Thriving in Life After Trauma With Vihil H. Vigil

This week on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons our host and president, Megan Bozzuto, chatted with a member, Vihil H, Vigil, about the power of counseling and coaching to overcome the trauma of abuse, assault, and PTSD. With an impressive list of titles, such as Mom, Petty Officer 3rd Class, Quartermaster, Master Helmsman, and author, she is also the founder and owner of The Empowerment Empire LLC. 

Find those who are “driving the ship”

Back when she was in the Navy, Vihil was on a ship with only 35 other women. She became a Master Helmsman because she started as a cleaner and painter. With some research, she figured out that if she gained that qualification she would be “in the know” with all the men in leadership positions. “I learned everything I needed to with leadership guidance and became one of the first ones on the ship at 17 or 18. It was pretty cool with my left hand on the steering wheel and right hand on the throttle” said Vihil. Much later, she shared her love for destroyer ships with her daughter in San Diego 

Recruiting supporters

Friends and family can be very supportive but what if they are not on the same path. Finding a community of support to network and learn from is vital for personal, professional, and entrepreneurial development. “When you try to go at it alone, the fear and imposter syndrome come up. It’s making that commitment to yourself and then sharing it with those around you because it makes you more accountable when you are not operating in a silo. You get to talk about what you’re doing and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the support you get. That’s why I started several of the Facebook groups I participate in because I needed that support system that wasn’t naturally around me” explained Vihil.

Turning your skills into networking

After finding her power through therapy and coaching post-domestic violence, she wanted to help other women share therapeutic modalities and regain their power. However, Vigil didn’t know how to start her business, yet she knew how to cook. “I’ll do a luncheon and I’m gonna call it a Power Luncheon ’cause we are going big. My friend had a beautiful coworking space with a kitchen and I cooked a beautiful plant-based Latin meal and invited five women. I started these luncheons where women would have a platform to talk about their journey and services or products” said Vigil. The luncheons were a hit and have developed over time into Business Women of Diversity Power Luncheons. 

Want to listen to Vihil‘s full story and get more advice? Listen to Unlimited HERizons updated weekly with different amazing professional women telling their stories. All IAW members can connect with Vihil H. Vigil in the IAW Community!