Derisa’s Learning Journal II

What is your unique gift? – Do you believe in it enough to invest everything you have in it?

My unique gift is my ability to disrupt the status quo. By doing things my own way I bring new ideas to the floor, challenge pre-established rules and conditions, and present a confidence that exudes through my actions, music and my work. 

  • My unique gift is having an eye and ear for talent. The hands-on experience I have had in the industry and my ability to create makes me unique. 

What difference are you trying to make in the world? – How passionate are you about doing this?

The mark I want to leave on the world has always and will remain the same; I want to make people dance! As odd and cliché as that sounds that’s all I really want. I want to make people feel good. I want to write music that becomes the soundtrack to people’s lives, create experiences and opportunities for people so they can in turn create the life that they always dreamed about. 

  • I want to create something that will be here long after I am gone. I want to help people through music, provide jobs, as well as goods and services to the public. Being able to give opportunities that I did not have will make all the difference.

How do you define success for yourself? – What challenges do you face in order to create success?

Success to me is a feeling rather than something tangible. I am successful when I am making progress big or small. The goal is to always better than day before. We are constantly faced with obstacles during the journey but the ability to overcome those trials, re-strategize, and being able to tell the tale is the real reward. 

  • Success is overcoming challenges and surpassing the goals I have set for myself while maintain my mental and spiritual well-being.

What is career vision and a mission?

 A career vision is where one sees themselves in a few years and what they hope to achieve. It is knowing your core values, establishing your goals and staying on course. A mission is a concise statement that describes one’s goals but more importantly putting action behind the statement.

  • Start my own full service entertainment company that will host producers, songwriters, and creatives alike. Invest in real estate and open business that will provide goods and services to the public as well as be able to express myself creatively through other avenues such as fashion.

Can you innovate and create value and successfully communicate that value to intended audiences?

Yes, I do believe I can accomplish such. My ethnic background (West-Indian), and the experiences I have had growing up in an environment much different from many of my peers allows me to view situations from diverse perspectives, provide new and innovative ideas, and appeal to audience by introducing the different genres of music that I have been influenced by into my production and performing engagements. 

  • I can create value through the products and services that I will provide by giving my intended audiences the highest quality available. Living in the United States and growing up in the Caribbean has prepared me to be able to communicate to people from all over the world.

Do you have a positive attitude?

Yes, I do because I am a firm believer of the saying “What is meant to be will always find its way.” Growing up in the Caribbean the virtues of our elders became ours; those of which were to be kind to everyone and in everything you do always have faith. Moving to the mainland I kept my virtues the same. Having a positive attitude and a corresponding personality has opened doors for me in the entertainment industry and will most likely continue in the near future. 

  • My answer is the same as above.

Have you set your goals? What is your road map to success? Can you set inspiring and realistic goals?

I have both long and short term goals set, how I plan to achieve them is a where the road map gets blurred; the best thing I have learned over the years is to just start and things will begin to come together. The word “realistic” has no power nor does it exist in my vocabulary. When the topic of realism is discussed the inner child/creative dies. Hence, I try to set inspiring goals, ones that will elevate me to new heights, challenge me to relinquish fear and dissolve the bubble I tend to reside in from time to time. Having a vision board makes my goals clearer and holds me accountable to things I want to accomplish. 

  • I have set long and short term goals for myself. I believe now more than ever I am holding myself to those goals and pushing myself to just take the first step. I have created a three-year road map and a list of goals that involve me creating my own lane in the industry. 

Do you have and/or acquire the necessary expertise to actualize your vision?

I am in the process of doing so. While I may not be a finished product the experiences I have had along with the courses I am currently enrolled in will take me one step closer. I am becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

  • Answer is the same as above

What are your priorities? Can you set priorities?

Yes, I can set priorities but sometimes I have a hard time following them. I am young and sometimes it becomes difficult to find a balance between my social and professional life. My number one priority right now is to finish school. While completing my degree I am learning to make myself and my future a top priority and self-invest. 

  • I have struggled for years on how to prioritize but I am getting better.

What opportunities are you looking for? What opportunities are you creating or intend to create? 

I am looking for opportunities to write and produce for artist or just be a part of the creative process in bringing their ideas to life. I am also looking for an opportunity to elevate other artist careers. I would love to have a conversation with industry executives whose career visions align with mine.

  • Answer is the same of above.

How comfortable are you with uncertainty? What risks are you willing to take?

I am very comfortable with being uncomfortable. The past couple years of my life have been filled with uncertainty, from moving to the states, adapting to new culture, to spending the summer working without compensation in a recording studio so I can gain knowledge with experienced professionals. The risk I have taken in recent years have prepared me for anything. I willing to move to a new city, adapt to my surroundings if it means that I can fulfill my dreams. 

  • I am very comfortable with being uncomfortable. The past couple years of my life have been filled with uncertainty. Now as I prepare to head into the work force I am forced to create opportunities and make things happen.

When facing challenges, do you persevere or do you walk away?

The past couple of months especially have been dedicated to consistency and discipline. So, when faced with challenges I always take time to relax my mind, evaluate the situation, and re-strategize. If it is something I have a vast amount of interest in I always persevere. This mainly because I do not enjoy losing. 

  • The answer is the same as above.

What experience have you learned the most from?

I cannot say there is one experience that I learned a lot from rather a culmination of events that lead to a “Ah Ha” moment. Within the last year there have been drastic changes to the life that I have known so well. These experiences have taught me that I am a lot stronger than I think I am and it is time to start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

  • The experience I have learned from the most was the summer of 2018 when I did an internship at a music studio in Atlanta. I learned that no one is going to give you anything and that you have to create your own opportunities. Everything is hard work but if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.

What actions are you taking to realize your vision? Are you consistently taking action?

I am bringing my vision to life by investing in myself. If I do not take a risk when it comes to my career and future who will? I am actively taking steps every day to get better in my field of interest. I am listening to new music, conversing with people who are actively doing what I want to do, reading the articles, and perfecting my craft. In turn, I am seeing progress.

  • Answer is the same as above

How well do you put things in context? Are you able to easily respond to changes in your environment? What’s your best example?

I am excellent when it comes to putting stuff into context and adjusting to changes in my environment. Although I can give many examples the best one I have experienced is having my island and my home destroyed after two category 5 hurricanes in 2017. Having to go back home over the holidays to a place that did not have power or running water in certain areas, torn families, communities, poor health care facilities made me realize how privileged I am and how I have taken things for granted in the past. There was no one to blame for the natural disaster rather I had to adjust to a new way a life and rebuild. That experience set precedence for the years to come. 

  • Answer is the same as above.

What is your plan to continually grow and evolve? How have you grown or evolved in there past year or three?

My plan to grow at a steady pace is to continue studying the masters in the field and take risk.  I plan to be more efficient with my time and produce more content. By doing that I can have more to bring to the table and improve steadily. 

  • I have grown so much in the past three years and my time at Jacksonville University has played a major role in that. I am more independent, I am able to prioritize better, and I have a better understanding of myself. I will continue to grow by taking risk, pushing myself, and never giving up.

How easy is it for you to reach out to others to ask for support and to offer help?

This is something I probably have the greatest challenge doing. I have always had trouble asking anyone for anything (it may be a cultural thing). In the past, there were projects that I needed monetary support from the community; I left that part to my team. 

  • I am getting better at reaching out and asking others for help; learning to put my pride aside. Nothing can be accomplished alone. 

How are you inspiring others to join and/or support your mission in order to create a financially sustainable enterprise that allows you to live your gift and contribute something valuable to society? – If you aren’t currently, how do you intend to?

Currently I am not doing so, however I plan to by writing business proposals to gain funding from companies and people who can finance my projects. I will do it in a way that both parties can benefit from the endeavor. I will paint my vision to my audience so they can see what I see and be inspired to also be great. 

  • After completing an assignment that has forced me to write down my goals and be honest with myself I am now taking the steps to submit to grants and write proposals so I can fund my projects. I plan to see my vision all the way through, create art work that will be here long after I am gone and never give up. 

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