I’m back! It’s crazy. I haven’t felt compelled to write in a very long time. I went through a period of not knowing if I felt like saying anything or what to say to my people. I’m known for always having something to say to encourage, motivate or inspire others. But when I’m feeling less than inspiring, I don’t feel I have much to contribute. So I chose to sit still and wait to hear from God. I didn’t know it would take so long.
Before my best friend passed away in December, we had a heart to heart conversation in which she called me out on my bullshit. She asked me what I had planned in the new year for my business(es). I shared with her that I didn’t feel I had anything of value to say or share. That I had said and done it all and had nothing new to give. She immediately called bullshit and told me she was watching my comments on social media and that I still touched people. She told me “stop hiding from your gifts!”. She basically wanted me to get out of whatever self-imposed funk I was in, and get moving again.
Earlier today, I posted that quote from her on my Facebook page. I’ve shared it before on school media, but today I had gotten a reaction. Someone asked me why I hold myself back, why I’m “afraid” of my gifts after I posted the quote from my late sister/friend Sara about hiding from my gifts. At first I was going to get defensive. But then I fell back and thought about it. The person wasn’t being disrespectful, and really didn’t know my history. So instead, I chose to make a Facebook post. Please don’t be fooled. While I have achieved a lot (more than most have), I have moments where I feel like “what’s next?”. But I’ve learned that during those times where I feel unable to inspire, I cannot fall into depression or being pressed waiting on God to give me the answer. At the same time, I know where I come from and what I’ve accomplished. And I don’t dismiss those accomplishments nor let others diminish them. Sometimes you just need to fall back and rejuvenate to wait for God to prepare you for what’s next…and be comfortable with the silence.
So Just What HAVE You Done, Adrienne?
When “they” said I couldn’t get a radio show on terrestrial radio, I launched my own on the internet….in 2009….that lasted for 6 years and was twice voted a top show for small business.
When “they” said I couldn’t launch a magazine because print was dead, I launched one…online…and ran it for 5 years.
When “they” said I couldn’t get a TV show, I launched a web show…that ran for a year.
When “they” said I couldn’t get published as an author or find a publishing house that would represent me, I published on my own…5 books….one of which STILL continues to make the rounds on the internet.
When “they” said no magazine would write about me because I wasn’t special enough or had a message that resonates with specific audiences….well, check my Press Page on my website. Oh and just because it only dates back to 2009, don’t get it twisted. My press coverage goes back further than that.
Bottom line is I’m looking to move to the next level professionally. So when people ask me why I’m afraid or hiding from my gifts, please understand, with all I have done, I’m sitting back figuring out where I can go next. I don’t want to repeat or try to rehash anything I’ve already done. I want to come back swinging hard and making a bigger impact and better difference than I did in the past. I would do my community a disservice by regurgitating the same stuff I did a few years ago. I look at Arsenio Hall’s failed remake of his 80’s-90’s show The Arsenio Hall Show (no shade Arsenio because I’m a HUGE fan and I’m grateful to have grown up during that magical time). But too many people banked on him being exactly as he was back then. I know many are holding those same expectations for me. But I won’t recreate the same path simply because people want me to come back. I’m not built that way.
I chuckle when people come to me and talk about how others are killing it with Periscope and the like. While most are venturing into live streaming, Periscoping, writing, publishing, radio, podcasting, etc….I’ve already done it. Dare I say I was one of the pioneers of all of that. How do you think my brand got established? But I want more. My community deserves more. Now I’m looking towards the next level. I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Does this mean there is nothing left to do? Absolutely NOT. There’s a lot I want to do. But when God says it’s time, it’ll be time. I will not rush the process because others want me to. It’s in His time. And I can’t wait to see what next level He has for me.
What I’ve learned is certain things happen at certain times because they are meant to at that time. On rare occasions, can you capture lightening in a bottle twice. But why try to relive the past, when there is something bigger and better out there? You can’t be afraid of taking that next step. It’s not healthy to hide or hang on to the past because you’re not that person any more. Your brand has (hopefully) evolved beyond what it was. And people who are true fans, will respect that and grow with you. Am I afraid at times? Hell yeah. It gets overwhelming sometimes because I feel “God, are you sure? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?“. But that’s healthy fear. I know something huge is on the horizon and I pray to God that He prepares me not just to receive it, but to be a person worthy of such greatness. Marinate on that one for a moment.
No shade, but any questions?
Til next time,
Be patient, I’m coming back!
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Adrienne Graham is the Founder & CEO of Empower Me! Corporation (www.empowerme.org), a Growth Strategies consultancy for high growth companies. She provides Strategic Business Growth consulting services to companies with high growth potential to assist clients in creating processes and strategies to effectively scale, run, grow and position their business for success. Check out her radio show Views From the Top on Blog Talk Radio & iTunes. Adrienne is also an avid techie dedicated to promoting diversity in the tech community. She is steadily building her empire one company at a time. And her company CurvyGirlCloset.com helps turn closets into commerce for the plus-sized fashionista. She is also a Mentor for the Straight Shot Accelerator in Omaha, NE, which helps guide startups into successfully launched ventures.