BLOOM readers, today I would like to introduce Rochelle Gaston Malone. Rochelle is a teacher, author, mother, motivational speaker, and Birmingham native. She utilizes her extensive education and wealth of personal experience to create renewed attitudes with her clients.
I interviewed Rochelle and learned more about this dynamic woman of empowerment and purpose. She is also the granddaughter of prominent businessman A.G. Gaston.
BLOOM SPOTLIGHT: Rochelle Gaston Malone
· When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?
When I think of the word successful, the first person that comes to my mind is Dr. A. G. Gaston. This civil rights icon accomplished the impossible during impossible circumstances. As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, he established relationships, not competitions, changed lives for the better and create wealth. I believe that he knew the key to success, and it was displayed through his accomplishments and his life which was founded on filling the needs of others. Dr. A. G. Gaston was my grandfather.
· What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a TED talk on something outside of your main area of expertise?
I would speak about legacy. The importance of understanding the process of how to leave a legacy when building one. It’s impacting how each of our lives is intentionally designed to empower others by providing the foundation for our future.
· What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made? It could be an investment of money, time, energy, or other resources. How did you decide to make the investment?
The most worthwhile investment I’ve made is launching my Talk Show, Casual Conversations, a component of my ministry. I made the decision to make this investment when I stopped running from my calling to minister and change my perspective of what that would look like.
· Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?
Oh, wow, quotes are what drive me. With that said, there are so many quotes that come to my mind. Each season of my life seems to be empowered by different ones, however, the one I would say that remains consistent is “You must be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gundi. I believe this speaks to the purpose of my being, making the necessary personal change so that I have what it takes to empower others to do the same, an agent of change here on earth.
· What advice would you give to your 20-, 25-, or 30-year-old self? And please place where you were at the time, and what you were doing.
The advice that I’d give my younger self, would be to the 20-year-old me, who was a sophomore in college desperate to establish a relationship with her father because of her need for validation of her being enough. Rochelle, you are more than enough. It’s not the expectations, actions or rejection from others that validate you. Your validation was given to you before you formed in your mother’s womb. You were born with greatness in your DNA. The very essence of what makes you more than enough is already on the inside of you. Don’t allow anyone’s lack of identification of who you are and lack of awareness in your level of greatness direct your thoughts toward yourself to be anything but the truth of who and how God made you, fearfully and wonderfully in the likeness of Christ.
· How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Or, do you have a favorite failure of yours?
The failure or shall I say failures that have set me up for later success are my failed marriages. It was from the growth during my recovery from these failures that I gained the strength and the motivation I needed to become empowered by life and empowered by faith. I believe, and I quote myself: “In order to know your greatness, you must first embrace your identity, know who you are, and then you will be able to choose who you become.” “A loss is not a failure but the door of opportunity to your next victory” because “It’s the response to former losses that create future victories” and “It’s the “I” in fight that makes it what it is and brings it all together, but It’s the strength behind the hand within the glove that creates the power of the punch.” “Your success and the success of those assigned to your life is all about choice.”
· What do you believe is true, even though you can’t prove it?
I actually don’t believe anything is true unless it can be proven. Even when we are faced with life-altering circumstances that change our realities as we’ve come to know them, the better days ahead may not be visible which can lead one to think it can’t be proven. In actuality, the evidence was provided as we were brought through the previous circumstances that had no relation to the present, but it was a part of the strengthening, shaping and molding process that proves this life-altering circumstance will also pass and better can be “Again”.