How I Got To Where I Am
I am so so blessed to have the life that I do. Everyday I’m thankful and everyday I reflect on my past. I get to wake up each day and have full control of how I spend my time. If I don’t want to work, I don’t have to. If I want to travel, I can. I am living the dream that I always wanted and that once seemed so far fetched.
Before I tell you how I got here, my secret tips and tricks and ultimately what you need to do if you want this type of freedom, here’s the review of the week….
It all started when I was struggling to find my purpose. I remember being in college and feeling so lost and empty. I worked multiple jobs to stay busy but still often thought about where my life was actually going. Nothing I thought of felt like it was enough. I challenged myself to think bigger.
I grew up being told to get good grades, go college then start a family. That was all I knew. But I looked around at all the other people who were on the same track as me and never felt the slightest bit inspired or challenged.
I started to question everything I was doing. Like why was I in college to become a teacher if I didn’t feel like being a teacher would truly make me happy? And why was I feeling so unhappy or so unhopeful all of a sudden? I had wanted to be a teacher since the first grade. When did that change?
I think losing my ex-boyfriend to murder was the thing that put me in a different mindset. I was truly depressed and so out of it that when I went back to regular life, nothing seemed the same.
It was as if everything was pointless. It was a terrible feeling and I knew I needed to get to the bottom of it.
The death of Walt was 1 of the major things that got me to the point of building a relationship with God. I had felt so hopeless that I didn’t know what else to do. Prayer somehow provided me with a sense of clarity. Even though I wasn’t getting any direct answers, I started to feel a difference in my spirit.
As time went on I started to feel a little better and was researching people who I felt were successful or that I looked up to like Oprah, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They all had something in common. They were determined to make a difference. None of them were motivated by money or power, they were motivated by their ideas, contributions and efforts to help shape and change the world.
After doing so much research and hearing about different success stories, I started to think that it was possible to take an untraditional route and create a life that I wanted.
Instead of going to college to work for someone, I could find a purpose, commit to it and become successful on my own terms. Then I had to really have an understanding of what success looked like to me. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted out of life.
At this point, I was 20 years old. I sat in my apartment and started creating lists. Lists of what things made me happy, what made me feel successful and really just the things I wanted out of life. After doing this I realized that being a school teacher didn’t align with what I really wanted. I was only in school because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do.
I also realized that dancing for the NBA didn’t align with the things that made me happy or the things that make me feel successful. I was only doing it because I thought it made me “look” like I was successful.
The very next day, I ended up dropping out of college and quitting the dance team. I was determined to commit to a different type of life and give it my all. I took the 2 things that I knew I was really good at (dance and teaching) and combined it with the passion that I had for helping women feel confident in themselves and created an adult dance class. And this is where it all started.
If you didn’t hear the story about my entrepreneurial journey, make sure to check out Episode #28 because in this episode I’ll only be talking about the mindset I had to have and what I’ve learned to get to the point where I am now.
Between that exact moment and now, I have learned SO MUCH! But the most important thing that I learned is how important it is to know yourself and what it takes to make you happy. If you don’t know that, you can’t maneuver through life productively or have an overall vision of where you want to get to.
So first before we get into anything else, I want you to prioritize yourself and your desires. Take a moment, it doesn’t have to be right this second, but write down all the things that truly make you happy and matter to you the most. Write down your overall long term goals for your life. Everything that you do should align with those things and choices should be made with those things in mind.
Now, let’s talk about mindset and things I did that allowed me to ultimately make it here.
1. I always kept an open mind
This means that even when things didn’t go as expected, I kept an open mind to finding solutions or other routes to still reach my goals or even just move a little bit closer to them. I’ve been faced with adversity so many times but I never let it stop me in my tracks. I also had an open mind about HOW I could reach my goals. I was never closed minded when it came to meeting people or attending events or accepting opportunities.
Here’s what I mean, a lot of people who you would never expect have helped me along my journey. Had I of been judgemental or standoffish, I would have missed opportunities that were huge in shaping my path. Let me give you a perfect example. I met 1 of my investors at a strip club while I was working as a cocktail waitress. True story, it was a pretty busy night and I remember seeing one of the clubs regulars sitting down in the corner. None of the girls wanted to take him and they all talked about how he wasn’t a good tipper and only drank water.
I could have easily heard what they said, assumed he wouldn’t tip me and ignored him like the rest of them did. However, I don’t like to judge people and I’ve certainly never been a person who buys into gossip or what other people say. I thought to myself, even if this guy doesn’t tip me well, he still deserved to be treated with kindness.
So I walk over to him with a big ole smile and say “Hey, I’m Bre, can I get you anything?” He gave me a half smile and said that he’ll just take a water. So a couple seconds later, I returned with water, a cup of ice and lemons. He was so pleased that I didn’t assume he wanted ice or lemons but gave him the option to either. To me, it was common sense and also the reason why I get upset when I’m at a restaurant and actually ask for ice and lemons and the waiter just brings me a plain cup of water (but that’s another story).
I continued to check on him and he continued to order water. We had a couple of small conversations (like I said, it was a busy night) and when he left, he left a $20 dollar tip which was great seeing as his water’s were free.
A couple of days later I saw him back at the club and again, I was polite, had conversation and on this day the club was a lot slower. He started talking about how such a nice young lady ended up working at a strip club and I blurred out my story of how I dropped out of school and quit dancing for the NBA to stack up my money and invest in a building to open up my own facility and start a business.
He was genuinely interested in hearing about my business idea and the success that I’ve had so far with my classes and this time, he tipped me $500. I could NOT believe it. It honestly made me a little uncomfortable because it was such a large gesture. By the time I realized and tried to thank him, he was walking out of the door.
The very next time I saw him I thanked him and asked me why he would give such a generous tip. He goes into detail about how he’s unhappily married with grown kids who are doing nothing with their lives and tells me all about his businesses and how wealthy he is. He says he comes to the club just to get away from day to day work and appreciates a good conversation. He asked me how much money I was short in order to get the building I wanted and I told him $20,000.
To make a long story short, this guy who wore scrubs, non name brand tennis shoes and no jewelry who ordered free waters at the strip club later invested $20,000 into my first business.
The point of this story is, you NEVER know who you’re talking to, what they do or who they know. So always keep an open mind and treat people with the utmost respect. Be good to others and they will be good to you. Not because you want something from them but because it’s the right thing to do. I truly believe that sometimes God disguessing blessings just to test your heart and faith. So no matter what is happening in your life or around you, have the faith that God is leading you down the right path and have the heart to be good to people because you never know who can be your blessing in disguise.
2. Be optimistic
Bad things are going to happen. It’s unfortunately, a part of the process of growth and success. You will make mistakes and you will learn from them and be better off because of them. Never allow yourself to doubt who you are and your purpose in life, even if at the moment you’re unsure of what it is. You can be unsure of WHAT your purpose is but never be unsure of if you have one. You do! We all do! And sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to truly find what that purpose is.
There were so many times that I could have given up being an entrepreneur and the vision of what type of life I thought I could have. There were soooo many times. But I never did, and that’s why I’m here now.
Even in times of struggle or uncertainty, I kept pushing. I stayed consistent, I tried to find lessons in every loss that I took and I remained strong in faith that I was on a path to greatness and sometimes that means dealing with challenges and having to overcome them.
I’ll share a quick story. A couple of weeks away from opening my facility all my equipment was stolen! Computers, sound systems, speakers, Ipads, TV’s you name it. I lost thousands of dollars in equipment and nothing was insured because my policy didn’t kick in until the next day. Perfect timing huh? I cried my eyes out. I even threw some things and said some bad words. But what I didn’t do was give up. I had 2 weeks to figure out how I was going to replace all the equipment and still open up on time and guess what!? It wasn’t easy, but I did it!
Trust the process and have faith if you stay true to course no matter what gets in your way, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are capable of accomplishing whatever you set your mind to.
3. Be realistic
I say this because I know that from experience, when you set the bar too high and don’t reach it, you will bring down your confidence and possibly give up all together. This doesn’t mean don’t dream big. It means once you have the dream, once you have the vision, create a realistic plan in order to make that dream come true.
For example, I knew that I ultimately wanted to find purpose in what I do, be my own boss, make my own schedule, find the love of my life, have him be his own boss, get married and have kids but I didn’t go after all of that at once. I knew it was a process and I would have to work hard both in my profession and personally in order to grow and prepare for those things. I was realistic in creating a plan to get me everything in due time.
It took me 5 plus years to build my personal brand to the point where I have credibility, loyal customers and a strong strategy that allows me to connect with my community and build strong relationships.
It took me 7 years to create a stream of income that allows me to make money while I sleep.
It took me 4 years of abstaining from sex in order to properly heal from past and prepare myself for marriage.
It took me a year of building a business alone to the point where the love of my life could retire from his job and be his own boss with me.
It took 8 years of compiling my experiences, skills and knowledge to get to the point where I could successfully launch this podcast that you’re listening to right now!
I dreamed as big as I could dream (and I’m still dreaming) but I created and committed to a realistic plan in order to start checking off my goals and find my version of success.
So once you have your vision, create that realistic plan. Do the research, make the investments and do it right, because you CAN do it. And if you need help, HELLOOOO my name is Bre, I’m a brand and social media expert who helps everyday women create the lives they want! Book a free call with me and let’s see how I can help you!
4. Be patient & find peace
This is the most important part of it all. Your success won’t come overnight. You need to be patient through the process and find peace in the journey.
I struggled for years to find peace through my process. I was a professional worrier (as Dre likes to say). I would spend so much time stressing over things that I would forget to enjoy the process.
If I knew what I know now, I would have been as chill as a pickle! Not every part of the process is rainbows and sunshine, finding true inner peace will allow you to stay cool, calm and collected even through the mists of the storms.
How do you do this? Give it to GOD! You simply cannot carry all of your burdens. Give them to God. Find comfort in his love and in his word. Be thankful for where you are in your life right now and appreciate the small things. Remind yourself of all the good in your life in moments where it seems like all is bad.
You can’t be so focused on your future that you forget to live in the moment. You can’t obsess on the things you want to have and forget the things that you already have.
One of my favorite sayings is “if you can’t be trusted with a dollar, why would you be given millions?” because it captures my exact point. Your journey is a chance and opportunity for you to focus on growth! If you were given a million dollars right now, you wouldn’t have the knowledge, skills or experience to know what to do with it. Which is why you take this time to learn and to grow so that when that moment comes, you don’t throw it all away!
Same for relationships! People complain about being single but don’t even work on themselves to prepare for a relationship so by the time the right person comes along, they mess it up because they weren’t prepared and ready for what they were asking for.
5. Set and reach your goals
This is by far the biggest factor to why I am where I am today. I don’t just dream and visualize, I create a plan of action with specific smaller goals in order to achieve the overall big goal.
For example, one of my goals was to be a full time business owner. No 9-5, no one else's schedule, under no one else’s control. So instead of making my goal be “to quit my job” I broke down what would need to happen in order for that to be my reality. I looked at how much income I would need to be making from my business and made that a goal for 3 months in a row. I looked at what this change would mean for my health benefits and did research on the cost of paying my own health insurance, added that number to the previous number of how much income I needed to make.
Once I knew my financial goal, I had to create smaller goals that would allow me to reach that goal.
So I looked at my services and broke down how many people I would need to attend weekly classes, how many private parties I would need to book, how many hosting gigs I would need a month and I created a realistic goal of 25 women a class per week, 3 private parties a month and 1 hosting gig a month.
Now let’s look at the trickle effect here, If I reach my goal of 1 hosting gig, 3 private parties and 100 women in my classes per month, I reach my financial goal per month which will allow me to reach the overall goal of quitting my job and running my business full time.
That was 1 quick example but even in that example, think of all the other smaller goals I would have had to set to make that a reality. I would need to put marketing goals in place to get the women in classes and have private parties booked. I would have set a goal of being a vendor at 1-2 events per month to help spread the word. The list goes on, I’m just trying to get you to understand that each goal you set has sub goals that will help you reach it.
Setting your goals is just as important if not more than reaching your goals because how can you reach something you never had the mindset or drive to reach? You have to intentionally think about what you want to accomplish and then create individual goals and plans around that thing.
Wanting something is not enough, you have to work for it and sometimes it can take a day, a week even a year to reach 1 individual goal. Again, it’s a process!
I’ll be talking more about setting and reaching goals in next week’s episode so make sure to tune in!
So quick recap!
Be open minded to your plans or path changing and the people or opportunities that can help you along the way.
Be optimistic and don’t allow challenges or mistakes to keep you from going after your dreams.
Dream as big as your little heart can dream, but be realistic with your plan so you don’t overwhelm yourself and end up giving up before you give yourself a chance!
Be patient with the process, it's not an overnight thing. Find peace in who you are and your journey!
Set and reach your goals, it’s not enough to want something, you have to strategically plan and put in the work to turn your dreams into reality.
When I look back, every obstacle, every bad day and every person who said I couldn’t make it was all worth it in the long run. My journey is nowhere near over but I'm enjoying every step of the way!
If you’re ready to get closer to the life you want, keep these 5 tips in mind. My next episode, I will go into detail about setting and reaching your biggest goals!
Thanks so much for tuning in and until next time, be shameless!