Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
If you know anything about me and how I operate, I’m highly strategic about most aspects of my life.
Before I’ve done something, I’ve already mapped out why I need to do it, because the dance around the playground of pros and cons can be never-ending.
Without sounding like an extremist, I’ve always been someone who’s either all in or all out. Naturally, I tend to value that quality most in people as well.
When I half-ass an idea, I get a half-assed result. And mama wants da whooooole ass.
Okay, awkward ass talk aside, I’m sure you’ve all seen this quote:
As someone who’s lived on the road for over half a decade, I was constantly at the mercy of countries that lacked the proper hair care products I needed.
So I actually was chopping my hair off every 3-6 months and using wigs and weaves to carry on as usual.
Contrary to popular belief, Black hair grows fast! And it became an annoyance to bury my fro underneath wigs constantly because I was too lazy to always cornrow them down.
It wasn’t until last year after my surgery, that I decided to let it grow out again, because I came out of that experience with a newfound gratitude and decided I’d take better care of all aspects of my body, hair included.
I remember buying a bulk order of a specific kind of hair conditioner and getting it shipped to a friend in LA, before realizing that it’s practically impossible to be able to travel with all the hair care products you needed for proper maintenance of my 4C hair.
I have a pretty substantial number of white readers here, so I wanted to include the above graphic to educate more of you on how complex our hair can be, and how the “nappy or kinky” images that society touts as unprofessional, is our hair’s natural state when not chemically modified or pressed.
I grew up dreading the hot comb burning the back of my neck every Sunday getting ready for church.
My hair was just past shoulder length at its healthiest, but the time and products it took to maintain that, always exceeded either my budget or level of patience.
So I taught myself how to do box braids, quick weaves, lace fronts, you name it.
I always hated how society painted Black women as incapable of growing hair, when ours are so incredibly versatile.
And for the last few years, weaves and lace fronts are the preferred style of 90% of non-Black celebrity women, but I digress.
Anyways, 2019 took me through the wringer, and I entered 2020 with this burning desire to change more than just my location.
I was ready to level-up my outer appearance, inspired by these lessons I learned last year:
Don’t aim to be nice; aim to be respected.
There are people committed to misunderstanding you.
People aren’t evil; but if they can take advantage of you, they will.
Image isn’t everything, but it can be complementary to your messaging.
The less you care what people think, the more freedom you’re afforded.
My boho, carefree, gaping smile was the look I became branded by.
Always happy, always helpful, and always ready to lend whatever I could to make someone’s day.
Holy shit, Glo. You were a total people-pleaser.
You allowed yourself to get so bent by the needs and wants of others, you bent your own self out of shape.
In typical Glo form, I wanted to investigate this further, diving into self-help books, investing in therapy, and looking into psychological questionnaires to see who else “suffers” from this.
It led me to the Myers–Briggs Personality test (here’s a free site to take yours and where I’m pulling my reference screenshots from).
I got my ENFJ-A results and immediately scrolled to the weaknesses section to have a self-deprecating pity party for one, joking
but absolutely f*cking serious.
And though this discovery was made after I had my hair chopped off, it confirmed what I already knew and why I had to do it.
First and foremost, let’s point out the fact that I’m equally as extroverted as I am introverted.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve tapped into my introverted side more (even wrote about how travel impacted that), but this is something people are shocked to learn because I have so much energy online.
But I’m able to preserve energy because I’ve developed a morning routine that allows me to pour into myself before trying to pour into others.
Another shout out to the fact that I share any category with two of my faves: Uncle Barry and Oprah.
Okay, now to the flaws.
Overly idealistic: I hold my values close to me, and when someone tends to lean on the cynical side, I struggle to relate or want to engage with them, because I find it a draining way to live.
However, in the world of business, this trait will eat you up alive.
If you’re kind to people, surely they won’t turn against you?
If you do good unto others, surely they will do good back?
If you have business ethics, people you do business with will as well?
It only took me a couple really shady experiences to realize, woooooow, Glo, you really was strollin’ through life with a rose-colored lens, seeing the world how you hoped it could be, rather than how it actually was.
Some lessons need to be learned the hard way, and I’m super thankful for the people that took advantage of me or tried to get one over on me, because it exposed a weakness in myself that I’d yet to confront. Click To Tweet
While I want to tell entrepreneurs that growing a business is a thrill, the hard truth is this:
If you are truly looking to build something great, get ready for the snakes to come out.
It’s the people you least expect as well.
And when it comes to the B2B world, a company could see you needing their services more than they need your business, and so tacking on an extra $10K to the price tag because they can, isn’t out of the norm.
Money talks and there’s a lot of people who only see dollar signs when it comes to running their business.
I don’t think I’m in the minority when it comes to genuinely wanting to serve from a place of compassion, but it’s a matter of time before you might mix with the wrong people.
It’s a side of the business world I refused to acknowledge and therefore was so blind-sighted by the act that I had no choice but to change my narrative and take back control over how and who I would allow into my world.
This sounds like a Michael Scott a la The Office reference where your weaknesses are actually your strengths, see this clip for the lolz.
When people know that you love to help others, they become too reliant on you to the point that you don’t even realize you’ve overextended yourself far beyond your boundaries should allow.
With my products and services, I’m so committed to getting people results, that I forget that even if I’m giving 100% of my time and resources, there are still external factors that play into the desired outcome.
But because I’m so caught up in delivering results, I can’t even see that I’m literally just digging myself into a hole of mismanaged expectations and effort.
And before I knew it, I couldn’t tell a doormat apart from my reflection.
It’s why I created my Mastermind, because I could see others who have that same generous heart for serving, and I wanted to also help them navigate the shadier sides of business that you often only learn about through mentorship and personal experience.
I’ve created so many dynamics of ways that I help others, from daily posts on social media to my e-book, to syndicated articles, to podcast interviews, to live workshops, to bootcamps, to retreats, to courses, to private mentorship, and so on.
Hundreds of people have invested in my products and services over the years, but the problem is, I started to feel like I needed to go out of my way to show gratitude, as if the product or service they paid for wasn’t enough.
Too much emotional investment into the people who you want to help, will have you trying to solve all the problems of a person who bought your $10 ebook, the same way you help someone who bought your $2,000 course.
Unrealistic expectations I unknowingly placed on myself, all because I wanted to make sure people realized that no matter the investment level, they were going to get answers/results/etc, ha
insert mental breakdown here
So I flew to a hairstylist who I heard was one of the best in the country, and told her to literally do whatever the hell she wanted with my hair. I’m almost positive I used those exact words.
Around the time I did it, I was so over being the “nice” girl.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to turn into some mean b*tch (sad that women need to preface this because it’s assumed we’re bossy b*tches when we want to be more assertive in business).
I’m just no longer apologizing for the boundaries I’m putting in place to protect my peace and guard my energy.
One of my mentors, Necole, said it best:
And so, here we are, two months into having this short do and I’ve never felt more myself.
It matches the page I’ve flipped in my career and the new boundaries I need to put in place to protect my energy.
It took me a good week of looking in the mirror to even recognize who was staring back. I remember rehearsing in front of my tripod, going from one power pose to another.
I love who I’m becoming. And that I can look at myself and now see the reflection of someone on a journey who’s redefining her boundaries and who she allows to join her next chapter.
If this is what my 30’s have to offer, I’m loving this newfound peace that comes with the assertion and ownership of your life.
I don’t know if any of this was useful to read, but if you’re someone who’s ready to make a bold statement to yourself or to the world, I highly recommend shaving the locks and going for a pixie.
You’ll give off just enough “Can I speak to the manager” vibes, while still having a luminous flare, which makes your expression of radical self-love something that people can model in their own lives.
Here’s to the journey,