Courageous, dedicated, and persistent! Those three words are a perfect description of Donna Every. Despite succeeding in the accounting industry, Donna decided to pursue her passion of inspiring and motivating others. In 1998, she bravely decided to start her own business offering consultancy services and motivational training. She has achieved great career sucess while being happily married and having two children.
Question 1: What’s your educational background?
July 2014 Edition
I went into University with a Science and Math background and after the first year discovered I didn't like labs, so I ended up doing a degree in Math. The first job I was offered when I left University was at Ernst & Young in Barbados where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and about twelve years ago, I did my MBA.
Question 2: What has been your career path to this point?
I worked with Ernst & Young Barbados for ten years, first as an auditor and then as a consultant in the Corporate Finance and Entrepreneurial Services department. I left the firm in 1998 to start my own business, offering motivational training and consulting services. I had a short stint working as an Accountant for a company that managed business companies, but I soon went back to working for myself. In 2009, I published my first book, What Do You Have in Your House? Surviving in Times of Financial Crisis and I've been writing, speaking, and doing training modules since then.
Question 3: What are some of the challenges you've faced in your career?
The biggest challenge I faced in my career was studying to be a Chartered Accountant and working at the same time. It required a lot of sacrifices, but it was worth it. Another challenge I encountered later in my career was being in a job that I was not fulfilled in when I desperately wanted to start my own business. As a result, I became very resentful and developed a poor attitude, which of course did not help me to progress in the company. Fortunately, one day I had a revelation which woke me up and caused me to begin to love Monday and live by the motto: Until you can do what you love, learn to love what you do. As a result of being faithful with someone else's business, I eventually got my own.
Question 4: You've achieved great success in your career whilst being a mother and wife. How have you balanced both your career and family?
Believe me. I sometimes wonder how good a job I've done balancing career and family, but the great thing about being self-employed is your flexibility, so I've been able to be there for my children and attend their activities, to help with homework, and projects etc. But, I could not have done it without the support of my wonderful husband who is always there to step in and to do his part so that I can travel if I need to and attend the various meetings and activities of the organizations to which I belong.
Question 5: Initially, your first attempt at writing a book was rejected by publishers. What motivated your to continue writing?
I'm not one to give up. If I leave something unfinished, it eats away at me. So to me, giving up after a rejection or many rejections is like leaving something unfinished. I believe that I'm called to impact people's lives through my writing and it gives me great joy when someone reads one of my books and tells me that. That is what continues to motivate me to write even today in spite of the negative reviews that I sometimes get and believe me, I've come to realize that you can't please everyone, but that cannot stop you from doing what you love to do and are called to do.
Question 6: What motivates you to excel?
There is just something in me that is dissatisfied with anything that is less than excellent, so I strive to excel in all that I can do. I can't say that I always make the mark, but I feel that I'm not being all that I'm called to be if I do not strive to excel.
Question 7: What's your favorite book?
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
Question 8: What are you currently listening to?
I'm currently listening to, among others, "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman, Shekinah Glory "We Wait for You", IHOP and Victor's Crown "Darlene Zschech".
Question 9: What's one thing you wish you could tell your 16 year old self?
Chase dreams, not boys!
Question 10: What's the best advice you have received?
Question 11: What advice do you have for women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Always seek God to find out what is his plan for you. Never give up and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something.
Question 12: What are your plans for the next 5 years?
I plan to continue to write books and deliver messages that will impact people's lives. I also want to get into communities to begin to work directly with women and equip them with the tools they need to create their own revenue and to manage their money effectively.
Question 13: What's your definition of success?
Success to me is using the gifts and abilities you have been given in order to fulfill your purpose on the earth.
Question 14: How are you empowering young girls and women in your environment?
I am involved in several organizations that help to empower young girls and women, although not all are specific to women only. I am a mentor for the Barbados Youth Business Trust and I am therefore available to mentor entrepreneurs and help them to negotiate issues they encounter in their businesses. For the last four years I've been a member of the Education and Talent Development Pillar of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation. One of the main activities we do is run a competition in the schools each year called the $20 Challenge in which we lend fourth and fifth formers (14-16 years old) $20 and challenge them to run a business for four to six weeks. This gives them a great opportunity to be creative and learn about businesses at the same time. I am also a mentor to the mentors in a new organization, which has been set up to help mentor at risk teenage girls.