Dream Catcher: An Introspective Post

I haven’t written an introspective post in a while, (or really, a post in general) but every six to 12 months, I like to sit down, take a breath and really look inside myself to see what I want out of my life. If you know me, you know I change my mind quite frequently and possess an unquenchable thirst to be better and stronger.

Than whom? Well, I am a constant battle with myself. I set sky-high standards for myself professionally, academically and personally. I strive to be unlike an “acceptable” version of my 24-year-old self, which is a person, in my mind, that would just settle on the easy way out of things, play it safe and not take a risk or a chance. But, as the title of this blog will tell you, I like life with twists. I get a thrill out of challenging myself to try something new and revamping my dreams to better match whatever goal I am trying to reach.

But I’m getting completely ahead of myself…

Let me go back to the undergrad years. In college, I set myself up with a plan to graduate and move to New York City and “make it big” in the magazine-journalism world. Basically, I wanted to be Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Oohing and ahhing over the latest fashion, beauty and health trends and spilling word after carefully constructed word to perfect strangers about such trends. I mean, seriously, isn’t that what the majority of mass communications/journalism students wish for? To make it big. To have their name listed in some glossy magazine or nationally circulated newspaper. To be a star! [Exaggeratedly speaking]

But alas, by the time of graduation, I didn’t do it.  I’m not exactly sure why, seeing that NYC isn’t foreign territory to me. Oh wait — I remember now.  I was too afraid. I was afraid I wouldn’t make it, afraid of rejection, afraid of myself to everyone or no one, afraid of the unknown.

So, instead, I found a few odd jobs in marketing/promotions here and there and then was hired at a drearily small publishing company for six months working under a tyrant of a boss. When I had my wits about me, I decided to quit and moved onto a marketing coordinator/graphic designer role for two years with a company that I was able to grow and develop myself as a young professional. My dreams of becoming a glossy journalist started to drift away and my new focus was in the marketing field.

2010-Current: Because I wanted to learn the business side of things, as they say, I decided to pursue my M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing. I also had this small desire — which grew to a much larger one over the past several months — to work for myself. This was influenced by a few things …

  1. Clearly, I know I’m not the best of the best. However, I damn well try my hardest to shine. So, with that comes the ability to master jobs and tasks rather quickly. As an example, it takes me about two to four hours to design a 11 x 17″ bi-fold from scratch with no direction. Other people, it takes them an entire day if not two. Yes, I know there are people even faster than me but I do value my work ethic and ability to work quickly, efficiently and really, really well.
  2. With No. 1 stated, because I’m able to get through projects fast and learn my roles quickly, I’m ready to grow and expand myself even faster. When there is little room for me to grow, I become bored and look to move onto the next opportunity.
  3. Watching my Mom work almost 365 days a year as a top Realtor and my Dad open his own business in 2007, greatly influenced my entrepreneurial spirit. I saw what working for yourself can do — it’s not just the flexible schedule or the ability to be your own boss (which are, of course, great perks) but it’s the fact that you can put into it as much as — or as little as — you want. You control your own success.

Being in business for yourself is a gamble. No truer words were ever spoken. There isn’t a steady paycheck, it can be grueling as much as it can be rewarding, and it isn’t the “corporate life” with all the perks (and aggravations) that go with it. However, as No. 3 pointed out, with being an entrepreneur, I am able to construct my own business model to what I feel is suitable. And, knowing how I am, that model will push me to the limits and go above and beyond anything that I’ve set myself to before. It’s a nerve-racking, exciting, and stressful gamble all rolled into one. It’s the type of dream that I’ve been looking for and the type of dream I need to catch and pursue.

So, what is the entrepreneurial business I plan on doing? Well, it’s two-fold, one of which I’ve already began: freelance graphic design, editorial and marketing is the one half. I’ve slowly been building my portfolio with clients as far as NYC (so I guess my dreams of reaching the NYC demographic were not so far-fetched).

The second half is getting licensed to sell real estate. Yes, I’m following in my mother’s footsteps you could say, but taking my own path. I plan to learn everything I can from the best, team with someone who can offer me the opportunity to really build my business until it’s time to spread my wings. Real estate gives me the opportunity not to just to ‘sell stuff;’ I get to use all the previous marketing/advertising/promotional skills I already have plus the chance to help people with a huge decision in their lives. That’s one of the biggest draws to me. Blame it on my empathetic nature, but one of my passions is helping people.

[Plus, in all honesty, I won’t feel like my M.B.A. is a complete and total waste. In all actuality, working and receiving this degree was probably one of the best decisions I ever made.]

Come January 30, 2012 I’ll start the pre-licensure course. Until then, I’ll be working with Mom on real estate projects to get my feet wet. Fortunately, I have had enough exposure to real estate what with working as her personal assistant when I was in high school and working as a call center rep from Coldwell Banker in college.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited. Yeah, my dreams may have changed considerably since college but at the end of the day, I’m doing what I enjoy. And isn’t that the point? To be happy? I don’t want to look back on my life and say I was miserable with my career because I equated it all to the salary I made. Of course, money is wonderful and we all have bills to pay (student loans, in particular) but my favorite author/writer and promotional speaker, Maya Angelou put it best:

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”


One thought on “Dream Catcher: An Introspective Post

  1. I love that you’re not afraid to be honest with yourself and really dig down to find what it is that will make you happy. It may not be the same as what you went to school for initially, but that’s the point of evolution. You’ll be successful with Mom at your side and Dad on your shoulders. Can’t wait to see you make it [even] big[ger]!!

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