The Life Of A Writer – An emotional post, Happy Anniversary to me!
Whether you think you can or can’t either way you’re right. – Henry Ford
Today is a very special day for me. Two years ago today, I started my publishing company Write One Publications, Inc. and journeyed into entrepreneurship, a dream I’ve had since my early twenties.
It’s funny, when I think about how all of this happened.
For years, I wanted to own my own business and I would frequently tell my friends and family that one day I would no longer shuffle amongst the nine to fivers. While I enjoyed Corporate America in some respects, I’d invested enough time and learned the lessons I needed to learn. It was time for me to graduate, to don my proverbial cap and gown and move on.
While I frequently put my intention out into the universe to work for myself, I had no idea how it would unfold, nor did I have a clue that I would one day own a publishing company.
As a matter of fact…right before I started my company, I was thinking seriously about opening a beauty salon. This was in fact the entrepreneurial dream that I’d had for as long as I could remember.
Ironically…the salon manifested in my debut novel The Buzz and my business manifested as a result of my passion for writing. Now how’s that for irony?
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that starting my publishing company was a result of researching publishing options and deciding that self-publishing was a better fit for my goals. I also realized that starting a publishing company encompassed all of things I was passionate about, from being creative to “being my own boss.”
At the onset of my self-publishing decision, I was laid off from a finance position with a great company due to the economy.
By the time I wrapped my mind around that life altering change, I’d luckily secured a new job AND started my publishing company when I was informed that in the coming months I’d be laid off again.
Yes, you read right! Twice within one year, fast-forwarding my business from a part-time endeavor to a full-time pursuit within months.
“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.” – Sumner Redstone
Funny enough, the reason why I sit where I sit today, is because of the man who made this quote above. It was his action, that caused the last company I worked for to close. But I have to give credit where credits due, truer words have never been spoken.
This blog post is not to conjure up feelings of “woe is me,” because not only had I asked for it, by declaring I’d one day own a business, but it was the BEST THING that could have happened to me. I truly feel that everything happens for a reason and so this blog post is instead a reflection of what has happened in my life in the two years since forming my company.
Quite honestly, its mind boggling even typing the words – two years, because it feels like just yesterday when I was speaking with my lawyer about incorporating, deciding on a vision and all the other nuances that go along with starting a company.
I wish I could write a mushy blog post about how easy this journey has been, but that experience was not mine. The last two years have been a shedding of familiar patterns, toxic people, old paradigms and the birth of new ideas, renewed faith, and determination. Those changes were needed for the blessings I was in store for.
Have you ever looked back on your life and not only been amazed by the amount of time that has passed but also by what you have experienced?
When I was first launching my company, I was met with so many setbacks that I could have easily quit. Hell anything would have been easier than the two steps forward and two steps back I experienced in the months before the release of my debut novel. My faith was tested, friendships were challenged, and honestly I wanted to know why me lord? It seemed as though everything were coming down on me at once. I’m sure someone out there can relate.
Even while experiencing this two step shuffle, I knew there was a lesson to be learned. I frequently told myself that I would look back and laugh at it all. Failure was not an option. And so I dusted myself off and owned the fact that something good was in store. I knew it was coming. I just needed to have patience, to learn the lessons along the way, and submit to faith.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This motion went on for months. And through it all my family was there for me in a way that I could never properly describe. Not once, did I hear, “Maybe you should try something else,” or “Are you sure you want to be an entrepreneur?”
I ONLY heard words of encouragement.
After I made it over that hurdle, (and though I’ve jumped quite a few more) in the first five months of being a new company and a new author, I was featured on television, in magazines, newspapers, traveled and toured, and offered wonderful opportunities that I couldn’t have ever dreamed of.
I released a second book Pull Your Pants Up and be a man! by author Bernice Harris and was invited to Madison Square Garden to present her book at a Father’s Day event in front of basketball legends and people who’d made great contributions to society. Oh and did I mention that actor Malik Yoba, famous for his role in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too! wrote the foreword without asking for a thing in return?
While I could go on and on, this post is one of humility and sincere gratefulness. I extend a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make my dream a reality and to those who supported me in my two years of business.
September 2008 to September 2010 has been an immense period of growth. In some ways I feel that I have almost been stripped of everything that was familiar and its been replaced with something new or improved. I am the happiest and most content I’ve ever been in my life, yet I have to admit at first it was not a comfortable adjustment.
I recently spoke with an old friend and she reminded me of a conversation we had many years ago, when she and I randomly met while I was out grabbing lunch in downtown Chicago. She said I told her one day I would own my own business. She said the look in my eye told her that it would most certainly happen.
Ever had someone share something and it makes you go hmm?
Don’t remember that!
But it most certainly sounded like something I’d say.
What I’ve described is not unique to me. The occurrences might be, but the pursuit of a dream is universal.
I write this post to encourage everyone to be fearless in your goals, for without action your dream is unborn. Without challenges, there is no growth. Without faith, you can’t go on.
This is not just a post for writers, but instead a post for anyone who’s facing a challenge (or what I like to call experiencing growth) in their life, to know there is something better waiting for you on the other side. Be encouraged and know that dreams are not wishful thinking because what you think about, you bring about!