Lately, I have been asked to explain what motivates me as an African woman on a journey to build not only myself but others. I have chosen the road less travelled by choosing to chase my dreams. I have chosen to build a life that personifies my dream and not the traditional corporate route.
Let me let you into my journey, I was in the corporate mill, I remember walking into one of the big management consulting firms in the world dressed in my A-line pencil skirt, satin blouse with a bow and a perfect pair of pointed, patent Italian shoes. In my mind, I walked into that air-conditioned office and I remember feeling that at last, I have made it.
I remember thinking ahead, saying that I will one day be the CEO of this company. My journey had begun and I was an excited young girl with starry eyes and dreams of climbing the traditional corporate ladder, it was not long before until this ambition and determination was noticed, I got an early promotion for performance, I was decorated with performance awards, I was selected to sit on committees, to lead teams and I was being moulded to take the reins of this corporate world. I knew that my dream was unfolding...
In the middle of this dreamy state, I had the opportunity to go to Dubai for an assignment, I was so happy, I entered the plane and off I was, this was yet another stride in my journey. Upon my return, I got nominated for a high performance leadership program at work and got assigned my very first executive coach. At this moment, my first call with this coach, I let her in on a secret... I wanted to leave this high powered firm, I wanted to use my skills to serve.
I left what looked like a promising career path to take a lateral move into a firm that would give me the opportunity to work in the public sector and contribute at least in mind. This was an opportunity to serve and I began to fill fulfilled through service, it was no longer about making CEO; that girl with starry eyes began to find her purpose, at the same time I began my career as a speaker that dedicated herself to awakening Pan-Africanism and reminding Africans how great we are and that we can build towards a renewed Africa. I began to share different stages, inspire people and move people into action through my gift of speaking.
At that moment, I found an inner peace. There was no way that I could go back on the corporate mill for I had found my purpose, and I had found my way of service. I would now use my voice as a tool to move others' lives, I committed myself to building others and even as I write this, I am about to go to a township school to give a talk, the following week I am going to visit a prison to move others. I write this to give others hope that we do not all have to follow the traditional trajectory of life to find success, success comes when you have found your true passion, when you use your innate talents to be more and to do more. So take that leap of faith, life will always guide you towards your path. Do not resist.