Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. Let's jump right into it....
There is an old expression that goes, “if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”. Although I have some very good friends who support me in my endeavors, I would enjoy the company of some folks more established than I am. I believe you learn more from people doing better than you in life. Recently I have been praying for a more broaden circle that extended outside of just my friends. Funny thing about prayers, you usually get what you asked for but not in the way you expect it to arrive.
One day I am at the grocery store with my father. I am walking while surfing Facebook (texting while walking can be dangerous kids) and I get mentioned in a post by my cousin.
The post is from a popular public figure and business owner Soncerae, who happens to be looking for male writers. It’s always weird referring to myself as a writer, especially because my background is actually in statistics and my career is in higher education. After looking through Soncerae’s page, I realize this could be a great partnership. She has a huge fan base and since I am still growing everything, this could be a good way for me to get my name out there in another capacity. So taking a leap of faith, I reach out to Soncerae. She is looking for male writers for an upcoming website geared towards black men. As with any Jon Harris note, text or email, I send a long message introducing myself and why I would be a good fit for the position. It must have been fate as she is from Fort Washington, MD like I am. What are the chances?
Soon enough, I get a reply from Soncerae asking me am I free for a conference call that upcoming Wednesday. I am assuming it is a group interview since she mentioned she was also considering other writers. Now I am nervous. Even though I bring a lot to the table, I know there are others who have been writing longer than I have. On top of that, there are guys with more life experience (married with kids). However, I learned in my author’s journey to work with what I have and don’t apologize for what I don’t have yet.
It’s officially Wednesday and I am anticipating how will I go about selling myself to be the best candidate. I am thinking all day about what makes me unique and how good this opportunity will be for me. It’s now interview time! I am the third person who has to speak and the pressure is on. So I tell everything I am involved with and Soncerae and the other gentlemen on the phone are impressed. Jackpot!!! Much to my surprise, Soncerae needs more than one writer so we all get chosen. A sigh of relief hits me. It feels like a Disney movie with a feel good ending because every character gets what they want.
I learn that the commitment is that I have to participate in a weekly business call and write one article every week. Although I am excited to have the opportunity, many questions start to go through my head. What if I don’t actually have the time to do this? What if they don’t like my writing? What if I am too inexperienced compared to the other guys? I convince myself not to think like that and remind myself that I do have what it takes.
As the weeks go on, I find myself on the fence about doing this project. What started to make me reconsider is the number of required articles went from one a week to two per week. I am thinking about my schedule and I realize maybe I took on too much. I started to feel bad like I wasn’t giving 100% to my full time job, I thought about the fact I just started blogging for my personal website, and I’m thinking about 2017 being the year I release my second book. Then I had to put things into perspective. We have 168 hours in a week. I only have to commit one hour a week to the conference call and about one hour to writing two articles. I still have 166 hours left to do with as I please. Why would I quit something that only wants two hours a week? What was I thinking about? Although I love my full time job, it is a salaried position and I am not really earning overtime so why talk myself out of an extra source of income and exposure.
Ultimately I pray about it. I pray that I remained focused to make this all work and I pray the inspiration to write two articles every week. What helps me decide that staying is good for me is the Youtube series we started called “The Classic Black Man”. Basically for our hour conference call, we discuss business for the first 30 minutes and have a conversation for the last 30 minutes that gets recorded for the Youtube channel. We talk about all things related to the black community. When I went back and watched the first video we did, I loved it. I read the comments of viewers that loved our video and one commenter even agreed with a lot of my points.
That became my sign as to why I am in the group in the first place. If you remember, I prayed to God to help expand my circle of influence. Soon after saying that prayer, this all came about. It was God who brought me to this group because I asked to be here. Being the youngest one in the group has provided me with a lot of wisdom. I have learned new words, new philosophies, and have had the opportunity to defend some viewpoints as well.
As we get closer to release of the men’s website, I become more and more excited every day and I am constantly thankful God brought this opportunity into my life.
Moral of the story: Don’t shy away from the unknown. The unknown can be more beneficial sometimes than the certain can ever be.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
Check out our series "Classic Black Man" every week on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHQoj4tid_1y4KNChDFH3NFdolITQTC7A
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.