Categorized | Social Entrepreneur

We are More Than Just an Organization…..We are a Movement!

I am a Social Entrepreneur! My non-profit organization Leaders By Example wasn’t planned, but I know now that it was always meant to be.

As a wife and mother of three young children, my busy schedule was actually the least of my worries. My true heartaches and headaches were attached to the pounds of unwanted weight that seemed to leap on to every part of my body. Once standing at 5 feet 9 inches tall and a slender 145 pounds, I now stood at the same height, but at a whopping 217 pounds. I knew that with a little motivation, encouragement and accountability, I could reach my goal weight.

The first step was the measurement process which was very depressing. It was at this very moment that I understood why the sales associates at certain retail establishments would ask me if I was shopping for a friend. According to the numbers that appeared on my tape measure, I knew that I should never have attempted to fit into the clothes that many of my girlfriends wore.

The next step was tracking my progress by taking photographs and finding pictures of me from years past. As I looked at my pictures, I realized that for over 17 years of my life I had made a conscious decision to make sure that any pictures of me were taken from the waist up. I was ashamed of my body and it was evident that I had to change.

In order to change, I figured I had to do something that I’d never done before. I had to be transparent and allow others to see the hurt, the pain, and the fears as a way to push me in the right direction, but I needed people that I knew would be there for me. Turning to my Facebook friends seemed to be my only option, but little did I know it would have been the birthing of a movement and a dream. After updating my Facebook statuses about my workouts and eating sessions, I found that my inbox was flooded with questions from my friends wondering how they could start the same routines. Since the outpouring of support was so great, I decided to start a group that would have a mission to educate, motivate, and encourage people to live healthier lifestyles.

We are More Than Just an Organization…..We are a Movement!In June of 2009, I shared my ideas with my Facebook community and a Facebook friend came up with the name, Leaders By Example (LBE). Although I had both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration, my resume still lacked the education I really desired. In order to fully educate each member, I felt as though having the proper wellness education was necessary; so in January of 2010, I went back to school and obtained a B.S. in Health and Wellness.

My Facebook page was a great start for getting LBE off the ground; however I knew I had to kick it up a notch. I turned to the help and support of my family and close friends for marketing advice and discovered that LBE needed a website. Although it took a lot of time and patience, the logo was created, and a website was born. I alerted my Facebook community about the launch of this new venture and the members started to pour in. As a way of having constant communication with each and every member, I began texting daily inspirational and motivational messages to encourage members throughout their day.

In the midst of going to school, working from home on various projects, and supporting each and every member of LBE, I now had to figure out how to fund a group that I had come to grow so passionate about. My own finances, donations from members, and on-going financial support from various sponsors helped to fund the day to day operations and LBE contests. However, it was now time to take LBE to the next level. After doing research on how best to fulfill the visions and dreams I had for LBE, I knew that making it a non-profit organization was the next big step. I needed grant money from as many sources as possible and wanted LBE to remain a completely free organization for all of its members. In the Fall of 2011, Leaders By Example became an official non-profit organization and I’m looking forward to the great things that are ahead because the best is yet to come!

To date, Leaders By Example has about 60 members, a Twitter and Facebook account, as well as a BlackBerry Messenger group. We have given away over $2000 in cash, prizes, and “we believe in you” surprise money. Each member receives daily text message motivation, access to their own personal wellness coach day or night, meal plans that fit each member’s lifestyle and budget, as well as access to great prizes, giveaways, and contests. As of spring of 2011, with 41.2% of LBE members having submitted their weight, the group lost a total of 495.5 lbs. Additionally, LBE members encouraged themselves and all of our virtual friends to do a sit-up challenge resulting in 3987 sit ups completed and logged in on Facebook.

LBE is all about encouraging individuals to do what they have to do and to get to where they want to be. Leaders By Example has become more than just a group; it’s a movement that provides life changing principles and basic healthy living concepts to any person who is ready for a life change!

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5 Responses to “We are More Than Just an Organization…..We are a Movement!”

  1. Rodney Hawkins says:

    I am very impress by this company. They have a very unique perspective on the health, fitness, and welfare industry. Looking forward to hearing and see great things from them!

  2. Rodney Hawkins says:

    I am very impressed by this company. They have a very unique perspective on the health, fitness, and welfare industry. Looking forward to hearing and see great things from them!

  3. Cindy Wilson says:

    Awesome story. Love it and can’t wait to join the movement!

  4. Ramona Arrington says:

    As a member of LBE and a friend of the owner (s), I would have to say that I am so proud of you and I am totally looking forward to more great things with LBE.
    The daily inspirational quotes are not only an encouragement for health but for any and every aspect of life.

  5. Errol T. Arrington says:

    It is indeed an honor and pleasure to witness the beginning of one of the most influential movements to date. Leaders By Example is encouraging and motivating ppl to know who they are and what they can accompliSh. LBE will be around for a long time. God bless and keep dreamin’……

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