Bri Jones is a professional accountant, mentor, public speaker and creative writer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Slippery Rock University and an MBA from The University of Maryland University College. For the past 18 years, Ms. Jones has been self-employed providing accounting and financial services in corporate America as a consultant. Jones is also the author of “Onika”. Read more about the spotlighted author below.
Fancy: How would you describe your swagher? What makes Bri, Bri?
Bri: I am unapologetically me. I am a nurturer, a protector, determined, focused, creative and innovative. I am a mother, sister, daughter, friend, and a role model. I have a big heart and I’m compassionate to others. I wish I could help more people develop peace and happiness. I am motivated to empower others to succeed. I am a woman who has been through many heartaches, pains, and life’s obstacles. However, through these journeys I learned not to be a victim or let them break me. They made me stronger. I’m a fighter willing to go to battle to reach my goals. I love life and all it has to offer. I love me, and I’m not ashamed of who I am destined to be. I love learning new lessons and the different ways of looking at challenges.
My most precious moments are spending time with my son, laughing, talking, listening, playing and strengthening our bond. I enjoy spending time with family and friends.
Fancy: Tell us a little about your book “Onika” and what inspired it?
Bri: “Onika” is a story about a beautiful and prestigious African princess who is being forced into an arranged marriage. But, several months before she meets her future husband, she meets someone else! In time, they fall in love with each other. Now Onika is torn between following her heart or honoring tradition. Throughout Onika’s journey she is forced to make some tough decisions and ultimately deal with the consequences. This is a positive, uplifting and reader-friendly story for all ages.
I was inspired to write a story about a princess of color who demonstrated strength, wisdom, and had a positive and uplifting background because in society and media you don’t see it. We don’t have a lot of selections when it comes to highlighting role models we can be proud of. I wanted to help plant a seed for more to come.
Fancy: While readers need to get the book, Onika has to make a difficult decision. What advice would you give readers on decision making?
Bri: We are required to make decisions every day. Some days are more challenging than others. Learn from your past and from the people around you. Don’t avoid or procrastinate making tough decisions. It doesn’t help. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Just learn from them.
Identify the decisions and the desired results, analyze possible outcomes, evaluate the long-term consequences, use critical thinking skills and be honest with yourself.
Not all decisions can be measured the same. Some decisions can be managed by removing emotional distractions and apply simple logic, while others are completely opposite. The most valuable tool is to be sincere with yourself.
Fancy: Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please share it with us.
Bri: I usually get into my writing flow when I first wake up in the morning or late at night as I’m drifting to sleep. I often alternate two different routines. I like to meditate to clear my mind and get my focus off everything going on in my busy life. Oftentimes after I meditate, I put on jazz or gospel music at a very low volume almost like a background whisper. My other routine is to have my home completely silent of music or television, and I’ll open the windows to hear nature mixed with the outdoor noise of traffic.
Fancy: Just out of curiosity, being that you appear to be able to function with both hemispheres of your brain, do you know your IQ?
Bri: I never tested my IQ. Sometimes I get curious and other times I don’t bother because I don’t want to restrict my gift in accordance with a structural test.
What are two of your favorite quotes?
Bri: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
I believe you should not measure your success by comparing yourself to others or waiting for validation. Your success is within you.
“I never lose. I either win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela
I don’t believe in failure or giving up. I believe there are more ways to achieve what you desire. You just have to discover the road that takes you there.
Fancy: Are you planning to publish anymore books?
Bri: Yes. This is something I enjoy and I plan to continue writing as long as my imagination allows me.
Please share any other projects or upcoming books you may have.
I am currently wrapping up my first draft of my “Financial Balance” book. This book is to help people create financial balance in their lives with tools they didn’t learn as students in high school. This book gives fundamental tools for creating passive income, developing a budget plan, and maintaining credit stability. I anticipate the book release by Fall 2017.
I have three additional book projects that consist of fiction and nonfiction short stories.
I am actively involved in different public and charter school programs where I visit the schools and host book club meetings, real talk and motivational sessions with the students. I also teach an “Achieving Financial Balance” ninety minute class at various locations. I do guest speaking events for conferences, workshops and wherever there is a need.
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