Working In Excellence Until Your Calling is Revealed
How What You Do Today Sets You Up For Your Tomorrow
A few years ago, I recall something Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick said to a young church member as shared in a sermon on YouTube. The seeker asked, “how do I know my calling?” Furtick responded, “don’t worry so much about your calling. Just do what you’re doing today WELL, and it will come to you.”
In today’s world, witnessing insta-fame makes many of us feel like we should know our life purpose, NOW. But, it’s not that easy. While many people know what they want to do in life, even more do not. When we are blessed with ANY work to do today, our doing it with excellence literally creates our future through skills and knowledge obtained.
I am grateful for Furtick’s message to stay focused on what’s in front of you because while I’ve always been a creative girl — writing poems at age 10, performing spoken word from 15–28 — I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. Inspired by Harlem Renaissance poets whose work I interpreted, the one thing I knew was that I wanted to live in Harlem (and I did for 19 years).
Fast-forwarding to today, presently I am blessed to own and operate a marketing firm and wellness brand. My ability to do so comes from toiling and focusing for 25+ years with laser focus in advertising & marketing jobs at VIBE, Live Nation, DDB, Ogilvy, iNDEMAND TV and Carol’s Daughter.
I was the Chief Marketing Officer at Carol’s Daughter, responsible for product launches, photoshoots, ad campaigns, staff and brand & creative executions, including ESSENCE Festival. From 2009–2011, I produced curated & bespoke Carol’s Daughter’s brand activations at ESSENCE Fest in the NOLA French Quarter. We sold beauty products, programmed guest appearances including The Braxtons, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Roberson, our beloved Founder Lisa Price, amongst many others. Twice we used a black-owned art gallery that cleared out its inventory for us to install a Carol’s Daughter store takeover.
So, when I unexpectedly walked directly into Carol’s Daughter Founder Lisa Price in the New Orleans Convention Center at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture on July 1, 2023, I had a whole revelation. She was there because in 2020, L’Oreal acquired Carol’s Daughter which resulted in the brand holding space as an official sponsor in the EFoC’s BeautyCon vs an offsite location. I was there because of her, the opportunities her company afforded me AND my diligence doing that work at that time. Presently, my firm, Omerge Alliances, is a production firm with ESSENCE Festival of Culture as a client. See how life creates for us?
While creating activations at ESSENCE for Carol’s Daughter, I never knew what this would prepare me for. But today, 14 years later, I know for certain that when you take today’s task seriously, it can give way for a powerful, and often unexpected future.
Just as Lisa Price’s company gave young women like me the opportunity to learn and grow, I am grateful now to offer such opportunities, specifically to young women, to acquire skills to create their own careers through Omerge Alliances. I am well aware that many of these beautiful black women will create their own paths, and this brings me tremendous joy.
As a woman of faith, it is my desire to be used by God for good on earth. So, seeing the ladies of Omerge work, grow, and be empowered to solve problems on their own, and operate always in excellence makes it all worthwhile.
And as a bonus, I experienced another special moment. I left my activations to witness the greatness of fellow producers in Beauty (Mark Stephens Agency & GeChar) and AfroPunk. While in AfroPunk land, I thought I was quietly scoping out the scenes (see below meditation room), a young woman Khalifah Washington spotted me and shared that she follows my career and work on LinkedIn and that I inspire her. Such gratification is so inspiring.
I am grateful for the blessing of creating platforms that present opportunities for others. This year, witnessing rising Gospel music superstar John Houston, medical expert Dr. Uche, wellness leader Tai Beauchamp, just to name a few, led with intention at Festival reminded me of my purpose to create platforms for others, and to support them along the way.
Witnessing our Team Intern Bianca create our first-ever game show platform NOLA Culture Quest, hosted by Edgar Chase & Eryn Hartzog was even more gratifying. I recall being an intern, and young in my career. It is ONLY through opportunities that you are able to gain experience and find your footing. So, once again, I’m grateful to be able to offer opportunities to others.
Being a servant leader is one of the things I now know I am called to do, so do so with pride, delight and humility. I wish you excellence with the work you do today while your calling comes to you.
Olivia F. Scott is Assistant Professor of Advertising at Loyola University, Adjunct Marketing Professor at NYU, and Founder of Omerge Alliances.