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(HEAT EXCLUSIVE) Interview with the iconic Dr. Sharita Speed

In a world that is often chaotic at best, there still remain some who excel at many things. Meet Dr. Sharita Speed, a beautiful, talented and hardworking soul who wears many hats – and she not only sports many hats, but she has mastered the art of being a mother, entrepreneur, author, professor, and highly educated woman.

Dr. Speed is a native of the state of Arkansas, but she has lived and flourished in several regions within the U.S. She currently resides in the business and entertainment mecca of Metro Atlanta, Georgia, where she is putting her skills and education to perfect use. Dr. Speed’s most recent accolades stem from the release of her new children’s book entitled, “JoJo the CEO & Friends: Learning the Days of the Week”. Working by side by side with her young prodigy (her precious son), Dr. Speed is teaching him the ropes of both entrepreneurship and the literary world. 

Dr. Speed is an incredible mother who is doing everything within her power to enable her child to become all he can possibly be. In a world of endless possibilitie, her young muse is sure to become as successful as her imagination is broad. The sky is the absolute limit for the familial duo!

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: You have quite an impressive resume! Introduce yourself to our readers. What’s a day in the life of Dr. Sharita Speed? 

DR. SHARITA SPEED: A day in my life revolves around 15 minutes of early morning meditations and getting my son ready for school. Once I drop my son off at school, my corporate hat goes on. I am a Lead Product Owner for one of the most extensive communications and automotive services companies in Atlanta, GA. 

Mornings and afternoons are often dedicated to strategic planning sessions, analyzing product research, and ensuring that our products align with the ever-evolving needs of our stakeholders. Engaging with cross-functional teams, brainstorming innovative ideas, and refining product roadmaps are integral parts of the day.

The spotlight shifts to my consulting business in the latter part of my day. It’s a time for diving into the world of entrepreneurship, immersing myself in client calls, brainstorming, and crafting new inspirational content to empower and inspire others on their entrepreneurial journeys.

As the day winds down, family time with my son takes center stage. Once my son is out of school, the focus is on quality family engagement, helping him with homework, watching him outside while he rides his go-cart, LOL, and making dinner. It’s a cherished time to connect, share, and be present in the moments that matter.

After my son is tucked in for the night, the entrepreneurial spirit reignites. The quiet hours become a canvas for refining business strategies, working on projects, and bringing creative ideas to life. Often, this dedication extends into the late hours, well past midnight, as I pour my energy into shaping the success of my ventures.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: When you were a child, who was your biggest influence and why?

DR. SHARITA SPEED: As a child, my sister, April, emerged as my greatest source of inspiration. Growing up in a small town burdened by high poverty rates and limited prospects for higher education or successful careers, there was a prevailing stigma that small-town individuals were less likely to succeed. In the face of these challenges, I witnessed my sister’s unwavering determination and tireless efforts to break free from these constraints.

She not only worked exceptionally hard but also made a solemn promise – as she embarked on her journey to leave our small town, she vowed never to forget about me. Witnessing her resilience, determination, and success became a beacon of hope for me. Her departure from our small town to pursue higher education and achieve success became a powerful testament that defied the stereotypes and I said to myself, that too can be me.

Her journey, taking that courageous leap off the proverbial porch, left a lasting imprint on me. It wasn’t just a story; it was a genuine source of empowerment and inspiration. Watching her navigate through the unknown became a pivotal moment for me, a real-life reminder that your starting point doesn’t have to define your destination. It fueled a belief in me that, irrespective of where you begin, with hard work, dedication, and unwavering faith, the possibilities are endless.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: You obviously have a lot of drive and determination. To what do you attribute that?

DR. SHARITA SPEED: Deep within my journey, there’s a bedrock – my faith. Both my strong and deeply devoted grandmothers embedded in me the priceless lesson of entrusting our lives to God from our earliest days.

Beyond faith, my foundation is hard work, resilience, and perseverance. It’s not a master plan; it’s a response to the determination to defy the expectations set by others. This determination lit a fire within me, a personal mission to prove the skeptics wrong and demonstrate that I could shape something meaningful out of my life.

Fueling this unwavering spirit is the vibrant pursuit and achievement of personal goals. The joy of conquering challenges and making progress isn’t just words of motivation; it’s a real, authentic force that propels me forward. Embracing a mindset of continuous learning and growth isn’t a calculated strategy; it’s a natural way of navigating life, adapting to new situations, and always striving for improvement.

Above all, my greatest inspiration is my son. He is my life; he is my everything. Determined to pass on the fundamental values instilled by my grandparents, I teach him daily about the importance of kindness, sharing, gratitude, and caring for others. From my background, he learns about the spirit of being grateful and humble in every aspect of life. His sweet and innocent presence profoundly shapes the woman I am today.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How does your success in the corporate world translate to success in the literary world?

DR. SHARITA SPEED: My ongoing journey from the corporate world to the literary realm is a testament to the tangible, real-world skills and lessons that transcend boundaries. In the corporate arena, I’ve mastered the art of effective communication and navigated the complexities of intricate projects, all while honing a work ethic steeped in resilience. These skills extend beyond the confines of meetings and projects; they seamlessly integrate into the craft of storytelling and the nuanced dynamics of the literary world.

Embracing skepticism and overcoming challenges, I carry with me the constant reminder that I’m just a small-town girl, rooted in a poverty-driven environment. Far from being a hindrance, this background fuels my determination to prove that meaningful success is achievable, regardless of where one starts.

Working within diverse teams and embracing different perspectives has been a cornerstone of my corporate experience. Understanding varied viewpoints isn’t just a corporate asset; it enriches the authenticity of my storytelling. It’s about creating narratives connecting with a broad audience on more profound and genuine levels.

While deeply engaged in the corporate world, my foray into the literary realm isn’t a leap; it’s a natural evolution. It involves infusing my writing with the richness of real-world experiences and crafting relatable and genuinely inspiring narratives. My journey is living proof that success isn’t limited to one specific path. It’s about embracing every experience to enrich the stories we tell and leaving a lasting impact that extends far beyond ourselves.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Let’s talk about your newest venture – the children’s book with your son. How did that come about?

DR. SHARITA SPEED: This marks my third venture into crafting books, all dedicated to my son. The journey began when he was nine months old, sparking a profound inspiration to impart essential life lessons to the younger generation. My motivation centers around teaching kids about entrepreneurship, kindness, sharing, and caring. I envisioned creating positive representations of children from diverse backgrounds, aiming to instill in them the belief that they can aspire to be anything they desire.

My latest endeavor is a transformative learning initiative designed for early scholars, titled “JoJo the CEO and Friends: Learning the Days of The Week.” This comprehensive project encompasses the third installment in the JoJo The CEO series – a captivating children’s book seamlessly integrated with interactive learning activities. What makes it truly special is the catchy “Days of the Week”, a song I’ve crafted, an innovative educational learning game app available on all major platforms, and an immersive audiobook experience. Together, these elements are meticulously designed to transform the process of learning the days of the week into an engaging and memorable journey for our young learners.

But it doesn’t stop there. In my commitment to inclusivity, I’ve ensured that these books are available in Braille for visually impaired scholars, making certain that all kids, regardless of abilities or disabilities, can embark on this incredible learning adventure. My aspiration is to kindle a love for learning that transcends boundaries and resonates with every child, fostering a brighter future filled with endless possibilities.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: If you could collaborate with 3 celebrities or public figures, who would that be and why? What would a collaboration look like with those 3?

DR. SHARITA SPEED:

Michelle Obama:

Michelle Obama is a powerful advocate for education, health, and community engagement. Her commitment to empowering the youth aligns with my values of inspiring and educating young minds. A collaboration with Michelle Obama could involve creating educational initiatives, perhaps launching a program focused on empowering underprivileged youth through mentorship, leadership training, and access to educational resources.

Oprah Winfrey:

Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul and philanthropist, known for her impact on the entertainment industry and her commitment to social causes. A collaboration with Oprah could involve creating platforms for storytelling, perhaps launching initiatives that amplify diverse voices and narratives, especially those centered around African American experiences.

T.D. Jakes:

T.D. Jakes is more than a pastor, author, and filmmaker – he’s a true beacon of inspiration. I can’t count the times I’ve turned to his sermons online when life takes a dip, and his words have this incredible power to lift my spirits. If our projects hint at spirituality or motivation, collaborating with T.D. Jakes is about translating those uplifting vibes into reality. Creating initiatives beyond motivation, genuinely uplifting individuals on their unique personal journeys. It’s about turning inspiration into action and making a meaningful impact.

Websites:

https://www.drsharitaspeed.com

https://drsconsultinggroupandassociatesllc.com

Email – drsharitaspeed@gmail.com

Social Media: 

Facebook – Dr. Sharita Speed

Instagram – @drsharitaspeed & @introductingjojotheceo  

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
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