In my quest to change the way the beauty industry is viewed by empowering new and seasoned stylists to earn the respect they so greatly deserve I was presenting at a local cosmetology school. I do this by teaching the importance of how you show up in the world. The night before I made sure I was completely prepared by testing out my projector, hooking up my laptop, and doing my presentation. Of course as luck would have it when I got to the school and hooked everything up…. nothing ..zilch …nada. Nothing worked. I had to get creative….I had to rely on my story telling to get me through my 1.5 hour presentation.
After the presentation the students willingly gave me feedback telling me they enjoyed this class so much more than my past presentations. It was my vulnerability and my engagement with them they really enjoyed. I was very thankful for the feedback since I had another presentation at the same school later that evening. When I arrived I had made the decision to not even try to use technology. I was incredibly nervous because I realized that 1/2 of the class was comprised of the same students I had presented to earlier. I thought it was going be a whole new class. The story I had going through my head was that these students were thinking “great, I have to listen to her babble on again for another 1.5 hours”. What the truth actually was though is they were completely engaged.
When I left there I felt really good about everything. I felt that my message was well received…the next day…I had gotten an email telling me just how well received it really was.
“Hello, my name is Danielle. I was at HP Collage in Dekalb Tuesday night getting my hair done by my sister while you were guest speaking to the class. I know the speech wasn’t intended for me, but I feel as though I was meant to be there and hear you talk. I am at work right now, still trying to process and reflect on everything you said. What stood out the most to me is “fake it until you become it”, that hit me personally because I struggle with self-confidence. I always imagine a way I’d like to “appear” to others, but never was able to work up the courage to become that person. Well, this morning I woke up early, curled my hair, put on my brightest red lipstick and went to the back of my closet and pulled out a pair of heels I bought 6 months ago and had yet to wear them. I try them on almost every day… but they never made it out the door, until today. Today I am dressed the way I want to be seen from head to toe and I feel amazing. Walking into work was a little awkward, but I was flooded with compliments. I can’t explain to you how good I feel. I can’t wait to see what my future holds. I just needed to thank you and make sure you knew that you did this. You successfully changed a life over-night. My goal is to write down things I remember so I can keep reflecting and putting your words into my everyday life. Thank you Gina, thank you thank you.”
As much as she thinks my words changed her life….her words changed mine. This made me think about one of my favorite Ted Talks. How telling someone the impact you had on their life effects you. Because Danielle went out of her way to share that with me has given me the confidence to pursue this mission that I am on full strength!!! Danielle has now became a leader herself….first, this new lease on life she has is going to inspire and empower those around her to do the same….second, because she sent that email my mission has gotten greater and I will continue to change the lives of others….SHE DID THAT. A leader is defined as
Please share this with everyone you know!!! Shit, share it with everyone you don’t know too! You never know who might be reading that needs to hear these exact words!