Janeya Griffin is a motivational advocate for tech, entrepreneurship, inclusivity and social justice within underserved communities. She is adamant that everyone has the ability to change the world, and passionate about opening up that access for those who have historically been excluded.
As CEO of The Commercializer, she educates people on how to build wealth through their ideas. This was inspired by her time working in aerospace, where she monetized scientific innovation for use beyond the space industry. She’s also the co-founder of Con Creates, a creative agency powered by those currently and formerly incarcerated, rewriting the narrative on people with a criminal background.
Here, Griffin shares her brilliant advice on how you can recognize and harness your own potential to change the world.
Don’t be humble about your impact. But, do be selfless.
We need to understand how big of an impact we have and to not be so humble about it. It’s good to know that you’re impacting people and for them to see that impact. I know that there are little girls who look just like me and need to see someone who they could be.
That said, it’s also important to be selfless about it. I understand that with the work that I’m doing now, I may not get to experience the shade from the tree of the seeds that I planted. I may not get to go to space. But I know for sure that I’m going to educate every Black child about the resources that are available and the access that they have.
Visualize the problem, before finding the solution
If you want to start something new, my advice would be to find out what problems exist in that industry and visualize them. For example, when I testified to Congress around diversity and patents – there are six patents per million people that are owned by Black people – I visualized it like this. ‘Think about 13 football stadiums. There are one million seats. Only six of those seats are for Black people.’ So, you really get to see how massive that problem is.
Start there, then you can begin to create some of the solutions that are needed.
Find out who you are by trying what you’re not
Know that it’s ok to bounce around. I went from being a computer tech to trying out engineering to crime scene investigation to, now, increasing diversity in space and educating people about intellectual property. Sampling different things is where you really start to learn, to understand what you like and what you don’t like. That helps you to communicate more clearly and confidently, and to work out what path you need to take to get to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to do that.
Understanding your passion and purpose is vital, in order to see how those interests will play a role in your journey. For me, it’s about helping others, establishing connections between people and problem solving. Be intentional about fulfilling your purpose and make sure that it shows up in every day of your life.
Be the change you want to see
When you get to a point that the position you are in is no longer serving you and you are serving it, that’s when you know that change needs to happen. To find success in the chaos, you’ve got to swim around in unseen places. Do things on your own terms. Because nobody else is going to have that same vision, so it’s really up to you to execute it in the way that it should be.
It’s important to understand that you are currently changing the world. We are the change that our ancestors wanted to see. We are world changers.