Don't Hate on Humble Beginnings
Updated: Jun 16
In the age of overnight success and "30 Millionaires Under 30" listicles, we can sometimes find ourselves feeling as if we're being left in the dust as we run this race called life.
We compare our progress to our peers and assume that because we're not at their level, we must be failing.
Worse yet: we delude ourselves into thinking that because we can't come up with a perfectly finished product at the snap of our fingers, it's not even worth it to begin.
If I may, I would like a moment of your time to free you from this lie.
There is a scripture in Zechariah 4:10 that says, in part, "Do not despise these small beginnings," or as I like to say, "Don't hate on humble beginnings." While the author was referring to building a temple, it is my belief that this also applies to building a life that honors our calling, goals, and dreams.
Too often, overexposure to social media success stories and get-rich-quick gurus will make us think that if our success is anything short of overnight, then it must not be on the way. In reality, slow, steady, and consistent growth is far more sustainable than a sudden spurt. In taking as much time as you need in order to gain knowledge, hone your craft, and get messy along the way, you learn valuable lessons and build unshakable confidence that will be the bedrock upon which your empire is built.
My brother Justin (better known to many as CoolBlaze) is an amazing example of this. One thing about my brother is that he was NEVER meant to go the conventional route of the 40-hour workweek. From selling candy to homemade t-shirts, he's always had an entrepreneurial/creative streak. Along the journey of life, this lead him into DJing. During the pandemic lockdown, he made the pivot to music production and he's been off and running since.
These days, he's traveling all over the world DJing events and his original songs can be heard at any time in the Caribbean (particularly our ancestral land of Jamaica). As of September 2022, his Spotify stats boast 2.4 million streams and his music popped up on 718 charts. And yes, just as in high school I have random strangers on the street running up to me excited to meet "Blaze's sister."
Now... none of this would have happened if he would have scoffed at DJing that wedding or didn't sit down at his computer for nights at a time figuring out how to properly work a mixing board. Before he could have thousands of people singing and wining to "Bumper Murder" he first had to get people on the dance floor at the middle school prom. He had to accept the less glamorous gigs before he could take on the sold-out Carnival fetes. With this same mentality, it's only a matter of time before he's giving his Grammy acceptance speech.
The rest of us are not exempt from this principle. Before you can become that New York Times' best-selling author, you must first write that short story and post it to Wattpad. Before you can get that Oscar nod, you've got to try out for that part in the community theater play. Before you land that hit cooking show on The Food Network, you must first roast a chicken for Sunday dinner.
The execution of every single big dream starts off with steady, modest actions coupled with calculated risk. So, find out the single step you must take to push your dream forward, then the next, then the next. Pretty soon, you'll look back and realize: you managed to scale the whole mountain.
Don't hate on humble beginnings. Embrace them.