for someone.
And so that’s great. I love that you said you brought that part up for you. How has there been one relationship that has helped to spark? And I guess we’ll just shed light on it if there’s been one, but has there been one relationship that has really helped to spark your career and take it off as fast as they could?
Not a person, but I will say a platform and that is Twitter. When I got on Twitter in 2009, Twitter built my ministry. Twitter was responsible for 80% of my speaking engagements in 2012, whenever I would say, well, how did you find out about me? Oh, I saw you tweet something on Twitter and somebody else retweeted it.
And my first international speaking engagement came because of Twitter in 2012 in South Africa. Yes. And it hasn’t been a person it’s been a platform. And I think that that is so critical for your listeners to hear because, you know, one of the reasons I’ve been able to maintain my integrity is because I never believed I had to kiss anybody’s tail to get in. I always knew that God would open my door.
If I just worked my gift where I was. And somebody needs to hear that you don’t have to change people just use what’s in your hand work what’s in your hand, I controlled my ability to set up a Twitter account. And again, tweeting my thoughts, my beliefs, how I felt not knowing that you will connect with hundreds of thousands, millions of people around the globe.
And here we are today. And so that’s what I really want to get through to get this stop change, stop chasing people and start building your platform. And don’t even chase numbers. Chase purpose, develop your purpose because your tribe will find you. And when we talk about how do you become successful? I’m not changing my messaging to try to attract a particular brand.
No, I am remaining authentic to who I am and whatever brand feels and my authenticity lines up with their messaging and their community and their consumers and their customers and their products. Great. Because when you look in a train to you are just to attract money, you assume end up having a crash, but when you remain authentic and what you see is what you get.
I don’t chase money, money chases me. Not only will you get the money, but you will maintain your peace because you’re not living a Mirage. You’re not living under an image. You are truly being your total self. And so my partners, they don’t feel, Oh my God. You’re going to say something crazy today. Because I know who I am.
They know what I embraced. I know what I stand for. They know that there will be no apologies and they know that the only people that will be leaving my platform are people no longer reflect. The values of my tribe and that’s okay. It doesn’t make them bad. It doesn’t make me bad. It just means that our cycle, our journey together has ended.
So remain true to yourself. Don’t chase people, develop your platform by using what’s in your hand and watch everything begins to chase you. Everything that’s for you begin to chase you.
Man. That’s a word right there. And that’s all that I would think anybody would needs to hear. And I love that you said I’ve asked that question to many amazing thought leaders, right.
And no one’s ever said that about the, and just understanding that right now, you already have it inside of you just use what you already have at your disposal. And a lot of people have that Twitter and it brings them back to that point where it’s like, people want to speak up, but necessarily. They’ll use the, they don’t, they don’t feel like that they have the tangibles to speak in front of a crowd of 300 people.
Well, if you still tweet those same thoughts that you had your same emotion, your same truth that you have, you don’t need to stand up in front of 300 people. Cause you’re, you’re really having the same impact either way. And just like you said, your tribe will find you that way.
Absolutely. And you’re having even more of an impact.
Okay. So again, I had never been to South Africa, but my tweet stead. I’ve never been to Russia. My tweets out I’ve never been to China or, you know, other countries where people have emailed in and said, Oh my God, you changed my life. I’m in a different country, just about every month, at least before the pandemic.
But there are places I’ve never been that people have heard the word or felt the word or read something that God gave me for them. And so listen, chasing people, honey, that was for way back when building your platform that’s for right now. I
love it. Talk to you. You’ve mentioned all of the different ventures and, and titles and also industries that you’ve, you know, went into talk to me about balance because a lot of people, they hear that and they say, listen, that sounds exhausting to be a minister, to be an international speaker, right.
To be so many things. Is there a way that you balance that?
Absolutely there is. I scheduled my life. I live by a calendar and I’m not afraid to say no. So for example, when we wrap up this interview, the rest of the day, I’m in date mode, okay. I’m going to be getting jazzy and I meet in the town. All right. I don’t allow my titles or my responsibilities to others to take over the responsibility that I have to myself in my family, because at the end of the day, while I’m grateful for the impact that I’ve made in other people’s lives, I still have to, as a, have to have a positive impact on my own life and the lives of the people that are closest to me.
And so with that being said is I’m not God. And I do not allow people to make me God. When I first really began traveling. more for vacation then ministry, I will say about four or five years ago. I purposely would post pictures of me on my Instagram page and a bikini because I wanted people to know I’m not a minister, 24 hours a day.
I am a woman and I don’t swim in quiet robes and I’m not going to apologize about that. Okay. And, and so when people start seeing me putting my foot down, Okay. Not allow them to make me a deity that just prays all day fast, all day, speak in tongues all day, read the Bible all day. Then I forced them to either leave me alone or change their expectations because a lot of ministers, they crumble because they’re trying to live up to an expectation that nobody, God never designed them to live up to.
Okay. You are a human being. Let your hair down. Go have some fun. Go ahead. And date night with your husband. Go out to your favorite restaurant. Go to a jazz concert, go to the comedy club. I drink margaritas, never been drunk a day in my life, but I drink a good ol’ frozen margarita in many flavors. You know, the balance comes in.
When I say, okay, this is my calendar. This is my schedule. This is what I’m going to get done this week. That needs to get done for my purpose, for my call, for my job or my company. And then the rest of the time I’m taking care of me.
I love it. Talk to me about if there’s somebody out there right now, that’s listening to you and they’re hype, right?
I know I’m hype right now. And they’re saying, listen, I really want to blaze my path just as Tera has done, but they have that little voice in their head that says that they’re not strong enough. They’re not smart enough. Or maybe they just don’t have enough resources. What’s the one thing that you would say to that person to get them to just take action.
You are smart enough. You have enough resources? I just told you, that’s what it was my resource in 2012. And as far as I know, Twitter is a free social media platform. It costs me nothing to start a Twitter account. You have to believe in people before you can get others to believe in you. A lot of times we don’t believe in our sales because we’re comparing ourselves to other people.
You got to stop comparing yourself to other people because you’re comparing your now to their now. When they had a beginning, just like you got a beginning. And so instead of comparing yourself to other people, again, this is, you know, today. Okay. Our daily bread. What can you do today to get one step closer to where you want to be focused on that?
Not on, Oh my God. I don’t have what she has. I don’t have a production team. I don’t have a million dollars. I don’t, whatever you don’t have. Don’t consider. Okay. When a prophet showed up to the widow woman’s house, he asked her, what is in your house? You didn’t ask her what she didn’t have, because what she didn’t have was irrelevant.
He said, what do you have in your house? She says, I’ve got, you know, some oil and that’s what he worked with. So Moses what’s in your hand now work with what’s in your hand.
Love it for anybody that wants to stay connected with you, where can they find you at.
Head to my website, Tera, T E R a Carissa, C a R I S S a.com.
You can read my bio. You can connect to all of my social media links there on Facebook, which still connects to my website, but I’ll give it to you anyway, that verified page. So you’ll know you’re on the right page. It has a big blue check Mark. It is verified is facebook.com/speakTeraCarissa and that’s T E R a Carissa C a R I S S a.
Got it. Well, we’ll definitely put all of those links in the show notes, but remember DreamNation, just as you said, you are smart enough and you are enough, but you have to take action. Otherwise it’ll only merely be a fantasy. That’s all we have on this one. I want to say thank you again for coming to hang out with us and we’ll catch you on the next one.