139: Forget What People Think
They said it’s lonely at the top; it’s even lonelier when you are a person of color. Over the past couple of months, a lot of attention has been paid to systemic racism, a timely reminder that people of color are less represented, more so in professional settings. Once people of color start climbing up the ladder, they find themselves on their own most of the time. This is concrete proof that a person of color will be passed over for a promotion that was theirs for the taking at some point in their careers.
To put this into perspective, a person of color must work twice as hard and wait twice as long to get half as far as his/her white counterpart.
Getting Into Fashion – 03:18
Creativity can inspire some of the greatest ideas, primarily if cultivated from a young age. While most people find their purpose when they get older, a few lucky people get their inspiration when still young. Dr. Tameka Ellington knew that she wanted to be an artist the first time she laid her hands on a sewing machine. Once you know what you want to do with your life, be truthful to your purpose and take the initiative to be better at what you do.
Making Your Dreams a Reality – 05:40
Being a first-gen comes with its fair share of problems. There is usually a conflict of interest between what your family wants you to do and what you think is right for you. In essence your determination and mentality are what will eventually get you out of your current situation. If you find yourself struggling with something, be it poverty or hopelessness, have that mindset of wanting to be better. That burning desire to be better is all the proof you need to work towards your dreams. Start by finding something that excites you, that you’re passionate about, and everything will be alright.
Difference Between a Speaker and an Educator – 09:28
Nowadays, a lot of people take to speaking for all the wrong reasons. The genuine speakers want to elevate and educate people while the rest just are after the spotlight that comes with speaking. The one thing you need to understand is that there is a fine line between speaking and educating. Educating requires passion, knowledge, and intention, while speaking is merely about talking. Before you become a speaker, understand that speaking is all about leaving your audience better than you found them and inspiring them to take action through your experiences.
Getting Rejected -14:05
The Latin origin of passion is ‘Pati,’ which means ‘suffer.’ To be able to reap the most rewards from something you are passionate about, you must first suffer. Although some people may argue that this is sometimes not the case, most successful people struggled at some point in their journey. As a black person, climbing the corporate ladder will be no walk in the park. You’ll be overlooked and rejected time and time again, and at some point, you’ll be forced to do something about it. If you feel like you’ve worked hard enough to deserve a particular position, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Go for what is yours, even if it means ruffling a few feathers.
Advice To Black Women Facing Hard Times Professionally – 29:10
Tough times are a part of everyday life. One day you’re winning; the next, no one wants to see you. The one thing I’ll tell you today is that there’s something unique about you. To put this uniqueness into practice, make sure the organization you work for can’t live without you. Be that valuable element that when your boss thinks about losing you, a picture of a crumbling department is what he/she sees.
Final Thoughts – 34:20
As first-gens, tenacity and drive are already in our DNA. Sorry to say, but sometimes your family members will feel intimidated by you and would rather see you remain constant than see you succeed. Never let that deter you from pursuing your dreams. If God put something in your spirit, that’s something that’s meant for you, and it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll grab it or let it slide. Do something about your dream but always do it better than the next person.
Dr. Tameka Ellington is the CEO and Founder of the 1st Generation Revolutionaries movement. She is a Motivational Speaker, international acclaimed and awarded Educator and Scholar, Professional Development Strategist, and 1st Generation Advocate. Dr. Tameka is the author of Make Fear Your Superpower, a witty and real memoir that speaks to the inner courage that we all possess. She works to inspire and equip 1st gen students and young professionals with success tools, networking opportunities, and spiritual fulfillment. She is dedicated to helping 1st gen people challenge their way of being. Her mantra is, “Revolutionize Your Thinking!” Connect with Dr. Elligton on LinkedIn.