I am. A powerful and declarative statement. When I say “I am” I am declaring that I have looked inward and weighed my own thoughts versus the opinions and suggestions of those around me. I have looked at myself, through a lens of truth, and have discovered myself. Who I am. What my purpose is. Where my passions lie.
Learning about what motivates me and why is just the beginning. I must keep learning, questioning and seeking the information that will help me to make the choices and live the life that I want to live. If I’m not evolving I’ll drown in stagnation and mediocrity. I don’t want to live my life from a position of less than the best that I can be.
A large part of living in my truth is the acceptance of living with chronic illness. It affects every part of my life including my entrepreneurial efforts. I’ll be transparent and say that this part of my journey has not been easy. I hate the physical limitations that I experience and have had to learn/acquire tools to help manage the mental stress.
There have been positives from navigating this reality however. I’ve learned (OK in some areas still learning) to set and accept my own limitations and boundaries. I no longer try to be super woman or all things to all people. I’ve become better at processing stressors and avoiding unnecessary ones. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who are not only like-minded, but who trustworthy enough for me to share the sometimes embarrassingly intimate details of my illness.
I’ve learned how to be a more honest and open wife, mother, grandmother and friend. The love and support of my family has been a tremendous blessing and I truly appreciate them. They support me when I’m down and cheer me when things are going well. They provide listening ears and shoulders to cry on. They see and encourage me when I don’t clearly see a how or understand the why.
One of biggest and most surprising aspects of navigating my life now is being able to more accurately define who I am as an entrepreneur. I found that I couldn’t follow someone else’s business structure or approach, but needed to know what would work for me. I learned to define what success looks like to me. It wasn’t what I thought it was. Success means to me that I possess enough capital to reinvest in my community making a positive impact. It means that I leave the lives I touch better than when I entered. It means that I live in truth on a consistent basis and live it unapologetic and unafraid. It means that I reduce the burden I put on the planet we all share to leave a better legacy for those to come. It means that I teach, support and empower the Black community in every way that I can. It means that I hold space for those I can when I can.
I appreciate your interest in my journey and hope that something I say, create or share touches your life in such a way that you feel empowered to pay it forward.
I also possess enough curiosity for two people (OK occasionally I’m down right nosy) so I’d like to know If you’re an entrepreneur what does success mean to you?