The transition between childhood and adulthood is a time to face the reality of making your own decisions – decisions that could make or break you.
For me, as a young woman in Uganda, the transition from girl to woman began at university, right from choosing what course to study to the never-ending thoughts and questions of what I wanted to be in the future.
After university, I went through one of the toughest and most confusing times for most young Ugandans – the months between when you are done with school and when you await graduation. You are not a student and neither are you employed, you have no source of income and neither are you getting much support from your parents. There’s only the constant question in your head, WHAT NEXT?
Since then I’ve been involved in a number of campaigns, volunteered with different organizations, held a successful fundraiser and outreach and I’m currently in the process of starting up my own organization whose main focus will be girls and young women. At the moment I own a small beauty supply store that was started online and moved into premises a year later. I’m now on the search for bigger premises, as well as working on another business idea.
The journey has been difficult at times, but I’ve learnt a lot in my transition from girl to young woman so far. Here’s my top advice!
Take the risk.
This is both in business and life in general. Do not listen to that little voice in your head telling you that you can’t make it. It’s not easy to ignore it but once you succumb to it, you’ll always be held back and never realize your full potential.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” (Thomas Jefferson)
Grab every opportunity.
Sometimes we come across opportunities that we think are too big for us or that we don’t deserve. Fill out as many applications, knock on as many doors, visit as many offices, make as many calls as you can. You may not get them all but even one can make a difference, besides – how will you know if you don’t try?
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” (Milton Berle)
The saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day. The most important step is to start and let the small things multiply. Eventually you’ll get there.
“Dream big, start mall, but most of all, start.” (Simon Sinek)
Determination, focus and zeal.
If you are determined, nothing can stand in your way, and if you portray these three qualities in everything that you do people will always be eager to help. There will be bad days, there will be tough times, but each time you fall never tire of standing up.
“Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”
Keep the right company.
It’s not about how many people you keep around you, it’s about what kind of people.
“Surround yourself with people who have dreams, desire and ambition; they’ll help you push for and realize your own”
Learn to let go.
Be it a relationship, friendship, job or business venture that could be tearing you down, hurting you or holding you back, let it go. Not everything is meant to be, it’s a harsh reality that we all have to face at some point in life.
“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change.”
There’s no formula or straight path in life. You may not get what you want when you want it but eventually you do, as long as you don’t stop trying. I may not have it all figured out yet, but I will someday, and so will you!