About Princess Baptiste

How My Life Journey Started

My earliest memories take me back to the beautiful Island of Trinidad and Tobago. I can say that now about the Island but as a child, I felt nothing but pain and suffering. I grew up in a small shack with my brother, my aunt, and her 3 children. In total, there were about 6 of us living together sharing about 3 small rooms. I didn't get to sit around like the other children of my time did and watch TV because there were only 3 channels and our antenna didn't seem to work. Every day was the same: wake up, follow my brother and my cousins to collect water for the day, come home and shower behind a bush because we had no kind of plumbing back then, and then go to school. Even at school, it was hard because other children had lunch and all I could do was walk around and snatch food off of other children's plates. Back then, I had no goals, no dreams, and no aspirations that didn't involve food. I was just focused on survival.

We started to rebuild our house almost immediately. By this time, my cousins were older and able to do odd jobs and had acquired the skill of making cement. They started to lay a foundation for the house that stands there today. The disaster was a blessing in disguise because we were forced to build and when we rebuilt the house, we created more rooms. Instead of a 3-room house, we now had a kitchen, the bathroom would be created much later, a living room, a dining area, and 3 bedrooms. In that same year, I found out I had a father in America and he sent us a freezer. We began selling Ice! From ice, we went on to sell chickens! I felt we were finally thriving.

I didn't Believe it could get any worst
Things started to get a little better

While I was at school, there was major flooding and a hurricane passing through. We are used to heavy winds at certain times of the year and we build our houses high on stilts to avoid the flooding but this time, we were hit directly. I came home from school that day homeless. We had to split up. My aunt, my brother, and I stayed at a neighbor's house and I had no clue where my cousins went. Our little home was nothing but a pile of rubble. Looking back on these events, I don't know how we all survived to make it to this day. We are a resilient people.

Coming to America

One day, My mother arrived to "take us home". It felt strange to me to think that there was another home for me to go to because I barely recognized her after living separately for so long. On the plane, I had my doll and my teddy bear and I remember just looking around in amazement. I had never seen the amenities on a plane and I had no recollection of ever being on a plane before. I remember looking out the window searching for heaven.

On arrival to America, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. I felt rich. In our home, there were toilets! In Trinidad, I always felt that people who had bathrooms indoors were much better off than us so when I came and saw this, I was elated. There was more of everything. Gone were the days of having to eat rice and butter. Gone were the threats of being bitten by snakes. Gone were the days when we had to fetch water from a pipe down the street. I had my own bed! The markets looked so much more different than the open-air markets of that time and there were people of all colors. It was fascinating. You could not tell me back then that we were not rich.

My only reprieve from the bullying was when I attended a charter school called Kipp South Fulton Academy. Those teachers were a godsend. They equipped me to start believing in myself again and worked hard to try and undo all the abuse and insults I had received at the hands of the children before. I was given the academic foundation to believe I could succeed in that school. We used to do affirmations every morning about going to college and getting a good job. That became my goal and I strived for it every day. I had perfect attendance and I was on the honor roll every semester.

I learned very early on through those horrendous experiences of being chased, kicked, and spit on that nobody was going to save me. I had to save myself. The bullying continued once I entered high school but now it didn't matter as much because I truly felt that once I graduated, my life would be set and everything was going to go exactly as I had planned it. I had to toughen up and stand my ground if I wanted it to get any better. In high school, I did everything I could to give myself a competitive edge against my peers: Tennis, Softball, SGA, Debate Team, Choir, Volunteer Work; anything that would make me look well-rounded.

At that time, I thought I had clarity and everything was within my grasp. I didn't realize that the real competition was on a global level. I just kept thinking about doing better than the children in my classes and didn't realize that there were children worldwide fighting just as hard for the same things I wanted.

Life gave me a hard dose of reality and nothing went as I had planned. I didn't go to the schools I wanted to attend for my bachelor's or my master's. Despite that, I still kept pushing through the school system because I truly believed at that time that that was the only way for me to be successful and independent in this country.

The American School System

My time in the American school system is not a unique experience. It was very cliche. I, the foreigner, was bullied mercilessly every single day until the day I graduated high school. When I first started schooling, I struggled greatly because Southerners had an accent and I also had a very thick accent. We couldn't understand each other. They put me in special classes saying that I needed to learn how to speak English despite English being the official language of Trinidad and Tobago. While other children were studying and learning at a normal pace, I was sitting one-on-one with a paraprofessional "learning" how to pronounce words. By the time I rejoined the general population, I was graduating from elementary school without the ability to multiply and divide. I remember going home from graduation and shedding tears in my driveway because I felt in that moment, that I would amount to nothing.

Joining The American Work Force

In college, I studied psychology and was fully convinced that I was going to graduate and impact the world through my great listening skills. I immediately took a job at a mental health facility and was shocked. I came into that workplace full of hope and light and within 2 years of being there, I found myself just as pessimistic and maybe even more depressed than some of the patients there. I thought to myself, "This can't be life. I just wake up, go to work and get yelled at, come home and repeat, and then get 2 weeks off??" These thoughts began to fill my head and left me restless. I tried talking to other people about it but they said "That's just life." I felt dejected and my solution to feeling that way was simple. I told myself "Go get your master's degree, then you'll make more money, then you'll feel better about coming to work."

I took all of my PTO time, sat around for about a month, sent in my resignation to the mental health facility, and vowed to never work in that field again. I completed my master's degree and got a job that paid me more than twice what I was making at the facility and was happy again. I thought, "This is the life I'm supposed to live. I wasn't depressed, I was broke. Now I have money!" but that joy was temporary. I had more money but I also had more work. Now, work followed me home and I never felt like I was off. I still wanted time to myself. That year felt like it passed me by because I was never home, never able to partake in any family events, and I would just come online and see what a good time everybody else was having.

I was stressed once again. My mother had to come out of the workforce due to heart failure and I immediately felt a strain on my pockets. When your parents fall sick and you feel like they may not make it, you want to spend all the time you can with them. When you have a job, that cannot happen. Your life emergency is not their problem, they expect you to perform at the same level regardless of circumstances. I cried many evenings just thinking about how guilty I would feel had my mother not pulled through and I wasn't there in her last moments. I started to wish with all my heart that I didn't have to work for anybody. I didn't care anymore about how much I spent on my education and I stopped caring about what my close family and friends would think about me. I started to surround myself with entrepreneurs and business-minded people. I wanted to figure out what I could do to get my time back.

The wakeup Call

I thought everything was pointless. I was failing, I was miserable, and I felt so hopeless; it was like I was digging my own grave. I started looking for what businesses I could do, attended seminars, and started reading books. Nothing was working! I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I remember having this conversation with someone, and she told me "This is just what life is. People choose a career and deal with it even if they do not like what they are doing. She said hopefully in the end you’ll eventually like it." I thought to myself "How sad; she's given up. I don't want to be her."

I am a big fan of watching motivational videos on YouTube and attending seminars to be inspired once again. Every time I attended one of these seminars, I would tell myself "This is it. I'm going to get a great idea and we are going to be independent and quit my job." Just as quick as the motivation came, it left. I found myself being depressed and spending hours laying in bed indulging in negative self-talk. It got to the point that I was literally begging God for help. "why won't somebody help me? If someone would just tell me what to do, I'll do it. What do I need to do?" I would say these things out loud as tears streamed down my face. I felt like every time I had a business idea and it didn't work out, I had let down my entire family.

"For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5

I truly believe that I am the one for my family. If not me, then who? I picked myself up and found myself in the company of an amazing group of people. I asked for help, and I got it. The answer you were looking for does not always come in the way you imagine it to be. I am so grateful every single day for the inner joy I feel in doing what I do. I get to wake up and help families of all sizes. I get to pour into others and let them know that it is going to be okay. I know now that all that I have gone through has compounded into creating the person I am today.

I've gone from being depressed and feeling hopeless to being hopeful and confident in my purpose. I answered the clarion call for greatness, and I am enjoying the journey. I've gone from not knowing what I can do to be independent and not having to rely solely on a job where they can just fire me, to knowing that I can create something out of nothing. Just in the past year alone, I was personally mentored by two amazing coaches: John Assaraf, and Kash Rastan. Through their platforms, I've been able to share my story with thousands and provide them with the inspiration they need to take that leap of faith into entrepreneurship.

"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13

Speaker at The Path to Greatness Event

Dennis Kimbro

John Assaraf

Kash Rastan, Nelizze Pamintuan

Amy Purdy

Black Excellence Leadership Council

Steve Siebold

Doug Andrews

Jamal Miller

Rich Thawley

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