The Fashion World Almost Killed Me
Lanaysha, known to many as “L,” is a creator. She’s a professional stylist, a budding writer, and a definite hustler. Her company, LBJCo, is something she created on the side while styling affluent shoppers through her day job for one of the largest luxury retail giants in the U.S.
As a rising star in the fashion industry, she had grown used to the never-ending cycle of work without rest. She had two phones, worked all hours of the day and night, and bounced around multiple cities.
She didn’t want to stop, until she learned the hard way that she absolutely had to.
Read on to find out how L discovered the value of sustainable success.
Emilie: You work in a very demanding field, can you tell us about it?
LB: I am a Luxury Brand Account Manager representing designer labels and contracted retailers. I love what I do, but understand that this is an industry where slowing down at all is seen as a sign of weakness. You are expected to push yourself to the brink to be successful, and that’s precisely what I did – always putting percentages and clients above my own self. But not too long ago, that approach landed me on bed rest.
E: Whoa! What happened?
L: I was on a call one day shopping with a client and suddenly I couldn’t stay upright. I politely put her on hold and walked away from the floor where no one could see me just before fainting. I pushed through the day and above all else, I was most concerned about the impression that not following up with my client might create. Days later as my health declined, I was informed that this was all indicative of a life-threatening problem, and I was hospitalized immediately.
E: Yikes. Scary stuff. Being such a high-achiever at work, I’m sure you loved that, huh?
L: Oh, I was so angry, Emilie. I was so mad at myself because I thought I was physically unstoppable, but this was different. I felt like my body was working against me. I felt like a failure.
E: Aw, well I’m glad you’re okay now, though. Is that why you ended up joining us at Bossed Up Bootcamp?
L: Yes! After that breaking point, I was forced to take time to recover. I was also faced with the choice to rejoin the rat race or recognize that this was my greatest opportunity to recreate my path at my pace. I joined a friend at a Bossed Up event and after hearing your story, Emilie, I realized that there are plenty of other women out there who have hit a breaking point. I started to see that being successful in my profession doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing everything else in my life. The month after the event, I went to Bossed Up Bootcamp, connected with a community of incredible, ambitious, supportive women, and moved forward with some dramatic changes to my life that align with my goals – especially the personal ones.
E: That’s great. What’s changed?
L: Well, Bootcamp taught me how to advocate for what I need to be successful yet balanced in my career. Two phones are no more, I have set and enjoy “off hours” from my employer, and I’ve since progressed into a larger company and role. I’ve learned that assertiveness and knowing your worth can actually create more opportunity and catapult your value. Becoming mindful of my power prepared me for challenge of working directly with designers while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Before Bootcamp I used to think I needed to sacrifice myself for years before I was worthy of a “dream” job – but with the right tools, persistence, and community, I have made huge strides towards it just months after Bootcamp.
E:I am SO happy for you, L! So what advice to do you have for others who can relate to your story?
L: If you are asking yourself, “Can I still be successful if I give myself permission to slow down a little? Will I be okay if I rest and take care of myself more?” the answer is, yes, yes, yes! Trust your faith, trust your judgment in the midst of advice from those who mean well, set your boundaries for balance, and know that you are worth it. The world will agree.