At a job interview in Lawton Oklahoma (in 1999), I was offered $3 less an hour than the other candidate. Making it 5.50 an hour. It was to be a receptionist. ☎️ In comparison to the other applicant, I had experience, including: working for PR firm at 17 in DC, I could speak with an interesting tone, I had on clean clothes 😳, and not that it matters for phone work- I could maintain eye contact. The reason was she had a 4 year college degree. I have an associates degree, it’s in Sign Linguistics.
I was hurt. Offended. And ohh I refused the job. 😡
I took a sales job, selling security systems which I HATED! But my sister-in-law had charged up my credit card, and in bowing to family pressure, I didn’t press charges (it’s one of my life regrets). I had a $7000 dollar credit card bill and 5.50 an hour wasn’t going to pay it.
So, I started working commission. It was hard. As I mentioned, I hated it. But I put on my big girl smile and went to work. I knocked doors like a missionary and worked like the truckers daughter I am.
I was good at it. I made what, at the time, felt like a ton of money, paid off my sister-in-law’s debt, we paid off our cars, and I got prettier front teeth (My front teeth are fake).
As much as I hated that job, it taught me a lot. My side-hustle-entrepreneur-makeup-artist-thing. The full time sales job gave me confidence in myself to eventually quit the job (whole story about how that went down) and got serious about what I could build for me, for my family. I could decide how much I was worth an hour by how smart and hard I worked for what became the most demanding boss I’ve ever had; myself.
Over the years I’ve had job offers, and over the years the amounts offered to me have grown from 12k a year to… well I’ve walked away from a 936k a year speaking contract.
Why? Because it wanted my life, 5-6 days a week away from my family in exchange for something as silly as money and applause.
To me, those are nothing in contrast to living a life of value, joy, integrity, and purpose. In other words I’ve learned that I can’t be bought. I like money, we all need money, but it’s simply a commodity- it isn’t THE thing.
And applause…I often ask my audiences NOT to clap.
The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy for me.
I’ve been offered numerous opportunities, jobs, and a title. When so many things are being offered, it starts to feel like a part-time job just looking at each one.
I started to question “Should I really take all of my content and stop ONLY selling it to business/ corporate? Should I have more of my own seminars and workshops too?”. My dream of 8-10 year old self-esteem camps, the Tools for Teens (still not sure on the name), and my Rocks of Hotness seminars for women…should I? Or should I do the safe thing; the offered thing; the “Here, you plug into this and we pay you” thing?
I spoke to a class of 7 year olds, interviewed 8 people for the media project I do with VanGarrett Media, squeezed in looking at another opportunity, then a speech to a group of Home Schooling moms.
I did my thing, I was in the zone. As I delivered the punch to end of my speech, I felt it, the feeling, the voice.. “T H I S right here is what I made you for.”
The moms then asked me, “Do you have time for some questions?”
3 hours later..they still wanted more.
I don’t share this to brag, I share this because if it’s $5.50 an hour, or 200k, or a million dollars; if it’s one person, 5,000, or a billion people- what we all have to decide is “what’s ours to give”? What are our gifts? What were we put here on this planet to do?
And it’s a great question for us to ask ourselves on International Women’s Day.
There are many things we could do, should do, or may want to do- but if I may share, do what you were MADE to do!
I was made to be Leta.
Wife to Loverman
Mother to Nathaniel, Ailsa and Katelynn.
And ohh my 46 years of content, my years of focused research, stories, experience, and quirky humor are enough for what I want to do.
My focus? Women and our children. Anything outside of that is a distraction.
So to all the job offers, opportunities, and “oh-my-crap you gotta do this” that someone may want to offer me, I know what I’ve been made for and it’s not about how much I can make. It’s about how on purpose I can be.
#InternationalWomensDay #EmpoweringWomen #WomenAndChildren