A few weeks back I threw a BGLH meetup at my storefront — that nobody showed up to. And a few weeks before that I had a meeting at BET that really crashed, flew off the highway and burned in a ditch. Both of these experiences taught me something: I need more people.
Yes I am fabulous, funny, creative and smart. But I’m also a mom who is managing a blog while operating a rapidly growing beauty brand + storefront while raising three kids. I can’t do it all. And if I keep trying I’m going to get nowhere fast.
There’s an article Luvvie Ajayi wrote on Medium a year and a half ago that has really stayed with me. It’s called On Firing Myself and Ending the Empire of One.
I’ve been blogging for 13 years, and have been working for myself full-time for 6 years. Spending all this time being a team of one has taught me a lot, made sure I can juggle 7 balls at once AND has been my proof that I CAN do this. But there can no longer be just me. I need to sleep more. The “sleep when I die” mantra is not cute. No, I need to sleep NOW.
FIRE YOURSELF. Outsource some of your life. Because you know what won’t be cute on a tombstone? “Her grind was impeccable and she did it all by herself.” We have no one to prove anything to. Especially for those of us who have established ourselves for over a decade. What other receipts do we need to show? We are usually Type A, perfectionist types who do not know how to let go of reins.
It is time. Let them go. Build your team. Find your helpers. Get some more sleep.
The truth is I suck at self-promotion. Most people who read this blog regularly have no clue what I look like. Shoot, a customer came into the store the other day who’s been a BGLH fan for years and had no clue that I run BGLH Marketplace.
So I recently met with a publicist at a restaurant in Bed Stuy. I told her everything — how I got my start in blogging, how I was cyberbullied and subsequently scared for many years out of using my own voice on my blog, how I started BGLH Marketplace and my recent move from Chicago to Brooklyn.
“You’re going to have to be willing to be seen — photoshoots, interviews and speaking events. But aside from that, you leave all the rest to me.” Those magic words were exactly what I needed to hear.
So I’m firing ‘Leila the publicist’ because she’s done a pretty shitty job. And I’m excited to see what comes. It feels like a very grown up thing to do. It feels like the right thing to do.