We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Ballon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amy, how do you think about risk?
In order to be successful one must take risks. While taking risks is never easy, especially when one is out of their comfort zone, it is necessary in order to succeed. The biggest risks I have taken in my life I outline in my book Fabulous to Framed. Faced with a 15 year mandatory jail sentence if convicted, I took the risk when I told my lawyer I would never accept a plea. Standing in my truth was sacred to me. Being accused of a crime I did not commit was life changing, but I knew that I would be defined by how I managed this life event in the face of adversity. I risked voluntarily taking a polygraph to prove my truth for my truth was all I had. Against all odds, those two factors essentially determined the outcome of the case the state of Florida wrongfully placed against me. In the end, the State requested a copy of my polygraph and concurred I was truthful and my case was nolle prossed meaning the state no longer wished to pursue this lawsuit. The next huge risk happened shortly after that when I was faced with taking on the largest domestic violence organization in the U.S after an employee they housed took advantage of my vulnerability. When I was victim blamed after they terminated this employee, I decided to stand up for other women who are usually so traumatized they remain silent. I placed a lawsuit against this organization and risked my reputation to ensure the next generation of women would not endure what I did. As a result of my lawsuit and after testifying to the House of Representatives twice about my victimization, in addition to other factors, the organization was dismantled and placed into receivership. I believe we have to risk failure when something is so important to us. Thankfully both of my incidents had happy endings and taking huge risks paid off.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For over 2 decades my day job has been working in the real estate development space as an executive managing sales and marketing. I have successfully been able to create a niche in my market by selling transitional neighborhoods. Being a visionary has been a huge component to my success, What is interesting about the career path I have taken is in many ways, it mirrored the personal challenges I would later face. Both personally and professionally I have learned that if you can succeed in the face of adversity, that is what sets you a part from everyone else. Most people run when they are out of their comfort zone. In real estate, that is what has defined me. I enjoy being a visionary who can see what is possible. I have learned that with perseverance and a strong conviction we can overcome pretty much anything life throws our way. I want the world to know it is possible to inspire others, that things can change, and that it is ok to go against the grain. Define who you want to be, and be willing to take risks to get there. The rest should fall into place.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend has actually come to visit for a week and what a week it was! She stayed at one of my favorite hotels in Fort Lauderdale the Harbor Beach Marriott where you can enjoy your lunch sitting outside while listening to live music. We spent hours shopping up and down Las Olas. The week she stayed happened to be the week I launched my book Fabulous to Framed. What was really exciting about that event was it was co-hosted with the innocence Project of Florida, an organization very near and dear to my heart. Having been wrongfully arrested, I knew the horrors that could cause. But to be convicted of a crime you did not commit, is just another level of injustice. We honored two men who combined served over 50 years wrongfully convicted in jail. Through the efforts of the innocence Project they were exonerated. Those two men were the highlight of the event, because to see them you would never have guessed they were victims of a broken system. It was an amazing event shared with many of my friends and family.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My dear friend and owner of a very successful P.R firm Duree Ross founder of Duree & Co. I owe a huge shout out to. She reminded me constantly that this too shall pass as I was dealing with the challenges life had given to me. In the middle of the night, she would text me to make sure I was ok. But it was the daily support she provided as I had started my own real estate sales and marketing company during the pendency of my trial that I will always remember. She kept me on task that success was my best revenge, as was living a good life. She inspired me everyday and made sure I was able to shine while living in a pretty dark place. Her compassion, friendship and confidence in how I lived my life prior to this incident helped me see the forest through the trees. For this, I will always be thankful and only hope I can pay it forward with others as she did with me. Big Shout Out to Duree!

Website: www.raisingawarenessfortheinnocent.com
Instagram: amy_ballon
Linkedin: Amy Ballon
Twitter: @amy_ballon
Facebook: Amy Ballon

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