Photo source: Terrell Dinkins

Photo courtesy of Terrell Dinkins

Terrell Dinkins has enjoyed a successful career in finance. The Atlanta native received her BBA from Georgia Southern University, her MBA from Mercer University’s Stetson School of Business and Economics in Atlanta, and completed the executive program for Financial Planning from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. She then began racking up clients as a financial advisor and making public appearances as a wealth empowerment speaker. But one thing that’s always been on her bucket list was writing a book, and now she’s officially become an author.

Dinkins figured a much larger crowd could benefit from her expertise. So, she wrote her first book, One Bucket at a Time: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Wealth, which was released on Dec. 17. The book’s purpose is to educate women on wealth building and financial empowerment. Dinkins is especially gearing her information toward ladies who find themselves as breadwinners in their household — whether single, divorced, or facing becoming a widow.

Although she’s now a published author, the hard-working entrepreneur is still making speaking engagements. She will be at Amelie’s Bakery and Café in Atlanta on Feb. 11 to deliver her lecture, “Smart Ladies Save (Single, Married and Divorced): Overcoming Barriers to Wealth Building.”

We caught up with Dinkins to ask her about her new book and get to know the woman behind the budding empire.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was inspired by a business associate who came to see me and learn more about my financial advisory practice. When she heard my bucket message, she said “You need to write a book and get your message out to everyone, and not reserve it for your clients.” Writing a book was on my bucket list (no pun intended), but I had no previous intentions of writing it this soon. I am very happy my associate gave me the little extra nudge I needed to write it now rather than later!

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am a storyteller. I like using narratives to illustrate my points. My book is meant to inform and not necessarily to entertain. The use of stories provides life to what could be a very technical topic. That has been the big surprise in my book! Many people assumed that because my book is a financial self-help book, it would be very technically inclined and over the head of many readers who are trying to become more financially savvy. One of my readers sent me feedback on the book and described it as having “four e’s” (educational, energizing, enlightening and entertaining). All of this in a self-help book — who knew!

What books have most impacted your life (or life as an author)?

I am a financial advisor, and my background and career have centered around finance. Finding ways to create a life worry-free of money issues is a big part of who I am. The one book that has made a huge impact on my life financially was one I read many years ago entitled The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley. The book is a classic and a must-read for anyone wanting to build wealth.

What books are you currently reading?

Right now until the end of the summer, my mind is glued to technical textbooks covering case studies on estate and financial planning. I will pick up a few relaxing reads when I take a vacation this summer. I usually like reading nonfiction books.

What new authors have piqued your interest?

Oh, I plan on picking up Shonda Rhimes’ new book entitled the Year of Yes. Shonda’s a writer, but I think this is her first published book. I’ve heard it was a great read!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your latest work?

No, I don’t think I would change anything. I wrote what was on my heart and mind at the time. We are our worst critics, and I am sure I could find numerous things to change in my book if I went through it. Making mistakes is part of growing. If you don’t take any risks, you will never grow and know where you need to improve.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing or coming up with a concept for your book?

The biggest challenge I encountered when writing my book was finding the time to do it. I created the outline for the book fairly easily. Finding the time to fill in the pieces is difficult when you are trying to juggle writing with everyday life events (work, wife, motherhood, career development coursework, exercise … the list goes on).

What was the hardest part of completing this project?

The most difficult part about completing One Bucket at a Time was making sure I hit all of my deadlines in order to launch the book on schedule. Because I am a licensed adviser, my book had to be reviewed by more people than the average writer.

What advice would you give other writers?

Study your outline and just start writing. Each of us has a story waiting to be told buried deep down inside us. If you allow yourself the time, the story will start flowing. The operative word here is “time.” You must make time for your writing.

Photo source: Terrell Dinkins

Photo source: Terrell Dinkins

Describe the process in getting published?

I started the process saying that I would self-publish my book because I wanted to make sure I kept all of my copyrights to my work. After I completed my manuscript, I had it bound and ready to be sent to an editor. Before anyone read my work, I wanted to make sure I was protected from anyone who would possibly copy my story. One day, I was talking to a client who happens to be an attorney, and I asked her if she could direct me in finding an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that I could use before I allowed an editor to see my work. She gave me direction on finding an NDA online, but also referred me to a local publishing company that could help me with editing and publishing my book. After meeting with the publishing company, Booklogix, I realized using them was a better fit for me than publishing everything on my own. Using them made publishing my book a smooth process, and I had more confidence in knowing that I had a quality product. I also own all copyrights to my book.

What are 5 of your favorite books and why?

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
The Wealth Choice by Dr. Dennis Kimbro
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

Every single book that I have listed, as well as my own, illustrates self-reciprocity. Life returns back to us what we give life.

Please provide three “good-to-know” facts about you.

I am walking in my purpose. Every time I have doubt about what I am doing, God shows me otherwise. Something happens or is revealed that sets my doubt at ease. I just need to stop questioning and continue to walk!

I love roller coasters. I thought at my age I would outgrow my love for the thrill and adventure of fast roller coasters, but I haven’t. This surprises so many people!

My dreams are coming true! The visions for my life are being fulfilled. I am married with two children (I always wanted one boy and one girl); I love my career and I am checking off bucket-list items (I am now a published author).

I was surprised that so much of what I know about wealth-building came from my mother. I share much of this in my book. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

What is the mission you set out to accomplish with your voice in this book?

I dedicate my book back to women who have fallen victim to themselves and the unknowns of wealth-building. I want women to understand and realize why they must act now in getting their financial houses in order.

Who are the authors you reread and why?

I reread excerpts over and over from the works of Napoleon Hill and Marianne Williamson. I am inspired and motivated to change my life and circumstances when I read their books.

A great book has what?

Lessons for life

How do you develop character and ideas?.

By digging deep from personal circumstances and encounters in life.

Where would you travel if you could to write your next book?

I would travel back in time to interview Madame C.J. Walker, who was the first African American female self-made millionaire. I would love to have lunch with her and pick her brain to learn what inspired her to create her empire.

What is the gift of reading?

Reading allows us to escape our own reality. Great literary works inspire us to take leaps of faith. As an author, my goal is to inspire my readers to change their mindsets on how they deal with money. I hope my mission was accomplished in [my book].

You can purchase ‘One Bucket at a Time: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Wealth’ by visiting www.onebucketnation.com. Also, check out Terrell Dinkins’ ‘Smart Ladies Save (Single, Married and Divorced): Overcoming Barriers to Wealth Building’ event at Amelie’s Bakery and Café in Atlanta on Thursday, Feb. 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Kacie Whaley

I’m a writer and philosopher.