Donned in her green flight suit under a legendary Tuskegee Airmen bomber jacket, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour graced the stage with her energetic presence and comedic anecdotes to enlighten those of us in the audience, including collegiate scholars, Anheuser Busch representatives, and bloggers like my girl Makeba from Melisa Source and myself, about creating a breakthrough mentality.
Though I had heard of FlyGirl before, I never really knew much about her and when I was presented with the opportunity to meet the first African American female combat pilot (and definitely Uncommon Chick), I jumped on it (and high)!
So what’s her story? Well, that’s what I was there to find out and luckily for you, I took notes! Here’s a recap of my notes from the workshop so read on and enjoy learning how to create breakthroughs in your life!
But first, who’s Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour?
Vernice Armour, or simply FlyGirl (because she flew the baddest helicopter in the U.S. military, the Super Cobra!), has a history of breaking rules, escaping mediocrity, and busting through obstacles that most people would back away from in defeat.
She began her career as a beat cop, joined the military, and ultimately became America’s first black female combat pilot in an amazing 3 year period! Can you say OMGEEEEE! This girl was on FIYAH even with 2 seemingly big obstacles out front and center – black AND female!
She now leverages her genius in the combat world to teach people how to soar through the execution of ANY plan by harnessing the power of a “Breakthrough Mentality” mindset and creating a personal flight strategy to win on the battlefield of life.
In addition, FlyGirl launched her own company and produced over six-figures in revenue within the first 12 months and over a million in the first 5 years! Previously featured on Oprah Winfrey, CNN, Tavis Smiley, NPR and others, she has inspired countless others to leap over obstacles and get what they say they want out of life, personally and professionally.
Did I mention she was a running back for the San Diego Sunfire women’s professional football team? I told y’all she was an Uncommon Chick!!!
From Zero to Breakthrough…
So below are some nuggets, quotes, and lessons I captured from FlyGirl’s workshop in hopes that you can take away something to get you moving towards your next breakthrough!
- Create a framework that allows you to be flexible and adaptable so that you are prepared for anything. We all have plans and you know what happens to most plans. They don’t always go as planned. LOL “The detour IS the plan.”
- When facing a blockage (whether it’s fear or something else), don’t forget your WHY.
- Pay attention to your level of energy. Level 1 might feel like, “Yeah, I guess I’ll do that [thing].” Level 2 might be a more conscious decision to tackle a goal. But Level 3 is where you’re CLEARED HOT with a high energy response. This is when you are more apt to get things done!
- You need a breakthrough mentality to get breakthrough results. “I don’t want to be average, do you?” I sure do not, FlyGirl. I sure do not!
- Don’t forget your Legends, the ones who’ve paved the way for you to be where you are right now and are striving to go. Remember earlier I said she was wearing her Tuskegee Airmen jacket? It’s her reminder that she wouldn’t have been named the first black female combat pilot (or any other military achievements) had it not been for those airmen before her.
- “Don’t base where you wanna be on what you know.” True dat! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they want to do something but in the next breath, turn around and say they don’t know how to do it. Really? It’s called being resourceful and figuring it out! What do you have to do to get where you want to go?
- Always look for the advantage.
- Leverage your opportunities and be willing to set yourself up to create opportunities for yourself.
- “Tangibility of the possibility.” FlyGirl mentioned that she saw another woman in a flight suit that helped her visualize that her goal to wear one was real. Sometimes it helps for us to see with our eyes, feel with our hands, and talk to others in person, to realize that something is possible. Don’t count on that always happening though because you could be the first! Note: Access and exposure could be the difference between a Level 1 and Level 3 feeling of energy around your goals.
- “Stand up and be counted because you never know who’s counting on you!” #nuffsaid
- “Delay is not denial!” Just because something doesn’t happen on YOUR time frame doesn’t mean it’s not meant to be. This goes back to remembering your WHY. Maybe you need to keep trying again and again until you get it done. FlyGirl didn’t always get things right the first time as she talked about some very important entrance and continuing ed tests she failed. But she always went back to pass them because they were required to propel her forward! “Just attack from a different angle,” she proclaims.
- “Bloom where you’re planted.” Do an excellent job regardless of where you are currently. Not in your dream job yet? So what! Do your best there while you strategize getting where you ultimately want to be.
- “You can’t see the picture if you’re in the frame,” FlyGirl quotes Les Brown. This is real y’all. A lot of times we can’t see things clearly and miss opportunities because we’re “in the frame” which is why it’s important to have great relationships with trusted people who can help “see” for us and keep us accountable. Better still, step back often, change your perspective, and view things from the 30,000 foot level!
- “Saying you want something and raising your hand is not enough. You have to take ACTION.” FlyGirl asked the crowd who wanted a copy of her book she was holding in her hand. Some folks raised their hands. She asked again, this time more people raised their hands. She asked one last time and 2 girls hopped up on stage to grab the book. THAT’s what you call action!
- Plug into systems; don’t reinvent the wheel.
- Make bold, gutsy moves! FlyGirl is enjoying her life now as a new mom and FlyBaby (cute, right?!!!) is due Oct 9th, 2015! “I’ll quickly admit, lots of fears came to the surface. Everyone’s gutsy move looks and feels different. Even though millions and billions of women have had children, this was still a gutsy move for ME! After acknowledging and working through my fears (being single, doing this alone, taking months off from my company), I was finally ready for MY gutsy move. I met with the fertility Doc, went through all the testing and “pulled the trigger” for going through in vitro. I am blessed to say the procedure was successful!!!” Congratulations to you, FlyGirl!!
Get your free flight plan to create Breakthroughs!
As this powerful, inspirational leadership coach spoke her words of wisdom, I was inspired to finish tackling my 40 by 40 bucket list. I had been slacking on some of them and not taking the action necessary to really get things going. As I was sitting in the audience, I vowed to myself that my goals ARE going to get accomplished because I remembered my WHY.
What’s holding you back? Need help with creating your own flight plan to bust through those challenges you’ve been having?
You HAVE permission to engage!
“You’ve ALWAYS had permission. It’s such a simple statement, but one that is overlooked by many,” says FlyGirl.
Well, don’t fret. FlyGirl has a gift for you!
Get FlyGirl’s Breakthrough Flight Plan: 5 Simple Steps to Creating Your Biggest Breakthrough Yet! free at FreeStuffFromFlyGirl.com. #BOOM!
FlyGirl’s Keynote At #ABLegends of the Crown Leadership Symposium
YouTube link for RSS and email subscribers: https://youtu.be/G3I9kxyMpos
Talk to me…
Listen, if anything, I hope my notes and her keynote sparked some high level energy in you to go after the life you say you want and engage with more passion and fire.
But in order to do that, you HAVE to do something different, think differently, and create/leverage opportunities that could be right in front of you.
Don’t wait until it’s too late and all you have are regrets!
Take action and do it with fervor and GUTS. It’s your time to take flight!
FlyGirl was in St. Louis as part of the fourth annual Anheuser-Busch Legends of the Crown Leadership Symposium, which brought 30 student leaders from HBCUs across the country to St. Louis for $150,000 in scholarships, professional development and a community service. Learn more! #ABLegends