Erinn Diaz: Entrepreneur, Performer, Author, Optimist
Life is always good, but some weeks are definitely more challenging than others.
As a business owner and artist, I am able to experience some rare life opportunities, and meet incredible people who I am proud to call friends all over the world. When folks read or hear about some of my endeavors in life, I am quite often told “you’re so lucky”! While I am grateful beyond words for every adventure and blessing along the way, “luck” is not the thing that I attribute one bit of any success to.
One of the companies I am most passionate about is my nonprofit theatre in North Carolina. While we produce some community theatre productions each year for all ages, our specialty is quality youth theatre and confidence building through the arts. When I first started the company, I was teaching private lessons there for tap dance, voice and drama, and several times would get students ready for upcoming auditions. Auditioning is one of the most challenging parts of being a performer, and even after the perfect audition, if you aren’t the right height, weight or look the director is going for, you are rejected.
I remember an occasion where a student came to me in tears after she didn’t get the role she had so desperately worked and prepared for months in advance. She knew she would do an amazing job given the opportunity to shine onstage, but the role still went to someone else. I told her at that time what I have told hundreds of students and friends over the years…. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
When you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, many of them have a solid idea and want to follow their passion- whatever it may be- and yet 15 years later when it’s time for them to go to college and start living that dream, they choose a different profession that they feel will give them “security” in life. Even those who DO choose to follow their dreams, many will quit after a few job rejections or bad auditions and slip back into a comfort zone or a job they are not as passionate about.
It took me years to get to a place in my business where I didn’t feel like I was drowning every day in it. All my organizations have started out with too much to do and not enough time. We have had hundreds of successes- not because we’re lucky- but because we’ve had thousands of failures along the way. You have to get into the mindset of taking your roadblocks and turning them into stepping stones to allow you to see more than you ever would without your failures.
Being a performer is not “easy”. Being an entrepreneur is not “easy”. Following your dreams is not “easy”, especially since there are so many easy paths out there and ways to make money by working for someone else. But even though it’s not “easy”, I can honestly say I have not worked a day in over 10 years, because I have created my “work” to be what I would do every day – even if I didn’t have to work. I love every minute of it and always look forward to more.
Happiness and success is never about “luck”….. as my husband says “it’s funny, the harder I work the luckier I get”! Succeeding comes from a lot of failure and rejection and never giving in to the “easier” path of life.
If you follow your heart and your passion with your entire being, you will not only succeed at what you want to do in life and always look forward to each and every day, but the money and extreme opportunities to enjoy in life will follow. The best part is, when you are practicing your passion, you will inadvertently change the lives of those around you, and (for lack of sounding like a Miss America interview) you will brighten the world and make it a better place. It will NOT be “easy”, but when you awake from the coma of everyday life and run your own dreams you will never go back.