“I am passionate about living my legacy every day. Now I live to help other individuals do the same.” – Ms. Donna Newman-Robinson
Women Embracing Life and Leadership Series – WELLS
WELLS is a monthly series showcasing professional and personal diversity in women as they share their stories of successes, challenges and how they are creating a work-life balance, or lack thereof. These stories will educate, inspire and uplift readers.
We are excited to kickoff the 2016 WELLS with Ms. Donna Newman-Robinson, 20-year US Army Veteran, and the Founder/CEO of Life After Military (L.A.M.A.) Resource Network, LLC.
What is your primary role as the Founder/CEO of LAMA Resource Network, LLC?
I serve as a Success Coach for women veterans and military women.
How many years of experience do you have in your area of expertise?
I am a 20-year Army veteran where I served as a Nurse. I have also been working as a Certified Professional Coach for 4 years.
How would you describe yourself and your organization?
I am passionate about living my legacy every day. Now I live to help other individuals do the same. After retiring from my stellar career of 20 years serving in the US Army, I am now seen as one of the go-to life coach specialist for women veterans that need assistance transitioning back to civilian life after years of serving in the armed forces. My company provides consulting and management services in leadership development, professional development and healthcare management. My sweet spot is helping women veterans discover their true passion and purpose after military service so that they can create a new life filled with meaning and live that NEW life on their own terms.
What is a major challenge you encountered while building your empire (or getting to the position you are in your organization) and how did you overcome that experience?
I’ll never forget what it was like to leave military service after 20 year as an Army nurse. The process was standard: transition workshops, the checklists, the evaluations. Back in 2000, all of it was meant to prepare me for a HUGE life change that I didn’t truly understand until I was living it firsthand. After joining the civilian workforce, I dealt with supervisors who either didn’t appreciate me or didn’t understand what it meant to be a veteran.
In all the conversations leading up to my retirement, I will always remember being told one thing: “Don’t be surprised if work 10-11 jobs before you find the right fit”. After all these years, that still sits with me because it was true. I worked for 11 companies before I realized that this was not the way it had to be. At that point I hung up my corporate hat and chose to become an entrepreneur.
That’s when I started my first company, Life After Military Alliance or L.A.M.A. I created it as a database of essential information for women veterans like me who needed help with the transition into civilian life. It grew faster than I ever expected and quickly became a popular online resource in the veteran community. Through that company I connected veterans to everything they were entitled to in return for their services such as government benefits, scholarships, discounts, mentors and counselor. I filled a great need.
In your opinion does creating a work-life balance exist? If yes, how do you attain it?
In my opinion, I believe in the creation of work-life balance, however, I struggle with the reality of it. I raised 4 daughters while serving my country. There was little time to think about work-life balance. I was trained, mission first! Support service organizations were created to help ensure military families were taken care of while their sponsors carried out their duties home or abroad.
Since leaving the military, I became more aware of the work-life balance concept. I had more control of my life and spending time with family, friends and learning how to create a new life filled with meaning and purpose put that very concept in perspective for me.
After investing in self work, I strive to attain work-life balance in my life every day. I believe it is important to let go of what isn’t helping your soul smile and grow. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. Follow a path that moves you. It’s important to remember you have authority over your own life and you are always free to do something to create that balance for yourself.
What advice can you share with others interested in your field of expertise?
Find what gives you passion. Invest in yourself by taking the time to try new things and let go of the expectations that are holding you back. The quality of your life is always 10% of what happens and 90% of how you respond to it. Also, let go of the idea that it’s too late to start over. It’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.
Who /What inspires you to thrive?
To serve inspires me to thrive. To empower, inspire and encourage others to take risks on themselves. To let go of believing the best is behind you. Your life isn’t behind you; your memories are behind you. Your life is always right here, right now. Seize it! Choose to let each of your experiences today be a gateway to an even brighter tomorrow.
Completing my first book and sharing my story through speaking engagements.
For more about Ms. Donna Newman-Robinson and Life After Military Resource Network, please visit www.donnanewmanrobinson.com