Women's History Month Profile Alicia Makaye, Ph.D.
Who inspires you most?
There have been many people who have inspired me throughout my life. My mother, first and foremost, as well as my grandmother. There are others, such as Bishop T.D. Jakes, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Tony Robbins, who also inspire me.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Personally, my children, my 20-year marriage and getting my Ph.D. are all accomplishments I’m very proud of. Professionally, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 19 years. Pursuing this business and navigating all the challenges that come with it are not just accomplishments, they are milestones.
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated through reading and listening. Every day, I read my Bible and an inspirational quote. It’s important to be able to open myself up and listen to others and their opinions, even if they don’t align with my own. This challenges me to constantly grow and be motivated.
What book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading No More Holding Back by Kat Armstrong. This book talks about the barriers that women are up against and how to push through them.
What was the best piece of career advice you received?
The best piece of advice I received is, “You'll win if you don't quit.” I was in the midst of working on my Ph.D., building GXA with my husband and becoming a mother when I received that advice. As I look back over the past 15 years, the only reason we stand here today is because we did not give up.
What words of business wisdom do you want to pass on to others?
Take charge of your own growth. Never depend on someone else or the company you work for to do it for you. You can grow in any situation or circumstance – it’s a choice. Find ways to develop and grow yourself, especially in this technological age.
How did your previous experiences prepare you for your current role?
The bulk of my career before GXA was in the military. I'm a veteran, and I served in the United States Air Force. Much of what I learned in the Air Force I’ve been able to translate to the information technology (IT) industry. The military is very male dominated, and so is IT. In the Air Force, I had to learn how to be very comfortable with who I am and confident in my ability to lead people. The Air Force taught me service before self. I translate the same sense of servitude into the corporate world and owning a business. Everything boils down to serving my community, serving my family, and serving GXA clients and my staff.
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