Natasha Williams: Turning Tragic into Magic
Natasha Williams is the founder of Boss Ladies’ Television Network – a platform set to inspire, educate and empower women across the globe. Her drive and focus are centered around teaching women how to make the ordinary extraordinary, turn a mess into a message, and a miss into a mission. She shares her personal story with us today, giving us an insight into how she became successful.
“Why would my dreams not come true, when I saw other people in books and magazines doing the exact same thing I was dreaming of doing?”
How did your early years shape the woman you are today?
I grew up poor in the Southern United States, the Deep South in the state of Louisiana, which borders Texas on the West and Mississippi on the East. The women on my maternal side grew up around the New Orleans and Cane River area, where the population consisted of an admixture of people of French, Spanish, Native American, other European and African descent. I do not know all of my family history, but there was a time when my family was not as poor as the times when I was growing up, as they owned property and small businesses. I even remember there was a piano in the house, and my mother was a debutante.
I actually did not realise how poor I was until I went to university. Although I did not have much in regard to material things, I had a fairly happy childhood. However, seeing how my mother and grandmother struggled, I built up an unshakeable desire and drive to live a better life. I figured that getting an education was a key action step to take if I wanted to have a better future. Hence, I am the first person in my family to earn a college degree and the first millionaire. I do not know where I got the drive and tenacity from, maybe it came from my great-great grandmother. She died when I was very young, but I do have early childhood memories of her. I remember her being a bold, vivacious, and resourceful woman.
Growing up, the people in my family did not really strive to live any particular way. For the most part, they seemed to accept the cards that were dealt, and they did as best they could during those times. I mean, it was the Deep South and very much segregated. Opportunities were scarce, and people seemed afraid to even think or dream of a better life for themselves, let alone speak it out loud. I was born at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the US. My grandmother, great-grandmother, and those before them were relegated to being wash women, maids, nannies, and seamstresses.
Did you have any role models or influences that inspired you?
I still remember my great-great grandmother, whose mother was born towards the end of slavery. Her name was Ella. My great-great grandmother died when I was still a toddler, but I do remember that in addition to being a wash woman, she was an entrepreneur. My great-great grandmother purchased a small property by the railroad tracks and rented out rooms in her house, mostly to men who came to Louisiana to work on the railroads or factories. She also raised chickens in her small backyard and sold the eggs. I remember those chickens because they seemed as big as me at the time and I was afraid of them. It is one of my very early memories from before I started kindergarten.
Even though I was very young, I think my great-great grandmother’s ability to take what little she had and turn it into something greater rubbed off on me, as I have always been a big dreamer. My mom, who passed away earlier this year, used to try to keep me grounded and constantly told me to take my head out of the clouds. I think she tried to protect me from disappointment later in life when I realised the real world did not work the way I had imagined it to be. She used to say that it is not for people like us.
At the time, I did not know what she meant by that and what kind of people we were. Why would my dreams not come true, when I saw other people in books and magazines doing the exact same thing I was dreaming of doing? I was oblivious to the racial injustices and the racism plaguing Coloured people, as they were referred to back then. My family never talked about the racial inequality, they just endured it, so I felt that all things were possible for me. Looking back, I can see that she was right in a way, but I am glad that it did not stop me from dreaming.
One of the last things my mother said to me before she died was that she felt like she did not accomplish anything in her life. I told her that everyone’s purpose may not be to do something big and bodacious. I told her that maybe her sole purpose in this life was to have me, and I was born with the courage, tenacity, and resiliency to do the things she did not have the courage or opportunity to do. Without her, there would be no me and hence no Boss Ladies TV, which will change the world for women just like her. She wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled. That was the last time I saw my mother smile or heard her speak. She died days later, still with her dreams inside.
I think my ancestors would be proud of what I have been able to accomplish so far and I am just getting started. I believe our cells maintain memory, so even when I was running behind her barely able to talk and walk, my spirit was soaking in knowledge. I know she is very proud of me for having the courage to answer the call, because a few months ago, I dreamt that my great-great grandmother visited me. I am a vivid dreamer, but I do not recall ever having her appear in one of my dreams before. In the dream, she told me, “Well done, young lady.”
Why did you decide to establish the Boss Ladies’ Television Network?
I wanted to find a way for women like my mother, who did not know where or how to get information and knowledge, to create a better life for themselves and family. I wanted it to be something simple where they could get exposure to much-needed information, without having to dig for it or having to step too much out of their comfort zone. Some people are not bold enough to go beyond the familiar. Also, I am a former screenwriter, writer, and creative person, so I wanted to find a way to use my skill set as well. Over the years, I felt like I was a Jack of all Trades, Master of None. Now, I see how all my skills are coming together, even my accounting and finance experience is helping to not only build the network but also the business in general.
What content will be shown on your network that is designed to empower women?
Boss Ladies TV is currently in beta testing, with a launch date of early 2023, in time to celebrate International Women’s Day. The curated content will be a mixture of educational information topics ranging from health and wellness, business and entrepreneurship, finance, relationships, lifestyle, and spirituality. I believe we all have talents and gifts, and we are meant to use those gifts to help the greater good. If each of us taps into our gifts and pursue our divine purpose, we can make this world a better place for everyone. Each one does what they can and everyone benefits. Releasing our inter Boss Lady benefits not only our lives, but overall is for the betterment of humankind.
Were you ever in a situation where you had to turn your pain into power?
That is a loaded question because there have been many, but the most tragic was when I almost died a year ago. Have you ever asked yourself, what would you do if you only had one year to live? I have played this “what if” game many times for fun, never taking it very seriously until I had to. In August 2021, I was told I had Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and only had two years or less to live. I was only 51 years old, still young, vibrant, with still half a life left to live. How could this be? My whole perspective changed in an instant. However, even before being brandished with this life-changing news, I had decided earlier in the year that I was going to stop playing small and stop under-living!
When I shared my determination to stop under-living with others, they were puzzled. The common response was, “You! Under-living? Ha!” Yes, I had accomplished all of the goals set in my youth, but those were goals mostly set in the safe zone – goals I believed I could achieve. I did not stretch myself too much beyond my comfort zone. However, after going through a year of restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak and finding myself laid out across my bathroom floor after a mysterious fainting spell, just months before my CHF diagnosis, I had decided to stop under-living and go big, without fear and without self-imposed constraints. I was determined to not only survive, but to thrive and totally turn that pain into power. Hence, Boss Ladies TV was born, which I call my tragic to magic experience.
What does the future hold for the Boss Ladies’ Television Network?
Simply put, Boss Ladies Television is the future of edutainment (education and entertainment) that is going to transform the lives of millions of women across the world, one woman at a time. It is going to help women turn their own tragic situations into magic, their pain into power and purpose, setbacks into comebacks and misses into missions. Boss Ladies TV is the place to be. Stay tuned.