Author and motivational speaker, Raven Magwood, grew up in your average family home——two parents and one younger brother, so that “average” four member family. She hails from Greenville, South Carolina and she has always been self-motivated and ambitious since the tender age of 12.
At 12-years-old she started her first year of high school. At 13, she started taking college classes and by the age of 16, Ms. Magwood was enrolled as a sophomore at Clemson University’s Calhoun Honors College.
I was amazed and inspired by this young woman and had to do an interview with her for Purposely Awakened. Check out the interview below.
Growing up and still to this day who are your mentors/inspirations? How did they impact your life?
My mom has always been a huge inspiration to me. She is such a strong and beautiful woman on the inside and outside; I have always looked up to her. My celebrity inspiration is Oprah Winfrey. Her story shows me that I can do whatever I want to do if I’m willing to work hard for it and never give up.
When did you get the passion to become an entrepreneur?
I have always been a person who didn’t want to work for someone else. I wanted to be able to set my own schedule and work to fulfill my own vision. As a teenager, I started making money as an author and motivational speaker. At that point, I realized that I could create a stream of income by helping other people and doing what I loved.
You’re a motivational speaker traveling all around giving people direction and hope, how did you get started in the industry?
I began writing books on “accident”. When I was 11-years-old, someone told me to write down my experiences as a national gymnastics champion and a student who had skipped two grades at the time. As I began writing, I realized I could help other people by not only showing them my successes, but my setbacks as well. I began writing about the three surgeries that sidelined me from the sport that I loved, as well as the knee disease that caused me pain each and every day.
I also wrote about how I experienced negativity from people who told me that I would never be successful. Before I knew it, I had published my first book, On to Victory! The Winning Edge. Shortly after the book was published, I was invited to give a keynote speech for Stedman Graham. From that point, I have been publishing books and speaking all around the country. As I got older, I would receive questions from women about how to balance it all. I then reflected on my life and the lives of other successful women and came up with The 7 Practices of Prosperous Women. My goal is to inspire as many women as possible to live their best lives and become the best versions of themselves.
What influenced you to become a motivational speaker and change lives?
When I was 12 years old, I gave a speech at a church. A man came up to me after, in tears. He explained that he had tried to commit suicide 3 times before in his life and that he was actually planning on going home and trying again that day. But after hearing my speech and seeing a 12 year old who was so passionate about life, he promised me right then and there that he would never try to take his life again. At that moment, I knew I wanted to continue speaking to audiences for the rest of my life. I knew I was put on this earth to inspire other people.
You’ve been a woman on a mission with high hopes and great expectations being high school valedictorian at 16 and graduating college at 19, what motivated you to always push your limits?
When I was younger, my parents explained to me the importance of working hard; however, they never pushed me. They simply guided me and provided support for the things I wanted to do. When I saw the fruits of my labor, I wanted to continue working hard. Then, when I saw the number of people I was inspiring just by going after my dreams and goals, I wanted to keep pursuing greatness. I always say that your life may be the only Bible that another person reads. I want to live my life in such a way that I’m inspiring others to utilize all of the gifts and talents God has given them.
Now at 26 you’re running a million dollar company, can you tell us about the company and what daily CEO life is like?
I am the co-owner of Sparkle City Gymnastics, a training facility that has successful recreational and competitive gymnastics programs. I am also the CEO of Raven Magwood Enterprises, a company that provides educational products and services to individuals around the world. My jobs keep me extremely busy. On a normal day, I wake up at 5 a.m. to workout for at least an hour. After that, I’ll get started with my meetings and work-related tasks. If I have a speech to give on a particular day, I will spend time not only formally speaking to the audience, but also building relationships with individuals afterwards. I love being able to speak one-on-one with audience members and give them guidance on situations in their lives. Many evenings, I am at Sparkle City, coaching my group of competitive gymnasts. Once practice is over, I eat dinner and I write.
Has anything changed in the process of writing since your 1st book to the 4th book?
In general, my process is the same. I do not force anything. If the ideas aren’t flowing, I find something else to do. I’ll watch a TV show, read, or have a conversation with someone who may give me inspiration. Once I get in the proper headspace, I find a quiet space to write and get all of my ideas down. When I write my motivational books, I remind myself to write like I speak. In other words, if I’m having trouble putting my words together in book format, I pretend as though someone has asked me a question in a live interview, and I answer it verbally. 99% of the time, the words flow freely; I just have to transcribe my verbal answer to a written one.
The latest book “The 7 Practices of Prosperous Women” has become a best seller, how does accomplishing such an illustrious honor make you feel?
It makes me feel amazing in the sense that I’ve always wanted to be a bestselling author. At the same time, the lives that I touch are more important than the actual number of books that are sold. Consequently, I am more proud of the fact that I have gotten so many great messages from women around the world who have said that my book has changed their lives.
How important is it for women to establish success and ownership in today’s society?
I think that it is extremely important that a woman is able to take care of herself, regardless of her occupation. Women should never feel like they have to depend on another person for their wellbeing. Such dependency can create extremely unhealthy relationships. Success looks different to different people; some women may not want to own their own businesses and that is perfectly fine. However, I do believe that women should strive to do the most with what they have. In other words, if we are constantly working to fulfill our potential, we will find true success and inspire people in the process.
What great words of wisdom and advice can you offer young women and entrepreneur readers?
Don’t let anything hold you back! Take the time to evaluate your life and get rid of any negative people and situations that are trying to keep you from getting where you need to be. Let’s go into 2020 with 20/20. Let’s have clear vision about what we want and who we are. And let’s get rid of anything that doesn’t align with that vision! Also understand that adversity will always present itself at times when we are on the verge of greatness. Learn to deal with life’s trials in a positive way, and always find the lesson in any failure or mistake. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall, as long as we get up.
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