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Meet Trailblazer Shaudae McMillan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaudae McMillan.

Shaudae, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I moved to Dallas five years ago fresh off the graduation stage, five months pregnant set on being a wife, mother, and career woman. Well, I became a mother and career woman. When I say a career woman, I mean I worked 2 -3 jobs all at once on top on co-parenting and later adding full time graduated student schedule to the laundry list. That season in my life was troubling, and it lasted for four long years. I was exhausted in every way a human can be tired, disappointed, and lost. I think I was almost evicted seven or eight times (I have lost count), my headspace was just that “spacy” and most days, I was so inside my head, I barely paid attention to anything that was right in front of me. I was always worried about the next bill that needed to be paid. But God kept me and held me. I remember I was living in DeSoto and working in Plano, and I was on the tollway, and all my emotions came out at once and burst into tears. My phone was connected to the radio, and I was listening to rap music when the tears started. While I was balling in the car, a song by Smokie Norful named “I Understand” came on. Remember, I was not on the gospel station, and I had not heard the song before. In the song, it talks about God using seasons in your life that seem painful as stepping stones, but, he understands our hearts, feelings, and that seasons can be strenuous. At that time, I was working as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist, and that’s where I fell head over hills for kids with Autism.

I worked there for a year and went on to be a total communications teacher, where I taught children with autism. When I started teaching is when I started back really talking to God and consulting him, but, I had not given him all of me. I ended doing the new years fast with my home church, Concord, and after the fast, I had a dream about the business. I called one of my friends at 2:00 am and told him about the company, and he told me to go full steam ahead and talked me through some processes. I brought the LLC for Selah Respite Care on February 16th, 2018 and became a full-time CEO on February 23rd, 2019. When I worked as a therapist, I got burned out quickly, it is very demanding work. When I worked as a teacher, I could not fulfill my passion for the population because of the structure of the district. I was miserable, so I went to God again. I ended up getting separated from the district and the day I got the papers I logged in to my facebook and the “This time last year” Facebook reminder was a picture of when I announced that I brought my LLC. I took that as a sign from God and never looked back. I am now still a full-time CEO, and I have written articles that are published here in the States and the in the UK, I have the best clients and team members, I have trained police officers, parents, and teachers. However, the most exceptional opportunity I have had is being able to see God move on my behalf, experience his protection, and his love and grace. I have been abused in more ways than one throughout my life but watching God use my pain as a connector to other people, and this business shows that the pain was just something I was going to need in my purpose. Selah Respite Care is my God-given gift and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Ha! No, not at all, it’s been rocky the whole way! I started the business in a large amount of personal debt, and there have been months where I have made little to nothing. It’s scary being an entrepreneur. However, God has been a moving force in my business closing and opening doors along the way. I had to find my niche of people that I could market to and gaining trust in the population was hard. I also was learning how to be a CEO while learning business policies and systems which caused some hiccups, I was all heart and no system when I first started. My advice for young women who are just beginning their journey is to believe in yourself first before you go out and find other people that believe in you. People do business with people they like and trust. Of course, when you start, it won’t be comfortable financially, and it’s ok to feel overwhelmed but, take the time to love yourself and take care of yourself in the process. I say this because the energy you give out makes a difference when you walk into a board room, when you talk to a potential client or when you are selling a product.

We’d love to hear more about Selah Respite Care.
So, as the CEO, my primary function is keeping the business alive and operating as smooth as possible. Lately, I have been doing a lot of Autism sensitivity training for professionals and partnering with other firms and professionals in the special needs population. As for the company as a whole, “We give Superheros Coffee Breaks.” Raising a child with special needs can not only be painful; it is time-consuming. Most parents never have time to be who they are outside of being a parent, and that’s where we come in. Selah Respite is a specialized nanny service exclusively for children and adults two months – 35 years old that have unique circumstances and require caregivers with a special skill set. What sets us apart is that we are the only company that does what we do on a large scale. There are other sole – proprietor businesses that do what we do. Selah Respite is a team of providers which allows us to serve all of DFW. We also take it a step further and partner with our client’s school, therapy teams, and the entire family. We strive to help our clients not only have quality care but assistance in helping them in any way possible to meet some goals and milestones. We do not classify ourselves as baby sitters but in-home change agents. I am the proudest of the calls and emails that I get from clients raving over the service and having those connections, it means the world to me.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
The bible has been my primary source of help, but I do love Gary Vee; he helps me get my mornings started. I attend Think Tank Tuesdays where other entrepreneurs get together to work and bounce ideas off of one another. SCORE Dallas has been monumental they are a (FREE) mentoring service for small companies and startups. Michael Wilson at processology has been more than a blessing; they help you automate your business. They also fix and structure the flow of your company so that you can be a CEO and a regular person. I listen to a lot of gospel music and attend bible study and church regularly. The best resource you can have is putting yourself in a space with like-minded and supportive people. Only entrepreneurs understand entrepreneurs.

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