It’s taken me over a week to push publish on this post. And as I write this my palms are literally sweating. Over the past few months I’ve been challenging myself to do something everyday that scares the shit out of me. And this is one of them.
So here we go…
If you’re reading this you’re family, a friend, or someone who supported me during my campaign for state representative in 2014. A lot has happened since then. During the course of that year my dog died unexpectedly, my dad passed away (literally two years to the day today), I lost the election (by just 6 votes on Election Day), and I lost my job.
To say that I’ve been depressed would be an understatement.
For months I could barely get out of bed and my partner Jeremy had to literally drag me out of the house. I was a mess. Losing an election is brutal. But I knew that I couldn’t be the only former candidate struggling like this. It took more than a year before I finally began to feel like myself again. I started a new job, began spending time with friends again, and even started hosting self-care retreats on the weekends (which was EXACTLY what my soul needed).
My light was beginning to shine again.
But I couldn’t shake the idea that I was supposed to be doing something with everything I had learned on the campaign trail. Over the years I’ve helped thousands of candidates across the country run for office. Often times for free I’d give advice, mentorship and even shared the actual files that I used for my campaign.
One day I just happened to go into my campaigns Google Drive and saw hundreds of downloads from complete strangers. At first I felt violated – like damn, I was trying to help people and they gave this away to people I didn’t even know. But then I had a ha moment. They were sharing it because it was valuable.
And I started asking myself a series of questions:
- What if I could create a community of other black women who were running for office at the local level?
- What if I could create toolkits and e-books that provided them with the actual templates for everything they needed for their campaigns?
- What if THEY could share resources amongst each other and hold each other accountable?
- What if I could share the stories of badass women who were running – and even those were losing?
- And most importantly, what if we could host gatherings on the beach that allowed them to learn about running for office AND gave them an opportunity to make space for self care?
I needed every struggle, failure and loss I’d experienced over the past two years.
But now it was time to turn these ideas into action and I had no idea where to start. A few months ago I had the opportunity to attend a Launch Your business live event in Atlanta with Rosetta Thurman, the founder of happyblackwoman.com and someone who I’ve admired for YEARS. We both were in the nonprofit sector in Washington, DC, we lived in the same neighborhood, and were the same age. But there was one big difference between us.
After 7 years of watching Rosetta jetset around the world training women to become location independent entrepreneurs, I made the decision that it was time to stop playing small and to finally share my gifts with the world in a big way. Spending the weekend with 150 black women from across the country who were all launching businesses was one of the most life changing experiences I’ve ever had.
I met brilliant women who were standing in their power and helping others in the process. From the Baby Mama Whisperer who helps blended families to the Self-Care Coach who helps women prioritize themselves – I was surrounded by awesome women who saw a need in their communities and were working to fill them just like me.
Two months ago I just had a simple idea: all I wanted to do was travel the world and train black women to run for office.
And that’s exactly what’s been happening. Over the past few weeks sooooo many things have started to happen that has let me know that I am heading in the right direction and that I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.
One of the things that I’m the most excited/nervous/scared shitless to share with you is the upcoming launch of Changing the Face of Power, my new podcast (and the first and only in the country) dedicated to informing, inspiring and supporting black women to run for office and interviewing black women elected at the state and local level across the country.
When I ran for office 2 years ago it was the most amazing journey I’d ever been on. But it was lonely as shit. I cried just about every night and fear and lack of confidence crept in every single day. I couldn’t talk to my regular (aka non political) friends about it and many of the ones who were in politics were running their own campaigns.
I wished that there was a community of other black women that I could connect with who were on the same journey as me. Women who were also struggling with working through their shit around raising money, young women who wanted to be taken seriously, or hell – women who were also struggling with dating as candidates.
Two months after attending the Launch Your Business event and two years after losing my election it feels so strange to be writing this. Not only have I built the bones of what will now be an international company that works to change the face of power by informing, inspiring, and supporting black women to run for elected office but Changing the Face of Power is just weeks away from launching.
Last week we recorded our first episodes and afterwards I was in tears. I thought the podcast would be about the nuts and bolts of running for office but it turns out this is something entirely different. It’s really about the struggles that black women have overcome to run and the wisdom that we can learn from them. From city council members and city treasurers to state representatives and mayors – I can’t wait to introduce you to some of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met. Their stories are beyond powerful and the world needs to hear about their journeys.
I wanted you to be one of the first people to know that I’ll be officially launching Changing the Face of Power on August 15th. I thought running for office was scary but putting something new into the world is forcing me to face an entirely new version of fear. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more about this new journey and I hope you’ll join me.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support over the years as I’ve continued to chase my dreams. This would not be possible without you.
P.S. Now I want to hear from you! What’s the scariest/biggest dream you have for your life and what’s keeping you from chasing it? Send me an email and let me know!