Holding considerable expertise in leadership and motivation, De’Borah Smith is an accomplished life coach, speaker and ordained minister, and attributes much of her success to her consistency and honesty. She has made a name for herself through her ability to be nurturing to youth and young adults while maintaining clear boundaries that help her clients get to the heart of their problems. In 2020, she founded Build Your Best Life, where she works with young men and boys aged 15-25, helping them to establish their lives by providing coaching and counseling regarding everything from bill payment to moving states. Ms. Smith is continually motivated by her desire to see these young men flourish as they learn life skills that will create a solid foundation for an independent life.
As a life coach, Ms. Smith has done considerable pro bono work, helping young men around the globe and doing mission trips to schools and churches. She is particular proud of what she accomplished during a recent mission trip to the Bahamas, where she had the opportunity go to several schools and churches to speak with the students, teachers and ministers. She emphasizes that you have to care about yourself, and strives to show the young men she works with that they can overcome their struggles and build their best lives. Alongside her primary career endeavors, she published “Build Your Best Life” through Xlibris Publishing in 2020, to help guide young adults in overcoming obstacles in their lives. Furthermore, she joined Liberty University to further her skills in the field and obtained a master’s degree in human services counseling and life coaching in 2021.
Ms. Smith has always been independent, from her very first job as a secretary in the underwriting department of Florida Blue, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. Spending 39 years rising through the ranks within the underwriting department of Florida Blue, she was responsible for overseeing pricing, managing discounts and handing the budget for two call centers, hers and the vice president’s. In 2017, she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, summa cum laude, from Florida State College at Jacksonville and concluded her tenure with Florida Blue as the senior director and manager after 41 years with the company.
In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, Ms. Smith maintains professional membership with the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the International Coaching Federation and the Effective Living Life Management Agency. She has also given back to her community through involvement with Toastmasters International; financial donations to the Colon Cancer Coalition, Liberty University and her local church; and donating books to children in need. As an ordained minister, she has been the children’s ministry leader at her church for over 20 years.
Ms. Smith notes that her greatest achievement is the work she is doing now as a life coach as she considers the most gratifying part of her career to be getting to work face to face with her clients. A particularly memorable moment was when she finally had the chance to meet a young man she’d been working with in person. Prior to that moment, they had been meeting over Zoom, since he was one of her very early clients and when he started in-person meetings weren’t feasible. The young man is now excelling in art school with plans to pursue a career in theater. He called her recently to talk about his life and how he was feeling, and Ms. Smith felt incredibly happy that he felt comfortable enough to call when he needed someone to talk to.
Having learned much throughout her career, Ms. Smith continues to supplement her existing skills with continued research so that she can help others to the utmost of her ability. Looking toward the future, her goal is to do more traveling around the world to speak to young people and emphasize the importance of working to build their best lives. She is currently in the process of reaching out to pastors and teachers in order to bring new, more varied programs to Build Your Best Life. In her personal life, Ms. Smith has been married to her husband, Dan, for many happy years and is the proud mother of four children, Jermaine, Salandra, Dan and Christopher, and grandmother to six grandchildren, Tierra, Dan II, Aubrey, Natalya, Makayla and Grayson.