When we have a break, we here at Launching Legends, LLC do enjoy a little TV. In honor of the third season premiere of Being Mary Jane, which airs on BET on Oct. 20 at 9:00pm EST, we decided to devote this blog post to the brilliant mind behind the show.
Earlier this year I had the honor of meeting Mara Brock Akil when she blessed a Syracuse University audience with some serious wisdom. Although the many characters of Akil’s projects are, uh...let’s say #LegendsintheMaking, Akil herself has already built a legacy that will continue to have an impact on her industry and her audience for years to come. Here are a few of the #legendprinciples she shared that are definitely worth repeating.
Focus on fishing right where you are. During the Q&A segment we experienced one of those awkward moments when a student asked Akil, straight up, to be her mentor. Akil used the moment as an opportunity to share yet another lesson. Akil reminded the student that she was overlooking a lot of potential mentors that were accessible to her (in her pond) like her professors or internship supervisors. Instead of rushing to to link herself with someone in a bigger pond, Akil challenged the student to make the most of her present environment. And no, she did not agree to mentor the student.
What valuable resources have you been overlooking that are accessible to you right now?
You are more than your job title. When she first graduated from Northwestern University Akil worked at the Gap for several months. Yet, when someone asked what she did she said that she was a writer. Even while holding down a retail job, Akil wrote vigorously. The Gap was how she temporarily made a living; it was not how she defined herself.
If you had to define yourself without using your job title, who would you say that you are?
If you wait on other people to validate your dream, you’ll never get around to doing the work that will make it come true. Akil challenged the audience, filled with aspiring writers, not to wait on a special invitation, like a job offer, to start writing. She urged everyone who considered writing to be their calling to spend at LEAST three hours (outside of coursework) writing, EVERYDAY.
What dreams have you been deferring unnecessarily?