I’m proud to say that I don’t owe anyone for my personal success in life. My parents were invested in my education and raised me with cultural exposure, and I’m grateful for that. But it was up to me to utilize that knowledge and create the life I wanted for myself.
I was born a dedicated, independent, hard worker. I didn’t need to be supervised because I had such an innate structure about my life. My parents never worried about me, as they did my brothers. They knew I was responsible and would take care of myself and do well.
I wouldn’t even let my mother dress me when I was younger; I always knew what I liked and what was right for me. I like being the boss, which is why I became one a year after graduating college; it’s why I was appointed president of a few clubs in prep school. I am a leader; not a follower. I have opinions that are usually on-point with the market when it comes to business. People often don’t trust my opinions…oh so much money lost. Not my probz.
This is not to say I don’t like creative collaboration. I just hate working in corporations where my professional opinion is not considered, especially as a female and a person who knows a certain demographic very well. But getting back to the point…
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I did everything for myself from a very young age and earned everything that I have today. I didn’t have coaches or tutors help me get into prep school or college; I did that myself, somewhat blindly. I talked my way into my first job and all of my summer jobs, internships, and career jobs after that. “Fake it until you make it,” I still say to this day. Believe you are the part, and with dedication and confidence, you will become it.
Get your hands dirty. Don’t assume things fall from the sky, even if you have some elite connections. I never got hooked up or received help from friends or family when it came to my career—sometimes my friends or family would mention things to friends which produced distant resources, but none of that ever materialized into anything for me. As it shouldn’t—my parents are far from the publishing world and don’t understand anything I do, and people can’t pull many strings, and that is especially true right now, in this economy. *You make your own fate, people.* (No disrespect to doctors or music teachers or my best friends and extended family.)
There’s honor in earning something and not being handed it.
Innately, I grew up never expecting anyone to help me; I’ve always figured it out on my own, and I am lucky that certain strangers gave me a chance, because I had no familial money or power connections. I didn’t even have the resources to help cultivate my talents. In my post-college days, it wasn’t possible to perform extensive Google searches and learn something online; I’ve always very much been an auto-didact.
You’ve got to go out and get your own. Hard work, dedication and passion will come back to you tenfold. I love my life and think I’ve been extremely lucky, but I created what I have. The more you put out in the universe, the more you will receive back and the happier you’ll be.
When you do make the effort to give—not money or gifts, but your time—to others, like helping the tourist with directions, assisting someone cross the street, prepping your med-school roommate for her test, or mentoring all those other kids trying to find your job and telling them how you think they can succeed, or most importantly, just listening to them—YOU win. The world rewards you, because you are making it a better place.
No one can tell me that I don’t deserve all of the good that comes my way. I continually earn it. I am #fierce. Even guys in the hood have respect for the short white girl.
Go out and get yours. (Or don’t, but no b*tching allowed if you didn’t give it everything you had to make it happen.)