In a world where it seems like everyone has a side hustle or calls themselves an entrepreneur, the pressure to keep up is HIGH. Over 75% of the people I follow on my Instagram are trying to sell something. Whether its a service or a product, everyone seems to be working towards trying to be or creating the “next big thing”. And while I love seeing the constant positivity, the drive and the enthusiasm from all of these talented people, I rarely see anyone talk about the struggles that come with creating something from scratch or doing something all on your own.
We all hear the stories of celebrities ending up in the hospital because of stress, or a mental breakdown. THANK GOD for celebrities like Michelle Williams, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Kehlani, who are currently and have been open about their struggles with their mental disorders. We all watch the videos and read the blog posts about “Intention” and “How to remain focused on the end goal“, but when do we really talk about taking care of our mental health. What does being successful and dealing with things like anxiety, depression and bipolar look like? When do we talk about needed mental health days that we don’t take or the overdue alone time that we need to go through our thoughts? Where are the brunch seminars on how we should handle disappointments and unexpected changes that come with the entrepreneurship lifestyle? How do people with common mental disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, bipolar and depression, navigate from day to day?
Growing up I never once thought about owning my own business or working for myself, but as I got older, I realized I hated the idea of working for someone else with the goal of getting a steady retirement check in 20-30 years. By the time God revealed my purpose to me, in my mind I was already super behind and had A LOT to learn about the business world. I’ve been doing hair professionally for almost 2 years now and its definitely been a journey. A journey full of hopes and dreams, late nights/early mornings, seasons of drought and seasons of increase, just to name a few. I’ve felt more emotions since starting this journey than I’ve ever felt in my life.
My boyfriend likes to credit himself for me becoming a more emotional person because you know, love and whatever, but don’t tell him that it probably has a lot to do with my transition into the cosmetology world. Dealing with people and their different personalities, handling money, rendering services, attending programs, traveling, continued education and figuring things out on your own, I won’t lie it is definitely stressful, especially being brand new, but I’ve become slightly extroverted and a lot more emotional since starting this journey.
I’ve been claiming the entrepreneur title for almost a year now and the biggest lesson I’ve learned to date is to TAKE. CARE. OF. YOUR. MENTAL. HEALTH! And sometimes that means more than taking a “mental health day” or leaving the city for a weekend “mental” break. Sometimes taking care of your mental health looks like closing your books and turning away clients for an extended period of time. Sometimes it looks like going to therapy for the first time and sometimes it looks like scrapping your original plans, to sit and wait until God leads you in the direction that He wants you to go in. Sometimes taking care of your mental health means being honest with your audience and letting them know that you need some time to take care of yourself, unapologetically.
It sucks having to personally go through tough situations, especially when you’re trying to do it while living with anxiety or depression. Now add that with being an introverted entrepreneur with a full-time job and there is your formula for a serious panic attack (or two). I’ve been beating myself up about where I needed to take my blog next while running from using myself as my own muse, but somehow I always end up circling right back to myself, my knowledge and my own experiences. Self-awareness and self-reflection are the sermons that I preach, on repeat (besides men being trash), so I’m going to stop running from myself and my anxiety/PTSD and start to not only address them but be open about them as well. Having a mental illness does not make you weak.
I get messages all the time from people who watch my stories or read my blog posts, encouraging me to keep going and to keep writing because they can relate to my struggle at the moment or something that I said gave them hope. I’m a whole ass counselor and I still get embarrassed because of my mental illnesses and the way I still struggle to pull myself together when I feel anxious, lost or like I’m failing, but going into 2020 I want to change all of that. I’m going to continue to be open about my entrepreneurial journey, but I’m also going to be open about my mental health as well. I don’t know why God keeps telling me to be transparent, but he reminds me all the time that I am not alone and neither are you. Until next time babies!💕