This is a personal note to my family, friends, and followers.
Let me tell you about what I’ve been up to. As many of you know, music has been a big part of my life, so much that I moved from Oklahoma City to Atlanta when I was 20 to pursue a career in the music industry. I left everything in my life that was familiar (my family, friends, environment, and security) and took a chance to pursue my dream. I was young and had plenty of time to rebound if things didn’t work out. It was a passion.
I finished college, graduated with a degree in Marketing and minored in Music Industry. Music was my life. I held down a 9–5 job while my nights and weekends were spent in the studio recording music or onstage performing music. It was a passion, and I had a talent.
Music came with some successes for my little independent group. We actually landed a Top 100 Pop radio song, just from the amount of rotations in my home state, Oklahoma. To hear my song on the radio and be interviewed by radio stations I grew up listening to was like a dream come true. My group appeared briefly on a reality TV show, and were invited to perform at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York (SPOILER ALERT: we got booed). It was a passion, but what was my purpose?
I thought my purpose was to inspire people in the moment, and at least take them away from the stress of the day that they’ve carried up to that point in time. If I could just entertain and bring them to a state of happiness or hope, disconnected from whatever distractions and burdens that they’ve carried along with them, then I felt successful. But was that my purpose?
As my journey got deeper into the music industry and the politics involved, I began to despise it. What was fun and a passion for me became more like a job I hated. The industry clichés began to reveal themselves over time. People use you when you have momentum. They don’t call you back when your momentum stalls. It’s cutthroat, and genuine, honest people are extremely rare (though there are some). My talent was alive, but my passion was on life-support and my purpose was unclear.
Since I was 15, I had my life planned out and I was working that plan. But as I approached 30, my plan crumbled because I chose to let it go. I realized that what I thought I was here on earth to do, or my purpose, was no clearer than seeing your hand in front of your face in a lightless cave. I had no vision, just talents that I’d spent the last 15 years crafting, molding, improving, and sharpening. Talents that I didn’t think I would have a use for again. I began to question if I wasted the last 15 years of my life, even though there were some incredible experiences. I had talents, but didn’t know my purpose.
During this transitional time, some incredible things happened in my life. I met and eventually married an amazing woman. We have 3 kids, and the things that used to be so important to me, dissolved in value. I had grown and now my focus was outward; what I valued had shifted. What mattered was that my kids were taken care of, my relationship with my wife was a priority, and I could provide for my family. I also went back to school and obtained an Executive MBA, which is another journey altogether. This transition was one of personal and spiritual growth, stability, love, and discovery. I had talents that didn’t get as much use, my passion was still unclear, and my purpose was waiting to be discovered.
There were also setbacks during this transition. Professionally, I had landed what I thought to be a job of my dreams, only to unexpectedly lose this job a couple of years later. This sent me through the difficult trial of unemployment, where I applied to over 300 jobs (no exaggeration) and did not land one. I didn’t sit around and wallow through this though. While job hunting, I started my own marketing and business consulting company, which helped me stay afloat. I was using my talents, but my purpose was still waiting to be discovered.
As I began to figure out exactly what I wanted to do next in my life, I took inventory of my journey along the way. What areas of my life were most important to me? Why are those areas important? What talents did I have? What were my experiences? How can I use these talents and experiences? Who can I impact? How can I impact them? My talents were activated, and my purpose began to reveal itself like a horseman breaking through the fog charging straight at me.
Boom, it hit! Everything was coming full-circle. Instead of running from or burying my experience, I honored it. The talents I had honed for 15 years in the music industry mattered. I learned how to write, master the creation of content, turn it into a product, and market the product. I also learned how to connect 1:1 with people, inspire them, and be comfortable on stage. I honored my talents, I moved towards my purpose.
See, for a while, I’ve known I wanted to help people. I just didn’t know how that would look or exactly what I wanted to do. I thought my purpose was to help people in the moment, but then my experiences revealed to me that instead of impacting a temporary moment, I can affect lives for the long-term. My talents were activated, my purpose was clear.
Then, self-doubt set in….What makes me so special? Why would people listen to me? I don’t have this amazing story, I’m just a regular guy that cares about people and wants to see others succeed. I saw this “normalcy” about me as a weakness. A former mentor of mine challenged me on this thinking. He said, “isn’t that what people need though, someone that’s relatable? You don’t need to have this epic story or accomplishment to help others. People need to hear hope from someone that’s like them too.” My purpose was under attack…by me.
Confident. Faithful. Significant. I’ve set a reminder in my phone so that these three words pop up in my phone throughout the day. They remind me to be confident in my talents, experiences, and journey. To be faithful to my God, family, and friends. To live a life of significance and help others do the same. My purpose is to provide hope in others and help them achieve a fulfilled life by maximizing their talents and purpose.
Thanks for reading this, and I hope that I can help make a difference in your life.
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