Shahara Wright, Esq: Author, Speaker, Business Development strategist, Business lawyer and CEO Effect, LLC.
TOPIC: From Entrepreneur to CEO.
How implementing change in your life, business or profession produces great results. Those results, however, do not come without trials and tribulations. But, it is those trials and tribulations that make change more effective and longer lasting.
Get to know Shahara Wright
I am a divorced single mother of two boys (now 19 and 8). I want them to know that just because life does not turn out the way you imagined, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy it to the fullest. My father taught me the value of making plans and back up plans. My mother taught me grit and the true meaning of hustle. Separately, they shaped me into a focused, driven and passionate woman who is always seeking to be better.
After law school, I worked with two solo practitioners and did temp work for the first year and a half after law school. I started my law practice in January 2000. It was really a reaction to the ongoing problem I was having of being unemployed. I applied anywhere and everywhere I could. There was just no job out there for me. So I decided to start my own law practice hoping that one day I would eventually land a job. That never happened. I tell people that I was a reluctant business owner. It was never something I really wanted to do. I wanted a job and a steady pay check.
I had to move forward and I worked hard, as I have always done, to make the best of the situation. I opened my office and started working toward building my own firm. The economic downturn in 2008 sent all of my larger clients out of business. By 2011, I was feeling the effects and by 2012 I was at the lowest point in my life. I was the breadwinner in my family. My law practice supported my two boys, my then husband and myself. We had just moved into a bigger house and my youngest was in a private school. All of the sudden, I was making half of what I made the year before and the year after that was even worse. I fell into a deep depression. I was struggling to find joy in anything. I got up and went to work every day, but although my body was there my mind wasn’t.
I was ashamed and embarrassed about my circumstances. I stopped most of my volunteering activities and I stopped hanging out with friends. My mom and my best friend were the only two people who knew what I was really going through. I did not want to continue being sad. I looked deep within myself to figure out why I was in the emotional state that I was in. Through prayer, I realized that I had an idea of myself that I had not lived up to. That was causing me profound sadness and I needed to find out who and what I was called to be. I knew my God given gifts and talents, but I did not know how to utilize them properly.
At the lowest point in my life, I started working with a company that manufactured a baseball training product. I was doing things that I would not have conceived of at any time before then. I was good at it. I was better than good. As I look back at what was achieved in essentially a short period of time, I realized that I had done for this company what I was afraid to do for my own. I had given up on a dream to work with small businesses, helping them to develop better operations and implement strategies. I had almost forgotten that this was something that I had wanted to do six years prior to working with the baseball company.
I left the company in 2015. I decided to focus on my drive and passion to advise business owners. It helped me to become a better woman and embrace the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship. Understanding and embracing my passion, is what led me to where I am now.
I started the CEO Effect, to work with small business owners who want to implement a strategy to build capacity. This means that they are ready and willing to make the changes in their business to build a sustainable and scalable business. I wrote From Entrepreneur to CEO to show small business owners the importance of strategy. Through this effort I have been able to encourage business owners to change their view of their business and make changes that will last.
Shahara is currently a member of the Local Advisory Committee of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and on the Board of Greater Houston Hampton Alumni NHAA. Shahara earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Hampton University, Honors, in 1995. She earned her law degree from Texas Tech School of Law, in 1998.