One OpelikaÂ veteranÂ decided thatÂ followingÂ her time in the service,Â she would start her ownÂ business.Â JeQuetta CanadyÂ said that a lot of theÂ decisions she has madeÂ can be traced back to herÂ childhood and her past.
A series of struggles,Â including beingÂ diagnosed with dyslexia,Â becoming a motherÂ and getting married right out of high school andÂ low self-esteem all contributed to the difficulties ofÂ finding herself.
â€œIt was through a process of my relationshipÂ with Christ and just support from my family thatÂ just kind of propelled me to go to that next level,â€Â Canady said. â€œI ended up joining the military andÂ thatâ€™s kind of where I got my boost in confidence.Â â€œâ€¦ I kind of took that journey and just kind ofÂ found myself and God, in that experience. God kindÂ of not only showed me who He was in me but whoÂ I was in Him. And so that just propelled me to beÂ more me, just be more authentic and just share moreÂ of my story.â€
And this is her story.
Canady was 27 when she joined the military.
â€œI was really, in all my stories that I share, I wasÂ always hesitant to share because my story was reallyÂ different from other peoplesâ€™, like my reasoning wasÂ different,â€ she said.Â â€œâ€¦ I joined because it was at a time in my life,Â I was still struggling, kind of dealing with tryingÂ to find myself and I felt like if I did not haveÂ something for myself that I was going to lose myÂ family. I wasnâ€™t going to be the mother, the wife, theÂ person I wanted to be.â€
Canady said when she entered the recruitingÂ office, she even had her children with her. SheÂ wasnâ€™t sure what to expect.Â Despite the struggle of taking the test with herÂ children with her, Canady scored well on theÂ ASVAB (armed services vocational aptitude battery)Â test.
A recruiter asked her if she would consider goingÂ into intelligence.
Canady was in the reserves for six years beforeÂ deployment.
â€œAt that time I had just recently moved to theÂ Opelika area and I really didnâ€™t know what I wasÂ going to do as far as job-wise,â€ she said. â€œAnd IÂ was just coming off of training and I had been onÂ unemployment and trying to figure out what I wasÂ going to do and I was working on orders in theÂ military to kind of keep that full-time pay going.Â â€œâ€¦ I ended up going on this two-week training,Â and I barely got in there, but they were like â€˜weâ€™reÂ going to make a spot for you.â€™â€
While on this training, Canady learned she wasÂ being deployed to Afghanistan with a ship-out dateÂ in 30 days.
â€œBeing deployed is one of the main reasons whyÂ I didnâ€™t want to join, Iâ€™m like â€˜I donâ€™t want to go toÂ war,â€™â€ she said. â€œBut that ended up being one of theÂ best things for me. It was at a time that I needed it.â€
Five days before leaving Afghanistan, Canady toreÂ her ACL, but was, she said, thankfully able to finishÂ her deployment.Â Following surgery and rehabilitation, Canady wasÂ in for another challenge â€” breast cancer.
â€œI [had thought] Iâ€™m going to get back, healed, getÂ back to my PT standards and go back and finish outÂ my 20 years and retire,â€ she said. â€œThat was not theÂ plan God had.â€
The breast cancerÂ required three surgeries,Â but this allowed Canady to focus on what God wantedÂ for her life, she said.
â€œWhen I first joined,Â I was all about stayingÂ in the background,â€ sheÂ said. â€œâ€˜Let me do my jobÂ and go home.â€™ But as IÂ grew and got into moreÂ leadership positions â€” itÂ was finding my voice inÂ the room. I have to say,Â I didnâ€™t think, at someÂ points, that I was goodÂ enough to be in the room,Â much less have a seat atÂ the table.
â€œSo, when I actually gotÂ that opportunity, it wasÂ more of, â€˜How do I lean inÂ now and speak my peace?â€™ But I balanced that alsoÂ with the Spirit of God, â€˜what are you leading me toÂ say? When do I need to speak and when do I need toÂ be quiet?â€™â€
These are things Canady has brought with herÂ through her cancer journey and leaving the military.
Following the military, Canady began her ownÂ business: JCANDO.Â JCANDO is created to help others use their talentsÂ well, Canady said, and help others set up theirÂ business.
â€œThatâ€™s kind of my passion, to make sure thatÂ people are not only just out there doing somethingÂ just to say â€˜Iâ€™m in businessâ€™, but to set it up rightÂ and make sure youâ€™re doing something that you loveÂ or something that you can share with others that canÂ benefit the community.â€
Canady is also hoping to launch a nonprofit toÂ provide scholarships for high school students withÂ â€œlearning differences,â€ she said.
â€œFor high school students diagnosed with aÂ learning â€˜differenceâ€™, not disability,â€ she said. â€œInÂ other words, to remove the stigma of different stylesÂ of learning as something bad, such as dyslexia,Â or who have an IEP inÂ place. [So they can useÂ these scholarships] inÂ higher education, a tradeÂ or entrepreneurship toÂ promote a â€˜Can Doâ€™Â mentality. I would like toÂ focus on my hometown ofÂ Roanoke, Alabama, first,Â but I foresee this nonprofitÂ being spread across theÂ nation.â€
The veteran has alsoÂ published a devotionalÂ journal, which is availableÂ on Amazon.
â€œ[The devotion] isÂ the first step of myÂ mission, which is to helpÂ individuals â€˜know whoÂ God is in you, knowÂ who you are in GodÂ and learn how to shareÂ your gifts and talentsÂ with the world throughÂ entrepreneurship.â€™â€
“If JCANDO, So CanÂ YOU! | PhilippiansÂ 4:13” is availableÂ here: www.amazon.ca/JCANDO-can-YOUSTRENGTHENSPhilippians/dp/0578782863.
Thirdly, Canady hasÂ launched a businessÂ growth aspect ofÂ JCANDO, the BusinessÂ Growth Finance Suite.
â€œ[This] is a businessÂ credit software thatÂ gives new and seasonedÂ entrepreneurs, businessÂ owners and ministryÂ leaders the ability toÂ establish a credibleÂ business entity, buildÂ business credit and gainÂ access to traditionalÂ and nontraditionalÂ loans and lines ofÂ credit so they canÂ build, grow and scaleÂ their business to theÂ next level,â€ she said.Â â€œMy hope is to helpÂ entrepreneurs sustainÂ the hope of living theirÂ dreams by creatingÂ and successfullyÂ maintaining a credibleÂ business.â€
Her site, jcando.com, has a blog,Â shop, Patreon andÂ the business creditÂ site. For more on theÂ business itself, outsideÂ of her personal site,Â visit: www.biz.jcando.com.Â She is also activeÂ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JeQuettaCanDo.