Why I Went Back To Work Full-Time

Peace of mind over popular opinion...

So of course there was a lot of hesitation. What will going back to work full-time mean for my writing and entrepreneurial dreams? Will I be too exhausted when I come home from work to do anything? Will it take me longer to get where I want to go?

I’ve been back working a full-time job since August 2019 and guess what? I wouldn’t change it for the world. I had made a decision that if God was leading me back into the corporate world that the job/company would have to fulfill the following requirements:

1) Make me feel like family

2) Take great care of their employees

3) Teach me a new skill set

And I found all of that in my job working for a prominent credit union here in Philadelphia. But why did I really go back to work full-time?

There’s nothing more sad than seeing an entrepreneur struggle just because they don’t want to go back to work. Society has made us feel like the regular grind of a 9-5 is a curse, yet who wants to be broke?

I went back to work to help my creativity stay afloat, to have a peace of mind while paying bills and to fund my dreams. It’s hard to write and be creative when the phone is ringing from bill collectors or you have to keep checking outside to see if your car is still there. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s hard.

I’ve slept on couches, air mattresses, crashed on a friends couch and been uncomfortable in so many situations for “the dream”. Am I still pursuing it? Absolutely. But there’s a way to pursue your dream without being homeless or getting all your assets taken.

I think a lot of creatives get so inspired by the Tyler Perry’s, Taraji P. Henson’s and Steve Harvey’s (who all have had homeless stories or stories where they struggled immensely before walking in their destiny) that they forget to use common sense.

I’m not saying the road you’re looking for should be easy, but it most certainly doesn’t mean you have to be broke and suffer, having your family and friends worried about you for the sake of saying “you gave it your all”.

I take nothing from anyone who has been through these things and I myself am inspired, but I believe that if God hadn’t created that path for those celebrities or entrepreneurs we know and love, then they wouldn’t have had to take that path.

Everyone’s story is unique and we don’t need to chase their blueprint just to say, “Look at my rags to riches story!”

I actually had someone say to me “You haven’t made it until you’ve had a homeless story.” I was thinking, “What in the world?” We have to use wisdom.

Struggle will come and things won’t always be easy, but you can make things easier on yourself by placing wisdom and God’s plans over society’s pressures.

So if you feel led to go back to work, don’t feel bad. Going back to work isn’t a “Plan B” that you’re falling back on. It can very well help Plan A move further along and keep you in the game.

Follow God’s lead and not your own or the voices in society that aren’t paying your bills. I’m learning so much about finances and credit that I believe all the things I’m learning at my job will help me in my business and with my dream.

Have you ever had to make the hard decision to return to work after taking a leap of faith into full-time entrepreneurship? How did you maneuver through that season and what advice would you give to someone else? Comment below.

How My Mother Battling Cancer Inspired Me To Live

Penning my pain...

I’m a firm believer that telling your story can inspire others and encourage them to view their hardships with a difference lens. Life is hard, but our attitudes toward what’s going wrong in our lives can make it better or worse.

Life doesn’t have to be as hard as our negative attitudes often make it. Storms will come, but if we can navigate those storms with faith, positive words of affirmation and stand strong, we can come out better on the other side.

My mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer (the first time) in 2011. I had just gotten laid off three weeks before she was diagnosed and was wondering how I was going to make money. As I drove home alone from the hospital the night she was diagnosed, I realized two things - my faith was being put to the test and my mother needed me to be strong.

A week later, she was home and I was her full-time caregiver. Though she couldn’t talk, since she had a tracheostomy, we communicated via text and on paper. But one thing I do know is that she was wondering, like I was, how we were going to make it through this season.

It was then that I realized I wasn’t going to allow this moment to distract me from my dreams. One of my biggest dreams has been to retire my mother and buy her a home. I also want to take her on her top five destination trips before either of us leaves this earth.

I had no idea whether or not she was going to make it out of this alive, but I knew that it motivated me to go after my dreams more than ever. I used all of my downtime during that season to finish my first book.

In the past, I would always start, then stop, allowing fear to get in my way. But something shifted when my mother got sick. I said to myself and to God, “There’s no way my mother will leave this earth without seeing a return on her investment.”

I was talking about me. My mother fought all her life to see me live my dreams. From investing in every activity I wanted to take part in as a child to investing in my college education, my mother had sacrificed most of her life to see me do the things I wanted to do.

I was inspired to live like never before. Not only did I finish the book, but I also took my first leap of faith three months later, when she was healed and doing better. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia and ten months later, moved to South Korea for a full-time teaching job.

You can either fold when hard times come, or grow. I chose to grow. Like the late, great, Nipsey Hussle said, “Stay ten toes down. Never fold.”

How did you handle an unexpected challenge that you recently faced? Let me know in the comments.

Biz Owners: How To Find Your Audience's Muse

For instagram, pinterest and everything in between...

There’s always a way for you to master your wordplay so that you can pull your audience in and keep them in.

I’ve learned that the key way to find your audience’s muse (their source of inspiration) is to find out what makes them tick; find out how they respond to the products or services in your market and discover what they get fired up about.

For example: as a writer of young adult fiction, I know the teens I’m targeting are inspired by technology, social interaction and culture influencers. So, I write with that in mind. It doesn’t mean I write about those things, but I keep that in mind when I’m writing books for that age group. This helps me keep the language to something they can relate to and that won’t bore them.

Even when it comes to your podcast material, your audience should be in mind and you should know what inspires them. If you can get to what inspires them, you can tap into their passion. Don’t think because you aren’t a “writer” that you can’t master this skill.

Even as an entrepreneur, your social media post should read well to your audience. Are you writing too much thinking it will sell more?

So how exactly do you find your audience’s muse? Here are 5 key ways to discover that muse to help you grow your audience and pull them in forever.

1) Go straight to the source. Find someone in your target audience who is willing to talk to you for free. It shouldn’t take more than an hour. Do an interview. This is also a good way to show how passionate you are about selling your product or service. I’ve done so many focus groups with teens, it’s ridiculous. But do this with a focus to serve them and not to get their money.

2) Create an avatar. If you aren’t sure what an avatar is, stop right now and go create one. It’s a look at the person or people who would use your services, fleshed out on paper. It literally describes your market to the T - their look, buying habits, what they are feeling, etc. If you want an example, google ‘how to create an avatar for my business’.

3) Create a marketing position statement. It’s the key to figuring this whole thing out. Google it or sign up for my services. It’s part of my content creation service that I use to help entrepreneurs.

4) Good-old Fashioned Surveys. Put a few surveys up for free on your social media platforms. Most people are willing to take a free survey. Surveys help you decipher between what you “think” you know and what you “need” know.

5) Talk to your audience consistently. Periscope or IGTV is a great way to do this. I prefer instagrams new TV feature. Even though they can’t go past ten minutes, I think that’s what makes it perfect for entrepreneurs and writers. The idea is to get them off of our social pages and onto our websites where all the great stuff is. Give them one or two episodes a week and tweak as you go along. If you’re new to branding, do it everyday for a whole week, dedicating that time to asking your audience key questions. Make sure you’re engaging so you can answer their questions.

Finding your audience’s muse isn’t as hard as it sounds. The challenge is cutting through the noise of social media to get to the ones that have your answer. It’ll take some grit and hard work, but hey - building a sustainable and profitable business always does.

If you’d like to discuss with me how you can find your audience’s muse, comment below and I’ll send you links to some of my services.

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