Remember when you were kids. Everyone had dreams about being a doctor or lawyer or firefighter or circus performer (WHAT!?). You get what I’m saying. When we’re young we were idealistic and the sky is the limit. We’re told to dream big and aim high. Then we go to school, graduate, and we’re thrown into the work world. Unless we’re in a highly skilled profession such as doctor, lawyer or accountant, we end up taking some entry level or management training job “for now”.

That’s fine by most standards, but what if your heart is somewhere else? There are so many people who settle for jobs for the sake of getting a stable paycheck. The problem with that is they then become trained to work for a paycheck. Huh? I know, I can hear you saying “huh?” in your head. Again, there’s nothing wring with that for the average person who is only concerned with just getting good benefits and a paycheck. But if you have a dream in your heart, I for one say you should follow it.

How many times have you said “I’ll just stay in this job for 2, 3, 5 years then I’ll look for something else”. Ten years later you’re still doing what you hate just to get a paycheck and benefits. Let me ask you some questions. What did you go to school for? Why didn’t you pursue your dream job? Did someone tell you “no, you can’t do that”? Well let me tell you. I’ve never been the corporate type or one that does well working for other people. I was a half Black half Puerto Rican girl who grew up in the projects where it was expected that we went to school, but it was also expected that we got a comfortable job with benefits. In fact, when I was younger I always dreamed that I would run my own business. But my parents were not interested in hearing any of it. I got my first job at 17 at a department store. I loved fashion but was told I could never make a real living in that. I moved on to banking to follow my Mom. Hated it! Left that to go to work as an Admin in a recruiting firm. Within six months I was upgraded to Recruiter. From there I opened my first business.

For the longest time, even though I had a successful business, it wasn’t my passion. I remember years ago I wrote in a journal how I wanted to have a magazine. I was told how I needed tons of money and that the market was super competitive. I said after that I would love to have my own cable channel. I was told I didn’t have the resources, money or connections to do that. So I stuck with recruiting even though I wasn’t happy. Last year when I turned 40 I stepped back and and evaluated my life. Yes I made great money recruiting. Yes I had a fabulous business. But something was missing. I wasn’t doing what I wanted. I thought back to what I wanted over the years and my mind kept coming back to TV channel and magazine. Again, I got the same comments about money and resources. But this time something was different. Social Media had leveled the playing field and I had a kick as network of people in my corner. So I went for it (not in the traditional sense but I still went for it).

Why did I share that? Because I wanted to show you that even I have had times where I went against my heart to do what I had to do to bring in income. But why should you continue doing that? Why should any of us? Don’t let this economy bring you down or keep you from exploring what your passions are. You may want to try a new industry, job title, company, or even leave corporate altogether for entrepreneurship. Don’t let other people keep you from exploring your dreams. I always say that people who try to talk you out of something you love do it because they themselves are either afraid that they can’t do the same or they’re angry because they don’t have the guts. Don’t carry other people’s junk. And definitely don’t let the talk of this economy scare you from taking chances. There is no reward without taking risks.

Take a few moments this evening to write down the different things you’d like to try. Then work on making them happen. Don’t think about it, don’t rationalize it, just do it. When you free yourself from convention thinking (ie: paychecks and benefits) you find what you truly love. We only have one life to live. And it’s too short to be miserable. Don’t let anyone make you defer or abandon your dreams. Find your bliss.

Til Next Time,

Adrienne Graham

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