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Living a purpose-driven life with Cordell Williams Graham

Driven by purpose, this go-getter keeps her chin up no matter the fight. The stubborn and overachieving nature of this Capricorn makes her just the right person to head the campaign for the creation of a resilient and powerful micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) ecosystem in Jamaica.

A past student of the Immaculate Conception High School, she is also the CEO of Transformational Life Solutions, a life and business coaching and consulting firm that has worked with many individuals, entrepreneurs and business teams across Jamaica, the Caribbean and the US to realise their goals and transform their lives, careers and businesses.

Passionate and committed to helping others, she is also an ambassador in the Governor General’s I Believe Initiative Programme and a member of the management committee for the governor general’s Programme for Excellence.

A leading Caribbean author and internationally certified project manager, this supermom wishes to leave her mark on the world and proudly say, “I was here.”

This week’s Q10 features Cordell Williams Graham, president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA)

Q10: What is that one outstanding characteristic that you believe you possess?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: I am very forgiving. I remember a long time after my father died I found a note that he had written to me and my sisters and it read, “…Love is the greatest principle,” and I believe it truly is. Nobody is perfect and people are battling insecurities and demons you know nothing about. Who am I to cast a stone? 

Q10: How do you stay calm and grounded during this chaotic time of COVID-19?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: I focus a lot more on gratitude, staying connected with the people I love, encouraging those in my network to be strong, and going after all I believe God has called me to accomplish. 

Q10: If you could only keep 5 possessions, what would they be?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: My Bible, a journal, a pen, my compilation of declarations, and my smartphone. 

Q10: What is it that you love about being YEA’s president?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: In my role, I get to be my full self. I am a strategist and visionary by design, and I’m really passionate about the growth of my country and the empowerment of people. So I get the opportunity to write policies and craft strategies to empower people to grow and thrive. I get to work directly with people, speak life into their dreams, and empower them to be all that they can be. 

Q10: What song best describes your work ethic?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: Where I’m Coming From by Lika Ike. Whenever I’m about to do anything, I pray and believe I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me with the knowledge, wisdom, and support of the right people. My track record speaks for itself. 

Q10: If you could go back and give your 21-year-old self a valuable piece of advice, what would you say?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: I would say always be B-A-D and don’t dim your light for nobody! As Nelson Mandela once said, you will never find your purpose or really get to know yourself by playing small. Believe in yourself and in your dreams, because they are from God who gives you the desires of your heart; take action on your dreams, even when you feel afraid or incapable; and keep making decisions that will lead you closer to your dreams. Do this and leave the rest to God. 

Q10: If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs, such as food and water, were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: Is there Internet access? Because if there is I would only need a smartphone and a laptop with Internet access. From there I would be able to read my Bible, read books, listen to music and podcasts, write and publish books, coach my clients, and keep making money with the expectation I would be rescued one day and, most importantly, I would keep in contact with the people I love. 

Q10: Who do you admire most in life?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: I truly admire a lot of people, but in all my life I would have to say I admire my parents the most. Even though they are both deceased I admire their legacy. My mother taught me how to overcome, how to pray and have faith, and my father taught me how to love. If I did not have the resilience and endurance to overcome, and the strength to forgive and love people, I don’t know where I would be today. 

Q10: If you were a superhero, what power would you want?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: That would be to know God’s intended purpose for the lives of people in the world. I believe if everyone had a vision and clarity on what they should be pursuing there would be less idle hands for the devil to work with, less murders and more love, peace, and prosperity in Jamaica and in the world we live in. 

Q10: What’s one surprising fact about you?

WILLIAMS GRAHAM: I’m shy. Most people who know me will always laugh at this because they know me as a motivational speaker, or as a songwriter and sing-jay. I am also a trainer, I do podcasts, and I have met and led discussions with ministers of government and officials in Jamaica and all over the world; yet, in spite of all of this I am still a bit shy.