As I sat down in front of the microphone at Do Work Media Studio to do my interview with HERstory, I was terrified. I don’t know why, but fear just magnifies when there’s a microphone in your face. As I sat with the host of the podcast, CT, my nerves began to calm down as we sipped our water and chatted about how disrespectfully hot this weather had been the past few days. With my fears subsided at the cue of her introduction, I hear her proudly welcome me as her guest and so it began - I told my story.
I won’t give you the entire blow-by-blow of the interview. I will give you the opportunity to check that out on your own at the link here if you are interested. I just really want to touch on a few points I made that I feel everyone should know as it pertains to self-care.
- Have a business bestie! - To my knowledge, this term was coined by my business bestie, Karmen Cook of copywriting business Karmen Copy [she wrote my ‘About Me’ page] and blog The Afro Social Life. As you can see from all the hyperlinks going on, she has a lot of amazing things happening, which inspires me in so many ways. Find someone who doesn’t want to see you be anything other than great. The “yes man/woman” is the absolute worst person to have around in life. Sometimes you need that loving “get your shit together” moment from a friend. It only makes you better, I promise.
- Know that it’s ok to not be strong. - For too long, women have had to take on this inhumane role of being “strong” all day, everyday. As a black woman, if I am anything other than a “strong black woman” it seems as though I can be no one at all, which I think is ridiculous. Crying is natural and healthy, period. Allowing yourself to feel and cry those real tears is essential to really caring for yourself. The reality is not all women are made of stone with ice boxes for hearts and nerves of steel. Allow yourself to feel bad, then focus on being better.
- Invest and nurture your community. - I’ve done so many local markets that the vendors have become a little extended family of mine. If I want a plant, I’ll hit up Hægur plant truck. Need some amazing earrings? I have so many pretties to choose from with designers like Lina Rosa, The Tiny Tassel, and BR Design. If I need tips on cocktails, I hit up my ladies The Cocktail Bandits. You see what I did there? Every single one of these businesses are local, small and in my community. While I am not a Charleston native, this is now my community. This is my home. In order for my community to be an amazing place for my kids to grow up and thrive, I have to do my part by nurturing the people that contribute to the economy. By no means am I in a position to buy everything from everyone (if I could I absolutely would), but I am always in a position to show my support and actively support. The key word in that phrase is actively support. The faux support (appearing uber supportive on social media while going out of their way to never purchase from you, go to your events, tell you hello when they see you, etc) can exit stage left though. Where is the GTFOH button on these social media platforms?
- If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re screwed. - In a couple of months I will be taking on ownership of my first store. I AM FREAKING OUT! Every single day I am thinking of what I need to do to prepare and the thought of running an entire store petrifies me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quit the store and I haven’t even opened yet lol. My point is, I’m terrified, but I’m so excited to take my vision to the next level. If this turns out to be a failure, at least I went for it. I won’t have regrets thinking about the what-ifs. Hypothetical thinking can be a dream killer and I refuse to let my mind murder the success that is meant for me.
Again, a huge thank you to everyone at Do Work Media for the continued support, not just for me but for the community. They do so many great projects and I encourage you to check them out. HERstory is an amazing podcast and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to share my story. Please check out the podcast when you get a chance. If you want the opportunity to share your story, reach out to them via Instagram here.