What is your life’s purpose?
My mission is to improve humanity by changing the way we perceive one another.
How are you living your purpose?
As a lifelong advocate, now Abilities Crusader, I am the Founder and CEO of Bold Blind Beauty, an online community that brings women together to share in the beauty of fashion and style. The community encourages empowerment, camaraderie, and makes a connection between the sighted and non-sighted worlds while eradicating misconceptions and long-held stereotypes about blindness and people living with sight loss.
How did you find your purpose?
My purpose found me. It happened as I began to trust my ability to communicate in a way to impact positive change. As an avid community volunteer turned advocate, I fought for the rights of my son and mother, both of whom have disabilities.
Years later when I lost my eyesight, I had to learn how to advocate on my behalf. I quickly learned that thriving within the sighted world meant overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles—the most significant being the misconceptions around sight loss, blindness, and the capabilities of blind people.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
I believe finding one’s purpose begins with knowing oneself. My purpose was never far from where I am because it is who I am. I used to think that many of the challenges I encountered in my life were the vehicles I would use to make a difference but it was my need to change what I viewed as injustice, to have my voice heard, that eventually allowed me to see the power of words—my words would make change possible.
Beginning with an honest self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly passions, is a great start. Learning to trust yourself is also key because there are many obstacles that can and will derail you. Advice is good but you have to sift through it to pull the pieces that will be beneficial to you.
My last piece of advice is continuous goal setting and tracking so you can see how far you’ve come. Without a clear picture, it’s too easy to begin internalizing you’re not progressing.
What resources do you recommend?
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
The Prophet (A Borzoi Book) by Kahlil Gibran
Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou
The World I Live In and Optimism: A Collection of Essays by Helen Keller
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Myers Briggs Personality Assessment
Stephanae McCoy is a successful businesswoman, style setter, blogger and abilities crusader who breaks the myth that “blind people can’t be fashionable.” Ms. McCoy’s love of personal style began when she was young where she honed the ability to present a self-assured, polished image as her personal trademark, contributing in part to her successful business career. Later on, while researching the viability of a business focused on serving women with disabilities, Ms. McCoy discovered that the high number of disabled working-age women – particularly those who were vision-impaired, had a high unemployment rate disproportionate to women without disabilities. Around that time, when giving a presentation to vision-impaired women on applying makeup – the light bulb went on: she realized that there was an underserved community of blind women interested in fashion and style, paving the way for her style blog Boldblindbeauty.com.