Empowering Vision: The Journey of Edna White, a Trailblazing Entrepreneur

Edna White, a seasoned industry leader and life purpose coach with over three decades of experience, has been dedicated to empowering women to heal, connect, and thrive. Her journey commenced as a co-pastor and youth director, where she fostered community connection and purpose. Later, Edna found success in the real estate sector, eventually becoming a brokerage owner and playing a pivotal role in nurturing confident real estate leaders. We at EliteX are proud to introduce Edna White as one of the Impactful Female Entrepreneurs to Watch, 2024.

Edna leverages her diverse experiences to guide women in building strong relationships with themselves and others. Through her coaching, individuals discover their inner strength, make fulfilling career choices, and create the lives they truly desire. Edna’s entrepreneurial journey was ignited by her experience as a single mother. Her role as a supervisor at a developmental disabilities residence left her feeling torn between work and her responsibilities as a parent. Determined to prioritize her family, Edna ventured into real estate in 1999. Motivated by a mission to empower the African American community through homeownership and leadership, she established one of Long Island’s first all-African American real estate brokerages.

“Empowering women isn’t just a mission; it’s a legacy we build with each supportive gesture and empowering action.” – Edna White

Throughout her journey, Edna faced numerous challenges typical of female entrepreneurs, including gender bias, work-life balance struggles, and limited resources. However, she strategically overcame these obstacles by hiring talented individuals, expanding her network, and prioritizing self-care. For Edna, success is defined by her passion for fostering leadership and serving her community. She has received numerous accolades, including awards from Chambers of Commerce, Black History Programs, and Legislative & County Recognition. However, her most cherished moments include being named one of the “Faces of Long Island” and receiving the Diversity in Business Award from LI Business News, reflecting the impact she has made. A turning point in Edna’s career occurred in 2017 when she spearheaded a collaborative book project titled “No Sweet Meat,” uniting 20 Long Island authors. This experience showcased her facilitation skills and solidified her leadership role within the community.

For aspiring female entrepreneurs, Edna offers valuable advice:

  • Embrace your purpose and align your venture with your deeper “why.”
  • Prepare for obstacles and develop strategies to overcome them.
  • Build a supportive network of mentors and advisors.
  • Delegate tasks to empower others and prevent burnout.
  • Prioritize self-care to maintain well-being.
  • Celebrate achievements and embrace challenges as opportunities for growth.

Achieving work-life balance has been a continuous learning process throughout Edna White’s career. Setting boundaries has been paramount. Early on, she established clear distinctions between work and personal life, designating specific working hours and making a conscious effort to disconnect outside of those times. This allowed her to be fully present for her family and recharge for the next day. Prioritizing self-care became crucial as it directly impacted her energy and ability to perform effectively. Incorporating activities like meditation, exercise, and spending time with loved ones became staples in her schedule. Delegation and teamwork played a significant role as her business grew. Edna learned to delegate tasks and build a strong team, allowing her to focus on strategic decisions and leadership while ensuring smooth operations and freeing up her time. Flexibility and adaptation were also key principles. While maintaining boundaries, Edna allowed for flexibility when necessary, such as attending a child’s school event during working hours, ensuring responsiveness while honoring her commitment to her personal life. Learning to say no was a skill she honed over time, politely declining requests that would overload her schedule or compromise her personal time. Finding joy in the journey was essential, focusing on progress and celebrating small victories, both professionally and personally.

“Failure isn’t the end; it’s a stepping stone towards greater resilience and growth.” – Edna White

While this is Edna’s personal approach, she emphasizes that the key is to find what works best for each individual. Balance isn’t always about equal time division but creating a rhythm that allows one to be their best self in all areas of life. Edna White strongly believes that mentorship is an invaluable asset in an entrepreneur’s journey. Mentors offer guidance, insights, and perspectives that can help avoid common pitfalls, save time, energy, and resources. Their objective viewpoint assists in making better decisions and exploring new possibilities. Additionally, mentors provide accountability, assisting in goal-setting and maintaining focus, while also offering networking opportunities and emotional support through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

Throughout her career, Edna has been blessed with mentors who profoundly impacted her journey. Their expertise helped her strategize, build a strong team, and overcome obstacles. Moreover, their belief in her was a vital source of confidence, especially during challenging times. Edna believes in paying it forward, striving to mentor others and share her experiences to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.

For Edna, staying innovative and adapting to changes in the industry requires a multifaceted approach. Continual learning is fundamental. Engaging with industry trends by actively seeking knowledge about emerging technologies, market shifts, and consumer preferences is crucial. This involves attending industry conferences, webinars, workshops, or subscribing to relevant publications and blogs. Additionally, investing in professional development through courses, workshops, or certifications ensures she stays updated with the latest trends and best practices. Edna recognizes the transformative power of technology and actively explores how it can be leveraged to enhance the real estate experience. This includes adopting new marketing tools, incorporating virtual reality tours, or utilizing data analytics to gain deeper market insights. By remaining adaptable and embracing innovation, Edna ensures she stays ahead in her industry, delivering value to her clients and maintaining her position as a leader and influencer.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation:

Encouraging open communication has been a cornerstone of Edna White’s approach to fostering innovation within her company. She creates an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, challenging the status quo, and experimenting with new approaches. This fosters a culture of innovation and allows for collaborative problem-solving. Additionally, Edna embraces feedback from colleagues, clients, and industry experts, actively seeking insights that can reveal blind spots and opportunities for improvement. This feedback loop enables her to adapt her strategies and ensure they remain relevant and effective.

Staying Connected with the Community:

Participating in professional organizations has been instrumental for Edna in staying connected with industry peers, exchanging insights, and learning about new developments. This involvement provides a valuable network of support and keeps her updated on the latest trends and innovations. Moreover, Edna emphasizes the importance of building relationships with key stakeholders such as brokers, developers, and community leaders. Maintaining these relationships allows her to stay informed about local market dynamics and network with individuals who can contribute different perspectives and expertise.

“Innovation thrives in an environment where diversity is celebrated, and inclusion is embraced.” – Edna White

By continuously learning, fostering a culture of innovation, and staying connected with the community, Edna White strives to remain adaptable and responsive to the ever-changing needs of the real estate industry. This approach allows her to consistently deliver exceptional service and stay ahead of the curve. Edna White is actively involved in collaborative efforts to build the business community. Currently, she is launching the Suffolk Counties African American and Latina Women in Business Network. This network aims to provide essential resources, foster camaraderie, and offer targeted support to women business owners, especially those facing greater challenges.

Edna emphasizes several key qualities essential for success, particularly for women in business. These include resilience and self-care, authenticity, confidence and self-belief, strategic thinking and adaptability, strong communication and networking skills, along with passion and purpose.

Edna prioritizes several strategies to foster a positive and inclusive work culture within her company:

  • Leading by example: Edna models behaviors that promote respect, inclusivity, and open communication.
  • Championing diversity and equity: She actively advocates for diversity and equity initiatives, establishing zero-tolerance policies for harassment, discrimination, and micro aggressions.
  • Promoting learning and growth: Edna provides regular training opportunities focused on unconscious bias, inclusive communication, and creating a welcoming environment. She also implements a mentorship program to support employees from all backgrounds.
  • Encouraging open communication and participation: Feedback mechanisms such as surveys, focus groups, and one-on-ones are utilized to gather insights from employees. Additionally, diverse perspectives are highlighted through celebrations of holidays, cultural events, and individual backgrounds.
  • Building a culture of appreciation: Consistent recognition of employees’ achievements, both publicly and privately, fosters motivation and camaraderie. Peer-to-peer kudos are also encouraged.
  • Empowering for change: Edna supports employee-led resource groups focused on specific demographics and actively involves employees from diverse backgrounds in discussions shaping company policies and culture.

Edna emphasizes that fostering a positive and inclusive work culture is an ongoing process that requires continuous learning, listening, and adapting. By prioritizing these strategies, she works towards creating a space where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to be their best selves. Edna White envisions several emerging technological advancements and trends that have the potential to significantly impact the life coaching industry in the coming years:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): Edna sees AI-powered tools revolutionizing coaching by offering personalized sessions based on individual needs and learning styles. Automated check-ins and support through AI chatbots can provide 24/7 assistance, while data-driven insights can enhance coaching methodologies.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): VR simulations and AR overlays offer immersive experiences for clients to practice new skills and visualize achieving their goals, enhancing engagement and motivation.
  • Gamification and Interactive Learning: Interactive platforms with gamified elements can make learning about personal development more enjoyable, while micro-learning modules delivered through apps or online platforms offer accessible educational opportunities.
  • Wearable Technology and Biofeedback: Wearable devices that track biometric data such as heart rate and stress levels provide coaches with real-time information to tailor interventions effectively, promoting self-awareness and accountability.
  • Evolving Client-Coach Relationships: Edna anticipates a shift towards shorter, modular coaching engagements focused on specific issues, facilitated by technology-enabled online coaching sessions that increase accessibility.

While these advancements present opportunities, Edna emphasizes the importance of ethical and effective integration to enhance services and remain competitive while preserving the human connection and personalized guidance core to life coaching.

Supporting and empowering other women in business is fundamental to Edna White’s work and personal mission. She actively engages in mentorship, builds networks, creates advocacy and awareness, empowers leadership, and participates in speaking engagements and workshops. Additionally, Edna provides financial support to initiatives aimed at advancing women in business.

“Success isn’t just about achieving your goals; it’s about empowering others to reach theirs.” – Edna White

Throughout her entrepreneurial journey, Edna has encountered numerous setbacks and failures, which she views as valuable learning opportunities that have shaped her resilience and determination. She acknowledges and accepts failure, analyzing and reflecting on the experience to extract valuable lessons. Rather than dwelling on the past, Edna chooses to learn from setbacks, adjust her strategies if necessary, and move forward with renewed determination. She surrounds herself with a supportive network of family, friends, mentors, and colleagues, seeking encouragement and advice to navigate difficult times. Celebrating small wins, even seemingly insignificant ones, helps Edna maintain motivation and perspective during challenging periods.

As Edna looks towards the future, her vision for her business encompasses two key aspirations:

  • Expanding Reach and Impact: Edna aims to serve a diverse client base beyond her current clientele, supporting individuals from various backgrounds and professions. She plans to address specific needs and challenges faced by different groups while scaling her coaching programs to reach a larger audience through online platforms or workshops.
  • Continuous Growth and Innovation: Edna is committed to staying ahead of the curve in the field of life coaching by remaining current with the latest research, methodologies, and technologies. She envisions building a strong team of coaches who share her passion for empowering individuals and organizations, while giving back to the community through pro bono or reduced-rate coaching services.

By pursuing these goals, Edna aspires to create a lasting impact and empower individuals and organizations to thrive in a world full of challenges and opportunities.

Edna White stands as a beacon of resilience, innovation, and empowerment in the entrepreneurial landscape. Through her unwavering dedication to fostering inclusive cultures, leveraging emerging technologies, and supporting women in business, she continues to redefine success and pave the way for others to follow. As she looks towards the future, Edna remains committed to expanding her reach, embracing growth and innovation, and making a lasting impact on individuals and communities alike. With her visionary leadership and unwavering passion, Edna White is poised to inspire and empower countless others on their entrepreneurial journeys.