It can be difficult to fantasize about a life better than the present moment that the past has wrought, especially knowing that the collective “American Dream” of pulling up oneself by the bootstraps is stuck in the limbo of an all out brawl for a pair of shoes. That is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s greatest legacy is not the impact he had on race relations in this nation – and worldwide – but that he dreamed, out loud, and even dared to live it.
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That is why now, reinvention strategist Marshawn Evans is able to give expert advice not only to major corporations and start up entrepreneurs alike, but to anyone who has the audacity to dream.
A former Miss America contestant and candidate on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” Evans has made a career of living out her dreams. She became the first Black female author under 30 to be published by the most prominent business book seller with her; “SKIRTS in the Boardroom,” launched the nation’s fastest growing woman-owned sports agency; and in less than a year tripled the size of her ME University movement that boasts a new free branding tutorial web series with such partners (and clients of hers) as HP, Delta, and Ernst & Young.
She advises that we stop chasing other people’s visions and start recognizing our own. “This is the season for people to become producers and not just consumers.” she said.
Check out her 9 other tips for how to keep our dreams alive:
1. REALIZE HOW SMALL GOLIATH IS
“The ‘Goliath’ is not as big as you make it out to be – and that’s the daily challenge that every person on this planet actually faces (it’s not anything that anyone’s alone in). When you look at people who have abundance … that doesn’t mean that they didn’t face the Goliath, they just saw it from a different perspective.
2. LOOK FEAR IN THE EYE
“Address your fears … the things that you are afraid of, or worried about, or that gets you frustrated or depressed, or that seem to be constant obstacles and challenges … Most of us work on the superficial stuff without actually working on the fears, and when we do that, you know, it’s like – what do they say for people with drug addictions? Admitting it is the first step in the process.”
3. ANSWER YOUR CALL
“Your calling is the thing that you do with ease, it is the thing that you feel you’re put here on this earth to do and it’s much bigger than a job, it’s much bigger than a title, it’s about the legacy, that the fingerprint that you leave … calling and destiny and purpose, all of those things are about the impact that you’re supposed to have on people during your life … A lot of people can’t find it because they look for the thing that would be the area where they can make the most money and try to make that their purpose.”
4. KNOW THE FOUR F’S OF YOUR CALLING
“It should bring you joy, it should focus you, it should fuel you, it should fascinate you, and it should fight for you, and when I say fight for you … it’s always coming back to you, it’s always trying to find you. And when it fights for you – it can be in the form of a compliment, somebody says ‘oh, you’re great at that’ – don’t just shun it off. ”
5. BE REAL WITH YOUR PLAN
“A business strategy that is tied to revenue not just passion … gives you stairs to actually step on. That’s how it developed for me, and how I made the transition. It was scary after I lost my first client. I remember my stuff was still packed in the back of my truck, this was just a couple of days after I had given my resignation [from a job as a well-paid lawyer] and I was out of there, then I lost this huge client that was my safety net … I found the energy inside of me and I said, ‘Well, I am going to have to work with what I do have.’ And I picked up the phone and one client that had been dilly dallying, I got him to sign a contract. What I thought was my safety zone was actually probably keeping me from building the business.”
6. MAKE YOUR MOVE
“You’ve got to move yourself into a different environment that inspires you, and when that happens and you stay in that energy – and it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight – you get a wake up call that lets you know that you’ve been asleep. And so now that you’re awake, you’ve got to kind of go through that awakening process of staying connected.”
7. IDENTIFY A LIKE-MINDED TEAM
“People that can support the vision that you have for yourself … people who have similar values, and similar vision, and similar callings, and similar purpose.”
8. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESS
“Know what your skills are and what your skills are not … or, if you’re strong and that area is not your true gifting … most of us spend most of our lives doing the things that we’re good at but not what we’re called to do.”
9. FIND YOUR PURPOSE IN YOUR PRESENT
“Your purpose is transferable throughout different stages of life, like when I worked with Miss America, Miss USA contestants – I didn’t realize I was doing this at the time, but – helping them figure out what their platform is going to be, whether it’s going to be breast cancer awareness or youth crime prevention, and helping people make sense of their lives is part of my purpose … helping people to find their divine purpose.”
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