I Reject The Notion That I Have To Struggle



The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” propaganda we’ve been fed for centuries does much more harm than good to our psyche. Motivation is usually not the thing that prevents people from becoming wealthy or achieving world-renown success. We all love a good rags to riches story, but the untruths in our indoctrination need to be revealed; (1) No one is self-made. We are all interdependent – whether family, friends, teachers, mentors, or paid employees – everyone who has achieved the ‘American Dream’ has received help, and (2) Success doesn’t require struggle.

Elevation is our 2022 mantra, right? So, here’s my story!

I have always heard (and consequently accepted) that entrepreneurship is hard and risky, and the income is inconsistent. I’ve opted to be an employee with the illusion of job security and a steady paycheck – to the detriment of not only my income potential but my dreams and even my authentic self.

I am a great employee and a successful employee because I have operated with an entrepreneurial mindset for my entire career. I come in and see the gaps and fill them in. I do what needs to be done with creativity and intention. I created the career of my dreams, but I had not accepted that I could transfer the skills that make me a successful employee into becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Deep down I had rejected the idea that I could earn six figures as an entrepreneur, or that IF I became a six-figure entrepreneur I would have to hustle and grind 24/7 which is in direct conflict with my lifestyle and goals. Again, I had accepted that a 9-5 was the best route for my earnings and leisure time.

I have struggled with an internal conflict for 3 decades. I went into social work as an undergraduate in 1991 to open a home for teen moms – that is entrepreneurship. Over the years I have taken a nontraditional path down a traditional employment route. I was often one of few Black people and the youngest person attending business networking events, conferences, and classes in my early 20’s. I exchanged “safety and security” for a normal life. The truth is that my thoughts and ideas were never normal and by trying to fit in I dismissed an important part of myself. Truthfully, I’ve been operating at about 70% capacity for years.

I’ve had hard times and dark moments, but I don’t have a struggle story because that’s not how my mind processes events – and that is perfectly OK. I’ve never been hungry or homeless or abused or rejected. The truth is that everything that I have ever wanted or needed has come to me quickly and easily. None of the average statistics about job hunting and entrepreneurship have been true for me, and I’ve been asking myself why I let them linger in my mind for so long. I don’t know why I let fear win for so long.

When I decide something it’s a done deal. I have thought about it and maybe even wished it but, I had not decided that I could be a six-figure entrepreneur with loving, healthy relationships who brings in money quickly, easily, and consistently while making a positive impact from any place in the world. I had not accepted that I could be paid well as a business owner to do the things I love and that come naturally and easy to me.

These were all lies created by limiting beliefs! I reject the notion struggle is required to live the life of my dreams. I am on the continuous path of uncovering my internal blocks so that I can eliminate them.

To some of you this may sound like bragging, but I am returning to the authentic me that was buried under bills and debt, embarrassment and guilt, normalcy, and fear of success.

  • Abundance is my birthright.
  • I am working in my purpose and walking by faith.
  • I release hustle and grind and embrace ease and flow.
  • My uniqueness makes me awesome, and I celebrate it.
  • I’m pretty amazing and people need to know it.
  • My gifts always make room for me.
  • My needs are always exceeded
  • The world is my classroom, my office, and my playground – I decline the two-week vacation life.
  • I was meant for more and I am once again operating in Godly confidence!

I am upleveling my mindset so that I can continue to uplevel my position and assist you in doing the same. It’s ELEVATION TIME!! Are you ready?



Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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