''The Path of Least Hurdles''

Image credit: pexels-vladislav-vasnetsov-2228741
Audio: 368-The Path of Least Hurdles.mp3

I was in Washington, DC on Monday participating in the Emerging Business Leaders Summit, (a two day kickoff event for the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference) which encourages students to consider entrepreneurship as a career option. I moderated a panel discussion on Leadership and Communication for the 75 undergraduate and graduate student attendees. Afterwards, a young woman asked me a very significant question:

"What fields in the music industry should a woman pursue
so that she'll be taken seriously?"

Here's my answer, slightly modified by rhyme, that everyone, including myself can use as a reminder.

The Path of Least Hurdles

To answer your question
the way that you've posed it
leaves too much unchallenged and unsaid
So, I'd much rather address
your underlying assumption
so my advice really helps you move ahead

First, it's not in your interest
to seek the path of least hurdles
for in truth no such pathways exist
For every game has its challenges
barriers and foes
and you grow stronger by the forces you resist

Everyone will be challenged
for the world sees through lenses
based on beliefs, body, gender and hue
But don't let others determine
the race that you'll run
or paint your world based on how they see you

Do the thing that excites you
don't let others derail you
your results will prove their perceptions are flawed
For there's no other way
to rise above limitations
and ensure that the masses are awed

So it really doesn't matter
what the naysayers say
how you're seen or even how you're defined
For the freedom to dream
and the respect and esteem
is won first, Maria, deep within your own mind

Don't give away your power simply to fit in, or fly under the radar for fear of being judged. What's more important than the world taking you seriously, is you doing it first. You'll never know just how high you can jump if you take the path of least hurdles.

So take the steps now!!

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