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My Tentative Message to the Girls’ Conference

I don’t even find it a coincidence that a few moments ago, I was invited to speak on a panel for a young women’s conference in my hometown in March.

I’m basically a week away from turning 31 (where I told my best friend, this is the year we ‘show em how it’s done, 31’), and I’m reflecting and such anyway.

I was asked about potential topics, and  the main one that came to mind was about talking to the girls about real things that usually result in success.

Folks talk about dreams and hard work, but no one ever gives the specifics like:

Making a Plan.

Revising the Plan.

Finding Mentors.

Doing what it is you want to do for FREE until someone can pay you.

Realizing that the people you may be helping for free can in fact help you later.

Not giving up.

Not listening to negative people.

Sticking to your mentor like glue.

Befriending like-minded people who have similar goals, so yall can eat Ramen by candlelight together and dream out loud. Those friends will hold you accountable and remind you of your dream when you forget.

Having the understanding that feeling tired and uncomfortable and frustrated and as if time is standing still and you are too– is part of the process.

The importance of giving back.

Finding other strong women who really love you and will nurture you.

If what you are doing isn’t working, doesn’t feel right. Then stop. Find the right thing. Do not waste time. Don’t be scatterbrained and mistake lulls for it not being the right thing, but if you are just totally miserable and can’t see a light at the end at all, you need to find something else to do.

You can’t do anything worth doing by yourself. You have to ask for help.

Mistakes can be helpful.

You have to take a risk. If you aren’t a little bit scared, you aren’t trying hard enough or putting yourself out there. You are playing it way too safe.

The second thing I want to say is, there is money and clothes, cars and jewelery if you depend on your looks, your body and a man. But you still have to pay in some kind of way for that life too.

And now after spending the last decade trying to chase an amazing career and make loads of money, I want to really impart on the young women that everyone won’t be a doctor or a lawyer. Everyone won’t be famous or wealthy.

But guess what, if you aren’t, it’s ok. You are not a failure.  The worst thing you can do is something someone else wants you to do that you don’t want to do yourself. It’s wasted time going to school or picking a job because your parents or someone else told you it would make you a lot of money.

It’s about you finding your lane, honestly. Making an honest living that you are proud of , doing work you are proud of.

Even if you don’t go to college, or you join the military or do a trade, or start your own small business, pick something you are interested in. Figure out how to make a living out of it, then use the internet to track down all of the people you admire in that industry and ask them for advice or bounce ideas off of them.

If you decide I want to make enough money to travel once a year and pay my bills and that makes you happy and you aren’t selling your good good on the street or on Craig’s list, then hunny, you do it.

That was the lesson I’m learning in my 30s. I may not become filthy, stinking rich. It won’t hurt, but I’m proud of what I’ve already accomplished and I live independently and I go shopping to buy the things I like and I handle my business. Sometimes you don’t realize how blessed you are.

Have I been looking for a new job? Sure, but I can still pay my bills and splurge on great restaurants and theater and things I like to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I’m so blessed to be able to do that. Right now, that can be enough until it’s my time to do something else.

I’m looking forward to this event. And now, I have to plan something Olivia Popeish to wear to said event!

Love this song. Makes me want to go get em!!!

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