Kicked out of home at the age of 17 and left homeless, Natasha Ferguson got back on her feet and founded 2BReal Magazine and PR Agency, which has a weekly global readership. Here she shares her story and the challenges she has faced and overcome along the way and also how 2BReal Media was birthed.
On Her Background …
My Dad was a Pastor so I grew up in a Christian home. My parents divorced after 11 years of marriage when I was about 17/18 and our life pretty much changed completely. My dad stepped down from his role and as the family dynamics changed so did our routine which included the church. As the oldest, I took on a lot of responsibilities and became an aid to my mother with my two sisters.
Even though a lot happened at home I used education to keep me focused which was why I did well at school and college. However, my childhood wasn’t a typical one as I would play the role of an adult when required, then would be expected to revert back to a child which was challenging at times. And because I was very outspoken I would act out and say how I felt. Not in a disrespectful way but when you witness a lot of things at home, it shapes the way you see the world as you get older.
How and why she started 2BReal Magazine, and where it’s going in the future …
I started 2BReal Magazine initially to teach myself about the industry and the music culture more so than anything. I had no idea of what was happening in the Gospel industry, and because I had been working in journalism over the past few years, I decided to transfer my skills to do the same type of work I did in that culture. And I haven’t looked back since.
The future of 2BReal Magazine is for the platform to become a household lifestyle resource that you can refer to. Whether you use Google as your preference for a search engine or not, you know what Google can do and how it can help you find what you are looking for. That’s the aim for 2BReal Magazine, for it to become one of the most influential faith-based platforms that anyone can access and find what they are looking for. We are not a trend. We are content and consistent with building a forever brand.
What has helped her stay focused in a world where there are so many distractions and challenges …
My daughter. I was 23 and not a Christian when I fell pregnant and yes you can say you grew up in church so you should have known better but I didn’t because we weren’t taught at home. I was told by the doctors I could not conceive naturally and I was not having my monthly cycles. Like literally one or two a year. And to be even more transparent at the time of her conception, we used more than two forms of contraception because we did not want children at the time, but when she came, she literally saved my life. Having her, gave me a focus that I could not become distracted on. God used her to pull me back on track and the mission He requires me to fulfil and so she reminds me daily, that to live a life you have never had before you have to do the things you have never done before.
I now strive to create change in my legacy. To create a lifestyle and new norms that her children and their children will adopt. And every time I look at her that is what keeps me focused.
On the society we live in as women and it’s challenges …
As a woman, a mother, a friend and business owner, I have experienced that we all look and judge others based on our own experiences, upbringings and environments. So it is really important as a woman to recognise that you will not look like the people around you. You will stand out in one way or another, because we all are different, and I think around the world the revolution of seeing women in business is becoming a phenomenon, black businesses are on the rise worldwide, entrepreneurial children, social media influencers are all now taking a stand, which shows that if you choose to let society challenge you then it will. As women, we have overcome so much. From our individual families, the stories we have heard and been passed down, to the stories we read about other women on the news. It is all about mindset and the reason why I still stand today is because of my mindset. We can say it was the grace of God because yes without Him we are nothing. You have to accept Christ before He can come in because He is a gentleman. You also have to accept defeat and hurt and pain so that depression can waltz through the door.
A challenge never presents itself if there is no solution. God is so powerful and has given us a mind which is also powerful, that’s why you can choose to be challenged, or use the tools we have been given to overcome the challenges we face.
How she has overcome challenges in her own life …
After my parents divorced, my Mum had a mental breakdown of the loss of her father alongside the divorce and I believe even with herself. I was away on holiday for my 18th birthday and I will never forget, the day I arrived home all my things were packed and she told me to leave. That rejection took almost ten years to shake, especially because the relationship I had with my mum was quite open, so I was so confused about why she had kicked me out.
I became homeless and stayed at friends’ houses, parks, inside buildings … it was rough. Then someone asked me to come home with them, after seeing me in the same spot the day before. This person was an angel, they fed me, spoke wisdom into my life, put money into my pocket and took me to a hostel the next day and from there I found my feet. My mental challenge was, I didn’t give my parents that much trouble. Yes, I was not perfect but I wasn’t off the rails either. I realised after that kind person took me in that night, that I had to change the way I thought about myself, my situation and if I wanted to live. It was all about choice. I chose to get better, physically and socially. The mental, spiritual and emotional sides continue to develop to this day, but I am no longer who I was, no longer what I have done. And to know that God has loved me throughout everything I have been through is still overwhelming for me. It was and is His unconditional love that raises me and my daughter to this day. Never judge your temporary situation permanently, because once you change your mind, you can change your entire life.
Instagram: @natasharferguson Twitter: @TashFergie