There are about 4 life-changing things that converged upon me in recent times that resulted in me simply deciding that I've had enough of the dead-end job paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. For the first time in my life, I actually feel that I deserve big-time success, both financially and creatively. When I say I feel it, I mean I really feel it deep down on an emotional level. My career coach was right when she told me that if you don't feel something, it will never happen. You really have to feel successful, then act on that feeling before anything will actually change.
1. Apply to Competitions like Brad Feld's KC Fiber House.
Yeah, I know. I feel like I don't have a chance, and I nearly did not apply. But, like other times in the past when I have succeeded against all the odds, I decided to simply say yes and see what happens. The most depressing thing I encountered when I told my friends (female) that I decided to enter the contest is this: they thought the fact that I have a small child would immediately disqualify me from winning. My daughter and I have shared a room since she was born (in line with most of the rest of the world, except the USA) due to extremely limited financial funds. I was not raised this way, but the reality is that I cannot yet afford a place big enough. In thinking about this more, I too, am feeling that it's a man's world, and that I might be discriminated against because I'm a single mother. But, I also believe that I would add amazing energy to a house full of entrepreneurs. Children actually create an atmosphere of possibility and perspective that adults lack. Speaking of ecosystem, if the winners of the Feld Competition turn out to be all male, it's going to be really, really depressing for 50% of the population who are all searching for female role models and mentors in the field of entrepreneurship. Part of me is scared to reveal my deepest thoughts on this subject and the other is rejoicing that I am coming to terms with the reality of a male-dominated world. My mentor, new employer and collaborator (and truly an angel because she believes in me) Pam Hausner, CEO of Big Vision Media eased my pain a bit by telling me this great advice, "Give it your all, then let go. If you don't win this one, go for the next and the next until you get it." So, by applying to this competition, I have already leaned in.
2. Ditch the word entrepreneur and replace it with empresario.
I always thought I wasn't good enough for the word, 'entrepreneur'. I dislike the word and rarely am able to spell it properly, so I decided it was high time that I use a different word, a neutral one that doesn't ooze Mark Zuckerberg. In a facebook question, I asked my friends what word I could use instead of 'entrepreneur'. My photographer friend, Leonor Jurado pulled through. She is from Ecuador and speaks Spanish. She told me that the word, 'empresario' means 'entrepreneur'. EMPRESARIO! It's perfect! It sounds female, it has a wonderful flow and most importantly, I CAN SPELL IT.
3. Attend the free 1 Million Cups event at the Kauffman Foundation.
Yeah, I know it's going to be intimidating but just go. It's at 9 am on Wednesday morning. I've been watching this from afar, sort of too scared to go on my own, and also, my work schedule (more on this later) prevented me from attending. But I'm going this coming Wednesday and I'm both a bit nervous and excited about it. I'll report back of course on my Stellabelle facebook page.
4. Quit your job and choose yourself.
Honestly, I'm sick to death of applying to good jobs and never hearing anything. The more I think about it, I really cannot comprehend why someone would not hire me. True, I don't fit into the corporate mold, but my endless passion and creativity would seem to be highly desirable to employers. Well, as it turns out, I've decided that I WANT TO HIRE MYSELF. This revelation did not come easy, nor would I recommend to everyone, but if you're talented, creative, a dreamer, an action-gal, and have simply had enough of your limited opportunities, hiring yourself might be for you. I did not come to all these conclusions on my own (even though I always suspected them) and I really have to thank James Altucher's Blog for opening my eyes and heart to the truth of my being. THANK YOU JAMES! His simple and profound one sentence has revolutionized my life and I am not scared any more to follow my dreams: "When you choose yourself there are no more excuses left." He's right! He's right! It's so simple and yet, why hadn't I ever thought of that? James is my hero right now. I quit my job last night in a text message to my supervisor. He responded, "Oh ok, the best to you". I'm free at last to start building my empire.
5. Join the Lean In movement to surround yourself with other women who are desiring to meet their personal or professional goals. Also, to get updates on the powerhouse women who are running things, but whom you have never heard of, follow Stealth M7 on twitter: @VCEIPO . Also, VCEIPO can be your digital cheerleader because this twitter person (identity is hidden) is very keen on advancing women in the startup world. There is a mystery behind this, a hidden gem that I want to see if you can find. I was ecstatic when I discovered it. I'll let you find it on your own. I have gained a lot of confidence from @VCEIPO . This person has made me realize that the odds are stacked against me and that I will need to fight tooth and nail in order to accomplish my lofty goal of becoming a CEO. Be respectful of Stealth. This person it seems to me, has a lot of influence and power.
6. Connect with me on LinkedIn (I accept all invitations) or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
I don't say this in a hollow way to gain more followers or to increase my Klout score (well, maybe a little), but I say this because I'm going to do something that very few people in business do: become completely transparent so you can witness for yourself my rise from the ashes. I will disclose money that I make, the strategies, everything so that you can see what you need to do for yourself to get out of poverty once and for all. You deserve it. You're tired. You're done. Let's face it, you and me, and most of the female population have been raised thinking that they are not good enough to be a CEO. Well, the fact is, you are. And I am too. Wish me luck because I know it's not going to be easy, but I'm ready to take the lead, finally.