“Let me guess, you’re Southern?”
Yes, the kind of belle who grew up in an Antebellum home. Not just Southern, but rural Southern. I not only know how to bring home the bacon, I know how to go into the woods and drag it out and dress it myself. Born in Gurdon, Arkansas, which was a city compared to the town we later spent four years with less than 600 people total population. I have lived all over the U.S. with most of my time being in Dallas, Anchorage, and Las Cruces. We’re now in Alabama. As a former educator working with gifted education in West Texas as a very young educator, my Principal suggested that I was creating an atrocity as my high gifted Hispanic students learned southern fried English in my programs. By the time I went to Alaska I had neutralized my dialect and intonation a good bit. However when excited or when with casual affairs, folks usually know I’m from the deep South.
Is that your real name?
My husband Les started calling me Sweetie when we met (one of us think because he couldn’t remember my name). My friends rather thought it was humorous that the driven, high-energy one they knew could be framed as “Sweetie”…and began calling me that too. We moved to a rural southern town and the fella managed to introduce me as Sweetie Berry to the congregation and from that point on it was 24/7 all over town. When we moved to a city many years later a professional in town I so appreciate and I had the same given name, car, age, and look about us (ever had that cookie-cutter people moment?) and since I had already been working and writing as Sweetie Berry for over a decade, we made it legal. As a facilitator, I am often the creative director in heated start up, corporate, and production teams, who knew that simply having this name would be such a redirect in the middle of the battles. After all it’s very funny when someone tries in a heated voice to say “But Sweetie, we have to have….” It is a great name, and I try to live up to it.
What are your favorite roles in life?
My life is rather like a one-man band show. At home, I am his bride, their mom and stepmom. At work I am a business strategist and the IP for the occasional start-up. I work more or less as a CEO Go-to-Girl, hybrid strategist or project “Handler” with tasks ranging from brand development to facilitation on stage for training and events to creative directing in the studio. I personally ghostwrite as well as develop media marketing content as well as coordinate publishing for professional clients. Brands rely on me to have their events and spokespersons prepared and supported to facilitate campaign/back-end alignments with a public presence.
We recently moved to the Ozarks of Oklahoma, near Bentonville, Arkansas and in the intersection corner of Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. We’ve bought a little farm and we’re renovating a cottage that should have been pushed over by a bull dozer, but we’re loving the project.
We are all about family and tend to lean towards an old-fashioned lifestyle in that I love to cook, we sit for dinners that are homemade most nights. I love to sew, garden, create and gather friends for occasions which in my world may mean celebrating the simplest of things. We love gathering folks on our land and feeding them well. It’s the kind of place folks sit and visit by the fire.
Work online is often about ten feet from my kitchen is command central when I am not on the road with a project, where I work for a handful of projects at a time as their creative business strategist. (These folks are serious about success, so would you want to handle more than 3-6 at a time?) It’s creative alright- projects range from ghostwriting 6-10 books a year to being brought in to facilitate a brand strategy for new products, to developmental strategies for speakers and public personalities. With a background in behavior disordered high gifted education and learning, I find my classroom has changed from university and school students to the same mavericks in business…perfect preparation…individualized education plans became strategically aligned objectives, I just don’t have a ruler to straighten them out when they misbehave…
My work in back-end development, graphics, and publishing means that pragmatically, it is just easier for me to create on the run when we’re LIVE in a studio and we need to get something out for an event that day or a put together an on the fly transfer to an in-process update. My role is whatever it takes to make the project work, but I’m about effective outcomes for well able leaders. I have no pride in who does the labor or makes the coffee. If it means the product will be excellent and productive for clients I’m not above or below any role that has to be done. I’m about cultivating projects that empower people, whether that’s building infrastructure for well able thinkers, writing, or creating supportive communities, or developing software that makes life work with more ease.
My favorite role?
Beloved child of God. After that comes bride, mom, and stepmom roles for my family. I also love learning and teaching…helping find the missing skills or steps that make a project, action, or recipe exceptional. It is my great privilege to be present as clients recognize and engage their gifts at new levels of excellence and become who they are.
Something you don’t know?
I’ve earned 2 cars from Mary Kay and won one from a radio station and someday will laugh if one of my clients buys the convertible I keep teasing them they’d owe me after they “made” the big time….four of them now are in negotiations about how to split the bill now that they’ve arrived! With projects and clients appearing on national channels such as MSNBC, O Magazine, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, Amazon Best Sellers, New York Times, Forbes and building organically grown social channel accounts with over 1M followers, we’re all about supporting individuals and groups to facilitate success one-to-one as well as thousands at a time.