By Jerra Latrice
Don’t let your day job stop you from dreaming at night.
I received this concise, yet powerful advice from one of my mentors a few years ago. I was working as a Payroll professional, doing mundane tasks that were extremely unfulfilling. To describe the work as robotic is a severe understatement.
My mentor recognized I had superior talents within me, but like most people, I needed to work a 9-5 for steady income to pay bills and receive health and dental insurance. Who can relate to this?
I used to share stories with her about wanting to write a book one day and owning my own business.
“Go for it. No one should live a life of regret. Seize ALL of your opportunities,” she said.
My mentor was a remarkable woman - the type that would draw attention to herself without even trying to. She was charismatic, witty, business-minded, and always uplifting others. I admired the freedom she had as an entrepreneur. I knew there had to be more to life than commuting back and forth to work, punching a clock every Monday-Friday, and repeating the same cycle week after week.
I had dreams too! And I wanted them to come true!
So, I set a schedule...I’d wake up one hour earlier than my alarm clock to write my book. I called this my “power hour.” Sometimes, I would write one chapter, sometimes it was two paragraphs. In my eyes, progress was progress. Eventually, my power hour turned into a power weekend. On Saturdays and Sundays, I would pretend I was “at work” and devote 6-8 hours writing. I literally scheduled my lunch breaks, water breaks, and time to stretch my legs in between writing.
When I realized my power weekends were not enough time to finish my book by my set deadline, I decided to use three vacation days to go out of town. A change of scenery was absolutely necessary. The seclusion in the Tennessee mountains was exactly what I needed to get the inspiration to wrap up my project!
Soon thereafter, my book, I Was Bitter, Now I’m Better was complete. Since the release of my book, I have been featured at Essence Festival, Black Women’s Expo Atlanta, spoken on panels, completed radio interviews, and have been on several podcasts. Two years later, I founded Gifted With a Pen, LLC, where I now offer author consulting, editing/proofreading, and ghostwriting services for aspiring and established authors. Oh, and on top of all this, I still work a 9-5 (technically, it’s 8am-5pm...but hey, tomato, tomatoe). Another thing...I’m currently working on my 2nd book.
I am so thankful for my mentor for inspiring me to believe in myself and reach greater heights. Personally, I feel part-time entrepreneurship is for everyone. It is possible to work for yourself while still working for someone else. Set small, attainable goals, stay consistent, surround yourself with like-minded individuals, and never stop dreaming.
Guest Blogger Jerra Latrice
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