On 1st July 2018, The Problem with Black Men (the first #Issamovement blog post) officially went live. By the end of the day, it had reached over 100 unique visitors and to say I was excited would be just a slight understatement. #Issamovement is an idea that came about this year and quickly transitioned from idea to conception after discussing it with my sister and two friends (Jane and Lola- who are part of the team). As exciting as it has been, 5 months in and the initial euphoria of starting a new movement has waned slightly. And being as the year is more or less at an end, now would be the perfect time for some self-reflection.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve learnt this year, since starting #Issamovement;

Social media cliques are a real thing

I’m not hugely into watching Youtube but I’ve seen my fair share of “the truth about being a Youtuber” videos to have heard about social media cliques. I never thought much into the reality of these cliques until we started planning the first Let’s Debate, which took place in November this year. It’s easy enough to form a list of the people you want on your panel but getting them there can be a completely different story. Obviously, not everyone you reach out to is going to say yes to what you propose but for me, reaching out to potential panellists really really highlighted the fact that unfortunately in life, a lot of things are down to who you know.

Although this is the reality of life, I don’t actually think it’s a hindrance. It’s something that can be overcome and for me it’s the driver I need to keep on pushing with my plans and my vision for #Issamovement. It’s so important to remember all the people that did support you and your vision in the early days so that when the rest of the world sees your vision for what it is, you know who’s always been there.

Doubt is so real and it’s the devil

I’ve always considered myself an optimistic person but I think even the most optimistic people struggle with doubt at times. I was initially going to say the doubt comes from Imposter Syndrome but I don’t even think it’s that. I’m a big dreamer and I have gargantuan plans for myself and my businesses, so I believe some of the doubt I’ve experienced this year actually stems from a fear of failure. I don’t want to fail. One thing I’ve learnt in recent times is that the only way I will fail is if I give up. Plus someone somewhere once said “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”.

My advice to you is this; surround yourself with people that uplift you because when you’re down they’re going to lift you up, you need to fight for yourself because no one else will and you’ll be surprised at just how much you can achieve. Remember, Beyonce is a human being just like the rest of us, if she can be successful so can anyone else.

People do see what you’re doing!

This year, I went to a social media event for work purposes and whilst I was there an enthusiastic young lady came over to me, introduced herself with confidence and we got talking. She asked me what I did and on this particular day, I also mentioned my side hustles (Rayo and #Issamovement). I was bowled over when she said she’d heard of #Issamovement. As soon as our conversation ended, I messaged my team and my family to let them know that I’d met someone that had heard of #Issamovement, it was a really proud moment for me. It just highlighted the fact that although at times it may feel like no one sees or is paying attention to the things you do, there are silent fans out there that are waiting for your weekly Whatsapp broadcast and that share your posts amongst their friends and families. So keep on pushing because one day one of those people will share the right message with the right person and it will be just the thing your business needs.

I’ve obviously learnt more than just 3 things this year but this post is already longer than my usual posts. The key thing I want you to take away from this is that in everything you do there’s an opportunity to learn. Don’t just take what you learn and sit on it but take what you learn and run with it. Use it to make you a better person and use it to enable you to achieve your goals.

Paula M



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