A year ago, I was struggling through the toughest moment of my life. I was in a dark place where everything seemed like it was ending. My mind made all my terrible nightmares feel like a reality. The only way out seemed to be to end it all, but the universe seemed to have a different plan for me.
After that, I wanted to help the world. Well, maybe not the world, but I didn't want anyone to ever feel the way I did in those weeks so I started Crown of Courage (formerly Blaque & Blue). Right now, the site is booming and women are responding, but let me be real. Creating and cultivating my business was no walk in the park. I had many ups, downs and I continue to have struggles.
Creating my own organization was never in my vision so on my worse days, giving up didn’t seem like a terrible idea. In the midst of climbing, I stopped caring for myself. I would often experience burnout. When my flame started to burn out, the vision for Crown of Courage slumped with it. I am a huge supporter of any Queen who has the nerve and determination to start something of her own so here are a few rules to live by:
Forget the hustle and the grind: We live in a society of mover and shakers and if you aren’t moving and shaking then you aren’t succeeding, right? Wrong! Hard work isn’t going to be the only thing that makes your brand pop. It takes alignment of time and purpose. You can work all you want, but if the timing isn’t right then you can totally forget any success. I was working tirelessly with Blaque & Blue, but the universe knew I wasn't ready. Once, I changed my site direction and crafted a strong vision, success naturally flowed in my direction.
Be Intentional: Seriously, when you are running around trying to make it to the top, it will be extremely easy to forget that your body, mind, and soul need some TLC as well. Don't be afraid to schedule your self care. Put it in your calendar like you would a weekly appointment. Erkyah Badu said it best. Write it down and watch sh*t get real.
Cry Baby Cry: I used to shed buffalo sized tears from the insults, the stress, and the let downs that came with running my own organization. Not even going to lie, I tried to act like it didn’t phase me. I tricked myself into believing that I needed to be tough if I was going to make it in this dog-eat-dog world. I used to be ashamed to cry. It made me feel weak. My blessing came when I realized crying is not a weakness. It is a release. You can only hold so much negativity and at some point you just have to release it. So, cry your big heart out. I promise it is okay.
Drink Water: Seriously, kick coffee to the side. For all of you ladies (like myself) dealing with anxiety, it actually makes your focus worse. You will end up stressing out about all the things you need to accomplish rather than actually accomplishing them. If you really really need a caffeine boost, drink a half a cup of black tea. Better yet, go for a walk or drink some water. It is better than three cups of the dark roast.
Listen to Your Inner Queen: I was educating black women about mental health and self-care yet I would spend days not eating, not sleeping, and not listening to my body. My mind suffered and I ended up burning out. I ended up having to take a month long break from it all. Moral of the story, listen to you body. When she says rest, rest! When she says, go for a walk, do it! When she says take a week break, girl, take that week break.
Live in your truth: People gave me so much hell for creating a site that was dedicated to black women. Like literally, hell and insults all day long. They didn't get it, but my greatest realization is that my journey is not for everyone to understand. It is only for me. Walk in your truth. Advocate for what you truly in your heart believe. Forget the haters. That is when God will bless you with success.
Trust me, your journey to to the top will be hard. It will be lonely. It will have some bumps and cracks along the way, but take care of yourself. Never let anything stop you from spreading your inner light with the rest of the world.
You got this, sis!
"When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."