From Struggling Student to Successful Entrepreneur

Updated: Aug 7


 

Image: @bytanishalwilliams | Aug. 2020

In January 2005, I transferred to a new college. Prior to that year, I attended three colleges and withdrew for two semesters. I was 21 years old when I went back to college. I was supposed to be a senior, but I was a freshman/sophomore. I had to start over again with only 22 credits. So, I doubled up on classes. I registered for summer, fall, and spring semesters. I lived on campus. The dorm was my home. While attending, I planned events and participated in programs and organizations. I interned at a popular TV show and major record label.


By December 2007, I was a senior. In three years, I started over as a freshman, and completed my undergraduate degree. I walked the stage in May 2008. I knew I would thrive; I just didn’t know how challenging starting over would be. I had a rough start but I did not give up. After a traumatic experience at 22 years old, I decided it was time to focus. I tried my best to let go of my insecurities, anxiety, doubt, and fear. I didn’t want to fail again. I was determined to work hard and make all of my previous failures and setbacks count for something.


Three months after graduating, I got a job at a local TV news station. I worked at that company for about five years and then I was laid off. While working there, I got my master’s degree. After the layoff, I struggled to find a new job. After eight months, I was hired part time at a public TV station. After working there, I worked at a well known media company for approximately one year, and then I worked at a Christian radio station for approximately two years. Between 2008 and 2018 I applied to a lot of positions to advance my career, but I got rejected. I was tired of the workplace for many reasons. There was no room for promotion and no opportunities to use my gifts and talents at those jobs. I was fed up with racism, being disrespected, mistreated, and feeling unappreciated.


 



 

Throughout my professional career, I had other side jobs. I worked at an elementary and high school. I had temp jobs-I was a copywriter, I worked at an insurance/law office and at a food retailer company in the accounts receivable department. I worked at a nursing home where I delivered medicine and supplies to the units. I worked at the mall. I worked at a corner store stocking product, and I worked at call centers. Some jobs lasted a few days while others lasted a few months. Nonetheless, in 2018, I knew it was time to start my business. I had many options. I could’ve been a life coach, certified fitness trainer, doula, or event planner. But I chose to start a digital media business. I also had an opportunity to either get a PhD or attend nursing school as I was accepted into a nursing undergraduate program. But I knew I was called to start a business. That was the best choice for my family.


When I started Boldink Media, LLC., I was in a different headspace. I was a new at being a single mother. My daughter was 2 years old, and my son was an infant. I was grieving, in a financial crisis, going through a devastating and humiliating separation, and trying to physically recover from giving birth. I felt like I hit rock bottom. I was in survival mode, trying my best to thrive. I was trying to be my normal self in an abnormal situation. I was functioning mentally, but emotionally, I was a mess. I had one goal though, and that goal was to provide for my children.


I’m not sure if I was desperate, driven, or both when I started my business. Regardless, I made it happen. During probably one of many trying years of my past, I accomplished a goal that once seemed impossible. I didn’t let my situation or other people’s opinions about me stop the call. I prayed to God, did my best to listen and obey Him. I pressed through the pressure, stayed as focused as I could, and three years later, my business is still operating.


A few weeks ago, I had one of those discouraging days where I needed clarity and encouragement. I had to encourage myself. I had to remind myself of how far I came. I thought about all my achievements and the oppositions I overcame. I realized, every goal I accomplished came with struggles or some level of suffering. In those situations, I didn’t always see the light. There were times when my faith in God was faint, and my self-esteem was low. I wore insecurity like it was a coat keeping me stuck. And somehow, I broke free.


As I matured through each level of life, God perfected the flaws within me, and He’s still working on me. However, the bigger the struggle, the closer I drew to God. The closer I got to God, the more I understood my purpose. A lot of things did not make sense back then, but it all makes sense now.


Every milestone or goal I accomplished did not come easy. I stumbled, failed miserably, and even walked around looking pitiful. I was trying to find my space in a world where people doubted me, rejected me, turned on me, underestimated me, laughed at me, talked badly about me, and watched to see me fail. I was seeking validation from spaces that couldn’t give me anything. I was applying to positions where I wanted people to see my potential. I was seeking opportunities where I’d be accepted, supported, and celebrated without any hidden agendas. And it turns out, God had already planned to use my struggles to prepare a table for me.


I am looking forward to new opportunities and discovering exciting things about myself as I embark upon a new journey. It's good to look back and see how far I've come. I've went from surviving to thriving, from struggling to succeeding. One thing I've learned for sure, all of the things that people said to me or about me, did not stop me from being here today.






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