A few years ago, one of my mentors that I met on my journey at DC Bilingual, pulled me to the side at a gala and said, “Why aren’t you doing federal government contracting?” I looked up at him and said, “Wait, what are you talking about? Onyx is a mental health company. We don’t have anything to offer the feds.” And, quickly, he took our mentoring relationship one notch up as he schooled me on the ins, outs, and whereabouts. He, too, is in the mental health space…owning a popular and lucrative company that is impactful in the monolingual and bilingual communities. Nonetheless, you know I love to learn and I love to teach too. But, taking on this new venture would require several months of preparation and readiness that I was eager to embark upon…and sadly, it would take even more years to come to fruition. In fact, I'm still waiting for it to fully manifest. This blog post is inspired by a message I put on my Instagram stories (be sure to follow me: @mahoganysunshine AND Onyx: @onyxtherapygroup…on IG). So, on 10/5/23, with COVID running through my body, I searched “keep going.” I needed some
thing…some inspiration…some guidance…some words of wisdom (also, don’t let me forget to tell y’all how I got a new tattoo last year…WISDOM….it’s for my ancestors who guide me).
Ok, so I needed something. I’m usually very self-motivated and always disciplined (dang, another sidenote, follow me on Peloton too…@DrDisciplined) but that day, I needed something. I don’t know if it was because I was sick and tired or just tired….but I couldn’t muster the strength or rationale to explain to myself why I was still going on this journey of federal contracts with no return on my investment. I kept saying, “LaNail, why are you STILL doing this and 3 years have passed and you had 1…just 1 small contract.” I’m getting emotional while I write this too…because I’m still like, “Girl, what are we doing?”
Of course, I’ve made a decision to continue the course, but it’s sad and frustrating, and even a bit humiliating for me. People around me are making the “federal government contracting” thing work. Companies have skyrocketed thus increasing their impact in employment opportunities and services/products to the community. In fact, my BOS said, “I have this one company that had already been established for 2 years, came into the program, and within 3 years went from $150K revenue to $15M revenue.”
WHAT THE F.U.C.K!!!!!
I’m sure she said it to be encouraging, but it just made me feel worse. Like, what am I doing wrong? I did all the things I was told to do: attend the trainings, build out a plan, work the plan, think about a forecast, meet the people, follow up with the people, make this document, share that document, consider a video, yadda…yadda…yadda boo boo kitty. OH PLEASE!!! I did it all. And here I am, with hours, days, weeks, months, YEARS worth of investment and no damn return. And, again, I am generally patient and determined. I'm the one that tells people: “Give it some time”.
“Manifest it…envision it….pursue it.”
“Look for micro progress not macro progress.”
And, “See the lesson and stepping stone in each obstacle.”
But on 10/5/23, I was like: THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!
And, honestly, I can’t say that I'm still not thinking that BUT…I came across this message in my IG search “Your blessing is closer than you think. Keep going! Don’t give up!”
It was the exclamation marks (!) for me. It was as if the message was yelling back at me and matching my energy. I had frustration but it was amped up to recharge my hope, with the same energy!!!
In the picture, you can see what I wrote in my story too…
When the kids were younger, I took them to Sesame Place every year. Their excitement would take up ALL the space and then wane down, interestingly, as we got closer. They would begin to ask, “Are we there yet?”, “When will we be there?”, “Why is it taking so long?” And, as a mom, I wanted to be like, “Chill y’all, we are almost there and it's going to be so much fun….” Or “C’mon and just give me a few more minutes of chill because we are about to rock out and you’re going to have so much fun.” But, as a therapist (they told me they didn’t like when I was a therapist-mom. Ha!) I would ask questions like “You’re excited, huh?,” “You’re getting tired and anxious, huh?” I wanted to teach them emotional vocabulary and emotional expression. And, I wanted to be patient enough because I understood how they felt. They couldn’t read time, didn’t have a concept of distance, and weren't sure if it was going to be worth it. It always was…but they didn’t know.
I feel like them now…Are we almost there?
Truthfully, I don’t know if we are almost there yet…not with this business move…Is it the right decision to invest more? Should I invest less? Should I invest nothing? Can I do something else with my time? Can I do something else with my resources? Can I do something else that’s just….different?
Sure? No? Yes? Who knows.
But I’m writing this post, with all my vulnerability as a Black woman entrepreneur and the first in my family, and I see that I get this shit! I’m tired and disciplined and have all the skills and resources…but I have the frustration and exhaustion too.
And, what I’ve committed to…in all of this…is 1 more year.
I will run on this path for 1 more year. I will give it my best for 1 more year. I will budget out resources, to include time, money, and staff for 1 more year.
And, at the end of that year, I will reassess. I won’t give up unless I have spiritual permission to do so, but I may shift and twist if I have to give it a little more time.
So, what are you pursuing that hasn’t worked out yet? Why haven’t you given up? What keeps you in the game? And, how much more time are you going to give it?
KK. Love you. Smooches. Bye