Charlene Jefferson

Seeds of Success: Charlene Jefferson’s Journey of Growth and Empowerment

By Myra Stacey

In our chat today, we’re diving deep into the world of Charlene Jefferson, a powerhouse of a woman who’s making waves with her unique approach to coaching and consulting. Charlene’s story isn’t your everyday success tale. It’s rooted in the rich soil of a small town in North Carolina, where she grew up surrounded by fields that stretched as far as the eye could see. This backdrop of her childhood, where she learned the value of nurturing a single seed into a bountiful harvest, has deeply influenced her life’s work and philosophy.

Charlene’s journey to the top hasn’t been a straight line. It’s been filled with moments of revelation, challenges turned into opportunities, and a deep-seated belief that success comes from within. She opened up about the turning points in her career, especially the creation of her company during the unexpected pause the world took during COVID-19. This period of reflection brought her back to her roots and reignited her passion for making a real difference in people’s lives.

Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I’d say my journey began when I was just a little girl, growing up in a small town in North Carolina. Surrounded by nothing but vast fields, I had endless space to run around and play. I often describe myself as a country girl, deeply influenced by my upbringing in a family that embraced the rural lifestyle. Being raised by a single mom combined with the love and support of my grandparents, we were immersed in an environment that was akin to farm life, which I believe has significantly shaped where I find myself today.

The farm taught me the value of a small seed. Placing it in the ground and nurturing it, I witnessed the miracle of growth as crops sprouted around me. This experience offered me a unique perspective on life from a young age. I realized the power of creation was in our hands, whether it was growing our own food with my grandparents and my mom, especially during harvest time, or the simple joys of picking blueberries, unearthing potatoes, and running through cornfields. All these activities instilled in me a sense of freedom and the beauty of creation stemming from a single seed.

I’ve come to see that we humans are much like those seeds. Everything we absorb, from reading books and listening to podcasts to our interactions with others, nurtures us. This has made me ponder deeply about how we nurture ourselves and the kind of growth we aspire to achieve.

This foundational belief has guided me through my career and business endeavors, fostering genuine interactions and a sincere desire to understand people — their essence and passions. This approach has propelled me up the corporate ladder and has also been a cornerstone as I navigate the business realm. Today, I am on a path to establishing one of the leading women’s empowerment corporations in the Americas, focusing on personal and professional development. This journey, rooted in the lessons learned from a simple seed, continues to influence my approach to life and business.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the creation of your current company?
The “Aha Moment” for me was really a two-part revelation. I’ve always believed that greatness lies just beyond some daunting challenge we’re facing. For me, that challenge was navigating the corporate ladder, pouring my heart and soul into my work, and seeing the tangible rewards of my efforts—like earning a six-figure salary and excelling in roles that were crafted just for me because of the unique value I brought to the table.

Everything seemed perfect until it suddenly wasn’t, around the time COVID hit. Being confined to home, the daily grind and the way we operated underwent a massive shift. While this change was manageable for me, it sparked a realization that there was more to life than just climbing the corporate ladder. This period of introspection reminded me of my childhood dreams and aspirations—like my love for fixing things and sharing knowledge with others. I remembered how, years ago, I had jotted down titles and business names for books I wanted to write without really believing I was a writer or an entrepreneur. These ideas were all tucked away in a little box, a treasure trove of my visions and dreams for personal fulfillment that I had nearly forgotten.

COVID provided an opportunity to reconnect with this “vision box.” At the time, I didn’t fully grasp its significance, but it was brimming with my aspirations and potential paths to personal fulfillment. Being at home, I decided to dive into this box, and it reignited my desire to start my own business. Despite not knowing exactly how to begin, I felt ready to embark on this journey of discovery.

This realization—that in order to achieve greatness, I needed to overcome the obstacle of leaving behind the traditional corporate path and reconnecting with my true vision—led to the creation of Charlene Jefferson Coaching and Consulting. While I still engage with the corporate world, my approach has shifted. I now focus on empowering not just women but men too, though women remain my primary audience. My business is centered on encouraging people to be intentional about self-discovery and achieving fulfillment on a deeper level than just the surface.

We’re delving into what our visions truly are and aligning our actions with our purposes, moving beyond mere superficial goals to uncover what genuinely drives us.

What do you think makes your company stand out?
What truly sets Charlene Jefferson Coaching and Consulting apart in this crowded marketplace is our steadfast commitment to customization. Throughout my journey to launch this business, I’ve encountered a wide array of individuals and perspectives, ranging from highly beneficial to those that didn’t quite align with my vision. A common theme I noticed was the prevalence of a one-size-fits-all approach in the market, which simply didn’t resonate with me. Given my upbringing on a farm, where freedom and creativity were part of my daily life, fitting into a predetermined mold was never an option for me.

At Charlene Jefferson Coaching and Consulting, we firmly believe that success is an inside job. It’s sculpted from within rather than being something you can just grab from the outside. This philosophy is at the core of our services. We don’t just offer generic, cookie-cutter solutions. Instead, we provide customized services tailored to meet the unique personal and professional development needs of each client. Our approach is holistic, recognizing that true success encompasses both personal growth and professional advancement.

This dedication to customization and the belief in nurturing success from the inside out is what makes us stand out. We’re not just another coaching and consulting firm; we’re a partner in our clients’ journey toward genuine, sustainable success.

What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?
My favorite moment in my career, hands down, has been the opportunity to fundamentally change the culture of a corporation from within. The pinnacle of this experience was when I initiated the first Black History Month celebration and established the first Black Resource Group within the company for their region. This was more than just an event or a group formation; it was a profound awakening for me personally and professionally.

Having grown up often as the minority in my classes, yet attending a college where the African-American community represented only about 10% of the student body, I’ve always navigated spaces where blending in was not an option. So, when the challenge arose to create a resource group aimed at empowering our Black employees and providing a platform for allies to support career advancement, it was both a daunting and exhilarating task.

This initiative required me to engage deeply not just with the concept but with individuals across the entire organization. I found myself in discussions with everyone from the head of HR to the CEO, advocating for a cause that would touch the very essence of the company’s culture. This was not something I had anticipated when I embarked on my corporate journey, but it became a defining moment in my career.

Leading this resource group for two years and witnessing its growth from a small assembly to a significant, impactful community within the company was incredibly rewarding. We didn’t just create a space for Black employees; we educated allies on how to effectively support their Black colleagues. This initiative marked a significant milestone in my career. It was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to contribute to meaningful change, fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment. This, by far, has been the highlight of my career, showcasing the power of initiative and the impact of fostering diversity and inclusion within a corporate setting.

What measure do you use to determine success?
Determining success is indeed a deeply personal and evolving concept. For me, the measure of success has shifted over time, reflecting where I am in my life and career. Currently, success is encapsulated by the freedom it affords me—both in terms of time and finances. It’s about having the autonomy to decide how and where I allocate my time, prioritizing moments with family and friends, and engaging in activities that nourish my soul and bring fulfillment to my life.

Creating memorable experiences for myself and my loved ones is a significant part of my definition of success. It’s not just about achieving professional milestones or accumulating wealth; it’s about the quality of life those achievements enable me to have. This perspective on success also extends beyond personal gain. It encompasses my ability to contribute to the well-being of others through philanthropy, supporting and uplifting other women, and spreading kindness and generosity in my community.

In essence, success for me today is measured by the degree of freedom I have to live my life on my own terms, the impact I can make on the lives of others, and the legacy of positive experiences I can build for myself and those around me. 

What piece of advice has impacted you the most?
The piece of advice that has profoundly impacted me comes from a quote by Maya Angelou, which  essentially encourages finding joy in everything you do. It says, “Joy is a freedom. It helps a person to find his/her own liberation…” To paraphrase,  the quote ends by saying that although you give joy away that you still have so much of it remaining. This perspective has been a game-changer for me, especially because I have a natural inclination to be highly goal-oriented and focused on getting things done. Like many others who share this trait, I often find myself so engrossed in achieving my objectives that I overlook the beauty of the process itself.

This advice serves as a powerful reminder to not just rush through tasks and milestones but to truly savor the journey. It’s about recognizing and celebrating the joy in the moment, even amidst the hustle and the relentless pursuit of goals. It encourages me to pause, breathe, and appreciate the here and now—not just the external achievements but also the internal growth and transformations occurring within me.

Embracing this wisdom has taught me to balance my drive for accomplishment with a deeper appreciation for life’s journey. It’s a reminder to not only spread joy to others but also to acknowledge and revel in the joy that surrounds me daily. This approach has enriched my life immeasurably, making each day more meaningful and every goal more fulfilling.

What message would you like to give to anybody who has a plan of creating something of their own and making a living through it?
To anyone embarking on the journey of creating something of their own and aspiring to make a living through it, I want to start by celebrating you. Deciding to create something uniquely yours is a bold and commendable step, especially in a world where we’re often told what to do and who to be from a young age. So, first and foremost, celebrate this moment and the path you’re choosing to forge for yourself.

My primary piece of advice is to keep going. Never give up on your dreams or the vision that you feel has been placed in your heart. Remember, a rejection or a setback is not the end of your story; it’s merely a pause, a moment for recalibration, not a full stop. It could signify a “not right now” or a “delayed blessing,” but it should never deter you from pursuing your passion.

Embrace the fact that you don’t know everything. This acknowledgment isn’t a weakness; it’s a strength. It opens the door to seeking help, to learning, and to forming valuable relationships that can support and enrich your journey. Anyone who claims they’ve achieved success entirely on their own is not being truthful. We all need people—mentors, peers, friends, and even critics—to grow and thrive.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to face challenges head-on, and to look for the lessons in every experience. These lessons become part of your unique story, a narrative you can share to inspire and guide others on their paths.

If you find yourself questioning your current path, whether in your career or in your venture, see it as an invitation to explore deeper, not necessarily a sign to quit. It might mean you need to reconnect with your vision, gain new momentum, or perhaps consider seeking external support to elevate your journey.

For those in need of guidance, whether it’s to advance your career or take your business to the next level, consider reaching out to a coach or a consultant. At Charlene Jefferson Coaching and Consulting, we specialize in customizing plans to help individuals reconnect with their vision and achieve their goals, one step at a time. You deserve the success you dream of, and it’s important to define and pursue that success on your own terms. Let’s achieve it together, decision by decision, action by action.

As we come to the end of our chat with Charlene Jefferson, it’s pretty clear that her story isn’t just a list of achievements or milestones. It’s a heartfelt journey of resilience, a celebration of roots, and a testament to living life with purpose. Charlene’s life and career intertwine in the most beautiful way, showing us all how personal growth can amplify professional success and vice versa.

Her advice isn’t just words; it’s wisdom born from real-life ups and downs, offering a guiding light for anyone who might find themselves wondering which way to go next. Charlene’s way of navigating life—with genuine authenticity, a strong sense of community, and an unwavering belief in the joy of the journey—reminds us that our paths are ours to shape, in the most personal and meaningful ways.

Looking forward, Charlene’s story feels like it’s just beginning to unfold. Every new day is a page yet to be written, and if there’s anything we can take from our time with her, it’s that the best stories are the ones we write ourselves, with a little courage, a lot of heart, and an open mind about where the road might lead us next.

Charlene Jefferson

More About Charlene

Charlene Jefferson, Success Coach and Business Strategist, CHPC specializes in High-Performance coaching and is dedicated to empowering high-achieving women in corporate and entrepreneurship to unlock their full potential. With a wealth of experience and a passion for personal development, Charlene helps her clients navigate the complexities of career advancement and entrepreneurship, guiding them toward sustainable success and fulfillment through customized coaching, consulting, and strategic advisory services. Her strategic approach and empathetic coaching style foster confidence, resilience, and clarity, enabling her clients to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals gracefully. By instilling key success habits and cultivating resilience through her M.O.R.E. and M.O.X.I.E. methods, Charlene empowers her multi-passionate clients to break free from limitations and create meaningful impacts in their professional and personal lives.