The year was 2016.
I was throwing a Reset Your Life event in New York that was meant to encourage attendees to not be afraid to press reset versus settling for a life they no longer loved. Although I sat alongside a phenomenal panel of women, I couldn't help but think, What am I doing here? I need to be in the audience. I need to be the one being inspired.
And then it happened.
"Necole, you carry yourself with such humility, that you never stand in the fullness of who you are and say 'look at what I'm doing.' But to change your life…
"It was so successful to stay where you were, but you chose DISCOMFORT. And all of us should be that courageous."
At the time, I didn't understand the magnitude of her words. But today, it has become a key component to my journey.
I could have stayed where I was. Where it was safe…
During that time, I was 36 years old and enduring one of the lowest years of my life. I was coming off of my first year of pivoting from running the very popular celebrity gossip blog, NecoleBitchie.com, to launching what is now xoNecole.com, a motivational media empire.
And the future wasn't looking so bright.
A month prior, I had just told the world in an emotional video titled, "What They Forgot To Tell Me About Leaving A Successful Brand", that I was literally struggling with rebranding, and the headlines that followed made me feel as if failure was looming. I started questioning everything: my decision to publicly and abruptly shut down NecoleBitchie.com, my decision to launch a new venture so soon (while swallowing up my own money and resources), and my willingness to go broke to see my vision come into fruition.
Sitting on that stage, as a former big-name blogger with little in my bank account and no idea when the next check was coming from, was uncomfortable. And feeling like I was failing, while the readers of my old brand watched, was uncomfortable. But I had to live in that discomfort. I had to learn how to survive in that discomfort. I had to learn how to grow in that discomfort.
Looking back, I'd rather live a few years in discomfort, than live a lifetime of suffering knowing I deserved more than the life I had settled for.
Fast forward to present day, and I am coming off of one of the most progressive years of my career. In 2019, xoNecole moved its headquarters to Atlanta. We launched events such as Pajamas and Lipstick - a first to market Girls Night In Experience, ElevateHer - a curated festival celebrating women-owned brands, and the Table of 50 FoundHers Brunch. We also launched popular videos series like Boss Up and ManCrave, and ended the year introducing our Happy Hour Podcast which peaked at #6 on Apple Podcast All Time Relationship charts. As we've blossomed, our readership has quadrupled, surpassing the audience of my former gossip site.
And we added a few phenomenal women to the team!
We would have never experienced this success had I given up in 2016.
I wanted to share this as a reminder to keep going!
If you are about to make a major life pivot or are switching career paths, just know, it will be uncomfortable, but you have to be willing to live in that space! That's where you are going to build the muscle you need to climb to the next level of your life.
That's where you are going to grow.
I'll end with this:
In 2020, I'm ready to stretch myself beyond what I thought my capacity could be. But this time, it'll be in the form of choosing life goals that terrify me.
I'm sharing them with you for accountability.
I'm committing myself to:
- Three Keynote speeches (I am terrified of public speaking),
- Be more forward-facing on xoNecole and intentional about sharing my story (the introvert in me is cringing right now…),
- Take up space in rooms that make me feel uncomfortable.
Rooms that are filled with Black Girl Magic is where I feel at home and the most comfortable. But it's time for me to use my influence to pull up in rooms where there are people who do not look like me, so that I can be a voice and create more seats at the table for black women.
Now that I've shared my terrifying goals, I'm ready to hear yours. What are three goals that terrify you? The three goals that you know that if you work to accomplish them, they would push you to the next level in your life, career or relationship?
I want to know!
Drop me a comment on Substack (I'm housing my weekly newsletters to you guys there) or leave me a voice message on speakpipe! (I'll return the favor and leave you a voice message back!) You can also keep up with me on Twitter or Instagram @hellonecole.
Let's hold each other accountable and claim that 2020 is the year of tremendous growth, and showing up in the fullness of who we are!
Want more letters like these? Subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here.
Featured image by Tailiah Breon