Are You A Glass Ceiling Breaker?
Using the shoe story of this famous Disney princess this topic speaks to the shoes we walk in as women in business and includes impact items that you can use today to break glass ceilings but you have to be willing to part with the glass slipper or redefine what it is.
Who doesn't love a Disney princess or the happily ever after that always ends their story ? As a young girl I only knew Snow White & Cinderella , relating each to a fruit or a shoe . The joy I had was seeing that the good guy , rather girl despite the struggles she had faced was repositioned to win . She always got the good looking guy , the pretty dress and the crown. For a young girl those things represented hope that I would also have a happily ever after with the guy, the dress and yes the crown . But as I got older and a new princess would surface every year if not 2 times a year I began to wonder if everyones story ended the same.
Cinderella was the underdog like many of us . She was mocked by her siblings , looked down on by everyone she depended on for acceptance yet still maintained her peace . She labored and would soon learn that her laboring was not in vain , her good would not go unnoticed.
One of the most difficult times I have faced in my life was my pre-ball story . When family , friends professed that I wouldn't make it . They counted me out but I pressed as hard as I could to build , to develop , to grow . Learning to mature in areas some call caddy and understanding that excellence & petty can not coexist, I changed the way I perceived my current situation and used what was suppose to break me to build me and when I least expected I had a Fairy God mother type of experience .
I was off to the ball , dressed in the best gown , arriving by chariot in my glass slippers and even though I knew that my rags would return at midnight I savored every moment of that experience. I danced with opportunity, I mingled with a deal and I laughed the night away with others who were intentional with the direction they were going in BUT I also made a decision to not change my mindset even if my clothes looked like they did before the encounter .
See, even after Cinderella left the ball and the prince searched for his fair maiden the only thing left to identify her was her glass slipper because the encounter was a part of her shoe story and we all have one . I realized that my clothes had nothing to do with my happily ever after and that I could create a life where I was not defined simply by what others saw but by what I did, the miles I was able to walk in my own shoes . I no longer wanted to be a princess but wanted the impact she created when she entered the room , I no longer needed the ball gown or the chariot from a fairy God mother or a man. I could work hard, hustle (Not to be forceful on others but to force myself) and buy my own gown and my own chariot .
As women we have to be willing to do away with the glass slipper mentality or redefine it if we want to break glass ceilings . If we want to achieve the success some say we are hindered in obtaining because of our gender then we have to do things differently. We have to decide to work together because we are stronger in numbers, we have to decide to have a made up mind on what we want and create a tangible action plan with mapped goals that lead to the big vision . The step by step process doesn't happen by sitting still or carrying out the duties we are expected to when we are unsure of who we are but by being brave and pressing in the face of adversity , the face of fear to lead , connect & grow to build our business , our brand or our careers .
My happily ever after didn't include a prince but a man who was compatible with where I was going . It didn't include accepting defeat and sarcasm from others who believe they have arrived and it sure didn't include a fairy God mother . It came with hard work , with struggle , with long nights and longer days . Tears that one day would be replaced with joy and an unshakeable desire to rock my crown even if no one could see it.
Defining moments are just that , they define us , they make us better and despite how we feel or what we believe at the time doing away with the glass slipper or redefining is one of the best things that could happen for any of us and here's why. When we no longer believe that our purpose or our God Assignment is contingent upon others but upon the blueprint we create to walk the extra mile in our own shoes we would grab hold of a powerful truth that says - The Glass Ceiling is not an industry , a position or a title . The Glass ceiling is the last place you got stuck that you finally were able to find breakthrough . I know because I lost my name and became identified by a number . My opportunities were limited as was my support . Remember I said in the beginning no one believed in me , no one thought I would make it but I did . Today I can say I have a few alphabets behind my name , have published 2 workbooks, just spoke in London, and successfully built and sold 2 businesses that I started with nothing but used everything I had to make it work.
I went from the block to the boardroom literally and shattered every glass ceiling associated with it on the way and I did it in my own shoes, you can to!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Khalilah Olokunola is a Brave Catalyst and Hustle Coach that helps Kingdom Entrepreneurial women personally & professionally develop themselves, their business and their shoe stories to make a mark in the marketplace .
Before building her business she was the former Jr. VP for David Werner International in NYC with clients such as the former Chairmain of Monster Worlwide and President of Daimlier Chrysler where she assisted in Career Transition . She recently sold her event & set design business after working with and producing events for Will Ferrell for HBO’s Eastbound & Down | Iron Man 3 Premiere Party for ILM | The Stargell Celebrity Golf Invitational and more to directly work with women. She understands what it means to begin again after losing her name and being identified by a number . Khalilah used her past experience to go from the block to the boardroom 1st in her career, then her business and as a silent partner & franchise owner . She has attended BMCC & UNCP and has completed open coursework with certification through M.I.T & Harvard on Executive Leadership, Deliberations for Social Change and Leaders of Learning .
Today she is a published author of 2 workbooks , recently launched her 1st business catalyst coaching program with 10 completing successfully and has spoken in NYC, NC, VA and London . She has an insatiable curiosity with trees , loves Marvel super hero films and is a wife to AL , & mom to 4 . Along with a pup named Ms. Bailey they call Wilmington NC home by way of Brooklyn NY . You can view a full bio at www.KhalilahOlokunola.com
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Website : www.KhalilahOlokunola.com