First Steps First

I recently took a step and ordered business cards. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. I was gifted a beautifully engraved card case about a year ago that I take out of the box and just hold from time to time even though it was empty. Each time I would sit down to order some cards I’d be stumped about what to put on it, not to mentioned the overwhelming decision of choosing a design. What is my business? What’s my title? Do I really want my personal cell number on a card that could literally end up anywhere? Should I invest in a second line with no potential callers? These cards would be the first symbol of my brand so this was kind of a big deal…to me at least. My dream is to be a public speaker and author. Maybe even host a daytime show like The View or The Talk. But I’m not there yet so it felt presumptuous to put “speaker” or “writer” on my card without having done any paying gigs.

One day I had the revelation that if I want to be a public speaker the public needs to know about it. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Jesus and Jollof, and they said that victory requires vulnerability. I felt like they were speaking directly to me and I heard it loud and clear.

I compromised and added “blogger” to the card instead of “writer.” It was also a step for me to call myself a “blogger.” Yes, I write a blog but am I good enough to call myself a blogger? It’s not like I have thousands of followers or even a hundred at this point. I started blogging in June of 2015 when I resigned from my full time job. I was off to a good start, posting regularly, but fear stopped me and my blog went silent for over a year. An inspiring message from Elevation Church encouraged me to resurrect it. I was afraid that I didn’t have enough creativity to sustain it, after all, I didn’t even consider myself to be a writer. The words “I’m a writer,” still feels funny in my mouth but taste sweet, like the awkwardness of pomegranate arils. What if my best words have already been written and no one has even read them? FORO, fear of running out, was a real fear for me when it comes to speaking too. What if I gave my best material away in a blog for free? If I keep doing that how can I ever expect to get paid as a speaker? On the other hand, how can I expect to expand my audience if I’m too afraid to tell people that I write. Even if my best words have already been written, how many other speakers, writers, poets, and artists peddle the same words everywhere they go for years? If Earth, Wind, and Fire played a concert today people would still want to hear September.

So I put on my big girl pants and ordered some business cards. Colette Randall the blogger and speaker. When I finish my degree in December I plan on adding MBA on there. I’ve earned those letters behind my name so why not show them off too. (I’m considering changing my title on LikedIn to “Renaissance Woman” because I do it all.)

When the cards came in they weren’t exactly how I envisioned them. The font was too small and faint. I was talking to my best friend about how I was slightly disappointed in how the cards came out after I had put so much into them. Her response was simple. “You took the first step, fine tuning is next.” Somehow I felt like we were talking about more than business card design. My best friend has a knack for dropping gems like that. If anyone were to eves drop on our conversations, they would probably get saved, healed, delivered, and a master’s degree.

Taking the first step sounds easy enough but not when you’re an over thinker like me. I tend to get caught up trying to figure out step six before I even take step one. In this life of uncertainty I’m learning to dial it back and focus on the actions I can take in the present. I also have to stop beating myself up for actions I felt I should have taken in the past. God is with us in the here and now. We don’t have to figure out the right steps to get to Him. I also have to trust the fact that He’s big enough to get me where I need to be when I need to be there. His plans account for my mistakes and His timing is perfect. I’m almost positive I’ve written these words before but faith is an ongoing process.

“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”-Proverbs ‭16:33‬ ‭

I find this verse to be comforting and encouraging. It’s comforting because the outcome is not up to me. I’m only responsible for taking action. You can’t throw the dice if you never picked them up to start with. Once you have them in hand you have to have enough courage to cast them. The point is you have to make a move to get to where you want to be. No need to wait until you have an audience to take that first step. First steps tend to be clunky and uncoordinated anyway. Don’t let that stop you from progressing. Your gait won’t get any smoother if you don’t keep taking steps. Any musician can tell you that you have to play an instrument in order to tune it. I also realized that looking for validation is futile and a waste of time. How can you expect people to validate what they haven’t experienced? And very few people are astute enough to see your potential. Start taking steps and show them and yourself just what you’re made of.

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