Before Ailovethat: Of Timing and Following My Passion
In my intro to Ailovethat.com, I shared that this site is my passion project and a dream deferred. I wanted to launch a site a few years ago but never did. I, like many of you looking to pursue your passion, have definitely stumbled along the way. I swam in deeps waves of pure inspiration and the excitement to achieve this goal only to be met with episodes of frustration, anxiety, self- doubt and fear.
All of this is par for the course.
See achieving your passion never goes unmet without its challenges. If fulfilling it was so easy, wouldn’t we all do it? But, your passion is an investment that YOU must decide to make. The timing for achieving it is of the utmost importance.
I had desired to leap into blogging in the spring of 2014 by creating a site (that would have gone by another name.) I reached out to friends to collaborate on the wonderful launch shoot below. The styling, make up, photography, and black girl joy were perfection. I wouldn’t have altered one thing. But once I received the finished product, I felt slightly numb and unable to shift gears and move into the next steps of executing the site.
I began to sit in the inadequacies of my lack of technical skills, finances, professional writing experience, and the “look” to be successful as content creator. I began to feel swallowed by own passion. Unable to swim above water and drowning in the failure of having repeatedly told everyone I would launch a site but it never coming to fruition. Even discussing the possibility of still creating said site began to feel like a burden so I avoided any conversation regarding it. Ironically, during this same time I was slowly growing a passionate following on my social channels that reverberated my need to create a platform.
See many times, the one person who is most in the way of your dream is YOU.
Over the next 3 years, I began to slowly do the leg work for what I wanted in an authentic platform. Self-growth and focus were FIRST. You must work with and through the core of any fear and apprehensions. I knew that in order for me to be open, honest, and successful, I needed to know my truest self. Who am I authentically? What do I stand for? What scares the living shit out of me? What will I not compromise on? What is vision of the brand I want to be associated with?
I learned that encouraging others truly helped encourage me. As I saw others following their passions, I championed and supported their dreams. I attended their launches. Watched their Youtube videos and tutorials. I read and shared their blog posts. I spoke with them. I asked questions, very candidly. I wanted to know how they surpassed the emotions and just leaped into their passion.
Lastly, I surrounded myself with great friends, peers, and mentors that were doers in respective fields and passions. They helped move the barometer drastically in my own confidence and helped to facilitate the planning, creativity, and a-ha moments that allowed me to bring Ailovethat.com life.
I write this all to say to my dreamers and those hesitating to take the next steps towards their passions, you can do it with this simple gold:
1. To thy own self be true. Know who you are, what you stand for, and how you can elevate that with your passion.
2. Action > Inaction. Be about THAT life. JUST DO IT!
3. You are the company you keep. Seek peers, mentors, and accountability partners who are equally invested in your goal(s).
4. Education is free. The interwebs are aplenty with knowledge to help ease any thought of lack of experience. Utilize these tools, classes, and webinars.
5. STICK TO IT. Everyday won’t be easy but the reward of achieving this goal is personally worthwhile.