There’s no good way to say this: In college, I was a brand whore. I cared more about titles and name dropping the right people than I did producing anything worthy of attention. It wasn’t all bad though.
The “networking” (read: gassing people up in hopes that they’d remember me in the future) got me a spot at Teen Vogue’s Fashion University. I was able to work for some pretty large brands in college: Dell and Bud Light. So, I stuck with it. I kept chasing titles and companies that would impress people when I told them what I did.
My first job out of college was at the largest employee-owned ad agency in the country. My clients; Hershey, Anheuser Busch and FoodSaver. It was impressive. I look back on the opportunities I’ve had in my short 24 years of life and it’s all impressive. But I’ve been miserable doing almost all of it.
I didn’t know that I wanted to work for myself while doing all these “impressive” things, but I did know I was sick of helping these multi-million dollar companies look good while I struggled to find my footing. When I think about how much time I spent at my desk unhappy; how many mornings I cried begging God to show me a way out of my unhappiness, I realize it was all for a greater purpose. His purpose.
I was scared. I am scared. Terrified. I didn’t (and don’t) want to fail.
But I already have. I’ve been laid of twice. I’ve heard no countless times. I have a folder full of denial emails for a manuscript it took five years to write. Still, I feel that I have to do this. This blog. This journey. It’s a dream I’ve always had and I can either spend my time daydreaming about it or I can work for it.
What I didn’t realize in college is that there is no rule that says a big publication, celebrity endorsement or large social media following will make you’re dreams come true.
Growing up, my parents had this big paper weight in our home office. On it were the words of John C. Maxwell: Dreams don’t work unless you do.
So, that’s why I’m here. Failure is part of life. No one is immune to it. Not even Oprah (she was fired at 23 just like me y’all). Everything that you’re dreaming of doing in life is already inside you. Everything that you’ve gone through has a purpose and has made you who you are today. I promise you have the power to do it. I promise you are good enough. Write that book, plan that trip, host that event, create that strategy. The world needs it. The word deserves it.
I want to leave you all with a video I watch often. Usually when I hear another no. Bronzegoddess01 is a YouTuber who just knew she needed Oprah to take her career to the next level. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t reach her. Below is what she did instead.
“Trust in whatever interests you, confuses you or compels you. Trust that those things are worth writing about.” – Rita Dove