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Q&A with Dr. Sharon Arrindell

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Dr. Sharon Arrindell, Owner & CEO of Inspired Wholeness Enterprise

How could you describe your career path in few words?

I have had a crazy ride in my career, going from fashion designer in New York, to middle school counselor, professor, and currently owning my own business. When I was a little girl I sat at the feet of my grandmother for hours on end, pedaling her sewing machine, hoping to be a great seamstress like she was. That dream came to reality when, after sewing all kinds of outfits by hand, my parents invested in a sewing machine for me. That sewing machine was the beginning of a fashion designing career that ultimately became a store I owned and operated, until everything fell apart and I lost everything I owned. After a lot of tears and feeling too crippled to move, I had to make the decision to go back to school, not knowing what I could possibly become at age 40. However, after much prayer and a whole lot of studying, my academic career led to a Masters and two Doctoral degrees, a private counseling/coaching business, written and published books, and so much more. I am currently the president and CEO of Inspired Wholeness Enterprise. It has been quite a ride, however it has created in me a wise and tenacious spirit.

What was your most challenging experience and how did it change your mindset?

My most challenging experience was going through tropical storm Floyd that came rushing through my city, in Rockland County, NY in September 1999. I recall watching the glass door of our basement come crashing into the house, causing me to make quick decisions. The first of those decisions was to literally trudge through muddy water to get out of my home with my children. It created a mindset shift second to none, especially when I sat afterwards on the stairs leading to the basement, where almost everything we owned was floating on seven feet of water. Divorce from my children’s father happened immediately after, and I was instantly thrown into the challenge of becoming a single parent to my two amazing children. Those experiences led to living in two rooms with my children, wondering what would happen to us. Although I never became homeless, I realized I came very close. I had to pivot in my mind and re-invent myself so I could give my children the life they deserved. This required going back to school and readjusting my mind, to accommodate an entire new way of life and thinking. It has been an amazing journey to say the least, and those two children are now adults with families of their own. They have allowed me the opportunity to be a grandmother to four, soon to be five grandchildren.

When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what does it make you think?

My life has been filled with unusual and uncertain context, but I have learned to embrace those things as stepping stones, instead of stumbling blocks. Recently I have been focusing some of my talks on the life cycle of the butterfly, because that cycle is descriptive of the unusual situations that have made up my own life cycle. I have been placed in the caterpillar cocoon state of stillness several times, wondering how I would get free, and when I did, would I be able to fly. However, it has been in those still moments that I have watched God make all the adjustments to help me rise from the ashes of life, and not just strive, but thrive, in areas that seemed uncertain and impossible. I wrote a blog over a year ago titled “Lemons for Sweet Lemonade” and it sums it up in a nutshell. Although lemonade can be sour at times, the idea is to take those lemons of life we receive and be determined to make the sweetest lemonade we can. When that happens, the unusual and uncertain context, become building blocks for future endeavors, visions and dreams.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?

I believe there is more than one key success factor for a female leader/manager. The first is resilience where one is able to withstand and recover quickly from the many disruptions that could cause us to quit. Resilience has to be followed with tenacity where we are determined to succeed against all odds. Last, but certainly not least, we need authenticity that keeps us genuine and trustworthy among our peers. We have to distinguish ourselves as more powerful than we think we are. In the Bible, Proverbs 31:16-17 says it best when it states about the virtuous woman: “She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently]; with her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong.” We were given strength by God to be anything we want to be, however, we tend to allow our pain to blind and hinder our success. When we rise to the occasion to be resilient, tenacious, and authentic even during unfortunate circumstances, it creates courage that makes us driven to success.

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