Do You Have What It Takes to Be Great?

By Tephra Miriam

Do You Have What It Takes to Be Great?

Tephra Miriam

Greatness is far more complicated in practice than in theory. The art of greatness is conceptually simple; it’s rooted in fortitude and requires the capacity to thrive in violent terrain. If anyone would have told me 15 years ago that I would be an author, consultant, thought leader, and creative entrepreneur, I would have laughed in their face. Unfortunately this is the case for many people who lack opportunity and resources. What I did have was vision, imagination and curiosity. Vision guided me, imagination helped me to dream, and curiosity cultivated a ferocious hunger for knowledge and information.

As I’ve built my career, I’ve been fortunate to interact with great innovators that have been able to build multi-million dollar enterprises on their backs. I’ve often asked myself how they did it and wondered if I have the capacity to be great. What is required in order to achieve greatness?

1.) Merge Profession With Path

When I started my graduate program at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, I wasn’t sure if I was making the right decision. I was working full-time, and I had to carve out study time and make the financial investment. Also, I didn’t have a personal or professional support system that completely approved of higher education. In fact, there were a good amount of people in my circle that were rather hostile towards me making that decision. Growing up in a religious household, I was taught to depend upon a higher calling to be my guiding force in deciding my path. One positive part of using a higher calling or destiny as a motivator is that it forces you to identify the why in what you do. Where it falls short is the practical application of the necessary professional traits that you need to develop in order to be great. Knowing your why and merging both profession and path is the sweet spot.

2.) Develop an Impenetrable Internal Dialogue

I decided to dive headfirst into my graduate program, and it was one of the most critical turning points in my life in terms of opening the door to new opportunities, expanding my knowledge, and forging critical partnerships. Managing the naysayers in your life requires time to reflect on the energy that they deposit into your personal ecosystem. Some may be giving you advice for selfish reasons but others may not have malicious intent. Some people in our circles of influence are bound only by what they think, feel, and know. Ultimately, only you can decide what is best for you. Greatness requires a strong and clear internal dialogue system that is alert and responsive.

3.) Turn Self-Doubt Into Fuel

Often times, we create our own mountains that we have to overcome. The obstacles that we face can be a product of our environment, family, or lack of skill, but we all have to learn to turn self-doubt into fuel. Self-doubt is natural and somewhat healthy. It’s a warning sensor in our internal system that causes us to take a closer look at what is going on. When it goes off sometimes little to no change is required, and then you turn it off. Other times, larger fixes need to be made, and that’s ok. As our system evolves, upgrades have to be made.


To achieve greatness, we can never be afraid to journey on the road less traveled. I published my first book in my Clown Town Adventures fantasy fiction series for tweens and teens the year after I graduated with my masters. Book 1 in the series “Escape to Clown Town,” is a new breed of writing that embraces innocence and fearlessly tackles the true meaning of evil. Inspired by the old works of Tolkien, Lewis and Jane Austen, it throws itself into an exquisitely crafted universe that successfully marries the whimsicality of fantasy with an in depth look at good versus evil. It’s not just a story. It lives, breathes, and fearlessly (yet age appropriately) tells a coming of age tale of a young girl that is swept up in a journey that is bigger than she ever imagined. It inspires those who read it to dream big and overcome adversity. It has a diverse melting pot of characters that mirrors the world we live in, which forces us to reflect on society.

The opportunities that I’ve had a direct influence on have been overwhelming, and this is my why. All that I do culminates to being a person of influence in the world in order to break through global equichambers of hate. Embody the attributes of greatness and you are guaranteed to do great things.

Learn more about Tephra Miriam at

View the Book Trailer for Escape to Clown Town on YouTube.