In a world where people, particularly women, are shamed for thinking highly of their abilities and having ambitions, I’ve got a new found sense of self belief. At the ripe old age of eighteen I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life and it became a toss up of film making or building my own business. After much deliberation I decided I wanted to be a property developer. Not just your standard do-er upper, but a property development business owner with branches worldwide. I became obsessed with this idea, and I truly believed I could achieve it, but for a while I rejected all other possibilities, including working in film, because building a worldwide business was a big enough goal, right? Wrong. One day I had an epiphany, why can’t I be BOTH a business owner and a film maker? Theres no laws against it, but for some reason my subconscious told me it was only possible to be successful in one area. Although I don’t have plans to direct a film and renovate a house tomorrow, I’m glad my self confidence has outweighed my self doubt and allowed me to see both are possible.
“why can’t I be BOTH a business owner and a film maker?”
I haven’t always had this much faith in myself though. When I was younger, I used to joke to my parents that I’d buy them a fancy house for their retirement when I was a millionaire, knowing full well the best I’d ever get was a five figure salary and a bungalow for them. Their standard reply was ‘yeah, if you win the lottery.’ That wasn’t because they didn’t believe I could do it myself, it was because I’m from a small town in Northern England that isn’t known for producing successful millionaires like big cities are. I’m by no means pleading poverty, I had a very privileged upbringing with everything I wanted and needed, but the sad assumption was that I’d stay where I was born and bred, earn a decent wage, but never really do anything astounding, because money and success go to those who are born into it. I used to see rich and famous people as elusive beings with superpowers only some had. I thought their success must have been down to a perfect blend of wealth and superhuman genes, but, as I’ve grown up, I’ve realised that yes, fortune does favour those that have a nice chunk of inheritance to invest, but success isn’t as exclusive and unachievable as I once believed.
“I used to see rich and famous people as elusive beings with superpowers only some had.”
Since shifting my mindset and becoming more career focused, I’ve paid close attention to people who have achieved incredible things I never thought possible, and it started with Lin Manuel Miranda. Last year I was in a taxi on the way to Manhattan, and whilst waiting for my first glimpse of the skyline, two GIGANTIC ‘Hamilton’ posters hung off a building and started me in the face. It absolutely blew my mind that one person had the creativity, initiative and sheer talent to write a whole musical, get it on Broadway and have it advertised so extravagantly in the greatest city in the world (see what I did there?). After that it continued, people such as Taron Egerton, who came from a small town in Wales and ended up starring in multi million dollar films, Sophia Aramuso, who built a $300 million dollar business from an Ebay shop and Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards who, despite his lack of talent and experience, made it to the Winter Olympics using sheer determination, are all people who have proved to me just whats possible when you put your mind to it.
The final affirmation I needed came when I watched the 2018 BAFTA’s, in which Ridley Scott, a man who attended a college 20 minutes away from me and grew up looking at the same industrial skyline as me (which incidentally inspired Blade Runner) was presented with the BAFTA Fellowship Award. To know that someone from the North East was stood onstage in front of such prestigious film makers accepting an award for outstanding lifetime achievement in cinema was an incredible feeling. It well and truly proved to me that no matter where you’re from or what you were born in to, with hard work and dedication you can achieve things you never thought possible.
So now, safe in the knowledge that ordinary people just like me are writing musicals, starting businesses and winning awards, I’m more confident and determined than ever to put the work in and become just as successful as them.
Who’s someone you admire for succeeding against the odds? Leave a comment and let me know. Megan x