I am an entrepreneur and many of my business ideas have failed. Failure can deter you but I am so glad that I never gave up. I really couldn't though, even when I have tried to just be "normal." My mind is always racing with new ways to make money, market products and services, create innovation, and do what I am passionate about. With my mind constantly running ahead of me, I often felt it hard to focus on one idea at a time. I touched on this a bit in my last Brandbuilder Lesson. If I had three ideas at a time, I figured all three must be worth trying to manifest. I mean, I am a strong superwoman-like being. I am smart. I can do it all. I have to do it all. One out of three of these ideas may work. If I don't do it, then who will? If I don't do it now, someone may steal my idea and the one I'm focused on may not work out. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Trust me. I am someone who has had to learn the hard way. Even now, I often have to pull back the reigns on myself. I know I am an excellent writer who is passionate about growing in the craft. I would write even if no one ever read my work. But I also love the hair industry. I see women flourishing and I wonder if I should shift my focus or add it on to my load. I am now realizing that I have been doing this for years unknowingly. In my mind, I was a master multi-tasker. In reality, I was doing too many things to be great at any one thing in particular. You know how they say "the grass isn't always greener on the other side?" Well, once I saw "the other side," I bought another plot of grass like the "other side," and tried to water all my grass with one hose. All I ended up with was dry, brown, dead grass, and a high water bill.
I've finally learned how to focus. It is so hard, especially when money, time, and energy is low. Everyone wants a quick fix. I am sorry but my life isn't perfect and I don't have the keys to instant success. What I do have is 3 Ways to Focus on Your Passion & Purpose. If you start with keen focus, success will soon come. Of course, I have many more ways I have used to focus. If you share and tell all your friends about this post, I'll be more inclined to share them later!
1. Figure out your Passions & Purpose. Whenever I give advice, I have to start with telling you to look upward and inward. I always knew what my talents were but I thought most of them were just things I did that I could only making a living off of through chance (basically everything artistic; writing, fashion, singing, dancing, drawing). My skills and disciplines were developed mostly in settings where I had to be or thought I had to be (school and jobs). I didn't realize which of my talents were my true passion and how it all worked together for my unique purpose until I sought God. I got tired of doing many things, nothing working, and feeling like I had no control over all of the closed doors. When I gave my whole life to God, even my talents and skills, he showed me what to do. Girls Like Me, Inc. has grown to be a structure but it is mainly me helping, mentoring, and providing resources for young girls. Things I have always done and will always do for as long as I live, even if God didn't tell me that it was my unique talent and purpose.
Then I realized Girls Like Me, Inc. is my way for me to sow. It's not a way for me to provide for myself. And the Lord has simply said to me "WRITE." I still think: "Lord really. Writers don't make money unless they are famous with a following. Don't nobody want to read what I write." Until the Lord began to speak to me about my writing, I never realized it was always an area I did exceptionally well in without much effort or thinking. My AP English teacher told me that I should turn a short story into a book. I would write songs all the time just for fun. Some of the not-so-private lyrics (they were jokes) my family members still remember and sing. My poems would bring so much joy to those who read them. My senior speech was originally a writing assignment and then "inspired" the valedictorian's speech (I know right; it must've been good). My work was published in a county-wide literary book in middle school! It wasn't a big deal then. But now, it has shown me that God has always had a purpose for me in mind. I just had to let him give me the desires and the passion to pursue them.
2. Streamline your Passions, Purpose, Talents, & Skills. When I was younger, I knew I could sing, dance, write, act, and be a little Broadway powerhouse one day. I also knew I was exceptionally good at math and that I was smart. I really embodied the belief that I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. Watching public TV on Saturdays (we didn't have cable), I remember wanting to be an ice skater, a painter, a chef, or any other profession that sparked my interested as I watched it being lived out on the small screen. It began to be overwhelming and my 6 year old self couldn't choose what I wanted to be when I grew up. Then one Saturday morning, I saw a feature on Magic Johnson, all of the many businesses he had, and all that he did in the community. I learned a big word that day and figured out my career path. "That's it! I am going to be an entrepreneur when I grow up and do everything I ever dreamed of."
The walk down memory lane was to hopefully show you that it's normal to like many things and to be good at many things. You may even find financial success using your talents and skills throughout your life (On-and-Off again tutor's confession, insert here). Hey, different seasons call for different measures of survival. However, lifelong fulfillment will be hard to attain if you don't align your talents, skills, and desires with what you have realized you are passionate about and purposed to do. My purpose is mentoring youth and writing. I incorporate beauty and fashion by writing blogs to promote Girls Like Me, Inc. I use my artistic eye to design my own websites and graphics. I include singing and dancing in the mentoring events for GLM. I write books and online lessons in an effort to mentor globally. Being good at math and smart has helped me to learn new things quickly pertaining to business and to manage my finances properly. I have learned to flex all of my talents, skills, and interests to strategically propel my purpose. Take inventory all of your talents, skills, and interests, and use what you got to uniquely get what God has purposed you to have and do.
3. Be Consistent. Being consistent has been the hardest for me but I've learned the secret to consistency. You have to be content with making what you have the best. You can't focus on what everyone else is doing. In order to be consistent, find a rhythm and develop an action plan that works for you. Once you know how you work and you know what steps you need to take to get where you need to go, follow your plan religiously. The only time you should look up from following your plan consistently is to congratulate someone else. If you are being consistent with pursuing you passion & purpose, you won't have time to hate on others or to compare your progress to theirs. To be real, it will be exciting and rewarding when you first start. But after a while, it will feel boring and monotonous. It's a good thing consistency isn't based on your feelings. When you are consistent, you do what you have to do no matter what, on time, like clockwork. Even when no one is looking or it seems like it is not making a difference. Consistency helps you to prepare and to have a track record when an opportunity arrives. If opportunity knocked tomorrow, would your history of consistent actions speak for you?
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