Case

LaTosha Johnson & TargetStars, Inc.
Life is NOT an ATM

"Mom, I can't do this anymore," I whined to my mother at yet another one of my pity parties she did not want to attend. "I did everything I was supposed to do. I got good grades in high school and graduated from college (DePaul University). I managed to graduate in four years while I was simultaneously working full time and attending college full time just so I could gain more experience. Yet, here I am working yet another dead end job that I hate. Was all my hard work in vain?" It is at this point during the party that I would then list all the attributes of my dream job in the field of marketing and then ask the rhetorical question, "Why can't I find my dream job?"

 

Patience is not one of my strong points, so I was waiting to hear my mother's, "Hang in there," encouragement speech. Instead she said, "Tosha, if you haven't found it then why don't you create your dream job?" I am an incredibly focused individual, so I did not pick up the hint. "How in the world am I going to do that mom?" My mother chuckled and shook her head, "By starting your own business." All this time the answer had been staring me in the face. Due to my tunnel vision mind set, I failed to realize that there are many different avenues that can lead to success (i.e. my dream job).

 

According to my parents, I have always been an "intense" child. I was extremely energetic, witty, stubborn, and thrived on challenges. I was relentless in pursuing goals I had set for myself and did not stop until they had been achieved. Once I created a plan, I would do everything in my power to make sure it came to fruition and this mindset followed me into my professional life. However, the consequences of having a one track mind was preventing me from landing my dream job because I refused to deviate from my plan.

 

I was living my life like an ATM—I deposited my time and effort into receiving my Bachelors degree and expected to withdraw a great paying job that I loved. However, I quickly learned that life is not an ATM. You can deposit hard work, patience, etc. but you cannot get discouraged if you are unable to immediately withdraw your goals. The ATM may give you a message telling you the machine is out of order and to stop by the bank instead. You can still achieve your goal (i.e. to get money/withdraw a dream), but you have to be willing to deviate from the original plan of expecting the ATM to provide you money and be willing to go to the bank. I was so focused on waiting for the ATM to withdraw my dream job that I was ignoring the ATM's error message telling me I was not meant to be an employee—I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I was so focused on landing my dream job as an employee that I never thought about accomplishing the same goal as a business owner!

 

I finally stopped ignoring the message on the ATM screen. Even though I was scared, I began my trek to the bank so I could make my withdrawal. On my journey I encountered many books, people, and classes that cultivated my desire to be an entrepreneur. I was eating, breathing, and sleeping entrepreneurship. I loved reading about entrepreneurs, talking with entrepreneurs, and taking entrepreneurship classes. I worked on enhancing my strengths (i.e. writing, speaking, research techniques, etc.) and improving in my areas of weakness (i.e. being too focused). When I made it to the bank, I was able to withdraw my dream job—running my own consulting firm called TargetStars (http://www.targetstars.com). TargetStars is an innovative consulting firm that specializes in providing top notch market research and administrative services to small companies, account executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

I am finally doing something that I love while simultaneously helping other people. I get goose bumps when I think about how far I have come and the challenges that await me in the future. I almost missed out on my dream job because I was too focused on carrying out my plan. Had I not deviated from my plan, I would still be hosting pity parties.