Last year I quit a full time job in consulting to focus full time on my nonprofit, Shea Yeleen International, and the last 12 months have been full of unexpected surprises. As I journey the process of living my dream and passion I want to share 3 things I have learned in the last year.
1.Just because you know something will be difficult doesn’t make the process any better- Quitting my job meant I would not have access to a regular pay check. When I quit I had a little bit of money in savings and thought I was mentally ready for the change in my financial situation. I knew it would be hard, but knowing that it would be hard did not take away the sting or in some cases the panic I had over mounting bills. Nothing can prepare you for the challenges of being true to yourself but the alternative pales in comparison.
2.You never know where your help will come from- Imagine going from a one bedroom comfortable apartment to a couch in a friends living room! When I had to scramble to find a place to stay I found an offer of housing from an unexpected source. Sometimes we think we know all our friends, but there are many who are around us and we are unaware!
3.Never give up- I dealt with rejection after rejection and sometimes my spirit felt weak within me. My body was tired from late nights of research, proposal writing, and product development, and days running around from meeting to meeting trying to find solutions. Most people gave me the runaround while others wasted my time with empty promises, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever get a break? Doubt, insecurities, and frustration started to blur my vision and I started to convince myself I had made a mistake. However, I have learned to just keep moving forward no matter the difficulties and challenges. Although there have been major disappointments, there have also been opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. For one I never would have thought that Oprah Magazine would feature my product!
So, after 12 months I am ready for the next. I feel better prepared and understand that things will not come easy. I have learned to be patient and allow the journey to happen instead of trying to control it. Never give up on your dreams because it would be giving up on yourself! Dreams I am ready!