For the longest time I felt like the Queen of Failure. I had started so many businesses and “side hustles” but they never gave me the satisfaction I was seeking. They never gave me the successes I envisioned. But I kept picking myself up and starting over.
After graduating college everyone asked me what was next; graduate school? Career? I had no idea what my future looked like. Everywhere I turned to for guidance pointed me in the direction of a job, so a job was what I got. Then I hated it, then quit, then got another job, quit, so on and so forth. I kept this cycle on and on; never at a job for more than a year. I used to think something was wrong with me. How come everyone I knew was able to be happy at their jobs? Was it that I hadn’t found my dream job, or was it something else?
Thankfully though I was also driven by my entrepreneurial and curious spirit, to keep searching for what I truly wanted. I’ve always had this inexplicable need to have my own business, and be my own boss. I figured, OK so if a job is not the answer, maybe my own business is. So on I went towards my dream of being self-employed. I did things like sold Avon, then started buying jewelry wholesale and selling it back at retail price, then went on to register my sole-proprietorship to sell pins to my sorority…and the list goes on and on. None of the things I tried gave me the financial rewards I was seeking, so I kept going back to jobs.
Writing was something I did to help me “tell” my diaries the things I couldn’t say to my friends or family. Writing was a way for me to release the feelings I felt were trapped inside of me. Writing was a private, quiet power I had, and never did I dream it would be possible to build a business from my writing; not until I discovered blogging.
Through bloggers like Marie Denee and Christine Gilbert I learned it was possible to build a successful online business from doing something you love. It was 2011 when I started my first blog; and my mind was filled with dreams of earning a gazillion dollars from my writing. So I got to it. I started writing about free stuff. Free stuff? What is that about? Yes, exactly. What was that blog about after all? I had great intentions with it, and even provided great content. The problems were that I had no clear message and I also did not have a clue as to how to promote my content. It was clear that I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about; I had no set goals, and my main focus was making money. I learned (much later) that when you pursue something just for money, you’ll quickly find yourself burnt out.
I went on to create 4 more blogs after that (between 2012-2013). I was in search of my niche. I was trying to find my way. Somehow I knew I wanted to help other entrepreneurs like me, who didn’t know what the hell they wanted to do with their lives, but clearly wanted nothing to do with a job. We want to be free. In the meantime I was also exploring other avenues with writing. I began writing fiction (nothing published yet), also published an e-book for entrepreneurs looking to create a home business with hardly any money to start. I freelanced; selling articles, writing for other people, but nothing substantial enough to support me financially.
By early 2012 I found myself in a very dark corner. I had dedicated about a year, job free, to pursue my dream.
I was a little kid chasing a balloon which had slipped from my grasp.
The world then became an ugly place for me. I had failed at realizing my dream. Everyone else was right. Chasing dreams is for fools. You need a stable income. The recession…The economy…Blah, Blah, Blah. I failed. I lost. So I surrendered and submitted to the ways of the “real” world. I had to get a job. The problem was, no one wanted me.
I tried everything I could to get a job. I spoke to people, went to networking events, went to job fairs, changed my resume a million times, tried different jobs sites. I didn’t get any calls, emails; nothing. As the only college graduate in my family at the time, everyone looked at me as if I must’ve been doing something wrong. Something must’ve been wrong with me to not be getting any interviews. Maybe I didn’t dress professionally enough, maybe it was my curly hair, maybe I wasn’t aggressive enough. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I was totally defeated. By the summer of 2012 I barely had enough money to cover a one-way fare on the train. I remember having to walk from 108th street and Amsterdam to 125th street and Lenox (Manhattan) for a job fair. In the scorching heat of the summer. In a black pant suit. With my curly hair pulled back in a neat bun. Needless to say, I was still without a job.
I hit rock bottom. I found comfort in my bed. My pillows and sheets were stained with my pain. My world became the jail cell of my room. I even started to feel like I was dying inside. It felt like I was. Something had to change; it was survival at that point. I knew in my heart I couldn’t go through the winter like that. At least in the summer there was warmth and light. I knew I couldn’t survive a cold and dark world which already felt like that.
The reminder of winter gave me a thought. What if I moved somewhere warm? What if I left and went to a new place, to start over? Just the thought alone gave me a new sense of hope. It was like an escape rope had appeared to me in my pit. So I climbed up.
I thought of moving to San Diego. I had been there 3 times before and loved it every single time. I was so excited by the idea, I didn’t even care that I didn’t have any means to move. It was bananas but exactly what I needed. Of course my parents hated the idea when I told them, plus they dismissed it being that how was I gonna move in the first place? The interesting thing was, my mind was set on moving. I was so consumed by the desire to move that nothing could destroy it. And you know what? To make it even more real I announced it to my family and friends. I told them in early August of 2012 that I would leave New York before the winter. Most were happy for me, but also scared. They wanted to know, how would I do it? I had no idea.
But I had another interesting thought. Maybe I could find a temp job that would help me save up for the move? So I changed my job search approach to temp and freelance work. Within a week I landed an interview, and by the end of the month I had landed a temp job which would last until the week of Thanksgiving. Everything was set.
I moved to San Diego on December 1st, 2012 with two suitcases and about $2,500.00 in the bank. That was my first leap of faith. Do you know what happened after I moved? My brother told me he felt the need to help me. He told me he knew I had to be in San Diego because I made it come true despite all the odds; I had manifested my desire. So he offered to pay my rent for the year! I didn’t even have to worry about money! My brother told me was investing in my future because he believed it would be successful. He is my biggest investor.
Needless to say, I experienced many ups and downs while in San Diego. I went through a total transformation, and as transformations go, it was quite a challenge. But through it all I found myself.
And in finding myself I found my purpose.
Through my search for purpose, especially as an entrepreneur, I discovered that the constant for me business wise was writing. Blogging was my thing. Through my past failures at supporting myself financially from blogging I had discovered the recipe for success. I discovered that my true calling was to teach and lead. How about I teach people to build their own blogs? I can teach people to build an online business through blogging, and I can show them what not to do. I transformed all of my failures into lessons. In essence, I left a trail of bread crumbs for myself, so I could look back at my experiences for reference, but not get lost in them. Not get lost in the pain of the past.
And now I can finally say I know who I am and what I want. I am finally at peace with my purpose.
To be continued…
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