Someone once told me that I would be a "Mother of Nations". The title both humbled me and terrified me at the same time. I am a nurturer by nature. I love to love. I love to mother. I love to encourage. I love to uplift. I do them effortlessly because these are things that come as second nature to me. But when the person made that lofty proclamation, it took something I do naturally and added weight to it. If I was called a mother. I'd be cool with that. But "of nations"?...that's where the terror came in. Because anything…even the things we do well become scary when we add scale.
Let me say that again: Everything becomes scary when you add scale. The fear is not tied to your skills or your creativity. It's not tied to your walk of life or background. Fear is tied to scale-- the size of something. Growth. There's that word again. I've mentioned it in other blog posts.
You could have the gift to sing and enjoy singing to the small crowd that forms at family gatherings but as soon as your gift begins to give you access to scale, nerves are more likely to set in. I am the mother of 4 and as such, I found it easy to speak into the lives of those 4 humans. When I began to be asked to speak into the lives of hundreds, uneasiness set in. You may start your business with a couple customers. You're excited and nervous. If you examine the root of the nervousness, you may find that it's not as much about the now as it is the later….the thoughts of growing, the very thing you're hoping for, are exhilarating and nerve wracking at the same time.
Scale creates more responsibility and more responsibility adds pressure. And pressure adds weight. But we cannot let the fear of size stop us from expanding. We owe it to ourselves to see how big we have the capacity to become; how big we were created to be. Not just as businesses or brands but as people. Yes, we must not run from, but instead, run to Scale. Yet, we cannot achieve scale without another S-word….Support. No one can maximize their potential without the help of others. No one becomes their fully realized self without support. I am so grateful for the support of my family, friends and loved ones. I could've never embarked upon the journey of entrepreneurship without their support. From encouraging words to the utilization of their gifts to the investment of their time and money, they have been in my corner every step of the way. I know everyone may not have a family upon which they can depend. But you may have a friend, an encouraging co-worker or church family…do not overlook the people God has sent in your life just because they don't fit the profile you set up in your mind. Don't reject the people God sent to uplift you, give you words of wisdom or even challenge you when you are underestimating yourself or thinking too small.
Proverbs 15:31 states, "The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise." So those in our lives who give us constructive feedback (not to be confused with jealous tear-downs) should be seen as blessings because they are being used to make us wise.
I would not be who I am without the support of some pretty amazing people and my business would not exist without the support of some fantastic supporters. They help pour the foundation upon which I must then build. The bigger the foundation, the bigger the house. This is why it's important that we support black business. Even if someone does not have the family support, the friends or loved ones, they have the support of the community. They have the encouragement in the form of likes and testimonies. They have the constructive feedback in the form of reviews. Community support is the great equalizer .It ensures that those who may not have a personal network still get to pour a foundation that helps them build big.
So, always remember that you did not get to where you are without others and you will not get to where you want to be without others. Be thankful for whoever happens to be among your supporters and pay it forward by supporting someone else.