My Imaginary Entourage

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I wouldn’t be surprised if you looked at some of the above pictures and no name came to mind. But aside from the obvious and more well known superwomen (FLOTUS, Oprah, … Beyoncé, etc.) I find these ladies to be very inspiring people and businesswomen. I’ll give you the run down on them later but if you haven’t already been told, having role models is critical to your progression. Being authentically you is also valuable but looking up to others isn’t only for children or losers.

Mentors are there for questions over coffee, friends and family are there for free (mostly unsolicited) advice, but role models are there as the silent partners in your success. Because the term is usually reserved for those in the public eye, don’t feel weird about admiring and being inspired by people you’ve never met. If you find yourself “lurking” certain timelines or drooling over select Instagram photos, it could be because that person has something that you want. Acknowledge that you admire them, research their stories, and study their success strategies.

Condoleezza Rice has gone on record several times reminding us that our role models don’t have to look like us (race, gender, etc.) but if you can find ones that do, by all means, overdose on inspiration! Having black women as role models reassures me that even in the ugly face of glass ceilings and systemic racism, I can be sassy & successful. Here’s a run down of some of my Sucsassful role models:

Demetria L. Lucas (Top Left ): blogger at ABelleInBrooklyn.com, author, life & relationship coach, and star of Bravo’s new Blood, Sweat, and Heels

Shanel Cooper-Sykes (Top Center): life coach, author, public speaker, and serial entrepreneur

Myleik Teele (Top Right): PR expert and founder of CurlBox

Alexandra L. Smith (Bottom Left): blogger at TheGoodHairBlog.com, jewelry designer, poet, and author of “Words from a Wanderer”

Heather Lindsey (Bottom Center): founder of Pinky Promise, author, pastor, and public speaker

Ming Lee (Bottom Right): hairstylist and owner of Snob Life Studio

Each of these women, in some way, contributes to my personal or professional goals. They don’t all fit the perfect mold of who I want to be, but I pick & choose which aspects of their lives I’m most impressed by and I incorporate them into my development. If you don’t have an imaginary entourage, create one. Now. Check in with them regularly and be reminded where you want to go in life.

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