Have you ever met someone with whom you felt like you had an instant connection?
Well, that's how I felt as soon as my conversation with Dr. Sheron Brown began. I was Mesmerized by her insightful and out-of-the-box thinking. It was like a therapy session, church, and a chat with an old friend all rolled into one mind-blowing conversation.
Dr. Sheron Brown is a living example of stewardship, dedicating her time, energy, and money to what matters most, our lives. As the Executive Director of Tampa Bay Health Care Collaborative, she works diligently toward progress. Bringing together community leaders and agencies concerned about health equity in the Tampa Bay region, her organization encourages actions that significantly impact our community.
Marla: Are you conducting a TEDx talk this year? If so, what will you be speaking about?
Dr. Brown: Without giving it away, I will be speaking about how the nonprofit business model has rendered itself nearly ineffective. The word business has gotten lost within nonprofit organizations. Instead of building sustainable business models that will, over time, contribute to and increase the company's revenue stream, nonprofits create dependency on other companies, individuals, and markets. In a for-profit business model, you may start with seed funding; however, you propel into a for-profit structure with the idea of solving a problem. This is how your nonprofit can capture value.
Marla: Can you be more specific about capturing value?
Dr. Brown: I am not proposing that I have all the answers. But, by producing a physical product or service, something that others want or need, you can become a sustainable business. Furthermore, that product or service should bring in half of the organization's revenue. Our mission at TBHC is to promote and advance health equity through increasing awareness, building capacity, and fostering collaboration. Each of these pillars has impact counsels that plan events and provide opportunities that add value to the health care community. In addition, our organization released an app to promote health equity education and collaboration. That, to me, is capturing value.
Marla: What is the most influential book you've read?
Dr. Brown: Okay, so I've read this book eight times. I've learned something different each time I've read it. It's called, The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life's Perfection By Michael A. Singer. To me, this book is a gem. Each time I read it, I feel like I'm surrendering to my higher power. It helps me stay grounded. By silencing the voice in my head, I can tune into my whole self, leaving me focused and fulfilled.
Marla: How do you help others recognize and heal their internal imbalances?
Dr. Brown: If I am in a conversation with anyone and hear someone saying something that is subconsciously tearing them down, my discussion will automatically switch to coaching mode. I don't ever want to leave a person in emotional despair. I will try to plant a seed of encouragement and positivity. Even if it doesn't immediately change a person's thought process, I know another individual will come behind me and water the seed I previously planted.
Marla: What do you say to someone who's stuck in a negative cycle and doesn't recognize it?
Dr. Brown: I always ask a person if they have a belief system. Most people say yes. Furthermore, I ask them, do they believe their higher power is within them? Do they think their higher power is for them?
Lastly, I ask them, do they believe their higher power would want them to treat themselves the way they do? Most will say no. We all have a spirit within us, whatever our belief system is. We need to stay connected to that belief, surround ourselves in that love, and allow it to exude from within.
Marla: What would you say is the most misunderstood or most overlooked part of an individual's journey to self-awareness?
Dr. Brown: We forget that we are connected to our source. We function from a place of separateness and outerness. I read that man's biggest problem is that they believe they are separate from a higher power. So many of us spend our lives searching for our purpose. I think our biggest purpose in life is to discover we are one with our higher power. Especially in times like these, we need to find our #2021NESS.
Marla: If you could give someone new to this journey some advice, or something you wish you would've known, what would it be?
Dr. Brown: Be intentional. We go through life sans intent. What is our intention for what we are doing in our lives? Our intention contributes to our purpose. It's essential to connect to why we are here on Earth. Hence the intention setting. Disconnect from distractions. Spend time reflecting and pay attention to what life puts in front of you. Commit to a journey of discovery, and your purpose will reveal itself.