We had the good fortune of connecting with Na’Kedra Rodgers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Na’Kedra, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success is that I believe in what I’m doing. I believe that there’s a calling upon my life and because I was obedient and answered the call to serve God, He is blessing everything that I do. I am putting in the work. I look at every encounter with someone as an opportunity to tell them about OptimisticallyKe. I introduce myself to people at the post office, in line at a fast-food restaurant, Wal-mart, the gas station and everywhere else that I go. I tell them who I am, give them a card and talk about my brand. I truly believe if I don’t promote myself, then who will. I bet on myself each time I pay a vendor fee, I tell myself that this is another opportunity to tap into a new audience. I am ok with the fact that not everyone will say yes to my book or my OptimisticallyKe t-shirts; someone says no not at this time and I thank them and keep it moving. I believe that with God all things are possible and that He has been rewarding me for my consistency and faithfulness. It is only a matter of time before the OptimisticallyKe brand is all over the world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career has indeed been full of twists and turns. My major in college was pre-med because I was told by my parents that I would be a doctor. I took the MCAT my Junior year and scored a 16. I took that as a sign that being a doctor wasn’t in the cards for me. I moved to Texas looking for a job and it was right after 9/11. I couldn’t find anything in my field. I worked various temp jobs until I finally landed a job as a Microbiologist. I did that for almost 10 years even though I wasn’t that great at it. I got laid off in 2012 and of course I was devastated; however, that was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. I had been working all those years and had gone to school in the meantime and wasn’t using my Masters degree. God opened the door for me to get a entry level position at the county hospital in Fort Worth. I was introduced to data analytics which is what I do to this day. It’s a very challenging position but I have learned that it’s okay to lean on your co-workers for help and that teamwork does indeed make the dream work. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and you must rely on those traits to complete different tasks. There’s no point in spending hours on something that another member on your team can accomplish in 30 minutes. I have learned that just because you don’t succeed at something doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. Many times God is preparing you for something greater! Don’t be complacent and do what’s comfortable for you. Push yourself outside your comfort zone to experience true greatness. You’d be amazed at the things that you can accomplish. I want the world to know that anything is possible if you just believe. When I started my business, I had never done anything like this in my life. I’m usually one to jump on a train; I’m not normally the conductor. God has shown me that if I’m obedient, He will continue to bless me and my efforts. I have done so much in just such a short period of time and this is just a taste of what’s in store for me. I will continue to put myself out there and promote my brand because what I’ve learned is that people are indeed watching and consistency matters.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Thank goodness my friends have children now because what I think is fun all centers around kid events lol. I think that DFW has such a wide variety of things to do that you definitely won’t get bored. We would visit the Ross Perot Museum in Dallas. That place is full of fun activities for the kids and has so much hands on learning. I love the Aquarium as well. It’s so cool to learn about the different animals and how they live and see the sharks swimming over your head or looking like they’re swimming right at you. Did I mention that both places are indoors? It’s very hot here in Texas. I can’t believe that it’s over 100 degrees in July everyday. We’ve gotta hit up the Arlington Improv. Not only do they showcase up and coming talent, but also established comedians as well. I always have a good laugh when I’m there. I just took two of my friends there last week and they had never been to a comedy show before; they enjoyed all of the acts. We must eat at La Playa Maya because they have the best margaritas and enchiladas. Can I say we must get pedicures, massages and even a facial. I believe that self-care is indeed important and I love a good pampering. We don’t even have to leave the house for the facial. I have another female entrepreneur friend who has a mobile spa and will come right to your house and set up in your living room. Won’t He Do It. I always thought that type of treatment was just for people who were well off. Praise God my mind has been opened and my thinking has changed! XOXO is such a cute place for a girl’s brunch. So many photo-ops so it gives us a reason to dress up really cute and feel fabulous while enjoying our brunch. Dancing of course. Thibadeaux’s Cajun Kitchen in Duncanville has karaoke and open floor and so does Club Ritzy on Thursday nights. Hopefully, a broadway play will be in town so we can get jazzy again and witness some phenomenal talent at Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth. Having my friend here will also give me an opportunity to try out some new spots. I’ve heard great things about Ella B’s in Arlington and their menu looks delicious so I would love to be adventurous and try something new. We must end the week with getting our praise on at my church Bethlehem Baptist in Mansfield. My preacher always delivers a good word and we owe it to God to give Him some time after such an awesome week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely want to give a shoutout to my parents and husband. My parents instilled in me to believe in myself and not to be afraid to dream and chase my dreams. They also told me that I could do anything that I set my mind to and I truly believe that to be true. The road to success isn’t a straight line and it’s definitely not easy but it is possible to achieve. As long as I keep God first and trust His plan for my life, the sky is the limit.
I want to thank my husband for suggesting that I should do something centered around talking a year or two before I actually recorded my first inspirational video. He saw that I had a gift encouraging others before I even knew what it was. He has been my #1 supporter from day one. He purchased my first branding kit as a Christmas gift. He helps me set up for my vendor events and keeps our girls while I’m doing podcast interviews so that I won’t get distracted.
My headshot was done by Click Magic Photography