The Copy & Paste Stigma
First let me start by saying this.... I freakin’ LOVE seeing all these millennials out here KILLING IT. Especially my fellow shepreneurs! I mean we’re really out here building brands and businesses from the ground up using nothing but our God-given talents and our social media presence. I seriously couldn’t ask to be apart of a better generation.... however, even though there’s a ton of millennials out there developing original content, unapologetically walking in their God-given purposes, there’s a fair amount of people out there strictly copying and pasting whatever they see on social media and calling it their own.
I’m not referring to actually stealing someone’s work and putting your name on it (you’re a different type of triflin’ if that’s the type of moves you like to make in my opinion). I’m talking about getting caught up in the hype of what you see everyone else doing and telling yourself you should be doing the same thing, even though you KNOW good and damn well God ain’t told you that’s the direction He wants you to go in. If I struck a nerve with that last statement, you’re exactly who I’m talking to and I’m only coming at you this raw and uncut because for one, even I’ve been guilty of hitting the good ole “ctrl+c/ctrl+v” and I seriously had to check myself. Well....actually.... God checked me..... through my dad..... the absolute last person in the world I wanted to get checked by because I knew for a fact he wasn’t gonna sugar coat a thing to spare my little feelings…..and y’all... I was in my feelings BIG TIME initially. But after some time I had to realize that God only used my dad to confirm what He had already been telling me.
In my particular situation, I was desperately trying to find the quickest way to make a lot of money, like many of you, I’m sure. If this was never you at some point, hats off to you! But as for me, I definitely struggled with this, especially after having my son. My main concern became how could I possibly provide everything this little human needs with no money??? I had been laid off from my corporate job a couple months before I gave birth, so yeah… I was desperate! I always knew God called me to entrepreneurship, but I got so wrapped up in how I could get popular online and capitalize off of it that I began to completely ignore my purpose. I even tricked myself into believing that what I was trying to pursue was what God wanted me to do because I actually enjoyed doing it and was good at it. What I discovered was just because you like doing something and maybe you’re even good at it, doesn’t mean it’s a part of your PURPOSE.
For me specifically, I went through the entire 2018 and beginning of 2019 trying to pursue a career in the makeup industry. After giving birth to my son in November 2017, I discovered that doing my makeup and watching others do it was very therapeutic for me. I was struggling with postpartum depression and something about transforming my face helped me cope. Then one day as I was watching one of my fav MUAs do a makeup live on Facebook, the idea popped into my head that “Hey! Maybe I can do this too! It’s working for her and her and her over there, and they make it look so easy! It’s gotta work for me too right?” WROOOOOOOONG! Don’t get me wrong, It’s not that I was terrible at it, I’m actually pretty good at doing makeup (not to toot my own horn, but… lol). The issue was….. or should I say the issues were I never heard trying to enter into a field I wasn’t trained in and wasn’t disciplined enough for. Of course you have to be disciplined in any field you enter, but the way my life is set up, being a new mom, trying to post QUALITY and CONSISTENT makeup related content, was a struggle! Everyone knows how vain the beauty industry is, especially online. “If it ain’t perfect, you don’t post it.” I promise it’s like an unwritten rule that all beauty influencers know. The beauty/makeup industry’s sole purpose is to focus on outward appearance and sis, nothing about my life was/is “perfect”. If I can be completely honest, I’m really a whole mess out here, just trying to figure this whole life thing out day by day lol. What I’m basically saying is, I literally wasn’t at a place in my life where I could focus on being/seeming perfect. I wasn’t even confident enough in my content to push it like I needed to in order for it to be noticed. Doors I thought I was supposed to walk through never yielded any real benefit. After I engaged in a few failed “opportunities”, God finally decided to knock some sense into me through my daddy.
One day we were chatting and during our conversation he asked me what my plans were and what I wanted to do. Unbeknownst to him, I was already frustrated with the subject, but I answered him somewhat confidently anyway. I say “somewhat” because I wasn’t really confident in my answer. I just wanted to seem like it. I shared with him that I wanted to pursue a career in beauty, and to my surprise, rather than encouraging me to pursue it and offering to help in any way, he firmly but compassionately let me know I was wasting my time. He didn’t discourage my desire to be a part of the industry period. He basically just let me know this probably wasn’t the right time. Y’all... I was so mad at him after that conversation. “How dare he not support my plans!” “What does he know about the beauty industry anyway?!” These were some of the thoughts that swarmed my mind even though, deep down, I knew I really needed to hear what he said. God had already revealed my purpose to me years ago. I knew He called me to help transform the lives of young women through sharing His love with them and being relatable, but the fear of judgment and no one caring about what I had to say caused me to silence my voice. So, what did I subconsciously do out of fear? I chickened out. I convinced myself that I wasn’t in a good enough position in my life to pursue my true calling and that I could find another way to make it happen (i.e. the beauty world). I didn’t even realize at the time that I had allowed myself to literally copy & paste someone else’s hustle/passion/purpose on my life out of fear and desperation. Then had the nerve to wonder why it wasn’t working out for me. By no means am I knocking any of my sisters killing it in the beauty industry. You guys are AMAZING! I can’t stress that enough. There are some really bomb makeup artists out there who’ve built their entire brand around beauty and I could literally watch them on Facebook and YouTube all day if I had the time! But… that isn’t MY PURPOSE.... and it took some tough love from daddy dearest to get me back on track.
I’m aware that not everyone has a reliable “No” man in their lives. That’s why I had to write this blog post. I’m going to be the voice of reason for those who of you who need to take a hard look at what you’re pursuing and evaluate if you’re really walking in your God-given purpose or simply hitting copy & paste on what you see working for someone else.
Ask yourself the questions below and answer them HONESTLY. Remember, if you lie, you’re only lying to yourself and ultimately hurting yourself! So, dig deep, and be honest...
Why did I decide to move in this direction?
Did I receive any confirmation from God that this was the right move?
Since I made the decision to move in this direction, have I experienced more positives or negatives?
Am I confident in my work/content?
Now, based off your answers, determine if you’re following God’s plan for your life or simply hitting copy & paste. If you find yourself guilty of copying and pasting, don’t beat yourself up. I repeat.... DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. You’re only human sis and contrary to popular belief, it’s ok to make mistakes. It’s how you bounce back from the mistakes that truly matters. All you need to do is go back to the drawing board, ask God to reveal His purpose for your life, and RUN WITH IT like Forest! You no longer have to subject yourself to the copy and paste stigma. Your God-given purpose is ENOUGH sis. YOU are ENOUGH. Stop sleeping on yourself and let your light shine!
Leave a comment sharing your “copy & paste” experience! Let’s chat! ✨
1 Peter 4: 10-11
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”