Everyone needs a mentor. And here’s why…

One of my missions in my life is to inspire as many women as I can. Be it through helping you choose a red lipstick that compliments your beautiful skin or sending you words that motivate you, I know that I was placed on this Earth to inspire. It comes so easily to me.

But what happens when those that inspire need some inspiration? I don’t express it openly here on Clumps but I’ve had a quite a few down moments. We all do, right? Everything can’t be all sprinkles and gumdrops all the time. I know that. And even after I’ve prayed and talked to my friends and family members, sometimes I would still feel…empty.

And little do they know it, but that’s when the words from these women changed my life.

@afrobella I don’t think I will ever stop bragging about her. Aside from being one of the first brown girl bloggers, Patrice from Afrobella shows a heap of love to natural hair. Her blog is honest and real. Funny thing is…she is the exact same way in person. To have knocked down so many barriers and gone SO far, she is ridiculously humble. She’s a celebrity. She’ll laugh when she reads this but she’s got people like me who love reading her words. Who admire her tenacity and beauty. Who are inspired by her thoughts. I feel 10x better every time I get some talk time with Patrice. Her ability to provide me with reassurance has brought this blogger a long way. She has truly been a shinning star in my life.

@frugalista While I’ve always loved Ms. Natalie, I didn’t realize just HOW awesome she was until I read her book, “The Frugalista Files”. It takes a strong woman to put her finances out for the world to read. It takes a ton of courage to challenge yourself to save money. Natalie did it all. And instead of doing it and propping herself up, she wrote a book about it. She shared her journey; the up’s and down’s. She’s inspired me to think about my financial future. And her spirit is by far one of the most pleasant I have come across. She’s got a smile that can light up a room and has a beautiful aurora.

@execumama What can I say about Akilah without tears streaming from my eyes? Let’s start with the word “execumama”. That alone inspires me. You see, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Be it selling Girl Scout cookies or making and selling key chains in middle school, I have always been attracted to the idea of owning my own business. I thank God for Akilah’s light. She doesn’t know it but she is one of the reasons that I made the leap into owning my own business. Every excuse and fear I had would be diminished after reading Akilah’s words. She nurtured me and saw success for me. She created confidence in me that I didn’t know I had space for. Akilah’s got a gift. And I’m just grateful that I crossed paths with her to receive what she loves sharing with other women.

@luxetips Auntie Luxe is what I affectionally call Latoicha. I’ll never forget the meet-up that we had at the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Atlanta. I think of myself as being a half empty glass. Auntie Luxe poured her words and advice in me and I left overflowing. She made me feel as if I could do anything. She’s proof of that. Because if she can be a Mommy, hard-working attorney AND blog, I should be able to do the same, right? Auntie Luxe gave me that boost that I needed. She was my energy drink. The last time I saw her was at the 2010 Blogalicious Conference. And she was flyyyyy. And why shouldn’t she be? I look at Auntie Luxe and inspire to be the same way. A fly and professional Mommy who knows how to have a good time.

@brokesocialite Shameeka inspires the mess out of me. To the Nth degree. And it wasn’t just through her powerful panel at the Blogalicious Conference. At a vulnerable moment, I expressed to her my unhappiness. I play it off for most people, but there was a sadness about me that I could not shake. Perhaps it had something to do with being right in the middle of 20-hood and STILL not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. Or where I’m supposed to be going. While my friends are off getting married and having children and having careers, I still felt…lost. Shameeka said only a few words to me that lifted me up. It also prevented me from doing something that would have negatively changed my life. For that moment, she was that lifesaver to my drowning spirit.

Do yourself a favor and get a mentor. This life thing wasn’t made for us to do by ourselves. And proof of that would be the entrances these ladies made in my life. And having a mentor doesn’t mean you suck up all of the good advice and lock it away. You pass it along to someone else. Having good mentors makes me a better mentor. And that to me is the true definition of sisterhood.

  • These are ALL awesome women. And they’re amazing people doing fantastic things. So they definitely deserve shoutouts and all that.

    And for YOU, B. You serve as a mentor to MANY people too. I LOVE YOU, Capricorn sis!

    • Brittany

      Luv, I feel like you and I are on this same course. We are both young, strikingly beautiful loc rockin’ Capricorns with so many God given talents. Every time you succeed, I feel like throwing a party. Praise be to Gawd for your entrance in my life!!

  • *tears*

    My dear:
    Such the makeup novice (I’m downright clumsy), I’ve been lurking you for longer than I care to admit. I was SO thrilled to meet you in person at my first Blogalicious. I remember thinking how beautiful and smart you were (and crazy for driving to Atlanta…I can only do 2 hours in a car…MAX…but I digress). I wished I’d had it as together as you do when I was your age.

    Here’s the thing, B: I believe we’re all in this thing together. I enjoy watching you blossom, build and inspire. You are brilliant and I enjoy witnessing your growth.

    I appreciate your kind words. I truly believe to whom much is given, much is expected. As I always challenge you: pay it forward and keep focused. There is enough abundance for us all.


    • Brittany

      LOL @ me having it together. *flips hair* I’m quite the actress, aren’t I? Bwahahahaaaaa!!

      Can’t wait to see you again. Those 3 minutes you preached in the middle of a busy hallway at Blogalicious prevented me from quitting my job. Prior to that, I had already typed up the Letter of Resignation ‘an everything. Had I turned it in prematurely, I would have been in a BAD financial situation. But I waited a few months, and got my dream job. Oh…yeahhhhhh.

  • not sure why I’ve always been scared to reach out and find a mentor, but reading about how it’s helped you, I’m positive it could only serve a greater purpose. I reached a similar ‘down’ moment during my 1st yr of grad school, found myself in counseling & was given some sound advice…we should all be building our pillars of support around us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice or strength from others who are able to spare it. Good friends, loved ones are always ready to hand it out, but we have to be open to receive as well. Thanks for such an inspiring post!!

    • Brittany

      Now don’t get me wrong, Chai. I never approached Patrice or Akilah or Shameeka and said, “Would you be my mentor? Pretty pwease?” But I have talked to them, heard them speak, read their books and been motivated by their lifestyles. So even if they didn’t REALIZE they were mentoring me, they were. 😉 Right you are—we can not be too proud to say, “Do you mind helping me with this…” We need each other yo.

  • This a beautiful post! It so true that when ppl are wonderful, genuine, and authentically themselves, their words can move mountains! I will follow 2 of the ladies from your list that I didnt know. I have honestly have the best reception from all the beauty bloggers I have met. As I have just started my blog. Everytime I think that this is beyond my scope, I not good enough, I see one of your posts and say if she can do it so can I. So I thank you for sharing. And know that exactly how you feel,many of us feel often. I love women the love, respect and honor other woman.
    Keep Shining

    • Brittany

      Donna, I’ll definitely be following your blog. I can proudly say, that I’ve ducked a lot of the negativity that can come from being a part of the blogosphere. I get more positivity outcomes out of it than negative. And I have these women to thank. And yes you CAN do it. I blogged at Clumps an entire YEAR before anyone even knew who I was. We now have Twitter, Facebook—all which didn’t exist when Clumps was an infant. So if you goal is to inspire, you have many outlets in which you can do it. That’s a blessing! Rock on and we’ll be here to support you!!

  • Lisalis

    B, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing both your struggle and your solution! I’ve struggled (and still struggle) with feeling like I don’t measure up or sometimes I plain ol’ got the blues. Real mentors and virtual ones (like you) can make a HUGE difference.

    I also have gotten a LOT out of speaking with trained counselors, reading Iyanla Vanzant’s books and hearing her live, from taking Landmark Education’s course called The Landmark Forum (www.landmarkeducation.com) and from participating in the International Black Summit (www.blacksummit.org).

    All of these experiences have led to my recognizing my own worth and power…and realizing my vision for myself and my community.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, B. You’ve touched me and I thank you…plus you’ve helped me get my glamour on!

    • Brittany

      Girl yes….the blues are somethin’ else, aren’t they? But they are a part of life and I’m learned to get THROUGH them versus just “getting over it”, ya know? I’m going to check out The Landmark Forum. If it’s coming from Iyanla, I know it’s powerful stuff. Self-awareness is the greatest gift. Keep it up, sis!

  • You know what…it takes one to know one, that’s what!! LOL!

    (Commence novel…)
    Seriously, Brittany – whatever you’re seeing in the women you mentioned is so attractive to you because it’s already IN YOU. Thank you for including me in such a heart-felt post. I’m honored to be among the list of Awesomeness, but more so, I’m happy we’ve connected. I tell you all the time that I can’t wait until you start seeing what I see when I read your words. I know you love you some you, but I’m waiting with baited breath for the transition into your FULL ON SHINE! It’s coming. The “down” feelings you’re having now are the necessary moments that will help you build the sort of skin in the game you will need for the heights you will no doubt reach. You have a gift, and it will only get sharper and more fine-tuned as you push past your fears/doubts.

    You inspire me too! I love the way you put all of your personality into your writing and videos, and I was so frikkin relieved when I met you in person and you were the exact same way off line! #SCORE!!!!

    Keep doing you, Brittany–you ROCK at it! All of it. The funny, the silly, the smart, the sexy, the inspiring, the make-up-isha, the homie, the speaker, the event host, the writer, the AMAZING. All of it is a part of what makes you beautifully you, and the rest of the world is better because you choose to continue to shine.


    • Brittany

      LOL @ “commence novel”.

      What can I say? My light is on. Gotta wear shades because it’s so bright. 8)

  • Brittany,
    What an amazing post. I totally believe in the power of mentoring for the young and old. You have to be open to learning. Equally you must honor those who inspire and impact your life. Thanks for sharing and keep being a gift to those You encounter.

    • Brittany

      You rock, Yolanda. Thank youuuu!!

  • I love this post! Mentors (virtual and real) are absolutely essential. Everyone needs someone to turn to when the going gets rough. I’m with Chai, I find it really hard to ask for help/mentor-ship as well. But I know there definitely are people who (probably don’t know it) that inspire me to keep going when things get rough. :)

    • Brittany

      Exactly! And as long as you are always inspired, you can keep passing on the torch to inspire someone else. It’s a beautiful cycle.

  • I agree! I do look up to a lot of beauty bloggers turned friends just like yourself :)

    • Brittany

      Right you are, Nikki. Can’t wait to visit Thailand and meet up with you gals over there.

  • Wow B! I just can’t express the joy this post brought to my day. I am truly humbled by your kind and thoughtful words. And yes I too feel empty, depressed, and even sometimes I feel like I have failed or am failing. But when I feel those things, I just remain thankful to God for all that I have. I focus on the positive things in my life and realize I am beyond blessed. Being thankful and not comparing yourself to others is the key to a content life. Just keep doing you and one day it will all come together. You are doing AMAZING things and I can’t wait to see where you are going. Love you!

    • Brittany

      XOXO–Auntie Luxe.

  • Brittany,

    This is such a lovely post! So often, online and off, women don’t always give each other the support, guidance and encouragement that we should. I can COMPLETELY relate of the struggle you described (that was me all up and through 2008!), and I still don’t have all the answers. So it’s great to see that there were amazing women there for you to lift you up when you needed it! Now, excuse me while I run out and get myself a mentor! LOL! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Great post honeybun! You are so right, mentors are very important…all of the ladies mentioned are FAB!!!

    • Brittany

      XOXO Lianne!!

  • woow!! This is a great post!!!! All the women mentioned are amazing!! You are also inspiring many and myself <3