As much as we love the work that we do in urban schools, we both can't stand working FOR other people, using our gifts to fulfill their make-pretend missions and so-called progressive visions, which we know are truly rooted in making a dollar instead of a difference. Carissa and I were BFFs, barely out of college, when we decided to start our own nonprofit: The Flourishing Blossoms Society for Girls. Two different women from two similar 'hoods where everyone basically had a 9-5 or lived off government assistance. Seeing a successful entrepreneur was an anomaly. We never really had anyone to show us that we could do this full time and still be able to pay off student loans and our rent and help our mama's with their bills and take care of any other unexpected financial grievances. So despite teaching ourselves how to get incorporated and acquiring 501(c)3 status so many years ago, we never quit our jobs to run our business full time, and as a result of our part time efforts, we've only seen part time results. We didn't realize, by living in our fearful safety nets, we were sending our girls an inadvertent message that they have to wait for their dreams to come true, when the truth is they already have the inner-power to make their dreams come true whenever they are ready. This is a reflection, not a regret. We had to start somewhere. We acknowledge how far we've come, while agreeing that our non-profit needs to be our full time "job" within the next 5 years. Make no mistake, it's not the timing that we are concerned about, it's about the girls and women that we are able to impact once we can pour 100% of our energy into serving them. But no matter how long it takes us to be in full creative control of our careers and independent of any "bosses," I am grateful that we have something we never had before, something that many people from places like us still don't have: courage. We possess the courage to know that our goal is obtainable. Even Maya Angelou said, courage is all you need in order to manifest your dreams. Oh and some literature... definitely have to do your research! The knowledge is out there for the taking!