On the latest episode of the Mattie & Chris podcast, Hubs interviews me which gives me a chance to candidly share my life story. I keep things pretty professional and surface here on the blog when it comes to my life, so this was one of my favorite podcast episodes because I got the chance to share who I really am - without the bells and whistles.
After listening to the playback, I got to thinking about how everything that has happened to me got me to the point I am today. I realized that there were five things that really stood out and contributed to my success today.
When I was 22, I left my parents' 3500 square foot house in Pittsburgh, PA to follow my dreams as a singer and dancer in New York City. I stayed with family friends - who were so sweet for letting me stay there - but it was certainly in modest conditions. I was living in a one bedroom apartment in the projects with 5 other people (2 of them being small children). I cried myself to sleep that night because I could hear the rats in the walls. I thought that I was crazy for leaving such a comfortable situation. But eventually, I moved out of there in 3 months and got myself a roommate and lived in Brooklyn. Taking that leap and moving to NYC with $300 in my pocket taught me that I'm stronger than I ever imagined.
I'm so lucky to have the most amazing and encouraging and hard on you parents. They always made me believe that I could do anything I put my mind to as long as I was willing to work for it. Also, seeing the love between my parents was incredibly healthy and set the standard for what I wanted in my own marriage. They are far from perfect, but the effort that they put into giving me and my sister a love filled childhood was exceptional and I will forever be thankful to them for that.
My husband is the number one reason why Mattieologie even exists. He's the one who told me that "Yes, you should blog" and even create the first (horrible- lol!) logo and researched how to get the ball rolling. While he's much more focused on building Mattie & Chris nowadays, he's my biggest cheerleader and his thoughtfulness, love and support are unmatched.
When I first moved to Atlanta, I got an internship at a sports radio station after working retail for 2 years. While I was getting paid pennies, I've never worked so hard in my life. I was just so excited that someone gave me a chance and wanted to show my appreciation through my work. It paid off as I because the first street team manager in station history and finally started getting paid after 3 months. That then led me to a pretty lucrative internship with Brown-Forman after a personal recommendation from the station's VP.
[bctt tweet="How leap, love and labor cultivated my success."]
While I wasn't the best at keeping a job - I changed my mind a lot growing up - I've been so blessed to have amazing leaders in my life. There was Forrest, my good promoter friend in NYC who took me on as his assistant when I lived in the Big Apple. Then Ryan and Doug Stewart aka The 2 Live Stews, who took me on as their entertainment reporter after being an intern at the sports radio station. Then Kevin, my last 9 to 5 boss who taught me how to have thick skin and navigate in the corporate world. All of these awesome men (all Black men at that) taught me some of the most valuable lessons in my professional life: Forrest - hustling, Doug & Ryan - professionalism and Kevin, efficiency. All things that are engrained in my work life today.
Everything in my life certainly hasn't been easy, but I made the decision to learn from every lesson in every failure. Even in my successes. I make it a point not to repeat my failures because learning from them once is enough. I also have tried my best to share those lessons with my sister, my husband and even you guys - the readers - to help you avoid any mistakes I've already made. Because at the end of the day, it's not about me. It's not about my following, how popular I am or even how much money I make. It's about what - who - I can help and make better.