The Monstrous Challenge

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here I am, coming back to write a post! While I’m juggling different hats, trying to build my talk show, I’ll try my best to write a post every week to keep you updated with my entrepreneurial journey. In posts I’ll share what I’ve learned about the business system, my experiences of doing the business, as well as resources and tools I find that may help us to overcome obstacles.

I think it is important to share my experience that I wasn’t prepared for, the specific one, the ones I called a monstrous challenge. Before I start to tell you about my experience, as the developmental stage, my talk show business is moving along well as my team and I have been challenged and overcome by many obstacles.

However, I must say, it was not as bad as this monstrous challenge that I experienced at the meeting last Thursday. The reason I added this adjective word, MONSTROUS, is because this monstrous challenge would tear your business and you personally apart to pieces and see if you can bring your business and yourself back together and bring it to next level. That is a monstrous challenge I am talking about. Yes, I know I’ve said Monstrous for the fourth time – well it’s now the fifth time now. Anyway….

Here is the story…

I arrived at the meeting excitedly and wasn’t expecting that they were my “enemies.”  I came to the meeting thinking they would be open to my ideas, but hell no, I was wrong. The first thing they said to me was, “Why should we support your show? You have no background and you are not well known in the TV industry. What made you think millions of people would want to watch a Deaf host? There are many good hearing hosts out there who would do a hell of a lot better than you.”

A man in the meeting told me that he had seen a husband and wife pair once; the husband was deaf and the wife had to interpret for him everywhere they went. This man in the meeting said that he felt sorry for that wife, as if it were a burden on her.  When will she ever have time for herself? She is so courageous to marry a Deaf man and to be willing to take care of him and his communication needs. Deaf people are dependent because they always need interpreters to communicate for them.

Another man said it is sad that Deaf children who learn sign language at an early age will never learn to speak at all. What’s more, he even used me as an example and pointed his finger at my mouth saying that my sign language is the reason why I couldn’t speak.

I felt like my stomach was being punched without a warning. Immediately I wanted to REACT and say “FOOK OFF” in their faces, but I held myself back. That reaction would not help me achieve my goal of getting the show to launch. So, I responded as best as I could, remaining calm.

The calmness remained until someone in the room started to make a joke about a man with one leg who would be bragging how he is proud of having one leg and educating us about the culture of people with one leg. At this point I couldn’t accept the idea how they badmouthed about the Deaf community and the people with disabilities. I decided to speak up, “Did you know that about 45 to 50 million hearing people cannot read or write? Your HEARING people! They are illiterate and yet they have access to the education taught in English, the first language of America. Which is worse, my DEAF people who had have unstable education that had been operated under your hearing people or your HEARING people who had a stable education for so many years?”

All of the sudden, they said to me, “I am on board! You have potential.”

I felt crap after the meeting even though I had won the battle. I realized I must prepare my responses for unexpected situations. I must put my armor on quickly before they try to shoot me down.  I will always be ready when people will try to use my deafness in order to divert the attention away from my talk show business and to argue with me why my show or my business can’t succeed.

Now I have tasted the first cruelty in the business. And now I know what to do next time… I want to advise you, as Deaf entrepreneurs, to be prepared, know your business thoroughly, have a healthy thick-skinned and to respond with confidence.

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