Yes, that’s my updated version of the popular and classic title Fee The Fear and Do It Anyway. It’s funny that I was talking to my nine year old niece this morning about roller coasters and she offered some insight that was right on time and inspired this post.
After discussing all the new rides at her favorite amusement park this morning while talking to my mini-me, a baby diva nine year old, a powerful lesson was brought to light. My niece described how one of the rides she rode made her say, “I’ll never ride this ride again,” but each time she goes to the park, she gets on. “Why?” I asked. She said, “Because I really want to.” She wanted to ride the ride more than she was afraid of riding.
The lesson made a light bulb go off as just yesterday, I completed my first annual Love & Beauty Unconference. Just this week, I told a dear friend of mine, in a spirit of fear, “If you ever hear me saying I want to do another event, slap me.”
Love & Beauty Unconference was a long time coming and went through some rough spots. Initially planned for June 2 in Philadelphia immediately after Blogging While Brown as a social for beauty bloggers who were in town for BWB, I was excited. Then, when the event was not met with blessing from the organization, who I’d parted ways with earlier in the year, and when Philadelphia wasn’t responding to the event, I cancelled it. I’d lost confidence in myself and what I wanted to do.
However, instead of cancelling the event, I postponed it three months and relocated it to Los Angeles, my hometown. Was I scared? UM YAH! I’d already cancelled an event this year, this was my second AND I felt the blogosphere and natural hair communities were watching. The only thing that saved me from being overcome with this was thinking, well if there was no interest, maybe no one would really even KNOW that the event had been cancelled and relocated. On top of that, I learned later that I’d inadvertently scheduled the event on the same weekend as the DALLAS Naturally Isis World Natural Hair Parade, a brand unaffiliated with mine but bearing a very similar name, so I worried that I would confuse people looking for her event. Lastly, not only was there a major community festival in Los Angeles this weekend, but my dear comrade Dr. Kari Williams had an event that was scheduled for the same day and I’d only learned of it a few day ago. Did I feel doomed? Yeppers peppers.
Did I go on with the event? Thanks to Curls, Nothing But, Polishticated, 34 Minutes, Intuitive Touch, Andrea Renee, my speakers, Wild Hair Mavens, La Curly Girls, Fierce Naturals of LA, Ambitious Diva, Lula Carter my right hand event manager, Leanne Dolce (Naptural Roots Magazine), and all my supporters, I did. they believed in me more than I believed in myself and gave me the courage to fear the fear and do the dang thang anyway.
Yesterdays event was a blast! Nailah Blades of Polka Dot Coaching, and Linda Hollander of Wealthy Bag Lady started off our business programming. Mahisha Dellinger, founder of the hair care giant Curls shared her AMAZINGLY inspiring story with guests. Will Williams, Director of Education for Nothing But Hair took us to beauty school and helped guests know how to care for their hair properly. Writer Britni Danielle, Leanne Dolce, Lydia Boyd of LA Curly Girls, Bunmi of Anike Jewels, LaTonya Washington of LWS Special Events, Connie of Wild Hair Maven, Natasha Jackson of Na-Klectic Hair, Brotha Storm and Christian of Na-Klectic Hair all spoke and shared so much information that I felt inspired to do more and to keep GOING.
Funny thing, my friend asked me, “So will you do it again?” to which I energetically said, “Yes!” I’m doing Love & Beauty Unconference again Sunday, September 1, 2013 in Downtown Los Angeles. I have special keynote to announce (secret for now but let’s just say she’s got a head full of curly amazing hair and she’s got an awesome product line and a great story).
Like my niece, I said I would NEVER EVER do another event, ever, but my fear of failure and extreme discouragement has been pushed aside by my passion to produce great events, encouragement from brands and people that believe in me, and by an unstoppable desire to overcome anything that is keeping me from reaching my full potential. I don’t know if I ever will get rid of my feelings of fear, but what I can do is prosper in spite of it. I’m going to ride the scary roller coaster of business and keep going back in for more!
Here’s some pictures from the first annual Love & Beauty Unconference in Los Angeles, September 2, 2012 at Opulen Studios.