Naked and Unashamed is here to encourage others to be vulnerable, shift their perspective and increase their faith through real stories of hope, faith, struggles and triumphs of extraordinary people in the community. It is my hopes that someone’s life is impacted, changed, shifted, healed and brought closer to the Father through the stories presented in this column.
There are some people in life you could talk to forever. They are full of information, nuggets, funny anecdotes, tweetable ideas, and just great stories. Lucinda Cross is one of those people.
Cross is the CEO of Activate Worldwide, founder of Activate Your Life 501(c)(3) and Activate Your Vision, the premier outlet for leadership, business and empowerment. And if that wasn’t enough, she is a TEDx speaker, an accomplished best-selling author with five self-published books under her name and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from former President Barack Obama.
This is her journey and story to becoming naked and unashamed.
Tell us what sets your soul on fire and why.
Watching a client step out on faith and be amazing. Whether it’s when they first grab a mic to deliver a presentation or when they host their first event or sign a copy of their first book. This brings me such joy because it lets me know they are pushing past their own fears, doubts, self-sabotage and they have acted on something they can celebrate.
What are you most proud of and why?
Cross: I am proud of my family structure and blended family. When we first met, I was a single mom and he was a single dad. I loved how we embraced each other’s children to make sure no one felt left out. He knows my children’s Father and they have a great relationship. I know his son’s Mother and we have a great relationship. We have a son together and he goes on vacation with my kids Father. One grandma is everybody’s grandma so no one is excluded from the process or the family.
What has been your biggest failure and how did you rebound?
Cross: Missing out on a six-figure deal because of procrastination and perfectionism. I had to watch someone get the collaboration contract that I worked so hard for but procrastinated on. At that moment, my whole business mind shifted and changed. I had an opportunity open for me, one that I prayed for, and I procrastinated because I didn’t feel like what I had was right enough. All I had to do was submit a proposal based on my skills, talents, and abilities. I was well equipped to fulfill the contract but because the opportunity was so large, I counted myself out. Then I had to watch someone else work and get paid for my process that I knew how to do. The small business at the time reached six-figures, while I struggled and that’s when I went from a procrastinator to an activator.
What three pieces of advice can you offer for those who are struggling to face their failure and start again?
Cross: Start to celebrate yourself even your failures it will help to boost your confidence. What you probably think is a failure is a win in God’s eyes. Learn from the past and focus on the future
What is something that you are unashamed to share with others?
Cross: I went to prison and served four and a half years for a first-time offender, nonviolent crime. I was so young, 19 years old, and it was one of the worst experiences I went through in my life. I felt like that was it and count me out of society. Dreams and visions no longer exist. At first, I was like how do you even come back from this mistake and why am I getting so much time for my first offense. It even impacted my relationship with God because I didn’t know what to do and I was going through a spiritual identity crisis at that time. I didn’t want to take responsibility at the moment and wanted to blame it on everything external.
What was the tipping point on your journey that allowed you to become unashamed?
Cross: When I almost went homeless because I was afraid to charge what I was worth. I didn’t know how to charge and I would let people negotiate me down to nothing because I was a giver and an over deliverer. I was so uncomfortable about the money conversation – it felt really, really icky to me. However, in doing that, people got a lot of work and support out of me. So, I was stepping over dollars trying to get coins and miserable in the process. I’m helping them make money while I’m struggling to keep the lights on and taking care of my children. I have a saying that what wisdom doesn’t teach you, rock bottom will – so girl you betta charge what you’re worth. If a client really wants to work with you, they will find a way.
When it comes to your faith, what have you learned the most?
Cross: Leave it to God but put in the work.
In three words or less The Father is:
Cross: Forgiving, comforting, understanding
What service(s) do you provide (business or on profit)?
Cross: I have a non-profit called Activate Your Life that supports women who are disadvantaged or have had criminal justice contact. I support many women and at-risk youth with becoming entrepreneurs.
Because of your commitment, what is the greatest success story you can share?
Cross: Helping women provide financial stability and happiness within their family
Do you have any upcoming events, products or updates that you would like to share and how can the audience help support your efforts?
Cross: I have a book launching in May called The Big ASK. I am also on tour called “Secure the Bag” that is traveling to six different states. It deep dives into helping people identify opportunities, gain visibility when you don’t have a publicist, create a product on a shoestring budget and much more. It is 1 pm May 31 at Cobb Galleria. For more info and to purchase tickets they can visit www.lucindacross.com/securethebag
Where can people connect with you online (website and social media information)?
Cross: They can connect with me at www.lucindacross.com For my nonprofit they can visit www.activateyourlfie.org Also, I have a free Facebook group that is full of fun and resources called Activate Innercircle fb.com/groups/activateinnercircle