137: Who is Going to Look Out for You?
For a long time, I used to find myself feeling like once I graduated from college, especially in professional settings, people didn’t have my back. I spent a lot of time thinking that something was wrong with me, too. It was this unsettling feeling that because I was “grown” that I was supposed to have the answers, but in a number of cases I didn’t find that to be true. So, then, what do you do?
Even when I started on the journey of entrepreneurship, I was totally clueless about what was before me. First, it wasn’t something I ever planned to do. Second, one of my very first encounters seeking out support as an entrepreneur left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Yet, in hindsight, it was an awakening I needed and with several valuable lessons, I have carried with me for years. In fact, I believe that a particular situation really helped set the tone for me to learn to blaze my own trail.
Journey Into Entrepreneurship – 01:30
Would you believe me if I told you that in 2016 I didn’t have an idea about what entrepreneurship was? It may sound crazy, but to tell you the truth, I didn’t know what entrepreneurship was. I just assumed that if someone was making moves, then he/she is into business. So when I learned about being an entrepreneur, I immediately knew that was what I wanted to be. Being the researcher that I am, I dived into the web and stumbled upon an article that emphasized the need to reach out to industry specialists.
Reaching Out – 03:20
To me, reaching out looked easy because I knew nothing about entrepreneurship, and if I asked, what’s the worst that could happen? I knew I wanted to get into Speaking and Coaching, so I found this one woman who knew her thing and reached out via email. The response I got left a sour taste in my mouth. She replied, telling me how she didn’t have time and all those sorts of things and then recommended another black person. Her tone of voice was rude, and it’s like she thought all I wanted was a freebie or something. I admit I could have handled parts of the situation a little better, but the way she talked to me made me really mad. I knew she could tell by looking at my name that I was black and immediately assumed that I wanted a free consultation.
What I learned – 08:30
That encounter really hurt my feelings because here I am, trying to figure out what the game is all about, and then that happens. I decided that I wasn’t going to ask anyone for help. I was going to do me and figure out everything on my own. Although it did take me a lot of time to figure out everything by myself, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be like her. I don’t know what made her treat me that way; all I know is that I wasn’t going to treat people the same way she treated me.
The Fear of Rejection – 09:33
Have you ever found yourself not reaching out for help because you feel like you might get rejected? Well, you’re not alone. Everybody gets rejected at some point, but how you dust yourself after a rejection matters. Some people think that by helping you, they are increasing the competition or that you might steal their ideas and so choose not to help. If you are in a position to help, be human, and do your best to be of help. If not, then tell the person in the nicest way possible that you are not in a position to be of assistance.
What To Do When You Feel Like No One is Helping You – 11:28
The journey through life is always a new experience for everybody. While the easier option might be learning everything on your own, having a community that has your back will ease the pressure during the learning process. Before venturing out to ask strangers for help, why don’t you start with your immediate circle? You will be surprised at how well your friends are connected. The last person you’d expect to have an idea about something might have the leads you crave.
Don’t be Discouraged – 15:30
Don’t be discouraged by people who are not interested in your journey. They won’t be there when you reap your rewards, so why should they worry you? Just remember, for every person who’s not trying to help you, you’ve got several others that have your back. If the person you go to doesn’t feel like helping you, that’s okay; they are not the people you want in your corner anyway.
Be part of a Community – 18:32
Immediately after graduating, I realized that I was not connected well enough. Although I did have well-networked friends, I felt like I was missing out on something. Here’s the thing, it’s never too late to start building your networks. If you are a conference type of person, then, by all means, attend those conferences. If you feel like you can’t find what you are looking for, then be the entrepreneur and start your own thing.
You Are Not Without Help – 22:20
Being rejected is a part of life. However, there is someone you are yet to ask for help from, YOU! Yes, you can actually help yourself. By helping yourself, I don’t mean that you need to know everything. No! what I mean is that there are lots of resources out there that you can use to better yourself. You won’t help yourself by admitting defeat but by being intentional and by being creative.