March is a very special month! Not only was I born in the lovely month of March (I’m still accepting all birthday wishes by the way!), but it marks the beginning of springtime and now’s the perfect time to start the season fresh with my fruity and oh so refreshing Southern Girl Sangria!
This month also represents new beginnings! It’s a great time to make moves that align with what we really want. It only takes small thoughts, words, and actions each day. Those little things that we do are seeds that we plant. And guess what? …They eventually bloom! So, if we plant the right ones, life can blossom into something beautiful!
I still have some goals that I’d like to accomplish, but I’m grateful to be where I am today and when I reflect, I see that I’ve been planting seeds all along. Here’s what I’ve learned…
1. Plant seeds of faith.
I started in the corporate world as a Marketing/PR professional. After 9/11, my job was in jeopardy and I was faced with the decision to either be demoted from my position or to walk away from the company entirely. Without thinking about it for too long, I chose to leave.
At first, I questioned that decision. Now what? I had spent all that time in school to earn my degree, which my parents had helped pay for, and now I had no job and no plan.
Instead of freaking out, I wrote down a list of things that I was good at and things that I enjoyed. Eventually, I landed on the idea of going back to school, but this time pursuing my love for cooking. Sure, I was worried about how I’d pay for it and I definitely felt the pressure from the people around me to get it together, but through prayer, faith, and grace, things continued to fall into place for me and I made it happen.
2. Plant seeds of confidence.
I quickly noticed that I was one of the oldest students in the culinary program. A lot of my classmates were really young…like straight out of high school young…and here I was, pursuing a second-chance career.
It was a little weird for me, but I got over it and I’m so glad I did because working behind a desk was not for me. There’s no way I’d be as happy in the corporate world as I am now, doing what I love. So, to all the women who think “it’s too late” or “I’m too old”, be mindful of the seeds you plant. It’s never too late to start or start over- have faith and believe in yourself – you have exactly what it takes to succeed.
3. Plant seeds of determination.
After finishing culinary school, I had to find work. I didn’t have much culinary experience, but I did have my corporate background. I used the sense of professionalism I gained from corporate, to put my best foot forward in my new world. The way that I dressed and how I presented myself helped me get my foot in the door at the Ritz Carlton as an intern. I knew I wasn’t really qualified as a newbie, but I’ve always told myself to aim for the top- so I applied for the job anyway and, from that 5-star kitchen, I found the courage to push myself and pursue more!
4. Plant small thoughts that lead to big ideas.
After two years of working in the restaurant and hotel industry, I realized that there was still more for me. 16 hour workdays, 6 days a week just wasn’t cutting it. Neither was not getting credit or fair payment for the food I made for celebrity guests. I knew my work was great, so I thought about what it would be like to work for myself. From that day on, I saved every dollar I made and eventually stacked up $10,000 to start my own catering business!
5. Plant seeds of resourcefulness.
I knew I wanted to cater for celebrities, but I also didn’t have one celebrity contact. I had to put in a lot of leg work, making phone calls to people that were connected to celebrities in one way or another, until I landed my first celebrity client! The phone calls and networking were paying off and I was cooking for entertainers and NFL players, and the blessings continued to pile up. I started doing guest spots on local TV shows and not only did I get more clients, but I got bitten by the TV bug and before I knew it, I was auditioning for Food Network Star!
I couldn’t have predicted the opportunities that presented themselves over time, but I do know that those small actions of mine put me in the right spaces and places with the right people. Our names don’t start out in lights. Sometimes it takes 16 hour work days, internships, and cold calling. The small steps we take can put into motion the events that guide us to where we’re meant to be. Just like a garden, our dreams don’t become reality overnight. Start planting your seeds today so you can see them bloom in the future!