I dropped out of college a few years before starting I Am Young Detroit in 2009. I left school early to move back to Detroit and join the workforce. I just couldn’t with school anymore. I loved design and enjoyed learning, but wasn’t feeling the traditional classroom setting that college offered. I was a mover and was always in need of motion, anything other than sitting down at a desk drowning in monotony. I admired my friends who thrived in college, but it just wasn’t for me. I hated the routine.
I knew things would be tougher out in the real world, but I went for it anyway. I pictured Christina Applegate’s precocious young Sue Ellen character living her best life pretending to be an adult in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. I knew a career as a graphic designer wouldn’t be nearly as adventurous, but figured I’d have the opportunity to design my own lifestyle eventually.
A few years shy of my dual-degree in graphic design and journalism, I left college behind and landed my first design job at a local newspaper. I had this idea that working in the real world would be completely different and maybe a little glamorous too: The Devil Wears Prada meets Kell on Earth with a hint of Harlem Heights (there was no shortage of glam-career reality shows and movies around that time).
But glamorous it was not. There were no tough-as-nails, yet ridiculously stylish boss antagonists there to give me a hard time, then later take me under her wing after I proved myself worthy. (Didn’t Meryl Streep give you life in The Devil Wears Prada though?) There were only regular antagonists and the biggest of all was me.
Reality set in and I found myself again loving the work, but loathing the regularly scheduled program. I worked with some amazing, talented people over the years, but took a mental note of how much they hated their jobs too. I began to feel completely stifled by each grown-up job that came my way, always itching for something new and exciting…only to be disappointed again and again. I realized the only thing I was lacking wasn’t a more exciting job, the next title or big promotion…it was PASSION!
I always believed that passion was what you were really good at, a word synonymous with talent. I thought it was the thing that people asked you to do for free, because you seem to do it well and so effortlessly. I’d always been really good at design and went through middle and high school knowing that I would eventually become a web designer. My websites and print layouts were almost always on fleek, but I just did not look forward to working on them.
I know you’re waiting for the point here and I’m right on top of that Rose! But I wanted you to have a clear picture of my early journey, because stories like mine are the ones that I hear most often from people who write in each week: young people who are looking to break free from the old formula and find their own “thing” so that they can really begin to live fully.
I began longing for a way to breakout from my 9 to 5 (any entrepreneur who has worked a traditional job knows that feeling). It wasn’t until I started exploring my own city and meeting other young people who shared their experiences of finding their entrepreneurial passion, that I began to fully realize my own.
My aha moment was when I realized that I feel most at home and have the most fun when I’m working on my own ventures, like I Am Young America. I discovered that’s what I needed to be doing, focusing on my true passion! Which brings me here.
Through I Am Young America, I want to help other young people realize their entrepreneurial passions and make them a reality. So if you’re where I was, you don’t have to be stuck in your rut anymore. I got your back!
From here on out, our team is bringing you the most inspiring entrepreneur stories, lessons, tools, and adventures to help you find your passions and turn them into a full-fledged businesses.
You can start right now by reading our free eBook “The Young American Guide To Finding Your Entrepreneurial Passion”. Soon we’ll also be launching our Fellowship Program where participants will take advantage of mentor-led workshops, work on the development of web apps, document their own and other entrepreneur’s experiences, and collaborate on a grand finale project.
If you’re in the early stages of your business, I encourage you to become a member of I Am Young America. We offer the PR, Creative and Coaching Services you’ll need to take your business to the next level without breaking your bank, along with other discounted business tools from our partners.
I hope to meet you back here regularly to share your stories, share a few of my own, and connect through our experiences. Let’s start right now. Write a comment below or send a tweet to @IAmYoungAmerica and let us know how you’ve discovered your entrepreneurial passion and if you haven’t yet, which steps from our free eBook do you plan on using to help you find it?
Until next time!