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My Love Language Is A Paid Invoice

My heart is ready to serve and this is how I stay ready.

Her Voice

That moment when the teller asked, "How can I help today?", I hurried and told the teller, "Here's how! I got a pen and if passing me that application to open up a business bank account is the best thing you do for anyone today, do it for me." This was the day I opened up my first business bank account.

In that next hour, I could see myself finally relating to a middle-aged woman about grown financials. She needed me in that hour to vent and I needed her in that hour for assistance. I arrived at a local bank with that burning fed-up desire to stop playing myself short.

I had enough of me and these fears and finances after running a side-business for four years. I came across a few different types of clients to finally realize what an "ideal client" really meant and then it became time to take things to the next level. I was honored for this phase of life, and knowingly more confident when a paid invoice came through.

So I pondered, if a new release of The 5 Love Languagescame out for small business owners, maybe — just maybe, this feeling could replace the love language of "receiving gifts" with "paid invoices" for those of us in business. Cause' honey, when that ding sound comes through these money mobile apps—let's just say my love language has been feeling like it's paid invoices for quite some time now.

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Because life is so busy, I became so wrapped up in the joys of my personal life; getting engaged, taking family photos, a family trip, shooting for the stars that I couldn't wait to get back to my passion of writing to release these thoughts. It wasn't hard to discover that this subject might've stayed on my mind for a reason — a reason to pay attention to — as I noticed how fast we were rising as owners and investors in pretty much every industry as a culture.

It took me back to a moment when my ex-boyfriend and I went our separate ways. He tried to get me back in every way he knew how and nothing felt right until I told him that in order to get back together he'd have to enroll in my course and it was filling up fast. Caught off-guard he was but he needed that ego lowered a little bit and I needed his harsh truth, the fit was good at the time. As a Writer and Career Coach who operates a small business full-time, I learned to bet on myself early on. At first, he side-eyed my demand and then pulled out his debit card and booked his spot.

Ding! I felt loved.

Understanding that if he wanted to love me, he needed to support what I believe in. You see me, show me. You know me, put your money where my account is. And he did. We didn't last long after that but what that moment did for my confidence in business starting out was worth the experience.

I know when you're constantly replying something like "over here booking clients" enough to their "what you doing" mid-day texts, someone on the other side should get the picture but many don't. As small business owners, or owners-to-be, it's important to challenge the level of support from our friends, family and lovers.

I've been known to write about the areas we hardly speak about, and this is one. If more people would understand that knowing your worth in money areas and matching it with top-notch quality services or products is allowing your gifts to make room for you, they'd see what I'm talking about.

Showing me love and loving me one way right — is a paid invoice, something that life taught me. Check this! Artificial support is blind to bills and if inquiries and not paid invoices only came — I'd be a broke and broken fool. My heart is ready to serve and this is how I stay ready.

Here are 3 proven strategies you can use to ensure you get your invoices paid to feel loved too.

Set Clear and Non-Negotiable Due Dates

Clear communication is key. Before engaging with a client, you need to make sure you're able to have an open and transparent dialogue with them. When setting a due date, avoid invoicing-terms like "upon-receipt" or giving them a number of days i.e. "due in 15 days, 30 days, etc…". Instead, give your client a physical immediate date. That way, there is essentially no room for confusion or misinterpretation.

Don’t Send the Invoice Without a Conversation First

When setting the date, I find that simply speaking to a client first, whether over the phone for 15 minutes or a voice audio sent through a DM, adds an instant buyer connection for you. Wouldn't you easily see the value in someone when they notice you as a person and not just a transaction?

Find the Right Point of Contact

Being able to identify people's strengths and weaknesses is one of the most valuable assets you can have in life. Some individuals just don't have the wherewithal for understanding how accounting works. That being said, you need to find and engage the right contact when billing your clients. More often than not, there is a quick filter process when it comes to your point of contact. Make sure you're engaging with the individual who is authorized to complete the payment. If you communicate through a middle man, it will only delay the process further.

Desiring to live in the collection of giving and receiving love is mandatory; loving yourself right out loud can lead to a paid invoice. Putting yourself first can lead to a paid invoice. Saying no can lead to a paid invoice and contributing to any conversation can lead to a paid invoice. Let's move the wheel freely back into our lives.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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