Are you a Hidden Figure?
Be forewarned, this Divas blog is a bit personal and out of the norm. I hope you hang in there and read through out, things get juicy near the middle and help comes at the end!
After having to face a few entrepreneurial hurdles over the last few weeks, I feel the urge to share my current thoughts on Divas and their dreams, share some personal experience and provide a few tips on how to avoid being a "hidden figure".
As many of you know, I offer complimentary Dream Sessions to allow Divas the opportunity to verbalize their goals, aspirations and dreams as related to Real Estate. These consultations increase dramatically prior to the start of each session of the 90 Day Buyer Readiness Program or the opening of my calendar for Private Coaching.
I have the opportunity to listen to Divas share their real estate ownership and investing dreams and their career and entrepreneurial aspirations. The creativity of Divas is mind blowing and their passion is exhilarating. However, it is also daunting to hear the fear and uncertainty in their voice when I ask when they want to get started achieving their goal. I can almost hear them crawling back into a dark cave when I pose that question.
Let me share a recent experience that forced me to finally realize why I hid from pursuing one of my first career goals and how this dramatically changes how I assist Divas pursue theirs.
In January of this year I had the pleasure of taking both my mom and my three little ladies to see the movie, Hidden Figures. As I sat in the theater and watched the movie, I had this overwhelming sense of pride all while feeling a rise of anger. How could this be the first time, I had ever heard of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughn and all of the other extraordinary “human computers’? How did my textbooks from elementary school through college never once reference these women; women that helped change the course of history, women that were brilliant, bold, trailblazers and to add cream on top they were black, just like me!
Stay with me Divas as I go back to 1993.
As a freshman entering into Bennett College, my first major declaration was Computer Science. I was so excited to begin college and this would appear to be a perfect fit. I had spent my middle and high school years loving and excelling in both Math and Science, was an active member of GAMSEC (Greensboro Area Mathematics and Science Education) and had the privilege of attending NASA Space Camp. Most importantly, my daddy said I could make a lot of money in coding, one day move to Silicone Valley and becoming rich. If for no other reason, the later sealed the deal. Computer Science was going to be my major.
SN: I am a daddy's girl!
There were a few little problems however with this narrative.
Bennett College, a private all girls HBCU, had limited resources and the professors that would be facilitating the program only were proficient in Pascal not COBOL. In fact, once I entered in my core classes, I would have to attend the nearby NCA & T for most of my classes. Seemed quite odd, to pay private school tuition to attend a public university for at least half of my curriculum.
The other issue, was I never could put a face with computer science, other than little white men with glasses in white jackets and pocket protectors. I know, I know, that seems very stereotypical but heck it was my truth at the time. I could not see myself as a Computer Scientist even though I knew I was quite capable of learning and doing the work. I didn't decide to dream bigger and beyond what I could visualize at the moment.
So, guess what? After a very short evaluation, I changed my major!
Now, let’s come back to 2017 and bring home the entitled point.
While, I viewed, Taraji Hinson’s portrayal of Mrs. Katherine Johnson, I found myself becoming more and more frustrated both at those that hid the extraordinary achievements of these women and at myself.
Why had I not had the privilege of knowing these women and their impact to the world of science, and math?
Maybe, my participation in the GAMSEC Program would have had more meaning.
Maybe, my visit to Space camp would have been more impactful. Be forewarned, this isn’t a typical Divas Doing Real Estate blog post.
Maybe had I known of these "hidden figures" as well as so many others, I wouldn’t feel as though black woman are “playing catch up” in so many areas of life. Especially, when slowly the world is learning that Black women have been rocking the hell out of so many facets of life for years and simply not given their credit.
Ironically in September, I was able to meet the author of Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shutterly at a local book signing. I thanked her for researching and writing the story and told her how impactful it was for my girls to witness as they are heavily involved in STEM programs. Her book and ultimately the movie, placed a face on Math and Science for my daughters. It also gave them a piece of history that shows them that their desires in these fields are not unchartered water. They were given confirmation that they can pursue and excel at anything they put their mind and action toward.
The question I pose to you, “Are you a Hidden Figure?” Are you desiring to do or currently doing something amazing, life changing, lifesaving even, that needs to be shared with the world?
In the case of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughn, they were “hidden by others”. However many of the DIVAS I speak with are "hiding" by choice.
If for no other reason be inspired to share your expertise, knowledge, experience or story for the sole purpose of helping a DIVA find her way. You standing tall and strong in your purpose or passion can change the course of someone else's life. Or think about the little DIVA watching you? I have three sets of eyes on me so this has become my driving force to fulfill my passion in helping others.
I did not pursue my first passion of becoming a Computer Scientist and working my "black girl math magic" but I certainly have learned how to calculate and keep all my figures straight.
More importantly, I found a new passion in Real Estate! I was able to create Divas Doing Real Estate as my way of not hiding from the people that can most benefit from me sharing my experiences and expertise; women of color that desire to build their financial freedom, wealth and legacy through Real Estate.
Here is my 7-step process for DIVAS to walk in their purpose, live in their dreams and to no longer be a “Hidden Figure”:
Design Your Pathway
Take Intentional Action
Purposely Remain Focused
Don’t Do It Alone… Have an AP (Accountability Partner, that’s me! )
Schedule a Dream Session with me to discover more about each step and how you can become the DIVA you were purposely designed and destined to become!
No more hiding, the world is waiting for you!