When I wanted to become an entrepreneur, I had everyone and their mom telling me they would help me do this and support me with tasks. Ambitious me anticipated all this amazing help I would be getting. I thought, How did I get so lucky to have such a great support system in my life? I always remained optimistic, no matter the circumstances I was dealing with. I wanted to make sure I always had a reason to stay positive. The one thing that bothered me was people’s integrity. I was getting all this “support,” but people weren’t following through. Everyone will disappoint you in this life in some way at some time, but you have to keep going—with or without them. The best thing you can do for yourself is not to be upset but to become unstoppable. When you become unapproachable, people will realize what they lost. Make it a goal to become someone who cannot be stopped, no matter what adversities land on your plate. Throughout my life, I had many obstacles that left me saying, I am ready to give up… please just take me. Being a slave to my health for a long period was a setback, then dealing with many cons, frauds, and people with ulterior motives who took me for all I had earned. I was in a real black hole, but this is where I realized my worth, power, and who I truly am.
I didn’t need anything that was taken from me to be powerful. I am who I am because I overcame these adversities.
Here are a few lessons I have learned over time on my business journey. I hope they help you:
Focus on becoming the best version of yourself
No matter what I was dealing with, my focus remained the same. I wanted to be the best version of myself in every area of my life. I strove for the stars and was willing to take massive action to get there. I knew I would work harder than most people to achieve what I wanted because I had to go against the grain so often—the first time being my unpredictable health. I didn’t know how I would be feeling from day-to-day, and this was scary to me. The second challenge was being a young, petite woman in the tech space; this was not favored. Many people had ulterior motives and took advantage where they could. I had to learn from everyone and realized that I had to master peace in this life. I was walking a thin line, and every circumstance has helped me improve and maintain my composure. I remember the first time the person I most counted on took everything from my bank account and left. I went into full panic mode. Recently, I was taken for $260,000, and I had to embrace the pain of that. I had to learn how to bring peace into my life through these hard-to-swallow situations. This ultimately helps you become better.
Don’t listen to people who take very little action
You’d be surprised if I told you how many people waited in line to give me advice. Many people wanted to give me advice and never deliver any real support or help. Listen to your intuition over other people. Most people just like to listen to themselves talk and try to sound like they are smart. They don’t have a stake in your business. They are simply sharing their experiences with you, which is why you should take their advice with a grain of salt and follow your intuition. I also found out that many people who gave me advice didn’t want to see me succeed. They were waiting for my downfall to see me fail. When you are destined to reach for the stars, you will figure out a way to do it, and no one can stop you. They can wish you to fail, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking action to move forward.
Don’t give your power away to anyone
When we are too open and transparent with people, we make ourselves more vulnerable and put ourselves in a position to give our power away. I learned the hard way never to reveal everything and stay silent most of the time. Let others do most of the talking and observe and learn. Most people enjoy speaking, and if they find out what you have, they will do everything in their power to get it from you. They will deceive, manipulate, and lie to make sure that they have everything they need from you to use it against you. I saw this a lot in Silicon Valley; it was a tough place to navigate my way through. Part of me wanted to be my authentic self and give freely—but this was setting myself up to get taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we live in a world where kind-hearted people are not cherished; they are used to death. We have to be wiser and still remain kind—just dodge the bullets.
I hope this helps you maneuver through the hardships of becoming an entrepreneur. It is tough out there, and most of the time, it’s survival of the fittest. Remember, nothing can cause you to give up when you are unstoppable. The only person who truly believes in you is you. Good luck!