Over on my personal blog, I have an ongoing series entitled, #ThePathToPoppin, where I talk about my journey to becoming a full time entrepreneur while being a mom. The name came from the feeling that working for myself while raising kids and being a wife is poppin’ or the bomb, as the kids used to say. Today I'd like to share a little bit on learning to overcome the hurdles.
We've all got talents and gifts but, inevitably, there will come a time when something or someone stands in the way of you prospering. Maybe it'll be a traumatic event, an illness, it might merely be jealousy or simply sticking with something because you know it would make your family proud; regardless of the reason #ThePathToPoppin comes with hurdles and you've got to overcome them. I’m going to give you some tangible ways to help you achieve this heavy task.
Step One: Stop Comparing your path to someone else’s
We have all been guilty of longing for someone else's success – not knowing what they went through to get it. Some of what has caused me to stumble on the path to poppin has been my inability to see that what is best for someone else, is not best for me. I've watched as others successfully moved up in their careers, traveled the world, got promoted and all while I wondered, “when will it be my turn?” And what did that get me? Nothing.
It did however waste the valuable time I could have used working to get myself where I longed to be. Over the years, I've learned that it's best to walk your own path, in your own time, otherwise you may encounter roadblocks you aren't equipped to overcome. With each path comes its own set of hindrances and your calling will determine what you can handle. We’ve all heard “God will never give us more than we can bear,” I’ve used this to remind me that my wins are mine and so are my losses. Be comfortable having your own rather than longing for everyone else’s.
Step two: Stop doing the same thing and expecting a different result
Growing up, I wanted nothing more than be an attorney and a judge, a supreme court justice in fact, but after enrolling into college (Awww HU!) as a Political Science and African American Studies double major and finding myself asleep in the front of classes; it was clear that it wasn't the path for me. That was a hard pill to swallow, especially because everyone who knew me repeated MY dream to me every chance they got. But this is when I had to decide was I going to take my path to poppin' or continue chasing an outdated dream?
When I recognized that the road I was on wasn’t working anymore I changed majors, which, sure, added some extra time in school, but it led to internships that ultimately helped me figure out that being an entrepreneur was the way for me. And not because – “I don't like being told what to do,” but I determined that I would rather put all my energy into MY dreams and goals instead of giving my talents toward someone else's. (See: photo below for my feelings on going to work.) To those of you on the corporate path please understand that this in no way downplays or minimizes that game plan – it just didn't benefit me.
Step Three: Be Willing to Fail and Bounce Back
Time and time again we all get distracted or discouraged on #ThePathToPoppin because it isn't always rosy but you have to remember there will be trials and hills to climb. The biggest obstacle I encountered was having a daughter during my senior year of college, being homeless and having no financial aid to finish school. Yet instead of quitting, even in the midst feeling defeated, I spent nine months of pregnancy working and getting back into school. I never let the hurdles keep me from finishing the race. You have to continue. Because being “poppin” requires the ability to pop back in times of uncertainty. Remember that failure is only an opportunity to be better the next time.
Challenges are an expected part of life, they are what make the sweet moments even sweeter. Through many of the trials I have experienced I've found solace in knowing that my success wasn't a question. It was never a matter of if would be successful but always when. That belief alone continues to keep me pushing and focused on my goals. Know that #ThePathToPoppin is about getting there no matter what!
Let today be the beginning of you deciding the best is yet to come, because like the street says, “Tomorrow is a brand new day, with no mistakes in it.”