My experience was typical to that of many creative freelance individuals trying to make their big break, only I had one major character flaw: I was terrified of success. For many years, I knew I wanted to be a music video director. After graduating from high school, I moved to Los Angeles, where I earned a degree in video production. Fortune smiled upon me as I quickly secured work as a production assistant, coordinator and office manager for a music video production house. I was young, ambitious and having a blast working in the field I’d dreamed of for years.
One day, while assisting as a volunteer coordinator at an award show, one of the production managers heard I was only 19 years old. She remarked that I was going to be a "powerhouse" one day. I was flattered, but frightened. I knew I wanted to be happy and enjoy whatever work I did, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a "powerhouse." Not too long after the award show, I was laid off from my position at the production company. The landscape of the music industry was beginning to change (due to the recent advent of YouTube), and record labels were slashing their budgets in response. These two events sent me back home to Florida to contemplate my next career move.
In Florida, I landed a job working the night shift at a financial institution. For a short amount of time, this felt like the right choice: I had a steady paycheck, health benefits and a reliable work schedule. A few months into the position, however, my creative spirit sent an S.O.S. to my brain, signaling I wasn’t making the best use of my talents. I didn’t have the money to make another cross-country move back to Los Angeles, but I also couldn’t stay in an unfulfilling job.
To escape my feelings of entrapment, I did some creative writing during my spare time. To motivate myself even further, I made the commitment to author a children’s book. My goal didn’t end there, however. I also had to get the book published.
Once I completed my manuscript, I decided it would be best if it were a picture storybook. Because of the need for an in-house artist, getting published was no easy task. Numerous rejection letters found their way to my mailbox, yet I continued sending out my work. It took somewhere between three to four years to finally attract the interest of a publisher. When all was said and done, and I held a copy of my beautiful children’s book in my hands, I found a happy place within and a new realization. I may not have become a powerhouse, but I did accomplish a goal. Success found within is how you define it, how you live it and always something to strive for, not fear.