Welcome to another edition of Couch Convos with your girl, Lisa W. Tetting. Today we’re chillin’ with the one and only Chantelle Anderson. Miss Chantelle, as she is affectionately known, is a beautiful spirit who has found her way to Visible Confidence, and wants you to do the same. She is a former WNBA player, turned college coach, turned sales rep, who learned through trial and error how to harness the power of confidence you can see. In her debut book titled, Visible Confidence, Chantelle gives up the 7 steps she took to get there.
LWT: Welcome Chantelle and thank you for chatting with me today. Let’s start with basketball… I’m an avid Tennessee fan and I remember playing against Vandy during your stint. Let me just say, I was happy when you graduated. Lol. In your book you quote the legendary Pat Summitt, so you obviously have love for her. Why did you choose to go to Vanderbilt instead of crossing over to the Orange side of the state?
CA: Hi Lisa! And thank you for having me! Yes, I definitely have a ton of respect for Pat. It’s actually kind of a funny story. When I was coming out of high school, there were two schools in the top 25 that didn’t recruit me: Tennessee and Old Dominion. I didn’t care much about ODU, but I was kind of offended that Tennessee didn’t want me because, I mean, they were legendary. So when I went to Vanderbilt and had to play them a bunch, I promised myself that I was going to make Pat wish she had recruited me. Haha. I always wanted to show out against them. It all worked out in the end because Vanderbilt was a much better fit for me than Tennessee would have been.
LWT: And show out you did. I’m sure Pat asked her staff how they let you get away. Having such a great college career, as a 3-Time All-American, explain the feeling you had when your college jersey was retired?
CA: Man that was a great day! It was surreal. As I watched them unveil it, I couldn’t believe that was my name up there. It was a goal I set freshman year before I ever played a game and so to have it come true was really special.
LWT: I can only imagine how great that felt. After college, you went on to have a successful career as a professional player. What do you miss most about the WNBA?
CA: I miss being part of those moments that feel bigger than life. And there’s no place in the “real world” where screaming and chest bumping after something good happens is ok, Lol. I miss that too.
LWT: I can just see that now, going into a sales meeting after a great forth quarter and chest bumping your co-workers while screaming in their faces. That might garner a visit to HR. LOL. I’m not even sure if you are aware of this, but in 2011 therichest.com voted you to their Top 10 Sexiest WNBA Players of All Time. As an intelligent woman who empowers others, how does that make you feel?
CA: Ha-ha. Someone pointed that out to me when it came out. I mean, I was flattered. I’ve always resisted being put in a box by people. I resist the idea that you can’t be sexy, smart, classy and empowering, all at the same time. These days I definitely play down the ability to be sexy though, just because it doesn’t really fit my platform. I never want my looks to distract from my words. But yeah, still flattered.
LWT: I admire your platform and the way you carry yourself. Why is Women’s Empowerment important to you?
CA: Women’s empowerment is important because there are times in my life when I’ve felt powerless. I think those are unavoidable, but I also believe we can’t let them kill our spirit. My goal is to inspire and equip women to fight when they feel powerless too!
LWT: You came up with a plan that will help women with this issue. Explain the “Have it All Plan” to our readers.
CA: The “Have It All Plan” was something my sister, Kristin, and I came up with in High School. Instead of being one-dimensional people living one-dimensional lives, we decided we could be smart, pretty, successful in our careers, and have fulfilling relationships, all at the same time. It goes back to not allowing anyone – even ourselves – to limit us by putting us in a box. It’s something I’ve always tried to live by.
LWT: That is a great sentiment, especially for someone so young. What does your “Have it All Plan” look like?
CA: My “Have It All Plan” is constantly evolving. At the foundation is the ability to love God, be me, work hard, and have fun. And I want to be surrounded by people I love and who love me in return. Sounds simple, right? Ha-ha.
CA: It was awesome! They asked for submissions and then picked about 20 people from the 200 or so they received. I was honored to be part of a series I respect so much. After being chosen, we had several rehearsals where we got feedback from the group on how to make our talks better. I had a blast!
LWT: You looked like you had fun in the video. The crowd received you very well. Please explain is the story behind the title of your blog, “Call Me Miss”?
CA: Honestly, the name is one of those things that God just dropped in my mind about 3 years ago. I was looking for something that conveyed respect, class and strength, and there it was! It made complete sense because my online persona is Miss Chantelle.
LWT: Won’t He do it? Well. Miss Chantelle, can you speak on how Lisa Leslie changed your outlook about yourself?
CA: Lisa was a role model for every tall, feminine athlete who wanted to stay true to themselves and still play ball. From the outside looking in, she embodied the “Have It All Plan.” She showed me I could be everything I wanted to be because she already was. It’s like giving someone permission to dream about something they feel has to exist, but have never seen before.
LWT: That is a very powerful gift Ms. Leslie has shared with tall girls. Let’s switch gears for a minute and speak about someone as powerful, but not necessarily using her “power” for the “Greater Good”. Last year there was a little, shall I say, controversy on your blog over a Beyonce concert you wrote about. Spill the tea on why the Bey Hive came for you?
CA: Lol. Uh yeah, about that… I posted a picture calling out “Christians” for worshiping Beyonce as she “repeatedly reps Satan in your face.” Lol. I often say things in a way that provokes feelings, either positive or negative, and that was an example of it. I got called all kinds of things. But if we’re being real, no one who has ever read the Bible and is being honest can say Beyonce represents God. And I hate to say it but there’s only one other side. There’s no third option. (I undoubtedly just pissed off some of your readers…).
LWT: You may have, but most of my readers are usually open- minded. I know your faith is very important to you. Can you tell us how you felt when you found out there was a church dedicated to worshiping Beyonce?
CA: It made me sad. We as people were made to worship God. That’s why it’s so natural for us to worship. Unfortunately we fill His spot with all kinds of other things, including people. Beyonce is amazingly talented but she didn’t create the universe.
LWT: Amen to that. I attribute it to people having a hole somewhere inside that needs filling, and they are misguided. Some turn to violence, others turn to worshiping deities and then you have those who turn to violence and bickering. On your blog you touch on this a little, please tell the readers your opinion about young girls fighting via social media.
CA: I wrote that blog after watching two girls fight over a guy on twitter. It’s just messy. If you have to tell another girl to stay away from your “man” on social media, you have a problem. Never deal with her when you really have a problem with him.
LWT: That is a great segway into your book. Explain to the readers what Visible Confidence is?
CA: Visible Confidence is the kind of confidence that everyone can see, and that doesn’t come off with anything you can take off. Visible Confidence is also the title of my first eBook! On social media I often talk about how I used to be super shy and self-conscious. One day someone asked me how I got over my issues, so I wrote her a quick, 3-page to-do list on how to be confident. I started to get that question more often so I expanded it into an eBook of practical things I used during my own process, and still use every day. I wanted it to be a resource that people could apply to their lives.
CA: Well, the first chapter is called, “Get a Divorce.” I talk about a bunch of things to help us divorce the fear we all feel going through life. Another important chapter is Chapter 6: Define Love. It discusses how our definition of love has a direct impact on our confidence level. I think my favorite chapter is Chapter 7: Unpack Your Heart. It’s probably the most practical of all, talking about how we can intentionally heal from the inside-out. Without the practicals in chapter 7, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
LWT: The book is chock-full of great tips and concepts. What is the “No Rules, Just Principles” concept?
CA: Ha-ha. It basically comes from the fact that I’m a rebel at heart. Give me 5 rules and I’m going to try to break every one of them. I think a lot of us are like that. But if we can develop a system of principles, it then becomes a lifestyle instead of a list of “can’t-do’s.” It makes decisions a lot easier, and I don’t feel like I’m fighting myself so much, as I try to live the right way.
LWT: In the book you talk about choosing role models for various parts of your life. Who are your role models for style and life?
CA: I do have different role models for different areas of my life. One is my spiritual mentor, Elizabeth, for her wisdom and Biblical knowledge. Gabrielle Union is my beauty role model, though I need to work out a little more to keep up with her, ha-ha. My manager at work, Jessica, is a terrific example of the kind of leader I want to be. And I love what Heather Lindsey of Pinky Promise has been able to do from the standpoint of a global woman’s ministry. The Bible talks about imitating different things from different people so I try to do that.
LWT: In Visible Confidence you tell a touching story about this phrase “If there is a question about it, the answer is probably no.” Please share that story with us?
CA: Sure! A couple years ago I was checking into a hotel one night and there was this girl in front of me who was trying to decide if she wanted to get a room with her date after a school dance. She looked really conflicted about the decision. So when he ran back out to the car for something, I told her, “if there’s a question about it, the answer should probably be no.” She ended up posting that phrase on her Facebook page and making the decision to go home alone. I was super excited but have no idea who she was. Lol.
LWT: Indeed you helped her to make the right decision for her that will last a lifetime. You are a walking, talking billboard for Visible Confidence. How has that affected your book sales?
CA: Thank you. I’m not sure though…
LWT: Can you tell our readers, what your marketing plan looks like?
CA: Really, I didn’t have a marketing plan for my book. I promoted it on social media, but haven’t done much else. Being my first book, I challenged myself to put my heart into writing it, which I did, hoping to have it to offer anyone who needed it. I didn’t really put a ton of effort or resources into marketing this book. However, I am putting more effort into my upcoming project, Call Me Miss, so ask me in about 6 months. Lol.
LWT: 6 months it is. Lol. Explain to us what Call Me Miss is all about?
CA: Call Me Miss is a lifestyle brand that I recently launched. The goal is to inspire and impact women’s lives through faith, empowerment and growth. It is built on the “Have It All Plan” and highlights that there is no way to truly have it all without a loving relationship with God. The response I’ve gotten so far has been great, including a feature in Madame Noire Magazine, and I’m excited about what’s in store!
LWT: That sounds amazing and I can’t wait to see it all come together. You are such a fabulous public speaker, are you doing any speaking engagements to promote your work?
CA: Thank you. I spoke at a Women’s Day to promote it a few months ago and I have 3 speaking engagements in the next couple months lined up for Call Me Miss.
LWT: You also have a new Facebook page “Call Me Miss” that has daily graphic updates and videos. How do you come up with your topics?
CA: Either something I’m personally going through, some advice I gave a friend who asked, or I have a list of sayings that I have already written. I make the graphics each week in advance and adjust if I’m inspired by something different.
LWT: I have to ask about your font on your website, because it is so unique. What is it? Why is it your favorite? And how can my readers get it?
CA: It’s called Miss Lankfort. I like it because like you said, it’s so unique. As soon as I saw it I felt like it fit Call Me Miss, and I offer the download on my website as a gift to my readers.
LWT: In addition to the many hats you wear, you host Brunch’N in Houston once a month. It is a great idea so please share what it is and how it came about?
CA: Thank you! My church is huge on missionary work and sending out mission teams to spread the Gospel all over the world. So I wanted to throw an event I could use to support that cause. I also meet a bunch of awesome people from all different walks of life in Houston. So I wanted something that connected people to others they might not naturally meet. The two needs met and Brunch’N was born!
LWT: For those of us not in Houston, how can we eat, vibe and connect?
CA: Right now it’s a local event. But if someone wants to host a Brunch’N in their city, we can definitely talk! I anticipate expanding to other cities at some point.
LWT: Networking is a key component in selling books. Outside of Brunch’N, how do you network?
CA: I think the most important part of networking is the willingness to talk to strangers anywhere you go. I talk to everyone, whether I’m at the grocery store or a specific networking event. Based on the conversation, I’ll invite them to church, Brunch’N, or connect for a potential business opportunity. I also go to a ton of events around Houston. I love live music and spoken word, or events put on by the National Sales Network, which I’m a member of. One of the coolest events I found recently was Dinner Lab. Check it out. It’s perfect for meeting new people and I loved it!
LWT: Thanks for the tip and I will definitely check it out. What are your thoughts on crowd funding? Would you ever try it?
CA: I did it before starting Brunch’N to raise money for mission work. I think it’s a great way to give people in your life the opportunity to support something you’re passionate about.
LWT: What is the main thing you want readers to get from your book?
CA: I want them to gain the ability to take control of their own confidence process, and get rid of their insecurities from the inside-out.
LWT: Tell us what success looks like to you?
CA: The ultimate success for me is becoming the woman God wants me to be. Since I don’t know exactly what she looks like yet, I’m just following Him day by day, trying to do the best I can with what I have. That may sound corny to some. But I just want to love God and help a lot of people. However that happens is fine with me.
LWT: Well, I’m a cornball at heart so I love it. What does your ideal career as an author look like?
CA: Well, I love my job in sales now. So I don’t know what being an author will look like. Whether it’s my main job eventually or stays on the side, I want to have impact through speaking, writing, and one-on-one mentoring. I’m building a faith and empowerment brand in Call Me Miss. Everything will branch off from that based on need.
LWT: Will you be writing a memoir anytime soon? I for one would love to read it.
CA: Thank you! And I will. It’s actually already written. I had a publishing deal for it a few years back before becoming a college basketball coach. Once I started coaching, publishing it wasn’t an option. Now that I’m out of the coaching world, I’ll publish it as soon as I feel it’s a good time. It’s been on my mind lately. As you can see, my plans are pretty fluid. I work better that way.
LWT: That is very exciting about the publishing deal. What’s up next for Chantelle?
CA: I am currently working on my “Dear Miss” video series. I release a new video blog every Monday on my Call Me Miss Facebook page and YouTube Channel. I have a Call Me Miss Teen Empowerment Camp in Houston in June, and a couple speaking engagements during that time also. I’m just doing my part to build and seeing where God takes it.
Well, there you have it folks, another Couch Convo in the books. Chantelle is a fascinating lady with the world at her feet. God will lead her in the right direction and she will continue to spread His word.
Facebook – callmemissbymisschantelle
Twitter – misschantelle
Instagram – misschantelle
YouTube – CallMeMissWeb
About Me – misschantelle