Some days I’m so motivated it’s scary. I can spend over 6 hours in front of my computer, researching, brainstorming, networking and content hunting. Other days, I just want to have a pajama party with the Housewives.
A few weeks ago, during a nasty bout of sickness, my motivation was at an all-time low. Granted it was probably more to do with my hormones and the yucky bacteria floating around in my body but my pity party stretched into a week of doubt and indecision.
Was I really getting anywhere with my business? Will I ever start making any real money following my passion? Who cares about events with a multi-cultural twist? Should I just give it all up and become a lunch lady at my son’s school?
Then, I was invited to two events that brought me face-to-face with two dynamic women. Both of them prevented me from giving up on my dreams without them even realizing it.
The first was an event planner expo in Washington DC. Despite my germs I forced myself to attend the conference, eager for the experience and interested in the networking opportunities.
I had no idea who the keynote speaker was and to be honest I’d never heard of Capricia Marshall. But as she breezed to the podium and began to entertain the attendees with stories of her time as Chief of Protocol at the White House I was captivated.
She spoke sincerely and articulately about how her job involved more than just greeting world leaders and organizing State dinners. It was about the importance of being aware of cultural differences and having an appreciation of global customs. During her four-year diplomatic career she’s helped build bridges between government and people of all cultures and demonstrated how the seemingly little details can foster mutual respect and encourage successful diplomacy. Like serving authentic dishes to a visiting dignitary, or her story about painstakingly selecting gifts with real significance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
I felt my passion for spreading cultural awareness start to bubble again. I felt like she was speaking directly to me.
The following week I was invited to hear journalist and TV personality Soledad O’Brien speak during her Black In America tour. Her inspiring series of documentaries exploring the varied experiences of African Americans in America has been hugely successful. Instead of trying to deal with several complex issues of race and dissecting it from a million angles, her talk to the Towson University audience focused around her unique experiences of being black in America. She also shared the intention behind the documentaries; to tell stories which are rarely told, to change perceptions of race and to live in a world where everyone is celebrated.
Did she know I was going to be there? Had she read my company’s mission statement? Another affirmation that my dream was valid and my journey should continue – and it came just at the right time.
I got well and I got focused. Inspired by women who were using different ways to spread the same message. Inspired that there’s nothing more important that bringing people together and helping others become global ambassadors.
I still have days where I wonder if anything will come of the lists of ideas that are cluttering up my desktop. But stepping back and remembering the bigger picture and in particular women like Capricia and Soledad, who are dedicated to global engagement and celebrating diversity, never fails to keep me motivated.
Who are your she-roes! Share what women motivate you!