Who is Phyllis Calloway?

Phyllis Calloway is a woman filled with unconditional love for humankind. She has been given an opportunity in life that few other people have gotten, a sound upbringing, basic needs, family health, and education. I don’t take these for granted. I want to use this opportunity to give back. She is brave, adventurous, and always looking for a new challenge to help someone succeed. Phyllis is an encourager and supporter and expresses a vision to bond with shared visions.

Please tell us more about your profession.

Phyllis has been working in the legal profession for over 30 years. She chose this profession to serve people. Re-directing and offering people opportunities to advance has always been her primary focus. Currently, Phyllis has accepted the challenge of starting a new Incubator Program for the City of Fort Myers. This position allows Phyllis to play an intricate role in assisting entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources to graduate to a successful business.

Phyllis feels this is not a job; it’s an opportunity to do what Phyllis loves, assisting others in reaching their goals.

What makes Phyllis successful?

Phyllis is successful because of her commitment to change and growth. She has a sense of determination to ensure she always puts her best efforts forward and is compassionate about the people she serves. Phyllis expresses positive thinking embraces positive energy. She has the courage to speak up for herself and those who need her voice.

Phyllis doesn’t have to be in the light as she feels her work and actions will speak for her hard work.

Phyllis’s energy into the tasks needed to get the job done is above and beyond. Phyllis has learned to do what is ultimately necessary to reach attainable success. Phyllis says, “it doesn’t matter what you want to do, define it for yourself.”

To my understanding, you were part of a dynamic small business round table; please elaborate more on the event.

Recently, I was honored to be part of the first Small Business Round Table in Fort Myers, Florida. The Round Table was a huge success because of the numerous successful people who took their time to share their successes’ good, bad, and ugly. It made me realize how important it is to network with people with similar interests.

Many successful people will not take time to give back, but the people who volunteered to participate in this event were of like minds. The opportunity to hear about the successes and the failures of business owners from around the country motivated me even more to grow the Incubator Program. Everyone must define their definition of success, but it feels good to assist others in identifying their goals to reach the success desired. The day brought forth a coalition of business owners and entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing others and themselves. Members of the Roundtable and guests were honest and open about their successes and failures. It is easy to gather people to tell you what to do, but it is seldom, you find people to take the extra steps to guide you along the way.

I am excited to be part of such a wonderful group of people. We met as strangers and left a few hours later as friends.

What do you think a small business needs?

A small business needs the opportunity to create and define its desire to succeed in the selected endeavor.

Small businesses need owners committed to their brand; whether it is an advisory-oriented business or a retail/resale, the common denominator in every aspect is commitment and dedication.

Everyone will not like you or what you represent, but one must stay focused on the ultimate goal. A small business must operate from a mindset of abundance. There is no set work schedule when you own your business, no one to pay you for a day off. It takes time to create, and it doesn’t stop at the created. The journey continues, and entrepreneurs must put in the work.

What are your future plans to help impact your community?

The goal is to expand the Incubator Program to create a safe place for entrepreneurs near and far. We plan to offer classes in every area of need, i.e., business plans, accounting, marking, insurance, legal, and more. These opportunities will be offered throughout the City of Fort Myers and beyond. The Incubator Program includes but is not limited to reduced rate office/business space, quarterly assessments of growth, training/conference rooms and guidance from mentors, city business owner participation, and more.

What is next for you for 2022?

2022 will be Phyllis Rena LeFlore-Calloway’s J.D. year of growth. I didn’t have the time most people had during COVID to reflect while staying home. I chose to continue to work and allow my staff to work remotely. But what I did learn during the onset of the pandemic is that life is only a moment. We tend to plan for the future and not aspire to live in the now at times; this causes a missed opportunity. 2022 is the year of new opportunities to which I intend to take full advantage of everyone that comes my way.

Please leave us with some encouraging words.

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.

Where can we find you? 

You can find me in the City of Fort Myers, Community Redevelopment Office, where I served as Assistant Director, 1400 Jackson Street, Fort Myers, and my time is split with the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., Suite 5, Fort Myers, Fl 33916. Feel free to email, or call (239) 321-7100.