Look, told this world I was a star I’m gonna need a stage
Cause life is short and talk is cheap so f**k what people say! -Nipsey Hu$$le ft. Steve Jobs
This morning I was sitting on a plane on my way to Puerto Rico. This was no G5 like your favorite artist or business person would use, nor was it first class. I was cramped on a window seat on Delta! Big Pimping style! I had a super early flight so of course the first thing that happened was a quick nap or so I thought! About 45 minutes into my nap as Nipsey Hustle blasted in my ears we hit sever turbulance. There went my nap and also a fear came along like no other. Not going to lie, I was shook! The above quote was the first thing I heard as I was jolted into the air. After that all I kept thinking to myself was, if I die today did I live out life to the fullest? The end of the flight wasnt the best either, the flaps on one of the wings would not open completely. This forced us to to circle the airport a few times. Lets just say a second round of fear came upon me, which reinforced my pursuit of happiness!
Moment of Clarity
Did you live your life to the fullest, did you leave your mark on the world? Those were there two questions that were replayed in my head like the first time you heard Jay-Z and Kanye spit Ninjas in Paris. I could not think straight after that. I sat back for a few moments to analyze the past few years of my life. I had that moment of clarity. I realized that for the past year and a half, I have been focusing on the right things but could definitely do better. All the years before that were predetermined for me and really not the life I wanted to live. I had graduated college with a Masters Degree that I barely used but still felt the burden of the school loans as many of my peers were. I had purchased my own home and an investment home, and of course started a wonderful family. I even had the corporate job with a company that many would give up their lives to work for! Sounds familiar? It should this is what many perceive to be the American dream, but I wasn’t happy. As many say the same thing, their actions never change. They sit at home or work complaining about their jobs and lives. The status quo just wasn’t enough for me and I was going to change that.
Trusting Your Gut
Before embarking on my entrepreneurial efforts, I had it pretty easy. When people tell you entrepreneurship is not easy or luxurious they are speaking the truth. My corporate job afforded me the material items I believed I always wanted in life and provided me with a sense of security. Not to mention it was an easy life. Wake up at 6 am, get to work by 8 then head home by 4. It never failed it was an easy life. I was able to sit at my desk not really doing work but more filling up the hours before heading home. Two hour lunches were the norm, and I always knew that every two weeks I had a check in an amount that my parents never saw in their lives. Whats not to love? Well my gut told me other wise. I was always an avid reader and leaner but was getting frustrated with the lack of knowledge I was acquiring and quite frankly was tired of all the political bull shit. It was time for a change, I had to innovate on my life out of pure frustration. It was time to take on the almost impossible challenge of leaving my job and finding my lane in life. Sometimes we ignore our gut, but most of the time when we ignore it we suffer. You always tell yourself one more year, that one more year turns to five very quickly. I am a testament to this.
Titles Do Not Define Me
When you speak to successful people they always tell you, I knew I was unemployable, or I had to trust my gut and head a different direction. I can honestly say I have had that feeling many times over. I tried to explain this to my employers at the time but they did not get it. To them the life I had was the normal life since everyone strived to do the same thing. The only real distinguishing part of the corporate life was the money you earned and the title. The title no matter your intelligence or work ethics meant power! I remember hearing someone in the startup world tell me ” A title in the corp world means power, but this power should not be bestowed on everyone”. Think about your least favorite artist, would you want them being the CEO or VP of hip hop as a whole? Yeah right! You would be afraid that they would rule with an iron fist or spread the wrong message. I saw the same thing happening in the corporate world and could not accept the norm. It just wasn’t for me at that point of my life.
In the second installment we will cover your support group, and the start up community as you pursue your dreams. Until then listen to Nipsey Hu$$le’s- Who Detached Us track featuring Steve Jobs. Super deep track!