I have a passion for creating, working hard, and solving problems. Between my 9-5, running a non-profit, singing at my church, makeup gigs, speaking engagements, and other side hustles, it’s no secret that my schedule is full. With Jesus and a little coffee, ALL things are possible! The four tips I am about to share with you are the reasons why I am able to excel in business, spend time with my family, and still find time to work out!
1. Never stop learning & perfecting your craft
Friday nights were special growing up because we would rent movies and order pizza. My mother would use a ‘Buy two, Get one free’ coupon at Blockbuster, and my two sisters and I could each get our own movie! Movie rental companies are a great example of the importance of continued learning and perfecting your craft. It’s not that we don’t watch movies anymore; we have instead shifted to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. The movie rental business model has become obsolete because they were not innovative. You are the CEO of a company called YOU Incorporated. As good as it feels to secure your dream client remember you need to continually work to sustain that relationship. What are you going to do to ensure you don’t become a “Blockbuster” at your job, in your love life, in your health? As a financial analyst, I am always looking for ways to decrease the time it takes to sort through data, so I will have more time to analyze. Over time, I have perfected formulas and macros within my spreadsheets that allow me to efficiently complete my analysis. This past week, one of my coworkers built an amazing macro in Excel and it pushed me to learn even more! As a makeup artist, I perfect my craft by learning techniques from other professionals in the field and consistently updating my makeup kit. I never try a new product or trendy design on a client, before I’ve perfected it on myself. You must continually be willing to learn and adapt.
2. Friends are family we choose, so choose wisely
The people you are connected to will either be an asset or a liability. I have been fortunate to surround myself with people who make me better every day. I do not choose my friends based on materialistic things or what they can do for me. I choose friends based on their character, consistency, and honesty. As a Pretty Boss, it is important to align yourself with people that will encourage, support, and push you to become your best you. While getting ready for a two-week business trip, one of my best friends came by my house. Her visit may come off as a small gesture, however, she went out of her way to ensure I wasn’t stressing out while preparing for the big trip. For this same friend, when she was very ill I drove across town to make sure she had something to eat. Friendships should be mutually beneficial.
Surround yourself with friends, not fans. ‘Fan Friends’ will support everything you do which is great until you are Kanye West trying to defend a ‘Make America Great Again T-shirt’ because none of your ‘friends’ told you to take it off. Kanye is likely surrounded by “fans” not friends. My closest friends and mentors have no problem telling me to have several seats when I am doing too much or overthinking the simplest task.
Time has a way of telling you if someone should be a friend, associate, or not even a contact on your phone. While evaluating your close circle, avoid people who are insecure and unhappy because they will either find fault or copy everything you do. I’ve had to fire friends because they found fault in everything, but never saw fault in themselves. Align yourself with people that can genuinely celebrate your wins and who are also willing to help you overcome your losses. It takes a village to maintain this Pretty Boss; make sure yours is secure and strong! Friends are family we choose, so choose wisely!
3. Look the part, it validates your seat at the table
Superwoman can perform superhuman tasks without the wardrobe change, however, the uniform validates what she is there to do. If you walk into a hair salon, without any prior knowledge of their work, are you going to prefer the stylist with depleted edges or the one with a well-kept mane? I’m sure we would all choose the latter. The stylist with a deficit of edges could very well be an established artist that takes pride in her craft, however, she would miss out on the business because her appearance does not align with the services she provides. Often our value is prematurely discounted because of stereotypes associated with being a millennial woman. Don’t inhibit your potential by not looking the part. I enjoy lounging around in my onesie and pin curls, but there is a standard for how I should present myself when I come into the office. I’m not saying don’t be authentic, but be aware of your appearance and the impact it has on your brand.
You don’t want your hard work to be disqualified from the review before you even start the presentation. When you walk into your next meeting, own it, and I promise, you will command the room because they will know you are serious about your coin!! Look the part, it validates your seat at the table!
4. Closed mouths don’t get fed
A key to me sustaining my work-life balance is the ability to tell people ‘No’. What are your non-negotiables? Is it leaving the office by a certain time to make your workout class, an uninterrupted lunch, no business calls on vacations? No one will know what you need if you don’t communicate these points. This applies to your professional and personal life. I found myself holding grudges against people that didn’t even know they caused an offense. People don’t know that they offended you, all they see is your passive-aggressive behavior. Over time my friends have come to understand that I am very busy, and there are times that I would love to hang out and watch SVU, however, I need to get some rest. Closed mouths don’t get fed.
I would not be successful in business if I did not effectively communicate with clients, potential donors, or business partners. I used to avoid various scenarios that made me talk to people I didn’t know about my business because I was intimidated. What good is it to go to an event if I’m not walking away with a potential client, investor, or business partner? You can’t be shy when you are running a business. People don’t know how amazing you or your business are unless you let them know. When I meet someone, I identify where we have similar needs and opportunities for us to connect. You’ve worked hard on your business plan, securing funding, and building your website. Don’t be afraid to let the world know how Boss you are!