EGL recently had the pleasure of speaking with Author Batina Brown on her newest project, the book Defying The Odds: On The Road To Success. Co-written with her husband, Bernard Brown, the book provides motivation to readers through first-hand accounts of their life experiences, affirmations, and unique combination of male and female perspectives.
If you’ve decided that bumps and roadblocks on your journey will not change your destination, this book is for you.
EGL: You’re a fabulous woman – a wife, a mom, a motivator, an author, an entrepreneur and so much more. How do you balance ‘having it all?’
Batina Brown: It’s a lot! I take it day-by-day because you have so many obligations as a woman. Actually, besides being a wife and mother, I work with my husband. He is my partner and wrote the book with me. He balances me. He’s my best friend and my sounding board. He lets me know when I’m on or off track. I know that having it all doesn’t mean having it all right all the time and I’m thankful I have him to balance me.
EGL: Congratulations on your book. What does defying the odds mean to you?
BB: Defying the odds means not going in the same direction as you see other people. It means recognizing that, if everything you see around you is negative, you must become the positive example for your own life.
EGL: Did you write this book for a particular audience? If so, who is this book written for and why?
BB: Defying The Odds: On The Road To Success is written for everybody. In it, we talk about life’s obstacles. We touch on all aspects of life – friendship, self-evaluating, building your brand, the ‘big picture,’ college, single life, married life, and more. What makes it different is how we co-wrote it. The book is self-written and self-published. We wrote each chapter with a ‘his and hers’ perspective. People see how, although our perspectives are different, we share the same goals. In a relationship, you don’t have to think alike to move forward. You have to have the same goal. So, there’s really something for everyone in the book.
EGL: When did you realize encouraging and inspiring others on their journeys to success is what you were meant to do?
BB: I realized this is what I was meant to do in our hometown. We are the first among our peers and family to defy the odds. We pursued college degrees, started our own businesses and we’ve known for a long time that we had a story; we just needed a platform to share it.
EGL: The road to success seems to always be ‘under construction.’ How do you measure or quantify success?
BB: Success doesn’t mean possessing things; it’s not about money. We measure success by having resources and opportunities to impact and improve our community. We want to pass on wisdom and the importance of education to give back what we have and what we learned along our journey.
EGL: Who do you look to for inspiration and why?
BB: Oprah. She does so much. She’s from Wisconsin,too and seeing how she was able to come out of her environment has always inspired me. My husband inspires me because he pushes me to move forward and supports me in everything I do. There are so many inspirations: Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Michael Jordan and so many others.
EGL: What motivates you on a daily basis?
BB: My children motivate me. My responsibilities as a mom and having to make a better life for them keeps me going. I have to make sure they don’t go through what I went through.
EGL: Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self?
BB: I would tell myself to be confident, ambitious and to strive for whatever your heart desires. I would tell myself to live in your truth because you know who you are and what you want to do. You’re shy now but one day, you will have a platform to make a difference in the lives of others. You can’t want somebody else’s success. Don’t try to be like nobody else. What God has for you is for you.
EGL: What legacy do you want to leave?
BB: I want my legacy to be one that defies all odds. I want to prove society’s stereotypes of people who come from places like I come from or look how I look are all wrong. I want my legacy to show that black love does exist; my husband and I have been together since we were 16 years old. Remember how we had grandmothers to look up to as kids? I want to bring that back for my daughters. I want them to have me to look at for the reminder that black love exists, that black marriage works, that black men and women are educated, that black businesses are successful, that black people give back to their community. I started a women empowerment group [called] Illustrious Women, [which] is an educational outlet for current and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be well-known, respected and admired for their achievements. I want to leave a legacy for people to remember that I was a strong woman, and a great wife who was driven. A woman who, no matter the obstacles before her, made it over, through and beyond any challenge; someone who used her life as a way to inspire, motivate and help women become their best selves.
You can keep up with Brown by following her on social media and checking out her website.
Written By: Tabitha Keese, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic, Founder of Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island Blog