When you're standing at the edge of a cliff, staring down into a valley at the ground that will not so gracefully catch you if you fail, the last thing you may want to do is jump. But if you're someone who's been struggling to take a leap of faith, don't sweat it, sis. In fact, some of your biggest blessings can come from being unwillingly pushed into your power.
Meet Dr. Lauren Elise, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur who can bump Gucci Mane in the streets and code switch like a mug in a Monday morning boardroom meeting.
Shot by @quturemedia
After earning her bachelor's from Middle Tennessee State University, her master's from Belmont, and her doctorate from Argosy Atlanta, Lauren is one social media doctor with credentials, and you should put some respect on all three of them. She told xoNecole, "No matter if I do have a doctorate degree, I still can rap Gucci Mane lyrics. I still stay true to myself and I think a lot of times people are drawn into authenticity and that they're also drawn into a little bit of transparency."
In the past, Lauren says that she never really had an entrepreneur's mindset, but today she spends most of her time putting other budding CEOs on game with her consulting business, The Social Media Doctor, running her non-profit organization Adjust Your Crown Mentoring, and getting flewed out to a number of paid speaking engagements around the country. So far, she's secured partnerships with Micheal Kors, and given away a number of scholarships to women in need, and according to Lauren, she's just getting started.
While this 32-year-old CEO may be killing the entrepreneurial game now, things weren't always this way. In 2016, less than four years after moving to Atlanta to forge a new career path, Lauren was hit with a major bombshell that would permanently alter the trajectory of her future. In a shocking announcement from her employer of four years, she learned that she would now be forced to look for a new place of work.
The news sent the multimedia maven's life into a tailspin and although the company had given her a hefty severance package upon her dismissal, Lauren was still left without the security and stability that was previously offered by her 9 to 5.
Along with dealing with the emotional weight of being hundreds of miles away from home, Lauren also had to consider the residual effect that her latest career transition would have on her financial obligations. She explained, "I have a whole mortgage. I bought a house in 2014, so I was just like whoa. That was a big shocker, to go from having a job for four years to them saying, 'Oh, here are the options to get severance.' And I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up."
Feeling alone in a new city and lost without her former professional title, Lauren felt as though her sky was falling and there was nothing that she could do to stop it. "I was so distraught, like, oh my goodness, what am I gonna do? I didn't even want to leave the house."
Soon after, Lauren found work at a significantly smaller company where she continued to polish her skills in social media management, but still didn't quite feel fulfilled. In 2018, the one-day entrepreneur caught a serious case of deja vu when, for a second time, she was let go from her job and tasked with starting a new career journey from scratch. But two years later, hearing that news hit different for the would-be entrepreneur because this time around, she had a secret weapon: insight.
Shot by @quturemedia
Throughout her experience, the business owner said that there is one quote that has proven to be law: "'Sometimes God gives you the same test because you didn't pass the first time.' I saw it on my timeline three times and it was like, that's my sign. I literally didn't pass the first time, here's another opportunity. That time around honey, I didn't stress."
Even though her severance package was non-existent and her plan was even more unplanned than the first time she was let go, Lauren said that since she had already started her own business a year prior, her vision was clearer than ever before. "In my mind, I was already ready to go because it wasn't what it was in the beginning. It changed. It wasn't fun. It was stressful. It was hostile. So when that happened it was like, 'Oh, thank you.'"
It was then that Lauren decided to become the master of her destiny and took on the task of running The Social Media Doctor full-time because when you're the boss, the only one who can stop your hustle is you.
"It basically just changed my mindset on businesses and how they operate. Like they have the last say so. They can make whatever decision, and you just have to accept it. You can't get so bent out of shape because that was your time ending there."
Like any toxic relationship, failed career decisions don't always start out that way. When your part-time hustle that was meant to fund your dreams turns into a full-time burden that can only pay the bills, it's easy to forget that you deserve better.
Sometimes it takes God pushing us out of a situation to realize that we were never meant to be there in the first place, and in Lauren's mind, being laid off was one of the best things that could have happened to her because it was the first real step into the destiny she deserves.
"Some people are forced into some of their blessings because they probably didn't want to willingly do it. But if you don't, you'll eventually be forced. Inevitably, you're going to go willingly or you are going to be pushed."
There's nobody who can do you, like you, and Lauren is a testament of the glory that comes when you capitalize on your weakest moments instead of criticizing yourself for them.
Featured image by @lavishpixels.