Multipotentialite/ Woman of Color/Dreamer/Coach/Openly Gay/Entrepreneur

I am the daughter of a military father from the South and an immigrant mother from the Philippines. They taught me so many lessons of hard work and determination coming from nothing and earning everything they worked for. They held me to high standards and taught me discipline, not to make excuses, the importance of education, and modeled work ethic and grit. As a former basketball player and current coach, there is a tough balance between wins and losses. In our losses, we find our lessons. When I was able to reflect on the number of “losses” in my athletic and personal life, I noticed those are the times when I came back stronger. I took hold of that and gave myself credit and saw that my losses have actually defined me as a fighter. I know as many times as I have been knocked down there is a fire inside of me that burns. I am at a point now in my life in that I have learned to be thankful and grateful. Ultimately, if we embrace “losses” as adventures and own that life will throw us speed bumps and wrong turns, then maybe we will re-frame our minds and see that these wrong turns were just detours that lead us to magnificent places we never could have imagined for ourselves.

Around a decade ago, I had a small bout with cancer and it was the driving force for me having to stop playing professionally overseas. Dealing with and overcoming that showed me how strong I am and gave me such a different perspective on life. The cancer was in my eye region so I dealt with body conscious issues especially being 22. So I learned the true power of self-worth and self-confidence and inner beauty. I have loved the quote, “sometimes rejection is God’s protection”. The end of my professional basketball career led me to pursue my doctorate degree because I wanted to find another way to compete. I saw that not many people, women, and women of color had it. Once I got it I saw that the power having that degree had and it allowed me to sit at the table and gain access and respect of people.

Having a seat at the table isn’t enough though. My focus on being a dreamer and activist is what sustains my passion and life work. I really am a dreamer. I hope and am trying to attain so much. I want to overcome that small voice of self-doubt. In the past, I would have let my self-doubt and concerns prevent me from living an authentic and filled life. I let self-doubt limit my voice and thus power. I did this when approached with coaching and speaking engagement opportunities, when I wanted to come out to my family as a gay woman, and in grabbing hold of big breaks in the professional world. I had to sit down with myself and learn how to be my authentic self.  Now, I do not let fear run my life, but have embraced this notion of being FEARLESS. I was FEARLESS when I decided to start my own photo booth company from scratch. I continue to be FEARLESS by taking hold of opportunities that have been given to me to speak to organizations and to high schools. This shows the power that I have as an influencer and role model. Just the other day I had to submit a bio for a speaking engagement I will be doing for 1500 high school female athletes and when I read my bio I was like, “Wow! That’s a pretty cool woman!”  The thing is we are all “cool people”. Maybe we all need to just take a step outside ourselves to really see the unique powers that we have. At the end of the day, be vulnerable and  really let people see who you are. It is ok to be your true self. Everyone has a gift and purpose. Surround yourself with great people that will help you on your journey.

Want to learn more about Julie and her work?

  • You can look up her Take 10 talk on being a “Multipotentialite” on the Alliance of Women Coaches Website and also the Ted Talk by Emily Wapnick
  • www.championphotobooths.com
  • ig: jshaw333