The Risk of Homelessness

By Dr Sabrina Kay

May 13, 20196 Minutes

There are so many different types of leadership that it’s impossible to define what a great leader is.

Great leaders know the direction of where to go and are often the student of trends. If you do not know exactly where the world is going, or where you need to go, then you cannot be a leader. A personal attribute that I value, in life, is constant learning. I was a curious kid, and I have always read a lot. I read a book a week and ensure that I have friends who contribute to my growth. They don’t have to be rich, they don’t have to be successful, but I want friends with intellect and something to contribute, so that we can learn from each other.

 

I have heard people say that leaders need to be charismatic and inspirational. I don’t know what that does, other than pumping up people for a few minutes. However when you have clear direction most people want to follow, because few humans want to be the first animal in the crowd, and often prefer to follow.

 

If you’re a leader who is a student of trends and life, the second part of good leadership is found during struggles; how can you make a decision without being fearful and not letting down your team?

 

Resilience during the struggle times and not quitting is very, very important.

 

In my very first business, I had no money, I didn’t know how to finance the company. I financed it through credit cards. I went to a computer company and did a great pitch saying, hey, if you know how to teach a lot of designers and make it work with this software, you can sell a lot of product. They said, okay, we’ll donate the software to you, but you have to go and buy hardware.

 

I had no money to buy hardware, but I was convinced the future of the fashion industry laid within computer technology. It was one of the last industries that was being computerized, and I was right at the very beginning of that trend.

 

I had my mom and dad take out all the credit cards they could. They came and lived with me and started working for me. We took out 20 to 30 credit cards, some of them were $5,000 limits, and some of them had $10,000 limits, and all the money was gone, it was like water, every single day. And I was at the very last credit card to meet the payroll, and I started ‘Art Institute’, that was my first business. If we didn’t get an accreditation, we would have been closed, and weirdly enough it worked, but I remember sitting in the corner of my bedroom, crying all night, thinking this is over, what have I done, my parents and I are going to be homeless again. I have a young daughter. We’re not going to be able to live. The next day, you go back, and then you motivate the students. You teach the students, you tell your staff that we’re going to have one of the best institutions in the world, and we’re changing our lives … everyone’s lives. Inside, I feel like I’m a fraud, but you cannot quit. Once you quit, it’s over. It’s so easy to give up, that’s why people commit suicide. When the struggle happens, it’s so difficult, that sometimes death is easier than living.

 

But great leaders don’t quit.


Dr. Sabrina Kay

Is a serial entrepreneur, tech educator,
fashion designer, philanthropist, and public speaker.

Dr. Kay has been recognized with numerous awards, including
being named Woman of the Year by the California Legislature.