Tell me your dreams

‘What do you want to do?’

I’ve sat across several managers and HR folks in my career who asked me this question. It took me until recently to begin to design my ideal career,  in fact my ideal LIFE. Because when you’re passionate about what you do, it is your life.

Pai Shih_Crystal Ball_a01rSA (4)

Photo by Pai Shih http://www.facebook.com/SomewhereInLife (‘Crystal Ball’)

Part of making your dreams come true is to design what your life will look like in the new state. You cannot isolate it. You need to decide what days you’ll work,  how much vacation you’d like and whether you want to have time to volunteer at a charity for instance.

 

If you are thinking about your dream career, allow me challenge you. What does your dream life look like?  Draw it.  Tabulate it.  Scribble it on a napkin.

 

On a personal note, 2015 has been a surprise. I wrote my first business book,  which is out in the new year, something that a year ago,  I hadn’t expected  to achieve just yet. I’ve received incredible support,  I am completely overwhelmed.

Blank white book w/path

My book cover – out in print and kindle in Jan 2016

There have been many other wins,  big and small.  I planned my ideal life and it finally looks possible. Through great coaching by the amazing Clare McNamara at Move Ahead Global,  I understand the things that stand in my way. I also know that it’s all in my head. Like thinking that I need to have all the right answers to be an expert. I realise now that what I’m great at is asking the right questions.

Here are some considerations
for anyone hoping to make changes in 2016,  be it a dream to break away from a loveless career or to turn your passion into a venture.

You have something in you that when identified and nurtured,  will make you unstoppable. Unbeatable. Everyone has this. Sometimes it’s obvious. An incredible singing voice. An ability to draw or paint like Van Gogh. Other times, it’s less obvious. An eye for beautiful design. An ability to mediate in high conflict situations. What is in you?

You can do anything you set your mind to. The issue isn’t that you can’t make your dreams come true. It’s that you think you need to do it in a particular way. There’s no prescribed way to become an entrepreneur or a writer or an artist. Do it your way. Aside from working, what’s your ideal life:  School runs, coffee with friends, mid-week football, the local community hall meeting? Why not? It’s YOUR schedule! What do you need to be able to do to achieve your dreams?

Now it’s your turn to change things in 2016:

‘What do you want to do?’

 

Advertisements

Not the race card: The People & Places series (2)

Best place to be black

I swear I’m not pulling the race card (and yes, I am a black woman). But the other option was unthinkable, that is, to completely ignore the fact that it is more comfortable to be black in some countries than others.  What I’m referring to specifically is the opportunities to make something good out of your life, your career, and your dreams. My 2 cents is that one of the best places in the world to be black is the United States of America. The way I see it, a country like the US more than ever has given a perspective of the world to youngsters that I think will change the way they think forever. For example, the image of poverty versus wealth in many multi-racial countries is one of: black people are poor and white people are rich. A country where a youngster, like my 5-year old black son can look at the top of the society and see educated, respected black men and women is priceless. In the same vein, he can see black people begging on the streets. This is fine with me as  long as he also sees white people begging and educated, respected white people at the helm of society’s affairs. It’s a balanced perspective where the glass ceiling evaporates and anything is possible if you work hard.

Seeing a world of opportunities (photographed by R "Doc Enigma")

In the US, this is possible, making  it (in my mind) one of the best places in the world to be black.

Black entrepreneurs

Many African countries have prosperous black entrepreneurs. Of course, these countries are fantastic places to be black. I think African countries do count in my argument as some African countries make doing business a little easier for indigenes. In South Africa, there are several incentives for black aspiring business owners as the nation breaks away from their past of apartheid.

Also in Nigeria, dozens of indigenous companies have erupted that directly compete for the market e.g. the oil and gas services market. The government encourages a certain percentage of indigenes to be employed in international corporations. In addition, entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga have proven that it’s great to be black in Nigeria.

Conclusion

I’m writing about blacks because I’m black. I haven’t walked in the shoes of any other minority group. So overall, I think there are countless opportunities for smart, ambitious people, regardless of race. It may feel at times that a black person  (or any minority group for that matter) has much more to prove. And it’s probably true but it is my experience so far at most of the time, once you prove yourself, everyone else usually gives way. In the corporate world, diversity is becoming more and more important…and fashionable. Diversity makes companies look good. So if you are in the minority, put your best foot forward and I believe you’ll go places. Dust off that business idea or proposal, re-write your CV with a renewed confidence. I wonder… where else is it cool to be in-the-minority?


%d bloggers like this: