That’s how speaker, auctiontainer, and author Letitia Frye describes her life today. She recently spoke at Valley of the Sun United Way Women’s Leadership Council event and inspired every woman in the room. Letitia shared how her life experiences made her stronger and successful.
Karen Doerflein from WLC has been following Letitia’s life for eight years and thinks she’s amazing. “I think when women can inspire other women or people for that matter, it’s a huge deal,” said Karen.
Letitia started her career as a model and a newscaster. The “act of faith” she’s referring to happened almost 12 years ago when she was asked to emcee a non-profit event and at the last minute was asked to step in to be an auctioneer, which she had never done before. “And I did,” said Leticia. “And when I was finished, about five people asked me for a card.” Letitia never envisioned a woman as an auctioneer but it was a start to a new career.
When she travels the country, speaking and giving advice to women, Leticia says the first thing she tells them is to have a clear vision of where they want to go. “And I really recommend a journal where you actually write that thing down in extreme detail,” said Leticia.
She stressed the importance of having value and keeping your word. Leticia shared one example of mentoring a young woman who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. “I told her…I would help send her to school, I would help have her teeth fixed, I would help her get a job,” said Letitia. “Well, she quit smoking literally within two weeks and never went back after a 13 year habit. She kept her word. And in keeping her word, her value to me elevated, so I wanted to go to bat for her.”
While Letitia is great at inspiring others, you might wonder where she gets her inspiration. “My greatest inspiration is my children,” said Letitia. “When you have two little faces that look at you every day, kind of looking to you for the answers, it’s an extraordinary motivation to keep going.” Letitia has a 13-year-old son Duke and 14-year-old daughter Hunter.
Letitia is a big advocate for giving back. She started volunteering as a camp counselor for children with cancer. In addition to being a volunteer at many local organizations, she also went to Haiti to feed orphans. “And so I found this extraordinary education and opportunity,” said Letitia.“In my giving back, I gained perspective on my life.“
Another thing Letitia teaches women is that anything you think is standing in your way is an issue, not a problem. Letitia said, “And if you’d like to gain perspective on whether it’s an issue or a problem, go volunteer and help someone else.”
WLC member Joya Dunbar thought Letitia’s message was wonderful! “Her story is our story as women,” said Joya. “And we’re all basically going down the same road, but it’s just that she was able to explain it step-by-step to a point so we could all understand it and hopefully take that same step that she’s taking.”
Letitia says she has the attitude, “fake it until you make it” meaning that, “when you’re in the midst of trauma or in the midst of extraordinary challenges, just putting one foot in front of the other can be a big enough challenge, but if you do it over and over and over, eventually you actually start walking again, and before you know it, you’re running.“