Electrifying. Perceptive. Determined. Honest.
These are just a few words that aptly define Dr. Venus Opal Reese. However, beyond her four degrees and multimillion-dollar business, she would still describe herself as more “street than Stanford.”
On March 31, Dr. Venus came to the Durham Convention Center as part of the tour for her self-published book “The Black Woman Millionaire: A Revolutionary Act That Defies the Impossible.” With a crowd made up primarily of black women, Dr. Venus broke down how those in attendance could “turn their pain into profit.”
Dr. Venus proudly promotes her unique teaching style where she helps clients heal their own personal and historical wounds.
According to her, a person’s pain caused by personal or social harm hinders the monetary flow of their business. By overcoming that pain, a person can use it to their advantage and open up new avenues of revenue.
Before helping clients, she often uses her own life as a personal example of that philosophy.
Growing up, Venus often saw her existence as pure pain because of the hardships she endured — by sixteen, she was kicked out by her mother onto the streets of Baltimore and left to fend for herself by sleeping in alleyways or searching through trash to find food and clothing.
Performing well in school simply became a functional transaction for her, as she could keep coming back to a warm place that offered her both breakfast and lunch if the work got done.
Venus recalled one night when, steeped in “urine and beer,” she prayed to find a way out of her beyond-impoverished situation. Her prayers were answered the following day in the form of her eighth-grade math teacher Judy Francis. Francis took notice of Venus’ situation, and reached out to help.
Francis took Venus under her wing and over time helped her secure financial aid, a plan for the future and a place to stay at Francis’ own apartment.
Dr. Venus considers Francis to be the woman that saved her life.
The dedication to showing others the same love that Francis showed her became the building blocks for Dr. Venus’ company Defy Impossible, Inc. By overcoming the pain in her past, Dr. Venus was able to create a unique, flourishing career path with roots in her own experience.
For further insight into Dr. Venus’ career, background and personal inspirations, watch the video above.