Photography credit Kyle Johnson
Evita Colon (Lancaster, PA)
Career: Founder and Owner of Speak to My Soul (a creative arts agency that uses various avenues of performance and media arts to empower, educate, and elevate). Also, I am a published poet, author, freelance writer, graphic designer, creative director, and filmmaker.
Steps towards becoming a Creative and Entrepreneur:
Practice. No one ever really sees my practice because I’m usually seen helping others better themselves in their crafts. However, I almost obsess over being better than I was yesterday. I practice whenever I have a moment alone. I practice in my head when I’m around people. I study my craft non-stop. I spend most of my time exploring the greats before me to see where I can grow. I study what I love about others doing what I do, and I find my niche within. They say once you’re paid for it, you’re a professional. However, I didn’t feel like a professional until I was paid what I asked for. At that moment, I felt like they trust me with their hard-earned money because I worked hard for my worth.
1. What is a quality that makes you successful in your career?
I am inspirational and empowering. I am very transparent with my journey, and it makes others feel very connected with me. It makes them think, “if Evita can do it, I can too.” Not only do I share my amazing experiences, I also share my flaws, doubts, fears, and any lessons that may come up in the process. People are inspired by genuine transparency. I work hard to make sure my mission to empower, educate, and elevate is in everything I do. It comes with a great deal of dedication, confidence, and belief in myself and my purpose on this Earth.
2. What are 3 tips you would give someone that is struggling to reach their goals?
#1 Never give up! This may sound cliche, but when striving toward your goals, you will want to give up more than people would like to admit. Even in my success, there have been days that I felt like I wanted to quit. At those moments, I learned to either take a break or revise my plan, but it was important not to give up on the thing that I was passionate about. When it gets hard, you learn the most about yourself and those around you. It’s vital to push through it, to reap the benefits of the lessons.
#2 Ask for help and use your resources. Everyone wants to be self-made, but most of the time, no one ever is. If you have a friend that can do something you can’t and you know it’ll help you on your journey, ask them. We live in a mighty age of information. If you get stuck somewhere, Google it or YouTube it, and most of the time there are answers for you. Social media is also helpful because you can network with like-minded people that may have similar goals in mind. If you never ask for help, you never know who can push you through those obstacles.
#3 Don’t be discouraged by “NO.” When striving to reach your goals, you have to get used to people telling you no. These “nos” can come in many forms: lack of response, beating around the bush, not believing in what you’re doing, etc. You have to believe in what you’re pursuing more than anyone else. You have to be so confident in your pursuit that a “no” would never be a reflection of your potential. Every “yes” isn’t an opportunity, and every “no” isn’t a closed door.
3. Name the top 3 goals you’ve achieved.
#1 Selling out 3 theatrical shows that I wrote, directed and produced with an all-black cast and no “professional” background in theatre.
#2 Being awarded the NAACP Presidential Social Justice Award for my organization’s work in the community.
#3 Successfully telling the stories of my people in a way that empowers them and educates others.
4. What inspired you to reach your goals?
First, my son. If I want to make a change in the world, I must start with influencing the next generation through example. He makes me want to be the best version of myself, that is my greatest motivation. Secondly, I know my success is tied to the dreams of others. I know what it means for everyone around me to see me succeed because my goals are related to making those around my community and me better. I have to reach my goals to elevate those around me.
5. How did you overcome obstacles to reaching your goals?
Obstacles are a part of the journey. Some are harder than others to overcome. I’ve always had great people around me, rooting for me and ensuring I made the best decisions. When I felt like the people around me weren’t providing me with the energy to grow, I had to change my environment. Another key to overcoming obstacles is to remember my “why.” When you start pursuing your goals, you have a reason behind your pursuit, and it’s best to remember that, write it down and keep it with you. Things along the way will make you forget, then life will humble you. When we pursue things that are in our heart, it is with purpose. I will always remember that. Also, lots of prayers, meditation, and self-care help me stay centered enough to keep going.
6. How do you keep your inspiration from decreasing?
Honestly, there are times where I do not feel inspired. In those moments, I try not to force anything; instead, I live. At times, we get so lost in our pursuit, we forget to live, which allows us to appreciate the little things. I’m inspired by the art of life itself, and if I’m focused on work and not the beauty of life, I fall into a space in which I am not inspired. I also keep people around me that are further in their journeys or better than me at my craft. They inspire me to work harder, but they also empower me because I know the end goal isn’t far away.
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