Former Huntsville woman teaches financial independence for women

Published: Dec. 13, 2018 at 10:51 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Getting a divorce can be a stressful time, especially if you are a woman who gave up a career for love.

A former Huntsville woman found that out the hard way. And now she makes it her life’s work to make sure no other woman makes the same mistake.

It’s been almost two years since Terre' Holmes has set foot in Huntsville. She moved to Huntsville in 2015 to get married.

“It was a big deal. I had never been married before. and I gave up my fabulous life in Chicago to move to Huntsville,” said Holmes.

And part of what Holmes gave up was her her job and all of her income .

"It was a choice that i collectively ..we made before getting married that I would give up part of my career as a teacher and focus on building my business as a master career strategist. helping women to start and grow their businesses "she said.

In a little over a year the marriage was over.

She found herself the primary caretaker for other elder family members. And after months with no income, Holmes says she was faced with significant debt .

“I hate to use the word destitute but that is what it left me. I depended on my ex-husband for everything really. and i learned a lot in that Kim. i learned about giving up your independence and entrusting your life to someone else," said Holmes.

And as the saying goes, when it rains it pours. On what would have been her two-year wedding anniversary she was in the emergency room facing her own medical crisis. She was diagnosed with a massive pulmonary embolism. With no insurance, a life-threatening condition and no ability to work for months, she had to rely on her family to help pay her medical bills.

“It was the first time in my life, Kim. I couldn’t do for myself. This wasn’t about paying bills. This was about being able to walk without having to stop and catch my breath. It was about being able to work,” she said.

That experience gave Holmes renewed passion to help other women avoid the same pitfalls. Today, she is the owner of Envison You. She coaches women on how to tap into their unique talents and gifts to start their own business and in turn build wealth and financial independence.

Angela Curry of Huntsville is one of Holmes' clients. Her company is United Women of Color, which is a nonprofit that focuses on empowering women and families through civic engagement, workforce development and income sufficiency. Her advice for other woman thinking about starting a business.

“Jump. I would advise them to discover what their passion is. What we do that comes easily us is usually our passion. For every passion that we have is a purpose in it, so just pursue that,” Curry said.

She also says to reach out to other people who have businesses and who have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Holmes says it doesn’t matter what stage of life you find yourself in. Now is the time to invest in your future.

“I meet a lot of stay-at-home moms. Their children are now gone and they are empty nesters and they are like, ‘I really want to start a business but I don’t know what I am good at.’ You use this time to explore what you are good at. Don’t take for granted that this time will last forever because it won’t. At some point your kids will grow up and it will be just you and your husband, and you have to start to build something for yourself. Something that makes you feel good about getting up in the morning,” Holmes said.

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