Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

I'm on a roll with the guest bloggers this week! Serena asked me if she could be my guest today, so show her some love, and congratulate her on stepping out on faith and living her dreams!

Living Your Dreams! Think Big, Go hard or Go home!!!!
By Serena T. Wills

Hello everyone! Today marks the first day of me working for myself as a full time independent nonprofit consultant through my company Divine Wryte Creations, which has a two prong approach with the second one being my poetic/spoken word/creative writing can check out my blog at

Just a little something about me to get started…but before we jump into the blog, I want you to ask yourself these questions:

Do you hate your job?
Dream about being your own boss?
Can I make my dreams happen?
I want to move up in my company but got haters in the midst…what to do...what to do?
Have goals, aspirations and don’t know where to start?
Afraid that you may get laid off with all the cuts we’re facing as a nation?
Keep telling yourself, “I need more savings to leave” but still finding yourself in your cube five years after you told yourself this?

(Sigh)…it’s a lot to think about, but you can do it (I feel like a motivational speaker today lol). I listen to the Michael Baisden Show and today is the Living Your Dreams series. One of the things that he talked about a while back was “Dream Thieves.”

Now think about it…all of us have encountered in some shape or form dream thieves, or what I also like to call them - haters. They can be as far away as a distant relative living 3,000 miles away OR right in your very own circle. They smile in your grill and talk smack about you behind your back.

I thought of the ones that were upset that I started my own consultant business because they thought about starting their own business, but never did it. Even artists who didn’t like the attention I was receiving or the fact that I’m now published - instead of saying, “I can do it too,” they are straight hatin’. I always tell people, “You are never too old to start working on your dreams! “

So you may be asking yourselves, “Serena what made you jump out and leave your job?” Well, on a Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, I was pulled into a conference room at 8:30am at my job. Already having thoughts of moving back east later in the year or in 2010, I sat with top executives that told me my job was going to change as of July 1st. They sold it as a promotion when it actually was a demotion. There was no negotiating. Finally, I heard my heart speak saying, “It’s time to go.”

After four weeks of prayer, meditation, setting up appointments with other consultants and artists that work for themselves, I decided to take my 12+ years of experience on the road.

Working for myself would also allow me to balance my creative side more so I can write, work on my framed poetry business and spoken word. I stepped up my game, paid off bills and put some money away, and decided to go for it.

Now let me back up, because I know there are people who love their jobs and want to excel in them. Your dream can be your 9-5 job. I’m just speaking about stepping out on my own because my dreams weren’t manifesting working in a 9-5. But I do have friends that love what they do and want to climb the ladder to the top to do bigger and better things to impact more people.

When I posted a question on Facebook on Monday that asked, “Who is living their dreams?” My friend Nikia chimed in with another good question. She asked, “I think the question is do you find peace in loving what you know you are born to do?” (Makes you say, “hmmmmm”). If you do it just for the money, your passion will get lost in it. When you love what you do, then the money will follow.

My dear friend Troy, who is a Tech System Consultant with a business forte and now focusing on self-awareness, teachings and consciousness stated, “It’s all more of a duty, rather a dream for me…all on your own terms.” Great point my brother.

Last thoughts: Be flexible, determined, focused, fight for what you believe in, collaborate and partner with other like-minded individuals, find a mentor (at least I did), keep your eyes on the prize (I know...old school), meditate, pray and most of it!

Some Peeps of Mine Who Thought/Dreamt Big and Went Hard!

Melvin Gittens - owner of Para X Brand Clothes -

Daoud and Dahkil - Coup d’etat (Live to Change Something) and Sunshowah Films.
Check out their tees known for “Teach the Babies” and “DUM MCS” and films productions on

Troy Tomlinson - the brother who spits knowledge that leaves an imprint in your brain - hit him up!

Renee Service - Guidance Counselor in Fairfax County, VA. Her hard work got her school the national “RAMP” Award - Recognized ASCA (American School Counselors Association) Model Program. Do it big girl!

RiShana Pure LiT Blake - Founder of Pure LiT Productions. She has classes and seminars in NYC on creative writing, dancing, monologues and so much more. Check her out at

Justice Allah aka J-Live - One of the tightest hip-hop artists known. Between the crazy lyrics and his DJing skills, he’s an educated MC - not a "DUM MC" like jokers on BET! Check him out at

So ask yourself...what are my gifts and talents?...can I take them to the next level?...what do I need to do to make it happen?? I hope I inspired someone today - be blessed. Peace and Luv!

Serena T. Wills
"One Divine Wryter”


Brooke said...

Serena, first I want to congratulate you on your first day of “work” for yourself. I put “work” in quotes because I’m not really sure you can call it that. After all, you know what they say – “when you love what you do, your work becomes your play.” I’m so proud of you for stepping out on faith (and out of your comfort zone) and living your dreams.

What I think most people struggle with is identifying what their dream is. Some people walk around unsure of their purpose in life. I’m not excluded from that. I’m one of those people who loves her job. I have no problem getting up and going to work everyday. But I’m also one of those people who wonders if there’s something more that I’m supposed to do. I find that I haven’t really sat down and mapped it out yet.

I also think that some people have passions that don’t necessarily involve them making money. Some women are passionate about being a mother, and their reward is raising wonderful, well-rounded children to become generous, intelligent, compassionate adults. Being a mother is their job. There is no monetary gain. Yet, they’re living their dream.

Some people have a passion to teach – and their reward is knowing that they’re educating the next generation and sharing their knowledge. We all know teachers don’t get paid nearly as much as they should…but it’s their passion.

The trick is simply knowing what your passion is – whether the money comes or not.

I love to write. I do it for free everyday, yet it took some urging from my friends to actually start this blog. Now, 186 posts later, I can’t stop. I’ve always loved to write, and now I have an outlet. Would I love to write for Essence Magazine one day? Absolutely. But I don’t write simply because I’m looking for a side hustle. I write because it’s fun and it allows me to express myself. I write because it makes me happy – I’m not motivated by money.

All that said, I do wonder sometimes if writing is my TRUE calling. Perhaps I have more than one purpose. Maybe working in television is the first part of my journey, and writing is the second part…or third, or fourth. I think a person can have many dreams and aspirations, several careers and callings. The hardest part is simply identifying them. Once you know what your passion/calling is, I think it’s almost impossible not to pursue it, it pulls at you…the gravity can’t be denied.

I’m so proud to know someone who knows her purpose, recognizes her talents and goes after her dreams hard….with faith. It takes courage to do that, and you inspire me to seek out just exactly what it is I’m put here to do. Thank you for sharing that with us today Serena!

Anthony Otero said...

I have always felt that when it is time to will know. I am getting to that point myself. Right now I am just laying the ground work to make myself better. When I say better, it is not to sell myself to the highest bidder, but to make mebetter for me and what it is I want to do.

Great Post Serena!

Serena W. said...

Brooke thank you again for allowing me to be a guest blogger. As you can see I'm up early still on cloud nine from yesterday. It was packed with happiness, excitement and sadness. I'll miss my co-workers and friends out here in Dallas a lot.

Brooke you are absolutely right! Your passion and dreams don't equal monetary. A great example is a friend of mine that home schools her child. Tired of the education system she stepped out on faith and decided to home school her children. She loves it and you see it in her spirit, personality and the love she portrays.

A lot of us are scared to go after their dreams and that fierce passion that is steadily brewing because it also means change in some cases, or a pay cut or even becoming successful. It takes you to another level.

Brooke I think you know, heck we all see it everyday in your blogging! Also see it on Honey Mag's too. That fire is seen by many.

Ant thanks as well. Its not going to be easy as I seek another contract but I know its coming. And thanks for encouraging me (I'm so down with visiting Cuse and talking to students, etc).

JUSTBNME♥ said...

Good Morning Brooke & Friends,

Thank you for your blog Serena. What a great way to start the day! Brooke, I hope it's appropriate to pose a question with the hope of getting real, sound advice....

I am a 38 year old woman with a husband and two kids. I have an MBA and an MS in Marketing Communications. I work as an Admin. Asst for a major sports organization for the last three years. The job is ok, the perks are great,but I am indifferent to the job. I took it in order to help out with the bills, intending to use it as a mere stepping stone to get into the sports industry. My passion is marketing and helping others (truly helping others)My issue is this; I feel stuck. When hard work, sacrifice and going above and beyond the call of duty is not enough, where do you go? Besides prayer, who do you turn to? How do you move up/on?

Brooke, this is a humble attempt to find answers to serious life and career questions, it is by no means an attempt to interrupt the flow of your blog. Since I started reading the blog last week, I find the posters to be interesting and knowledgeable. I simply wanted an opinion or a small piece of advice.

Serena W. said...

Hey Justbnme. Thank you for the compliments. I do want to ask you if you've spoken to anyone in your organization about your career path and where you see yourself? I had a heart to heart with my former CEO and she not only wrote a letter of recommendation but sent my resume out to 20+ people who are at foundations, orgs, etc that may need my expertise. Its amazing when people believe in you and want to help you reach your goals.

Also if there is no where to move up and peeps are hard to deal with that don't want to see you get to the next level then maybe its time to move out.

I know Brooke's hard work paid off at A&E so she can chime in too.

And in no way are you disrupting the blog, great question and it is a great place to pose it.

Anonymous said...

Sarah said

Hi all, well I am following my dream but in a toyally unplanned way.

My dream was to live in Italy. But when I really think about it the location of Italy is less important than the Italian lifestyle. In Italy first on the list are friends ANd family, then in noparticular order are eating, art, fashion, Learning, culture,etc.

So it wasn't my plan to be unemployed but I think in some way the universe forced me away from14 hour corporate days for now, and I am on Italian time

Serena W. said...

14 hour days! Wow I commend you Sarah. How long were you in corporate amaerica? Italian lifestyle sounds good to me and you never know! You may end up in Italy :) but as you said location doesn't matter. Happiness and freedom does!

Anonymous said...

Sarah Said...

14 hour days started in 2006 at PBS, between commuting, producing a TV series and finishing my degree, and continuted at A&E with the 8 hour day, plus commute, plus trying to do things on the side for money.

So now I am pretty much feeling like I am in retirement.

Brooke said...

JustBNMe, today's blog is the perfect place for your question, so you're not disrupting the flow at all. It's a question I think most of us have struggled with at some point in our lives.

I think you could be working hard and sacrificing, but working hard and sacrificing in the wrong areas. What good is working hard at a place that you hate to go to? No matter how great the work is that you do, if your passion is somewhere else, you'll never feel fulfilled.

I know with a husband and two kids this may be hard to do, but have you thought about doing something you REALLY love on the side - like a side hustle? That way, the more successful you become outside of your 9-5, you can slowly work your way out of it into your own thing. I think that's what Serena did.

It'll eventually take over in some way, and you will work harder for yourself than for anyone else if it's truly a passion you're pursuing. It may just be time to leave. Scary I know, but stepping out of your comfort zone may be what it takes. Sometimes you get forced out of it and it could be the best thing for you.

Serena's suggestions about mentors and networking are wonderful - and totally true. Every job I've gotten is because I knew the right person and made the right contacts. Make sure everyone knows how great you are and they'll tell everyone they know. Toot your own horn girl!

I know you asked, "who do you turn to when prayer isn't enough?" I don't know what your faith is, but prayer is ALWAYS enough if you keep doing it. It's hard to break away from something that may be comfortable out of fear, but I find that fear has been my call to faith. It's at that time, when you feel there is nowhere else to go, that you surrender to the Spirit.

Fear is very real and present in all our lives - it can overwhelm you. Surrender to it. God will always be the life giving, life sustaining energy that flows thru us - and that energy will reveal a world of abundant opportunity. When you yield to faith, the fears that blanket you and blind your vision will be lifted. Trust me on that. In the midst of feeling afraid, lost or "stuck" - rememeber who you are and WHOSE you are.

Serena W. said...

Amen Pastor Brooke lol! You hit it on the nose and yes this is what I did. Worked myself out of a job. I had been doing the nonprofit side hustle for 3 years. Then my writing kicked in. Although my writing isn't my bread and butter its my passion and will pay out :)

But I know its hard with hubby and 2 kids. But I think back to a lady that called into the Baisden show. Working for herself, single mom, 5 children!

Back that up...5 children. So I said to myself what's my excuse again????

You can do it and anytime you need to ask a question then ask :) hit me up as well on my blog. Talking it out is a great start!

JUSTBNME♥ said...

Thanks Brooke & Serena!

Both of your comments were taken to heart and I am grateful for your responses. I am a firm believer that God will see me through, though sometime it's difficult to know when to "move" and when to "be still".

Thanks again. I won't give up, no matter what.

Brooke said...

You just have to believe that where you are right now is where you're meant to be, and your next steps are already ordered. As long as you don't give up, you'll figure it out. Sometimes being still means listening...and He'll tell you when to move.

T2 aka Sneferu said...

Well done Serena! This is what building a community is all about ... sharing for one and all. Thanks for the lime/plug, keep up the excellent works to all!

Serena W. said...

Sneferu you got it!!! Its all about networking, partnerships, collaborating to get it popping!

Justbnme, you are where you are have been for a purpose as Brooke stated.

Example...I've been working retail off and on part time since 1993. Thinking I was doing it for extra cash when I was being prepared for something greater!

Now I know how to hustle my framed poems, books, and sell my expertise on the nonprofit side because of my part time sales background.

I didn't see it years ago but it all came to light the other month. Every place you're at is for a reason. Learn from it, build and be happy!

Serena W. said...

Brookey thanks for having me on here! A few people didn't comment but read the blog and hit me up :) see ya on RTT!!!!! Peace everyone!

Dr. PLJ said...

Hi Serena,
Thanks so much for your post. It was right on time. I've been going through my own personal journey/transformation, which includes working for others but trying to work more for self. I just recently met with someone who talked about fashioning one's professional life after one's lifestyle. That's exactly what I'm trying to do by building my private practice. While I'm fearful of leaving the "security" of the agency, it's no longer fulfilling. The fear has kept me stuck for years, but not anymore. I don't want to wonder "what if" in the future and feel remiss in staying because of my own limitations.

Anyway, here's to following one's passion and living one's dream.

Brooke, I really enjoy reading your blogs when I can, even though I don't comment.

Take care ladies!


Serena W. said...

Hi Loree! Thanks for chiming in! It is scary and often a struggle. Wondering about the what if, financial security, and sometimes even questioning yourself saying, what happens if it doesn't work?

I commend you for stepping out! Thanks for also encouraging me by reading my manuscript and being a reader :)

Brooke said...

Serena, thank YOU. You are welcome to guest for me ANY day :-)

And hey Loree, thank you for reading and commenting today!

Serena W. said...

Anytime sis. Maybe I'll do one next month to chime in on how things are going, share tips, etc :) have a great night!

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