Jamila Souffrant 0:00
You're listening to the Journey to Launch podcast Identifying your Defining Moments and Using Them as Fuel to Get to Your Goals Plus My Top Defining Moments in My Life.
Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast with your host Jamila Souffrant as a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest, and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey to Launch to financial freedom.
Jamila Souffrant 0:42
Hey, hey, hey, Journeyers. Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast. First, I would like to say if you are actually listening to this when it is released, so I am recording this intro a bit early. But I know that this will be dropped in December actually, right around Christmas. So I'm planning to release this episode, really just a couple days before Christmas, December 23. So holidays are definitely different this year. So whatever it is that you're doing, I hope that you are doing it with someone you love, someone you care about, someone that cares about you. But in this episode, it's a solo episode. And it's actually going to be the first of three solo episodes. So I've recorded solo episodes to take us through through the new year. And this one is going to be all about defining moments. And I wanted to do this because you know, it actually makes sense to release it around this time as we talk about this being the holiday season and right before Christmas. And you know, this is heavy on the gift giving. And I know some people are taking a break from giving gifts this year based on everything that's happened with the pandemic and their finances. But even so you don't have to give physical gifts to give someone something. And I believe that when you look at your life, what you've accomplished, what you've done, the things that have made you who you are today, what has brought you to wherever it is you are listening to this podcast, they are your defining moments, these are gifts to you. These are gifts that if you recognize them as gifts, that you can then use you can open you can accept and use them in your advantage for what's going to happen to you what what you're going to do in the future. And so in this episode, I'm actually going to talk about my defining moments, you get an opportunity to learn more about me, I share a little deeper on some topics that I have not talked about before. And I hope that in defining my moments with you that you sit down and think about all the things that make you who you are. And once you can identify that I think you it really goes a long way to understanding you know why you make the choices you make, why you have the attitude you have in terms of reaching your goals, or not all the things that make you you, so I hope you enjoy this episode.
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Okay, I thought I would do something a little different. In this episode, a solo episode, I'm going to be sharing some defining moments, the building blocks, the fabric that weaves together to basically create the person I am today. And I'm doing this and identifying these moments. And you know, I won't be able to go into detail in all of them. But my goal here is for you to also sit down and think about your defining moments. And the things that have brought you to the point you are today.
Maybe some things you once thought were negative or you did not like about something growing up or an attribute but in retrospect you have a different opinion and or maybe it's not maybe you still just don't like it, whatever it is, but I'm going to share some things and even know how many of the things I actually just like wrote notes and bullet points for each one. But I'm sharing this as a way to show basically, what I believe my defining moments are, I'm probably missing a lot of them. But these are the ones that stood out the most so far, and how they have shaped me today. So if you see me and you admire maybe what I've done with journey to launch, or my finances, or as a person, really, you know, I wasn't born just with all this, I had to grow into this. And I still have a lot of growing to do. So I want you to also reflect on your own defining moments. So that way, you know, you can harness the power with inside of you. Because this is the thing, we can identify the unique abilities, our unique experiences, these things that make us who we are, I think that's when we are able to really surge ahead on this journey. Even the things that are what you may consider negative qualities or knowing what are the things your kryptonite, right, like knowing the things that you can improve upon, or your blocks are important as you navigate this. So hopefully, in sharing my defining moments, and points, using them as a feeling basis of understanding for myself, you can do the same for your own journey.
Okay, so one is my mom. So some of these are like moments. Some of these are just like things in my life, phases in my life. But the biggest thing for me or one of the biggest things is my mom. And she was on the podcast, I'll link that in the episode show notes, quite interviewed her. But every time I remember that my mom had to leave me back behind in Jamaica, eight months old when she was only 20 years old, to come to the United States. And I wasn't reunited with her until months later. Every time I think of that, I am just amazed at the kind of person who was able to do that, at only 20 years old, like her bravery. And her working so hard as a single mom to raise me. And she's been through so much in terms of also how she was brought up, which really impacted how she raised me because she felt she didn't really have a voice and she couldn't express herself. And she was limited in a lot of ways. And so she encouraged me to have a voice. And while other people you know, she's Jamaican. So back up a little bit. My we're Jamaican, my mom was you know, Jamaican, my dad's Jamaican. But my dad didn't really have a part raising me. But I knew him and I knew like my, my father's side of the family. But so she essentially came to United States had to leave behind while she established herself in a new country without anything. And when she was growing up herself, she wasn't like really allowed to have a voice. So she made sure that I did and so people like, you know, in Jamaican culture, or I guess in any maybe Caribbean, or immigrant culture, it's you know, I believe more strict a bit about like how kids are supposed to be. And she said she'd always remember the people, the older people in the family would be like, Jamila is this, you know, she doesn't sit still, she's so rude. And my mom, let me be like, she encouraged me to just be me. And while everyone's was a little concerned about how just out of the box and bold I was, she encouraged it because she never had that. And that's a big part of like, what you see today, why I believe I can take risks, even when I'm scared as hell. I can take risk and I and some people would still call me bold, and but it's really my mom, she inspires me every day of how much she was able to do with so little. So a defining, I guess, moment, or a real big building block in my life is my mom, how she raised me and what she had to do, to put herself in a position to have me thrive. So that's like one.
Two is not having a father raise me. So this is interesting. I call it on my on my note, I have it as fatherless. But not having a father around shaped my mindset a lot. It also contributes a lot to my fear of rejection, you know, my fear of getting too close to people. It also feeds into this ability that I have, like if you know if you know me in real life. If anyone who really knows me in real life, you probably know that I'm very guarded for the most part. And once you're in my life, we pass a test of each other like in terms of just being genuine and there for each other in terms of like friendships in my life. It's forever like I have, I'm the type of person that if I if we're friends and we we we become friends like in high school, middle school or college even like most of those friends, the real close ones I still kind of have around. But it's really easy for me to to walk away from people who I believe are not doing things in the best interest of me. Meaning, if I sense any deceit or betrayal like that's big right and i think that's good. For the most part. It has allowed more to really stay away from toxic people, but I do think I can be a little, you know, prickly when it comes to relationships, right. And I do think that stems from not having my father around. And so I define like having like being fatherless a big defining moment, a thread that creates who I am today. Because one, it did show me, basically, that I needed to be self sufficient that I wasn't gonna depend on anybody, you know, I wasn't gonna depend on any man. And so I went after it, I went after I saw how my, like, my mom, you know, was treated by men in her life, and I did not like it. And I was like, I'm not ever gonna be like that, you know. And so I learned from that, and said that I was going to, you know, choose the partner, if I was going to get married, it was going to be no to a to a man that I could trust and depend on. And I was very, very keen on those qualities. And so being fatherless was really, really important in terms of how I develop the mindset that I have. And while I do think, obviously, I think every little girl, every little boy, everyone I think deserves a father or to have a father in their life. But I think in not having my father and be close to them, and even my stepfather. So I did have a stepfather. And you know, both my father and stepfather have passed that even so I wasn't, you know, growing up, I wasn't that close to my stepfather, either. But even so having like, these relationships with men in my life, or the lack of them, really taught me to be self sufficient. And I really don't think I'd be who I am today, I don't think I would have chosen to partner, my amazing partner that I chose, if it were not for these experiences. And so being fatherless is a major defining moment in my life. That was like number two, number three, exposure and possibilities.
So this is kind of general because I've had so many little moments, or just big moments, but things that shaped my worldview, and how I interact with people. But exposure and possibilities for me include being a gymnast. So I remember my mom again, being who she was, she wanted me even if she couldn't, like, have like, she didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up. But she wanted me to have so much experience, right, she wanted to put me in as many things as she could. So she would spend her last dime, she would travel hours, if it meant for me to like experience a thing. And so one of the things that she put me in was gymnastics as a little girl. And it was pretty cool. So I started gymnastics at the YWCA in Brooklyn, I was pretty young. And you know, like, I never grew to be like, you know, as great as Dominic Dawes, you know, like that level.
But she being a gymnast, she really was important to my formative years, because I spent a few years you know, I can't remember the exact ages. It was probably I think I started like, maybe around five, my mom is probably listening like, no, that's not the age. But I believe, you know, I did gymnastics from like, let's just say five or six to like, was it like 10. And I used to go to summer practice. And I went to, I went to gymnastics summer camp. So that was what I did in the summer. And then I did take a break. And then I started back again in high school. So being a gymnast, like, I think it's the most amazing sport in the world. Because, you know, you see these little, usually like, for me, you know, these little women, these girls actually little girls doing these like amazing tricks, right. So I grew up in watching gymnastics and other gymnast but then I was doing some of these tricks, and was amazed at how I fought through the fear to do like the back handspring or the back bridge, walk over on the beam, you know, and I would go to competitions and have to do this in front of, you know, a lot of people. And again, I wasn't like top notch as a gymnast. But I was pushed to my limit, like so many times that I remember this like as a little girl, like whether it's my physical limit, and not in a bad way. Definitely not in a bad way. But meaning I was scared to do something or even just conditioning, right. Like I was so used to working out and running around and running laps and doing push ups that it definitely fueled my just determination as a person today. And so I say exposure and possibilities. I like being a gymnast, even though that could stand on its own by itself as a defining moment in there. And then along with that, just for me to be able to be exposed to different things. You know, a lot of the times like not too many people like that look like look like me, we're also doing gymnastics or at the meets that I want to. And so all my friends like, you know, when I would go to school, like they would hear that I was a gymnast, like I was like that, you know, while you're a gymnast, like Tell me more about that, because that wasn't something like for them. That was like the norm to do. Being a gymnast, you know, being a black girl gymnast in Brooklyn, you know, in the inner city, but so I was exposed to different types of people very early on, which was really helpful in helping me navigate and being able to be different Different types of settings and environments. You know, I went to a very diverse High School. And I went to a diverse college meaning, you know, I was around, you know, different types of people. So the Goths, right, I will never go into high school and we have like a goth section like where all the golf kids hung out. And you know, there was, you know, white people in my school Spanish, black, all these races, cultures. And even in college, same thing. So I was exposed, and I was able to navigate being around different people, whereas I have some friends who they only went to, like, you know, a school with only black kids. And for them, it was so much harder for them to assimilate, to code switch to environments where there were other people in it. And I find that being able to have been in these environments at a younger age, you know, prepared me for the future. Because oftentimes, we're in rooms as black people as like the one and only or it just, it's just not a lot of us. And unless you learn how to play the game, I think nowadays, which is actually good, I think nowadays, we're able to show up more as ourselves completely without having to change things, which is how it should always be. But unless you really know how to play the game. Unfortunately, sometimes you can fall behind or not get the same opportunities. And I think I learned to do that well, because I was, you know, in different rooms or different places as a little girl growing up in different environments where I could navigate that. So I would say exposure and possibilities like is important. That was like a big defining fabric or moment for me.
Okay, next one, my internship and corporate career. Again, I lump these together because I went to college and in college, I applied to become an Inroads scholar. So Inroads is an organization that helps put minorities into fortune 500 companies as interns, and but they pay you like they pay you good money, at least that's for me at the time. It was very good money comparing to like what I made, and my summer job. And so I applied my first year it was I was a rising how's it sophomore, so I was a freshman in college, I applied my freshman year, summer like year, so that I can get an internship that freshman summer after that. And I got accepted. Actually, I did go on a few interviews with different companies. And I did get rejected from like the first two. And then the last company at the last minute, because I guess they had to place me was like, Okay, we'll take her so I was like, okay, at least I have like, you know, this internship. And I remember it being in the IT department. So my internship was in the IT department, my major was business management, with a specialization in finance. And so I got this Inroads internship. For the first two years, I actually interned in the IT, Department of the company. These were great internships, I'll probably talk about a couple of defining moments from those internships. Maybe in this point, I'll just lump it in. But I remember, I interned with the CTO of the company, and the C CTO, and CIO CIO, the Chief Technology Officer and the Chief Information Officer. Those are like my first two internships, those two summers, and I got some amazing like exposure and experience, let me tell you something. So my that second summer internship, I got to go on the corporate jet with the CEO of the company. And I believe it was the CTO, I always mix them up between the CTO and CIO, but it was the CEO, and two other men, so like the CTO, and then my manager, and me, I was like, What 20 on the corporate jet. I remember the day before this opportunity. They came to me and they were like, oh, we're, you know, we're going to Boston for this meeting and we thought this would be a great opportunity for you would you like to go, you know, we're gonna leave from Teterboro airport. That's where like, all the private jets fly out, would you be interested and like they, my manager asked me so casually. And I'm looking at him, like, would I be interested? Why would I say no, I remember that same evening, I went to H&M. And I bought like a suit. You know, H&M has those, like suits you can buy and they're not that expensive. And I bought like a skirt suit. Because I was like, Oh, my gosh, I'm gonna be on the corporate jet. And they sent a black car to get me the next morning and best believe, picked me up took me to Teterboro in Jersey. And I went on this trip with the CEO, and it was so amazing, there was a red carpet to get on the plane. I remember we're sitting on the plane and the personal attendant on the plane was like, so nice. And even the CEO at the time of the company was just like, you may want to hold on to your glass because you know, these things take off pretty fast because we were about to take off. And I was just like, I can't believe this. And I could do a whole episode on that experience. And it's crazy because you know, I have the worst memory so for me like to remember the like the small details like that means like it really stood out. But at that time, like phones Right. We didn't have Okay, like iPhones back then maybe flip phones were in I think at the time I had a sidekick. Anybody remember the sidekick days? But like I wasn't taking pictures like nowadays, I would think if that happened, I'd be like, Can I please get a picture? So I could remember this, but I never took a picture of that, like that whole experience. But I got to experience that as an intern, as you know, and it was like me, this little black girl and these three, like older men, these white men, powerful men, and like we're walking into so we went there to visit a company we were acquiring. And the so the CEO was having meetings with this company and their their employees. And here I am sitting at this table, people are probably wondering, like, Who is this girl? Like? How is she here?
And so for me, right, Like that whole experience, my whole intern ship experience was amazing, because I got exposed to things like that. And let me tell you something. So those first two years were in IT. And I knew I did not want to eventually work in it full time, I wanted to be where the money was, I wanted to be in investments. And the investments department, though, was in another state. So I interned for the company in New York office, but the investments department was in New Jersey, and remember going to my Inroads manager at the time, so like inroads into the organization, they had an outside person like coordinating, who coordinated the internships, I went to that person, I was like, I don't want to stay in it. And I know if I stay here another year, they're going to offer me a full time position in IT. And I was like, I want to intern in the investment department. And they were like, Well, you know, the investments department, it's like, you know, in another state, you technically would have to change from like the New York Inroads people to New Jersey Inroads people. And then plus, you know, it is like an hour away. I might have just gotten a car. Yeah, I think I had a car at that time. But they were like, you know, I don't know, like, they were trying to tell me that I couldn't do it. And I said, Oh, no, no, no, I'm gonna do this. And so I called I made the necessary meetings that I had to, I drove to New Jersey to that office, where the investments department was met with that Inroads coordinator, who worked at the company told her what I wanted to do, she even at first was like, Well, I don't know, like, you know, you're really supposed to stay in your like, lane, stay in IT, because that's who you intern with for the last couple years. Now they know. So with that, I eventually did get my third internship in real estate. So I interned in the real estate investment department, my third internship, so this was from the summer of me, going into my senior year. And then good thing Inroads at that time, like if you were interning all that time for a company, and they had it in their budget, they would typically offer you a full time position. And so I was offered a full time position, right before I left for my senior year in college. So I knew at that point, like I'd have a full time job if I accepted it. And so that was like an amazing experience, obviously, because my senior year I wasn't really worried about, like interviewing or getting a job because I knew I had one, the whole experience and even my corporate career, because this is the same company now that I interned to it that I actually stayed with, I graduated and then started to work for, and it's the same company that I left, you know, when I started to work for journey's launch full time. But really, you know, ultimately, during the time that I was with this company, like it was a great experience, I learned so much about myself, about climbing the ladder about being strategic, and, you know, meeting the right people, you know, ultimately, I did get my master's in real estate from NYU. And they paid for, like 90% of it. And so it was great. And that's obviously where I also had my crazy commute. So that's where the three to four hour driving commute developed. And but from that driving commute, that's how I found financial independence. And what prompted me to start Journey to Launch. So definitely my whole internship and corporate career, many, many defining moments, but a big part of who I am today.
The next one is actually very interesting. I was in a car accident, and I actually don't remember this because I was only about five or six years old. And my mom had to remind me, because it was something where it was really serious, like almost like passed away, almost died. And we were like driving, I was in the backseat, and it was with my mom and her friend. And she I didn't have a seatbelt on like at that time seatbelts weren't mandatory. We got hit by a car. And like the car that we were in, spun around, and I basically was since I wasn't wearing anything, I luckily I wasn't ejected from the car, but like I did, sustained massive like head injuries. And when my mom came to, she said that she didn't know if I was alive or not. She didn't have cell phone at the time. Like there were no cell phones. So she had to like people saw it so they call like the ambulance and cops but she didn't know what to do. She was panicking. She didn't know if I was alive. Now, you know, eventually, obviously, I am alive, thank God. But she said, like, that was like literally like she almost lost me. And while I don't like I remember parts of that day, like I don't like have a vivid memory about it. But for me to have like a near death experience, she always says like, I've always been, like so determined, you know, as a little girl, and so she doesn't have like any, any hesitation that I had a determination that I was like, kind of live that day. And I do still have like a scar on my forehead or other side of my forehead from that car accident. But I believe that having like a near death experience like that has to shape you in some way, even if I don't like remember the details of it. So that is definitely a defining moment.
Okay, the next few defining moments that I'm using as fuel that I'm using as things that when I reflect back, I'm saying to myself, wow, they happen for a reason. What did you learn? What are you using for you now going forward? So the next one would be meeting Earl grave senior. So Earl Graves Sr, is the founder of black enterprise, he passed away. But at the time, I was in college, and I had a magazine. So my best friend Shaleia and I, we started a magazine in college. And we thought we were going to be like the next big magazine like Ebony, you know, Honey magazine back in the day was a magazine that was around, but we called our magazine Empress magazine. And so it was going to be for the young, black woman, young, multicultural woman. And it was going to be fashion, Business, Finance, basically just like an all around entertainment, but also educational magazine. We started in college, we had no connection. So we started like just making pamphlets. We had a website, we started making blog. So we were like really serious about this, because I was like, maybe this is the thing, right? Like, I thought this was gonna be my like way out of having to actually like work forever. Because even in college, I had thoughts of wanting to be an entrepreneur. So I knew about black enterprise, the magazine, but when I learned about Earl Graves sr, and his story, so he, Earl Graves also grew up in Brooklyn. So I grew up in Brooklyn, he, he went to a school in Brooklyn, a high school in Brooklyn.
And he started and created this successful magazine. And I remember saying to myself, Oh, my gosh, we're just alike. So I wrote a letter to Earl Graves Sr black enterprise. And I wish I hadn't made a copy of this letter. I don't have it because I sent it to him. But I sent him this letter. And it just introduced myself. I was like, you know, I love what you done with your life, what you've done, like to create a legacy. Here's what I'm doing, you know, I'm starting this magazine, or I have this magazine. And basically, I just wrote this letter to him and saying, you know, I just love it opportunities to meet you to learn. And he responded. Now, again, my memory is like, so shot like, I don't remember if he like it was an email, or if it was a letter that he sent back. This was in college. So this was like years ago, like 14 years ago. But he responded. So what I do remember, is meeting him. So I remember I said he sent me to his secretary. And I met him made a meeting with the Secretary and went to the city that day to meet Earl Graves senior at Black Enterprise, at their home office at the place where the company was run from in the city. And it was, so again, one of those moments where you're just like, what else is possible in this world? Right? Like, here I am, you think you have the magazine was going to be my thing and meeting this man who has created this, like, at the time, this empire, this amazing publication for black people about just money in business. And so when I met him, one of the things that stood out to me that he said was, you know, I get a lot of letters, and I can imagine he did really get a lot of letters of people inquiring to meet him. And he was like, I rarely respond to all of them, because I can't or any of them, but something about your letter stood out. And I know you're going to be successful in whatever you do. Because I don't typically respond to letters. And I remember thinking, oh, wow, you know, like, whatever I did, whatever I said, granted me this meaning and, you know, nothing really came from it. Like I was hoping he'd be like, yeah, like come aboard will invest in your magazine. That didn't happen, which was okay. But meeting him gave me confirmation in real life, what was possible, and that all you have to do is just have the guts to put yourself out there. Like if I never sent this letter, if I never thought that I was worthy of a reply from him, I would have never maybe drafted a letter. And so I again, this boldness in me to kind of think of certain things to do and to reach out or to just have this confidence is built upon even like the previous defining moment, I've explained. But again, these are just confirmations for me of like wow, Jamila, you like you're on the right path, and this I was again, I was in college at the time, I think I was like a sophomore or junior. And so I felt just I felt really good about what my life would be because I figured I'm having all these amazing experiences at this point, like what else is out there for me. So I've always been optimistic in that way. So meeting our group senior, so wasn't amazing experience, because it just showed me what was possible for myself.
The next defining moment, real estate. So I'm gonna definitely I keep saying this, but I will do a separate episode all about my real estate experience buying property at 22 years old, in Dumbo, Brooklyn. So I'm not going to go into too much detail. But to be able to do that with the help of my mom, and just just the foresight at the time, and having things really line up the stars line up for for me to be able to do that has been an amazing experience, it's been my most risky and rewarding investment to date in my life. And I still own that property, but being able to buy that condo at 22 years old, or to go into contract for it, and then live there for a bit. You know, I enjoyed my kind of like, young 20s there, I thought I was living the life in this really nice apartment, this luxury apartment. And so I really enjoyed myself, but I still own it and rent it out. But that whole experience has again showed me because there's not too many people who look like me who own in Dumbo. And at the moment when I bought it like they weren't also any people as young as me who were in the building. So it again, show me what's possible. All right, I want to go to just a couple more defining moments, I hope that you are thinking about your own defining moments, what has fueled you to this point, and I can bet you, you can probably find a common theme in things.
I'm even as I'm talking to you guys realizing a common theme that I'm picking up in my defining moments that I need to make sure I harness and continue as I travel on my path. But the next one was partnership. So I did talk about or touched upon this when I talked about my father. But choosing the right partner for me has been huge. And what I mean by that is so my husband like we were college sweethearts, we dated we met and dated in college. And even though we he's from Brooklyn, I'm from Brooklyn, we didn't meet until our freshman year. For me the biggest thing about like dating, like I dated other people, but I was always so sure about what I was not willing to compromise on when it came to someone who was going to be serious with, like I needed, I didn't want anyone, like my father in terms of I needed someone who was dependable, right, so not the person that said, I'm gonna call you for your birthday, and you don't hear from them, or just disappears on you. So for me, having someone picking someone with integrity that I knew, like, worst case, even if we, like, you know, I think so far ahead. I'm like, well, even if I have kids with this person, and it doesn't work out, how will What kind of man will he be to my kids kind of thing. And I knew even just like, in the beginning stages of meeting my husband, when we were just dating, that he was like a solid stand up guy. We had a little breaks, you know, in college and a little bit after but we we've we've been together ever since. But for the most part. And so now we're married, with three kids, building a life together. And I can't tell you how important it is for my journey that we partner together. Because he's he we are alike in so many ways, but also totally opposite. He cares a lot about like me and Journey to Launch but he also doesn't care about Journey to Launch. You know, like, he's not an entrepreneurship business. Like he doesn't want his own business. Not that I know of not yet at least he's he's a teacher. for him. Like he doesn't really care. Like, it doesn't matter if I get featured on Oprah or not like he'll be proud of me. Either way, it doesn't matter if no one listens to the podcast, or a million people listen, he's like, Oh, that's cool. Like, he's so unassuming and laid back that sometimes I'm just like, Hello, like, Are you excited, but like, it's such a good measure of stability in my life, because he's so supportive. Like the reason why I you know, I was able to quit my job the reason why I'm able to work as hard as I do with Journey to Launch, and I'm able to go for my runs. And you know, I still have time for my what I like and my friends and like it's because he's he's such a like equal partner in the household with the kids. So choosing a partner for me like the right one has been like, really a big catalyst in my success in me developing as like a woman. That was major, obviously. So partnership, choosing the right partner, really important.
And then of course, just a couple more and then I'm going to be done: fails. Not everything I do succeeds guys. Even now with Journey to Launch You know, there are things that like I think are gonna happen, they don't happen things I get rejected for opportunities that I that I'm just like, that would be so nice if I could do it and they're just like, nope, we're not really interested in you. Or maybe, you know, just when I'm launching things like any, like products or cause selling is a big part of entrepreneurship, right. Is that like, no, that didn't go well, no one bought that or it didn't, you know, wasn't like a big success, but also my other like stuff that I did. So my online magazine Empress, I talked about that a little bit before I started that magazine, and then realized after a couple years that we were not happy doing it. So Shaleia, my business partner, and I decided to end it, which was bittersweet, because we thought that that was going to be our thing. But it wasn't we lost interest in it also became a real estate, I have my real estate license. So while I worked in corporate real estate investments, and management, I thought maybe I should actually sell and like rent out like real estate residential real estate. Since I love real estate so much tried that didn't like it didn't work. I also had a vending machine business, which deserves its own episode, spent a lot of money to invest and buy vending machines, had them for a couple years that didn't work. And so I failed, in endeavors that I've had, which causes me to be really cautious because sometimes when I go in, and I have a thought, I'm like, oh, going all in. Sometimes I'll rush to do something before I can change my mind. And sometimes I lose interest. So my, one of my biggest fears with Journey to Launch was, well, what if I like I'm so excited about it now. But what if I don't feel like this in a couple years, right? Like, because I know that I have like I have started it and stopped before. But then realizing that you know what, everything that you started and stopped, was a building block to lead you right here. And if for whatever reason you stop or choose to go in another direction with Journey to Launch, it's going to be the thing that leads you to your next thing, the thing that you were meant to do. So I'm sharing those, like those failures or things that did not work out, have been really crucial on the lessons I've learned from those things in my life.
Okay, two more things. And then I'm done, then I'm done. I promise. So children, having children, oh, my goodness, I firmly believe that you like most you really don't know what it's really like to have kids because then you you may not have them. No, I'm just No, I'm kidding. But I'm not like becoming a mom, I can't describe the way it changes you how it's changed me. Because my kids, I'll speak for myself, my kids are my biggest Why, I don't think if I did that, like if I didn't have like, my kids, I don't know that I would have been so motivated to leave my job corporate America, like I probably could have balanced, you know, like running a business on the side. And working full time because I would have had presumably more time. But so while they are the reason I think my fuel, my why the reason why I go, you know so hard now is because like they're my legacy, I want to, I want to lead by example with them. They also are almost like, you know, the thing that you have to also like, figure out how to like, have, for me, at least on my journey, like how to still be Jamila, like so a lot of times, like, when you become a mom, especially, you know, let's talk about like, we're still in a pandemic, so many things have changed even and have been putting more pressure on us as parents. So for me, navigating that, as someone who is usually you know, before kids very independent needs, my own space needs my own time. And like that is not necessarily that does not default, as a parent, like these little kids need your time. My kids are like obsessed with me as they should be like, I'm obsessed with them. So there is no space, you know, and so I have to create that space for myself, which in the beginning, I felt so bad about. But I'm slowly I'm able to do more of that now, as I realized that I can't be my best Jamila my best mom, my best, you know, everything in life without being good to me first. So it's something I'm still working on. But having children Oh, my goodness, they change you forever. And so I'm grateful for my kids, because without them, I don't think I'd be on this mic talking to you. They may have not ever been the Journey to Launch without my kids. So defining moment. And every day, I'm learning something about myself through the way I react to them, through the way I love them through, through everything. So kids are really a reflection of you. And big defining moment is being a mom for me.
Okay, last thing is Journey to Launch and entrepreneurship. Like nothing will challenge you other than kids than trying to start your own business, running your own business. because let me tell you, my fellow entrepreneurs listening, you probably already know this, but to put yourself out there, to put your work out there, to try to sell anything. So whether I'm selling to you as like my audience or to a brand who wants to work with me, like you still have to have something valuable that you're giving people that they want to come to right and so there's this beautiful and sometimes chaotic dance between, you know, creating amazing content and things that people need and want and giving to your community and to whoever you know, your audience is your customers are and then also the running a business. So as a business owner, you're like running a gazillion hats. Like, it's not just creating the content. But now you're the bookkeeper, you're the marketer, you know, they're all these things you're doing. And so starting Journey to Launch like this, again, my other like, things that I tried before, this has been the longest thing that I've stuck with that I poured energy money into, you know, I quit my job to do this. It's been a big, big leap to do this. And it's definitely a defining moment of who I am. But I'll tell you this, all the other moments I talked about, gave me the fuel, to start Journey to Launch, every single thing. And so my defining moments, all of them really are building blocks up until the ultimate one, there's not one that like, by itself is not impacted by another, everything weaves itself together. And you know, I talked about finding a common thread, and I challenge you to sit down and think about the defining moments and the fuel and the threads in your life, and to find commonalities between them. Because for me, what I'm realizing even as I was talking was one of the biggest thing that has allowed me to have these moments to get through them, to be better, or try to be better as a person, because of them is like, I feel like I'm very daring, Daring Greatly, you know, as Brene Brown would say, even when I'm scared, even when I don't know what I'm doing. I just believe that I'm worthy of it. And doesn't mean like, I'm completely confident all the time. I'm not. But this confidence that I have is definitely something I see that was developed over time, and each of my defining moments that lead to me or led me to the next moment, and I just wanted to share that with you.
So if you enjoyed this episode, let me know. I told you, I was gonna do more solo episodes. So I am doing more solo episodes, for sure in 2021. And I hope you enjoyed this one. Again, the point of this was for you also to think about your defining moments, to find the common thread to find maybe where your blind spots are, what you've learned from some of those moments and how you use those learning opportunities to push you forward. And once you connect the dots, once you have a kind of, you know, a perspective, then everything else starts to make sense as you move forward on your path.
Okay, journeyers I hope you enjoyed that episode. Once again, if you're listening to this around the time, it comes out on Christmas around Christmas, Happy Holidays. This is again, a tough time but also a wrap up of a crazy, exciting, challenging all the adjectives you can think of kind of year. And I hope that by talking to my defining moments, you will sit and reflect on your defining moments. So what makes you you all right now remember, if you're actually listening to this, when this comes out, I'd love for you to take a screenshot I always love seeing that. And wishing you a happy holidays and share that with me on social media. I hang out mostly on Instagram @journeytolaunch.
Okay, now it's time for DCU money Tip of the Week, we are going to continue with helping our children save and become good with money. So piggy banks still work at a young age, you can even identify the concept of interest, you might add a certain percentage to their savings each week and let them hold the coins and add them themselves into their piggy bank. Also, many children by age five are ready for an allowance. Experts recommend that you make the amount and the time you give the allowance consistent, discuss responsible uses for their allowance including saving for things they want, and let them use their money as they wish but within family guidelines. For more tips and information check out dcu.org
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