Washington, D.C., native Melinda Robertson became a mother at 19 and it changed her life forever. After experiencing motherhood at such a young age, years later she decided to write books to help people understand the responsibilities that come with parenthood.
Why is it important for Black women to lead or work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
I believe it’s important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities, so our voices can be heard. Statistically, women of color are the most devalued and underappreciated women in the world. We are the backbone of our families and have been making great strides in the boardroom for decades. As such, we are laying the foundation for generations to come.
If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why?
If I could thank any Black woman history maker, it would be Harriet Tubman for unselfishly leading over 300 people to freedom. We live in a very selfish society today and many people are of the “every man for himself” mindset. Had Harriett had that same kind of mindset she would have freed herself and kept it moving but, she didn’t, and I admire her for that.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition? What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners and collaborators?
I think the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition is necessary because women of color tend to compete with each other largely because of where they came from. Growing up in the S.E. section of Washington, D.C., which is still regarded as the poorest section in the city, there was a lot of jealousy among girls who would want to fight or jump you over silly things, (i.e. their boyfriend liked you, you thought you were cute, etc.)
The one thing I find to be indispensable in my business partners and collaborators is the ability to trust my partners because without trust we have nothing!
What are your thoughts on taking risks? Making mistakes?
Taking risks and making mistakes is what has made me the woman of God I am today and in order to be successful, one must be willing to take both. I took a risk when I wrote and published my first book, Motherhood, What You Don’t Know! in 2005. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a book initially because deep down inside I didn’t believe I could do it. Whenever you’re taking there will be many setbacks, but you have to be willing to stay the course because if not, you may never become who God is calling you to be.
What are the three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity and peace of mind?
Three success habits I implement into my daily routine to maintain my peace of mind are:
1) Each morning I hit my knees as soon as my feet hit the floor to give God praise for waking me up.
2) Following my prayer, I read a few verses from the Bible.
3) I keep an attitude of gratitude and ask God daily to let his light shine so that when people see me, they see him!
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
God has blessed me with the same job for nearly 19 years and there are a lot of people in need of jobs, so I don’t take my job for granted.
Who or what motivates you and why?
My children motivate me to be the best I can be, and I want them to be the best they can be! I’ve been a mother for over 35 years and, it’s been, by far, the most rewarding experience of my life. I thank God for both of my children and, my granddaughter because they bring me so much joy!
How did you determine your career path?
Writing has always been a passion of mine ever since I was a child. For years I doubted my ability to become a published author, but in 2004 I had a conversation with my dad about my desire to write a book. He asked what the book would be about, and I told him it would be for teen girls because 11 and 12-year-old girls were having babies and I wanted to educate them about what being a mother really meant. Dad looked at me and said, “Well kid, if anybody can do it you can so, I say go for it!” I went home and wrote my first chapter that night. Unfortunately, my dad made his transition before the release of my first book, but it was he who inspired me to follow my dream of becoming an author.