Today I joined the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA). I’ve had my MBA since 2000 and except for a brief year with the organization, I was never a member. It’s not because I don’t like hanging around Black people, and it’s not because I didn’t intentionally pursue my MBA. I love Black culture and community, and I find business, economics and finance fascinating. My issue was that I found the group to be extremely corporate-minded, and although I’ve worked corporate jobs for most of my life, there was always a loud entrepreneurial free spirit inside of me that didn’t take well to all the rules of corporate structure.
So why did I work corporate jobs for most of my life?
It seemed safe.
It felt prestigious.
It was the only path I knew.
I grew up in a family where my options were clear: I could be a doctor, a lawyer or a businessperson. I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor – I wasn’t interested in sick people or blood. I briefly considered being a defense attorney after sitting on the jury for a murder trial when I was only twenty, but quickly changed my mind. I settled on business. I have always been creative and loquacious, so I enjoyed marketing and advertising, and finally settled into the world of corporate sales, first in telecom and later in financial services.
I was trained to be on someone else’s path.
My training was so deeply embedded that I came to believe it was my only path.
Today was a full-circle moment for me. I joined NBMBAA because I wanted to, not because I thought I should. I discovered they have a membership for entrepreneurs, and I thought, “That’s me!”
I’ve been in many spaces over the years because I thought I had to be there. Not because I wanted to be there. I defined work as the activity I somewhat enjoyed on the road to receiving a paycheck. It wasn’t the way I would spend my time if I had a choice in the matter. I used to believe “Work isn’t fun, that’s why we call it work.” And I quipped, “Work is interfering with my life!” I’m so glad I’ve moved past that belief system. Working with purpose and passion is FUN. It is also WORK. When the two combine it’s magic, much like when sex and love come together.
I am a true believer in Fun. Joy. Happiness. Pleasure.
I don’t subscribe to the belief that you must suffer to live a good life, although I do believe you must work. If you want to grow, you must get uncomfortable.
Are you working with passion?
Are you standing in your own truth and authenticity?
Are you on your own path or someone else’s?
One of the great things about the pandemic is just about everything is virtual now, and more accessible to most of us than it would have been only a year ago. I encourage you to explore new paths to living your most joyful and fulfilled life. Try an online yoga class, yoga teacher training, a writing workshop or an art class. Sign up for a virtual open mic night or a music lesson. Join a virtual book club or movie discussion group. There is a vast world right outside of your comfort zone waiting for you to explore. All you have to do is get a little uncomfortable and reach for it.
I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The photo is the road that leads to the top of Kennesaw Mountain here in Georgia. If you’re interested in my recommendations for online resources, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My FREE Monthly Workshops begin this week. This month’s topic is “Six Ways to Fall in Love with the REAL You.” Use the link below for more info and to sign up.