Resilience is my middle name, LOL. I have been beating the odds all my life. I suffered a lot of homelessness at an early age and that was one of the major contributions to building my resiliency. It fueled a fire inside of me that would never allow me to be homeless again. Homelessness also gave me an unmatched drive and determination. Fear of being poor and homeless made me go twice as hard as everyone else.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ronita Overton.

Ronita Overton is a United States Army Veteran, a Corporate Executive, Author, Entrepreneur, Artist, and a Native Washingtonian. She defied the odds and excelled up the corporate ladder without a college degree. Then, at 40, she pivoted to become a rapper and author. She wrote her debut book, Sometimes the King is a Woman, to share her story in hopes of inspiring others from communities like hers.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

Thank you for having me. I am native Washingtonian, I grew up in southeast Washington D.C., a place a lot of people don’t make it out of. After graduating high school I enlisted in the US Army, and at the completion of my enlistment I returned to DC and pursued a career in the corporate world. I was able to excel up the corporate ladder without a college degree.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I was able to excel up the corporate ladder with a college degree. The most important thing I realized was that I didn’t need a college degree to get to the top. I quickly realized that having a specialized skill set will get you in doors quicker than that college degree. Even though I didn’t have a college degree I made sure to acquire as many certifications in my arena as possible. I acquired a wealth of knowledge and I became the subject matter expert in my field. Make yourself irreplaceable!

I also learned in order to be a good leader you have to be a great follower, always pay attention because one day you will be called to lead. Make sure you are ready!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The title of my book makes it stand out “Sometimes The King Is A Woman” The title is Bold, catchy, it draws you in. My book is raw, vivid and captivating, it draws you in and keeps you wanting more. The book is my life story and I am a colorful person. I am the person that my friends call and say “Tell me a funny story, I know something crazy has happened to you this week” LOL and sure enough I always have an interesting true story for them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My mother Cassandra E Overton, I call her the CEO. I owe everything I am to her. Talk about “Rising Through Resilience” My mother was the most resilient person I ever met. I saw her face so much adversity alone, and through it all, no matter how grim the situation looked, she never gave up! She always found a solution! She passed that fighting spirit on to her children. I wish she lived long enough to see me do all these great things!

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is to never quit! If you get knocked down 10 times, you better get up 11 times.

Traits and characteristics of resilient people:

  • Determination
  • Drive
  • Mental Toughness
  • Self-Esteem
  • Fighting Spirit

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

Courage is Similar to Resilience

  • You have to be fearless to have courage
  • You have be mentally tough to have courage
  • You have to have high self esteem to have courage, because courage requires you to go against the norms, you have to be strong enough to travel some roads alone

Courage is Different to Resilience

  • Some people have physical strength but that don’t have mental toughness
  • Some people have courage but they also have fear
  • You can’t be resilient without courage

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

Jay-z, this guy grew up in Marcy Projects in NY, then became a rapper, entrepreneur, activist, philanthropist and last but not least the 1st billionaire rapper in history. And he looks like me, he comes from the hood like me and even though he started out poor, he didn’t stay there. He made the decision to change his situation. He started at the bottom and look where he is now.. So if he can do it then so can anybody else.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

I come from a place where you are expected to fail, so I learned a long time ago not to share my dreams and goals with others. Because some people have accepted where they are in their lives and your dreams and goals may sound like fairy tales to them. So I rarely share my goals.. I just execute the mission.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

In March of this year I walked away from my corporate job. I didn’t have a ton of money saved up and I honestly didn’t know what my next move would be. Instead of trying to find another job, I focused all my time and energy into writing my 1st novel. “Sometimes The King is A Woman” . I was able to complete the novel in 6 months and also put out my 1st single and music video. Walking away from that job allowed me the freedom to follow my dreams!

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Resilience is my middle name, LOL. I have been beating the odds all my life. I suffered a lot of homelessness at an early age and that was one of the major contributions to building my resiliency. It fueled a fire inside of me that would never allow me to be homeless again. Homelessness also gave me an unmatched drive and determination. Fear of being poor and homeless made me go twice as hard as everyone else.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

  • Choose you and your happiness 1st
  • Never give up! Keep pushing towards you goals, big or small
  • Always keep your head held high. It’s ok to fail sometimes, you can’t win them all
  • Look at your losses as lessons
  • The only person that can quit on you.. Is you!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am an advocate for therapy, I see my therapist bi-weekly, it’s part of my self care.. If I could inspire a movement, I would encourage everyone to go to therapy. We all are healing or trying to heal from some sort of trauma. I know I am trying to heal from a lot of things and therapy has brought me a long way. The black community as a whole has stigmatized therapy when in actuality we need it more than we want to acknowledge

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Shawn Corey Carter — AKA- Jay-z. Jay-z has been mentoring me through his music for the past 20 plus years. I just want to 1st tell him thank you for sharing his blueprint with the world. He is an inspiration to me and I just want to tell him thank you for moving the culture forward and being unapologetic about who he is! This guy taught me about foreign cars, exotic trips, high fashion and how to set the corporate world on fire through his music.. If that’s not Influence then you tell me what is!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The readers can follow me on:

Instagram @ronitaoverton and @kingdudethaartist

Facebook @ronitaoverton and @kingdudethaartist

Youtube @kingdudethartist

My Website:

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank You Again For Having me!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.