Awakened Convos: Keisha Green Chats on Building Luxury with Accessibility

One of our missions here at Purposely Awakened is highlighting those that are all about elevating the community to live their highest good, whether it be in health, wealth, or love. Serial entrepreneur Keisha Green, also known as “The Legless Diva”, is definitely an inspiration to all to remind us that we are never limited by whatever are circumstances may be.

Check out my interview with Ms. Keisha Green below.

The Empress Dee: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you do because I see that you have multiple streams of income?

Keisha Green: My name is Keisha Green and I go by the name “The Legless Diva” I am an amazing mom of 3. I am an independent business owner with Total Life Changes, I also run a non-profit organization, but my passion and my desire is to build luxury with accessibility, so I own a 10 salon suite building in the Atlanta area and I am getting ready to close on my second commercial property in the next week or so and I am super excited about that. I have so many other ventures that are upcoming.

The Empress Dee: That is awesome! Congratulations! I am so glad to hear that. What inspired you to want to become a real estate developer, constructing properties for the amputee community?

Keisha Green: Well this is the thing, normally when people hear me say building luxury with accessibility, they are often thinking that I want to build for my community. I actually want to be able to build to be able to show everyone in each community how important it is as you make the investment to buy a forever home for your family to make sure that the home is accessible because no matter how much you pay for it and no matter how beautiful it is, if you become me tomorrow and you cannot live in it and live in it comfortably, it is a horrible investment that you have made for your family and so these homes are not just specific to the amputee community or the disabled community, these homes are for everyone. Because you never know what tomorrow holds and with me one of the things that made me want to do this in order to answer your question is that although I am a bi-lateral amputee and go by the name “The Legless Diva” because I am still very over the top, I am extra, I am still who I was before or if not x 100 (The Empress Dee laughs in the background).

 So, I still wanted to live in a home that was absolutely beautiful, a lot of times when people think of accessibility when it comes to your living state, they think about things like having a ramp on the house and having the bars in the bathroom and different things like that because that is what we have been taught and that is what comes to the forefront of our minds. But I wanted to be able to show the people in the communities that you can build an amazing home just like everyone else and that they also are accessible. So that is what I wanted to be able to do (She smiles).

The Empress Dee: I love that! Can you tell me what kind of features are necessary in order to be comfortable?

Keisha Green: Well, one of the things that you want to do so that you can be comfortable, one of the main things that is important and I am getting ready to do it here (referring to her future home), in January, I am getting ready to build my own home that I am going to completely design myself because one of the things to consider is the entrance. When I first came out of the hospital, one of the things that was a problem for me was the entrance way. I had stairs at the front door and if you entered through the garage (if you do not have a step up when you go inside) you have the steps to get into the house. The entrance way is extremely important, also the doorways to the bathrooms, doorways are very important. A lot of people do not realize that they need to be over 32 inches wide (I tend to have 36 inches wide) because I do not want to feel like I am squeezing to get through and it also depends on the size of the person and the size of the wheelchair. So normally wheelchairs are custom made. So, if you are a bigger sized person, the wheelchair may be a lot wider. So it definitely depends, I think about my parents…their home is not accessible, and they are elderly, and it is also not conducive for a wheelchair. So, I want the housing to be for everyone.

The Empress Dee: I absolutely love that! I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into this because these are things that we seriously have to think about and there a lot of people that do not consider those things, so it is amazing that you are thinking about that.

So, I know that prior to having the car accident that changed your life…a lot of times people already have a plan about what it is that they want to do with their life, so what was your plan prior to this experience?

Keisha Green: Prior to this experience, I was a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Assistant) I would not say that it was my plan or what I was meant to do. I moved here to Atlanta in 2009 and I have never been here before and I was willing to do different things, I was a waitress, a server for a while and when I stopped doing that, I became a C.N.A., even that job was not a part of my work but it was a part of my preparation for where I am today because the lady that I took care of in that season, everything that I did for her is what I would need to be able to do for me…so I get that but I owned my own business already. I owned a hair extension company and it was called “Exotic Extensions” that was my first entrepreneurial experience and what was so amazing about that was even while I was in Grady hospital here in Atlanta, we have a post office downstairs so I was literally still packaging up my orders and shipping them out during my healing process and during my transition because, one thing that I tell people is that your sorrow does not slide you to the front and the bills did not stop coming, there was not any bill that came where they said awe, we are going to wave this for you, they said when should we call you back?

The Empress Dee: That is amazing and with that I know that sometimes people get into situations or they have these circumstances that is so difficult for them to submit to what God’s plan is for them after the fact. So, was that a difficult transition for you?

Keisha Green: That was not a difficult transition for me because they said that I spent 2 days on the respirator and I say that I spent 2 days with the Lord for He allowed me to know that the legs I had was not strong enough to walk into the territory that he had for me. So, what that said to me was that He had places for me to go that I was not strong enough to go to those places walking, I was going to have to literally be able to soar, I was going to have to be able to fly in order to do those things. So, for me it was not hard because the encounter was so real, and it was so true.

 He promised to remove all the anger and the fear and that He has done for me consistently and faithfully for the last 7 years (just celebrated my 7 year” ampu-versary” on August 23) so for 7 years now, we at completion and we are going into odd new beginnings and everything grand and new, so I am super excited for this next season and what is getting ready to happen and the great doors that God is going to begin to open.

The Empress Dee: That is so awesome, and I am so happy for you. You are just radiant and glowing, I love it! I know that you talked about already having your own business and you already had things going on, so would you say that you noticed a difference in your work ethic after having your legs amputated?

Keisha Green: Absolutely because my hair extension business, I was no longer running that because one of the things that I realized in that company was that I was going to have to be able to run it and what ended up happening in my transition process and as I was healing, it was really putting me in the position where I felt like the need of other people, especially when I left the hospital and I no longer had that post office right there at my fingertips, it kind of placed me in a vulnerable state or in a place where I needed other people and me being so strong and independent, being a mom since I was 16, and being out on my own, it was really hard for me to conform to relying on other people to be in control of the things that I needed to be done. So, for that business I guess for me, I started to think about things that would allow me to be amazing and to be great and it may sound crazy but without a lot of people.

So I started asking God to give me strategies that would allow me to be the leader and the head of my household and not have to depend on others to be the provider for my children. So, He started to give me different ways to be able to make money and that is kind of the way that I got into network marketing. As far as shipping was concerned, they did it for you and I was like, okay…I do not have to worry about getting to the post office. I would definitely say that at this point, I am a whole animal, I do not waste any time, I am a huge visionary…God gives it to me, and I operate in obedience, I do not operate in delayed obedience. So when I move, I move quick and sometimes people think that I am crazy but I move when God says to move because I know what happens when I move in obedience and the alignment of obedience, it just always works for me.

When people ask me to give them this miracle strategy to who I am and what it is that I do all I can really tell you is what I told my people earlier, do not contaminate the ear canal, make sure you keep your ear to heaven so that you can hear, operate in obedience and move when He says move. That is the only answer that I have to explain who I am today.

The Empress Dee: Oh my God, that is beautiful! The one thing that I love about it is that it leaves no room to make excuses because so many people get stuck in the excuse phase and the fear and things like that, so I really do admire that. How has your children’s experience been witnessing your transition into this beast (she says smiling)?

Keisha Green: I think that it is heavy. I think people around me…I tell people that my presence is priceless. My presence can do one of two things, it can make you really want to go hard, or it can make you become extremely depressed. I have been finding people in a place where they are not so much celebrating, but it causes you to ask whether or not you are doing enough or am I just really wasting time making excuses? It is sad sometimes, but I try to “back, back” because I am a whole animal and I think that for my kids it is a lot of pressure because their mom is an animal. They know that at any given time that once 4:30 hits, there is no telling when you are going to hear me get out of that bed, there is no telling if I am going to be in that prayer closet, you might hear me busting out heavens straight wide open…you do not ever know what you are going to get from me.

That is why I love being who I am because you do not know if I am going to William McDowell you in the morning (gospel singer), you do not know how I am going to wake up feeling, I might be like Lord do it for me… I’m about to get it up (she says with excitement and they both laugh). So, you just never know but I think that they love it on the other hand, I think that they are proud…I think that it is still a lot of pressure because they are still young but I know that the things that they may feel today is just like wow it is a lot and especially because my expectations for this is extremely high they will appreciate it later on. Those things today that they do not want to hear or that they just do not want to do because they feel that it is a lot of pressure, I am certain that these are great seeds that are planted within them.

Even with the sense of being able to work through tragedies and being able to pivot when life happens for you. I know that my sons will never be able to be with a weak woman because their mom is beyond strong, so I do not think that they will bring that to me because I would be like, what are you doing? Or I will feel like they are manipulating or trying to deceive because I know that they know what strong is. I would say that although August 23, 2013 brought something different out of me, I truly do not like people to skip past the process that brought me into this, there had to be something inside of me already that had leap spirit in it, that had go with it…spirit in it, when I moved to a place that I had never visited with my kids.

Something happened that said that you need to go where you need to go, knowing that I had never been here, so I do not want people to skip past the process. When people see me today, they see me from this chair, they see the glory of God…but I would say that He has been preparing me for a long time for where I am and who I am today. I am my mom’s oldest girl, so I have 3 older brothers, so I have always had that very assertive…aggressive thing to me but I also believe that that was the very thing that had me to not break! It was having that, nah…you ain’t soft, we don’t do it like that…as opposed to sitting here crying, I have never had that girlie, girlie thing inside of me.

 The things that God has planted inside of me way before to just help me be like…boom, making that step to realize you have gotten through something that you have never did before, you did not know what to expect out of it. So there are places where I see His preparation, even when it comes down to me being the C.N.A. and taking care of the lady who showed me that I needed those same things for myself. So I know that it was the preparation for my purpose.

The Empress Dee: Are you ever overwhelmed by your own work ethic, to keep it up on a daily basis or does it just come natural for you?

Keisha Green: Believe it or not, I know when to turn off. As far as social media, people probably do not feel like that but even on my days when I am probably not going live as much because I can feel other people or I just need God to re-fill me because sometimes when I am consistently pouring out, I know when to step back. So, for me I absolutely know when to step back, I know when I should not work…I do work every day, do not get me wrong but I know when to work a little less.

It is not easy being me, but I could not imagine doing anything else. There are some days where I feel like I am not doing enough but I am very hard on myself.

The Empress Dee: I completely understand, and you know one thing about journeys like this, I feel like a lot of times when you talk to people, they feel like something inside of them died or something was rejuvenated. In that instant, going through the circumstances that you went through with this accident and this life changing experience, what do you feel like died in you or what do you feel like was revitalized and renewed?

Keisha Green: I think that what died inside of me was excuses…excuses and wasting time. I would not even say that I wasted a lot of time because I do not really think that I was battling the procrastination spirit at that time, so I would say loss of vision died in my because when I came out of the hospital I was really on fire and I just started doing things.

There are a lot of things that died inside of me that I did not want to take for granted… you know, just life because I also realize that God gave me an extremely miraculous testimony so there is nothing like being your own Bible story. I feel like I had my own…you know what else died inside of me? Living through other people’s stories of God’s glory. So that is what died inside of me that day and I am going to write that down. Because I no longer needed anyone else to tell me how amazing He was…because of what I have seen Him do, your story cannot top that. I no longer need to live through stories of my family members or people around me, I had my own personal encounter with the miracles from the hands of God.

The Empress Dee: That is so beautiful, thank you sharing that. So, with that being said, what would you say has been your greatest accomplishment to this day?

Keisha Green: I think that I do a lot of great things but whenever people ask me this question, I have the same answer. I think that one of the greatest things that I have been able to do is my Big Sister program where I connect with amputee children and I connect them with a Big Sister that has the exact same amputations as them so that they can not be just told who or what they can be but to actually be able to see themselves and I connect them with amazing women.

So, being able to see themselves in adult form and what it is that life can be for them outside of what someone who is not like them is telling them. But most of all because I connect them with so many women that have the same story that they have never even known anyone like themselves so I wanted to bridge the gap, let’s kill that story, let us let them know that there are others like you that have gone through what you have gone through that can truly relate to who you are. So that is my greatest thing because I believe that it is legacy.

The Empress Dee: You are such an amazing woman; you are very inspirational…thank you so much! I know that you are the founder of Legless and Wheelchair Divas, can you tell me more that please?

Keisha Green: That is kind of like what I just talked about because my Legless Divas are the ones that I connect my Big Sister program with. So, it is just amazing amputee women who are the Legless Divas and the Wheelchair Divas…I decided because I do not wear prosthetics and a lot of people wonder why I do not wear prosthetics. I have worn them…it is not something that I have not done but when I was wearing them I could not really get into them and I never felt like me and if you go back and you really look at the pictures, I just look really stiff…like somebody else. I do not believe that it was leading me to the space where God wanted me to develop what it is that He had for me to do.

I remember the times when I would put them on. God said that I created a lane that is just for you and so easily you have allowed the world to trick you to pay what they say you should look like. So, I realized that when you see me in the chair, you do not know my story. You do not know if I was born like this, if I had an accident, cancer…diabetes. But you can see the glory of God on me and I just believe that it is an instant (she snaps her fingers), reality check for you and I am stronger than if I had prosthetics on and I had a pair of pants on and I look just like you, it does not show the miracle of the hand of God on me, of course you are going to be like oh my goodness, she has a prosthetic leg but there is something different where you just live in the light that God created for you, confidentially and powerfully trusting that this is exactly where I am supposed to be…that is completely different.

So, The Legless and The Wheelchair Divas, I believe that God allowed me to be in a chair and to not wear a prosthetic so that I could be able to touch women on two different platforms. Women in a wheelchair would not be able to embrace me, if I was just walking in prosthetics, I would be just walking in one. I can meet 2 women with 2 different testimonies from here.

The Empress Dee: I thank you for your observations and self-reflections because I believe that without those reflections a lot of people would not be as powerful as they are so for you to really be reflecting on things like that, I thank you for that because you are making such a difference in so many women’s lives. I do not even share the experience, but I just feel it. So I really do appreciate that.

Lastly, I just want to ask about any upcoming projects, so can you tell us a little bit about what you have going on?

Keisha Green: I am going to tell you a little bit about what I have going on without giving you everything because I have to have you all stay connected to me. I am getting ready to do some television, there are some amazing business ventures that are coming. I am getting ready to buy my second commercial property, it is going to be a spa suite, it is going to be the first Black owned spa experience here in the Atlanta area and it will also be luxury with accessibility so it will be for everyone. Women, wheelchairs, amputee women…sometimes we are allowed these services because the places that they have them in they are accessible for us, but I am building something that is special, that is going to be for everyone so I am super excited about that.

I also have a course where I am going to be teaching women how they are able to get into the salon suite building, how they can either buy or rent commercial properties to truly just be able to birth their dreams.

The Empress Dee: I absolutely love that and congratulations! How can we follow you?

Keisha Green: My Instagram is @iamkeishagreen, you can follow me on my website which is www.keishagreen.com , I have some big things coming up so check me out because I am very excited!

The Empress Dee: I am going to push for us to catch up with you again in a couple of months because I really would like to hear what is going on with you because you have some stuff!

Keisha Green: Yes and maybe you could come out to the grand opening, I am thinking that we are going to do a grand opening in February, so let us stay connected.

The Empress Dee: Absolutely!! Thank you so much for doing this interview, you are such an inspiration and I really do appreciate you and your being. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Keisha Green: Thank you so much, I appreciate you, you take care.

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Destinee (The Empress Dee) Porter is a Restorative Justice Facilitator for Sexton High School in Lansing, MI. She is also the CEO of Empress Training Inc. which, educates young African American women about their African Lineage promoting self-love, divine femininity, and the expression of knowledge and grace. In the near future she aspires to become a Life Coach and Therapist for young men and women of color.

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