“…But what if you don’t sell a house? How will you make money? You need a guaranteed paycheck.”
This was my uncle’s response when I first told him that I wanted to start a career in real estate. I wasn’t surprised though; it’s a response I’d become familiar with. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard the infamous, “Why don’t you just become a [inserts popular career choice that I have NO interest in here]?”, as if careers are just stacked on shelves at Wal-Mart and I just have to pick one up.
I remember being so annoyed at the audacity of people acting like my dreams weren’t sensible – the nerve! Despite this, I have never changed my goals for the benefit of others. I have, however, changed how I allow naysayers make me feel about chasing my dreams instead of taking the “safe” route.
One concept I had to quickly grasp was that people won’t always see your dreams the way that you see them. Jay-Z was rejected by all of the major record labels when he first arrived on the music scene. Executives felt like his music was terrible and there was no market for him. Refusing to give up, he used that rejection as fuel and co-founded his own record label; eventually becoming one of the wealthiest hip hop artists in 2017, with a net worth of $810 million.
I had to realize when it comes to things I want to accomplish, think BIG! However, knowing that everyone doesn’t have a “think BIG” mindset, how can I expect everyone to see things as I do? Some people just won’t and that’s completely okay. Others I’ve noticed won’t support your dreams because they don’t want to or simply don’t care enough. That too, is okay. What’s not okay is allowing this scrutiny to make you feel discouraged and giving up. I stopped seeking validation from people who didn’t want to support me and started gaining confidence in knowing that I didn’t need them to. Gaining the confidence to defend my dreams and what I believe is probably one of the best things I could’ve done for the sake of my peace. Currently, I’m so secure in my ambition, not even the annoying questions over Thanksgiving dinner can ruffle my feathers.
Now, I’m not saying that every relative who doesn’t agree with your career decisions or tries to offer their unwanted advice on your life is a hater. One thing I’ve learned about receiving career advice from family is that they tend to project their personal experiences. That uncle who questioned by ambition had actually received his own real estate license years ago and had not sold a single property. What I saw as him discouraging me from my dreams was actually just him projecting his experience. If I’d been having that conversation with someone who had a more successful experience, I’d had received more beneficial advice.
Once you accept that you can’t change anyone else’s perspective, you’ll start changing your own. Family and people in general will be stuck in their ways and the only thing you can do is prove them wrong. We’re living in an age where six year-olds are making millions reviewing toys on YouTube. Anything is possible. The routes that lead to success are endless and your wildest dreams are achievable. You just have to be crazy enough to still see them, even when no one else does.
Written by Robyn Stamps