Don’t let someone’s negative opinion of you become your reality.”
Whew, I don’t know about you but that hit home. When Sanaa Lathan posted on Snapchat her gorgeous locks being replaced with an unfamiliar bald cut, I instantly thought about how great her makeup artist is to accomplish such a realistic look. Boy, was I wrong! The beautiful Ms. Lathan took us on a journey of various hairstyles for her latest role as Violet Jones in the highly anticipated “Nappily Ever After”.
Nappily Ever After showcases what most African American women experience since birth: being judged by their hair. People would instantly base our lives by how much volume our hair entails or how corse our hair grew compared to the next girl. Black girls are constantly mocked as being bald-headed or looking like a chia pet. Just think of how a little girl or young lady felt by being called names based on someone else’s definition of beauty.
Little girls should not have to experience low self-esteem. Sadly it is a fact. Our mothers would ensure that we are at the beauty parlor bright and early on Saturday mornings until late in the afternoon while other children were watching tv and playing. And let’s not forget the dreaded question “Can I touch your hair?”
No, you cannot touch my hair. It’s quite insulting to ask about touching our hair. We do not know where your hands been. We take a long time to ensure each string is properly placed. And we view our hair as the crown that cannot be touched by anyone but ourselves.
Nappily Ever After is more than a flick concerning hair within the Black community. The movie offers a lot of insight that we can apply to our businesses as well. Below lists my top tips for entrepreneurs and business owners that were highlighted throughout the movie.
- Don’t let anyone’s negative opinions become your reality. People will talk about you when they do not feel they are not getting what they want from you. So what? It is their loss, not yours. Don’t let anyone make you feel like something is wrong with you. Your brand is your baby. Feed into it what you want to come out of it. Advice will be offered, but that does not mean you have to accept it.
- Feelings of tension are clear signs of growth. Pay attention to your intuition when things do not feel right. Do not allow that feeling to stop you, it clearly shows that you know what you want. Whether you are moving towards something great or away from something is not for you, this is a tension is a type of growth. Eliminate what causes that feeling and move forward. Your future self will appreciate that from you.
- Remain confident daily. Tell yourself daily how beautiful you are. Have great posture, have various conversation topics. Remember the purpose of your company, what solutions you have for your target market. Use your vision and mission as motivation.
- Women are here for more than your viewing pleasure. It is often said that women are hard to work with. Or women do not work as hard as men. LIES. Women are valuable in every aspect of life. You should respect women, give us our rights and the opportunity to do a damn good job at what we do. Appreciate God’s work, but do not take advantage of it.
- You can manage anything if you have the right tools. The right tools for your business will take away any excuses that present itself. Do you know who your market is? Do you have inventory or quick access to it? What is your physical and digital presence for your team, your clients, and your consumers? Know exactly what is needed to operate your business, then operate it with care.
- Become an inspiration rather than an influencer for the next generation and for your colleagues. Yes, there is a difference. The world of social media has everyone placing #influencer in their bio. Who are you influencing and how are you doing it? Your brand should inspire people to be the best person possible. Think about your favorite brand of sneaker. What is their message? How do their ads make you feel? Apply that same type of inspiration into your brand.
- Open communication is essential for growth. Speak clearly when you are defining goals for your business. Let your team, whether internal or external, know how you feel about the progress that you have at that moment. Do not waste your time or anyone else’s by holding your tongue. It simply halts productivity and delays due to setbacks that could have been avoided.
- Imitation isn’t flattery. Read that multiple times and allow it to sink into your mind. People tend to view gaining a competitive advantage as meaning they have to imitate another business. Nope. When you enter an industry, as well as throughout the operation of your business, you should complete marketing research. This will allow you to understand your positioning within the market, how you offer an advantage compared to your competitors and the purchasing power of your customers/consumers. You do not need to mimic what the next person is doing. Just because it works for them does not mean it will work for you. People will respect you more when you are authentic.
Brands are like puzzle pieces. No two pieces are the same; they have different sizes and come in different shapes. But your industry aka the completed puzzle has room for your piece to fit. A fit is a fit. Even when you decide to rebrand, you can still add your piece to the puzzle without forcing into place. Don’t give up because some other business appears to be doing better than you. Reevaluate your measurement system for success and be the badass that you are!
Thank you Trisha R. Thomas Cee Marcellus, Adam Brooks, and Haifaa Al-Mansour along with the entire cast and crew who played a role in this brilliantly adapted film. Make sure you check out the amazing Nappily Ever After on Netflix today!