Shiffon Gray has done a little bit of everything. In high school, she won multiple prestigious competitions as a classical pianist. As a person of faith, she went on to do missions work in her twenties. She’s worked as a secretary, a support specialist and as the person who sends out codes or messages through a hospital’s alert system. Later in her life, she owned a retail store and she currently works with senior citizens educating them on the services her state offers to help them transition from a nursing home to living on their own.
One thing you learn quickly about Shiffon is that she’s not a quitter. She doesn’t hide the fact she’s visually impaired, and she hasn’t let a disability stop her from achieving her goals.
“I always look at it this way,” Shiffon says, “You can do anything you want. I just have to do it a little differently, and be a little more creative about it.”
Anything They Could Do, Shiffon Could Do Better
That can-do attitude toward her disability carried over into her career. At each of her jobs, she observed her supervisors and thought, “I can do their job just as well or better than they can.” So she decided to do just that. By taking advantage of a state program helping blind or visually impaired people start their own business, she opened a small, successful brick-and-mortar retail store. Her store brought in a steady revenue stream, and she eventually hired team members to join her. She even started a program for developmentally disabled young people providing career training and job references to enter the workforce.
All Is Not Lost
But when the economy crashed in 2008, everything changed. By 2010, she had lost both her business and her home. As traumatic as that was, she was determined not to let it stop her. Owning her own business helped her realize she loved being her own boss, and she knew someday she would re-enter the entrepreneurial world again.
In the meantime, Shiffon went to work as a senior citizen outreach specialist. On the side, she entered the beginning stages of creating an online coaching business. As much as she enjoyed her brick-and-mortar store, she was fascinated by the power of the internet to influence thousands, even millions, of people at a time.
MindShift.money: The Missing Piece
She took what she learned from running her retail store and created a blog for female entrepreneurs like herself. Starting an online operation was quite the learning curve, but she did it. She educated herself on how to blog, how to send out automatic emails and how to run a website. Once the site was up and running, she still felt something was missing—the knowledge of how to manage money.
Erin is the managing editor of MindShift.money and the owner of Lane Change Media. As a business owner and content provider, she takes her personal motto, “Don’t slow down, just change lanes” seriously. She lives in Los Angeles and has far too many pets.