What does empowerment mean to you?

That’s the question that Kristen Greenwood of GirlSpring asked me when she interviewed me for GirlSpring’s Sheroctober, a series of videos featuring Birmingham area women considered “sheroes” of the city. Girlspring is a nonprofit organization and online publication based in Birmingham, Alabama, that focuses on the issues, activities, and concerns of girls and young women. The “sheroes” interviewed for this series included artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in practically every field. And so many of these women are true trailblazers. It is an honor to be included. You can see my video here (and be sure to give me a thumbs up while you’re watching. The shero with the most thumbs up will win tickets to see Janet Jackson live in concert!)

The interview was edited to just 30 seconds, but when it comes to empowerment I could talk all day long! For me, empowerment is a two-part process. It’s about inspiration and information.

When I say that I seek to empower women and girls I am saying that I want to inspire women and girls to be who they want to be — not who the world tells them they have to be. I do this by sharing personal stories, by sharing the stories of other women who inspire me, and by encouraging women and girls to share stories of their own.

But empowerment is about information, too. Once a woman or girl tells me her dreams, if I truly want to empower her I must help her find the tools she needs to make them come true. A goal without a plan is just a wish, so to empower you is to help you plot out that plan and stick with it!

Encouraging women to be who they want to be and equipping women to do what they want to do is what empowerment is all about to me and this is exactly what I seek to do through See Jane Write — from our free Facebook group to the paid membership program to my one-on-one coaching services. Empowering women is at the heart of everything that I do and at the center of who I am.

What does empowerment mean to you?