The Her Story Rocks campaign is aligned with our mission of empowering girl bosses, goal-getters and rising womanpreneurs to build the life and biz of their dreams.
As we share the “real life” side of entrepreneurship it is my prayer that you are provided the tools and confidence to move past roadblocks, overcome obstacles and boldly go after what sets your soul on fire.
Join us here each week as we share empowering stories from amazing womanpreneurs and creatives who are on the move!
Lakeithea Nicole SPEAKS ON DEALING WITH ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ANXIETY…
When I decided to launch the #HerStoryRocks campaign, I knew ‘anxiety and entrepreneurship’ was a topic I wanted to touch on. After personally feeling the pressure of trying to bring my dreams to life and not completely sure of all the steps I needed to take to get there, I struggled with managing the overwhelm. It was hard for me to share this truth with others, as anxiety is isn’t something commonly discussed within the black community.
However, the more I shared what I was going through with other entrepreneurs, the more I began to see a connection between the desire to create/pursue entrepreneurship/live out your dreams and the overwhelm that comes along with that.
I caught up with Lakeithea Nicole (via email and phone) and she shared what some of managing her biz and anxiety has been like for her. As always, I am honored to share the heart and experiences of fellow girl-bosses, and so without further due….
PRECIOUS: FINISH THIS SENTENCE. BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS LIKE __________.
Lakeithea: Being Free!
PRECIOUS: I 100% agree with you on this. entrepreneurship can be one of the most freeing experiences ever, but Can you elaborate a bit on what “free” means to you?
Lakeithea: For me when I say being an entrepreneur means being free, what I mean is that I love being able to control my day, especially with mental struggles. When I was working, I couldn’t rest when I need to because of course with a 9 to 5 you’re on someone else’s schedule. When you’re an entrepreneur, if your depression or anxiety is getting to you and you need an extra moment of rest, you have the freedom to tell your clients I’ll get back to you. I love that…being able to be in control of what my day is going to look like. Also, when I say being “free” I mean I love being able to have the time to explore different aspects of entrepreneurship and other career options.
PRECIOUS: Thanks for that. So, AS WE KNOW, ANXIETY HAS TO DO WITH ONE’S MENTAL HEALTH. WHAT, would you say, ARE SOME SPECIFIC MENTAL STRUGGLES YOU’VE EXPERIENCED THAT TRIGGER your ANXIETY?
Lakeithea : Most of my mental struggles has to do with worry and being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, my mind can not take a lot so when my mind is full I get completely overwhelmed. That’s when my mental state can really go down. I began to feel drained, tired and confused.
PRECIOUS: I see. WHAT IS IT that you find that you worry about most as it relates your biz or entrepreneurship?
Lakeithea: What I worry about the most is getting things done. With me, I’ve struggle with mental illness since high school. Since high school, I’ve always been involved in organizations, my own biz and projects, but due to my anxiety and depression I’ve always had an issue where my efforts weren’t continuous. There were times when I’d be feeling good and then there were weeks when I would have bought’s of anxiety…and it would have me down for a while. I struggle with always feeling like I am starting over. There’s always the question of “if I’m ever going to be successful while trying to balance being an entrepreneur and finding a space where I am “okay”. That’s really my greatest worry. It’s trying to wake up everyday and feel okay…questioning if I’m okay enough to be productive for that day. Yes, I’d say that’s my biggest worry.
PRECIOUS: WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY, IN PARTICULAR, THAT CAUSES, HEIGHTENS OR TRIGGERS YOUR ANXIETY?
Lakeithea: Entrepreneurship can be overwhelming. There are no rule books and there are no guideline to follow. Some days everything runs smooth and some days you can be all over the place. As a new entrepreneurs I had to learn how to wear many hats and that can be mentally draining. As entrepreneurs we find ourselves overwhelmed with managing multiple tasks and anxiety tends to attack right at the core of all the mental mess. As freeing as entrepreneurship can be, sometimes the free-ness can be a roadblock for someone who needs more structure and less of mental chaos.
PRECIOUS: DO YOU FOLLOW A “HOLDING IT ALL TOGETHER, WHILE THINGS ARE FALLING APART” APPROACH TO MANAGING YOUR ANXIETY AND BIZ?
Lakeithea: No, I intentionally take extra time when my anxiety begins to bother me. I learned early on that life can feel like a train getting ready to wreck if we don’t slow down and allow the anxiety to level down. A therapist once told me that I needed to set a schedule and try to stick with it far (as far as work is concerned) and that was the best piece of advice I received. As entrepreneurs we believe the 24/7 approach is what helps us win but honestly no matter if you work 24 hours a day or 12, it’s all about your mental health. You are in the best shape when you are mentally in the best shape.
PRECIOUS: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOOLS YOU’VE USED TO MANAGE THE STRESS/PRESSURE ASSOCIATED WITH FOLLOWING YOUR DREAM?
Lakeithea: Taking a break. It’s ok to give yourself some space and a break to refresh. I also like to exercise before starting to work. Working out gets my blood flowing and helps clear my mind. I personally love to jump rope. I love the mental and physical stability. It requires really calms my mind.
PRECIOUS: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE AN ENTREPRENEUR WHO IS ALSO STRUGGLING WITH ANXIETY?
- First head to a doctor to see if there is reason behind your anxiety or mental illness. I learned from my doctor that I had a hormone imbalance and it helped me understand more what was going on with my body and mental state.
- Talk to someone. If you need therapy or medicine, seek it. Don’t go through trying to manage your anxiety alone.
- Give yourself a schedule. Set a time a schedule for when you’re working and build in relaxation time.
- Treat your mind and body with some respect.
PRECIOUS: THose are great suggestions. Thanks so much for that advice Lakeithea and THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME SHARE WITH US. I AM HONORED TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH THE WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITY AND I KNOW THE MORE WE OPEN UP AND SHARE BEST PRACTICES THE CLOSER WE ALL GET TO HEALING AND HAPPINESS.
Lakeithea Nicole is a Fashion Business Consultant and Content Creator based out of Nashville, TN. Connect with Lakeithea on Instagram or learn more about her and her work by visiting www.lakeitheanicole.com.