Being an Influencer vs. Being a Light Pt. 2

being a light

When I wrote the original post, I was almost in a completely different season in my life. I wrote the post as an “anti influencer” post but now it feels like the introduction to what it means for me transitioning into a Christian business owner.

Okay, wow, let’s pause for a second. I didn’t intend to go down this road at all. I realized that the Light analogy entailed much more than I thought it did. When you’re set apart and you agree to that path, it feels like so many things just unconventionally happen as a result.

Let me explain what I mean. A few weeks ago, I was planning posts to follow the “Personal Space” campaign and God dropped it on me to do a prayer for business owners. Huh? I didn’t relaunch to become a “Christian brand.” But I did relaunch to realign. Being a Believer is a huge part of my life and I’ve been reiterating that who you are personally flows into who you are professionally. I remember being a lukewarm Christian in college, doing some of everything and hardly ever feeling convicted about my actions. Keep in mind that being lukewarm in that area of my life, made it easier to excuse other parts of my life that I either refused to address or just didn’t care to.

The first thing I’ve learned since that post is words matter and specifically when you publish them, they have a way of coming back around. Remember this sentence from the original post?: “I wanted the new updated version of TBH to be a more accurate depiction of women not only building businesses but also reaching the personal growth equivalent to 7 figures.”

If I’m being honest, I kinda just thought that quote was cute but the inner and outer work to actually get it done has been A LOT. There’s a huge amount of self-awareness that comes from being a business owner and it causes you to not want to be mediocre in other parts of your life. At some point, something or someone is going to shine a light on all of those areas you decided to put in a box for the sake of building a business.

There’s a huge amount of self-awareness that comes from being a business owner and it causes you to not want to be mediocre in other parts of your life.
— @thebronzehustle

Which leads me to the second thing I’ve learned: the moment you begin preaching growth and development, is the moment that all of your blind spots begin to be exposed. Remember when I said I was once a lukewarm Christian? Part of being a lukewarm Christian is being disobedient. My disobedience was causing a gap. I spent the majority of 2018 trying to make it better than the previous year and planned so many big goals that I didn’t hit because they were goals I thought I should’ve been hitting vs. goals that were actually in alignment for me and my brand. In the end, I feel like I fell into this rebrand in order to make things make sense again.

It wasn’t until I truly realized how mediocre my dependence on God was for the rebuilding of my brand, that I realized I had so many gaps to fill. The whole purpose of the rebrand was to further align who I am as a woman, who I am as a CEO and build a beautiful media company in the process that unapologetically excuses the grind mentality. Alignment is the absence of grind.You grind when you’re not whole because essentially you’re running a race you’re already predicted to win. I knew I was done grinding but I didn’t exactly know what that meant.

I often go back to my journal and reread the things I wrote when I was in different seasons to understand exactly where I am now and the progression that has taken place. Before we officially relaunched and prior to the “Redefining the Hustle” campaign, I was reminded of what I wrote down in my journal back on November 27, 2018:

“Your obedience creates an alliance with God. Never take for granted the times when you listen and act on what God gives you. He is your source. Without Him, you have nothing to give. Him restoring you and pushing you into alignment gives birth to what he can do through you. He’s restoring you as a vessel in the process.”

Spiritually, I made the connection between obedience and alignment 9 months ago. Naturally, it wasn’t until I posted this post recently, a prayer God told me to post immediately, that it all begin to click. I didn’t want to post that post. I did it out of obedience. I was almost shaking by the time I hit publish because I was so out of my element.

Alignment, God’s way, is essentially obedience. Look at it this way: if you’re praying for a new house and you want to be in alignment with what God has for you and you’re praying and praying and God tells you that he wants you in an apartment for a year before you get a new house, what’s your next move? Either you move into the house God told you not to move into or you listen and move into the apartment instead. The problem with moving into that house is that maybe God was protecting you from moving into a sham of a house that now needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt. And instead of you waiting to move into your apartment, you’re now shelling out cash you don’t have to pay contractors to rebuild this house that could potentially take you longer than a year because you don’t have all of the money upfront. See how much turmoil you can create in your life when you don’t stay aligned?

If we use the same analogy but apply it to our online brands, we can’t say we’re in alignment when we’re launching and producing things that we’re not even supposed to be doing. When it’s time to pivot or refresh our brands, we can’t be so attached that we don’t move forward. I can’t imagine where I would be right now if I hadn’t moved forward. Moving forward creates the path, not researching and studying the path before you move.

Moving in alignment and intention doesn’t necessarily mean moving slower as much as it means not having to backtrack because of your own thoughts of outdoing yourself. When I was gearing up to relaunch, I had thoughts of making it “bigger and better” but neither of those matter as much as efficiency and intentionality mean and when you follow both of those things, you’ll naturally be better.

Just like I saw my obedience within my alignment as a gap, I saw many other things. I also realized I had a very normal problem that a lot of us have: a lack of time management and organizational skills. That’s the final thing that I wanted to share in this updated post: we’re missing practicality within our work because we’re busy making it look like we’re working and producing just to produce versus actually doing the work.

If you’re like me, as long as you’re in the right headspace, you can write all day everyday. But what happens to all of those posts that you write that have no home? Why does it seem like you’re always rushing to publish things but are constantly writing? It’s because you have no real system from the time you finish writing something to the time it actually gets published. And a lot of that time it takes you to write could’ve been cut in half if you were actually writing and not scrolling or looking for “inspiration” for hours at a time.

If I claim that I’m not an influencer and I am on my way to being a CEO, where exactly is my time going? I’ve figured out a few hacks and resources that I plan to share later on the site but, I wanted you to read this first so it can stir something within you before you begin to set out on a similar journey and then complain about not having enough time or resources to get what you need to get done, done.

We have to stop putting “Future _____” in our bios and actually do the work. Figure out what the bridge is to taking “future” off of whatever it is you claim you want to be. For me, it has a lot to do with how effectively I work and trusting my path along the way. Figure out what your gap is.

This post was a long way of saying I have been working to bridge those gaps and make sure that I am truly about this life. If hustling was considered a facade for my life, this has to be the real deal, inside and out.

In conclusion, don’t pray prayers like mine about wanting to be about this life and not actually being about this life. If you’re not willing to be stretched, prepare to watch life pass you by. If you’re willing to be stretched, prepare to be about your business -- literally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and all the other “-allys” you can think of.

With love, S.