A story about hair and business...
I stared admiringly at the TV screen. Was it the music? Possibly. (I’m not ashamed to say I knew all of the lyrics. Yes, including the raps.) But what actually had me transfixed on the screen back in 2001 was their hair.
I saw this famous girl band singing, rapping and dancing – and the thing which most got ME? Their hair. Specifically, the fact that theirs was long and silky, and swingy. Mine was not. My hair was what I mostly believed to be frizzy and annoying. That was the moment I decided that in order to be beautiful…like those women were, I had to get myself some long, silky and swingy hair. The bubble burst a bit when I realised that I wasn’t allowed to make that happen at 13/14 years old…
Cue me heading to university over on the other side of the country with a student loan and BOOM – I got me some extensions. I too, was now in possession of silky, long, swingy hair. Finally, the ‘problem’ with my hair had been fixed and I didn’t have to tie it up in a bun anymore simply so that I could ‘manage’ it.
My love affair with those long, silky, swingy extensions lasted almost 10 years. I presumed I’d live my life that way moving forward. After all, that’s the norm for so many and there’s no issue with that.
But for some reason, five years ago back in 2013 when it was time to get my extensions redone after coming back from our honeymoon in Mexico, I didn’t. I decided that I wanted to try my ‘natural’ hair for a while. And for a while, that’s exactly what I did. I tried. I tried different styles, ways of defining the curls in my heat damaged hair, and probably about a million other things too.
That is until I realised I wasn’t ‘trying’natural hair anymore, I was doing it.
In spite of the days where I’d wash my fro and the results would look nothing like they did the last time I washed it, and in spite of the weird in between length stage where it wasn’t a ‘teeny weeny afro’ and nor was it the longer curls I have now.
All of those random ups and downs aside, I can honestly say that if James and I renewed our vows, or if I was to go to fanciest event I’d ever been a part of, I wouldn’t be heading to the salon to have my extensions put in in order to feel more beautiful. I’m more beautiful being fully me.
So, what does a natural hair journey have to do with business? Well… everything.
Were there times when, after a few weeks of this curly journey, I felt like giving up and going back to my long locks? Definitely.
Have there been times since starting my business where I’ve wanted to throw my laptop out of the window in sheer frustration and go back to having a ‘normal’ job? 100%.
Are there times, even now, when I’ll look in the mirror at my ever expanding bundle of curls and want to take myself to a hair salon like yesterday to ‘fix’ it? Absolutely.
And are there times when I write I post (or at least attempt to) totally lose focus halfway through, come back, re-read it and tell myself that no one is going to read that mess? Yes.
The point is that just like good and bad hair days, I have good and bad business days.
But the similarities run a little deeper than just whether or not I’m having a good day or not.
You see, when I first started my business, it was like a lifeline back to myself.
I’d spent so long in the land of disappointment and knockbacks that I truly wondered whether or not I was especially gifted and talented enough in anything at all.
Being a jack of all trades is alright for a while… but everyone starts to wonder if they’ll ever have their ‘thing’, right?
I prayed, I cried, I worried, I wondered and then, Moses style, I was reminded of what was in my hand. My ‘thing’ had been under my nose the whole time –collecting dust on my laptop. And to be honest, that thing is more ‘me’ than anything else has EVER been. Writing, teaching, waking people up to the realities of God’s goodness and encouraging people to live their lives and callings out to the FULL just like Jesus promised is literally ‘me’ to a tee.
And so is my hair. Literally. It’s my own hair doing its own thing. Growing, stretching, and getting better and better with the more patience I practice. The thing is, this hair of mine was under my extensions the entire time. One quick glance at it in between getting my extensions redone was previously enough for me to say that me being completely me wouldn’t cut it and that actually, things would be a whole lot better if they were added to.
In fact, things are so much better when they’re authentic.
We’re continually told that we’re not enough just as we are - that we should add or change things somehow. While I’m all for growth and development (it’s essential), I’m also all for AUTHENTIC growth which looks like natural progression as opposed to a radical 360 in a direction you were never meant to go.
Just like I had to with my hair, it was important for me to give my business time to grow before I dismissed it.
Are there areas in your business now which you’re not even willing to look into before making a decision one way or the other? Things you might be prematurely dismissing due to a lack of patience?
I know in those early days with my hair, there were some awkward mid-length seasons I had to sit through. But that’s because I knew what the results would be with some patience and perseverance. The same is the case for business.
I can gladly say that, no matter how many frustrated glares I give myself in the mirror at times, my hair as it is, is a part of ME which I have no desire to change, even if the ‘status quo’ for my type of hair might be to straighten it or add extensions to it. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd.
I can also gladly say that in spite of the hugely difficult days where I ALMOST find myself googling job vacancies, me being fully me, doing what I’ve been created to do, on a path He’s paved for me, is exactly where I’m meant to be.
Don’t sell yourself short in the pursuit of what you’ve been called to – exactly as you are.
The world is waiting for your work.
Did you hear? Doors to Biblical Business Academy are about to close. If you’re ready for high-level business support which doesn’t mean compromising who you are as a faith-focused leader who knows that God is at the centre of your success, click the button below and join us while you still can.
HEY! I’m Naomi, Business Coach for High-Level Female Entrepreneurs & Founder of Living Word League.
I coach, write, teach and run programs which infuse practical strategies with Biblical principles (which I personally think is the best rule of thumb for success.) I moved from a 7-year High School teaching career, to building and scaling my business after starting out as a hobby-status blogger in 2011. Within months, I was able to go totally full time and haven't looked back. My success, as someone who previously would have never seen myself as an entrepreneur means that I'm now beyond passionate about business being an expression of Kingdom-building here on earth. Hobby status and inconsistent feast to famine months aren't cutting it for you anymore right? You're meant for a business which has faith as your foundation AND soars with success. That's where I come in.
Click HERE to learn more about working with me.