Velma Trayham (Photo Credit: Rita G. Photography; Hair: Joshua Gordan; Makeup: Brandi Holmes)

Why did you write this book?
God led me to write this book because at a past point in my life when things seemed to constantly fall apart I didn’t know why those things were happening, but now as I reflect back on all of the many obstacles that I had to overcome I realized that the hands of God [were] upon my life the entire times through the dark valleys. There are many people in the world that are going through some pretty hard situations and don’t know where to start at overcoming those challenges. I believe God led me to write this book to help others overcome life obstacles.

What’s the story behind the title?
When God Says Go — the story behind it — I was led by the spirit of God to leave my hometown, Houston, back in early 2016. I didn’t want to leave because I was content and comfortable because I knew everyone and everyone was very familiar with my marketing company ThinkZILLA PR & Consulting Group. I was afraid to leave but God told me to leave and leave it all behind. So, I did just that and out of that birthed WHEN GOD SAYS GO. I really had to depend on God because I didn’t have the answers. And my move of faith has turned into a story of Triumph, victory and success. In addition, there are featured stories in the book by three other powerhouses with powerful “Go” moments: Nicole Stoll, Nikole McCoy and Gwennetta Wright. It will allow readers to see from different viewpoints.

What do you hope readers will glean from reading your book?
I am confident that readers will take away professional tips and life changing advice that will teach them how to stand on faith, how to handle negative thoughts, how to chase success by putting God first and lastly how to “go” – and “grow” with God even if you must go at it alone.

How long did it take you to write this book?
It has taken me a year and a half to write the book.

What was your regimen to complete this book?
Being that much of the book is about the obstacles I’ve faced, I decided not to complain, gripe and tell others about my problems, instead I stayed on my knees praying day in and day out and also fasting. I then realized that my life didn’t belong to me and that I had zero control. I surrendered myself to God and I noticed my heart, desires and ways were starting to change. My regimen was allowing God to lead me every step of the way. And every time something bad happened I had to remember that according to scripture, “ALL THINGS WERE WORKING TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD” (Romans 8:28).

How did you arrive at this career choice? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution?
It was certainly a gradual evolution. I have written two other books in the past that was business focused, but God gave me a total different assignment this time. Out of this assignment I have since pivoted my marketing and PR Firm from working in the entertainment, sports and hip-hop to now working with pastors and leaders around the world building marketing systems for Churches and Christian based businesses. I have been very successful in bridging the secular people closer to God.

What separates you from others in your field? What is unique to the experience that you create?
God gives us all wonderful gifts, I believe that what’s unique about my experience is I’ve had the advantage and disadvantage of being on both sides. I’ve failed many times before I became successful, my creativity and knowledge have come from real life experience. God has truly blessed me beyond measures with Knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

For those considering entering this arena, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success?
I recommend mastering personal growth and communication skills. You cannot treat people poorly, you must take accountability for your actions and be kind to everyone you come across even if they aren’t kind to you, those are the type of sacrifices God sees and uses for the good. If your heart is right, then the communication should be right also. It all starts with your heart. Everything else will fall into place.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
Simply put, by keeping God as the CEO of my enterprises, remaining humble and staying thankful.

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about what you do? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
Yes, there are misconceptions that some church leaders think they should not have to market their church, they think in a very old traditional way that because they are teaching the word of God people should just find them. Well scripture says faith without works is dead and if people don’t know you to even hear the great message you have then how do they know to walk through the doors of your church? A church should spend money on effective marketing. Some churches even go to the extent of building a marketing ministry out of people with no professional marketing skills, and then they still don’t see growth. It is very smart to spread the word of God by means of marketing.

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I first consider what I want to achieve, then I commit myself to taking the necessary actions to attain along with establishing a timeline, writing them on paper, being very specific and then I cross off as I accomplish them. I measure my success by the success others achieve through my gifts. I am not successful unless I have helped others be successful. I spend a lot of time systemizing all my business so that I can have more time to be hands on with my consulting clients.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see/use as examples for you to emulate?
The people I emulate are Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Rosalind Brewer.

Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
… Karen Carter Richards, CEO and publisher of Houston Forward Times Newspaper and Beyoncé.

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself. Author Zig Ziglar’s Born To Win; author and Pastor Joel Osteen’s The Power Of I Am; and author Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life.

Why do you consider continued learning important?
The world is forever evolving, you can never know enough, and learning keeps your brain muscles exercised. The day you stop learning is the day you limit your possibilities.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
1.Don’t give up, Velma. You are closer than you think.
2.Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. (Velma Quote)
3.Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom. (Velma Quote)

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Technology play a very big role, I can’t be everywhere at once but technology makes it easier to connect and engage with people. Technology also have important effects on day to day business operations. No matter how big or small your business is technology have tangible and intangible benefits that will contribute to success.

What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life and/or career?
Social media has made a big difference. Anytime you can impact people in a positive way and bring people closer to God without ever meeting them in person, that’s amazing and very genius.

Please define your personal brand.
My personal brand: Velma Trayham … a woman of faith, success story, business leader and a powerful speaker and success coach.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
I really don’t have a favorite vacation destination currently. I really enjoy everywhere I go. I’ve been to some cool places: India, Brazil and Hawaii. My fiancé has planned an upcoming trip to the Virgin Islands; I’m looking forward to that.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
It would be to build up more positive leaders and influencers so that we can build and lead people the right way.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
It would be having a set of wings like an eagle and maybe my silliness. I am silly in real life.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
I believe it takes hard work, a positive mindset and the willpower to resist temptation and things that does not contribute to your destiny. I believe it takes courage and the ability to overcome fear, doubt and disbelief. I believe that Barak Obama, Bishop T.D Jakes, Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry and Oprah are all Iconic.

For more visit www.velmatrayham.com
Instagram: Velma_Trayham
Facebook: Official Velma Trayham
Twitter: Velma_ Trayham

When God Says Go is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073N4X2V4

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.