Question: What would make a twenty-nine year old attorney at the peak of her career walk out of the legal profession and never look back?


Let me explain. “You don’t have to settle for anything!” And here is the kicker…you can have as much as you want! Prior, to November, 1999, all I ever wanted to do was be a lawyer. (Well, maybe have my own radio or television show.) I had both of those dreams come true before I was twenty-five years old. In college, I was a radio personality and a talk show host. At twenty-four I graduated from Law School. The next five years I had a very rewarding career as a prosecutor in Orlando, Florida. I loved my job!

When I tell people I was blessed, I mean it! I had a good salary, great benefits and moved up through the ranks quickly. So…why did I leave? One word: POSSIBILITY!
Don’t laugh! Here is the truth…One day I was driving on the interstate when I had the scariest thought/vision. It was short, but powerful. I saw myself on a stage talking to thousands of people. I started freaking out! I had just begun to write my first book, Everything Has A Price! I didn’t have three chapters written, didn’t know how I was going to publish it, or how I would sell it, but in this vision I saw the book selling like hot cakes from the back of the auditorium as I was speaking.

I had a hundred questions. How was this going to happen? When was it going to happen? Whom would I employ? How would I make money? You get the picture. I was scared to death and overwhelmed by the POSSIBILITY.

Fear is powerful, but faith is awesome! For the next couple of days I played the “What if?” game. What if I don’t sell a lot of books? What if I run out of money? What if I leave my job for this great vision and don’t make it? (I never use the word fail!) About halfway through my “what ifs?”, I asked myself the ultimate “what if?” question… “Veraunda, what if you are successful?” What do you have to lose? What if you get on Oprah? What if you travel the country and become famous? What if you make a million dollars? What if you can make money doing what you love, and make a difference in lives across this nation at the same time?

I had a good point, if I must say so myself. What if I made it? There was a POSSIBILITY…A GOOD POSSIBILITY!

How, when and where I made it was up to me. Did I believe enough in me to make the vision a reality? Lawyers think a whole lot, at times I believe we think too much. We are taught to look at all the options. The first rule of a good trial lawyer is try to find the weakness in your case, then look for your opponent’s strengths. My analysis was short and sweet:

1. What do I have to lose? EVERYTHING!

2. What do I have to gain? EVERYTHING PLUS SOME!

That day, I knew my answer. After all, I had just finished writing half of a book challenging others to figure out what they were willing to pay for their success. Here was my opportunity to take it to another level. The POSSIBILITY of being an international motivational speaker and author could be a reality. But…I’d have to stop settling!

I would have to move out of my comfort zone. I would have to stop settling for the easy way out. I would have to stop giving up my dreams because they did not appear practical or realistic. I would have to change my thought process from contentment to desire. Sure, I had reached some of my goals, but I wanted more. Being a prosecutor for the government was great, but I could do and be so much more! Fear and anxiety kept me from getting it.

How many visions or thoughts have you had? What are YOUR possibilities? What if you make it a reality? What you have to lose should not be your focus…instead you should ask yourself what you have to gain. The possibility is out there, but you have to stop settling for where you are! Life has so much to offer you. The only thing stopping you from making your dreams a reality, is you!

The challenge I present in this book is for you to stop dreaming and start living your dreams! Start figuring out what it would take to make your dreams come true. I bet you it isn’t anything you don’t have or can’t get. So here is my formula for you:

Stop Settling! Dream Big! Work Hard! Then sit back and…enjoy the payoff!

Copyright © 2003 by Veraunda I. Jackson