Ok, so here it goes.
It’s officially 2021 and we live in a world that has created such specifically curated and idealized views about what it means to be an entrepreneur, to be a good mother, to be a present friend, to be successful… shit TO JUST BE, that it’s hard to know what’s real, and what it really takes to accomplish our goals.
A little background about me, I had my son, solo-dolo at eighteen and have raised him on my own ever since (Child support? WTF is that??). I created a semi-successful sports and hip-hop magazine at the age of 22, but ultimately chose to let it fold (for various reasons I’m sure we’ll explore at a later date) and relied on Corporate America for my livelihood until the end of 2018. During that time, I never had benefits or received government assistance (save for a combined total of maybe eight to ten months), and until 2015, had never cracked the 40k a year mark. I worked multiple jobs, had cars repossessed, broke leases and lived in a hotel for a few months, more than once (and in more than one state). Oh, I still have shitty credit.
In November 2018, I became a freelancer when the start-up I was working for chose to close its doors two days before Thanksgiving. I felt I had reached a point in my existence (I won’t even call it a career or life, because I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up and how to truly LIVE) where I was allowing others (whether it was my bosses, family, friends, society, past failures, etc.) to have waaaaay too much control over my day-to-day life, my finances, my ability to earn more, my happiness and my future. It was at that point that I decided to stop letting the limitations of others dictate my success and ultimately, happiness. Flash forward 2.25 years and I’m still self-employed and solely responsible for my own successes and failures.
And here’s where I get to my point: 9/10 we come across successful people once they’ve already “made it” (you know, the whole overnight success phenomenon). We rarely get to see the progress and struggles and hardships of everyday people like you and me, before they/we become successful. I have a theory on why we place so much emphasis and importance on being successful but have so much disdain for the process that gets us there. And while that could be a whole book on its own, I personally think it boils down to the following:
- We hide and shy away from our perceived failures, flaws and shortcomings and rarely make them known to anyone but ourselves. Why? In short, society typically treats vulnerability as weakness.
- With the exponential growth and reach of social media over the past decade, we feel increasing pressure to present only the best parts of our lives, but even blur the lines between our reality and what we think our reality should be, even if it’s not what we personally want.
- At the end of the day, let’s face it, people just typically don’t give a shit until you’re already “successful”.
But being an entrepreneur is HARD. Being a designer is HARD. Being a mother is FUCKING HARD (oh, yeah. Full disclosure, I cuss. A LOT. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon). And it seems our world, our society, our social designs and our interactions implore us to make EVERYTHING look easy. So that’s why I’m here, that’s why I’m writing this. At the end of the day, I’m just a regular chick. I wasn’t born with any tangible talent. I’m not the smartest, the most beautiful, the most business savvy or the most financially stable, but I know I’m capable of, and will achieve great success in the very near future. I also know there are a shit ton of people out there that are in the same boat as me, and who might just need a little extra push, or the confirmation they’re not “the only one” struggling to become successful.
So, for the next year I am going to be completely transparent about who I am, what my goals are and how I’m going to achieve them, as well as any setbacks I have. I am sure I will get a lot of criticism for this, but… oh fucking well. While I do believe you have to have a certain mindset and strength to not only get through, but prosper in spite of, the hard times, I do not believe in the typical justification of “fake it til you make it”. And at the end of the day, I’m doing this to not only hold myself accountable, but also show people like me the process or steps they might need/want to take in order to achieve whatever their definition of success is as well. Those are the people I’m speaking and writing too… if that’s not you, all good, I’ll see you on the other side.
Anywho, I think that’s probably enough to give you an idea of the purpose of this blog and to see where I’m starting, so without further ado, let’s get to it:
I will achieve these four personal goals by 12/31/2021:
- Pay off 30k in debt
- Buy a house
- Lose 50lbs (currently I weight 230lbs) while maintaining my curves and wear a bikini for the first time since high school (2003)
- Make my health a priority (more on this later)
I will achieve these four business goals by 12/31/2021:
- Bring my business revenue past the 6-figure mark
- Hire two more employees
- Have 10k in savings
- Payoff the SBA disaster relief loan I received in 2020
This is the money and resources I have to do so, as of January 24, 2021:
- My business: Websites x Design
- My clothing “line” (or what one day will be a full LINE): Winning x Design
- Total in my personal accounts TODAY: $130.78
- Total in stocks and retirement accounts TODAY: $1959.01
And this is the current debt/bills I have standing in my way.
- Credit Cards: $11,220
- Student Loans: $71,678
- Car: $25,129
- All Others: $17,548
And finally, my remaining monthly personal bills: $2762
This is where I’m starting. If you plan on walking through this journey with me, make note of your own personal and business goals (for right now, just focus on your goals for this year), your debts, your remaining monthly bills and your sources (and resources) for income.