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In 14 years she turned

her program into the only

accredited Life Coaching

Institute in southern Arizona

and graduated over 300 women

as life coaches. The significant

difference that her institute

brought to the marketplace was

that she included a business

development program with a

spin on marketing. She not only

taught life coaching skills, but

how to build a business.

When Shamara and her

husband moved to Indianapolis,

she started a life coaching

program for teens called BLING

Sorority. Bling is an acronym that

stands for; Brave, Legendary,

Influential, Necessary and


That program eventually led her

to Terry Dove Pittman.

Terry Dove Pittman was the

Authenticating Deputy for the

Indiana Secretary of State.

She worked with foreign

embassies, ambassadors

and the World Court and was

the state’s representative for

foreign trade and international

affairs. Exporting procedure

and documentation flowed

through her office. She also

became interested in nonprofits

and found a passion related to

helping them get started with

the proper documentation and


Terry is a person who loves

paper and documents. She

started a company that dealt

with business services, mainly

document preparation and

paralegal services. They met

because Shamara needed

information about nonprofit

paperwork and filing and Terry’s

business provided that service.

In their first meeting they talked

for four hours and haven’t

stopped talking since.

The Merit group has evolved

over time. The market led

them to the Strategic Planning

and Consulting Industry. Their

combined skills fit perfectly to

help their clients reach their

business goals.

“Nobody starts out being a

Steve Jobs or Oprah.” They have

to work to that point. It’s great

when a person comes in with an

idea and that spark in their eye

that says ‘I want to do this.’ We

help them from that ideation

phase to their sustainable

business, which is operational

and has a defined brand. It’s just

awesome to be a part of that


We are like the midwives in

birthing companies, because we

are helping them through all the

hard, ugly parts to get to their

ultimate goal.”

Shamara says, “I feel like we

are business doulas.”

“I feel like

we are



Shamara Cox




OCT. 2015