162: What to Pay Attention to When Building Relationships

Remember how easy it was to make friends as a kid? Kids can meet other kids on the playground and instantly form friendships that somehow last a lifetime. Yet, as you grow older, you notice that building and maintaining relationships is not as simple as it used to be. One of the things that contribute to that is that we’re all different, and we tend to acknowledge our differences as we grow older. We often feel more at ease when the next person ‘gets’ us and understands our perspective. The reality is that life would be boring if we were all the same. Additionally, real success, the kind that exists both professionally and socially, is almost impossible without building great relationships with people utterly different from us.

What Keisha Wished She Knew Before Graduating College – 02:08

There is a massive chance that you’ll receive some form of encouragement to study or work abroad in college. Unfortunately, as a minority community, especially from underprivileged backgrounds, some things are usually out of the equation. For example, some of us never think about taking a semester abroad. Some of us get our passports well into our working years. It’s not like we don’t want to; it’s just that we can’t. But, if you ever get a chance to travel abroad, by all means, do it. Imagine all the different cultures you can experience when you travel to, say, Africa or Thailand, and spend a week or two there. Plus, you get to try out new, exciting and authentic delicacies that you’d never believe existed. 

Life Lessons Learnt After Keisha Graduated – 04:50

As first-gens, there is some sort of blueprint that we must follow. Go to school, get an education, find a job, get married, and work till you’re 60 or 70. While this path might guarantee job security and maybe decent living standards, it strangles the fun out of life. If you’re not doing what you love, you’re part of the statistic that makes up many Americans who hate their job. I understand that your parents might have sacrificed a lot to get you here, but you need to start thinking about what’s good for you and not what they want.

The Importance of Building Relationships 13:42 

We all have relationships with people. You obviously don’t have a say in which family you’re born into, but the relationships you build later in life are sorely dependent on your preferences. In college, you’ll meet new people, develop friendships, have a roommate, and be part of a study group. All these scenarios are relationship-based and help you navigate your way through college. When you enter the job market, you’ll develop work relationships with colleagues or customers.

The one thing you need to understand is that some relationships have seasons. Not everybody is meant to stay in your life forever. Some people come into your life to open particular doors, while others show up to teach you a lesson or two. However, you need to always appreciate the next person’s story. By respecting people’s stories, we understand where they come from, who they are, and how to co-exist in the same environment. 

Keisha’s Entrepreneurial Journey – 23:26

As described earlier, as first-gens, our journeys typically start and end with getting a job. Our parents did it; our neighbors are doing it, so it usually makes sense to join the bandwagon. And it’s okay to follow that path because if you’re motivated enough, nothing can stop you. Sadly, most people who start from the bottom rarely know what to do when they get to the top. They spend most of their time working on their careers, and when it comes to investing their money, they’re virtually clueless on how to go about it. Ashley works with people at the top of their careers and holds their hand as they try to navigate the tricky investing world. 

Keisha Bickham grew up in Greensboro, NC, and is a proud first-generation college graduate. She completed her BS in Electrical Engineering from NC State University and her Masters in Healthcare Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Keisha attributes much of her success to her supporting family, mentors who poured into her as early as the 2nd Grade, and those influencers who have continued throughout her career. 

She is passionate and bold in pursuit of success and breaking boundaries of career and financial potential that sometimes plague first-generation minority leaders. Keisha enjoys dancing, mentoring, volunteering, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Connect with Keisha Bickham on LinkedIn

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