Harnessing Courage: From being bullied in school to success in my business

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When a former corporate executive evolves into an entrepreneur and fixer for organizations trust me there's a story to tell...

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Hi, I'm LaDawn

They called me Big Bird…I’ve never told this story.

As a teenager, I LOVED books and going to school but I felt High School should be optional! I remember sitting in class and asking myself “how is this going to help me make money”?

I was always an entrepreneur and an old soul.

The one thing that remains the same is bullying. I towered over my teachers as young as elementary school and in High School, everyone thought Basketball would be my jam and I can’t dribble and walk at the same time. So books it was for me and English class was my favorite because we learned about poetry. I fell in love with the spoken word. I would perform (even sing) and it made me happy.

Then the name-calling began…

Your voice sounds funny!

Why are you so tall?

You must be Big Bird!

Can you imagine walking into homeroom and being called Big Bird when you walk into the door.  

What I knew then, was that they probably needed to be loved…deeply

I told you I was always an old soul

So what did I do when others thought they would shame me?

I tried out for the Cheerleading team! 

The auditorium was quiet as I took the stage one fall morning and then when I let loose I saw faces smiling and hands applauding. The bookworm had moves!


I was bold but it still took courage.

The morning of the try-outs I wondered if the bully girl crew would show up and cry out “Big Bird” from the stands.

I was afraid but being happy was bigger than the fear and with or without the ‘girls who lack self-esteem and mocked others crew’ showing up they were not going to win.

The name-calling didn’t deter me and I didn’t make the team but I don’t remember being called Big Bird again after that, maybe they did and I tuned them out or maybe they realized when an auditorium cheers for you they are the lame ones.

This story came back to me as I’m working on my brand and wondered what if the bully girl crew of 2022 shows up?

I am bold and WHO cares! Forget the haters, they silently are fans anyway, go out and bust a move!

Update: After posting this article online a colleague reached out to share some news that I felt was the perfect thing to add! And that was in 2000 Big Bird was named a living legend by the United States Library of Congress. So, what others meant for bad was turned around and used for good.  

 

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