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If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I regularly share and recount some of the trials I’ve overcome on my journey, both personal and entrepreneurial.
One of the reasons I feel like I was put on this Earth, is to be a vessel of light and help others see what’s possible for themselves. I wear that responsibility with pride, and it’s an honor to be celebrating 30 years of life and pinching myself at where I’ve ended up.
I’m incredibly blessed and privileged to have built a career off of literally sharing my life and journey with you guys.
I fell flat on my face and had a negative bank account balance for longer than doctors prescribe necessary, but more important than that, I never quit.
In this blog post, I’ll share the 30 most humbling and monumental lessons I’ve learned on this journey to 30.
LESSON 1: Strangers will support you harder than your friends
You can deny it all you want, but the reality is, it’s triggering for some people to think that you could come from the same home town, same school, or start a blog at the same time, and you achieve a level of success they wanted.
They will see you thriving and resent you for it.
Resentment will come in the form of snarky comments and random shade.
Don’t stoop down to their level, just recognize it for what it is, and consider yourself spared that you don’t have to waste energy on people who aren’t really your friends.
LESSON 2: Expect to go broke. Many times.
I don’t know who thought dreams are supposed to work out on the first try, but if you’re a cannonball diver like me, and like to go all-in with your pursuits, then you can expect the extreme to happen on the opposite end.
But there’s always money to be made, and money to be paid.
Money spends once; character lives forever.
LESSON 3: Don’t follow the crowd
It’s so easy to see your entire industry doing one thing and to feel pressured into following the crowd.
But I promise you, those who truly build longevity in their brands or businesses, are the ones that create their own lane and drive that all the way home.
LESSON 4: Routines are your friend
I remember a young and naive Glo reciting captions from one of her favorite authors Paulo Coelho like, “adventure is dangerous, but routine is lethal!”
I promise you, 23-year-old Glo lived by this motto. But wiser Glo now understands that the only thing that will keep you sane most days, is having your strict routines in place.
LESSON 5: Alcohol is a plus, not a must
I remember going months at a time where a glass of red wine was pretty much how I put myself to sleep. I had trained myself to need the taste of a sweet red to hit my tongue before I could enter my slumber.
It wasn’t until I went 3 months without drinking to fully focus and finish planning my Sisterhood Summit, that I realized there was this quieter and calmer pace of life I was missing out on.
It was the smartest thing I could’ve done. I woke up energized, focused, and with much clearer intentions.
We all know the side effects of alcohol, so try to treat it as an occasional reward, rather than a daily pill.
LESSON 6: Write everything on paper
If you really want to accomplish or remember something, ditch the tech and scribble it out on good old-fashioned paper and pencil.
I journal my emotions, I scribble my thoughts, and I constantly write affirmations and reminders to myself about my dreams and goals.
My office is a Picasso of sorts with how much I impulsively get parts of my brain on paper.
LESSON 7: Differentiate surveillance from support
Along with lesson 1, here’s another really awkward thing.
You meet up with a friend and they recite your entire life’s story back to you and you wonder how they are so up to date with your life, when you’ve literally never seen them like, comment, or share anything you post.
A quick disclaimer, obviously no one is expected to engage with every single thing I post, but if in 2 years, you’ve never done so much as to “like” something of a friend, you have to question whether this person likes to keep tabs on you more than actually support you
LESSON 8: Brands will often pay you whatever you think you’re worth (whether that’s high or low)
The further “up” the ladder I climbed, the more I realized brands work with a lot more budget than you think.
You’re constantly checking your privilege feeling out of line for demanding a payout that’s someone else’s annual salary.
But you have to remind yourself how much you’ve invested in your journey, and how much value you bring.
And while your goal isn’t to milk them dry, you have a ton of leverage to demand a decent amount when the brand seeks you out. Chances are, you’re charging 50% less than what you should be.
My business coach said if the amount I charge brands doesn’t make me a little uncomfortable, I might be selling myself short.
So my next gig, I doubled my rate and the brand sent over a contract without hesitation. Madness.
LESSON 9: Isolation is necessary
Nothing great comes out of a distracted and chaotic life *says self and points to self*
If you’re looking to build something of substance, you need to prepare to isolate yourself from the world for at least a month.
No news. No friends. No social media.
You could be a writing a book or building a course.
Whatever it is, your daily social media scrolling won’t give you the brain capacity and focus you need.
I highly recommend the book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport for more inspiration on this.
LESSON 10: Ignorance is inexcusable
10 years ago, we could get away with saying we didn’t know the answer to something, but when you have Google and YouTube University handing out decent degrees on just about every subject matter, you have to start taking responsibility for that continued ignorance.
LESSON 11: Haters are confused fans
I have a friend with millions of social media followers and sometimes she sends me some of the hate mail she gets so we can have a little chuckle at how pathetic people can be.
But when I think of some of the people who hate me, yet follow my every move, you have to realize that they’re really just confused fans.
When people obsess over you constantly in the form of hate, you have to wonder whether they realize how counterproductive that is.
LESSON 12: Business gets ugly
When someone sees an opportunity to take advantage of you, 9 times out of 10, they’ll take it.
If there’s an uncounted amount of money on the table while the plumber is in your home, and you leave for 3 hours, then can you really get mad if you discover later on from your home security system that they stole from you?
When people see windows of opportunity, they take it.
Most people don’t have the same core values as you, and you can’t take that personal. Just be more guarded about who you let in.
LESSON 13: Ditch the idealistic world for a realistic one
I often live life in an idealistic way, seeing the world as I hope it could be, rather than how it actually is.
It’s adorably naive, and it only took a couple sh*tty people to wake me up to the harsher realities of life.
LESSON 14: You’re allowed to pivot
Every now and then, someone will message me asking what I do and if I still travel, or what I have going on next.
They’re curious, and it’s with good reason. I built the bulk of my career as a travel blogger, but I put myself in a box unintentionally.
Meanwhile, I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship, personal development, and video production.
Now that I’m in a comfortable situation, I can play a little more with less risk.
LESSON 15: You can’t help everyone
I had to have a deep conversation with myself and whether I had some sort of Savior Complex because I kept attracting toxic people in my life, and because of that, I felt an obligation to help them.
Again, people will see windows of opportunity to take advantage of you where they can, and if you don’t set boundaries and have better discernment, you’re going to keep getting burned.
You can’t help everyone and some people, you have to leave where they are and let life be their teacher.
LESSON 16: Income diversification should have a cap
At the peak of my career, I had 17 income streams.
At the most emotionally-draining point of my career, I had 17 income streams.
At some point, you have to take a step back and realize that even if something is making you good money, measure it up against the amount of stress it also brings you.
In 2020, I’m actively working to narrow it down to 7, because despite the monetary loss, I’m able to buy back valuable time to do things I enjoy, like produce my Nigerian skits.
LESSON 17: You’re not drinking enough water
On a normal day, I drink between 4-5 liters of water a day (shout out to my business coach Brendon Burchard for helping me implement that into my daily routine).
I didn’t realize just how much water catalyzes benefits in almost every area of your life.
LESSON 18: Don’t chase
Whether it’s people, brands, projects, or ideas, you have to come to a point where you stop forcing a situation to happen and let the universe humbly remind you that some things just aren’t meant to be.
LESSON 19: Don’t be afraid to love
Typical Aries mentality is let me keep my walls up so that I’m never vulnerable enough to get hurt.
I mean, hey, you do avoid a lot of drama and toxic men.
At the same time, Prince Charming isn’t going to climb your 10-foot wall just to say hi.
Eventually, you need to open yourself up to the invitation of casually dating and pursuing what could be the first chapter of love.
I moved to my new city and told myself I wouldn’t date for a year.
No reason, just my own self-imposed rule.
My friend casually reminded me how I could be blocking my own blessings.
You can’t get frustrated by the dialogue if you’re not even willing to entertain the conversation.
LESSON 20: Strength is bred in the trenches
Don’t run from them. Instead, get excited about the person you’re going to become on the other side once you unlock your next level of strength through this.
LESSON 21: Community is everything
You could build a community around how great YOU are, or you could build a community that shows how great THEY are.
The latter will always win.
Stop making your content and your career about yourself.
Help people. Listen to them. Be there for them.
They’ll remember you for that.
LESSON 22: Your journey is unique
A dear friend shared this analogy with me that forever changed how I see people and our respective journeys.
When you get on an elevator with someone else, you might push the penthouse floor, and they’ll quietly choose Level 7.
When you approach the 7th floor, do you kick them out and shade them for not going to the Penthouse with you?
Of course not! You wish them well and you continue your journey upward.
I’m incredibly ambitious. It’s the lethal combo of a Naija-blooded Aries. Hustle is all I know.
Yes, this intimidates many of my friends who think I’m a little crazy, and I accept that.
But our journeys are just different, and if I continue to the Penthouse, there’s no love lost at all.
And when I stop at the 12th floor to pick up others who are also on the way to the Penthouse, then I might bond with them better because we’re on similar journeys.
LESSON 23: Evolve
Your life should be a constant state of evolution.
Imagine if we were still walking around with brick-sized 1st Generation iPods, while we have music streaming services embedded on our smartphones?
Ridiculous, right? Technology is constantly evolving to make our lives more convenient.
So why aren’t you?
LESSON 24: You will outgrow people
If you read a book each week for a year and your good friend from high school reads half a book each year, it’s very likely the caliber of your conversations will be different.
If you’re constantly expanding your mind, then it’s a natural occurrence for you to not resonate or connect the same with friends from your past like you used to.
Neither person is in the wrong. It’s just a part of life.
LESSON 25: Keep people guessing
I’m an enigma in many ways. Yes, I’m public about many aspects of my life, but I leave a good portion up to mystery.
I’ve been living in my current apartment for almost 3 months and I loved being able to enjoy my space and my decision without the unsolicited opinions or judgments of others that inevitably come with anything I post.
I give myself a timeline of when I do something and when I choose to share it with you guys.
It’s a beautiful way to live and when I told my hairstylist this strategy, she was like “damn, you smart!”
Protect your peace. This is a big part of that.
LESSON 26: The “restrict” option on Instagram is a life-saver
I’m quite approachable on Instagram, and pretty much respond to all comments and DMs (up to 250 most days), but there comes a time where boundaries need to be put in place.
People take my kindness as a weakness, and the restrict feature on Instagram basically allows a person to continue stalking or rudely engaging with you as usual, and you don’t have to see it, nor anyone else.
The feature was made to decrease online bullying, and it’s been an amazing tool for my social media experience.
LESSON 27: People will use you to get what they need
Every now and then, a brand emails me saying that someone name-dropped me as a reference or close friend in their pitch, and more often than not, I’ve never heard or seen them in my life.
People see my career and try to reach out to my past sponsors hoping to get paid work and use my name as leverage.
They’ll exaggerate our friendship and it’s pretty creepy.
The only people I’ve explicitly given permission to do this, are the ladies in my Mastermind because I can personally vouch for them and we work closely together.
LESSON 28: Protect your peace
Once you lose it, then you’ve got nothing left. If someone makes you anxious, comes with constant drama, or you have a bad feeling about them, then you’re allowed to set a boundary that protects your peace.
LESSON 29: You control less than you think
I mentioned in an emotional post how much I’ve tried to over-optimize my happiness so that I never had to feel anything that brought me pain.
Surprise! That’s not quite how life works.
Once you can accept that virtually nothing is in your control, you’re able to surrender to that vulnerable state, and it’s incredibly beautiful and humbling.
I can control my reactions to life, but I can’t control life itself.
LESSON 30: The journey of self-love is constant
Every day I find new ways to love myself. I’m constantly soul-searching and digging deep to uncover past traumas and present emotions that will help me understand myself and life better.
I love how deep my relationship with myself has gone.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and let me know which one of these lessons resonated with you the most! Until next time! xoxo