Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Simene' Walden, an International Speaker, Best Selling Amazon Author, and Book Publisher. She has 15+ Years of Experience as a Middle School Reading Teacher. She helps educators and leaders tell their stories through written and verbal communication. The proudest title she carries is the daughter of the Most High King, baby girl to her mother, and oldest daughter to her father. She is a woman who believed in who God said she was. She has had to overcome much to produce something that will impact this current and the next generation.
Please tell us more about your journey.
I grew up with my mother, who raised myself and my two older brothers. I never know how much my mother had to struggle, but she always provided what we needed. My oldest sensed the struggle and began to hustle drugs in his late teenage years. He grew to be very influential in the drug game. He was arrested one time, and that was enough for him. Knowing I wanted to do more than stay in my hometown of about 790 people with one traffic light literally, I knew college was my ticket. Years of student loan debts and a business that is now growing daily, I don't think college was the only way out, but college was the only thing I was exposed to at the time. I have no regrets about my Bachelor's and Master's Degree because it has been a part of the journey, but college is not the only way. And this is coming from a public school educator.
College was hard, and I had to work several jobs to get the things I wanted. I worked as a factory worker, worked on assembly lines, bagged groceries, and operated cash registers. I worked many third shift jobs to make it through my first years of college. After graduating and landing a teaching job, I thought I had made it. After 8 years of being in the classroom, I realized I had not arrived at all. I was overworked, stressed out, and underpaid. I felt devalued, and I wanted out. I still want out, but I know my time is not up just yet.
About 5 years ago, I decided I wanted more for my life because I was miserable. I was miserable in every area of my life. I was simply tired of hiding. I was hiding from who I was, what I had been through, and the experiences I had lived through. I started writing and writing and praying and praying. I started delivering speeches in my living room to myself. I started teaching myself out loud. I saw where I was headed; I just had no idea how to get there.
I made a major move from North Carolina to Maryland in 2014 that changed my life. I didn't know anyone and didn't have much. I had to eat the free and reduced breakfast at school because I was just that broke. That went on for the entire school year. This teacher would sneak the student's leftover unopened breakfast in her bag after work to take it home to eat.
During the summer, I worked summer school, which was a first, and took a Dave Ramsay course. My finances saw a shift. I was able to publish my first book, and I started speaking and sharing my story. I did a 5 city book tour and kept sharing my message. I shared many messages on many platforms in person, online, and in the media. Eventually, others started to ask me to help them publish their stories and books, and that's where we are today. I am still speaking, sharing the message of healing, hope, and restoration while helping unmute other men and women to do the same unapologetically.
Please tell us about your companies ‘The Student Teacher, LLC' and ‘Pretty Healed & Handsomely Whole Apparels.'
The Student Teacher, LLC was founded upon the premise that I would hear God speak, listen to what He said, study what I was taught while being an excellent student, and then teach others what I had learned and was learning. It started with academics and evolved from spiritual things to book publishing, book coaching, and speaking. I assist educators and leaders by telling their stories through written and verbal communication.
Pretty Healed & Handsomely Whole Apparel was birthed through my private time of reading. It was through reading the Word where I would find phrases and slogans that stood out to me. These words became daily affirmations and declarations. When I saw how impactful they had been in my own life, I wanted others to experience that same transformation and joy. Pretty Healed and Handsomely Whole are more than words on a t-shirt or hoodie; it is a lifestyle.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
- Prayed specific prayers about my journey.
- I consistently invest in professional development, mentoring, and coaching.
- Partnered and collaborated with others that were aligned with my vision.
- I reached out to as many free platforms that I could until I could pay for paid opportunities. Marketing pays off.
- Every time I failed, I never quit. I acknowledged my failures, learned from them, asked for help when it was needed and necessary.
Any message for our readers.
The biggest investment you will ever make is with yourself. Find the right people who will help you grow by investing with them for your next level. If needed and necessary, take fear, doubt, anxiety, and uncertainty with you. Eventually, they will fall off, or their influence will be minimum when you start believing in yourself. Keep showing up and give your all. In the moving, learning, doing, and failing, you learn. You will eventually learn who your perfect customer is, and the perfect customer is the one ready to buy what you have right now.
Please tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I love Chick-fil-A. I get extra BBQ sauces to bring home with meals when I cook. It makes me think I am eating Chick-fil-A even when I am not. It's a mind thing. Your mind is a powerful tool. Use it wisely and think of things that are a good report
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much for giving us your precious time! We wish you the best for your journey ahead!