A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker for the NC4SGA Conference in Durham, NC. It was incredible and everything that I had hoped for! After the speech, I had an opportunity to speak with both SGA leaders and advisors and one of the questions that I was repeatedly asked about was one of the subjects within my speech.
The subject was the question, “Are you a sell out?” In the speech, I talked about being a sell out for your student organization. But in reality we all sell out to something. However, for many of us we are a sell out for the wrong things. Now don’t get me wrong, I know we all have our quirks and vices but what I’m talking about is selling out to the idea that we can’t achieve our dreams.
The ironic thing about being the keynote speaker was that I had to sell out in order to get the opportunity to be the keynote speaker. Let me explain. Two years ago, I made one of the toughest decisions of my life and that was to leave the security of my job and pursue my dream of becoming a professional speaker. Having no real connections in North Carolina, it was both scary and exciting. It was scary because I knew this country was in the middle of a recession and most people would have killed for the opportunity to have a job. On the other hand, it was exciting because after years of contemplating, I was finally going to go after what I was born to do.
They say the road to success is littered with booby traps and potholes. Well, definitely setbacks, disappointments, and failures. To make a long story short, in my frustration with not being able to connect with student activity coordinators, student leaders, SGA advisers, and other decision makers, I decided to get in my car on a hot summer day and visit as many colleges as possible between Greenville, NC and Asheville, NC. This journey lasted for a week and I had an opportunity to meet a lot of great people along the way. Interestingly, I did not get one single call from a student activity coordinator. However, I was given an opportunity to present a workshop for an organization called NC4SGA. That one opportunity has lead to many opportunities to give keynotes within and outside of the state.
I bring up this story to share this simple point. In order for any of us to live our dreams we must be willing to do the things that others are not willing to do. We must be willing to sell out completely. In order words, we must be willing to take risk, try the unconventional, and not take no for an answer.
So the question of the day is: Are you a sell out? Or are you just sold on an idea? Life will not give you what you deserve. Nor life will not give you what you desire. Life will only give you what you demand! If you ever truly want to live your dreams, you have to demand it every day!
Tawan Perry is the creator of the comprehensive Connect-5 College Completion Program. As a college speaker and as both a former student leader and college administrator, Tawan uses the Connect-5 College Completion program to help guide students step by step from college prep to cap and gown.