Author and motivational speaker Niki Brown has spent her career counseling women and empowering them to overcome obstacles.
However, about two years ago, an unexpected challenge forced Niki to dig deep and overcome her own difficult circumstances.
“My husband lost his job, and we went from six figures to food stamps in less than six months,” Niki said. “It was a huge life change. It forced me to go back to understanding who I really was and to accept that there really is more — and more is not based on material, external things.”
Before the job loss, Niki, her husband, and their daughter were enjoying a life they loved in New Jersey. Niki, a minister and counselor, had served for more than 10 years as the associate pastor of a family and women’s ministry at a mega-church. She also founded a counseling center there.
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Throughout her ministry, she led over 5,000 women in yearly women’s events, workshops and activities.
Niki’s career path changed when her husband found a new job in Mount Sterling, Ky. In 2014, the family relocated to Lexington.
Leaving a job she loved and adjusting to her new life in the Bluegrass could have been a roadblock for Niki, but she used the experience as a springboard to motivate more women through her life coaching, workshops and her recently published book, There is More: 8 Steps to Embracing the Greater You.
“I pulled out and dusted off a journal and realized I had become a victim — who I was was connected to where I was,” Niki said. “I want women to jump out of their comfort zone and believe that there is more. No matter what curve ball is thrown at us in life, we can find more by tapping into our gifts, our resources.”
Niki already feels at home in her new city and has started tapping into the resources in Central Kentucky.
This spring, she conducted a “There is More” masterclass for women in Mount Sterling, and she hopes to do more this year. She’s also spearheading a new effort to reach out to young women in Lexington.
“I have formed partnerships with several women to create a city-wide women’s empowerment network,” Niki said. “I want to create a safe space for women to be able to give back.”
The Bluegrass Women’s Empowerment Network, which is in the planning stages, will offer business and professional development opportunities for teen and pre-teen girls. Niki hopes to launch it within the next year.
Faced with a new city and situation, Niki hopes to teach others what she has learned from her own changes and challenges.
“Greatness doesn’t just happen; you have to learn it,” she said. “I always waited for someone to open the door, and then realized you have to create the door.”