Last week, we lost a great one. A true hero of the black community, Chadwick Boseman. He was a talented actor that brought so many important characters in Black culture to light. What the public didn’t know was that he was battling colon cancer for the past 4 years. After being diagnosed in 2016, Chadwick performed in several movies including Marshall (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2018), 21 Bridges (2019), and Da 5 Bloods (2020). When I saw he had passed late Friday night, I couldn’t believe it. It was so shocking and heartbreaking. Then when I realized he had been battling cancer for so long, I felt proud of his legacy. I’m so grateful that he choose to share his talent and light with the world and we are better because of it. All this time we saw him as a superhero in Black Panther, but in fact, he was a true hero, championing for the black community.
People say, “I can’t start my own business, I’m too busy at work!” “I want to write a book, but I’m too tired.” “I thought about starting a blog, but I don’t know how to do it yet.” But, but, but… But how will you know if you never try?
I’ve been known to dive into something new. I dove into new jobs and shifted careers. I’ve moved across the country, gone on blind dates and dated online. Started a business and blog. I’ve traveled the world alone and all that jazz. What I’ve also done is failed… A LOT and then failed again. Then I changed it up or tried something else. The key message is, I tried! And I’ve had such an amazing life journey because of it.
Like Nike, Just do it
If you never try, how will you know if you can do it? Sometimes I get into perfection paralysis. I feel like I can’t present something into the world unless it is flawless. Carefully thought out and perfectly strategized. But honestly, who has the time to get everything perfect, and what does perfect even mean? It’s hard enough to just get something done. I learned that if I want to put my ideas out there, I have to be ok with it just being ok. At least sometimes, it not going to be perfect. There might be a couple of typos, and a few thought points missing. When it comes to my job, I double, triple, and quadruple check my emails and documentation. On the other hand, sometimes I tell my manager this is rough, but I want to discuss the big picture with you and I’ll fine-tune it after our meeting. It can’t always be perfect. I just have to put it out there and share my great ideas.
Its okay to fail – Just learn from your mistakes
In the words of Oprah, “You will at some point fall, and when you do, I want you to remember this—There is no such thing as failure; failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” The idea of failing has stopped me from doing many things. Sometimes, I didn’t speak up in class or at work because I thought, that might be a dumb answer, only to hear the man next to me say the exact thing I was thinking. Why didn’t I speak up? I was afraid to fail, to look bad, to be embarrassed. The funny thing is everyone feels that way at one moment or another. It’s ok to fail. If you get it wrong, just change and adjust the course. If the book isn’t great, make adjustments, seek help, and make it better. Just keeping going and move in another direction.
Find mentors who can help guide you
When I started focusing on career growth, I kept reading that I needed to get a mentor. Just find a mentor, get a mentor. I’m like, how do I get a mentor? Then I realized, I was making way to big of a deal about the label, mentor. Mentors don’t have to be part of a big structured plan or a meeting every two weeks. I suggest finding someone you like and get along with. A person you trust and admire. A mentor is just a friend who you can go to for unbiased advice about life and work. It doesn’t have to be the CEO of the company or the VP. Maybe you just start with a co-worker who does a great job on their projects. Ask them for advice and learn.
There will always be a barrier trying to hold you back, but the world deserves to see that amazing business idea you have. We want to see the blog or book you are going to write. We need to see you excel in the new career. The only way to get there is if you try. Will you?