• Dempris Gasque

The Leap I Almost Never Took

Fear. If I had to give a proper diagnosis to the thing that festered and almost caused me not to pursue my dreams, I would have to say it was fear. Fear of the unknown, the eerie feeling of an unknown circumstance as well as an unknown result. I knew that I had learned enough to share, but I was not sure that entrepreneurship was the correct step or a necessary step. I knew I didn’t have much if any money saved and I felt I needed to be some grand person to start a business, but I realized I just needed to be different. I needed to step outside of my comfort zone and allow myself to, well to be myself. I needed to learn who I was, I needed to isolate myself to better understand what perspective I had to offer the world that would be profitable, and passion-based. I knew I did not want to focus too heavily on money, for I genuinely wanted to help people.

As a kid having wanted to be a doctor, my yearning to help and heal never went away, but my vehicle for change and healing came through my advocacy within my community. I’ve found that oftentimes we develop businesses and ventures based upon our degree, our experiences, and our desire for generational wealth. But we forget the most important thing about starting a business: problem-solving. Your business should be a solution to a problem that offers a perspective different from a competitor. Zig Ziglar stated, “you don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business.”

I think it is universally understood that your reputation determines your success and longevity and in building a business, we must focus on the needs of the underrepresented beyond race.For example, when I first started writing back in middle school it was an escape from reality and the daily devastations that I faced. Writing was my therapy, the pen my therapist. Every session released emotion and allowed me to express myself, but it never occurred to me that one day I would be an advocate and build a brand. Not because I wanted to, I started multiple businesses that failed, and today I must ask for forgiveness.

Forgiveness because I didn’t understand the need for my expression and sharing of my story, I didn’t understand my social responsibility and the healing that my transparency was for many populations of people. Not just black people or young people, but people that needed inspiration. Inspiration from my depression and suicidal thoughts and even an attempt. I could relate not because I read some statistics, but because at the time I was one! So, I took a leap, I took my pen and I took my voice back. I secretly always wanted to be on stage, I love music, writing, acting, comedy, etc. But this is my stage, my platform and I thank my audience because I am experiencing the reciprocity of the fruit from the leap I almost never took.

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