Penned by J Nicole
Growing up, I was never one of those kids that had a definitive answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would think of cool things, but then come up with a logical reason for why not. I could be a Vet, I like animals but they would be sick, injured, and well bloody...nope. An Astronaut! I don't like heights. At some point I came to the conclusion that when I grew up, “I want to be happy.” As an adult looking back at things at some point I probably should have defined what happiness would look like. I did know, music was LIFE, it was Janet Jackson, TLC, and Aaliyah. I consumed music as much as possible, I started and ended my days with MTV, VH1, & BET. I had a TV with a built in VCR and a stockpile of VHS tapes each dedicated to my favorite artists and music videos.
Twenty years later, I'm a graduate of Columbia College of Chicago with a B.A in Entrepreneurship concentration, Music Business. I also have my Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications! So what does this mean? At the core it means that I figured that my passion was rooted in entertainment and marketing. I have invested in myself and my happiness. This lends to a spirit of entrepreneurship, I wasn't raised with this background, so my default was to find a decent job that was stable and sustainable, whether you liked it or not.
During undergrad, I had plenty of opportunities to literally step into my destiny. On a college trip to New York a few opportunities arose, they were small at the time, but in retrospect incredibly important. Things like being in an elevator and it randomly stopping at my favorite record label's floor (didn't step off the elevator), interviewing with Sony Chicago (the awe of being there got to me), and meeting Programming Directors at Hot97 (probably should have followed up). In every situation I hesitated. Why? I thought I didn't belong there, I thought I wasn't prepared. In actuality all I had to do was take a step forward and make it happen. The truth of is, EVERY room we step into we are meant to be there.
If I could go back to give undergrad me advice on what to do to properly prepare for what's ahead it would be these flashes of brilliance.
- Recognize your passion
- Define your vision
- Set SMART Goals (google it)
- Create a plan of action
- Create a timeline to execute
- Find mentor in your field above decent
- Whatever room you walk into, you're supposed to be there, be confident in that!
- Pay attention to your intuition
- Prepare for your opportunity/success
J Nicole Smith is vital to the Sista Gurl Team! She not only contributes to the blog, she's also a photographer and vital in all marketing and management on this blog and elsewhere. For more information about her follow her on Facebook and IG @jnicole.