Most people never go through the things Renee has and yet she was able to overcome these obstacles and is here to share her story about overcoming adversity.
IE 367: A Story about Overcoming Adversity
She passes on her knowledge and inspiration through her Victory in Time and new book.
Renee Breazeale (rhymes with Chick-fil-A) was the 30-year owner of a company called Victory Bolt & Specialty, which was in a fastener business in industrial sales, which was a male-dominated industry.
She imported, distributed, and did light manufacturing to make nuts and bolts.
She currently runs a company called Victory in Time facilitating mastermind groups using Biblical principles.
One mastermind is called “She Leads Success” which helps women in business, executives, and entrepreneurs that are in male-dominated industries.
Her second mastermind helps emerging leaders. She is an author and a speaker.
How would you define overcoming adversity?
For Renee, overcoming adversity is “Faith first, not last, leads to victory in time.”
She did not always follow this belief, however. This came later in life as her adversities got bigger.
She has learned that adversity is victory which has helped her view adversity differently.
Overcoming adversity is a process that involves inner reflection and having faith in oneself to be able to accomplish things. Much of Renee’s adversity in business was having a competitive nature because she is a salesperson at heart.
What do you mean by Victory?
This started back with the first company that Renee was a partner of, Victory Bolt.
The name was about winning and leadership. The logo was eagles and they focused on the leadership traits of eagles.
This carried through and she added specialty products and services to differentiate her business from others. It is important when you are trying to figure out how to set yourself apart, you need to find ways you can be unique no matter what your industry is.
What are some examples of how you overcame adversity?
Sometimes, never giving up and persevering was how she overcame adversity. One quote that she uses is “You can curl up in fear or you can get up and fight.”
Renee spent a lot of time fighting. There were days when she didn’t want to fight.
She now talks about depression because she dealt with that. She used that time to rest, reflect, and look at what she might have done wrong so that she could fix it.
Renee is a “fix-it” person. Larger and larger adversities came her way, including a large brain tumor as big as her husband’s fist. The surgery had a lot of potential repercussions because it was a 12-hour surgery.
During that time, she had to apply both faith and the most perseverance she ever had because she had to learn to walk again.
She learned that people with disabilities are treated differently. People are not mean; they are just ignorant about how to treat people with disabilities.
Earlier in her life, she had to learn to deal with domestic violence and now she had to learn to deal with this and did so by sharing her story so that others could benefit. She wanted to ensure that what she went through was not in vain. Renee believes that is one of the strongest ways to overcome adversity.
Being authentic and not trying to hide behind your adversity, which in some cases might be a mistake. Especially in business, you don’t want to hide things.
You want to let other business owners know that it is not all roses. There are some tough times.
Many times, business owners portray that they are perfect. They act like they don’t have problems when that is not the reality of business.
By telling both her professional and personal stories, she was able to use this as a healing process. Renee encourages others to do that.
Do not hide your story. Put it out there in the world.
As business owners, you can often feel so isolated with what you are going through and what you are dealing with that it seems easier to share the perfect side of things.
This is especially true with social media when all you see is a highlight reel. Coming, being authentic to yourself, and having your voice to share where you have found your triumph not only helps you overcome adversity but also gives others a way to connect with you. They can see you as human.
It has been a different journey for Renee to put things out there without being seen as bragging but to be authentic. She is finally getting a rhythm in posting on social media because her posts look different than a lot of other posts.
Posting personal, family photos happen but it is important to remember that other stuff comes along too.
Jenny explains to Renee that her posts will fall into the categories of inspirational and educational so they will feel more authentic. When you share from a place of education so others can be inspired, that content does well.
When you do not put that side of yourself out to your audience so you can inspire and educate them, you are being selfish because they are not going to be able to move forward. You have the solution because you have done the things and overcome them.
When people look at only the end of our journey, they don’t look at the failures, the times we have cried in the bathroom, and the times when we felt like we couldn’t do this anymore. They only see where we are right now and that can be hard for them.
You need to teach them how to do what you did and give them pieces of information that the audience needs to enable them to move forward on the journey of what you teach.
Renee explains that the Victory In Time name comes from the lessons that she teaches and the experiences that she has had to help someone else get the victory in a time sooner than she did in any given situation.
Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you overcame adversity and it defined you? What was it?
Renee believes the brain tumor was the time that taught her so much.
She broke her back about 20 years before and felt like that was a sign for her to slow down, not be a workaholic, and stop feeling like she had something to prove to her male counterparts.
When the brain tumor hit, she had to stop because she couldn’t walk. She had to concentrate on herself and her well-being so she would be able to continue with some sort of normalcy.
She used to say her name and describe herself as a workaholic.
Many women and business owners are Type-A and can say that. They set goals and don’t celebrate those goals. Instead of recognizing it, they set an even higher goal that they expect to get in the next six months. They just keep moving forward.
Renee built a team that helped her run the company together. They did share the victories but then she would talk about the next goal. One person in her organization approached her and said “Renee! Let’s celebrate this one before we go on to the next one.”
Renee realized that person was right and decided to take the moment to celebrate and she thinks we need reminders to do that for our victories, especially for Type-A personalities.
Jenny reminds us that while it is easy to look at sales numbers or content, engagement, and growth continuation it can be hard to figure out how to measure those things.
This is why when you set goals, it is important to find a way that you can measure those goals. For example, you can look at the number of email subscribers, your open rates, or how many social media engaged followers you have.
What are your top tips for overcoming adversity?
- No matter where you are in life, there are always life lessons to learn, grow and exceed. Fail forward. As long as you can pick yourself up, learn from it, and continue forward, that is still growth.
- Share your story with others in mind. You will be doing it to help others.
Renee’s life lessons changed tremendously when she sold her company and then Covid hit. Everything seemed to slow down.
While she knew the timing was perfect, she felt like she had lost her identity. It was a time of reflection on all that she had accomplished and knowing that would be a slower time of her life.
It was time to retire but then when she was ready, she wrote a book and started thinking about mastermind groups.
Previously, she had been in a long-term mastermind but was the only female for the majority of that time. The other females that came and went wanted something different.
That is why Renee decided to create masterminds for women in male-dominated industries. She knew that she could have learned more in a group like this.
When her book came out, she celebrated and walked around holding the book to her heart knowing she had done something good.
After Covid, we saw life differently, that we could be doing so many other things, and our lives could be upturned very quickly.
Renee Breazeale has a book called Soaring Through Adversity.
This is about life lessons to lead, triumph, and rise above. It tells about how she changed her entire life through her career choices.
It also talks about how an eagle leads their life and how God intended them to soar. This shares both personal and professional lessons.