to their challenges, and “So NOW what?”
to create a plan to move past them.
With complete transparency into
my journey, I offer live speeches and
workshops, online courses, individual
coaching, and a train-the-trainer program. I primarily work with youth and
young adults providing in-your-face personal development programs. However,
I also guide adults seeking motivation
and practical strategies to achieve their
personal and professional goals.
Whatever your model, be an expert
and be consistent—but also be flexible
and don’t limit yourself. Learning this, my
topic and audience have broadened and so
have my revenue sources.
As I waddled to class as a preg- nant 15-year-old, the last thing I felt like was a leader. Then I
graduated top of my class, was voted
Most Likely to Succeed, and earned a full
scholarship to college—the Emerging
Leaders scholarship. As a young mother,
I graduated magna cum laude, was named
Miss University of Memphis, and started
an amazing career.
After 15 years in marketing, I wrote
a book about my life that changed my
life and paved the way for my speaking
business, S.O. What! Initially, I focused
on teen pregnancy, but learned that my
No Judgment, No Excuses, S.O. What!
message had greater appeal. With my
teaching of leadership focused on self, I
became known as the Excuse Eliminator
showing others how to say, “S.O. What!” SUMMER OWENS,
MBA, is the CEO/
founder of S.O. What!,
where she helps
obstacles and eliminate
excuses keeping them
from personal and
OF THIS MODEL
A challenge with
my business model,
which is also what has
made it successful,
is that my personal
story is its foundation.
Having so much of my
life exposed makes
me relatable and
it also opens me
up for even more
share less about
their personal lives.
Thankfully, I have
markets, but don’t
marry a niche. I was
the “teen mom”
speaker, but the
and my expertise
were much greater
than just for teen
parents. Also, meet
your audience where
they are. Literally.
O;er channels that
and accessible for
them (and you), yet
profitable for you.
Finally, I have been
speaking full time for
five years now, but
I attended my first
Influence this past
summer. The biggest
mistake I’ve made
with growing my
business was waiting
until I could “a;ord”
With a message that stems from her experience as a teen mom, Summer speaks
about leadership from a personal perspective, helping teens, young adults, and
even executives overcome challenges and excuses.
BY SUMMER OWENS, MBA