Over the last week, I have come across different posts online about the need for people to share the process of their story and not just the success. I even saw a video on Facebook that encouraged we shared the process as it occurs and not until after the results where we focus on the results and barely describe what was at the core – the process.
Initially, I simply read and watched those posts and nodded in agreement without really giving them much thought. Until yesterday when I seemingly hit rock bottom. (P.S. This post is about authenticity and sharing the process as it occurs because I may forget some of the details when the result/success occurs).
So what rock bottom did I hit?
Sometime last year (April, precisely), I quit my job as a tax consultant. It didn’t make sense at all and yes I was going for the Mandela Washington Fellowship but that was not a strong enough reason to quit a job in one of the “Big Four”. My bosses tried to persuade me to just take my annual leave/study leave instead of resigning. But I was sure of the end result then as I am sure of it now and I knew I didn’t want to start that journey of purpose and passion and return to routine. So I was adamant and I quit!
However, I didn’t have the step-by-step execution clarity of the process that would get me to the end-result that I am so confident of. All I knew was that I was walking on water as my Saviour bid me come (biblical analogy). Since then, I have been privileged to run 2 leadership, entrepreneurship and technology workshops and 1 more detailed boot camp. You can tell I absolutely love what I do. There’s this pure joy I experience working with young people and introducing them to concepts and activities that would make their education more relevant.
You may be wondering, so what rock bottom did she hit? Stay with me, we’ll get there in a bit.
Anyway, since returning from the fellowship, one key thing on my mind has been how to sustainably run this social enterprise that I have found myself working on. How would it generate income? How would I sustain myself while it is still in the growth stage? I am not used to waking up in the morning and not going to an office, how do I keep myself motivated to keep working on the vision without slipping into depression?
Thankfully, I have a great support structure but guess what made me hit rock bottom, explaining the “how” of the vision to the people I care most about. One question I get asked is so where is Steer to Greatness going? How will it make money? Before you conclude, I have written the vision, the plan, the goals and the operation plan so you may still wonder why I am not articulating it well.
The vision scares me sometimes, it is that big.
When you are walking on water, some if not most of your actions are inexplicable. Looking around, trying to understand how it will work out after you have done all you can is what makes you hit rock bottom. When you have bills coming up but your vision can’t fund them yet.
But do you know what I did – I cried for help. Yes, you heard me. Literally, cried for help. At 1 a.m., alone in my room, feeling overwhelmed and clueless, I cried to the only one I knew could help me out. Then I wiped my eyes and got to work. Yup! Feed your focus. Hitting rock bottom is not an excuse to stop trying or to give in and jump on the next available easy way out. Rather it was time to restrategise and refocus. It was time to think of other skills I had that I wasn’t putting to use yet that can help me while I work out the end-result.
In conclusion, I found out that hitting rock bottom is not an issue in itself, there are stories of many people who are household names today but failed a lot of times before they hit success. The main takeaway for me was to stand up and keep going even when I hit rock bottom. Fear of what people would think or say should not stop me from persevering. At least even if it doesn’t work out, I would know I tried and not have to guess what if.
My friend when you hit rock bottom, cry if you must, but stand up and keep walking, running till you are soaring.
Have an awesomely amazing 2017!