By Victor Ochieng
Original article published on Financial Juneteenth
Katrina Walker is a self-made millionaire, who’s an embodiment of resilience. Although she has a history of being knocked down several times in her life, she always found a way to emerge stronger than before. No wonder she was able to build herself to become a multi-millionaire from nothing.
Walker doesn’t come from a wealthy background. She grew up in a family of humble means in Akron, Ohio, but was able to go into entrepreneurship at the age of 8. It all began with the 8-year-old girl collecting bottles, well aware that at some point in her life, she would pull herself out of her poor surroundings and put herself on a path to success.
She got married at an early age and was blessed with four children. Not sure of the direction she was going to take, she took up a job at FedEx. At that point, she didn’t know that listening to the words of FedEx Founder and CEO Fred Smith would positively impact her life. After some time, she was convinced that at some point she was going to be her own boss.
Hearing the CEO speak, she would say: “‘I want to move up. I want to make my life better.’ When I would hear him speak, I would always say to myself, ‘You know what?’ I don’t want this to be my life. I’m going to start my own business. If he can do it, I can do it.”
Her life was characterized with challenges that would bring down the faint-hearted. She had to part ways with her abusive husband to whom she had been married for 20 years. But that didn’t mean things were automatically rosy thereafter. She still found herself in unstable relationships. This is on top of the fact that she grew up seeing her mother being abused by her father. However, that didn’t dampen her spirits.
Amidst all the challenges, she decided to start up Rainbow Kidz Learning Center, a Tennessee-based 24-hour service day care center. Her love for children put her on a path to riches.
Now, she already has two Rainbow Kidz locations and is on the verge of setting up a third one in Alpharetta, Georgia. Her own success aside, she also takes her time to inspire others to take charge of their destiny by becoming their own bosses. Walker founded BE (Blind Eye) Foundation, an organization helping individuals facing the challenges of domestic violence and substance abuse.
There is something about her that sets her apart. She remembers her background and never fails to give back to the society whenever possible. She believes that her story will impact positively on the lives of others.
Walker is currently settled in a happy marriage that has lasted 10 years.
As for those who think they’re going through challenging times likely to create obstacles for their success, she says, “Change your thinking. You can’t keep thinking you can’t do it. And you have to get out there and make it work. And you’ve got to make good choices in your life and be skeptical about who you let in your world. Be consistent with what you’re doing.”