We had the good fortune of connecting with Jada Haynes and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jada, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?

How to know whether to keep going or to give up?

“It’s hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it’s harder to give up when you know it’s everything you want.” – Karan Gaur

As a young female baller growing up, I refused to believe that I was not going to make it to the WNBA. For 14 years of my life, I dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to the game of basketball with hopes of becoming one of the best women players in the country. I was committed to outwork my competition and practice every single day to perfect my skill set. So, it was only right, as I felt, that the reward of my hard work would be recognized publicly and nationally on a larger platform in the league. However, the more I strived for perfection, the tougher it became for me to navigate. As I elevated to the next levels of basketball, the challenges and adversities became more than I was equipped to deal with. The passion and love I once had for the game of basketball begin to fade, because rather than focusing on my goal(s) I wanted to achieve for myself, I started to feed into the expectations that people placed on my life that may not have understood my story or had my best interest at heart. Despite losing my passion for playing, I still persevered and continued to play, because I did not want to let my family and friends down. At a certain point, I began playing for everyone else other than myself, which became emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. The more I played, the further detached I became from my hoop dreams to make it to the WNBA. It was in my freshman year of college after getting a full ride basketball scholarship, where I had to decide on whether I wanted to pursue this WNBA dream, or walk away. Many people began to question how I was willing to walk away from a gift that was once so precious to me, just to let it all go at the drop of a dime. At that point in my career, the answer was quite simple: my peace of mind meant more to me than the unrealistic expectations I was trying to live up to by other people. I was literally draining myself trying to be “the next best female player to make it out of Savannah, GA”. When you have committed yourself to a goal and know that you did everything in your power to accomplish it, yet, still feel like you came up short, you got some real decisions to make. If you no longer enjoy or lose excitement for what you are working on, then you may need to re-evaluate if that is something you truly want. Often, we think we want something so bad, and then we start working towards it, the routine to get there does not serve us in a way that is as beneficial as we want. So, we tend to unintentionally become complacent with the idea of “striving, but never arriving”. And the biggest way for you to know if it should be something you give up on or keep fighting for, is when you think about what would be at stake if you were to stop pursuing it. If you feel that if you stop pursuing a dream or goal, and a sense of freedom , relief, or a burden will be lifted off your shoulders, then that is a huge indicator that it may be time to walk away. However, if the thought of losing sight or letting go of a dream or goal negatively impacts your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, then you may want to re-adjust your approach to your goal versus letting it go. That means that your love and commitment has not faded, but your path will need to be re-evaluated.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I decided to walk away from playing the game of basketball my sophomore year of college, I still had a desire to pursue a career in the sports industry. My goal was to get a job working with high profile athletes as a sports agent. I applied and interviewed with some of my favorite teams, but unfortunately, was not awarded a position. By my senior year of college, I still had no job offers. At this point, I had to consider other career options. I came across an opportunity within our business department at South Carolina State University to attend a mortgage conference for minorities in Atlanta, GA. I decided to attend, not expecting to receive a job offer. I knew nothing about the mortgage industry, yet I took a leap of faith and accepted an entry level mortgage loan processor position. Who would have thought that four years later, I would still be working with this same company? In such a short period of time, I have learned so much about myself and the mortgage industry. I was recently promoted to Regional Trainer, where I found my true calling, which is educating and helping others reach their goals. My desire to educate grew far beyond the mortgage industry. I needed to make a difference in my community. The knowledge I have gained through work, along with life lessons, inspired me to create a platform that enables families, home businesses, and youth to develop a mindset that encourages generational wealth. Manifested Visions by Jada Haynes is that platform. Manifested Visions will provide opportunities and resources including, but not limited to the below offerings: – Educating First Time Homebuyers on How to Qualify for A Home – Organizing Forums & Workshops for Youth to Build Leadership and Life Skills – Assisting Small Businesses to Improve and Enhance Their Brand and Connect with Buyers I am so grateful that I was blessed with the vision to influence and impact lives everyday through my work and business ventures. I am proud to know that my commitment to serving and walking in my purpose is not going unnoticed. I know that if I keep my best foot forward and stay focused on my goals, then the reward in the end will be great. When I look back over my journey, I realize that if I had not been open to new perspectives and opportunities, I would have missed my true purpose. Getting out of my comfort zone and expanding my horizon to unfamiliar territory, allowed me to tap into my greatness. I have been able to broaden my sense of accomplishment and create limitless possibilities for myself. The sky is not the limit, it is the starting point. You must trust the process. There may be obstacles and hurdles that you may encounter, but they are put in place to prepare you for your leap into greatness. Aim high, dig deep, and have faith. The power is in your purpose, and never allow anyone, or anything to make you lose sight of that.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
ATL has some of the best brunch spots. Cirque Daiquiri, Fin and Feathers, BQE; Happy Hour: (We love a good a happy hour) A few of my favorite places are: Las Trojas Cantina in Morrow, El Granero in Stockbridge; Attractions: Apache Cafe – Open Mic Nights with Spoken Word Poetry and Live Music; High Museum of Art, Tour Ponce City Market, Hike Stone Mountain for Exercise; Eateries: Slutty Vegan – the vibe and energy is always great, Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks; Sport Events: Depending on the season, go catch a NBA(Hawks), NFL(Falcons), or MLB(Braves).

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to everyone that has and continue to support me in my journey and career. My parents and siblings who have been my rock, and biggest support system, as well as my godparents and god sister.  I am so thankful for every person that contributed to my growth over the years by believing in me and providing the mental, spiritual, and emotional support that I needed to stay motivated. Without my close friends and family, I would not be the person I am today. It truly takes a village, and I am so appreciative of the amount of love and encouragement I receive from my tribe everyday. I will never take that for granted.

Instagram: _jhaynes

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jhaynes6

Youtube: https://youtu.be/ZO10x9c9h1M

Other: I also have a short film documentary out that was produced in 2018 on YouTube: http://youtu.be/9E_-n_QbUFw

Image Credits
Wendell Scott

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