Cheryl Polote-Williamson is a nationally acclaimed bestselling author, transformational speaker, success coach, and global leader. She has established numerous platforms dedicated to her consulting practice which cultivates innovative business solutions, strategic selling initiatives, and financial acumen for entrepreneurs. Cheryl is the CEO and founder of Williamson Media Group, LLC and Cheryl Polote Williamson, LLC. Williamson uses her knowledge and resources to help others reach their purpose. She has received numerous awards for her leadership capabilities such as, the 2016 Female Success Factor Award, the 2017 Indie Author Literary Trailblazer Award, the Global Smashers Award, the Who’s Who in Black Dallas Publishing Award, and the Chocolate Social for Best Online Community.
Williamson, a deemed prolific author, was featured at the 108th. NAACP National Convention and the Congressional Black Caucus. She has assisted hundreds of aspiring authors to become bestsellers. A multi-bestselling author herself, Cheryl has released a series of books entitled: Words from the Spirit for the Spirit, Soul Reborn, Safe House, Affirmed, Soul Talk, Soul Bearer, and Soul Supply. Adding to her list of accomplishments are literary works, Souled Out and Success Factor, as well as Soul Purpose, a stage play which debuted in Dallas, Texas, in spring 2018.
Williamson received her undergraduate degree from Shaw University. Her heart for philanthropy is demonstrated by her commitment to community engagement. She has partnerships with the NAACP, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, and Martha’s House.
Williamson’s professional membership affiliations include Forbes Coaches Council, Odyssey Media, and the Christian Women in Media Association. Cheryl has toured nationwide focusing her talents on appealing to, interacting with, and empowering her audiences.
What inspired you to author and publish your series of books, which includes Words from the Spirit for the Spirit, Soul Reborn, Safe House, Affirmed, Soul Talk, Soul Bearer?
The books were published because I realized that I had a lot of information that needed to be released. Because of that, the Lord began to speak into my heart about an issue of the heart and soul. When your heart and soul are in the right place, you can be everything He is asking you to be. Words from the Spirit for the Spirit was compiled during a time when my mother-in-law had just passed away from cancer, my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and I had been diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia. I realized that I was down and felt like I could not go on, then the Lord began to speak words into me. I knew if His words were encouraging me they would do the same for others. So, I began sharing the words He was sharing with me on Facebook and people started in-boxing me and telling me things like, “You do not know how much I needed that.” That continued for a while and one day when I was in the shower, the Holy Spirit said, “You need to write a book.” I did not know where to start, but He told me, “Go on Facebook and pull every quote that you posted.”
Believe it or not, Words from the Spirit for the Spirit was what I posted on Facebook. The Lord gave it as encouragement and strength during a time when I needed it. And only as He could, He had already aligned me with everything and everyone I needed. Before the release of my book, I met a lady at a book signing, we became friends, and she ended up helping me publish my book.
Next (which was a book that was not on your list), I contributed to the anthology Shifted On by Nicki Woods. I shared how my son was bullied and what that does to a family. After that story, I realized God had more for me. That led me in the direction of writing Soul Reborn. When you go through certain things in life, you feel like your soul has died; but, God gave me the title of the book and every quote in it to renew and restore not just me but everyone around me. Soul Reborn turned into a major conference. I was only expecting 50 people, but 205 women showed up instead. Safe House was the next book. It came about because I allowed a friend into my home that should not have been there, and she betrayed my trust.
In past interviews, you talk about being betrayed in business by people close to you. How were you able to pick yourself up after some of these setbacks in your life?
First, I made the conscious decision not to be angry or bitter. Second, I forgave. Through forgiveness, my life began to change. I realized that there is a catalyst for everything; once I was willing to forgive, my business started to change for the better and so did my circle of friends. Everything that we go through, no matter how hurtful, has a purpose. Although the betrayal was painful, I still had a lot going for me. I realized that the world needs the gifts I have inside of me; so, if I allowed betrayal to deter me from my goals, I would go to my grave without delivering what I was put on this earth to deliver.
You are a business owner. How important is authenticity when running a business?
I think it is essential because it ties you to your niche market. If people feel that you can relate to them, they want to hear what you have to say. They’re going to buy in if you can show that you are the solution to their problem. People want to know that you are real. Can you understand what I am trying to communicate and are you able to relate? I will also share this with you, there is a fine line between authenticity and transparency. There is information that you still need to be careful with. What I mean by that is sometimes people share information that does not need to be shared to show that they are authentic.
When you are seeking to hire interns or other employees what are some things you look for in candidates?
When I bring in interns, I am looking for someone that has a teachable spirit. Someone who is eager and can bring ideas to the table. I am looking for someone who is willing to serve because that is what is missing in our society. We want to ask for everything, but we are not willing to serve. So, I am looking for interns that can be model citizens in the community and will represent the company with grace. Also, they need to come in with great ideas and have a willingness to accept the wisdom that I have accumulated through years of experiences from being in business.
You are someone that has won numerous awards throughout your career. If you had to pick one which one would it be and why?
It would be the 2017 Indie Author Literary Trailblazer Award. The reason why is because I was able to contribute stories from almost one hundred people; stories of healing, deliverance, and inspiration. I was able to help so many people live their dreams by publishing their stories and building their platforms, and that is a part of who I am as a server. Receiving that award allowed me to fulfill one of the goals that was on my vision board for at least 11 years.
What other projects are you currently involved with at this time?
I am in the process of working on the movie Saving Carissa. It is a faith-based movie of redemption and restoration. I will also be releasing two more books: Soul Talk, Volume II and a book for couples entitled Soul 2 Soul. Soul 2 Soul will include 20 couples sharing their stories on marriage and various things they have gone through. I want to be able to inspire people to follow their dreams.
How do you use your platform to inspire others throughout the world?
I want to inspire others throughout the world. I want them to know that anything and everything is possible. Everything that you are called to do is in your hands, and your greatness is already inside of you. My desire is to travel the world (one million miles in 2019) and help women understand that their importance is already inside of them. I developed a special workshop which focuses on entrepreneurship, leadership, etiquette, and the skills women need to fulfill their dreams.
What are some of the other events that you are participating in later this year?
I will be a keynote speaker at both Coach Con in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 5-6, and the Christian Book Lovers Retreat in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on October 18-21. I am also a nominee for the African American Literary Awards in New York this fall.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be one of serving and giving. People ask me all the time, “How often should I serve?” My answer is, “As often as you breathe!”