I was going through my CV yesterday and reflecting on every job opportunity I have embarked on since I was 15 when I started working and realised that the jobs that have opened bigger doors for me and has exposed me to better opportunities are the ones where I have had to work for free and so make a lot of sacrifice.

In my placement year, I worked for a charity that was part of a Sikh temple. Most days, I had to work from 08:30am to 06pm. It was an unpaid job that lasted for a year. When I say unpaid, I mean even my expenses were not covered. I had to cover my transport myself. It was a choice between working with the charity or working with a hotel group in Canada for a year. I guess the joy I felt in my heart when the manager of charity said I will be involved in projects that involved working with young people felt better than moving to Canada for a year. I helped the charity raise over £50,000 through bid writing and helped initiate and manage different projects that helped the local community. I did a lot better than the manager expected that long after I left the organisation, I still received invite to come back and work for them as a paid staff.

Although this was unpaid, it was in that period that I knew firmly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. If I hadn’t taken that position perhaps I wouldn’t have known. I received training and had to take on tasks that I believe will help me become a great community development expert in future. Apart from the fact that it was unpaid, the job was very challenging on so many levels but we won’t go into that today.

That job opened and has continued to open many doors for me due to the skills and knowledge I gained in the process.

My mates got placement jobs that paid £25k a year, but I believe I was right where God wanted me to be and I am sure most of them were right where God wanted them to be too. I had the choice to bloom where I was planted or compare myself with my mate.

I am sharing this to let you know that it is NOT ok to allow the opinion of a motivational speaker on social media with no tangible experience, knowledge or achievement make you skip your process. Don’t compare your life story with the strangers you see on social media.

There is a time and season for everything. There is a time to intern, volunteer, work for free, work shadow and there is a time to be your own boss. Don’t skip your process. Don’t skip your process. Don’t skip your process.

If you are not faithful with another man’s vineyard, if you allow what other people share online to make you rebellious and self-centred, how are you going to be a good steward of your own vineyard when the time comes. If you have not been faithful to others, how do you want people to be faithful to you?

Focus, focus on our process. Bloom where you have been planted. You don’t need to take on 100 different projects because your friend on Facebook is the CEO of 7 businesses. Focus on your one business and project and do it well before jumping on the next big thing. There is a system and process for everything, if you skip it you will be short changing yourself.

Another person’s story and another person’s process is not always going to be the same as yours. Focus on the ladder on your own wall.