Mary Hemphill, Ph.D. Educator, Leadership Coach

Women and Adversity: Mary Hemphill, Ph.D.
Educator, Leadership Coach

 I heard Dr. Mary Hemphill speak at the Brunswick County, North Carolina, Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Impact Brunch and knew I had to feature her on my blog.

She emphasizes that every woman can overcome adversity and reach her goals. When she was 36 years old, she founded The Limitless Lady LLC to help women do that. She has received dozens of accolades for her achievements and wants to share with women  how to develop their talents and succeed. She is an educator, college professor, leadership coach, inspirational speaker and author.

I asked her what the biggest obstacle was that she faced when she decided to found The Limitless Lady LLC. She said:

I had to make sure I blocked the naysayers who say, “You can’t make a career change this late in life; you’re not trained to be an entrepreneur; you’ve never taught a business class.” I had to channel “I can. I can keep going. This is possible. Literally the word ‘impossible” is “I’m possible.” I kept reminding myself of that. I kept saying that had to be the loudest channel in my head to keep going forward.

Why did she want to found The Limitless Lady?

Because I was limited. That’s where The Limitless Lady came from. There are systems in society, things that people say, ways that we go about in life that limit us. I wanted to create something limitless for women to tap into and to be able to pursue their dreams, their career, whether they are 60, 70 or 19. You have this limitlessness inside of you and once you tap into it, you know how to get off the limited path. I want to do that for women because women did it for me. I just feel like I had this goal, this feeling inside me, and I was obedient to this calling inside me and finally had to take the lead.

Dr. Hemphill’s Advice:

  • Walk into every room as if you belong
  • Stop apologizing for taking up space.
  • Ask better questions to glean better answers. Replace “what” and “who” questions with “how” and “why.”
  • Assert yourself when something goes against your personal, company and community values.
  • Be where you are on purpose. It is the difference between existing and living. The small choice you made today creates big results tomorrow.


  • Born and grew up in Hickory, NC
  • 2005 – Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and elementary education, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC
  • 2010 – Master’s degree in school administration, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC
  • 2014 – Ph.D. in leadership studies, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Greensboro


  • Elementary school teacher
  • 2016-17 – Principal of the Year, Scotland County Schools
  • 2016-17 – NC Regional Principal of the Year, Sandhills Region
  • 2017 – Co-founder of Rebrand NC Education. Its goal is to recognize NC school leaders who provide innovative ways to help students succeed.
  • 2019 – Appointed the first North Carolina K-12director of computer science and technology education
  • 2019 – Founder/CEO of The Limitless Lady
  • 2020 – Adjunct professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 2020 – Wrote The One-Minute Meeting: Creating Student Stakeholders in Schools. The book assists school leaders and administrators to empower their students.

More information

My ebooks are available at and

Honoring 23 Black Women, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists  



Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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