Confession #10:

“I got my first real job at 13, and from there it was history. I grew up in a single family household with my mom and 6 other siblings.  It was hard seeing my mom struggle to take care of all of us by herself.  I had to grow up and mature very quickly because I knew I had to help take care of my family. Instead of using our circumstances as an excuse to go down the wrong path I used it as fuel to help motivate me to become better and succeed in everything I do. Experiencing that struggle pretty much made me into the person I am today…A Pretty Girl Hustler!”

I learned a lot of my hustle ways from my mom. Not just because of our struggles, but because she was the biggest hustler I knew. After my grandmother passed away when my mom was only 16, she also had to grow up fast and make a living for herself. Instead of finishing school, my mom had to work to provide for her children…alone.

 At a young age I quickly learned the importance of depositing checks, managing a bank account, and being responsible with the money I earned. I had the coolest first job ever working for a local non-profit organization called Pearls For Teen Girls as a teen facilitator. I can honestly say that I truly discovered my passion and purpose working for Pearls. I worked as a teen facilitator for 5 years during the school year and worked summer jobs in between. At some point I started working 2 summer jobs at a time, Summerfest in the morning and the Statefair by night. I was a teenager with the mindset of an adult-go to school, work, and help provide for my family. In high school I started selling bags of candy and Kool-aid. I don’t know if many of my readers remember the Kool-aid and sugar mixed in a ziplock bag that was poured in your hand to lick. Yep! I was the candy lady. I always took advantage of entering contests to provide myself with certain things. My mom couldn’t afford to pay for my senior prom so I entered a writing contest to get my entire prom experience paid for, from the dress, hair, makeup, and shoes down to the limo, prom tickets and pictures. Surprisingly, I won the contest and was able to have the experience of my dreams all because I utilized the gifts that were already within me to get the things I desired.

I can remember a point in my adult life when I got comfortable working a 9-5 job. I settled for less pay than I deserved and also found myself over exerting myself by working multiple jobs at once. Most of my time was spent working a job I was never passionate about while I went home, laid in my bed and got right back up to do it all over again the next day. I started becoming stressed, over eating, and developing anxiety sitting at a desk doing the same routine every single day. I was mentally and physically drained because I knew that there was so much more to life and I felt stuck. I finally came to a realization that I wasn’t going to let a 9-5 job deprive me from doing the things I always wanted to do. I had so many talents to share with the world so I started utilizing my time outside of my day jobs. I did personal styling services, hosted events, promotional modeling and even started my own clothing boutique right in my living room. I knew that those regular 9-5 jobs weren’t going to truly fulfill my happiness. By utilizing my gifts, visions, creativity and ‘hustle mindset’, God created opportunities that brought me a very long way.

Often times we don’t tap into our gifts that God gave us to allow him to create opportunities. We are writers, actors, chefs, event planners, painters, builders, and true entrepreneurs at heart but we never discover our true purpose because we get comfortable working our 9-5 jobs and fear lack of financial security and benefits if we decide to ever leave. Well I’m here to tell you…in life we have to take RISKS! It’s ok to make mistakes and take a few steps back during the process because you know that all great things take time. When I took a risk and moved to Atlanta almost 4 years ago, I knew that God wanted me to live out my dreams and prepare me for greater! I hustled, I cried, I sacrificed and most importantly, I never gave up.

For so long people never really understood why I go so hard and grind the way that I do and some still may not understand the hustle behind this pretty face. Some people perceive me to be this high maintenance chick who grew up being fed with a silver spoon and have a line of men waiting to lavish me with gifts, money and to pay my bills. But little do they know that everything I ever possessed or owned came from my hard earned money.

Today, I don’t work a regular 9-5. I work a variety of jobs that allow me to express my creativity and give me more flexibility to work on my time while I pursue my acting career and my COAPG brand. Sure there may be moments when I make more one month and make less the next, but honestly, I’d rather have a peace of mind and work multiple jobs that I actually enjoy than work a decent paying corporate America job that I’m not passionate about and takes up all my time.  I know that it won’t always be this way but I am utilizing my time to build a legacy that will always represent my true hustle spirit.

Sincerely,

Pretty Girl Hustler: TaTa

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