Ep. 11: How Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson Got from Here to There

To celebrate her 65th birthday, the 3 Stores, 2 Cotton Gins, 1 Remarkable Life podcast flipped the script by interviewing Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson!

In this episode, management consultant and founder of Aepiphanni Business Consulting, Rick Meekins, sat down with Dr. Cynthia to gain insight into what ‘heartwork’ is and its difference from simply doing hard work, along with why she always strives for excellence and her close relationship with God. She talks about her own stories, experiences, learnings and how it all led her from there to here.

If you’d like to officially get to know the host of 3 Stores, 2 Cotton Gins, 1 Remarkable Life, listen and learn more from Dr. Cynthia herself!


In this episode you will also discover:

  • On taking the road less traveled
  • The importance of learning something new every day
  • The most interesting thing that Dr. Cynthia learned about herself throughout her journey
  • Listening to other people and encouraging their big dreams
  • Why excellence is the only standard Dr. Cynthia accepts
  • Having strong faith and staying in constant contact with God
  • Writing as “heartwork” and having God guide her
  • How one becomes “spiritually hungry”
  • On lifting up phenomenal women

Find out the details by listening to the full 3 Stores, 2 Cotton Gins, 1 Remarkable Life episode  on SpotifyStitcher and iTunes.


  • “Just think about it: If every single person gave a 110% every time, it would make a world of a difference.”
  • “No matter how much I think I know, there is so much that I don’t know. Take some time and learn something new every day.”
  • “We’re not in this world alone so we have to dream big with other people.”
  • “I hate excuses. Either you do what you’re supposed to do or you don’t, but don’t make excuses.”
  • “For me, excellence is the only standard that is acceptable.”
  • “There is no ‘I’ in team but there has to be a ‘team’ in ‘teamwork’.”
  • “If you’re going to be successful, if you’re going to have excellence in you, then you have to build it in you along the way. That doesn’t just happen.”
  • “Because of my faith, I have been able to weather the storms and come out on top.”

Being Rich Is Not The Only Way To Make A Difference

Make A Difference

Being rich is not the only way to make a difference, but it helps


 Most of us don’t wear a “world’s richest person” label so what we do with our money may not be newsworthy, however, I suspect if we did and we were trying to leave the world better than we found it, we’d have a few projects on our list.

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Be A Hero This Holiday Season


I am happy to report that I have arrived. Not at the pinnacle of anything earth-shattering but at that place my grandmother promised. Whenever she’d get emotional over sweet cards from her sister, or a visit from her best friend, we’d ask why and she’d simply say, “just keep living.” She said as you get older, sentimentality takes over and there’s nothing much you can do about it.

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December Is Human Rights Month

Human Rights

December is Human Rights Month—Let’s be about it

Earlier this week I spoke to a friend whose neighbor had died of COVID. She has the kind of neighbors people used to have—you know them because you spend time in their homes, the children play together, they have a key to your house, etc., and I lamented that even though I’ve met my neighbors, I don’t know them.

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Let’s Start Looking Ahead

Let's start looking ahead

Let’s start looking ahead, not dwell on 2020

As we begin this final month of what has become one of our most interesting years, I’d like to take a moment to share some challenges, reflections, and hopes. Most of us had high hopes for 2020—just the sound of it offered positive energy and promise, but we were unprepared for all that has transpired.

Growing up I heard stories about my great-aunt whose husband and infant died during the flu 100 years ago. She also had the flu and was so sick she couldn’t attend the funerals. Over the 65 years I’ve been on the earth I’ve seen us grapple with all kinds of illnesses and new viruses, and while AIDS affected my family, eventually there was some relief. COVID-19 has been different.

I’ve never seen anything spread so completely, in such a frightening way, be so devastating, or touch virtually every family. I’ve never seen anything alter almost everything we know and hold familiar, and yet our unconquerable spirits remain strong, prepared to endure, and move forward at the first opportunity.

I have decided that I would rather see my colleagues and visit at the copier than hang out with them all day on ZOOM, but I’ll get over it. Further, while I have only spent one Christmas away from my mother’s house, I’ll add this one if it keeps her and the rest of my family safe.

As someone who used holiday shopping as therapy, entertainment, and relaxation, the thought of going to the mall scares me to death. My usual shopping began at the mall when it opened in the morning, going in every store, having lunch, dinner, and a snack, and leaving when it closed, but not this year. (Trust me, the way I shop isn’t for the fainthearted. I buy gift cards, enjoy the music and the other shoppers—it’s a beautiful thing…)

I decided months ago that I’d never go back to the bad old days of a million meetings and ripping and running from place to place. I enjoy this slower pace—not the all-day ZOOM meetings—but the quieter, less eventful days with not so many places to go and be.

No, 2020 has not been what we expected but we’ve learned to roll with the punches, go with the flow, and take one day at a time. I’m looking forward to a fresh new year and all that 2021 may bring.

I am prayerful that news coverage will be less about gridlock in Washington and more about our elected officials remembering who they work for. It seems a real shame for the people who are charged with representing us to get paid and go on vacations when the lines for COVID testing and food donations are miles long. And no matter how we spin the messaging or spend our federal dollars, our citizens are suffering in a million ways.

An article I read this morning said many of the “working poor” who are employed by public entities are still eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. Having such large numbers of folks who work hard and long but are never able to afford decent housing, adequate food and health care, or who work but stay poor, ought to keep us and our representatives—both local, state and national—awake at night.

Our challenges are great, but we and our neighbors are greater. Together—the key word here—we must heal our nation and greet 2021 with hope, determination, open hands, and willing hearts. Anything less would be a real shame.

How has 2020 been for you? Share your feelings at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

Ep. 10: You’re on Your Way to Strong with Dr. Cassandra Y. Owens

A pivotal moment in Dr. Cassandra Y. (Yvette) Owens’ life is when she went back to her home town to regroup after pursuing graduate studies. Finding her way back home proved to be one of the best decisions she made. She ended up staying for 13 years—a time where she was able to make an impact on her students, the college she works at, and on the black community.

Dr. Owens now serves as the Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Religion at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee and has authored two books since then. She champions game-changers who are not getting the recognition they deserve because she is a firm believer of the importance of boosting students up and showing them what they are capable of.

Listen to Dr. Owens and her passionate views on leadership, education, being a woman in the ministry and the contributions of black men in episode 10 of 3 Stores, 2 Cotton Gins, 1 Remarkable Life!


In this episode you will also discover:

  • Finding your way back home and regrouping
  • Paying it forward as an educator
  • Being a woman in ministry and her major female influences
  • Insights from Dr. Cassandra’s two books
  • On black men and their contributions to society
  • Recognizing and celebrating society’s gamechangers
  • On what makes a leader and the challenges behind such a responsibility
  • The lessons Dr. Cassandra learned and that made her successful


Find out the details by listening to the full 3 Stores, 2 Cotton Gins, 1 Remarkable Life episode  on SpotifyStitcher and iTunes.



  • “I have grown who I am as a woman, who I am as an author and who I am as a professor. I got here by trying and making mistakes and keep getting up.”
  • “Home should be a place where you can find your center.”
  • “I want my students to know who they are, where they come from and what they can achieve.”
  • “As a leader you need to do things in the background before you get in front of people.”
  • “You’re on your way to strong.”

Getting Older Is A Great Reason To Be Thankful


This Thanksgiving I have more reasons than I can count to be thankful. I try to live triumphantly every day, but this year has been filled with a tad more adventure and activity than I would’ve ordered in a given year. As November began, I warned that I would be celebrating my birthday all month and that is still my intention though my official 65th birthday has come and gone.

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Veterans Day And No Shave November Are A Perfect Fit

Veterans day

Veterans Day, No Shave November, are good causes to celebrate

Today is Veterans Day and as the daughter, sister, cousin, niece, and aunt of veterans, let’s take time today and honor those who answered the call to serve our country. When I was growing up my dad and his brother often shared their pride in having served and they loved showing their platoon pictures. They bragged the Veterans Hospitals (The VA) had the best doctors in the world.

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November, A Wonderful Reason To Celebrate


November, another wonderful excuse to celebrate all month

I love November for a bunch of reasons. These include election day, it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, we get to celebrate our veterans, I’m having my 65th birthday, and then it’s Thanksgiving. We could be worn out by December though over the past months the pandemic has changed what, how, and why we do almost everything.

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As Election Day Finally Arrives

Election 2020

As election day finally arrives, what are lessons we must learn?

I believe experience is a very fine teacher. In her class I learned from the good, the bad, and the ugly—each lesson etched across my forehead like a badge of honor. I’m not sure which ones I learned the most from, but like Thomas Edison and his invention of the light bulb, I know a million ways not to do the same things the same way again.

Before our next national elections, here are three lessons we ought to consider:

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