Tia Ross: Fierce and on Fire

Flipping adversity into fierce and on fire… saying ‘yes’ to ideas, opportunities, and authenticity… meet the bold,the beautiful Tia Ross.

This woman climbed on-board, grabbed life by its horns and is creating a ride that keeps getting better…

She has seen struggle, having grown up in a rough neighborhood surrounded by addiction and violence. Yet Tia knew she was destined to live big and serve big, even as a teen aged single mother she figured it out, making her way through San Diego State University, and into the world of working with youth and changing lives.

A long-time master facilitator with Lisa Nichols’ Motivating the Teen Spirit program, Tia’s work is diverse; she always has her hands in the mix of great projects as she champions entrepreneurial endeavors all designed to help others grow. Her work is passionate, powerful, and a lifeline for many. Check out her story of bold:


Leanne Tibiatowski (LT) Your life is action-packed and meaningful… you show up courageously leading the way while helping others learn how to tap into their true selves so they can live authentically. What are the core values you hold that help you navigate life?

Tia Ross (TR) Identifying my values and sticking to them has changed my life. There are four guiding values that I hold onto as I approach each new day:

  1. Invest in relationships.
    Relationships are precious. In fact, I believe they are the most important treasure we have on this earth. We have the ability to cultivate connections that are centered on presence and truth, it’s a choice, for me, a non-negotiable choice. I believe relationships are my true wealth.
  2. Follow passion.
    When I follow my passion, I find my purpose. When I live in my purpose, success naturally unfolds. Every time.
  3. Take time to ‘see’ peopleI practice giving kindness, compassion, and respect to those who cross my path each day. Why? I’ve come to learn that I never know when I’m entertaining an angel… one who needs my help and, more often than not, one who is here to help me. I have found great impact in my life through treating everyone I meet as that next angel regardless of how it looks.
  4. My worth is not my wealth. I will say it again; my worth is not my wealth. This can be a tough one to remember in this flashy material world. My greatest riches really have little to do with dollars.


(LT) How do you find strength and direction to live boldly when times are tough and you’re not sure how you will make it?

Tia Ross in a red dress(TR) This has been a very hard and long lesson for me; I’m getting it now. My instinctual response to difficult times has been to react with stress and then cling onto stress mode. There’s a price to pay for that common reaction—I’ve learned it’s just not sustainable or healthy. As a young, single mother in college, fighting to claim a new life for myself, stress was ever present, and I figured out how to survive. The pulse of the stress helped me dig in deep to make things happen. Now, after years of self-observation and personal growth, I have learned a new approach. I slow down. I breathe and pause to let the initial emotion pass. I know once I calm down I can assess the situation from a loving space… then I can respond from a place of strength.

(LT) Will you share an example of a difficult moment you’ve faced in life where fear and limiting beliefs almost won, yet you found the way to take powerful action?

(TR) There have been many of these lesson-filled moments. Here’s one, I was working in a leadership position with a very influential company; had been with this team for many years. As time went on I found that I began to serve in a way that was detrimental to myself, I call it a martyr mentality. All I could see was that I was giving myself to the work, was running myself down and I was wound up because I felt I was not getting paid my worth. The job was a true fit, I knew I was in the right place, I felt honored to serve the people we worked with, however I kept finding myself wanting to throw my hands up and walk out because my service felt like sacrifice. One day I headed in to meet my supervisor and I was going to give her a piece of my mind… I was going in hot and coming out paid! I was certain it was time for change, and it was… but not the kind I expected. Little did I know that I was about to walk right into a huge self-growth opportunity.

Turns out I was to spend the next two hours travelling to an event in the car with my supervisor and we spent all of that time in a rough, but liberating, coaching session. She helped me look at the struggle I was creating through the limiting beliefs I was holding around money and life. It was humbling to receive her compassionate re-direct, she helped me to see that I was the one holding myself back. I was undervaluing myself. I was afraid of failing. I believed I would always be struggling in life. During this conversation, I realized that because of these limiting thoughts I was not able to see my talent, or truly access my success. Wow. At first I felt defeat and shame… then I felt a wave of determination bubble up that fueled me on my mission to reach my personal goals and dreams.

Now I wake up and greet each day from a place of abundance, possibility, and service no matter what.

(LT) You support thousands of people around the globe to face and transform the inner perceptions that hold them back. It’s beautiful work. What words of advice can you share from all you have seen and learned to help us step into life with authenticity and courage?

(TR) Living in truth requires some serious soul searching. It takes time and practice. Here’s the thing, when you give voice to your intention get ready, the opportunities to grow and learn will come pouring in. Then the ball is in your court, how will you react? Will you identify with the struggle or will you see these situations as rich moments for trying something new? If you feel you really want to live the best life you can, ask yourself this question, “Am I committed or does it just sound good?” If you are a big yes then say yes also to the commitment to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. You see, it’s in the hard times that you build your skills and talents. So, I say start looking at your challenges as a skill building process… now that’s bold!

(LT) Tia, you are dripping in bold action… you travel the world, speak to thousands, give voice to your ideas… the list goes on and on. What is a favorite story of a bold action that reaped great reward and blessings in your life?

(TR) I have been boldly committed to working with youth and community for the last 25 years. I I did so even during the times I wanted to stop and take on a “normal” 9-5 job to reclaim my nights and weekends that often are dedicated to facilitating personal development events. This work has been my calling, from my first job at 14 all the way through the times I was not paid… I just have to do it. I have a lot of amazing stories that affirm this choice, changed lives fuel me. One of my favorites is when I was working with a few young ladies in a locked-down facility over the course of three years. I poured my passion into their young teen aged hearts wondering if it would ever make a difference.

Fast forward to last year when I enrolled my 10-year old son into football at a local community park… I ran into one of those girls who was all grown up. She was not just grown, she was a mother and it was clear that she was a very good one. She was the parent running the fundraisers at every practice and game, making a difference for her son and her community. I was so proud of her and enjoyed speaking with her as she shared success stories of some of the other young women I’d worked with. It felt so good to know they were doing well raising families and living with a life circumstance different than anything they had experienced before. Affirmation, I am in purpose with this work.


(LT) Do you have a recent story of bold that lights you up?

(TR) That’s easy, after years of dreaming about and procrastinating, I wrote my first book ‘Living on Purpose, With a Purpose’, now an Amazon Bestseller. Boom. That was big for me, real big. This is just the beginning; my life is expanding and growing so quickly… it’s all about the bold. Seriously.

Learn more about Tia’s compelling story

Join Tia and the Boldness Challenge community… we’re dedicated to living bold and brave everyday!

leanne_tibiatowskiLeanne is a content strategist, creative, and producer who is driven when developing products that help others discover greater health and happiness. Her diverse knowledge base includes emotional literacy, leadership development, holistic living, grief, trauma, bereavement, family life, and the healing arts. With 18 years experience, Leanne creates digital and live experiences that are evocative and make a difference. Recently she served as Director of Content and Production for Joy of Living Media, Inc. and Director of Content Development, Sr. Editor for Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience.

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