Lucinda Cross is the queen of all bosses. A contributing writer for Huffington Post and author of bestselling books like The Road to Redemption, Corporate Mom Drop Outs, The Art of Activation, and Activate Your Vision, her work teaches readers how to build a foundation for living an extraordinary life, even when the odds seem as if they are working against you.
Through her journey as an author, TEDx speaker, media personality, and founder of Activate WorldWide, Inc., Cross thoroughly understands that “you have to pay the cost, to be the boss.” She herself has done so effortlessly by putting in the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, to obtain this level of success with such grace, charisma, and class, all while impacting women across the globe.
In describing Cross’ personal journey to success, perhaps Langston Hughes put it best, in his poem Mother to Son, when he says, “It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.” Such a life is something Cross can relate to because there “ain’t been no crystal stair” in her climb to the top. At the tender age of 18, while a freshman in college, Cross made one life altering choice that changed the next five years of her life; a decision landed her in the federal pen for four-and-a-half years, with five years on federal probation.
To the average young adult, this would have completely changed the trajectory of their entire life; they would have allowed their circumstances to stop them from reaching their full potential. However, this was not the case with Cross. Now, she teaches women how to learn from their experiences and discover their gifts, so that they can reach greatness.
She’s making an international impact, featured on several media outlets, including The Today Show; AriseTV; S Moda-International Spain Magazine; The New York Post; Married to Medicine, which airs on Bravo; Queen BOSS on Centric/BET; Dr. OZ; The New York Times; Essence magazine; Ebony magazine; and ABC’s Money Matters, as well as numerous online publications, and over 100 online radio shows. Cross was also a recipient of the 40-Under-40 Rising Stars of Westchester and Putnam County award.
With relentless determination and tenacity, Cross pushed past her pain and found her passion. She went from “transporting dope to transporting hope,” encouraging and uplifting women.
BLACK ENTERPRISE had an opportunity to catch up with Cross, to get the inside scoop on her journey, which has led to her status as “the queen boss”:
BLACK ENTERPRISE: Your quote that you went from “transporting dope to transporting hope” is genius. How has doing this changed the trajectory of not only your life, but also those around you, who look to you for inspiration?
CROSS: A lot of people feel defeated when life knocks them down, and take a downfall as shameful and embarrassing. I found a way to use my mishap as a pivotal moment in my life. I am the woman that I am today, because of my mistakes, errors, and shameful decisions. The professional women I support and coach can soar and take risks, because I teach them how to give themselves permission to be great against the odds.
BE: Let’s talk about your vision board parties, which you host across the country. What inspired you to not only create your own vision board, writing your own vision and making it plain, but to also help others in the process?
CROSS: It is easy for someone to host a vision board party, but the real shift in manifesting that vision comes from accountability, clarity, and action. The way I structure my process starts by celebrating your ideas—that’s the easy part, along with the cutting, pasting, and sharing. The real work begins when it is time to write down the plan of action, and then mind mapping the next steps.
The first vision board party I have ever attended was my own. I did not see anyone doing them in 2006, when I started. I decided to host them for $7 at the time, to bring others in who also wanted to go through the mastermind process of creative visualization. This is a process that has supported me in building a sustainable business, marry the man of my dreams, and ultimately live a life of fire, fun, and freedom. I visualized it all first, and then I took action. My mission is to help millions take more action with less talk in 2017.
BE: What was your experience pitching on the TV show, Queen Boss? What have you learned from the process?
CROSS: My experience was amazing. I learned so much from just being on the show, and more so behind-the-scenes with the judges. This was my first time pitching a product. I am from the service-based industry, so positioning a product for retail is a whole new ball game and lots of work. Although I had been in business for 10 years, my only tangible products were my books. (I must thank Squeaky Moore, who supported me in tightening my pitch for the show.)
I hesitated on my numbers, because I did not want to hear the criticism of my pricing, based on my manufacturing in the U.S. versus overseas. I learned that it is important to not be afraid of your numbers.
Additionally, I learned that you always share the key benefits and value first. My vision board kits come with access to a community membership app that buyers will get to beta test for free, before it launches. [The app provides] access to accountability partners and more.
BE: The fifth annual Activate Experience will be in Florida this year, on September 19 and 20. Since this will be your final conference, (which we are truly sad about, by the way), what can we expect from this phenomenal conference this year?
CROSS: The experience is going to be loaded with the support one would need to build a powerful branding platform, product development, media access, and building a financial portfolio. This year is all about collaboration and bridging the gap with the millennial influencers and Hispanic women in the business network.
BE: What can all your raving fans expect from the queen next?
CROSS: This year will be loaded with greatness. We are going to be announcing our partnership with a major retail chain, the opening of our first halfway house for young women, and I’m working on my own TV show pilot.
Today, Lucinda Cross-Otiti resides in Westchester, NY, with her husband Bayo Otiti and her three children. To learn more about Lucinda Cross and stay connected, follow her on social media:
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