From selfies to memes, there’s a lot of inspiration to be found on Instagram. Some of my favorite folks to follow on Instagram are amazing female pilots who are crushing stereotypes by sharing really cool photos of their work in the aviation industry. From an accomplished 30-something pilot for a Turkish airline to a Boeing 737 Dutch pilot who has more than 33,000 Instagram followers, women are showing off their wings. Today, share a photo of yourself doing something that will bust a stereotype or two.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 1 and 1/2 Times
Whether at the helm of a plane, a company or a church potluck, women get stuff done, y’all. According to recent workforce trends, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 68 percent between 1997 and 2014. That’s one and a half times the national average! It’s no surprise there’s massive growth in this segment, considering nearly 1,300 women-owned companies are launched each day. According to the Kauffman Foundation, the next 10 years are going to be dubbed “the Decade of the Woman Entrepreneur.” That’s something we can definitely get behind!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Vernice Armour, Combat Pilot Turned Keynote Speaker and Business Coach
One lady who knows a ton about both aviation and entrepreneurship is today’s inspiring, history-making Woman to Watch, Vernice Armour. Known as “FlyGirl,” Vernice has the kind of heart-pumping, hands-on life and career experience most of us can only dream of, and she’s employing her expertise to help entrepreneurs tap into their passion and leadership skills on the path to success.
Let’s run down a quick list of Vernice’s amazing accomplishments. She’s been a dedicated beat cop, a decorated combat pilot and an author who’s been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN and NPR. She served two military tours, and made history as the United States’ first African-American female combat pilot. So, yeah, she’s definitely a big deal.
Having executed her military career with such aplomb and expertise, Vernice longed to share her many lessons learned with others. So, upon her return home, Vernice developed a seven-step process to help others achieve their dreams called the Zero to Breakthrough Success Plan, later authoring a book by the same name. One of the core thoughts Vernice presents involves identifying your “umph,” that thing that drives you and gets you enthused. If you’re not feeling your umph or any passion for what you currently do in life, Vernice says, you’re probably not using your talents to their fullest potential.
For Vernice, her life’s passion was to become a cop, a job she wanted since childhood. And sure enough, this ambitious lady achieved it, becoming the first African-American woman to work on the Nashville Police Department’s motorcycle squad. She says that while there were many hurdles in her journey to get there, having that umph made it easier to work even harder to reach her goals.
Applying her remarkable successes to her career speaking and coaching, Vernice outlines steps businesses and entrepreneurs can take to improve productivity and revenue, all through a simple desire to keep moving forward. Vernice notes it’s all about getting gutsy, working together and winning—or losing—together. Success in business comes from employing the same principle Vernice has honed in her many years of service: one mission, one goal, one team. As Vernice says, “You have permission to engage!”
QUITE THE QUOTE
It’s not easy to fly a plane, and it isn’t easy to follow your passion. But we know one thing for sure: If you do, you won’t regret it. As Vernice Armour said:
“In my journey, I have learned that obstacles are opportunities. Acknowledge the obstacles and don't give them power.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.