Everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing with your life. Some have your back, some don’t. Some are jealous, some aren’t. Some really want to help you, and some just wait hoping for you to fail. In your journey as an entrepreneur, you’ll reach a point when you’ll have to choose who you want in your circle, and be very selective when you do.
In choosing who you want in your circle, you’ll also have to learn to differentiate the opinions that are constructive criticism and the ones that do not serve you, because the vision you have, God gave it to you, not them. People around you will not always understand your WHY, your reason to not give up on that crazy dream you have.
I’ve been through really tough times in both my business and personal life. It was a road paved with a lot of tears, doubts, laughter, challenges, and a lot of hope even when I had no idea how it will all come together.
Have you ever shared your dreams with someone and the response you get was very hurtful? Sometimes it felt like someone was kicking you while you were already down. I’ve got something for you today to encourage you to be very protective of your dreams and to just B yourself.
I want to share with you some of the most memorable negative opinions I’ve received. They are memorable because they propelled me to be more, be better, and never bitter because after all people do what they know.
- “You just don’t have what my students are looking for. They simply don’t like your flair of teaching.” …said an athletic director to me after I’ve been teaching a class for 2 weeks.
- “How did you get here from Haiti? Did you get on a boat like I see those boat people in the news.” … said a financial broker.
- “You really should stop putting on your resume that you speak Haitian Creole. The moment they know you’re Haitian, they won’t hire you. It’s better to put that you speak French. You’ll sound more sophisticated. At least you’ll get away with your accent.”… said someone who used to be a friend also a Fordham law school graduate.
- “It’s good to dream but honey people who go to BU or MIT they don’t go there with a high school education from Haiti and no money”…. said a family member. I wonder what she would say now that I’ve graduated from BU Cum Laude and MIT paid for it.
Can you imagine how crushing it was for a 15-year-old girl to hear those words as she was thinking “There’s got to be more in life than the norm”? There was no electricity and I vividly remember sitting at my mom’s dinner table, a big smile on my face, visualizing myself going to BU while reading one of their pamphlets under a candle light.
The truth is that those people will not go away. In fact, they are here to give you the strength and the fortitude you need to roar even louder.
Don’t listen to anyone who is telling you to be someone that you’re not or to give up on an idea that won’t leave you alone until you make it happen. B yourself because the real you is easier for people to connect with. Your brokenness is a far better bridge than your pretend wholeness ever was. You don’t need to know the details, be protective of your dreams, hold on to them and keep taking one more step every day. The right people will come into your life to stay and support you. The right opportunities will just fall on your lap out of nowhere. I promise you it’s worth the crazy ride.