From Pain to Purpose: Sheri Simmons says The Hell She Went Through Was Not In Vain!

Hi Sheri! Tell us about your backstory that lead to the path you’ve chosen to take to assist other women and children with their life journeys!

As a child and young adult, my voice was silenced. I lived up to everyone’s expectations and was afraid to follow my own wants and needs. I completely lost myself doing this. In me trying so hard to please everyone, I ended up in a mental hospital with a 72-hour involuntary hold. Living for everyone else cost me to have a mental breakdown at 26 years old.

I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy. I decided to help people through their life journey because I know it is rough. I did not have support. No one was talking about domestic violence when I was in it at 21 and almost had my life taken. No one was talking about mental health when I contemplated suicide. No one was encouraging me to be my authentic self. So, I made the decision to be the change that I wanted to see. Our stories are ours and can motivate and inspire people we do not even know. I live for moments when people tell me I inspire or motivate them through my books or spoken word. — It means the hell I went through was not in vain.

Can you explain your vision behind your brand, From Pain to Purpose?

From Pain To Purpose came from me literally finding my purpose in pain. I knew I wanted to help people when I was growing up. I told my mom I wanted to be a doctor. When I found out I needed to be great in math, that dream died. Math and I do not get along lol. So, I struggled with a way that I could help people for years.

My first book Tales From The Broken Hearted was written in 2011 when I was going through heartache in a relationship/ I felt since I was already in pain, I might as well get something positive from the situation. The book told three tales of people being in love and their mate was not in love with them. My message was for people to stop playing with people’s hearts and emotions. It’s a difficult thing to get over. 

From Pain to Purpose is all about motivating people to tell their stories from a victorious point of view, not a victim. We went through a struggle and survived that is not weak but something to be proud of! Struggle is part of life, how we handle it is up to us.

I provide memoir writing coaching and will be launching a group coaching program called Purposeful Transformation ®

What are some challenges you’ve encountered along the way of pursuing your purpose?

Challenges come and sometimes all at once in my life. One major challenge was deciding who I wanted to be myself or the girl who was everything and everyone for people. After losing everything because of people, I realized enough  was enough. I no longer wanted to be that person. I chose me. In choosing myself, I lost people. Looking back it was indeed for the best.

Another challenge is being a special needs mom. No one understands the life unless they have a special needs child themselves. I really learned some tact and patience because people are really cruel with the things that they say to me and my child. I spent so many nights crying because I couldn’t understand why I was given this child with some many needs. I then understood that if my purpose is to help people, I needed to be there for this child of mine. He has definitely made me see the world differently. 

What are some of your greatest accomplishments thus far, and who were some of the people who helped/supported you along the way?

Three of my greatest accomplishments call me mommy. I have three sons ages 11, 8, and 4. My 8-year-old has published a book called I Am Special Yes I Am which talks about his disability called Neurofibromatosis.

Graduating from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (BA in Political Science) with a newborn and a 2 year old. 

I’m 2 classes away from a Masters Degree in Law

Applying for Law School in 2022 for Fall 2023

Studying for the LSAT. It is a True Beast

Writing and publishing over 25 books for myself and others. 

My support came from My Grandmother (she passed away in 2015). I get support in writing from some veteran authors including Tamika Newhouse. For my children I have an amazing husband who helps with them. 

We love that you’re a published Author! – Tell us about your works and how they came to be! 

Lol I never wanted to become an author. I really am a private person. People used to tell me all the time growing up I should be one of two things: a comedian or an author. They liked the way I told stories in a comedic and detailed way. Well, I don’t like being laughed at, so me being a comedian was a no. To this day people tell me I am funny, and I am so serious. I don’t get it lol

My work comes from everywhere. Anyone and anything is fair game in my writing. My first book was about my relationship heartbreak. I knew some characters in my personal life. Some of the female characters have bits and pieces of my personality in them. Ideas are always flowing in my head, so I keep notebooks for days lol 

Tell us about your Writers Academy. – What does it offer; what are the requirements and what is the process for enrollment? 

At the moment, my Writers Academy is being revamped and incorporated with another company. I started it in November 2020 and spent 6 weeks teaching aspiring authors how to write and publish books. I did those 4 times between November 2020 and May 2021. 

I have in it’s place a Write with Me mentorship where aspiring authors come to learn all about writing and publishing as a business. Because that is what it is, and most don’t know that. Enrollment for that is open. They must have a story idea or story written, they have to be willing and ready to invest and work. 

I also have tons of videos for sale on writing topics people request from me all the time. 

There’s word that you have a Non-Profit initiative underway as well. Can you share with us your vision and mission there? Also, how can supporters connect to get involved?

My non-profit is going to help get more black and brown people into the legal professional. (I have a name and won’t reveal until I complete the paperwork. 5% of people who look like me are lawyers. 2% are women. That is not enough for me. We live with a flawed justice system that will not protect myself, my husband, my children or my people, period.

People do not understand that before you can even get into law school, you are spending money. The LSAT is $200 and if you do not get an ideal score that is another $200. LSAT prep is another fee, applications, etc.. Those things along can deter people with economic hardship. My nonprofit wants to provide scholarships for last prep applications and anything that prevents people of color from applying. 

Supporters can donate, volunteer and attend events when we launch. I want to start the process once I am in Law School in 2023. 

Do you belong to or facilitate any support groups that women can physically connect with?

Currently no. I am meeting with support groups on zoom mostly because everyone is scattered all over the place. I’m from NYC so there are still rules on how many people can attend events and being vaccinated.

Do you have any advice for WOC who have amazing stories, but don’t know where to begin, professionally?

The most important thing is to finish writing the draft. You can’t do anything without it.
Second don’t try to write a story alone. Writing a book is a journey that needs a team of people. So ask questions, and put together an amazing team to get your book published
Third everyone who wrote a book did not go through the process. Being in the industry Goin on 11 years in 2022, I can tell you how many people I ran into that published a book but can’t explain the process.

Learn the process and trust it.

Sheri Simmons

Great Leaders support other Leaders; especially by mentioning their names in rooms of opportunity, regardless of their presence. – Name some of your favorite leaders!

I believe the best leaders are the ones who don’t even know it. My favorite leaders are Harriet Tubman and Thurgood Marshall. It wasn’t about them but the people that they were fighting for. They showed up no matter how dangerous the fight was.