Today’s post will be all about what I learned when I attended my very first Purpose Leaders event last Sunday. And boy when I tell you that I left the building influenced…I truly mean it. I luckily got the chance to get 2-4-1 tickets to the event, so I took my little sister with me because she was excited to hear from her favourite influencers too. Before I get deep into this post, I think I should start by introducing what Purpose Leaders is all about.
Who are the Purpose Leaders?
Purpose Leaders is a cause founded by Andre Spence and his purpose for the network is to build relationships, whilst helping BAME influencers grow in their careers. What I really liked was how they separated the definition of career and job at the event. A job was described as something that you do to just earn money to pay your bills, food etc; whereas a career is something that you’re truly passionate about, as in you wake up looking forward to your work day (just something for you guys to think about). You get to meet not only the special guest that is invited but also other influencers from different stages in their careers. On top of it all you learn their stories, career purpose and struggles which they’ve overcome along the way. All the future event details are always listed on the Instagram account which I’ll link below all together for you.
“People are not lacking money, they’re lacking information” – Andre
Now to the date itself which I attended. You best believe that I travelled all the way from the North down to be at this event, if that ain’t dedication then I don’t know what is hahah. It was my first time travelling to Cre8 at Hackney too, so you can imagine how me and my sister looked relying on google maps throughout the trip. The weather wasn’t too bad either so we got to take some snaps whilst at London for the day (these are on my Instagram).
Once we got to the building, there was food and drinks at the back table which we could help ourselves to. The red velvet cupcakes were just beaut-i-ful and definitely went back for more than one. After all the seats filled up more, Andre got us all to network with one other and the influencers on the panel included. It felt like the first day of uni when you had to try and get to know your peers by going around. I’d be lying if I said my heart wasn’t beating fast at this point, but once I got talking to the first person everything else just started to flow together. I got to meet such awesome ladies and once you talk to the influencers you realise they’re just normal people like yourself at the end of the day. They were all so friendly which helped put me at ease and Sherrie Silver, the special guest, was the same too.
Who is Sherrie Silver?
Sherrie Silver is a fine example of someone who truly started from the lowest and worked all the way to the top. Her backstory was astounding when I heard it, if Sherrie could make it from being a girl born in poverty to a girl that won best choreographer at the VMA’s, it shows how much hard-work can get you towards. If you didn’t know, Sherrie is the choreographer behind Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ video (click here to watch). May I say that she did such great work with it too as you could see the passion and dedication put in it. On top of it all, Sherrie is also an actress and a creative director.
Now I will follow up on what Sherrie had to share with everyone once the mic was handed to her. So get yourself a cuppa, sit down and get ready to feel inspired.
Yours Truly, Sherrie Silver
Sherrie started as a small village girl from Rwanda and things didn’t come easy to her growing up; for instance, her father was killed before she was even born. Herself and her mum worked up from the bottom to the top, where poverty became a past obstacle which they overcame together. Sherrie found her love for dance but also knew that she wanted to finish her studies at university, hence juggled both to make the ends meet. Sherrie highlighted that “[d]on’t be lazy in what you’re doing, especially whilst you’re young”. I agreed to this because young people often tend to be lazy when it comes to fighting for what they want in life (me included). When Sherrie was struggling for money for her career, she went to her pastor for help, not knowing whether he would agree or not. Sherrie was surprised at the faith he had on her and of course she asked why. The pastor told her that he knew the role that God had for her and that’s the reason why he had faith that Sherrie would succeed in the path she was taking. Sherrie also added that “you have to sacrifice a lot and it’s good to surround yourself with friends that push, as well as support you in your work”. Good friends are important, as there will be people that come into your life wanting nothing more than to see you fail. Cut people out if need be as not everyone are there for you at the end of the day.
Another seed of wisdom that Sherrie dropped was on not being stingy to yourself. When it comes to your career, don’t be half hearted with it but truly invest into your career. Everyone by now should know that if you don’t put your own time and effort into building your career, then you’ll be stood at that same level you were on at the beginning. “Eat noodles sometimes” as Sherrie told us. Pray about it. Fast about it. Sherrie advices that you just confess about your future. Just like He did for her, God can take you away from the dirt. Be patient and work hard in your passion(s). “Don’t compare yourself to people around you, as you don’t know what they’ve done to get there, like juju”. Now when Sherrie said this everyone in the room laughed, not because we thought she had lost her mind, but because we knew that it was true. Yes, juju is a excuse which many of us Africans use as a reason (often too much) but trust me it’s real stuff and not just a superstition. There are people in this world that are willing to sacrifice their own family, kids and friends just to make it to the top. Lastly, when it comes to building your career, remember that your mindset is your most important thing. Focus on the positives of your life rather than the negatives. For that negative is merely a story of what you overcame to get to where you are now.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways” – Psalm 37:7
Truth be told I had to split the blog post into 2 parts as I didn’t realise how long it would turn out hahah. So part 2 will be on the advice that the panel gave in regards to staying organised and perseverance. Also, I will be giving more of my personal feedback on the event too.
Here are the social links to Purpose Leaders and the influencers:
with many more included…
I hope you liked reading today’s post that I’ve prepared and felt influenced to work hard on your career as I did. If you’re interested, the next Purpose Leaders event is on 8th December.
P.S. I would like to say welcome to all my new followers that have joined Melanin Talks and I hope you enjoy more of the posts that’s to come.
Melanin Talks x