Many people ask me how I made it at a very tender age, how I got to know I was talented and how my work commanded so much respect despite my age.
I always tell them that this was no miracle.
My childhood was mainly dominated by an inferiority complex. I was obsessed with proving I was good enough, so I made sure that a day didn’t go by without acquiring a new skill and perfecting it to the point where I would receive a compliment for it.
I started formal school at the age of four and felt intimidated mainly by the fact that all my friends and classmates were at least two years older than me.
I was scared they would take advantage of me since I was just a kid, so I pushed myself to not only keep up with them, but to excel.
As a result, I am now a multi-talented woman whose skills range from hairdressing, dress making, interior décor…you name it. Whether my line of thinking was a good source of inspiration or not, that’s a story for another day.
I had no idea what I really was passionate about because I felt my situation was complicated. I wanted to develop so many skills at the same time. After all, I was good at everything I put my mind to, and growing up surrounded by skilled people helped me develop and expand my abilities.
I remember how I earned my first extra few dollars. My cousin would visit us monthly and I made sure to take advantage of that opportunity. She would come home for a week or so to braid her clients’ hair since they lived in the same area. Each time she would leave the house to do someone’s hair, I was right behind her. At first, I tagged along because I wanted to be around her, but I soon realized I actually loved playing around and being creative with people’s hair. I was only 7 years old and had no idea that it could become passion or that I could capitalize on it.
There came a day when one of my teachers desperately needed a hair makeover and my cousin could not come to her rescue. So she asked me to do her hair and told me she would pay me the same amount she would have paid my cousin.
At that point, I wasn’t thinking about the money…I was busy questioning my skills. I gathered up my courage and seized the chance to prove I was good enough. I did the best I could and I know is she was satisfied. That was the beginning. Now, I have a lineup of clients wanting to get their hair done.
No one will know what you are capable of unless you expose yourself and let your capabilities be known. You may not even know your own passion or talent, but remember that it’s possible for other people to realize your gifts before you do. So when they tell you that you’re good at something, believe them and do not let that talent go to waste.
The other secret I learned is to allow the people around you to nurture you until your skills are refined enough to gain respect. Do not be in a rush, take your time. Your break will come through and no one will be able to deny your ability.