In this episode, I talk about putting ego aside, making sacrifices and doing what’s necessary to create an authentic, happy life.

We talk about:

  • Molly Mae and Kim K Triggering Women
  • Pursuing an Authentic Happy Life
  • Privilege and Access
  • It’s ok to not be the end product
  • Working on a tight budget
  • Learning From Others
  • Where there’s a will there’s a way

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About The Curl Squad

Curl Squad is a community of women on a journey to self-acceptance, pursuing passion and discovering their purpose.

We discuss growing up curly, overcoming obstacles, traumas and triumphs as well as sharing a natural hair care essential or two.

I’ll be introducing you to some incredibly inspiring curly creators and innovators as we discuss the natural hair community, representation, healing, doing meaningful work and building bigger tables.

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Read the full show transcript here

Transcripts are 90% accurate, please do not trust them for quote or news media purposes. If you need clarification for a story, a blog, or a reference, please contact us directly.

Intro Hook:Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Because like I said earlier, you know, with each step that you take forward, you can learn. And if you do something and it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. It teaches you how you can do something differently next time. And I think we grow up in a world where we’re just like, so scared to fail.

Hey,curlfriend, it is me, Zoe Fox, and welcome back to the Curl Squad’s Curl Power Podcast. This is a podcast for women that just know they’re meant for more, and are on their way to figuring it all out. Because you know what, that’s where I’m at are figuring it all out, too. And I would love to have you join me on this journey. So we can basically figure it all out together. And in today’s episode, I’m going to be talking about the power in our journeys. And you know what, it’s alright, to not have it all figured out. But we do need to be willing to do the work, put in the hours and get creative with our resources if we want to see real meaningful change. In the last couple of months, Molly Mae Hague, who is the former love Island contestant, and she is currently the creative director over at pretty little thing. And Kim Kardashian, who I’m sure needs no introduction, have both been in the press for basically telling women to work harder if they want success, which, in theory sounds like a great idea, doesn’t

 

01:54

it? I mean, I’m pretty sure Kim Kardashian came through in privilege, because I know her dad was like OJ Simpson’s lawyer or something like that. So I think it’s fair to say she hasn’t had your average sort of upbringing. I don’t know much about Molly Mae. And I’m not here to really judge their upbringing. But what I am here to say is that there’s a lot of people out there that are working super, super hard, like really hard, like juggling multiple jobs, multiple kids on low incomes kind of hard. And hard work just does not equate success, tell that to the women that getting up in the dark to go and clean offices in the morning before taking their kids to school, before going to do another shift somewhere else, before feeding their kids for tea, going to do a night shift somewhere else telling that to women who are burnt out because they’re already doing every single thing they can to try and better their lives for their families. It’s just not helpful. It’s not helpful. It’s insulting. And it’s unhelpful. Like, yeah, I get that there’s a lot of people that want a shortcut to success without some of the hard lessons that come with having to achieve the success. But it’s not quite as simple as that. And I know social media tends to glamorize the end result, doesn’t it? But like, I’m wondering, Where’s the respect for the journey? Why is it everyone who seems to have it all sussed out. But you know, content creators work super, super hard to create really beautiful polished content that sells really, really pretty dream. They’re not showing you the shots that didn’t make the final edit, or what they might look like on an average day. Or, you know, a real insight into their life when everything hasn’t been sort of, you know, curated perfectly for Instagram. But that’s just it, isn’t it. It’s a beautiful illusion, a beautiful illusion of outfits that they’ve been sent for free, standing outside houses that probably don’t belong to them, posing with cars that belong to someone else. And as pleasing as it is on the eye. And as much as it’s nice to fantasize about these dream kind of lives. What does that do for your everyday person that’s really just trying to, you know, push through and do that the best that they can. There’s kids that are growing up looking at these images, and that’s their entire aspiration. And everybody’s got a different idea of what success is. I wonder what success looks like to you. I know for me after 12 years of working in an industry that I absolutely hated. If you haven’t heard my previous episode, college dropout. I’ll drop a link in the show notes. I spoke through my journey doing various different jobs, trying to find my groove and spending 12 solace years in the banking industry, which I absolutely hated. But it was at the cost of like my mental health. year, I was getting a nice pay every month that I was just blowing on living for the weekends because I hated my nine to five routine. My experience has taught me that. Success for me personally, is like it’s working on my terms in a way that is authentic to me doing work that I’m truly passionate about and stuff that’s meaningful. There’s a saying that goes it’s like it takes 10 years As to become an overnight success. And it’s true people see people becoming successful. I think that it’s happened overnight. People are truly putting in the work for years and years to get the end results that we often see on social media, my husband and I have made a lot of sacrifices to pursue an authentic, happy life. And there have been financial consequences to that, like, we haven’t been out of the country since 2015, I could get a nice little cushy job, where I know I’m gonna get my regular salary. But that’s not what is, it’s not what’s inspiring me, I honestly don’t think there could be any salary that could be offered to me today, that will make me want to go running back to the safety net of a corporate job. And if the corporate world is your thing, then that’s absolutely fine. If you thrive there, then that’s amazing. Like I said, Everybody’s got their own ideas of what success is. And I don’t want you to think if you’re listening to this, that I’m, you know, talking down on the corporate world, it’s just that experience was not for me, and one of my biggest motivating factors to want to be better, do better, achieve more, earn more, so that I can help other people to do the same. Because I really believe in the power of community. Like, I do not support this whole crabs in a barrel mentality, I don’t support the gatekeeper mentality, I think sharing knowledge and resources and connections is going to be key to us elevating as a community. And I just feel really passionate about that, I’d love to be in a position where, you know, I’m in an abundant financial situation, where I could just run workshops and programs for for people that need to be able to access information to help them to level up their lives, like that’s what my goal is, like, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I didn’t grow up with any financial education. And worse than that, I probably had quite a few unhelpful ideas really about money. You know, there’s the old idea that money is the root of all evil, if you come from like, maybe a religious upbringing, you might have had that sort of drilled into you at home, or that, you know, people who have got nice things got them through undesirable means, or maybe you just grew up with an idea that there was a separation between you and wealth, like wealth was, what other people had all of that sort of stuff, where it takes a lot of work to undo that programming. But I didn’t grow up with any business education until me and my brother started setting up in a route less traveled. Like we didn’t have anyone to teach us about business and entrepreneurship. Some people are like, naturally privileged to grow up in environments where these conversations are normalized, which is where I think it’s, you know, it’s a bit difficult for people to stomach when you’ve got Kim Kardashian telling women that they just need to work harder when, you know, she has been privy to living in certain circles and having access to certain information. Because the truth is, you just don’t know what you don’t know. And if you have grown up in an environment, where you have these sorts of conversations, and where these conversation are, where these types of conversations are normalized, then you’re privileged, you know, it is a real privilege that many people just don’t have, I’d say I’ve been like truly actively working on leveling up, like in my mindset, my knowledge, my understanding, since probably around 2015, which is like, after I left the corporate world and set upon this entrepreneurial journey. And I’ve had to get my hands dirty, I’ve had to learn the hard way, I’d have to have had to put in the hours. And I’ve had to study hard and observe. And since saying goodbye to my corporate salary, I’ve been living on a really, really tight budget for the last seven or so years. And I’m not ashamed of that. I think a lot of people are embarrassed that, you know, they’re not this sort of end product of wealth and private jets, and, you know, penthouse apartments, and it’s all right to not be there. In fact, it’s alright to not even aspire to anything like that whatsoever. Just like everyone has their own idea of what success means to them. For me, my mental health, my physical health, it trumps all of that. There couldn’t be a sum handed to me tomorrow, that would make me want to go back to that corporate life on that nine to five treadmill at the detriment of my mental health, like there just isn’t a sum of money that would make me go through that again. Don’t get me wrong. If someone offered me a million pound for nothing tomorrow, I would take care I do. I do have aspirations to build a wealthier lifestyle, but just not at the complete detriment of the things that really matter to me, like I said, you know, my time, my mental health being around the people that I love, because at the end of the day, if we don’t have our health if we don’t have our mental health, then what are we just like, empty shells in designer clothes.

 

09:53

One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had since sort of losing my corporate salary is access access to knowledge and information. And I think this is something that, you know, if you’re from a more privileged background that you might take for granted. But you know, money really does make the world go round. And I don’t think there should be any shame, having aspirations for wealth and money. Because what you can do with that money is so powerful. Like, I would love it, if I had all the money in the world, there’s so much that I would do for people that are less fortunate, like I just Yeah, if I had all this money, I would definitely be putting on workshops and events and things that could just really help to level up other people’s knowledge, so that everyone has the opportunity to self actualize. And this has been one of my biggest frustrations on my physical healing journey as well is that if you don’t have money, basically left to rot. If you do have access to money, then there’s so much that you can do so many treatments, and different things like that, that you’re able to access to help improve your healing journey, which is why I’m so grateful to the people that donated to the go for me last year, to help me access stuff like physio, which has really helped to improve my strength. Because if I didn’t have that, now, I probably wouldn’t be in the shape that I am in, you know, so like, money does matter, it’s okay to want it. And it’s okay to want to do good with it. If you do have access to finances, then you are able to sort of get shortcuts, really, to knowledge, because you’re able to buy knowledge, or you can employ people that already had the knowledge. But if you don’t have that, and if you are pulling yourself up from your bootstraps, there’s no real shortcuts to the learning, you just have to put in the time and be willing to get your hands dirty. There were so many courses and programs and different things like that, that I’ll be looking at. And I’ll be like, Oh, this looks so good. I really want to do this. And even things like therapy, you know, for people to be able to access things like therapy, it all costs money. And it all felt so far out of my reach. But I wasn’t going to let that beat me. We are so fortunate to live in an age at the moment where we just have an absolute abundance of information. Like there’s people out there that are already most likely doing what it is that you want to do, or being you know who you want to be. And people are actually being quite generous with their knowledge. So there’s a lot that you can consume, which is what I did, I just sort of made it my mission to go out and consume as much knowledge as I could. I’m almost quite obsessive about my learning. I’ve had people ask, how do you manage to like keep making progress while still being a mom and dealing with a disability. But I just choose to be really careful with how I use my time. So I’ll double up. So like if I’m doing something like, you know, if I’m in the bath, and I’ll listen to a podcast, if I’m doing the dishes, then I’ll listen to an audiobook, I always want to be listening to something that I can learn something from something that I can implement as well. Because that’s another thing is like it’s all very well and good taking this knowledge. But if you’re not then actually implementing it, you may as well not have the knowledge. In theory, I should be like, the strongest fittest person I know. Because I do know a lot about healthy eating and stuff. I just don’t always apply it to my own life. Which pretty much renders the knowledge useless. But I’m also really strict with like my time on social media, I would love to just sit and scroll and like have everyone’s content all day. But is that the best use of my time? Is that moving me closer to where I’m trying to go what I want for my life, you know, when I was working in the city, I used to come home, eat my dinner, put the TV on and stay there. Now, I don’t even watch the TV very, very rarely if there’s something like a real super interest, and I’ll put the TV on but the TV’s only ever on really, with kids programs in the background for our daughter. But we don’t watch TV. There’s always something else that needs to take priority over watching TV. As much as I’d love to just binge on a good Netflix series. I often find myself thinking, can I justify myself sitting down? Now and I’m watching this, you know, five series box set. And more often than not, I can’t justify it. I think yeah. When you’re responsible for generating your own income, your mindset changes, your priorities change.

 

14:29

I do notice a difference between salaried friends and friends that are responsible for generating their own income. Time just becomes so precious every single thing you do, you know, you’ve got to make sure that you’re really optimizing how you’re spending your time. And again, this isn’t like saying anything talking down or saying anything against people that want to sit and watch TV. Like if that’s your bag, then that’s absolutely sweet. And when I didn’t have to worry about the money that was coming in, it was nice For me to enjoy too, it’s like if you jump into a swimming pool, are you going to sink? Or are you going to swim? That’s a little bit like entrepreneurship really is like you jump into it, you jump into a swimming pool. And you just got to keep paddling, you’ve got to keep paddling. Because no one is coming to save you, you got to keep afloat. Otherwise, you might, you know, drown, and nobody is out here trying to drown. before my injury, I used to find that I would get stuck quite a lot. Because I used to really procrastinate with the not knowing exactly what to do next, or feeling a bit overwhelmed with where to go next. But the truth is, unless you just get stuck in and take that one step, then you don’t necessarily really know what your next step is going to be. But if you do take the courage just to take that one step forward, then usually that next step will really help to inform you what your next steps going to be. And it’s like, you’re building your own little road, then with each step, you’re learning something new, making a change, doing something slightly different, taking your next step. But the key to this is like you really do just have to take that step. And it is hard if you’re lacking in a bit of confidence, which is something I’ve been guilty of, in fact, the next episode is going to be around that, that whole thing. One thing that has changed since I’ve had my spinal cord injury is that I have leveled up in my confidence. And I am more clearer now than I ever have been about just my passion and my purpose. And I think once you’ve got that purpose, like literally anything is possible. And then it makes it easier to reverse engineer the process really. But again, it’s all about just putting that one step forward. And learning from it. We’re so lucky at the moment to be living in an age of information, when anything you want to know is available to you online. And if you are someone that is struggling with a budget, there’s so much that you can do for free. Like you could literally become a master knitter, while watching YouTube nowadays, and there are countless courses and resources that are available. So I’m very much at the view of like, where there’s a will there’s a way I wasn’t born knowing how to build websites. But I put the work into figuring out, I wasn’t born knowing how to podcast or use editing software. But this is where, you know, we talk about where there’s a will there’s a way where there’s a purpose, you know, I knew that there was a conversation that I wanted to have. So I had to figure it out. And like I said, there’s so many free resources that you can use to really help you to level up your game. It’s like it’s easy to want a desired outcome, but are you willing to achieve it. And this goes back to the overnight success thing. Like there is no such thing as an overnight success. Learning is a process. And there’s so many people out there willing to teach us if we’re ready, and willing to find them and to listen. I’ve been really lucky actually to be able to learn from others. Like my husband, Kane, when we got together like over the years, he’s just really blown me away in terms of sort of showing me what it looks like to be a true, unapologetic creative. Like he is creative to the core. He is so driven by His purpose and His creativity, that he’s just inspired me no end. Like I’m definitely a different person today, because of what I’ve seen in him can grow up in the music business. His dad is the founder of Congo records, who along with Byron gave rise to the career of the singer Omar, you might be familiar with his song, there’s nothing like this. There’s

 

18:47

no Kane was privy to a different kind of comment really. So being immersed in the music business with his dad’s label and stuff like that. And him being a creative and a musician. Whereas I came from a more traditional sort of nine to five type route. So I didn’t really grow up knowing of any alternative way to be, which I think is part of the reason why I sort of found it hard to find my groove for so many years because it goes back to being that square peg in the round hole that I spoke about in college dropout. I didn’t really know an alternative way of being and as a naturally creative person. Yeah, just made it quite difficult. My daughter was growing up in a home that normalizes conversations about ambition. She’s hearing us talking about digital marketing strategies. She’s hearing us talking about manufacturing processes, the music business, you know, all of these different sorts of things that only in recent years have I become privy to she’s living firsthand experience of parents that are like taking a route less ordinary, and they’re making sacrifices that a lot of other people just can’t understand. We’re taking risks, making moves made mistakes and learning from them. But that’s it, it’s like, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Because like I said earlier, you know, with each step that you take forward, you can learn. And if you do something, and it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. It teaches you how you can do something differently next time. And I think we grow up in a world where we’re just like, so scared to fail. I think we’re taught about it in a way that isn’t, you know, it’s not really helpful. I think if we were taught to see failure, as like one of the best opportunities for learning, all of us could transform our lives. This is another good thing as well about working with a mentor. So for the last year, and a bit now, I’ve been working with a true creative, he’s an absolute pioneer and a legend of the jungle Drum and Bass scene, shout out to crust. And it’s been a real privilege to be able to work with him, because he’s had an amazing career is a Mercury Prize winner. He’s had multiple successful music projects, he’s seen the world He’s toured the world, he’s done some really, really amazing things. So to be able to learn from him, to be able to learn about the mistakes that he’s made, the things that he would have done, that he would have done differently. This is where there’s real power in mentorship. And if you can’t afford to find a mentor, or pay for a mentor, find someone who you would like to model and consume as much of their free content as you possibly can. This is what I’m saying. Like, where there’s a will, there’s a way, I don’t want finances to be an excuse why somebody else out there isn’t really stepping into their power and fulfilling their dreams. Because trust me, I know it’s hard. When you don’t have a pot to pee in. It is it’s hard to stay motivated. And they’re when they’re easier routes you could take, but when you’ve got a real sense of purpose, and drive, and motivation and and true clarity in your vision, I think you’re willing to do anything. And that is like my biggest motivation is to create wealth, so that I can use it to create more opportunities for other people, so that I can help other women to elevate their mindsets. Because for every woman that heals and grows, there’s gonna just be like, this beautiful momentum, because when she lights up, she’s going to light up the people around her.

 

22:28

And in turn, they’re going to start to light up the people around them. And then it’s just going to be this beautiful knock on effect of all these beautiful lights lighting up. And some people might say, Oh, you’re a bit idealistic, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Because you know what, I just believe that anything is possible. And I do hope that in some ways, if you are out there, and you’re struggling, and you’re finding things hard, I don’t want to be another version of Instagram that is like, or Kim Kardashian or Molly Mae, that all you’ve got to do is work hard. All I’m trying to do really is demonstrate that even in my circumstances that I found myself in some challenging circumstances, without the financial resources, you know, without, with my physical disability, with looking after my daughter, that I’m still finding a way to make things possible. So if anything, hopefully I can just inspire you to do the same. It’s not easy to bootstrap yourself out of a situation, if you are financially restricted, or if you are going through difficult times, I’m definitely not trying to make light of that, as someone who has dealt with many traumas and challenges, and has spent so many years stuck, what I’ve really come to understand is that you can’t do the same thing and expect different results. Which is why at the moment, I’m just really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m trying to be more consistent than I’ve ever been. I’m working harder to implement knowledge than I ever have before, because I’m ready to see some different results. But one thing you do have to have is well, a real strong Well, without the will, it’s hard to find the motivation. And without the motivation, it’s easy to stay stuck. But stuck is a really, really frustrating place to dwell. And I know because I spent many years there, and it’s okay to be on your journey. You don’t have to be a polished end result. And I know for me, I want to be learning until my life on this earth expires. I can’t ever imagine a day where I’m going to sit down and be like that’s it right? Yeah, I know it all now I’m just going to put my feet up and sit back and now I want to be learning to the end. It’s okay to not know stuff. It’s okay to ask questions. You might worry about looking silly. You know, there’s things that you should know that you don’t but what’s even more silly is staying in that place. Rather than just being you know what, there’s a gap in my knowledge. This knowledge is going to help me to get to the next level. And I’m talking to myself just as much as I’m talking to You, like I’m not this big end polished product, I definitely need to take my own advice. I know there’s a phone call or two that I need to make, right about now, because I’m at a point where I’m trying to understand more about collaboration, working with people, because there’s a real power in collaborating and power in community, like I’ve already said, that we things I don’t know that somebody else does know, they can enlighten me with a little bit of knowledge that can help me to take the next step to build what I want to build, so that I can help more people. So yeah, I’m very much in a learning stage at the moment. That’s my next big lesson. So if you’re the king or queen of collaboration, and you think you could teach me a thing or two, then please do hit me up, I’m happy to learn. Because I’m really figuring out how I can level up the curl squad, reach more people do more meaningful stuff, with the people that I reach, but I am limited on time, financial resources. And you know, you don’t know what you don’t know, there’s always a lot more that can be learned. So that’s very much where I’m at. I’ve been a bit of a solo rider. For all this time, everything I’ve done, I’ve sort of, you know, I’ve done it for myself. So I’m definitely feeling there’s an energy of collaboration. And I do feel as though collaboration is the way forward. No, man is an island, is that even say? Sometimes things come into my head, I’m like, Is that even a thing? yet? No, man is an island. Let’s be a continent. Let’s be a continent and allow the people to roam free, share the love and just build something really beautiful together. Because just think of all the lives we can touch. Collectively. We need to put the ego aside. No one person needs to do everything. We need to move past the stage and the age of, you know, the few dictate into the many. So yeah, that’s what I’m working on.

 

27:02

That’s where I’m trying to level up in my knowledge and understanding at the moment. I suppose now I’m wondering, what’s the gap? In your knowledge? What is it that you’re trying to achieve next? Is there one action that you can take tomorrow, that’s going to prevent you from being stuck? One thing you could Google someone that you can email, maybe someone you could text or just give a call. Don’t let your ego hold you back. There’s power in the journey. So Curll friend, thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Curll power podcast. In the next episode, I’m going to dive into taking up space, because that sort of ties in with this a little bit. If you do enjoy the podcast, as always, I would love it if you would share us on your social media helped to elevate the pod, elevate our voices. And I would definitely love it if you would come and follow us at the curl squad where you can follow me personally at Zoe.e.Fox, this is all on Instagram. And you can find us on Facebook. In fact, let me just drop those links in the shownotes to make your life a little bit easier. Please do recommend us to your friends and family if you think they might enjoy it. But most of all, I just want to say bigger big love. Thank you. I appreciate you’re here as always. I hope you have a blessed week girlfriend. Big Love. Peace out and catch you then

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