Hey Ambitious One--Stay in Your Lane!

Hey Ambitious One--Stay in Your Lane!
The hate has got to stop.

By Zondra Hughes

The aftermath of the recession has resulted in the Wild, Wild, West of self-reinvention, self-employment, and self-promotion, three things that can go horribly wrong with the lack of self-reflection.

Some folks are just in the new game of entrepreneurship for the money, and they will do whatever steal whatever and promote themselves as whatever to get their hands on some dead presidents.

These folks are the poster children of blind ambition.

Those with blind ambition are all over the place, some with three or four different titles and matching business cards to pass themselves off as the Johnny-on-the-spot for whatever opportunity may arise. They lie in wait for a good idea to come along and then they pounce on it and claim it as their own. Never mind that the good idea has nothing to do with their personal or professional experience, because, what the hell? If someone else’s idea made money, then it should make money for them, too, right?

Here’s blind ambition: Let’s suppose Suzy bought a pair of shoes once, so now she considers herself a certified personal shopper. Suzy makes a mean lemonade pound cake, so now she also considers herself a personal pastry chef.

Meanwhile, Suzy’s colleague April has been running a women’s group for the past ten years. Suzy heard that April was having a women’s retreat, so Suzy invented the Cake Walk retreat, where she identifies shoes and desserts to match every woman’s personality.

Never mind that Suzy’s event is poorly planned, poorly executed and poorly attended, undaunted, Suzy is already dusting herself off and headed to yet another event for no good reason other than money.

To those candles in the wind, those snake oil salesmen, those uncertified, unskilled, unauthentic and unreliable self-described gurus who are out to make a fast buck, I have four words for you: Stay. In. Your. Lane.

These days, too many folks are driving all over the road, dipping into this career or that one, without fully understanding their life’s mission and how they can cultivate their own talents in a way that makes sense to them and in a way that enriches the lives of others.

So, what’s the difference between a successful reinvention and a crappy one? A successful reinvention has some connection to something the person has already done in her life or something the person studies and invests in.

For example, Stacy, a former fashion photographer, now designs colorful sets for furniture shoots.

It’s evident how one chapter in her life (fashion photography) seamlessly segues into another one, (set design for home fashions). After enjoying success, Stacy launches a vibrant decorative pillow line; pens a photo book about pillows for the home; and is a featured speaker at the interior design expo.

In this example, Stacy has taken one aspect of her life (fashion photography) and opened new streams of revenue. There’s a connection between the old Stacy (fashion photographer) and the new Stacy and with that connection comes authenticity.

With authenticity comes trust that Stacy will do a good job when hired.

But if Stacy, a former fashion photographer, reemerges as the owner of a mobile dog washing business, there may be a problem.
Stacy is out of her lane, and she may not last long with this new business venture. Thus, Stacy will find something else to latch on to, and if there’s no real connection, that venture may fail as well.

Stacy may reemerge several more times before she realizes that she must stay in her lane.

Staying in your lane requires that you put some thought into what you release into the world, so that you can make plans and develop your individual blueprint for success, regardless of what others are doing.

Stay true to yourself in business because your authentic self will always rise to the surface–and great rewards await you the moment that you embrace her.

Please share how you’ve reinvented yourself, we would love to hear it! :0)



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  • fb_avatar

    Excellent subject and I totally agree. Its like noone has, their own voice anymore! Titles have lost their validity. One person has an event at a certain venue, then within a month the event is over used. Its getting very reckless and the main reason some don't take entrepreneurs serious. Its the "monkey see, monkey do" mentality and I'm with you in the thought that it needs to end.

  • Lori, Yes!!!! I love this blog. It was so on point for exactly the reasons that you have listed. I personally think that it's tacky... I know that everyone has a right to do what they want but come on.... The "monkey see, monkey do" mentality is just way out of control!

  • fb_avatar

    This is crazy TRUE :)

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