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 an 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 (some 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 exactly do you do?
Strategy for Creatives and creative companies. Often families in business who are in transition or folks beginning to go out on their own after successful careers doing what they did. My skillsets are encompassing of mindset, income training, product development and strategic communications. I connect people to their best gifts and develop templates and processes to use them well. I believe our gifts are for others and we are happiest when we use them in service to others. That’s good stewardship in my book. I’m passionate about learning, about engaging our local communities and towns folk, about using the screens and tools that make us all part of one big family called the human race. I believe in conservation, in effective solutions not short cuts and that we are given our dreams for a reason and we’re happiest when we pursue them, but the bills and chores need to be handled.
What are you favorite roles in life?
My life is rather like a one man band show. At home I am his bride, their mom and step mom. At work I am a business strategist and as an IP Developer for the occasional start up. I work more or less as the CEO of She’s So There, 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 ghost write as well as develop media marketing content as well as coordinate online presence for professional clients. Brands rely on me to have their events and spokespersons prepared and supported to facilitate campaign/back-end alignments with public presence.
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.
Work 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 clients at a time as their creative 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 ghost writing 6-10 books a year, to being brought in to facilitate 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 a live event that day or a put together an on the fly transfer to a live update. My role is whatever it takes to make it work, but I’m about getting it done. I have no pride about who does the labor or makes the coffee. If it means the product will be excellent and productive for clients I’m not above any role that has to be done. I’m about cultivating projects that empower people, whether that’s getting strong leaders supported, supportive communities created, or developing software that makes life work.
My favorite role?
Professionally, I am passionate about families in business and creatives creating new pathways for individuals and brands to reach new proficiencies in their profitability index. I love to facilitate and develop professional growth with individuals and teams. In personal life being Les’s Bride, Mom, and Step Mom to my family. I also love teaching…helping find the missing skills or steps that make a project, action, or recipe exceptional.
Something you don’t know?
My world has visual differences. I’m legally blind without corrective lenses. During times of high effort, I struggle to focus after a few hours. I’m passionate about people and believe our gifts are for others. I’ve earned 3 cars from Mary Kay and won one from a radio station and some day 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! 🙂 My preferred home will be built out of logs and stone, and there will be a barn office as well as a studio.
A medium rare New York Strip, some kind of cheesy potato, salad, and something chocolate with my coffee…(one of my partners, Melinda Emerson, SmallBizLady and I have a strict agreement, I get the chocolate, she gets the lemon pound cake…) My Yankee clients are teaching me a whole new kind of world of food each time I visit Manhattan or the Bronx..who knew pasta could come in so many forms!
Where DID that accent come from?
Gurdon, Arkansas. Proud home of the Who Who Organization and known locally as the Purple Go-Devils.
Where did you go to college?
Eight separate universities in 3 years and graduated with my BSE. After the first degrees, you have to be more specific about which degree…I’m a lifelong learner, so going to school is an on-going part of my life whether as a student, university teacher, or curriculum developer….I am proud to have affiliations with multiple universities and degrees from several…don’t be impressed, I simply love to learn.
What’s with the high energy?
I wake up that way. Caffeine actually slows me down. It’s a good bit to handle in life, but with enough to do, exercise, and engagement I can manage to sit still, though its rare unless I’m totally into the project, so I choose carefully, for outcomes matter to me. Why not live the life you love?