Do Your Research

As I continue my journey, I wanted to include something that has been imperative to my progress. Music. One album in particular that has been instrumental in my success is Culdesac, the mixtape by one of my biggest inspirations, Donald Glover (commonly known by his rap pseudonym Childish Gambino.) Every time I listen to the album, there’s always a line or quote that accurately depicts the moment I am in. It is almost like the album was written for me becoming a business owner. At the end of each of my blog post, I will include a quote from this album that summarizes everything into a line (and for the case of vulgarity, I will adjust the language as need be.) Now back to our regular scheduled programming.

You thought you were getting sleep? Ha. Ha.”


My mind taunted me every day. I’m not sure why I thought that my life would remain relatively the same. It’s not.


Welcome to the first stage of creating a business. Research.


So my business is going to be fitness related and in particular women’s fitness (I don’t want to go into detail just yet.) I am consider myself to be a cultured fitness intellectual, as I have already done a lot of research and have been on \a fitness journey myself. Boy was I wrong.

I was now entering the actual fitness world where my previous knowledge was just a speck of what fitness actually encompasses. On the surface working out may seem easy, everyone knows some general information on how to be healthy but to be an expert on fitness, you need to know so much more.


My new venture professor, Donald Coccia, said it best. Expertizing yourself. He told the class that there are at least 10 words in every field that only well adapted individuals and experts would know. Once you get to know those words, doors will open for you as it’s your gateway to that profession.


As my research began, an epiphany popped into my head: you don't know anything !

The science behind eating, the different muscles groups, how to recover, what are all the functions of molecular structures in everyone’s body and how does that contribute to their eating patterns, what are the ways that someone can get injured, what disease or DNA information can hinder someone from reaching a particular goal; safe to say I was oblivious to a lot of things.


Not to mention, the market of personal training and nutrition. What other products were already out there, how do I find a market that’s been untapped, who am I marketing too, how much will it cost, legal matters, am I a LLC or a sole proprietor…

The list goes on and on.


Quickly I realized, that I am not only tired but I could see my free time waving goodbye. This was a reality call for time management 101 and 102. In the midst of planning my time, I almost forgot that I am a full time college student taking 16 credits, have a part-time job, just signed up to help another start-up business and am also a pageant mom. A former master at saying yes to everything, I had to start to say no.


It was time for me to start prioritizing and managing my time. As many planners as I have hoarded along the years, in which I’ve never used, I had to actually open one and start using it. Serious stuff here. I had to start making sacrifices in my life.


The first thing I can recognize that I would be giving up is my senior year, not educationally, but socially. My daily 12 minute naps, laughing with my friends for hours, going to bed at 8 and spending hours upon hours pondering on YouTube watching anything, were over. That time is now filled with market research, product research and content creation. (And crying.)

Sticky notes became a staple for me; I would list everything I wanted to accomplish by the end of the day on them.


Photo of my desk in my dorm. (P.S. I have a logo now :] )

My schedule looks like this:

8 a.m. – Wake up, eat, check email. Listen to the Power 105.1 Breakfast Club and try to create page on my website.

8:30 a.m. – Stop doing website and do Comm 461 homework (pause the show).

9:00 a.m. – Start getting ready and listen to Comm 497 podcast while getting dressed.

9:07 a.m. – Stop getting ready and answer emails.

9:15 a.m. – Go back to getting ready.

10:00 a.m. – Stop getting ready and answer reflection questions on podcast.

10:10 a.m. – Check email. Finish getting ready and send yourself the reflection to print later.

10:30 a.m. – Run out your dorm, get coffee and print reflection.

11:15 a.m. – Go to Comm 461 class, finish class work as fast as you can and try to finish page you started earlier in class (be low key).

12:05 p.m. – Send out emails to law student and start-up professor to meet this week while speed walking to French class.

1:10 p.m. – Get out of French class, check email and get food.

1:30 p.m. – Eat, finish playing Breakfast Club and see what else you can do. You can probably write up your French homework now.

2:15 p.m. – Run to work you are going to be late, don’t forget to bring food and your laptop.

7:30 p.m. – Get out of work, eat, and finish the website page, add the pictures you wanted. Check email.

8:00 p.m. – Pageant meeting, bring laptop and speaker.

8:15 p.m. – Wait did you respond to Jane’s text this morning about getting lunch? *checks text messages*

9:00 p.m. Check email. Go to the gym.

11:05 p.m. – *thinking mid squat* Wait did you finish French homework it’s due at midnight!

11:07 p.m. – Sprinting to my dorm to finish French. Eat.

11:40 p.m. – Relax your mind, you finished French on time (barely). Check your email. Start ENG 425, try to finish tonight.

12:00 a.m. – Take a shower.

12:30 a.m. – Check email. Study for BBH 130 quiz.

1:00 a.m. – Sleep. 2:07 a.m. - Wake up and grab notebook an idea for the website just popped in my your head. 2:10 a.m. - Go back to sleep (hopefully)

My weeks were looking like variations of this every day. A never ending cycle of checking my email and doing work in sparse time gaps I had during the day. Although forgetful at times, this method worked and has worked for me.

I am now becoming an expert in the field of fitness. I feel good. I feel smarter. I feel tired.

I’m not really sure how I am finding time to write this blog with my schedule being so hectic.

Holding onto my precious hours of sleep and moments I could actually stop to breath, I am now proficient in time management.

Song – I’m Alright (Cudelsac)


“Sleep when I’m dead, these voices in my head got me waking up at 4 a.m. just so I can write instead. And my friends come and ask me if it’s worth it? I tell them it better be, I did this thing on purpose.”

– Childish Gambino

Drop Me a Line, Let Me Know What You Think

AISHA POWELL © 2020

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