Over the course of my life, I have received some great advice from a variety of people. However, there is one piece of advice that I have received over and over, at different points in my life. It was often worded differently depending on who said it, but it was essentially this:
Stop waiting for someone to create the thing that you’re looking for. If there’s something you need and no one has developed it, then that’s your sign that YOU need to create it.
Whenever I heard this advice, I reacted a few different ways. The first time, I was very nonchalant and just said that I’d wait for someone else to do it. Ever felt that way? The second time I heard it, I said that I was too busy. My life was overwhelming and I had no extra time to take on another responsibility. The third time I heard it, I paused. I was always told to pay attention to things coming in 3’s. I rejected the idea of forming something new because I bought into the Imposter Syndrome. You know that, right? I wasn’t qualified to create anything, or so I thought. I wouldn’t know how to start the “thing” that I needed. No one would support it. Basically, every negative and doubtful thought that could have crept in did. Then came the fourth time I heard this advice. In this case, I didn’t respond with a “yes” or “no.” I just nodded and that was it.
Six years went by and no one had created what I was looking for. The notion that it needed to be me crept into my mind. It finally got to the point where I could barely sleep. I was starting to get ideas. Soon, I began speaking about my hypothetical creation to my husband and friends. They were all excited! After a while, I started drafting the concept. The more I wrote down and diagramed, the more ideas I had. The more I began speaking about it to people, the more affirmations I received. It turns out that other people knew my strengths better than I did.
Over the years, I created many “things” that I needed: books, pamphlets, support groups, etc. Each time, I’ve been amazed that other people were waiting for the concept that I created, and I also got mad at myself for waiting so long to move forward with an idea. Earlier this week, I wrote a post on women in business, especially minority women in business. The most interesting and relatable part of the facts presented in that post were the reasons women started their own businesses. Everything from wanting to follow their passions to needing work/life flexibility crept up. However, there’s another reason I’d like to add for starting a business (either full-time or part-time):
The “thing” that you’ve been looking for hasn’t been created, so it’s up to YOU to create it.
Looking for that book that speaks to you, but still haven’t found it? WRITE IT.
Searching for that local nonprofit that serves the population you think is being deserted? YOU START IT.
Looking for that business that aligns with your talents? YOU BUILD IT.
There’s a reason that you can’t find what you’re looking for. You were meant to create it and make it flourish! So do it. I know it’s not simple. It wasn’t meant to be; otherwise, there’d be hundreds of products and businesses for you to choose from. Part of being a leader is knowing how to guide, encourage, motivate, and have faith in . . . yourself. Go for it!
Keep leading and be safe,