Disabled, Successful Businesswoman-Ask Me Anything!

LJ Thomas
May 17, 2018

I am an author, publisher and business owner. I am the CEO of Asoral (www.asoral.org) and my books are available online. I have overcome fear of failure, being a poor disabled African-American woman with poor health to become a success in business. I am running my business and I am making other moves in the business world. 

Visit Books by LJ Thomas on Facebook

AMAFeed.com proof

www.asoral.org

What is the Vibe of this AMA? What is AMA Vibe?

This AMA has finished, no more comments and questions can be posted and votes submitted to those. Check other similar AMAs here or host your own AMA!

Conversation (66)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your disability?
May 21, 12:46PM EDT0

I have not personally experienced this type of discrimination.

May 22, 3:08PM EDT0
What steps/programs/policies you would like to suggest for the ladies who want to be successful like you?
May 21, 10:32AM EDT0

Hmmm...I would love to see workshops/seminars which provide real world financial resources. I mean the kind of information that tells you where you can apply for loans, grants, find investors and the information is up to date.

I would also like to see the government provide incentives for woment o start and operate business. Something like a woman startign and hiring X number of employees might receive a lower insurance premium (example).

I would like for there to be policies adopted which help disabled persons start and operate businesses. Especially those who are living on SSDI. Often times, the monthly check is barely enough to live on and it seems like the diabled are punished for trying to work. Make it attractive. 

May 22, 3:07PM EDT0
How difficult do you feel is it for a woman to start a company?
May 21, 9:29AM EDT0

I would love to say it is not difficult at all. However, we live in a male dominated world and to say it is easy is unrealistic. Aside from the normal obstacles, a woman usually has to deal with lack of support in her idea from some men. In addition, there is always the fallacy that women are poor or ill-prepared to operate a business.

May 22, 3:00PM EDT0
Some people may feel uncomfortable around people with disabilities because they're worried they'll say the wrong thing. What would you say to them?
May 20, 8:36PM EDT0

We can tell when someone feels uncomfortable. But, remember, we are people just like everyone else. We have thoughts, feelings and the same things you have. Just treat us like a person. As you get to know us, you will find out what is offensive to us. 

May 22, 2:57PM EDT0
Have you ever had a request from a client for their project that was too difficult to achieve, therefore declining the job?
May 18, 8:40AM EDT0

I have not declined jobs because they were too difficult. However, I have declined jobs because the client was not ready, meaning they did not have everything in order for me to proceed.  I am a firm believer in letting my clients know when I have a limitation which will prevent me from completing a project. Transparency is important to me.

May 19, 10:07AM EDT0
How difficult is it to acquire an approval for a grant for a client?
May 17, 11:41PM EDT0

Getting a grant is difficult simply because there are funder qualifications and project criteria which have to be met. If all of the qualifications are there, then it is a matter of if the funder feels your project is worth funding. So the process is not so much difficult, as it is tedious and detailed, in my opinion.

Last edited @ May 19, 10:11AM EDT.
May 18, 9:36AM EDT0
How did you break the news to your children that you have MS? What was their reaction?
May 17, 8:24PM EDT0

My children knew something was wrong and I prepared them little by little. I explained to them that MS is like when a cord is broken on the hairdryer. It might work or it might not. I told them that their mother had Bad Nerves. But, if asked, they could give the medical explanation of what MS really is. They were very supportive and they understood when I could not get out of bed or play with them or had to stay in the hospital. 

Last edited @ May 19, 10:11AM EDT.
May 17, 9:53PM EDT0
What kind of research did you do for your book on domestic violence? How did that experience affect you?
May 17, 6:12PM EDT0

Aside from my own personal experience with DV, I did research on national resources to help all of the people that I personally know are affected. It was hard, I cried a lot and it took a long time for me to write the book, but I felt like the resources were needed in one place.  

May 17, 6:54PM EDT0
Do you ever get bouts of depression when dealing with the degenerative state of MS? How do you overcome it?
May 17, 6:04PM EDT0

I do get depressed. When it gets too hard for me to manage it on my own (cartoons, singing and coloring) then I see my doctor and get some medicine.

Last edited @ May 19, 10:12AM EDT.
May 17, 6:33PM EDT0
Did you have to acquire any degrees or certifications to obtain the knowledge for graphic design?
May 17, 5:29PM EDT0

I did not go to school for graphic design.

May 17, 6:32PM EDT0
What do you want your reaction to be in this world?
May 17, 2:29PM EDT0

I want to make sure I have a positive and good impact on the people I touch through business or in my personal life. I want people to think of good things when they think of me and my contribution to society.

May 17, 3:41PM EDT0
What form of disability do you have? Has it been there from childhood or developed later in the life?
May 17, 7:15AM EDT0

I am physically disabled and it developed later in life.

May 17, 9:08AM EDT0
Is there anything you find too painful to write about? How would you define success?
May 17, 4:26AM EDT0

The one thing I find too painful to write about is loosing my father.  I define success by measuring satisfaction in completing a task successfully. I am constantly faced with obstacles, but I am also constantly completing goals. This is my success.

May 17, 8:56AM EDT0
Do you only publish established authors or do you publish inspiring authors?
May 17, 3:16AM EDT0

I publish writers, new or established.

Last edited @ May 19, 10:08AM EDT.
May 17, 8:53AM EDT0
Who has been your biggest supporter and motivator through your journey as an author and a businesswoman?
May 17, 12:15AM EDT0

My husband. However, I have a great support system, from my mother, to my children to my siblings and my friends.

May 17, 8:52AM EDT0
What is your objective behind writing books dealing with human emotions and mental health?
May 16, 4:22PM EDT0

I believe our emotions clearly shape us and sometimes the emotions displayed are a result of mental illness. These  two things are connected, of course and in order for me to bring awareness to mental illness issues, I have to discuss both. So, basically, I want people to realize that the stigma placed on mental illness sufferers is unfounded. In fact, it is much more common than the general public realizes.

Last edited @ May 19, 10:14AM EDT.
May 16, 5:36PM EDT0

What was the defining moment which led you to open your own business?

May 16, 1:11PM EDT0

When I realized that because of my health issues, it was going to be difficult to find employment, I knew I had to start a business. This was the only way for me to do something I love and get paid for it. This would give me the freedom and flexibility to work and enjoy life.

May 16, 1:27PM EDT0
How many people have you interviewed so far and who all will you bring on in the near future?
May 16, 1:00PM EDT0

To date I have interviewed 18 people. We still have most of season 3 (12 week season) to go. I also have season 4 later this year. By the end of the year, I will have interviewed a total of 52 guests, that were scheduled. 

In relation to scheduling guests, I have doctors, fitness experts, farmers, makers of natural body products, people who work with seniors, a chef who gives back and so much more.

Last edited @ May 16, 1:24PM EDT.
May 16, 1:23PM EDT0
What do you see as your role in the writing community at this point in your career?
May 16, 12:40PM EDT0

I see myself as a writer who provides information. I also like to make people think. I usually do this with my fiction work.

May 16, 1:14PM EDT0
You also organize . What is your talk show all about and what topics do you like to cover in it?
May 16, 11:52AM EDT0

My talk show is about people giving back. We spotlight positive people doing positive things for a positive community. We try not to have a particular list of topics because there are so many ways people help others. But we are neutral on religion and politics, so we stay away from these two topics simply because we do not want to offend anyone.

May 16, 1:13PM EDT0
About #BusinessAMA

Welcome to #BusinessAMA, an AMA channel all about Business for startups, founders, CEO's. and more.

The #BusinessAMA channel is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.