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Janell Jones is on a mission. Born into poverty and raised in the projects of Columbus, Ohio, Janell lost her father and sister to inner-city violence as a child. A teenage mother at 16, she was nonetheless determined to live a different life than the one she saw played out around her. That determination took Janell from an online associate’s degree in psychology to a Master’s degree in social work. Even after she landed what she thought was her “dream job” and made a good home for her children, she discovered a deeper dream buried within her—Janell made the decision to follow her passion. Got a chance to connect with Janell and get some jewels dropped.

Tell our audience a little more about you.

Janell is empathic, in fact, it’s one of my strengths. I truly try to understand others to better assist them. I know that when a person is behaving out of character, it’s usually a deeper issue. My goal is to help them identify the root of that issue so he or she can stop bearing bad fruit.

I am also a developer; I love bringing the best out of people, even when they don’t see it themselves.

I am caring (sometimes too much). Surprisingly, I am an introvert. As much as I love helping people and seeing them win, I rejuvenate by being alone and doing nothing. This is one of my self-care techniques I’ve discovered about myself.

Why are you so passionate about helping others?

I am very passionate about helping others because of my own experiences. I didn’t have anyone guiding me or providing sound advice which led me to the many mistakes I’d made. I also find it important to have a support system. Some people just need to know you’re there to cheer them on, hold them accountable, and believe in them. I add some honesty since that’s where the real healing begins.

What would the 21-year-old Janell tell the Janell of today?

Girl, you are an amazing woman. Never belittle or devalue yourself because others failed to recognize your greatness. God specifically designed you to be a light to the world, stop dimming your light for others to shine. Raise your level of thinking, you deserve to be wealthy, to be whole, to be victorious, to be wonderful…it’s your birthright. You know what they say about fear? Do it afraid. Don’t allow it to cripple you. Above all, Janell, enjoy your life. Girl, you got this! Oh, and always, always trust God.

Tell us about your ministry/businesses?

My business is my publishing company, Melanin Grace Publishing, LLC. I created this company because I wanted to have creative control over my material. I’ve published three books under my company: Beauty in Mahogany (children’s book), It All Begins With You: 9 Affirmations to Help You Love Yourself and Know Your Worth and It All Begins With You Workbook.

Under the umbrella of my publishing company is my Janell Jones Empowers brand which equips women and girls with the tools they need to love themselves and know their worth. This brand also houses my online courses, podcast; Girl You Got This!, and coaching program; In-Powered Entrepreneur.

What’s next for Janell personally?

Personally, I would love to travel more to places I haven’t been to. Personal growth is important to me so I will continue to read, take courses, and watch YouTube to learn more. I work closely with mentors, typically those who are where I’d like to be to continue to grow. I will continue to network and connect with like-minded women globally. I love the impact of sisterhood.

What is the one thing that you know for sure?

That times waits for no one. I know many people who sit on their dreams, even take them to the grave and never took the leap. Being a perfectionist is a killer too, there will never be a perfect moment to live your dreams. You have to just start.

What advice would you give to that person who’s business is no doing so great and wants to give up?

Don’t. Giving up is the easy thing to do. If you really believe that you are purposed to bring that vision to fruition, trust God to provide and don’t stop moving. It will times when you feel like quitting, I promise you that.

For more information on Janell, click here!

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All images by Jones Photography