Tawana Anderson 0:00
They just don’t know how you got there. They don’t know what happened in your life that you had to overcome, and also to be encouraging about those bruises and know, the brokenness because usually when people say broken, it’s like, oh, man, that’s a bad word, right? Like if you’re broken it’s bad. Well, that’s not true. Because you have to be broken to get the light out, right?
Karen Swyszcz 0:26
You’re listening to The Bacon Bits ‘n’ Bytes Podcast. I’m your host, Karen Swyszcz. This is the podcast where a bit of business and a byte of technology come together.
Hi, everyone, and thanks for tuning into the podcast and today on the show with me I have Tawana Anderson. Tawana is the owner of Tawana Anderson LLC and the Founder of S.H.I.N.E, stuff happens it’s not the end. As a former teen mom, she shines her light by being authentic, hopeful and confident despite what she has been through, showing others that they can shine as well. Her mission is to empower individuals to let go of their past and shine in their present. S.H.I.N.E is a lifestyle teaching others to live their best lives, no matter the circumstances. Through S.H.I.N.E, women and teens are motivated towards action. They regain hope, grow in self-confidence and develop greater personal authenticity. Welcome to the show, Tawana.
Tawana Anderson 1:40
Hi, thanks for having me. I’m so happy to be here.
Karen Swyszcz 1:43
Yeah, I’m so happy that you could make it on the show today. So first off, let’s talk about your upbringing. What was it like growing up in a neighbourhood full of drugs, alcohol and high school dropouts?
Tawana Anderson 1:56
Um, for me, growing up in that kind of environment, sometimes you think that that is normal, because you don’t know any different. But for me, I had the chance to actually spend some of my time in Cali, or also just have parents and grandparents around me who let me know that that was not normal. So growing up in that environment is kind of was kind of challenging. But also, I knew that that was not going to be the lifestyle that I wanted to have or choose. So that was actually a good thing because my mom always preached about like drugs and things like that, as you always say, if you try one drug, it’ll lead to another one. So which made that I never ever tried any of those drugs at all. And, you know, so just being in an environment. Sometimes you don’t know that there was something better but I was fortunate to know that there was something better because of my family.
Karen Swyszcz 2:55
Right. And you felt that your family helped you stay positive?
Tawana Anderson 2:58
Yes, they had me stay positive and they were very, very supportive.
Karen Swyszcz 3:02
Oh, that’s nice to hear. And so you had a great strong family connection to help you stay positive. But were there ever certain times while you were in high school that you were tempted to follow the path of some of your peers?
Tawana Anderson 3:18
And I guess you can say that. So for me, I did become a teen mom. And so that kind of like threw a monkey wrench in my plans, but I survived. And so, you know, as far as following the crowd, I guess, in that way, but also, I was fortunate to go to a College Preparatory High School, where those things weren’t as prevalent there. Like there wasn’t a lot of, you know, drug use, or kids having babies and things like that. So that actually helped as well.
Karen Swyszcz 3:52
So what made you decide to get into IT? Like growing up were you always interested in like technical things or you’re tinkering around with like computers?
Tawana Anderson 4:02
Um, for me actually, I always wanted to be an FBI agent (laughs).
Karen Swyszcz 4:05
Oh, cool (laughs).
Tawana Anderson 4:07
Yeah, like that was like my dream job, it is still my dream job. So at the same time with IT, it’s kind of something that kind of fell in my lap. I joined the military, took a class and I got a job as a radar repairer. So learning like circuits, AC/DC, that kind of thing and it just kind of led into an IT path. Also, I do a lot of security. So it’s kind of crazy because for me, being an FBI agent would be like protecting people. So now my focus in IT is security. So it’s still protecting people. And so protecting data actually. So I guess for me it’s still kind of the same thing.
Karen Swyszcz 4:49
And when you first like started your career were there a lot of women working in the industry?
Tawana Anderson 4:55
No. Most of the time, most of my career I have been like the only woman on my team. Sometimes there are other women in the IT field but are in the IT department, but they actually fall under roles that are not as technical, more like support roles. But as far as being like a technical IT person, there’s probably there aren’t that many women in the industry. So sometimes I find myself being the only woman, which is not bad though but you know, sometimes you have to prove yourself and you have to, you know, kind of work a little bit harder than the men to get a little more respect, but I welcome the challenge.
Karen Swyszcz 5:36
Why do you think there aren’t that many women in your field?
Tawana Anderson 5:39
Um, I think that maybe a lot of women are not geeks, or they see it as or they see it as being a geeky kind of field. But when you really started looking around there are starting to be a lot more women in STEM.
Karen Swyszcz 5:57
Tawana Anderson 5:58
I just think that a lot of women either they’re into other stuff like maybe accounting or, you know, that kind of thing. But, you know, just being in a technical environment, sometimes for women, they just sometimes maybe, I would think we would rather, you know, do something that’s probably a little more glamorous. Yeah, cuz when you think about IT, you think about this guy who is kind of like overweight, sitting at this computer, drinking coffee all day. Take your smoke breaks, right?
Karen Swyszcz 6:25
Tawana Anderson 6:26
But it’s really not like that.
Karen Swyszcz 6:28
Yeah, yeah, for sure. What advice would you give to young girls and young women who are interested in pursuing a similar path to yours but again, like they have this image of, you know, it being mostly men or it’s, you know, being geeky is not cool? Like, what would you tell them?
Tawana Anderson 6:45
I would actually say figure out what you love to do. And just actually go with it. Like if you are if you, you know, like, just look into IT, look into STEM period. If you love math and science, there was so many jobs within IT that you can do.
People just think about just, you know, just sitting at a computer all day, but it’s just not that. I mean, you have business analysts, you have developers, you know, you have database teams, you know, just programmers, you have all these different components of IT. So if it’s something that you are into, you just don’t have to work or fix a computer, you know, and people mostly think sometimes it’s just fixing the computer. And it’s just not that.
So if there was a young woman who came to me about starting a STEM career, I would really encourage it. And also find mentors, because there are a lot of women out here who are in the STEM field. And they want to reach back and give back because we all know how hard it was for us when we first got into this industry. So we want to give back to younger women.
So I’ll just say find a mentor, and find what parts of it that you love and stay in their area and don’t do something just because like, like, for instance, you know, you hear that programming is like the thing to do. Well, I took a programming class, and I never took another one. I was like, that’s not for me, ah, I don’t want to do that. Like, I don’t want to do that. I would rather be like a network engineer, or network analyst or something like that. For me, now, my focus is just security, like just securing data, securing servers and things like that. That is just what I’m into right now. And so, I mean, I’ve always been into it, but I’m more focusing on that more than anything else.
Karen Swyszcz 8:36
Yeah, that’s interesting. And I’m glad that you mentioned that because I think one of the common misconceptions that people think that coding is the only avenue to take. So with respect to what you’re doing, you know, and like cyber securities. So you don’t like specifically do any type of programming? Do you mind like describing some of the tasks you do?
Tawana Anderson 8:58
Um, so for security, sometimes, it could just be securing the network as far as dealing with firewalls and routers, and those kinds of things. But also, there are people who actually take some of the data and analyze it and look to make sure that you’re not getting hacked or there’s no activity on your network that is unusual to stop hackers. And then you have people who actually work do their pen testers where they actually try to break into a network and try to show you what’s wrong with their network or how people could get in. And so there’s just so many different parts to that as well.
Karen Swyszcz 9:40
Interesting. And you have two sons, are they interested in the STEM field? Are they working in STEM careers?
Tawana Anderson 9:47
So both of my sons are engineers, actually.
Karen Swyszcz 9:50
Oh okay, cool.
Tawana Anderson 9:51
Yes. Yeah. So we’re a STEM family. Yeah, so both of them are engineers. And they actually worked for two kinds of one of them works for Rockwell Automation and the other one works for UTC Aerospace. So we’re a STEM family. And when they have issues, sometimes they’ll call and bounce some things off of me or how I would handle certain things. So it’s kind of cool. And then one of my sons is actually dating someone that is in the STEM field as well. It’s kind of cool to have it like and then not only that but their best friend, she’s a girl like she is in the STEM field. So it’s kind of cool to have these not only have sons, who are engineers, but they’re bringing all these other young women around me that are in the STEM careers as well. So it’s kind of cool.
Karen Swyszcz 10:41
Yeah, for sure. I can just imagine, like future gatherings when you get all get together and just kind of like geek out over the dinner table (laughs).
Tawana Anderson 10:51
Yeah, it’s kinda like that. I mean, I just, you know, just want to hear their perspective on new technology and also like the work environment that they’re in. And also like the money that they can make coming out of college like is just was unheard of when I came out of college to, you know, make that kind of money. And so it was just kind of interesting to see. And it’s kind of interesting to see how these young ladies are actually navigating these careers as well.
Karen Swyszcz 11:18
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I remember when I was growing up being good at math and science, it wasn’t really considered cool until once you got to university or college and then after the fact, like, Oh, yeah, you can make a really good career out of this. So I’m hoping now that people are educators are encouraging that which I believe that they are, like saying that it is cool and has a lot of potential because I just think about, you know, and even in the movies, too, like the way they used to portray, like movies and TV shows or like, people being really geeky, but then the Big Bang Theory came out. So now like being geeky is cool.
Tawana Anderson 11:53
Yeah, and you’ll be surprised like, you know, the people that actually work in those industries. I always get sometimes when I’m talking to someone. They’d be like, well, you don’t seem like an IT person. And I’m like, What? Because I’m personable.
Karen Swyszcz 12:05
Tawana Anderson 12:06
Because I have other stuff going on, like, you know, like, what does that look like to you? But I get it, we understand what they’re saying. Even with my sons. It’s the same way. Like when you tell people they’re engineers they’re like really because we’re just, we’re not we don’t look, I guess the part.
Karen Swyszcz 12:22
Tawana Anderson 12:23
But what is the part though?
Karen Swyszcz 12:25
Yeah, no, no, it’s so true. And that like your, your job, like shouldn’t define you. That now there is no such thing or like to think not so stereotypically, like, we’re just like people and we have like different interests in that, you know, you being in IT, in cybersecurity, that’s just like one part of you.
Tawana Anderson 12:43
And it’s nice to be able to put on different hats and do all this stuff that you love to do.
Karen Swyszcz 12:47
So I wanted to switch gears and talk about actually a different part of you, S.H.I.N.E. and I really love how you came, the acronym. It just sounds so clever. Like stuff happens. It’s not the end. Just S.H.I.N.E! Like, how did you come up with that?
Tawana Anderson 13:02
So for me, I always felt like I dimmed my light because I was a teenage mom. And so the story behind the S.H.I.N.E was every year, I actually decide that I’m going to write down my goals for the next year. So in 2013, I wrote down a goal of, I wanted to help teen moms. And then I read a quote, that said, As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. And so in that moment, I decided that I was going to shine my light and stop dimming it because I want to give other people permission to shine their light as well.
So I was just trying to figure out how I could actually make this whole teen mom thing giving back work. And one night I was asleep and I woke up on my sleep. And it came to me God gave me Stuff Happens It’s Not The End. So the whole S.H.I.N.E thing, just kind of correlated with the wanting to give back and so it became this whole thing on its own. And so I just want to empower individuals to let go of the past because I was stuck in the past and now I’m shining in my future and so I just want other people to actually do the same thing.
Karen Swyszcz 14:12
That’s amazing and it’s funny how sometimes like the best ideas they come at the most random times. Like as you were mentioning, it came to you in the middle of the night and woke you up. Like I remember even like having random ideas when I’m like in the shower I’m like, That’s such a good idea. I need to write this down.
Tawana Anderson 14:28
Yes, yeah, it was just like that. I mean, I just woke up on my sleep and it was like stuff happens is not the end I was like, oh this word and it’s so crazy because my sons will always tell will tell people I’ve been telling them since they were like five years old, ‘If you don’t grind, you don’t shine’. So this word S.H.I.N.E. has always been like a part of our life. So for me to read that quote and then be like, okay, shine it in like now you can make this brand that is S.H.I.N.E- Stuff happens it’s not the end and not only do you shine your light just every day but you shine it as a light, like a lifestyle so you know when you wake up in the morning you thinking stuff happens it’s not the end. You have a routine or you know the way that you dress or like it’s just a whole lifestyle thing and I just live it in my family like my sons live it as well and sometimes they always be like you know this is a lot of pressure like, you got it, you could do it.
Karen Swyszcz 15:22
The philosophy behind S.H.I.N.E. I think it holds a lot of value especially given like the current situation we’re in now right? We like need to keep on telling ourselves yes this is happening but we know it’s not the end. Like things will change for the better once this is over.
Tawana Anderson 15:38
Yeah, I mean, especially in this moment, I was talking to one of my friends and I was just like you know, I mean you just really don’t know what to say like to people but I mean for me, it’s just you still shine your light. You know you understand that stuff happens it’s not the end is not the end for us with this whole Coronavirus, but also find ways to improve yourself and shine in your home.
So like when you are able to go out, you can be a better person like because that’s what shine is. It’s about bettering yourself. And making sure others can shine as well.
So I’m using this time to actually take some IT certifications and actually study for those things. I’m reading a lot more, you know, just so that I can shine my light even brighter once this is over.
Karen Swyszcz 16:24
Mmm-hmm. Yeah, good for you using your time wisely. So curious to know like, What are you reading? And what would you recommend reading?
Tawana Anderson 16:32
Oh, right now reading the cybersecurity book. Also a security plus book. And then I’m also doing the Draw The Circle as well. And there was another book that I read that I had been recommending to people called the Atomic Habits. To me in this moment, this a good read because it’s about creating habits. Because I think that since we’re in the house, a lot of people are probably not actually having a routine.
Karen Swyszcz 17:01
Tawana Anderson 17:02
And so I just think like our different habits, you know, are probably going by the wayside right now. So Atomic Habits to me would be actually a good book. And I read that a couple months ago. But right now I’m just mostly heads down into my security stuff. And also just reading like a daily devotional, which is Draw The Circle. I’m reading that. And then I purchased another finance book that I want to read. But I haven’t found a lot of time to do that yet, because I’m already in all these other books, but with the market going down, and not really knowing how to invest in stock, you know, in stocks and things like that. I just felt like it was a good idea to purchase a book that could actually teach me how to do that. So I think that’ll be good as well. Just finding something like that.
Karen Swyszcz 17:48
Mm-hmm. Yeah, actually, there’s like a lot of books that I want to purchase. Now that I am now that I’m trying to make time to read and educate myself and I just wanted to circle back to how we were talking about habits and I had a conversation with someone earlier on in the week and we’re talking about how it does take some time to develop habits and then we were thinking that possibly you know people would end up developing more positive habits after this is over. What do you think about that?
Tawana Anderson 18:18
Oh, I think that if you’re intentional you will.
Like really and when you think about it because I can be honest and say for me habits suck, okay.
Karen Swyszcz 18:30
Tawana Anderson 18:31
And the reason why I’m saying that for me to me they suck like I know a lot of people that have habits but my best friend and I will talk about this and we just say how they suck for us because we don’t like to do the same. Like we don’t like routine and I think that’s another reason why I love IT because when you go to work every day you don’t know what the issue is going to be. Your whole day could be crazy. You can end up being at work 24 hours if your system is down or something like that, and I like the like I like that part of my life right let’s get up every day, work out eat your breakfast and then sit at the computer and work for this time and then go to read for this amount of time and then next thing you know you’re doing dinner and like to do is constantly stay on a scheduled to me. And this is me being honest with myself and in the Atomic Habits book he talks about that. Like, yeah, it’s gonna suck at some point, but you need it. So we but we need those habits. We need those routines to make us better. And so I just feel like I mean we need them. But we have to also understand that for some of us, it’s going to take more work than others.
Karen Swyszcz 19:49
So with respect to starting S.H.I.N.E., and for a lot of people, we can relate to how like starting a business is a lot of work. You’re wearing all the hats. Did you counter any obstacles when you first started?
Tawana Anderson 20:03
I would say the obstacles that are, I would say, that I ran into with was me actually believing in myself and believing that I had something to offer. And I think a lot of people get stuck in their thinking that, well, there’s I mean in this business started in like 2014 is when it came to me. So between that time and this time, I know people who have started brands, that have definitely elevated more than mine. But that’s because, you know, like, sometimes you just look around and you’re like, well, all these people are doing this. Right?
Karen Swyszcz 20:38
Tawana Anderson 20:38
So, why what makes me different, but what you have to understand and what I had to understand is what I offer, is what I offer and there is an audience that I touch. And I always tell myself, that just one. So if there’s only one person who life I change, it’s okay. But I would think the obstacle for me was believing that my business was worth starting and that people needed what I had, and also staying consistent with working the business. I mean, because what people think, you know, hey, you post here, you post there, whatever. But people don’t really see what goes on behind the scenes as far as planning content or planning. Like I would do a women’s conference, planning the conferences, or planning just outings that we do, or the events that we have. So for me, I think that those were probably the hardest thing or getting people to buy into what you’re, you know what you’re doing and getting support in it as well. But, I mean, that would be the only things for me. Well, not the only things but the first things initially.
Karen Swyszcz 21:48
Yeah, mindset is so huge when it comes to like starting a business and running a business and it’s just crazy how we can be our own worst critic sometimes. So how do you balance the two like working a full-time job in like cybersecurity, and then also working on your business?
Tawana Anderson 22:08
Um for me, you just have to make the time, put the time in. I kind of feel like I have two different personalities. I mean, I just do, but you know, you work. And then you just find time to actually work your business or you plan on the weekends plan your content and plan your Instagram post, and those things on the weekends. And if you could find somebody to help, like for me, there’s been people who have helped me, you know, just here and there. And so I’m very appreciative of that, but it’s just kind of making the time to do it.
Karen Swyszcz 22:43
And if there was someone who was interested in starting their own business, but again, say fear and self-doubt got in the way, what would you tell them?
Tawana Anderson 22:54
Just do it.
Karen Swyszcz 22:56
Tawana Anderson 22:57
Yes. Just like I mean, just do it. And just focus on what you’re doing and keep your head your eyes forward and stay on your lane. Do not look at what other people are doing. And yes, you can look at what other people are doing in a sense of how to structure your business or you know, just for some ideas, but don’t compare. Like, just don’t compare what you have to what other people have. Because what you have to give is needed by someone. And so when you think about your business outside of yourself, then I think that’s the motivator. I mean, that’s a motivator for me when I think about teen moms and how I can help them shine or women in general. You know, just how I can help them understand that, you know, you have to shine your light and don’t feel bad about yourself and those things and that’s the stuff that keep you going. So just focus on what you’re doing. Focus on your audience. And yes, you can look outside a little bit to see kinda you know, if you need help and things, but don’t compare. That would be my thing. Just don’t compare yourself to other people.
Karen Swyszcz 24:06
That’s so true. And especially like with social media, it can get so easy to compare.
Tawana Anderson 24:12
Oh, man, it does, because you’re sitting there and it’s just you and this phone.
And you’re like, looking and you’re like, looking at all the people that follow or you see these people having, you know, just so much other stuff going on, then you have and you’re just like, well, people don’t really need what I have. But then you get these reminders that people do because you have people like for me, I have people call me and be like, hey, or message me and say thank you. Thank you. And so and that’s the thing that actually keeps me going. Because I know that I am touching someone and like I say, it’s just one person if it’s just one person. That’s enough for me.
Karen Swyszcz 24:55
Yeah, for sure. I and I think it takes a lot of courage to you know, put yourself out there and share your story online. And I definitely agree like when someone messaged you or tells you just like saying those words like thank you for sharing your story, it means a lot because perhaps they were going through the same thing and they wanted to share their story, but they were too afraid to do so. Or they felt like nobody could relate to them.
Tawana Anderson 25:19
You get that a lot, though. You get a lot of people that that was, you know what, I was feeling bad. And I read this thing that you put out, you know, and it changed my life or it changed my perspective on things. I mean, that’s good, you know, and who doesn’t want to change a life or give people hope?
Karen Swyszcz 25:37
So let’s talk about your book called Bruised and Broken To Shine. What made you decide to write a book?
Tawana Anderson 25:44
Um, so honestly, I always just wanted to write a book, just to like write a book but also for my sons, you know, I wanted them to kind of be able to see my life and understand that you will have bruises and you will be broken throughout life, but you can get to the shine, right? So in a sense of writing it, writing it for them and trying to just get it all out, also writing if other teenage moms or just people in general just to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel because people don’t know your story. All they see is the shine part. Right?
Karen Swyszcz 26:25
Tawana Anderson 26:25
But they just don’t know how you got there or they don’t know what happened in your life that you had to overcome.
And also to be encouraging about those bruises and those the brokenness because usually when people say broken, it’s like, oh, man, that’s a bad word. Right? Like if you’re broken it’s bad. Well, that’s not true. Because you have to be broken to get the light out right?
Karen Swyszcz 26:53
Oh, wow. I just had this like visual like,
Tawana Anderson 26:56
Yeah, the crack and the light coming out of the crack.
So you need those bruises and you need those breaks to get that light out, because it’s not going to make you, if you don’t ever go through anything, you’re probably not going to fight as hard, you’re not going to shine as much you’re not going to be as, like, you’re not going to be as gung ho about getting things done or helping other people. I just, that’s just how I see it.
So that’s why I wrote the book. I wanted my sons and I want my grandkids. I don’t have any grandkids and I’ve said this before, but I want my grandkids to read it. I want you to know, and I want them to understand that writing a book some because you know, there’s so many people that I approach him to like, hey, I want to write a book, I want to write a book, but actually doing it is totally different. So finishing it as well, was a reward. Because being able to finish it and put it out there. A lot of people don’t get to do that. So I feel accomplished, you know, something like why is this a book, but I did that I wrote this book and it’s so I’m just excited about what is doing and how it’s helping people.
Karen Swyszcz 28:04
Yeah, no, I would never think writing a book is just writing a book because it does take a lot of time and effort and with respect to like, the creative process, it can be very, I would say, like, it’s time-consuming, but also I feel like when I’m doing something creative once I’m done that it’s like, okay, I just need to take a break and like, shut my brain off. Like, I feel it takes a lot out of you.
Tawana Anderson 28:29
Yeah, it does, especially, especially if you’re writing like a memoir as well, because you have to relive so many situations.
Karen Swyszcz 28:36
Now oh, actually, sorry, before we expand on that, so like reliving those situations that kind of segues into my next question. Was it difficult to share your story like knowing that other people would be reading it like strangers would be reading it and you know, it’s not like and I always go back to say something online, like a blog post, like something you can delete, so it’s not like you can delete a physical book.
Tawana Anderson 29:00
Um, it was really hard, even like, so I wrote everything myself, but I had an editor like, come in and like edit everything. And then there’ll be some parts where she would be like, Hey, I feel like you should tell more of this and other like, either I would decide I wanted to tell more. Or I would just be like, Okay, I’m sorry, I just don’t want to expand on it because it was just kind of painful, or I didn’t want to hurt anyone else, right? So I just tried to keep the book about me and talk about some scenarios I happen, but not actually going into too much detail to make other people who were involved feel broken, right. Because you never just I just did not want to do that.
So it was hard in some areas because in some areas, I just say things and I stopped it there because I didn’t want to expand on it because either I didn’t want to relive it or I didn’t want to hurt anyone else’s feelings because like you say, it’s in a book. It’s all over, you can’t take it back. And so I just didn’t want to do that to anyone, but it was hard. And I think that I did a good job of balancing it and actually hitting those points where people do actually understand what happened and what was going on without making other people feel like they did something wrong. Or, you know.
Karen Swyszcz 30:24
Hmm, yeah, I’ll be sure to include a link when the show is published, and then also in the show notes so if people are interested in learning more about the book.
Tawana Anderson 30:34
Karen Swyszcz 30:36
Yeah, no problem. So, you know, you’ve accomplished a lot of things like getting into a STEM career and you’ve started your own business and you’ve written a book. What advice would you give to like women who want to share their story but feel kind of feeling the same way like it’s difficult and they’re afraid of hurting people? They’re not sure how to approach it.
Tawana Anderson 30:59
Think about all the people that you can help by telling your story. And not only that, but sometimes, this going to sound crazy coming from me, but sometimes you have to be a little selfish and be like, this is what’s gonna make me feel better. Me putting my story out there is going to make me feel better. And my advice when people ask me about writing a book as well, my first thing is just, I tell them just start writing. Like just start writing, don’t think about how you gonna publish it. Don’t think about who’s going to Don’t think about any of that stuff. Just start writing. Because once you finish the writing part of it, then you can figure all the rest of the stuff out. But everybody tries to figure out how to publish it, what the cover is going to look like, all at the beginning. Don’t worry about that. You know, but my advice would be just think about your book and how many people it will help. Think about why you like to write down why you want to write the book and look at those things daily and just make it happen.
Karen Swyszcz 31:59
And to circle back to Nike’s motto – Just do it.
Tawana Anderson 32:02
Yeah, yeah, I mean, because. And that’s basically what it is. Because I think that a lot of us be in our head so much that we talk ourselves out of things. So if you just start writing and you just do it, then you can’t really you know, or you write down your reasons why. What is your why for writing, why do you want to write it and you look at those things every day, then you’d be like, Okay, this is why I’m doing it, and I’m going to do it.
Karen Swyszcz 32:25
Mm-hmm. Yeah. And it’s true. Like a lot of the times, people tend to get caught up on like, seeing it as such a big project and it is, but yeah, at the end of the day, like all we need to do is to just start and to, to break it down tonight to not put the cart before the horse. But again, I’m also guilty of doing that sometimes too. Like I need to do this. I need to do this. AHHH.
Tawana Anderson 32:47
It’s easy to think about those things. And I’ll be honest, I started this book probably like in 2014. And not really like starting it as a book like oh, but just me being like, Hey, I’m gonna write down all these things. Just start writing, writing, writing and then put it kind of to the side and then eventually start writing again. And in the book, people will learn that I had an event happen that actually like, I got sick in 2018. And instead of being feeling down about myself, I started writing. Like, that’s how the book got finished. But I had to have something else happen to me because that’s when the book would be finished. Because it was me being bruised and broken, to get to the shine.
Karen Swyszcz 33:33
Right. And in 2018, when you started writing, did you feel the writing to be therapeutic?
Tawana Anderson 33:38
Um, yes, it was therapeutic. It was therapeutic. And it was like a win because my body wasn’t letting me win. You know, it’s like, okay, I can’t do this, this, this and this, you know, I can’t really work out. I can’t really do this, but I can do something physically with my mind. Like I can write, you know, that kind of thing. Instead of sitting here and feeling sorry for myself, or thinking about all the things that I can’t do. Just do what I can do.
Karen Swyszcz 34:04
Yeah, no, I really love your positive way of thinking like turning. Being able to pretty much turn anything around. One of my final questions is who inspires you? Who would you like to meet someday? If there’s somebody you find like super inspiring find like their work has changed your life. Who would you like to meet?
Tawana Anderson 34:25
Oooh. Who would I like to meet. Hmmm I guess I would say, Oprah (laughs).
Karen Swyszcz 34:32
Yeah, who wouldn’t want to meet Oprah, really.
Tawana Anderson 34:36
Yeah, I mean, Oprah or Michelle Obama.
Karen Swyszcz 34:39
I love her book.
Tawana Anderson 34:40
Yes, her book great. Becoming is so good. But like, not just star Oprah first, just coming from where she came from to where she is now. And just be in just being in control of her not only her life but her business, right. So, so many times We as women don’t, don’t want to, like we want all these things, but we don’t want to be in control of that way. So the fact that she’s in control of those things, and she makes sure that all her housekeeping businesses in order as far as finances and things like that, I think that’s amazing. With Michelle Obama from me, being very supportive of her husband, but also having her own identity. There are so many women who lose themselves and their mate. And she just hasn’t done that. So I just find that like, kind of amazing.
Karen Swyszcz 35:36
Yeah, two, two very amazing choices. I can totally see myself also like fangirling like, I wouldn’t be able to talk if I saw them, but it’s funny because, you know, you see those people on TV, they just like go crazy when they see somebody and like, I’d never do that. But you know, if it was Oprah or Michelle Obama, I’m like, Yeah, I’d probably do that (laughs).
Tawana Anderson 35:58
Karen Swyszcz 35:59
Okay. So if people wanted to get in touch with you where can they find you?
Tawana Anderson 36:02
Okay, so I’m on Instagram at Tawana_shine and is T-A- W-A-N-A _S-H-I-N-E. Um also, you can go to my website, it’s www.tawanaanderson.com. And on Facebook, I actually have a S.H.I.N.E lifestyle brand like a group. And in that group, there women can share, you know, their thoughts or what they’re doing, and they can share any events or you know, just words of the day and things like that. So I’m also on Facebook as well.
Karen Swyszcz 36:40
Amazing. Thank you so much for chatting with me today it was a lot of fun.
Tawana Anderson 36:44
Oh, thank you. But also I forgot. The book is at the website as well, and it’s also on amazon.com. And it’s called Bruised and Broken To Shine.
Karen Swyszcz 36:53
Okay, awesome. So yes, thank you again for taking the time to chat with me.
Tawana Anderson 36:58
Oh, you’re welcome. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
Karen Swyszcz 37:01
Oh no worries. Thanks again everyone for tuning in and stay tuned for more episodes. Ciao for now.