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Rose Handy – No Excuses

You wouldn’t know it by how she carries herself, but Rose Handy was once homeless with her child. She knows firsthand what a hard road looks like, and it hasn’t stopped her from achieving her goals. Now the author of The No Excuses Handbook and CEO of H.E.R. Consulting and Services Inc., Rose has risen above her obstacles and started a successful company. She spoke with us about surviving her darkest moments and rebuilding herself.

After having your first child you were in quite a predicament, finding yourself evicted and in a homeless shelter. How did this experience help you find the vision you needed in your successes to come?

Not that I want to parody Whitney Houston, but I didn’t know my own strength until I hit that rock bottom. That experience allowed me to discover that I was stronger than I thought. That I can rise above the deepest and darkest moments, and overcome the hardest challenges I never thought possible, and not fall apart. I actually didn’t find my vision then. I just held onto it because until that time, my vision was always that I was born to achieve great things. 

How did your upbringing and family life in Cameroon shape you into who you are today?

I grew up in a faith-based family. My parents instilled in me the notions of hard work, life of purpose, and always rising with your community, because if you rise alone, nobody will be around you to prevent you from falling. 

From Homeless to CEO: The No Excuse Handbook is the inspirational true story about your life full of hurdles that you’ve overcome. Who do you think the book speaks to most and what can readers gain from it?

Originally, I was writing it for other single mothers who ended up in a shelter. But then as I was telling my story, I realized that I am speaking to all women – all young women – all people who find themselves at that crossroads when you have been betrayed, when you have lost everything, when the plans you made didn’t go as you thought. When everything feels hopeless, and you start thinking what’s the point? Or worse: what’s the point of life itself? I am talking to these people, for them to know that it is just a feeling, it is just one day. Don’t let it be the rest of your life.  

How did you become the CEO of H.E.R. Consulting and Services Inc.?

My book details how I started this company from a homeless shelter. I encourage all the readers to get a copy and find out how I got my first contract, while sitting in that homeless shelter with my newborn baby in my hands.

As a keynote speaker, what do you bring to events that sets you apart from the crowded scene of keynote speaking?

I usually bring a commonsense approach to help listeners carve a practical vision for their success. Through my keynote addresses and presentations, I try to inspire the audience with my stories and lived experiences, and I hope some wisdom too–that can empower them to triumph over any challenge in life. I believe I bring a unique profile to the table because you will find few people that have had the journey I’ve lived.

What advice can you give to a foreign entrepreneur struggling with achieving success in North America?

One, get clarity for your idea or vision, in terms of can you make money from it, or which part of your idea can really generate enough money to be worth the commitment. Two, use all the resources available to you and don’t be afraid to ask the questions you have. Three, when talking to people for advice, make sure you are talking to a real expert who knows what they’re talking about and what your idea means. Four, don’t be afraid to take risks with your idea. Five, commit to your goals by working hard to make them materialize. Six, patience should be your best friend and don’t fight your instincts.

What do you believe to be the key to building new relationships, professionally and personally?

In the professional circle, people connect [with] others based on shared interest or needs. If you don’t know what you want exactly, people won’t be able to determine how they can relate to you. Therefore, it’s very important to know who you are, what you want, what you have to offer, and how far you can go. The last part is what helps you set boundaries for the relationships you are building, or you want to build. On a lighter note, don’t be afraid to reach out to people, make the first move, say hello first, or start the conversation. 

The Debu Living Team

Spring 2024

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