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Stop Chasing Prestige

When I walked away from my career as a speaker and writer on race and diversity to work full-time on Urban Martial Arts, a lot of people didn’t understand why.

I’d worked hard to establish myself as an important voice in that space and built an influential blog with a large readership.

How could I just leave that all behind?

Especially when it seemed like I was trading down to something much “smaller.”

Instead of trying to change the way a whole country thought about race, now I was… well, just helping out in a neighborhood karate school.

But it wasn’t just other people who questioned the move.

The truth was, I had doubts too.

Charlie Gilkey and Angela Wheeler recently invited me to write a guest post for their blog, Productive Flourishing.

So I decided to do a post on the twists and turns my career has taken, and how it’s made me realize that when we get hung up on prestige, we lose sight of what really matters.

Here’s the accompanying video interview I did with Pamela Slim on this topic.

In the video, we talk about:

  • Why I decided to “waste” my Ivy League degree to work as a secretary
  • Why I walked away from being regarded as an authority in my field (complete with CNN appearances, book agents, and highly-paid speaking engagements) to start a mom-and-pop local neighborhood business
  • How even the most seemingly irrelevant jobs I’ve held have taught me things that served me later on in my career

I hope you enjoy it.

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