I AM: Put the YOU in YOUth this June-Be YOUnique and Embrace your inner Entrepreneur
WHO ARE YOU? A simple, straightforward question, without a simple straightforward answer. Throughout my teen years, this question terrified me. I was changing, experiencing, developing and evolving so much every day that it felt impossible to define myself. One day, someone asked me “What are you passionate about?” At that time, besides pasta and dogs, I honestly had no idea. Then something changed.
The lucky among us know who they are and what they like, and can answer these questions confidently without hesitation, and I salute them. I wasn’t so lucky. I had to find out what I was passionate about the hard way – by discovering what I wasn’t passionate about first.
When I finished school, my heart was filled with uncertainty and my head with expectations. Being fortunate enough to get in and go to University, I knew I needed to prove myself and meet certain societal expectations. I believed in conventionality and security, and so I decided to pursue an undergraduate law degree. I thought this degree would tell the world that I was clever enough, practical enough and focused enough to fulfill the expectations I told myself I had to fulfill.
It took me three years to realize that I did not like anything about law besides the job security it offered me, and the impressed looks people gave me when I told them what I studied. I wondered whether this was enough to warrant a career as a lawyer. Ironically, it took me months to make that decision.
Eventually, I decided it wasn’t. I decided not to pursue a postgraduate law degree. Instead, I opted to do the honors degree I had been accepted for. The honors was in English Language and Literature, something I had always enjoyed but had never dreamed of making it a career. Transitioning from a mainstream, corporate law degree to a creative literature course was extreme, challenging and beyond beautiful.
For the first time, I was exposed to something that I realized I loved. Sometimes we find our passions, and sometimes our passions find us. When I was studying law, I endured, but never enjoyed my career path. Today, literature and a creative approach to life have a place in my heart, not only in my work. I am passionate about the path I am on and believe that my opportunities are endless.
What makes you successful is not what you do, rather whether you are passionate about what you do. I could have been a lawyer, perhaps not a bad one, however, since I have experienced something I am truly passionate about, I could never imagine life any other way.
Steve Jobs once said:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
There is no right answer to who you are, only the honest one. Be authentic to YOU, where your passions lie, and what makes you truly unique and magic will happen. Let go of expectations, fear, and insecurity. Embrace who you are because that is the person who will lead you to success. The only way you will find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is by being true to your passions.
Our passions are what make us the best versions of ourselves. Watch someone talk about something they love, and notice how their face changes, their eyes light up and their voice fills with excitement. That is the feeling you can, therefore should have when you talk about your career. Do not make the mistake of believing that conventional career paths are the only way to achieve success. In a digital age and a changing world, you have the opportunity to be your own hero and design your own life. Break away from the norm, explore what makes you YOUnique, discover your passions, and build your entrepreneurial empire from there.
If this resonates with you, invest in yourself and discover your potential by designing your own career, life and dreams through Over The Rainbow. We will guide you through the journey of turning your passions into prosperity. If you are in grades 10-11 and live in the Western Cape, join us this July to kick-start your entrepreneurial passion with #Teenboss.
Through doing something I didn’t like, I have learned to appreciate doing something I love. Sometimes we have to shake hands with some career frogs in order to shake hands with our career prince (being an entrepreneur allows you to do almost anything you want, but no kissing in the office please).
Today I know that I AM:
A relationship builder
Here to enrich other people’s lives through meaningful work
TODAY: I challenge you to write a list like this one, of 7 things you are passionate about. Try and start with the words I AM, because your passions should, do and will define what makes you YOUnique.
TIP: If you are struggling, begin with a list of 7 things that start with: I AM NOT-trust me, this will help.
Wondering how your passions can affect your business?
Read these 7 Tips on how to turn your passions into business solutions:
- HAVE CLARITY– if you’ve completed your list, congratulations! It is important to visualize what you want, and writing it down is a good way to start. Your starting point is where your passions lie. Spend time on this phase, focus on you and be true to yourself
- HAVE INTENTION– As Jim Carrey one said, “You can’t visualize, and then, you know, go eat a sandwich.” Write down how you would like to be your own boss, and what you hope to get out of your entrepreneurial journey
- BE POSITIVE– Never let failure knock you down, instead learn from your experiences! If I hadn’t completed my law degree, I would never have done the honors degree I love. It is often our failures that lead to our success. See the silver lining in everything you do!
- GOALS-turning your passions into attainable goals is an essential step to taking action! Set goals that are SMART:
- PERSISTENCE- Trust yourself and stick to your gut feeling. Steve Jobs said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Be on the right side of the equation.
- ATTENTION- Invest in your business idea and do all the research you can. Attention will result in growth.
- NO TENTION- ENJOY what you do, time manage effectively and take it step by step. Entrepreneurship is not easy, but it also not a sprint. You are more likely to succeed if you take the time to be thorough and endure the journey of entrepreneurship. It’s not easy but its worth it!
Embrace who YOU are this YOUth month- success awaits you.