I think it's fair to say that most of us long to reach that place where the money resides, especially in the present times when life is so uncertain and people are likely to lose their jobs at any given moment. On the other hand, perhaps thanks to the plethora of entrepreneurs that document their journeys on social media, there's the sense that abundant financial wealth seems more accessible now than it ever has before. With that said, despite all the step-by-step guides to becoming rich available on the market, we can still hear the same question echoing in our heads: How do I get to the bag, though?
Well, apparently, it's in the mind, chicas. It all happens in our minds first.
The mind is a powerful tool that, depending on how we choose to use it, has the power to make or break us. This is a fact that the bomb business owners I had the opportunity to interview as part of this feature said to have learned the hard way while on the path to acquiring their Boss badges. The four ladies got real on the struggles that they've faced in the past which almost prevented them from becoming who they are today, the mindset shifts that helped overcome them, and more.
Befriending Fear To Unlock a World of Luxury
Image courtesy of Candace Junée
For the longest, I followed the 'American dream.' I studied mechanical engineering in undergrad, received my MBA by the age of 23, and transitioned into a job in Corporate America [and] began earning six figures. However, despite all the benefits of working that job, I knew after a little time that it wasn't what I wanted to do forever. Corporate America, I felt, deprived me of being the master of my own time. My time was theirs and I had little to no say on that.
Many times, I found myself wiping my tears because I had to work extra hours or on the weekends to complete the tasks that I was asked to do at the last minute, all while my personal life and loved ones were waiting on me. When September 2017 came, the moment finally came for me to reclaim my freedom. Although I was deathly afraid and almost talked myself out of it, I decided to quit my job and pursue my dreams.
Fear, I must say, is the companion that's been following me throughout this whole journey from giving up on a six-figure salary to building my own six-figure company. It's still there, to be honest, but I've learned how to tame it.
In the beginning, I feared wandering in the unknown. While we do know what we decide to walk away from, there's no certainty that what we'll find on our path will be any better. And then, once I became my own boss, the fear that my finances would never advance as much as my career did quickly took over me.
A year before taking this leap of faith, I launched Epic Fab Girl, "a community for women entrepreneurs who want to build profitable brands and grow their faith." The latter initially started as a blog but after I quit, I had to figure out a way to monetize it to generate revenues. On top of that, in January 2018, I launched my own marketing agency. I wanted to offer my target audience coaching services and digital courses to help them scale their businesses to six figures. Funny thing is, I was nowhere near earning such an amount of money myself, even after giving my business more than a year to grow and flourish.
While my clients were getting the desired results, on my end, I was struggling financially; I faced difficulties paying my bills, my car had been repossessed and I'd received foreclosure papers on my home as a Christmas present. Earning six figures has never been a requirement for me, but it was somewhat mandatory if I wanted to maintain the level of comfort I was living in. All of which ultimately had me contemplating [whether or not] to go back to Corporate America. However, while it's a move that my entourage encouraged me to make, I never received any signs from God that meant this was what He wanted for me. So, as a woman of faith, I continued walking the path that I was already on.
As soon as 2020 rolled around and the pandemic hit, that's when everything changed for the better. Within the first semester of the year, my revenues reached six figures for the first time—which wouldn't have happened had I decided to take some steps back or had I simply not shifted my mindset to believe that my services are worth the luxury price point.
Image courtesy of Candace Junée
It probably wouldn't have happened either if I hadn't invested in a coach to help me make the shift on top of using affirmations and visualization to help me own my abilities and brilliance when I'm doubting.
Here again, fear made me doubt whether I was making the right decision or not because I wasn't fully convinced that my audience would pay those prices—although some of my clients were already paying me four figures monthly for some of the services that I offer. But because I'd managed to reach a level of self-confidence high enough to recognize that I was excellent at what I was doing and understand that my financial situation was only the consequence of me undercharging for my services, I was ready for those who want to work with me to pay premium prices.
The best thing was to realize that I wasn't insane for believing that numbers don't necessarily throw people off. Quite the contrary, they attract the right clients, the kind that can afford your expertise, and therefore make a way for money to flow to you easily.
Wherever you find yourself in your journey, fear is going to rear its ugly head. To me, it's a sign that you're on the right path. You've probably read somewhere that, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I believe that it couldn't be more true. Be willing to bet on yourself and know your value. Trust that anything is possible.
Follow Candace on Instagram @candacejunee.
Unlearning Scarcity To Discover Absolute Abundance
Image courtesy of Chris Bible
One of the biggest personal breakthroughs I've experienced thus far is realizing the vital value of unlearning. Unlearning the things that hold you back is just as important as learning new [things]. It's necessary to be successful and unlock your potential.
I was a mother at the age of 16 and was raised by a single mother solely responsible for five children. Needless to say, I had to unlearn the scarcity mindset engraved in my head from childhood. Becoming a mother before I became a woman also played a major role in the endless struggles that prevented me from exploring the boss lady hibernating within. Like many, I didn't have a direct example of entrepreneurship; I was raised to play safe and to think that financial stability was something that only Corporate America could offer.
With age and an evolved self-awareness, I began to take risks and explore opportunities I normally wouldn't as a way to overcome those struggles.
In 2012, I relocated from Los Angeles to Arizona after being laid off from a corporate position that I occupied for five years. This move that I considered to be bold truly cultivated the opportunity for me to discover what my passion was. Thanks to Arizona's low cost of living, I was able to quit the new job that I'd found after working there for a year to live off of savings and explore revenue-generating opportunities which I'd hoped would unveil my purpose and passion. Moment of transparency, I must give credit to my supportive husband and his steady income. Without him, I wouldn't have been able to do so.
I tried fashion blogging and freelance writing for local publications. I even dabbled in fashion event production. Although all of that was fun, it wasn't what ignited the fire in me, which is truly what I was seeking. After many failed attempts, I found myself enrolled in a lash extension training class—a $1,300 investment. My lash artist at the time encouraged me to do so because I'd always ask her thousands of questions about how she did mine. Unexpectedly, this training class is where I found my spark.
Back in the day, I wasn't aware of all the doors that would open from just trying something new.
Image courtesy of Chris Bible
Never would I have thought that I'd one day run my own business, let alone work in the beauty industry. But it turned out that lashing was a service that quickly led to the creation of my own training academy and a full-fledged lash product line.
Seeing the revenue that I was generating is partly what helped break the scarcity mindset that I earlier mentioned I was suffering from. What was truly life-changing, I'd say, was practicing daily affirmations as well as investing in a mentor, Pauleanna Reid for instance, salon staff and marketing experts. This is what truly propelled me to my current level of success and showed me that taking control of your daily rituals on top of having an organized process for goal-setting is the difference between having a side hustle and running a six-figure business.
A boss, in my world, is a leader. She has clear morals and values, yet balances that with an attitude that gets ish done by any means necessary. Sacrifice, hard work, and patience are the ingredients to achieve success.
I didn't reach boss status before I made countless mindset shifts, alleviated excuses, welcomed uncertainty with confidence, and followed an unorthodox schedule. Most importantly, I had to embrace that I was worthy and capable of reaching a certain level of success and that it could be done all on my own. Of course, some of these shifts were easier to implement than others, while some were made out of necessity. The hardest changes dealt with inner work and self-love. I struggle with imposter syndrome and reminding myself that I am worthy is a constant fight. Having to embrace who you're meant to be can be frightening but growth never comes from comfort; it thrives in the newest version of ourselves.
Follow Chris on Instagram @sheluvslashes.
When Failure Serves as an Expensive Stepping Stone to Success
Image courtesy of Miranda Mader
I had a huge mindset shift in my early 30s when I launched a business that failed—but from which I recovered. That experience taught me a ton from bringing a dream to fruition to pivoting and iterating.
Five years or so ago, I launched a business with two friends and partners whose purpose was to encourage college students, particularly HBCUs students, to travel the world. My friends and I who are all HBCU grads have had the opportunity to travel abroad when we were younger and being aware of the benefits of doing so, our desire was to give that opportunity to an audience that didn't have the same ability as we did.
We made a ton of mistakes during the launching process. We firmly believed that this project would be the solving of an issue, however, we didn't succeed to shed light on the said issue in a way that resonated with our target audience. We failed to properly grab their attention. And then, we launched too big, way too big—and we actually paid for it.
Looking back, that situation was ironic considering that prior to that, I'd spent a significant amount of time teaching as a product manager—and now as a product management career coach and business coach to women of color entrepreneurs—to actually not do this [launching too big]. It's always best to start small and test your audience first, which is a fact that I was proven once again when I later found myself launching another venture with a pair of two other friends.
For years, we'd casually played a game about dating deal breakers during our girls' nights and wondered if it would be commercially viable. We wanted to create it and then sell it to the public. However, despite how good we thought this idea was, having learned from my past mistakes the hard way, I made it clear from the start that spending any money was out of the question for me; an announcement that caused my friends to glance at me with a confused stare stating that it would therefore not be feasible. But I knew we would figure something out. And we did.
We managed to come up with the simplest launching strategy which cost us the bare minimum but enabled us to maximize our success.
Image courtesy of Miranda Mader
To introduce the game to our audience and test both, we decided to organize a small gathering with our friends. The plan was to play with them so they could see how much fun it is and therefore potentially turn those friends into customers. As for the cards' prototype, my partners and I had opted for at-home printing, a cheap and efficient solution. When the ladies validated our concept that night, we were given the green light to start the next step of our launching process: social media promotion. There again, we'd only invested a few dimes in marketing, just enough to get a decent number of customers to pre-order the deck and allow the real production of our card game to finally begin. We suddenly had the cash to order inventory to cover the pre-orders and more, without taking a hit upfront.
While my initial attempt at entrepreneurship was a complete failure, the lessons that I've learned from our mistakes [not building proper brand awareness and launching too big] are the main reasons why my other partners and I managed to turn this second endeavor into a complete success. I told them that I wouldn't risk losing any more money and adopting such a sales strategy that spared us from buying in bulk without being sure whether we'd sell allowed me to honor my vow.
As I previously briefly mentioned, I now work as a business and career coach. I've been self-employed for approximately two years now, and the services that I offer allow me to generate a six-figure revenue. I believe it's worth noting that the journey hasn't been linear and didn't come without low-grade anxiety. Self-doubt was also ubiquitous; the "will-I-be-able-to-sustain-this-long-term" fear was real. But the thing that I did and which today allows me to say that I'm living a life beyond my dreams was pairing my ability to execute, my vivid imagination, and Godly faith. It's been equal parts of each: envisioning an outcome, believing that it's available to me—which has been difficult because as a young girl, I hadn't met many black women entrepreneurs who independently monetized their talent for the personal and professional benefit of others—, and creating and executing a plan to achieve.
Shifting from fear to possibility has gotten easier over time. I equate it to the first time you tackle a small fear. It's nerve-wracking at first but through repeated actions, it becomes a part of your muscle memory.
Follow Blair on Instagram @blairpres.
Learning How To Cope With Introversion and Impostor Syndrome
Image courtesy of Caroline Beffa Photography
My name is Bola Sokunbi, I'm the founder and CEO of Clever Girl Finance, "a mission-driven financial empowerment platform aimed at providing women with the right products and services as well as financial guidance." I'm also a super introverted individual who happens to suffer from impostor syndrome, all of which can be a tad bit problematic when you have high professional ambitions. I wish I could say that these feelings fade away with time and experience, but they don't. However, what the former and the latter did help with was to figure out my coping mechanisms.
Before I started my business, I remember how much of a struggle it was for me to make myself seen and heard when I found myself in important rooms. Instead of being as aggressive as my colleagues were in the pursuit of coveted promotions, I was trying to stay as quiet and as little as possible. I was unable to position myself for further opportunities—and had my advisor not convinced me that the founder of a brand is as important as the brand itself, my inner struggles would've probably prevented my company from growing as well.
One of my biggest challenges was to believe that my story—the story of how I managed to save $100,000, for instance—and accomplishments are valuable enough to be shared with the world. The question that would always pop up in my head was, "Who are you to actually say these things?" When I finally had the guts to put it out two years after the launch of my business, it turned out it became a huge anchor in terms of brand awareness. The exposure my story was given by other media outlets showed me that my fears of being judged were unfounded for people were actually inspired by it, and it also made me realize that what I'm doing is bigger than me.
When I first launched Clever Girl Finance, I used to decline all public speaking appearances and big events that would make me the focal point. Now, because my mindset shifted to thinking of purpose before self and I've learned how to cope with them, I'm able to seize those opportunities.
My secret when it comes to surviving being an introvert plus impostor syndrome as a business owner is to step out of my comfort zone when I need to and step back into it when I can.
When I step out of it, I prepare by repeating affirmations out loud, hyping myself up. I look for an accountability partner, whether it's a friend or my husband so that I have someone to push me and make sure that I do whatever it is that I'm supposed to do. And then, once it's done, I allow myself to rest. Keyword: rest.
Image courtesy of Caroline Beffa Photography
I came to realize that being an introvert was so much of a struggle for me—not just as a professional but in my daily life as well—because I never took the time to recover after I do an event. Or a video. Or a webinar. Basically, anything that puts me in a place where I'm surrounded by a lot of people.
By not giving myself time to recover, I was just compounding the effect of how much I disliked being out there and being the face of my business. But when I allow myself to step back into my comfort zone and sit there in silence for as long as I need to, I feel rejuvenated and motivated enough to go out and do it again.
Since I discovered the benefits that this technique has on me, 'recovery day' made it to my weekly calendar. It usually occurs on Fridays and to make it possible, I hired a team to help me alleviate the work, take the pressure off of me and allow me to hide for a short amount of time. My staff has been the best at pointing out when I need them to take specific tasks off my plate. Because one thing about introverts, when they don't feel like doing something, that's when a whole nonessential delay game begins and time gets wasted, which is a fortune that as business owners, we cannot afford to lose.
On top of my team, I can also count on my three advisors to help me to be my best self. These ladies, whom I consider my sisters and aunties in my head, make sure to speak life and words of encouragement into me. They also make me uncomfortable, but I like it because the discomfort is private. It's not happening on the public stage, but one thing that's for sure is that it prepares me to stand with confidence in front of my public.
As I said earlier, impostor syndrome and introversion are unfortunately not easy to get rid of—provided it's possible. For me, these are uneasy feelings I'll always have to deal with and I can tell from experience that they evolve with each level that you reach throughout your journey. But there are going to be times when you'll have to tell them to sh*t up because you have work to do. You have a purpose to serve—and recovery day is coming soon anyway, so you can do it.
Follow Bola on Instagram @clevergirlfinance.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image courtesy of Candace Junée
Originally published on February 19, 2021
- 7 Ways To Turn Fear Into Financial Favor - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- xoNecole Happy Hour Podcast Credit Money Shame - xoNecole ... ›
- How Garrain Jones Went From A Homeless R&B Singer With Six ... ›
- Money Talks: Princess Lomax, Six-Figure Nurse Practicioner ... ›
- What's Really Keeping You From Your Six-Figure Goals - xoNecole ... ›
- How One Woman Leveraged A $75K Job Offer To Land A Six-Figure ... ›
- Badass Women Inspired Me To Take The Entreprenurial Leap ... ›
- 7 Ways To Attract More Wealth & Abundance In Your Life - xoNecole ... ›
- Dominate Your Decade With These Simple Mindset Shifts ... ›
- 5 Black Women On How They Found Mentors - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 7 Ways To Turn Fear Into Financial Favor - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Finance A Startup Business - xoNecole: Lifestyle, Culture, Love, & Wellness ›
- 5 Mindset Shifts That Have Changed My Life - The Blissful Mind ›
- 12 Ways to Shift Your Mindset and Embrace Change | Inc.com ›
- Six-Figure Salary - How To Earn $100,000 or More ›
- What Does A Six-Figure Salary Get You? | Clever Girl Finance ›
- How To Make 6 Figures — No Bullshit. | by Tim Denning | The ... ›
The most Gemini woman you'll ever meet. Communications & community enthusiast, I run a media platform centered around spirituality, and I'm always looking to connect with fellow creatives. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @savannahtaider
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
Gender wars. If there’s one thing that social media — hell, the internet, period — is gonna have ready and waiting for you on a daily (oftentimes hourly) basis, it’s some freakin’ gender wars. And if there’s one topic, specifically, that I try not to let trigger me, yet many times it does just that, it’s the topic of dating.
Between men either implying or flat-out saying that after paying a certain amount of money on a date (or flying someone out), sex should be expected and women and their long (and oftentimes super annoying) TikToks about how a man should damn near break the bank on the first date and/or pay for whomever they choose to bring along (which is mad rude, by the way) — the transactional approach to something that once was way more intentional, pure and holistically beneficial has really got out of hand.
And although I can’t stop an avalanche once it’s begun (no one can), it is my hope that this piece will restore some integrity back to what was designed to bring genuine connections together — not make booty calls easier or Instagram posts imitate dates from The Bachelor/The Bachelorette franchise (or whatever not-so-reality-based show that’s on these days). By the way, 21 years into both of those shows, although there have been 34 proposals, only six couples are still married. That’s not a success story; that is utterly ridiculous.
So, let’s tackle dating in a way that can actually bring some sanity, practicality, and, shoot, dare I say, virtue back into it by restoring a bit of order when it comes to what dating should actually be about.
When You Don’t Know the Purpose of Something, You Will Misuse It
Tag someone who could use these questions ❤️ #relationships #datingtips #marriageadvice #dayingadvice #blacklove
I’m pretty sure that it comes as no shocker that I am a huge fan of healthy relationships. I am also a big-time investor in Black love and an advocate for Black men. So much, in fact, that I have been known to say, pretty consistently, in fact, that I have been customized for a Black man. No one else is an option. Hey, that’s just me.
And because I do spend so much time writing about relationships, working with couples, and hopefully helping people to see themselves in a light that will cause the light in others to reflect the best back to them (in their relationships), I constantly encourage others to move in purpose when it comes to dating.
The definitions of purpose include “the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.” and “an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.” So yes, when it comes to dating before anyone shares their time, energy, feelings, resources, body parts, or anything else, it’s imperative — crucial even — that they spend some serious, sobering, and significant time figuring out the reason behind why they want and then choose to date, along with what they ultimately desire to get out of doing so.
And that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to lead this all off with the TikTok post above. Because sis definitely dates with a clear purpose (the first date?! Wasted no time!). Do I think that a first date has to be this…heavy? No. Oftentimes, a first date is about seeing if there is any chemistry that could possibly evolve into a connection — and that’s why I’m all about short ones like coffee dates, drinks, and/or appetizers; it’s not about a man “getting off cheap,” it’s about both of you trying to figure out if something is there. If there is, there will be a second date. If not, no harm, no foul on either side.
Anyway, when it comes to this particular couple’s journey (she used the word “fiancé” so clearly her approach paid off for her), again, even though a first date can certainly go much lighter than this, I do salute the fact that she provided a stellar example of what it means to know what your purpose is for dating so that you know how to move — and what to expect based on your personal standards and even convictions — while you’re dating. Good stuff.
So, how did dating become what, in my opinion, is the colossal-ishshow that it currently is? It’s because, as I oftentimes say, when you don’t know the purpose of something (or someone), you will be almost guaranteed to abuse (abnormally use) or misuse it — and if you ask a lot of folks who yap about their dating expectations to explain their purpose for dating in the first place…many of them will have absolutely no clue. And that’s truly sad. In many ways, it’s counterproductive as well.
It’s kind of another message for another time yet, just like it irks me to hear single guys say that they expect single women to submit to them (even the Bible says that submission is for marriage, and yes, we’ll have to tackle that topic on another day; I do wish more people understood its purpose better, though — Ephesians 5:21-33[AMPC], I Peter 3:1-7[AMPC], Colossians 3:18-20). What I think they actually mean is they like the femininity of a woman to show up during the dating process. Anyway, along these same lines, I don’t like how dating and courting overlap, either.
Let’s deal with dating first.
If you were to talk to, probably your great-grandparents at this point about the topic of dating, they would probably say that there is no need to go out on a lot of dates with someone unless you see some real potential there. As antiquated as that might sound, it’s a mindset that can also keep you from wasting time, it can potentially spare you from investing in something that isn’t really going anywhere, and it can prevent you from moving too quickly (on the emotional and physical tip — check out “Ever Wonder If You're Moving Too Fast In A Relationship?”).
Because, if you’re dating with a clear purpose and say that it’s so you can transition into courting, then engagement, and then marriage — why date for years on end? Yeah, dating is like the “first base” of getting to know someone.
Now am I saying that only people who want to get married should date? Contrary to what a lot of church culture thinks, no. Personally, I get that not everyone desires marriage (check out “Single-Minded: So, What If You Like Dating But DON’T Desire Marriage?” and “12 Couples Reveal Why They're Happy With A Long-Term Commitment Instead Of Marriage”) — and they shouldn’t be forfeited romantic companionship because of it. In fact, I respect people who value marriage so much that they know, ahead of time, that they don’t want to play with it; not enough people see it from that relational lens.
However, even if marriage isn’t on your menu, you still need to have a purpose for dating, and you still need to be intentional about seeing if the individual who is sitting across from you is on the same page as you are — whatever that page may be. And so, it’s a good idea to not be so transactional in your mindset that you cheapen the entire experience.
How? Probably one of the easiest ways to describe a transactional kind of relationship is it’s something that you see as not much more than a lop-sided business dynamic. All you care about is how you can benefit and what your demands are. There is very little compromise or mutuality — and that makes it hard for anything with a healthy emotional foundation to evolve.
And honestly, that’s why a lot of guys tend to sound so cold and flippant when they talk about dismissing a woman who won’t give them any after a date (or trip), or a lot of women sound so rude and inconsiderate while “grading” their dates or who they are dating — things have become so transactional that there is no real connection beyond “what can I get out of this as quickly as possible?” — and that hinders a fulfilling dating experience and almost always sabotages the possibility for courtship.
As I’ve already stated, Black men are always gonna be my preference. That doesn’t mean I don’t know fine when it comes to other ethnicities when I see it, though, and looka here — some of y’all will probably have no clue who I’m talking about, but Michael Landon, the man who played Charles Ingalls on the Little House on the Prairie, was fine and then some mo’ fine.
Anyway, there are many things that I still appreciate about that show. One of them is how they modeled courtship back in the late 1800s. When a young man was interested in a young woman, he would go to her parents (specifically her father) with his plan for how long it would take him to build a home and provide for her so that he could propose marriage and, after the wedding, move directly into their new home. Typically, if the plan was going to take more than a couple of years, the parents wouldn’t be interested in giving their blessing.
Lawd, how far we have gotten away from this — and I’m not convinced that we’ve elevated. Yet the main point I’m making is dating, and courting were never designed to be the same thing. Dating is about seeing if you want to transition into courting, so that you can either get engaged or go into something more serious and long-term. And what this means is no, men nor women should expect (and definitely not demand) “courting privileges” during the dating season. Meaning, why should someone be paying someone else’s bills while dating? Why should someone expect marital duties to be performed while merely dating? THEY SHOULDN’T. Both directions.
Until it’s been clearly and mutually articulated that both individuals want to do life together, as a couple, on a very serious and committed level, courting is not to transpire — only dating is. And that means that people need to remain in a state of simply enjoying someone’s company while collecting the data/intel that they need in order to decide if they should move forward with someone or…not.
Bottom line, dating and courting are not to be used interchangeably; their purpose and agendas are quite different.
No One Is OWED AnythingGiphy
A couple of nights ago, while having dinner with my godchildren’s mother, one of the things that we discussed is how entitled my older goddaughter (who is officially a preteen now) is. An example is my telling her that if she found some sneakers for $85 before tax, I would get them for her birthday. When she went on to say that she only prefers Air Force 1s (this kid), I went on to tell her that she took the entire joy out of getting her anything because of her entitled attitude.
“She’s gonna be someone who guys are not going to be interested in dating if she keeps this up,” I said to her mother after she shared with me that after coming back from a camp that cost a pretty penny, just hours into being home, my goddaughter was whining about how boring her life is at home. Whew, chile.
Entitlement is unattractive. ENTITLEMENT IS UNATTRACTIVE. Why? Because the message it sends is that someone owes you what they have. Plus, there tends to be a total lack of graciousness if you happen to receive whatever you’re expecting — and no one who values themselves or their time wants to be around someone like that. And yet, here we are, watching the entitlement of so many people rise to a fever pitch in our culture, especially when it comes to dating.
And here’s the real trip — no, you are not entitled to what someone has just “because you are worth it” and the same thing goes for them when it comes to you. Owing someone is about being obligated or indebted, and that’s why the whole “a man should pay hundreds on a first date” mantra is ridiculous to me. What makes him obligated to do that for someone he barely knows? What have you done for him that makes him indebted to you on that level?
In a time in our culture where more narcissists are being created (and even cultivated) than ever, it’s important to keep in mind that people who are entitled are self-absorbed, have a puffed-up attitude, are typically quite difficult to get along with, do not reciprocate in relationships and suck at listening. Who wants to even attempt to build with someone like that?
You know, one time I spent, hell, more time than I should’ve, watching TikTok posts on dating standards. One woman (who I will spare by not linking her into all of this) had a list of about 20 things and started off her video by saying, “You know, I have been on many, many dates…”
Sometimes I wonder if people listen to themselves before they hit publish on their videos because if you’ve got a ton of first dates with not much else to show for it, you might want to revisit if all that you think you deserve (check out “Before You Talk About What You 'Deserve'...Do You Know What That Even Means?”) or are owed on a first date is actually working for you or…against you. Because while you’re calling them “standards” what they really might be is super unrealistic dating demands.
This brings me to my next point.
Standards and (Unrealistic) Demands Are Totally DifferentGiphy
When it comes to the topic of standards, I once heard someone define them as being a healthy set of boundaries (or limits), principles, values, morals, ethics, and habits that you choose to base your life on. That said, if there’s something else that social media has done (to our overall detriment), it’s provided a platform for people to loudly use words without really knowing the core essence of their meaning.
That said, an example of thinking that an unrealistic demand is somehow a dating standard is saying that you want a 6-6-6 man (check out “Okay, So Here's What You Need To Know About the '6-6-6' Man”) and yet, in your mind, he should text you several times a day or immediately answer every call. Ask any super ambitious man (or the woman who is with him), and they will tell you that they have to manage their time, almost down to the second, in order to meet their (oftentimes daily) goals. This means that testing him to see if he will be at your beck and call? That isn’t really about boundaries or values — c’mon…that’s either about a profound insecurity or it’s about being consumed with getting a shot of ego boosts on a daily basis.
And that’s what can jack a lot of people up when it comes to dating in these days and times too — both men and women. Yeah, I have this conversation with men as well. You want someone you’re dating to cook for you all of the time? What man needs that? What is ethical about it? And how does taking that kind of stance put you into the mindset of being grateful if you feel like she is required to do so? And what would make a woman want to marry you if you’re already acting that way?
So yeah, it’s definitely a good idea to set your own ego aside and ponder which of your dating standards are actual standards and which ones are basically ridiculous. And before you offer pushback by saying that if your standards are too high, “oh well,” let’s bring any angle about double standards as I close out.
Remember the Golden Rule. Always.Giphy
Something that oftentimes tickles me when I talk to singles about what they expect in a future partner is how so many of them have these long ass laundry lists about what they require, and yet, when I ask them if they have achieved or accomplished what’s on their list, suddenly they’re either deflecting or irritated. He’s gotta make six figures and have great credit when you make $30K (gross), and your credit score is barely scratching 550? She’s gotta have a banging body when you’ve got plenty of girth around the middle? Why are you out here thinking it’s so easy for someone to have or be what you desire…when you’re (general "you") not even those things yourself? Please stop.
That’s another ridiculous thing about transactional dating culture, for sure. Far too many folks are out here expecting what they absolutely are not — and yes, that is a double standard. Know what else it is? It’s hypocritical as all get out. Besides, someone who hits even 80 percent of your list, guess what? They are more than justified to expect you to be what you asked of them. And either that should be a humbling revelation or something that makes you want to revise your list or commit to doing some serious self-work before going out on a new string of dates.
Yeah, I can only imagine how much the quality of dating would shift, for the better, if people committed to implementing the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you — or, in this case, be what you require. Because when you genuinely and sincerely come from this frame of mind, it’s hard to be transactional because you are more focused on being realistic and holistically beneficial.
And that, my friends, should be the framework for dating.
Be real: is it yours?
If not…why not?
No one wants to be treated like nothing more than a basic transaction. So, let’s all lead by example out here in this dating (and social media) streets. Straight up.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Jill Giardino/Getty Images