“Big Momma” had a dream for her

Mary’s grandmother (Big Momma) had a dream. It was a big, bold dream for her school-aged granddaughter growing up in a remote village in Zimbabwe- She wanted Mary to get an education and have a future that Big Momma never had.

And Big Momma’s dream was not just some fairy tale. She was willing to work to ensure that Mary had future options. Big Momma first put a love of education into her son, and Mary’s daddy passed this along to his young daughter.

Big Momma’s dream and her father’s passion for education paid off. Today, Dr. Mary Ritz is a business professional and leadership coach. After completing her education at great schools across the globe, Mary used her education to found Almenta International, a consulting firm that helps corporations develop a customer-centric focus.

Big Momma continues influencing leaders worldwide through Mary’s team development and customer management sessions. Like any great coach, Mary continues to pass on to her audiences some important lessons that shaped her future.  Here are a few crucial lessons from Big Momma’s influence on the world through Mary’s success.

Where you’re going is more important than where you’re from

Mary came from poverty. Growing up as a child in rural Zimbabwe, a young girl had almost no opportunities. However, Mary’s father moved the family because he wanted something different and better for her.

If you, like Mary, didn’t come from wealth or privilege, don’t let your upbringing limit your future. She struggled with language barriers and cultural differences when her father enrolled her in an elite private school. However, Mary never let those challengers defeat her. This “B” and “C” student in high school would earn a Ph.D. from DaVinci Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Where you come from is essential. However, where you’re headed is far more significant to your future. This powerful lesson sustained Mary through all the challenges of changing countries and meeting education demands at the highest levels.  

Asking the right questions is more important than knowing the right answers

It has often been said that leaders know how to ask insightful questions. Answers are always important when facing challenges. However, understanding why those challenges exist and how to prevent those challenges in the future always comes down to asking the right questions.

People with inquisitive minds will ask questions rather than offer solutions. Some of the greatest inventions or breakthroughs in technology all came as a result of asking a profound question at the right moment.

Mary makes her living helping companies ask the right questions about customer behavior and needs. 

Are you the kind of person who rushes to Google to find answers to problems? If so, why don’t you take a moment and slow down this week and start asking the question of why this problem exists in the first place. Once that question is answered, now you’re ready to do a Google search for the solution to the problem.

Finding your mission is more important than earning a living

By the time she was nine years old, Mary had a purpose and a vision for her future. All of us need to make a living to support the necessities of life. However, if you’re not careful, making a living can get in the way of finding your purpose in life.

Mary knew from an early age what she wanted to pursue in life. Having a clear purpose for her future allowed her to avoid endless opportunities that would distract her from pursuing her education and becoming a leadership consultant.

How clear are you on your purpose in life? Does it guide your decisions today? If not, you will waste time and effort pursuing things that don’t offer you value and meaning in the long run. It doesn’t matter how old you are; it’s never too late to start focusing on your purpose in life… and ignore everything else that comes your way.

Listen to my whole interview with Mary HERE

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