But I make myself so easy to love…
Most people equate success with money, expensive trips, bags, and lavish spending. The other side of the coin comes with being despised for having the courage to live out your truth. That part is often ignored and reserved for late night pillow talk or internalized as depression. One thing every person striving to be unlike the masses has to realize is that your ascension will be laced with hate and happy. Some will be motivated and inspired by you while others question your intentions, talk behind your back, throw shade, and project their issues onto you. None of these things should weigh more than your self-resilience to “make it.”
I recently watched the movie Steve Jobs via my Apple TV, and at the conclusion sent a groupme message to my girls about how much of a prick he was to his family, partners, and employees…from my iPhone. The irony. What’s even more ironic is that this was the third movie on Jobs that I’ve seen and that doesn’t compare to the countless number of books and news articles I’ve read about how he operated as an innovator. I might have loathed Steve Jobs as a person, but his genius I definitely loved.
Thinking about this got me to thinking about my own plight. I’ve been called many things by people I’ve felt that just “didn’t get it.”
All of those things can toughen your skin, harden your heart, and make you all too familiar with the word “no.” Those that have never experienced not making a payroll, or facing eviction from a storefront, or having to manage 10+ employees aren’t in a position to fathom why you do the things you do.
So was Steve Jobs right to act the way he did?
The more years as an entrepreneur I have under my belt, the more I feel like Kanye (sans the Amber fingers and negative comments about kids). I will ignore anyone that threatens my peace or feels the need to tell me their opinion on business when they’ve never run one. #HowSway
I’ve been in a meeting where someone argued me down about why I should incur a $3,000 expense that was a “nice to have” when the budget didn’t allow for it. When I brought up overhead expenses and sales projections I was met with an “I don’t know anything about that, but I want this” response. I still remember the lyrics to Theraflu running through my mind. All I wanted to scream was “Shut the **** up talking to me for I embarrass you” in full on Kanye West fashion. Instead I hit the Kanye shrug and walked out without further explanation.
Was that rude? Yes. Did I care after they wasted 30 minutes of my life that I can never get back? No.
Soon after that we hosted a Business Babes BYOB event and I sat with 20 other women that had similar experiences in business. Some of these women had caught bad raps for experiences just like the one I listed above. As we sipped on Pinot, a camaraderie was built. We found a safe place to lay our head and to blow off steam. Most importantly we found love, acceptance, and the opportunity to be seen for who we really were and not who people made us out to be because of the decisions we made for our businesses. The world will make you feel bad for being a Kelly Cutrone, but who is the first person they call to handle a fashion week gaffe? Kelly Cutrone.
So was Steve Jobs right to act the way he did? I never got the opportunity to work with him, so I can’t say for sure. As someone loathed and loved, I’ve learned to give people the benefit of the doubt because people can be vindictive, cruel, or sometimes plain ignorant when speaking about others. Entrepreneurship doesn’t give you full reign to be mean or act insane to people that “don’t get it.” This uphill battle is slow and humbling. Just ensure that you’re mentally strong to handle both sides of the coin because the sweet is sure to come with a hefty side of bitter.
Written by: Yolanda Keels-Walker
Yolanda Keels-Walker is an author and successful serial entrepreneur but is most known as the brains behind Business Babes, an online resource and business coaching organization of over 25,000 females. Visit her site here!