The Her Story Rocks campaign is aligned with our mission of empowering girl bosses, goal-getters and rising womanpreneurs to build strong mindsets and the life and biz of their dreams.

The Her Story Rocks campaign highlights various aspects of the NOT so “glitz and glam” side of pursuing a business/passion and shares insight from ambitious, creative and goal getting women.

As we share the “real life” side of entrepreneurship it is my prayer that you are provided the tools and confidence to move past roadblocks, overcome obstacles and boldly go after what sets your soul on fire.

Join us here each week as we share empowering stories from amazing womanpreneurs and creatives who are on the move!


When I first met Nikki online and learned of Her Story,  I knew it was one that I HAD to share via #HERSTORYROCKS campaign.    Nikki is the epitome of strength and perseverance and I am HONORED for her to give us a peek into her life. I caught up with Nikki via email and (believe it or not) Instagram DM to capture the essence of the challenges she’s overcome and how she rebuilt her life after losing her children, husband, and mother.    Read more about how HER STORY below…


In general?

Nikki: The greatest challenge that I had to overcome in general was living through survivors guilt after the murders of my son and daughter and deaths of my husband and mother.  At 9:00am on the morning of August 20, 2007 I was a wife, a mother of 2, an employee at a major banking institution and very unappreciative.  At 9:00pm on the same day I was a widow, unemployed and my new title was “mother of the deceased.”  My husband had shot and killed my children, then himself and in reality he had killed a piece of me too. In a matter of days I was broke, about to be homeless and a prescription drug addict.  All the things that I had been complaining about and taking for granted that morning, were now the same things that I began praying for.Not even 5 years later – January 8, 2011 to be exact  – I arrived at my mother’s house after a long night out partying and I found her dead.  She had grieved to death.  Again my life changed.  My mother’s death had the opposite effect on me, it made me want to live.   Her death made me realize that if I did not get myself together that one day my sisters and brothers could find me dead too.

Precious:  I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Nikki!  Truth is, many wouldn’t have been able to pick themselves back up after experiencing such. Nikki, what did you do (specifically) to rebuild your life after losing your husband and children, and then your mother?   
Nikki: There is not really a short way for me to explain the process that helped me get through my ordeal, especially because I am still dealing with it.  There was no short cut, it was a lot of trial and error.   But if I had to sum it up it would be:Recognizing the problem
Spending time with myself
Eliminating being in certain environments
Taking a close look at my associations
Getting rid of negative thinking
Accepting Responsibility
Making an action plan
Learning To Let Go


Precious:  I see. I can imagine that it has been a journey to rebuild and I admire you for how far you’ve come.  What environments did you leave behind and what tools did you use to ditch negative thinking?


 Nikki: After my children died I lived in the house that they were killed in for years.  I thought that it was because I still felt their presence there but in actuality it was just a way of torturing myself daily.  Often times when we are in bad situations we continue to stay in them because of guilt and also because chaos feels comfortable.    Packing up my children’s clothes and donating them to daycare, clearing out their rooms and moving to a new space released me from a lot of guilt and self torment.

Precious: What are some things you included in your action plan when rebuilding?

Nikki:  I did random things until I figured it out but if I had to sum up the things that I did correctly it would be:

1. I had to stop blaming God for something that the devil did
2. I evaluated where I was in life
3. I spent time alone
4. I took responsibility for my situation
5. I evaluated my environment and my circle of friends
6. I realized there was POWER in letting go
7. Learned to speak what I wanted to see and not what I saw

Precious: Nikki, Do you feel talking about/sharing your story brings healing and peace?

Nikki: There are times when sharing my story brings healing and at other times it breaks me down.  Usually the break down happens around the anniversary of their deaths, their birthdays, Mother’s Day and holidays but ironically that’s when I give my best speeches.  My break downs cause the listeners to have breakthroughs and if that’s what it takes for them to find peace then I am ok with that.    My healing comes when I receive emails, DM’s or messages from people who have heard my story and have used it to improve their lives.

Precious: What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome in present day relationships?Nikki: The greatest challenge I’ve overcome in relationships in general is not settling for things that I WANTED in a man, versus waiting on the man who had the qualities I DESERVED.

Precious:What about in career/business, what have your challenges been there?

Nikki: The greatest challenge that I had in career/ business was balancing being authentic and letting people into my personal life,  while still maintaining my privacy and peace.\

Precious: And as a woman?

Nikki: The greatest challenge that I have had as a woman is to not judge other women. We all have different faces and different stories but most times we share similar issues. I had to learn to not judge  a persons story or them based off of the chapter they are in.

 Precious: Share a quote, scripture, affirmation or mantra that has gotten you through challenging times.


Nikki: My favorite quote is, ” It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, what matters is how many times you get back up.”

Precious: I love that quote and it is so fitting!  Thank so much for sharing with us Nikki! I know that women will glean inspiration from your story and if nothing else they have real life example of how to turn tragedy into triumph!

 About Nikki

Nikki Payne is quickly emerging as the voice of overcoming adversity and living a purposeful life.  Using first hand experience she delivers an inspiring message that ”WOW’s” and motivates others to live up to their full potential and greatness.  She has been featured in Ebony Magazine, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Interviewed by BET’s Jacque Reid, featured on Women’s For One Global and the Dr. Creflo Dollar Show. Stop past Nikki’s Instagram to say hello and let her know Her Story Rocks!

Author: Precious

Welcome! I'm Precious - Blogger and Certified Wellness Practitioner.

I founded Rock Your Reality for women, like yourself, looking to live your BEST and AUTHENTIC life! Here you'll can find content centered around alignment, wellness, fearlessness, confidence and self-awareness - all things you need to show up to life fully and authentically!

When not blogging, I enjoy having smoothie bowls and salads at local health food joints, teaching mediation & practicing yoga, turning up with girlfriends, indulging in dark chocolate & having red wine :).

Leave a Reply