Stop Letting The World Tell You How To Live Your Life — Be Your Whole Self
If you’re anything like me, then sometimes you don’t want to just do one thing for your entire life. What do they say the definition of insanity is? Interesting..
If you’re on a beautiful, righteous path of happiness with your job / life, then please feel free to stop reading. No really. No? Let’s go.
Believe was my first and only rap name before I stuck with Cole Connor
At seventeen, I felt like all signs of my “God” and the universe pointed me to pick up a microphone. I grew up in a middle class white family (divorced) and around highly conservative, privileged people 24/7.
Hip-Hop / Rap was another world. I remember my Dad found a CD on the ground in a parking lot one time. All he told me was it was so extremely vulgar and disgusting with constant f*cks and “n-words” thrown around. Turns out it was the infamous Kanye West (who I would grow to love).
NOBODY knew what I was doing. My mom didn’t either, but she outwardly supported me. Always. That was just enough encouragement to push past the laughs, weird looks and name calling.
Now, I defined myself as a rapper. A rapper who was going to Clemson University as an English major. HA, classic right?
Why? I was following a friend and doing what I knew my family wanted. Very subconsciously. I didn’t even realize it. Maybe I would be a journalist? author?
I wasn’t ready for “college”. I was ready to rap. $30,000 and a year and a half later. I felt a pull to get the hell out of there. Immediately.
We’ll skip the details, but for the next several years, I was focused on one thing. I was a rapper. I worked to make money to chase my dream of becoming a “famous” rapper. Served food. Pyramid Schemes. PR jobs. Pizza Boy. And even CONSTRUCTION.
After being left clueless as to why I haven’t made it time and time again, I came across a studio that would lead to being introduced to my crew.
For the first time, I was around not just wanna be kid rappers, but people who live hip-hop. A family that understood my struggle and taught me about so much more than the music. I learned and grew.
As years went by, things moved so fast. I felt further secluded from the world I grew up in, my family, my friends. It was like I had to choose a side that wasn’t the full me. Aspects of my personality started to clash. My families’ clashed. Who was I?
I’d been on a small tour, performed in front of thousands, had my crew who loved and believed in me, but something still was not quite right. Then I met, entrepreneurship.
At 23, I started my own marketing company. After learning from mentors in hip-hop and business, I felt like I could take the risk.
Once I did, I struggled (that’s another story), but I survived. This brought back this connection to my biological family but started to hinder growth with my other. I was in fight or flight mode. I had to make money.
I now had something in common with my father. I felt proud of myself. I felt like I could finally say that I was on my way to making it because I was building something that would become profitable.
I didn’t need anyone for it. I was doing it myself. After all the years of fighting to rap and then fighting for hip-hop, I started to see myself as more than a rapper. I was an owner.
The White Picket Fence
Someone I looked up to once told me that I couldn’t have it all. I couldn’t have the rap life, the love life, the business life. Something had to give. It always stuck with me. It hurt my heart. You’re telling me I have one life, and I’m not going to be able to get what I want out of it? For a kid, that’s hard to hear. For an adult, it may be harder.
Here’s the thing, if I would have listened to that, my drive to succeed would be 0. At 25, I made the decision to stop doing what others say. No one can put me in a box. I don’t have a niche. I am not one. I am a lover, entrepreneur, artist, videographer, photographer, writer, brother, son, friend, grand-son and more. I won’t listen to the world. It is possible to have it all. I’m living it.
Be your whole self. Transparent. And the opportunities will come flying your way. The people you want around you will swarm to you. Winners smell fear. Don’t be afraid to be you. Took me a while to learn that. Hope this helps.