Are you thinking…
You are too old for the position, don’t even apply.
You are not pretty enough to attend the prom.
You are too fat to work out, don’t even try it.
You are not smart enough to attend college.
You do not have a reason to live, why don’t you…
Have you experienced thoughts like these? Do you know anyone that experiences serious severe mental health issues? Have you ever wanted to SILENCE THE NOISE within your mind so that you can move forward? I’m sure everyone has experienced a sense of self-doubt to some degree or another. There comes a time where we have to remain PERSISTENT; why? 1) To make the necessary steps towards change and 2) To keep moving forward towards success!
My Personal Interview w/ Ericka L. McKnight
Who knows best… real estate mogul, educator and NAACP Honoree & Author of The Year Ericka L. McKnight… wonderfully known for writing the internationally bestselling book … “Silence the Noise: Un-installing Negativity!” So let’s ask her… Ericka, how do you know best?
(Ericka) I’ve dealt with many members of my family who suffered from mental illnesses such as depression. Some have experienced domestic violence situations which caused them and others around them to become emotionally challenged. I, myself have experienced so much “negative noise”- in regards to too much success in a short period of time. It can become overwhelming. It led me to write so that I can help others uninstall the negativity. I also want to provide guidance to Reclaim, Recharge & Relieve the negativity to change their minds. Thus in February 2017 uprooted, Silence the Noise.
Her Personal Definition
Ericka, it sounds like you have a confidence about yourself that whenever you are disappointed, you know how to pick yourself up and keep going. Some people have a hard time doing that. They lose their persistence. Persistence… in your own words, what does this word mean to you?
Wow, that is a great question? (Hard Pause) If I were to define persistence in my own words I would say, it’s a burning desire to NOT let go. In other words, if you were in a life or death situation you would set your mind to make a decision to quit or keep moving. To me, persistence is a learned behavior… people are not born with [what I call] a less than persistent mindset. They choose the desire to get help or develop a Plan B. You have to [want it] just as much as you want to breathe.
Meet “Janice”| Victim of Domestic Violence
[While Ericka was speaking, my mind wondered to remember this story] I fought hard to hold back tears as Janice (name changed to hide identity) confided to me her story of domestic violence.
(Janice) “People used to tell me, girl, get out of the situation, leave him! It really amazes me how folks NOT in the situation tries to give me advice. So then I follow up by saying: If I don’t have the mindset to leave, I’m not leaving. I knew I was in a bad situation but all I could think about: how will I make it on my own? He has threatened to kill my family if I run away. Honestly, he really isn’t a bad guy; he really loves me so I need to stay with him. Yes, this is what I kept telling myself until I gained the confidence to say- I’M BETTER THAN HIM! I’M BETTER THAN THIS! Then and only then I was able to leave and not look back!”
Ericka vs. Adversity
As my attention traveled back to Ericka, the story had me thinking of adversity. It led me to here- in the midst of adversity, thinking of a Plan B or even stepping forward to get help- that can be easier said than done. Ericka, how do you move past adversity to stay on track with your goal?
First, I pray. Next, I write down my adversities on sticky notes. Anytime I am going through something, I stick it to something such as my car visor, purse, notebook, etc… and then I go back to each note to reflect. EX: If a real estate deal went sour, I write down anything that could have went wrong. I do this as adversity protection; I want to prevent events like this from happening again. If you write things down, you hold yourself accountable and then you make yourself have to confront the issues.
Are you on the verge of giving up?
I’m sure many people feel this way when they get to the point of being tired. However, as you tell your story Ericka, it doesn’t sound like you gave up. What advice would you give a person ready to “throw in the towel?”
I would first ask them why? It’s a discovery question that helps me discover why they are giving up. It also helps them feel comfortable to speak. Usually, my response is something like this… If President Barak Obama would have given up, we probably wouldn’t have experienced the first Black President in our lifetime. If Harriet Tubman would have given up, 100s of slaves wouldn’t have made it to freedom. If I would have given up, I wouldn’t have written a book that has touched 100s of lives and later won Author of the Year! What am I saying… sometimes we have to take “self” out of the situation and say it’s easier to give up but how is that helping your neighbor. When we choose NOT to use what God has entrusted to us, we fail other people. By telling our story or building our businesses, you could possibly be helping someone else.
Ericka’s Biggest Accomplishment
Wow, Ericka! That was a powerful answer! I know your persistence has helped you with a list of accomplishments! Which is your biggest one?
Hmmm well, I do have a few (we both giggle) but if I had to pick one… I would say becoming the youngest African American to own a real estate school in NC and SC! In both states, there are only 5 other women [that she is aware of] but I made history by being the youngest. In addition, in a male-dominated industry [real estate instructors] I design and teach courses men or women that do not have the knowledge nor experience to teach about. One of my courses is called: PRINCIPLES OF NEW HOME SALES. The course teaches students how to build relationships with the builders and learn more about new home developments.
Okay, okay… Name some more accomplishments!
- Nominated as Women of Influence Achievement, and Author of the Year Awards for ACHI Magazine
- Entrepreneur Award winner 2012, 2014, 2017
- Taught and mentored over 12,000 students
- Multiple Awards in real estate
- Sold over 400 million worth of residential & land real estate
- Professional Certifications: Certified Speaking Professional (CSP); Certified Life Coach (CLC); Certified Mental Health Aid
- Other books wrote: Silence the Noise Survival Guide & Silence The Assailants: People, Places & Things
- Starring in the stage play “A Change is Gonna Come”
Just to name a few…
How can my audience keep or get in touch with you?
Thank you, Ericka, for this enlightening interview and I wish you much MORE success as you live out your vision! In addition, may I add… I want to be like you when I grow up 😉 If you would like to contact Ericka L. McKnight, visit:
- Instagram: @elm_author_motivate_pioneer OR @elm_school_of_real_estate
- Twitter: @ elm_school
- Facebook: ELM School of Real Estate OR E. McKnight- Silence the Noise
- Podcast: Mornings with ELM
- Linkedin: ELM School of Real Estate
silencethenoiseelm.com (to purchase the books)
www.elmsells.com (interested in buying or selling home)
www.elmschoolofrealestate.info (to learn more about Ericka’s real estate school/business)
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