Most days, I come into work on a positive note, including this day. I rarely allow the environment in the work place take me to a negative place.
It’s was the last day in the old building, we’ll be relocating a mile away from my home and I’m super excited. The past few months, after the announcement of the move, I held my excitement because most employees were taking it so hard and resisting change. Some of them were even in tears. I’d attempt to uplift and persuade them to make the move benefit them. I’d explain we will always have the power to change or turn our circumstances around whether we believe it or not. Even if it weren’t a mile away from my home, I’d still make the best of it- like I had been doing since I started the job.
The people around me that week weren’t going for it at all though. Any topic I discussed, the conversation afterwards led me to feel like I was a “dreamer” and that I pressured people into pursuing and feeling emotions they weren’t comfortable with yet. I shut down and said “Just stay to yourself.” or “Maybe you are in over your head a little about making your own dreams happen.”
I remained silent and out of touch throughout the remainder of the day. By the afternoon, I needed a short coffee break. This also never happens but I was exhausted from overthinking. Honestly, I was ready to leave and hit the gym but coffee was the next best thing.
Entering the coffee room, a woman spoke to me first, a black woman. This is obviously queue to respond and continue causal conversation. I said hello, hardly looked up and that was it. She continued the conversation herself. I then acknowledged her beauty, smile and professionalism. I’d never seen her in the building before.
The annoyance I had walking around that building every day or even outside of it is that most black women do not respond when you say hello. Or they just stare you down without speaking, as if it’s a crime to just say “Hey, how are you?” If they do respond, there’s this unnecessary attitude. This kind of approach is obviously going to open up the door to negativity-especially in the coffee room. They spent their time complaining before I could even open my mouth to say something unrelated. This was my attempt to change the topic, even if I were forced to talk about Love & Hip Hop or something of no interest to me it would have been much more acceptable. I’ve never even watched it but I was cool with it if it made them happy enough to kill the negativity.
“What do you do? How do you like it?”
I responded truthfully and explained its temporary and this year I have decided to invest in myself. I mentioned that I take many sacrifices to reach my goals and I am passionate about Wellness and helping other people reach their personal goals as well.
She seemed very interested.
“What are you attempting to pursue?”
“I have plans to release a blog soon, I’m a music enthusiast and I want to become a music project manager. I’ll also publish a book after the blog launch.
She went on to ask about my plans at my current job and how else I plan to invest.
I went into a little detail about what I have done so far along with telling her that I used to look forward to taking vacations but now I am most interested in building a life for myself that I do not have to escape from or cut my vacation short to get back to.
“Do you consider yourself a mentor or financial advisor?”
That was actually a great question I never asked myself.
“I don’t…really. I just share what I would do and my experience, most people come to me for that but I wouldn’t say I am the best “go to” for it. I’m able to save and invest the way I do because what most people consider ‘needs’ are just ‘wants’ for me. I’ve just always been great at saving my money. Some people just have other preferences and I can’t help anyone that doesn’t see value in holding off on material purchases.”
She shared a story with me about her and her husband’s backgrounds and being blessed to have been connected with their current mentor. She explained what she did in the building was temporary too but after his help they were now on track to leave their jobs and be financially free.
“Wow that’s amazing! You both should be proud to leave Corporate America soon. That is the goal for me. I need my time way more than I need the money right now.”
I was beginning to get back to my normal self after speaking with her, but not entirely. I always exchange numbers or connect online before departing but honestly I was used to doing that with people that may need my help-not the other way around. And sometimes, I just didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time on people that weren’t as serious as me.
As we walked out of the coffee room, she was headed up a floor or two ahead of mine.
“Nice to meet you.” I started walking away.
She then held the elevator door back to continue conversation and mentioned that she would like to exchange numbers and tell her mentor about my success so far. She wanted to see if he could help me reach the same point that her and her husband were in the process of now. There was no guarantee but she explained that she just wanted to pay it forward if there’s a chance he could bring anyone else on.
We exchanged numbers and she called me the next day to meet up and get to know each other better. I was then taken through a very selective process, I attended many meetings and soon provided enlightening personal development and networking books/audios. After earning a level of trust and commitment I was introduced to their business partners and mentor. These people were generating six-figure incomes. Some of them had not worked a 9-5 job since the 90’s and they didn’t care about sleep the way I had to. Everyone’s energy, integrity and accountability matched mine and they were just as eager to network and share knowledge as I am. Weeks later, I earned my place into their organization and accepted his offer.
Just two weeks prior, I blogged about primarily focusing on connecting/networking and eliminating wasting more time. I was frustrated with my surroundings and discouraged by how lost some people were. Even worse, they were forcing me into a mindset that no longer involved following my own dreams. I had to really sit back and think, why are we constantly seeking approval from people that would rather follow than lead?
Once I learned to stop asking the blind to proofread my vision, the entire game changed and a world of opportunity opened up for me. To be able to say I am now on the same track to leave my job and pursue my dreams is mind blowing. I didn’t know I really needed someone to teach me all the missing pieces because I have always just figured it out on my own.
Reflecting back to that day, this woman that came into my life on a dark day completely changed everything. Even today when speaking with them I don’t feel like she and her husband are real, just a figment of my imagination in order for me to continue walking in my purpose.
I am almost certain, if there was anyone on my floor passing us and I had asked them “Have you ever seen that woman around the building before?”
They may have responded with “What woman?”