The minute you decide to take control over your own life and happiness, you will be amazed at the results.
While there are some things in life that we cannot control--like bad weather, gas prices, or getting older--there are two things that you can control -- your happiness and your hustle.
In a recent interview with Glamourmagazine, Tyra Banks dished out several career tips and made me realize how important it is to be the boss in all aspects of life. As a woman of many titles, the media mogul is not a rookie when it comes down to being fearless and a true #girlboss.
Through her many jobs and business ventures, Tyra has always figured out a way to stay in control. She sets a great example for young women and is proof that when you know how to control your money, happiness, and learn how to hustle hard for the life you want, life becomes a little bit easier.
Check out a few career and life lessons that I learned from Tyra Banks, the queen of fierceness.
1. Know when to restrategize and reshape your personal brand
In the interview, Tyra discussed how becoming successful wasn't easy. In the beginning of her career, she had so many doors slammed in her face, but she used each "no" as a learning experience, and learned how to find other ways to reach her goals. Even after she became successful, Tyra noted that some people were still giving her a hard time. Later in her modeling career, she began to hear things like, "You're getting too thick," which for most models would have forced them to get on Kanye's workout plan and drink nothing but skinny detox teas. Tyra, on the other hand, took that criticism and found a way to use it to her advantage. She figured a way to restrategize her career around that criticism and found modeling gigs that weren't afraid of a woman with curves, like Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated.
Just like Tyra, we have to know when we should look into reshaping our personal brand when certain circumstances occur. When this happens, you should continue to stay true to your values, but should also figure out ways that you can improve your personal brand so that you are more marketable. For example, if I am an HR manager that is famous for successfully recruiting through job search engines, I have to learn how to restrategize and refine my recruiting techniques as the demand of the world changes.
2. Never Stop Studying Your Craft
When Tyra decided to choose the catwalk over college, her mom made sure that Tyra was driven and had a "can't stop, won't stop" attitude. In the interview with Glamour Tyra said,
"I [found] a fashion library in downtown L.A. I went and read magazines, watched tapes, and learned the top photographers. I was like, wow, there are big pearls at Chanel, and at Yves Saint Laurent they have hair slicked back in a chignon and red lips. So I went to Paris and put beads on my neck to walk for Karl Lagerfeld, and put on some red lipstick in the alley for Yves Saint Laurent's people. And I booked 25 fashion shows."
Tyra's success shows that she has always believed in the value of preparation. From the beginning, she worked extremely hard so that she was always prepared for anything that came her way. Even once opportunities began to knock on her door, Tyra had a bold and a fearless attitude. She took the opportunities by the horn, and gave each one all that she had, which in turn helped her reach the level of success that she has now.
[Tweet "Be prepared and be bold. "]
As professionals, it is important for us to stay on top of our game by sharpening our skills and learning as much as we can so that we are always prepared. Just like Tyra, once we receive the opportunity, we need to be bold and believe in ourselves. Too often, we wish so hard for certain careers, but then we fall into a level of uncertainty and a lack of confidence.
I remember when I received my first management job, I was extremely surprised because I was offered it even though I hadn't even applied for it. I originally applied for a lower level job, but apparently I was amazing in my interview so they offered something greater to me. When I got the call for the management job, I was so surprised and confused--like really, who in their right mind was trusting little ole' meto lead a team when I had zero experience and was still trying to figure out who in the hell I was as a person? The attitude that I had affected me in the first few months of my job, and it taught me that by playing small and not believing in myself, I was hurting myself the most. Just like Tyra, it is important to remain fierce and to believe in yourself at all times.
3. It's Okay To Be Vulnerable
Tyra mentioned that her Harvard Business School professor taught them that it is okay to be vulnerable. "Show emotions. If you feel like frigging crying, cry."
For Tyra, that piece of advice stuck. To her, it was more than being vulnerable, it was about being real to yourself so that you are not being someone that you are not. Sometimes when we hear the word "vulnerable" we associate that with being weak, but it is the exact opposite.
Vulnerability implies having the courage to be yourself. The best employees and managers know how to be vulnerable and they understand that vulnerability is what brings out our authenticity and helps us connect with others.
4. Never Be Afraid To Take A Break
When asked what she would tell her 25-year-old self, Tyra replied, "Take some time for yourself. You're still gonna be successful if you go on that vacation. I felt I had to sacrifice, that I needed to constantly go."
You should never work yourself crazy to the point where you are just going through the motions of life, but aren't truly living. Just like Tyra said, "you will still be successful if you go on that vacation." The world will not end if you take a little time out for you, to do things that youlike to do. Now I'm not saying that you should have a "treat yo'self" day everyday, but occasionally you should definitely have some "me" time.
[Tweet "Never work yourself crazy to the point where you are just going through the motions of life."]
5. There Is Power In Financial Freedom And Having Your Own
Tyra tapped into the importance of being in control of your financial freedom by discussing what she learned from her mom's experiences.
"My mom stayed with my dad for too long because of financial reasons. If she'd just had a little side hustle, a little of her own money, she would have left. So I encourage women to have what I call 'F.U.' money."
Tyra feels that we all need our own money to do things independently and to not feel constrained. Having this money gives us financial freedom and it keeps us in control of our lives. If you don't know how to take better control over your money, you will find yourself stuck in places or situations because you cannot afford to do anything else or go anywhere else. Taking control of your money means putting more than $20 in your savings account when you think about it. Taking control of your money means saving at least 10% of your income and also finding ways to invest and grow your money. With your savings account, treat it like it's another bill and pay this "bill" every time you get paid. If you are horrible at paying your bills, set up automatic payments and have the money for your "bill" deducted out of your paycheck, and sent to your savings account on a consistent basis.
Learning how to manage your money is one of the most important things that you will ever learn how to do.
[Tweet "When you have financial freedom and money saved, you won't feel confined to people, jobs, or situations."]
Tyra is definitely someone that you can look up to when trying to figure out how to be a boss and take control over your life.
Let us know below how you plan on taking control over your happiness, career, and finances!
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
What would you do if you just got laid off from your corporate job and you had a serendipitous encounter with someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Tamara Taylor was faced with that decision in 2013 after she was let go from her sales profit and operations coach job in the restaurant industry and met a then-up-and-coming stylist, Law Roach, on a flight to L.A. She and Roach struck up a conversation, and he shared how he was looking for someone to run his business and was impressed by her skills. While she took his business card, she was unsure if it would lead to anything. But, boy, was she wrong. Two weeks later, after packing up her home to move back to her hometown of Chicago, she called Roach; he asked if they could meet the following day, and the rest is herstory.
Taylor founded Mastermind MGMT, an agency that represents some of Hollywood’s best “image architects” like Roach, Kellon Deryck, and Kollin Carter, who are responsible for creating unforgettable style and beauty moments for celebrities like Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, Taraji P. Henson, and more. Taylor and her company possess an array of functions, but her biggest role is to be her client’s advocate. We hear endless stories about how creatives aren’t paid or underpaid in the entertainment industry, but Taylor ensures that her clients get their piece of the pie. The entrepreneur opened up about her company and her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.
“I always say that I'm an artist advocate first, deal closer second. So my primary focus is to just make sure that the artist is getting everything that they deserve, whether it's compensation or, you know, certain accommodations, but just making sure that they have everything that they need to be able to show up and provide the best service that they're hired for,” she explained.
“So you know, in the beginning, it was hard because I didn't have any experience, and the artists who I was working with at the time–we were learning together, meaning neither of us had assisted anyone. We didn't have mentors in our specific fields. So every deal was like a new learning experience for us from the styling side and also from the business side, and so it took, you know, doing some research, using some very creative tactics, to find out information in the industry and just starting to request accommodations that I knew other artists were granted, who maybe didn't look like my artists.”
Photo by Christopher Marrs
Ten years later, there’s still not many people who are doing what Taylor is doing. However, things have gotten easier thanks to the research and connections she made in the beginning. During Mastermind MGMT’s ten-year anniversary celebration, she announced her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on helping young entrepreneurs through a 12-week program. The program is divided into “two routes.” The first route is for aspiring creative artists who want to start a business from their talent and all the things they need to learn about business, such as taxes, life insurance, etc. The second route is for practicing creative artists who are already in the industry but need resources such as how to plan for retirement or how to sustain themselves if they can’t work for a short amount of time, i.e., the pandemic.
“I just feel that I'm able to have a business and be successful because of their art as well. And so there are things that I know, I tried to teach it to them but understanding that I can only do so much because I'm not a subject matter expert in those fields,” she said. “So I at least want to be able to provide the resources, and then if they make their grown decision not to do it, then that's on them. But you know, I could be guilt-free and taking advantage of the resources that I'm also providing to them.”
Taylor continues to be an innovator in her industry by always pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking one step ahead of everyone else. The Chicago-bred businesswoman is moving into the tech space thanks to a new invention created with her clients in mind, and she is looking forward to bigger collaborations in the future. Follow Mastermind MGMT on Instagram @mastermind_mgmt for more information.
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Feature image by Christopher Marrs