One of the most common questions I hear when it comes to blogging, starting a business or in general is "so, how do I make it happen?" And it's so easy to go, "You just have to start." But HOOOOOOOOW? I know. It's a valid question.
But the answer doesn't just have 1 layer. In fact, it has 6. There are 6 ways to make something happen - whether it's the Zumba business you always wanted to have or the online boutique you've always wanted to launch.
Today, I'm going to share the story of when I became Miss Liberia USA 2009. Yes, that's right. I'm a beauty queen. Please save your jokes for the end of the post.
This seems like a given but it is so often overlooked. You have got to decide what it is you really want and you have to be explicitly honest with yourself. Do you want to do this "thing" to get rich? Lose weight? Find a man? Become famous? Be very clear and unapologetic. That is the only way to move forward with making this a reality.
I knew that I wanted to become Miss Liberia USA the instant I signed up for the local pageant, Miss Liberia Georgia. The Georgia crown was not of my concern. Of course, I was going to win it. Because my overall goal was to win the national crown. Clear, concise & unapologetic I was when it came to getting that crown.
Next, it's imperative to be fully aware of what it takes to make the idea you've decided on a reality.
As a Liberian American who didn't spend much time in the Liberian community, I knew that I would have to overcompensate in certain areas of the local pageant since I wasn't a familiar face like some of the other contestants. I knew that I was going to have to perform above everyone else. To the point that I hired & paid a choreographer to create my talent segment. I also went out of my way to wear something more traditional for my African attire versus contemporary because I was deemed the "American" girl. I asked relatives for good African clothing shops in the Atlanta area, Googled the best ones and called ahead before going.
I also knew my platform had to be intentional (versus just sounding good) and the speech I had to deliver had no choice but to be flawless if I was going to make it to nationals. Not only did I write a fantastic speech, I memorized it front to back so I didn't have to rely on paper once I got on stage. It was tough, but it gave me the edge I needed to win Miss Liberia Georgia.
Once you realize what it takes and gather your resources, you've got to get a plan into action. You need to make a list, create an agenda and finalize your schedule.
Your list will serve as the WHAT in this instance. What is it that you need to do or delegate to get you closer to making the idea real? If it's an online boutique have you purchased the domain? Squared away the hosting? Secured capital to purchase products? Every little step should be listed so nothing is overlooked.
Once I won Miss Liberia Georgia, my pageant director and listed out everything that needed to be done. I needed brand new everything as far as wardrobe was concerned. I needed a weave - #beautyqueenproblems, a drop dead gorgeous African ensemble and to knock my on stage questions out of the park. We had everything custom made and even flew one of the past queens to do my hair and makeup.
Your agenda is the WHY in the equation. What's the intention of this thing you're trying to make happen? Is it to create livelihood for your family? Leave your 9 to 5 that you hate?
It was important to me to win this crown so I was permanently attached to my culture in some way. I was about to marry an American and wasn't involved in the Liberian community socially. I wanted to change that and this was a way to meet other Liberian girls who were my age, make new friends and also get involved in my community. So my agenda was clear and my motive was from an honest place. But that being said, the DNA of my agenda was "win Miss Liberia USA". Meeting & making new friends was great but the way I was going to get involved to a certain extent in the Liberian community like I wanted was with that crown.
Your schedule serves as the WHEN. When are certain things going to happen? You have to have a deadline so you're prepared for when that idea transitions into real life. The pageant was July 26 which is Liberian Independence Day. I won the local crown 6 weeks before that. So I had 6 weeks to become Miss Liberia USA. I was already her. I just hadn't been crowned yet.
Once you get your list, agenda & schedule in place you've got to take action. Finalize intricate details and start to act on those major items on your list. Do you need to be photographed? Maybe change your diet?
For me, I had to find a swimsuit (which we was the only thing we didn't get custom made and also the one segment that wasn't in the local pageant). I also had to literally bust a move. In the local pageant I danced to a Kanye West song that sounded African, but there was no way that I would win the national pageant dancing to an American song. Politics. So I had to totally revamp my talent and then actually find the audio to the traditional song I decided to dance to. Then after all the preparation, I had to travel to Philadelphia to meet the other contestants and do a few days of picture taking, promo and all that beauty queen stuff.
This is the stage I like to call "shake hands & kiss babies".
MAKE IT HAPPEN
Finally, this is when you have to rise to the occasion. All that daydreaming now needs to become day doing (I don't know what that really means but it sounded good). But this is the ultimate point of follow through.
I had prepared so well that there was nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that any other contestant came close to the night of the national pageant. My African attire SHUT IT DOWN, my hair and makeup was fab, my swimsuit was cute AND appropriate and my talent was original yet traditional. But the moment I answered my final question on stage, I knew that I had won. I hit every item on my list and it felt good. While natural nerves took over as I held hands with the other contestant who eventually was named 1st runner up, I had worked harder than everyone there not because I was better than them, but because I wanted it more than them.
I was crowned Miss Liberia USA 2009 and felt like a million bucks. All of that hard work paid off and then some.
MAKE IT BETTER
So if you're a beauty queen and you've won the highest title in your organization how can you make it better? Well, after you follow through you've got to continuously follow up.
[bctt tweet="After you follow through you've got to continuously follow up."]
I made it my business to make sure that the girl who won Miss Liberia Georgia the following year also won the national pageant. And you know what? She did. Like me, she was also into making things happen.
Are you trying to make that idea you haven't acted on yet finally happen? Great! My sister, Maya, and I are hosting a webinar called "Making Things Happen" on Tuesday, April 7 at 2pm EST. It's free and there's a worksheet to help you get through the 6 steps I just mentioned above. Totally, sign up and tell your friends about it. Here's to making things happen! Click below to sign up!