“In that moment of clarity between fantasy and reality, I discovered my purpose which emerged from passions I harbored deep inside my pschye. I never thought I would be one of those people who would ever get the chance to truly live my dreams. I believed ‘living your dreams’ was simply another lie that wasn’t really plausible or feasible. Especially as a Black Woman living in America.”
So, day after day, you would find me trudging off to work each day. I dreaded each step that brought me closer to my Corporate prison. I hated going to “the Corporate Plantation” every day, but, I couldn’t figure a way out. Like everyone else, I had committments; such as, my sons to feed and bills to pay. My parents kicked my siblings and I out at 18, so I didn’t have much time to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life before I began to making life-altering mistakes.
I can distinctly remember the moment when my mindset switched from “Worker Bee” to “Entrepreneur”.
In 2014, I began an activist Facebook group for Black people because many Black people were complaining that they wanted an organization for us, by us that wasn’t infiltrated with government agents and informants. We, the Black people, wanted an organization that represented us and our interests.
The conversation to start such a group began in a Facebook group by another individual when he created a comment and blast it out for the World to see.
I can’t explain the feeling but the feeling was electric and magnetic immediately after that post was sent. All the Black concerned individuals came from all ends of the earth through social media and discussed how they wanted the same thing.
The original poster didn’t respond much anymore after everyone began commenting. I never understood why the original posted stopped posting. Maybe he had to get back to work. Or maybe he’s an introvert and he didn’t expect to have to interact with so many people just because of a simple thought that went out to the World through a simple post.
In my life, I have learned that it’s so much easier to have a thought versus actually carrying out “the thought” and taking that thought into real, physical action.
The original poster not responding and no one else willing to take the responsibility of starting the group that we all said we really needed and wanted was the BEST thing that could have ever happened for me.
Of course, me being me, I ended up creating my Black organization named “Black Emancipation Coalition” or “BEC” because I could feel the momentum and I knew this was something that we HAD to do. I knew a movement was brewing and our thoughts were going to go beyond us. We were moving into something huge and I didn’t know if my group would be the answer; but that electric feeling of Black people coming together with one thought was still there.
I began adding people to the Facebook group and others did the same as soon as they had been added to BEC and the group just grew and grew and grew.
Then, I thought, “We need to be a real organization because that was the primary complaint.” We, the Black people, did not feel that our voices were being heard and that we weren’t being represented anywhere in America and the World.
We, the Black people, were angry and we were ready to let the World hear (and see) our anger. This was the same year that Trayvon Martin had been murdered and other Black people were being murdered by the police.
And Black people were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
So, the next day, when I got to work…I began researching how to start a non-profit organization. I have always been the type who likes to make things official. I like to be in charge and I like to have ownership of everything I am involved in. I had a vision for our strong and mighty group and I am too Type A to allow anyone to interfere with my vision.
I read every article I could get my hands on about starting a non-profit. The instructions seemed to become more and more complex as I kept reading. Then, I was stopped in my tracks when I saw that the government would be simply splitting the funding between my Black organization and other organizations with similar intersts. I had to find board members and the entire process just seemed very convaluted considering how simple our goals actually were.
I abandoned the idea of starting my own Black organization but God is amazing and I found an excellent Black organization, National Black United Front, that was the answer to everything we had said we wanted that one day in the Facebook group.
National Black United Front (NBUF), is created by Black people and funded by Black people. NBUF is primarily about empowering and uplifting the Black community and the Black/African race, as well as, fighting against social injustice. Being a part of NBUF is like being in a family where I finally fit in, even with all my Black girl quirkiness, bohemian nature and deep love for my race..I finally belonged somewhere.
As time went on, the knowledge I gained during my search to create a non-profit organization never left me. You see, as I was researching how to start a non-profit, I stumbled upon the information of how to start a business. I believe that was the first real battle that I was dealing with when it came to my leaving the Corporate Plantation for good. I didn’t know how to start a business. I knew all the things that I loved to do. I didn’t really have hobbies…yet. But, I always loved fashion. I loved to read and write. I loved information technology and worked in that field for corporations for about 16 years.
I was still working for Corporate America but now I had suddenly had the keys to my freedom. My Harriet Tubman spirit came up out of me and gave me the courage to GO.
A lot of us hold the keys to our freedom but the next question is: When the time comes and the opportunity is there right in front of you…will you have the courage to run?
I have always been the type to grab any opportunities afforded to me and run with it using all my might. I often would prepare myself for years just for that one opportunity and when it comes…I’m gone!
I began to build my business while I was still working on the corporate plantation. I began to formulate my plan in my mind and make strategic moves to leave when the time came.
I kind of got a little lucky because I was laid off and that forced me to sink or swim. I had 3 sons, bills to pay and dreams to live. And now no income from my one main stream of income.
I left after that layoff and never looked back.
Now, you might ask…how did I find my purpose? Here is the list of how I found my Purpose and what I was meant to do in life:
I found my purpose when I learned what I loved to do and what I hated to do. I didn’t like sitting in a cubicle for 9 hours, 5 days a week. I didn’t like having a boss, some imbecile telling me what I can and can’t do. I didn’t like not being appreciated for my hardwork. And I didn’t like doing things that I wasn’t passionate about.
I had to dig down and find my courage to just leave Corporate America behind. Yes, like Nike says, “Just do it.” Don’t overthink it. Don’t tell yourself you need to study a hundred more books first. Don’t worry about how your business idea will fail. Just…Get…It…Done. Then, you can learn the logistics of your business as you go. You will be learning and improving your business forever because things are always changing. People are constantly changing. Trends change. Technology will change. Your business will constantly need to be innovative and consistently changing to stay ahead (or match) the changes of the enviornments that will most affect your business.
Find people who are doing the things you love to do and allow them to INSPIRE you. I found Gary Ajene, from The T-Shirt Helpdesk, and I, literally, watched every video he had on YouTube. Then, I purchased his book. Then, I signed up for his courses. Find a mentor and reach out to them if you can. In the age of social media, you have more ways to communicate with the people who inspire you to become the person you were always meant to be.
Never. Give. Up. It will be tempting. Trust me. I almost thought I would have to close the doors to my beloved eCommerce store, LocStar Revolution. However, I stuck with it and now my sales are increasing and my store visitors keep coming back because giving up was never an option. I love my business and I have passionately worked on LocStar Revolution at www.locstarrevolution.com for countless hours.
“If you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I LOVE what I do now. I work more than I ever did when I was an employee but I don’t feel like I am working. I’m happy. I wake up energized when I sit at my desk and load up my computer. My businesses give me life. They give me more purpose than I could have ever imagined.
Follow your heart (and your gut). Forever. There are no amount of books you will ever be able to read that will ever give you the answer to how to create a truly successful business. If your heart isn’t in it, your audience will feel it and your business won’t last. You have to love what you do because no one will hold your hand or tell you to get back to work. You don’t have a boss anymore. As an Entrepreneur, you are the Boss.You have to make sure you give your business 200% every day and the things that will make your business stand apart from your competition are the pieces of you that cannot be duplicated.