Name: Maryann Rivera-Dannert
Business/Blog: MRD Empowerment Solutions
When did you start your blog/business?
I started blogging several years ago. I used my blog as a journal – where I talked about everything and anything. Vacations, disappointments, goals, accomplishments, - there was no topic that I did not talk about. It was during those days, through comments, and conversations with readers, that I realized how many people [particularly women], are not living a fulfilled life because of past hurts, abuse, and lies that we have been told. I rebranded and officially launched MRD Empowerment Solutions towards the end of 2014.
What triggered you to pursue your dreams and begin creating the life you want?
I have always enjoyed talking with women about their goals, dreams, desires, and creating ways to help them move forward. I’m all about making lists: bucket list, life list, to-do lists…You name it, I have a list for it. I lost my job unexpectedly. I enjoyed the job, I loved the people that I worked with and honestly, I was devastated. After the shock wore off, I made a list of options. And through talking with my support system, I took a leap of faith and launched MRD Empowerment Solutions.
What do you enjoy most about living life on your own terms?
Living without apologizing! Let me explain. At this point in my life, I know that I am worthy. I know that I am somebody. I know that I am fabulous. This has become my mantra – I am fabulous. I have goals, desires, and a vision. My vision is to help as many women as I can discover their truths, strengths, and talents so they too can live a fabulous life.
How are you living out your purpose?
I launched my life coaching business! My mission is to empower women. I want women to know that they are not their past, their mistakes, their hurts, etc. Life happened: whether that life includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial or mental abuse; or even incarceration – we are not our past. We have dreams, goals, and aspirations. We have desires to be happy, loved, in love, touched in a safe, respectful and loving way… More often than not, we as women put our desires on the back burner to take care of everyone else. We become so wrapped up in others, that by the time we take a long hard look in the mirror, years have passed us by. We no longer recognize ourselves.
Describe an a-ha moment.
May 10, 2014. I graduated and received my undergraduate degree. This was an a-ha moment for me because as a high school dropout and a young mother, a bachelor’s degree was something I only dreamt of. I made an unwise decision in my youth, but I did not let that decision hold me back from the deep desires of my heart.
What does being free mean to you?
Being free to me means, living unapologetically, living life to my fullest potential, accomplishing my goals, checking things off my many lists, and free to live on my own terms. It means living the life that God created me to live. It also means, choosing what type of role model I want to be. We are all role models, whether we believe or see it. Someone is always watching us; our family, friends, our co-workers, our clients – strangers. We live in a society that is surrounded by social media – someone is always watching. I want to live my life in a way that makes the little girl inside of me happy and proud – of who she has grown up to be.
What has been your biggest challenge pursuing your purpose?
Procrastination and self-doubt! Procrastination has been a challenge in the sense that I see the big picture. I know how I want things to be and function. At times there may be a piece missing and that causes me to freeze. Being honest, I become frustrated and I want to throw my hands in the air. In terms of self-doubt, I am becoming increasingly better at silencing my inner critic. It is a daily practice because I have high expectations for myself. I have learned to recognize the signs and I quickly reach out to my support system and I am oh so grateful for them! They listen and they offer advice or suggestions; sometimes they will say to me, “Pretend you are your own client, what would you have your client do?” It works!
What’s one thing that you want people to know about you or your business?
First and foremost, there is no judgment. We have all been through something and sometimes that something has been horrible. We are left paralyzed. I provide an environment that is safe, comfortable, sensitive, and confidential. There is not a one size fits all way of coaching someone. We face our fears and pain head on. We face it, we acknowledge it, and we move on…safely toward fabulousness.
What is your biggest fear? And how do you overcome your fears?
One of my biggest fears is that my time here on earth will be up and I still have a lot to accomplish! There are a lot of things I want to do. I overcome this by making goals and creating a plan to achieve those goals. I frequently review my goals and make changes as needed. Crossing off a goal that has been realized – priceless!
How do you stay encouraged?
I have a fabulous support system! They are always there – in person, phone call or text away. I also pray and talk to God on a daily basis. It is a must! My husband is my number one supporter and when I am with him, I am not wearing any hats. I am not trying to deliver any message and I am not trying to make a point. I am me – 100%. Having someone that gets me, that understands me – encourages me. I also make it a point to spend time alone; just me and my thoughts. It is freeing. I return rested, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
What are you most proud of?
Receiving my bachelor’s degree!
How do you support other women?
By being present, honest, and by listening. By helping women see themselves as God created them…all fearfully and wonderfully made. No mistakes. By helping women create goals that align with their truths, strengths, and talents.
What is your favorite affirmation or quote?
Quote: How can you get to the future, when the past is present?
Affirmation: Today is a good day, to have a good day.
What’s your favorite book?
There are a number of them…my top three:
1. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
2. The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
3. The Unseen Essential: a story for our troubled times by James P. Gills, MD
What exciting things do you have planned for 2015?
I am expecting nothing but fabulousness in 2015! I am holding my first retreat. I am working with a business coach and I expect to grow my audience. Launch a few products. I would love to have at least one speaking engagement. Set a date for my book launch. Lots of travels: New York City, Cancun Mexico, a couple of provinces in Canada. I also want to attend a retreat myself.
The Chasing Free Feature is designed to spotlight women who are living in purpose, pursuing her dreams, and creating the life she wants by doing what she’s passionate about.
Monthly, I'll introduce you to women that are unapologetically living life on her own terms. She's a solopreneur, blogger, small business owner, she may even have a side hustle until she’s able to do what she loves full time. She’s doing the darn thing! And she openly shares her journey with the BeFree Community to help inspire others to be free.
If you or someone you know is living out their dreams and want to be featured on the blog, email me at email@example.com. Thanks!