On February 16, 2011, I began to jot down dreams and creative goals I wanted to accomplish. I kept saying to myself "You've done too many things in your young lifetime not to be able to create another revenue stream". I jotted down any and every talent I believe I had and anything that I've trained in or accomplished and started connecting dots. Unfortunately that chart sat for months and my dreams on paper stayed right there. I'd get some motivation here and there to revisit it and see what I was ready to do or could afford to do, but still no real movement. In October, I started my own black business woman's mastermind group called Purpose Driven Women. This was a result of me needing other like minded woman to encourage me and we could all hopefully do joint ventures with our individual business goals. Meeting after meeting I'd get some great feedback and inspiration but just couldn't see what my avenue of income would be for a business plan. I struggled with knowing that I had knowledge and services to offer but not believing that people would pay me to receive those services and knowledge. Self doubt held me back for quite some time, even when God would make it so clear what I should be doing.
In February 2012, the Pastor of my church in Maryland gave me the green light to use their facility and offered to cover travel expenses for me to start my business. I still sat on my dream and doubt ate away at me. In March, while walking to church in NJ I had an amazing talk with God about starting the youth acting workshop. Up until this point I had only thought about teaching kids how to act and had no real vision for how to develop the workshop. God dropped some nuggets into my spirit during that walk, I was blown away. I could not get to church fast enough to write down the vision and make it plain. Then God spoke further through Pastor's sermon about the Abundant Life and how to take what God gave you and use it. He confirmed the age range, the pricing (which I lowered because of doubt and later proved to still be selling myself too short), and all the youth requirements for participating. He said I needed to create an official proposal to present to locations and be decent and in order. There was so much more and I was on fire but still I sat on my dream and more doubt set in.
In May, I attended a woman's retreat and I think God just about had enough of me and my doubting Him. As soon as I sat on the bus a lady sat next to me and we quickly started our fellowship. She shared a lot with me but as I listened to her pour out her burdens I kept hearing her say that she and her boyfriend just signed their teenage daughters up for a scouting cruise with BARBIZON (this should be a curse word, a dirty little curse word!) for... hold your seats...$3500 each! I was flipping in my spirit with rage over this scandal of an offer she was locked into. (Sidenote: God's divine appointment is so awesome. He sat that sister next to an aspiring youth acting instructor so she could share that testimony and light a fire under my butt.) Moving on, all I kept thinking was this scam agency has placed their value at $3500 per youth and I have the nerve to question God's confirmation about my value and the value of the services I'm offering to folks. Yeah I got some nerve!!! I got my buns home from that retreat, dusted off my notes, updated my flyers and got to Facebooking, Tweeting, texting and emailing folks to sign up for my first youth acting workshop.
The divine silver lining in all this was that God's timing can't be matched by us moving ahead of or behind His will for our lives. When I went to update the flyer from a workshop I did 7 years ago, the date of that previous workshop was one day off from the day that God confirmed this new workshop to start. It was like a took a 7 year hiatus and God took me through all these events to be prepared for such a time as this. I successfully completed my first four week workshop last week. Bonus: I got the sister from the retreat to sign up her daughter and niece and now I'm steering them on the right track with their career and will stand in the wings to protect them from further scandals. God is so friggin awesome and while I may have doubted what He told me to do repeatedly, He came back for me repeatedly! It's hard for me to process financial challenges at times because I've always had multiple revenue streams and have never been afraid of hard work or multiple jobs. I got so complacent over the years and I'm so glad I got my mojo back. Thanks to the G-O-D!