On October 1st, I announced to the social media world that I was on the brink of a career change. The Southwest Mississippi Multiplex for Early Innovative Intervention Studies (SMMEIIS) is a new non-profit based in McComb, Mississippi, and a pivot move I’ve been working on for quite some time.
This organization is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community. We hold our selves accountable when it comes to the resources and opportunities of vulnerable people; people who have talent and no true outlets; young people; elderly people; people of color; creative people.
We want to measure our impact and be a hub for new information. We want to be a vehicle for positive change in our local and state community. We want to provide creative places all over our state for people to cultivate and create. Please visit our website and request to receive our monthly newsletter. We’d love to get hit with donations from around the world and hope that the entire nation will rally around this rare work we’re doing in the deep south.
Next month will make a year that I have been an executive director. I received my articles of incorporation in November 2017. I made it public this past week. The reason I waited: Surprise marketing played a huge part– timing and planning are everything to me. I’ve gotten excited and jumped the gun before. The result was short-lived and I didn’t want to be over anxious about this. What makes SMMEIIS different than anything I’ve ever done is that it is the brainchild of my mother. It’s also the thing in my life that I want to become so significant that it outlives me. Therefore, I needed to plan diligently and quietly. So, I kept on practicing the pivot move, leaving breadcrumbs about my impending career change in my blog posts. And now here I am, shifting my paradigm to serving people and communities in need.
The real reason I probably waited a year is a lot less strategic… I was scared, y’all. I didn’t know what I was doing and the thought of moving into the vision full time had me really contemplating timing and the impact this change would have on my family.
So, I did it afraid.
If you want to start something big and you’re finding yourself hesitating, I’m going to leave you with 3 things that could help get your ball rolling:
- Enroll in Oprah University. It costs nothing to attend. Just immerse yourself in her videos on YouTube about personal growth and what it means to be truly successful. Study her philosophies and just be inspired by what she has to say.
- Work in silence for a while. It’ll seem like you’re stationary, but you’re actually moving. There’s so much pressure in building suspense and becoming exclusive on social media about our projects; but that is just ONE WAY of creating buzz. Talks with trusted friends and family, colleagues, and people in your field go a long way.
- Come up with an action plan for financial sustainability before you decide to pivot. Consider what it is going to take to be able to pay yourself, working for yourself. If it makes sense, think about part time or contractual gigs with a future plan to move into the vision full-time.
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.