You Can’t Tell Me Who I Can or Can’t Be

You Can’t Tell Me Who I Can or Can’t Be - She Sweats Diamonds - Huong Vo - Dallas Blogger - Kate Spade - Black dress To me, this is what my best “confidence” look looks like. My hair is somewhat smooth. I have makeup on (not an expert at contouring here) to feel somewhat decent in public. And to boost my self-esteem just a bit more, these mid-high heels did the job. And if we’re being honest, I smoothed out all the wrinkles on my dress with my favorite app. I look like and feel like a boss lady, ready to take on the world. It took me a long time to get to this place of believing in myself. When I look back on my life, I’ve seen how far I’ve really come. In elementary and middle school, I was painfully shy to a point where I was quiet in my classes. I didn’t really have friends and just minded my own business wishing the day would speed by so I can go back to the comfort of my home.

As if that wasn’t hard enough, I was made fun of constantly. Even by a teacher. 

In class, on the school bus, when I think about it, all I can hear now are the echoes of laughter and see fingers pointing at me. It took six years of dance throughout high school and college along with being a leader in my community college’s honor society and successfully pursuing my communications degree to live life with boldness. However, fear crept back in and took a part of my life away, six years to be exact. And it wasn’t until January 12, 2017 that I really lived a life of unrelenting boldness in my identity and began to pursue what I’m good at and what I love.  During my lunch break at my day job yesterday, I left words of sympathy and apologies to a fellow blogger on a private Facebook group we’re both a part of. She had experienced a negative situation multiple times over and went on a rant about a certain career industry. Understandable, right? Of course. What happened to her happened to me too. However, I’ve been on both sides, which is why I tried to explain the why part of what happened to her and apologized in a “I speak for many others…” sense. In pops this person who’s also a part of the group. And that’s where my comm major side of me kicked in. First, this person generalized an industry. Then they made it clear that those in this industry are NOT entrepreneurs and labeled said group and tacked on, “and there’s nothing wrong with that” at the end of her mini rant. As if the “nothing wrong with that” part lessened the blow.  I’m really good at letting generalization comments like this go, but this one? I couldn’t shake. 

Can you blame me though? I’m human.

On top of that, I was a part of this so-called industry. I know what it’s like to be on both sides. And I still have friends in said industry. The part that killed me the most was this person took one sentence out of my novel of a comment (hey, I like to write) to point out a “fact” she believed to be true. (Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I said some things that irked her as a blogger, but let’s be real. I like to be honest with kindness.) And of course, she disregarded the rest of my comment that I took time to pour my heart and soul out on. With no attempt to understand whatsoever, she went in for the kill. The more adamant this person was with their responses to other people, the more I boiled up inside. I wanted to scream at my computer, “NO, YOU IDIOT! I NEVER SAID THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT LABEL. IN FACT, I HAVE BELIEVED WHAT YOU SAID FROM DAY ONE. I JUST CHOOSE TO SEE MYSELF IN ANOTHER WAY TOO. AND IF YOU TOOK THE TIME TO READ MY COMMENT, I SAID, ‘TO ME’, WHICH MEANS IT’S MY OPINION. AND IT DOESN’T MATTER THE INDUSTRY WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. IF ONE PUTS THEIR TIME, EFFORT MONEY INTO SOMETHING THEY WANT TO BUILD TO INSPIRE AND SERVE OTHERS, THEY ARE IN FACT ENTREPRENEURS!!!” To me, it was sad that this person said that people in this industry who see and call themselves entrepreneurs are being misleading to others. On top of that, this person assumed that ALL people in this certain industry aren’t entrepreneurs by her definition. Of course, it’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and say that. This person hasn’t experienced or seen what it takes to build a business in the very industry they’re bashing. 

And to me, that is a rude and heartless statement to make and stand by.

It’s rude to people who are moms and dads trying to put food on the table and provide a future for the their children. And it’s certainly heartless to sons and daughters trying to make ends meet for their families who may have a disabled family member who was once the breadwinner. Did this person think for a moment that maybe when someone calls or sees themselves as an entrepreneur is the very mindset they need to make it through one more day of hardship? Probably not. How would this person know that when they’re so focused on being right hinged on a dictionary-based definition? I will say that I would bet a million bucks this person wouldn’t have the guts to tell successful people who built their brands/businesses in this industry that they aren’t entrepreneurs to their faces. I have a feeling this person would be schooled so hard, ha!  That’s the thing. Until we try something ourselves, it’s wrong to make a statement regarding what anyone says is their career label to say that people do that just because one word sounds better than the other. The point is, it’s not about that. It’s about the work behind that label. The most successful people I know don’t care about their label. They care about their IMPACT and the people they’re wanting to serve. So what does it matter what they call themselves or how they see themselves? As long as someone’s life is touched and changed for the better, do labels it really matter? NO. Personally, I will stand by what I said to the death. If someone works to build a brand/following, then creates and builds relationships off of trust to keep said following and grow it, it’s HARD WORK. And that’s damn inspiring. In my eyes, that’s an E-N-T-R-E-P-R-E-N-E-U-R. I don’t care what industry you’re building your brand in. After all, we each have different opinions of what success means to us.

Nobody can’t tell me or you who we can or can’t be just because of a stupid label.

In a world full of negativity, there needs to be less judgement and more love and understanding. The fact that this person chose to point out something that didn’t add to the conversation is something to be said. I’m no math wizard, but the probability of this person being in this constant state is 99% of the time. People like this aren’t like this for no reason. Something happened to them for them to see life as a one-way street. And it will take another experience to possibly change their attitude. (I say possibly because it depends on how teachable people are.) And for some reason, if this person who happens to ever reads this post and thinks it’s you, it is. Stop right now and take a seat because I’m going to talk to you.  There is absolutely no reason to generalize an entire group of people just because YOU had a bad experience. If I want to be an entrepreneur, I’m a damn good entrepreneur-in-the-making. I say this because I believe we all never really “arrive” and regardless, you can’t tell me who I can or can’t be. I can say and believe this about myself because I want to.

You don’t know me.

You don’t know what’s going on in my life. And you certainly don’t know what I’ve been through to get to where I am today. Go ahead and be mad all you want just because I and many others see ourselves as entrepreneurs. So what?

You know what the definition of an entrepreneur is TO ME? It’s someone helping others to find a solution to their problem.

An entrepreneur is someone who works hard to build a brand/following, yes. A real entrepreneur is someone works even harder to keep their brand at the utmost level of integrity while keeping their current following and looking for others to inspire and serve. An entrepreneur is someone who creates positive change, even if it’s in one person’s life. You can’t tell me or others who we can or can’t be. Get over it because it’s something you will never take away from us.  How anyone provides for their family should never be limited by your miniscule opinion. And shame on you for limiting an industry you know nothing about. How selfish were you that you couldn’t even see the main point of my message? Yep, my “I’m sorry for this happening to you. Here’s probably why it happened. Sorry again.” message to someone else? All you thought about was how YOU feel based on what has happened to YOU. God forbid you get into the industry you just bashed because you’re in need of another stream of income someday. If I want to call myself a blogger, an entrepreneur or a CEO, I’ll call myself just that. I have worked too damn hard to get to this point in my life to finally believe in myself and what I’m doing only for you to decide what I should be labeled as. You can’t tell me who I can or can’t be. It’s MY life, MY goals and MY family I’m providing for. Regardless of what industry anyone is in, how I and many others choose to see and call ourselves in the pursuit of our goals is none of your business. You can’t tell me who I can or can’t be when you haven’t done the work yourself to know why we see ourselves as entrepreneurs. And of course, you’re entitled to your opinion (had to bold, italicize and underline that in case you choose to miss this part). I can only hope that your children grow up to work in this industry to prove you wrong. And a part of me wonders if only then will you change your tune because your children will be passionately involved.  Until then, you do you and I’ll do me because baby…

You can’t tell me who I can or can’t be. 

And for my readers who are wondering, no, I didn’t respond to this person’s comments because I pick and choose my battles. I just don’t choose to fight with people who make assumptions about something they know nothing about and aren’t willing to be open to learn about it. I can’t talk to unteachable people. It’s a waste of my time. And I will do whatever it takes to keep people like this person from tarnishing this industry out of respect for my friends who are in it and successful at it, even if it means not fighting this person with my words. 

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Kate Spade Dress c/o Clotheshorse Anonymous (previously seen in this outfit post; similar black dress) | Double Pearl Earrings (old, very similar double pearl earrings) | Black Pumps (old, similar black heels) | Black Sunglasses (got them for $5, love this $14 pair of sunnies)  

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