Opportunity – Create Your Own Success

Opportunity

Create Your Own Success 

 
The other day, I was ranting about how we don´t have as many opportunities when I was reminded of something: representation doesn´t help us. It´s about creating your own opportunities. Building our own table.
Here the backstory...
I remember talking to a friend that day when she mentioned something like:

Compare Kanye West and Rihanna

Okay, okay, bear with me for a bit...
Taking Kanye, he always sought out acceptance, fighting for his voice to be heard, to be known in the fashion industry.
He rants and screams and propagates about the whiteness, racism and ignorance of the fashion industry and that he will be the biggest on the table soon, they just open their eyes and see what he´d be doing.
Well... nobody really cared except his fans what he was whining about, nobody at least from the industry itself.

Now let´s look at Rihanna. She did her thing, singing and touring, being different, odd, rebellious. Yes, just like Kanye in some sense. But what did she do?
She is begged by all the fashion designers to design a new line for them and take her image and swag to support their brands under her supervision and authority. She just dropped her MakeUp line like it´s just a "side-passion" she runs to fill her free time.

She didn´t scream about there not being enough chances for brown women designing high-luxury fashion wear, she didn´t cry because there was
1) no makeup variance for non-white people and
2) not enough acceptance for unexperienced brown rebel women to do their own line of makeup besides all these established white makeup moguls.

No, she just did.

Like she´s making a sandwich and offers you a bite. There you go, I found my own solutions, take a bite!
While Kanye was still like "Can I have a bite? Can I have a bite? Why are you not sharing? You see me starving, recognize and feed me".
We can´t cry and expect others to accept us in their space.
We have to create our own space (our own table) and invite those in that have the same ambitions, values and visions as us.
That is why it is so crucial for me to understand as well, how we can rebuild our communities to actually find solutions ourselves for problems that we face and do not wait for others to get up with a solution and then whining that we are not invited to sit at their table.

 Okay, to be fair, she didn´t give that example. She took the one of wanting a seat on the table (Kanye) vs building your own table (Rihanna). To be honest, that makes somehow more sense as we can see here that Rihanna is actually building her own industry. She was one of the first influencers in that sense for luxury brands to target young urban brown women with enough money or the willingness to gain it to buy her shoes (Louboutin I think), she was one of the major influencers for sports brands to go maaaajor urban and get into the street style women´s wear hardcore (Puma) and build a ground for (brown) female athletes and artists around the world to be ambassadors themselves (which is now a whole influencer network) and she is one of the women now using other influencers to promote her own brand massively with Fenty Beauty etc. and actually (and that´s another topic) leveraging massively on diversity and marginalized communities (like Muslim women). Whatever you might think of our example, this is what life is about for us strangers..

Here is how it goes:

⦁ You need a mentor but no one in the industry is actually understanding of your values and wants? Then find someone within the community, embrace their advice and guidance and seek to refer them to your peers, building a network of mentors within the community. Don´t I hear everywhere that "We lack leaders?", yeah well. That´s one solution - DONE- NEXT
⦁ You think the schools here have a system which is discriminating against Muslims, brown people etc. and on top who´s politics and teachings go against your values?
Homeschool your kids or find a teacher, create your own school system according to your own values and then offer it to other mothers. Either teach them to homeschool their kids or find someone, or do it for a living. Give them material that helps them to school their kids, build small learning circles for group work and engagement in presentation and the area of supervision and leadership. If you gathered a couple of women who are willing to grow and evolve in homeschooling, you can build a network of teachers and maybe rent some rooms. Then build it out and eventually build your own school and school system for the children according to your values.
⦁ You think there are no job opportunities for Muslim women in media? Build your own media agency.
⦁ You think there is no company that fits your values? Build your own company. The result is: make your own sandwich (others will want to have a bite, because what is better a huge white sandwich of cheese and lettuce where everyone already bit from or the cultural diversity gourmet edition with the brown grain crusty bread on which you get roasted vegetables, spices and pickles and salmon and rucola and goats cheese on top) and
If you cannot join others, because you are excluded - Build your own table, others will want to join you.
Don´t forget to go and keep going, always thrive to change something out of your own strength, don´t wait for outside help
 وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And those who strive for Us, We will surely, guide them (to) Our ways. And indeed, Allah surely (is) with the good-doers.[Surah 29:69].
But at the same time, make sure to create your own allies, your community, your team, your family. Sisterhood means always uniting in professional debates,
وَالَّذينَ استَجابوا لِرَبِّهِم وَأَقامُوا الصَّلاةَ وَأَمرُهُم شورىٰ بَينَهُم وَمِمّا رَزَقناهُم يُنفِقونَ
And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and
whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend. [Surah 42:38] 
In all our fight for recognition and success, we must understand that we can only ask the One for guidance, work hard and have the right intentions. For those however who work, be sure to bare in mind with all positivity, optimism and vision: 
1. Rule: Do. Don´t expect relief from anyone. Do it yourself.
2. Rule: Mobilize your tribe. Together we are stronger.
Break out of the minority mindset into the abundance mentality. 

AND NOW YOU, share with us your opinion and share this conversation with a sister.

Q: What are the things you feel excluded from and how do you think you could eventually find your own solutions to build your own table?

Leave your answer down in the comments, and share your diversity with us.

And please don't forget to rate, like & share the Podcast on iTunes.

 

Create success by creating your own opportunities. As minorities, we often seek to be seen and heard and we fight for our rights. We have to, however, understand that we are in the position to change our situation ourselves. We are responsible for our own success, nobody will give it to us freely.

Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance. This is still a place for peace and love, the way we all strive to live out our purpose.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *