I Mentally Prepare Myself
with Jahmeelah Gamble
I am a Connector of People, Ideas, and Energy, which means everything I do in my career revolves around those 3 areas. By day I’m a proud educator. I’ve been teaching for almost 9 years but I’ve been supporting people with disabilities and their families for about 17 years. The minute the school bell rings, my entrepreneur hat comes on. My voice and my persona is my product, service, and brand. Without it, I couldn’t be the Slayer of The Mic! With my mic in hand, I #SlayTheMic at events, galas, keynotes, and host workshops. I found myself being repeatedly being asked by people in the audience how I’m so comfortable getting up on stage and at first I really couldn’t it answer that question because I just could (get what I’m saying?) After having my morning coffee with my husband, I decided I would start a program that helped people build their confidence and amplify their voice. And 2 years ago, my Slay The Mic Program was born.
Nah, it’s more like “What would you say to the people who weren’t worth your time or energy when you were 16?” Boy/Girl…BYE.
My loved ones and their health. We had a scare during the holidays and it really shook me up and had me thinking about the future. I asked myself how emotionally am I prepared for emergencies like this? I know we’re not invincible but at the same time I don’t want to see those we love the most suffer in anyway. I want to protect them at all cost and the fact that life happens and can change at any moment petrifies me.
Let me tell you about the first place my husband and I lived in together. It was a one bedroom condo…with one closet…and one bathroom…and it was SMALL…like Polly Pocket small. Not only was it a terrible place to have arguments (because we had to rock, paper, scissors who got the bedroom when they were mad) but it was also a terrible place to feel creative or inspired. 4 years later we’re in a townhouse and I have a home office! My business has increased because I began coaching sessions with my clients and started to create more digital content. I also love the fact that I no longer have to go to restaurants with friends as our home is big enough to entertain guests.
I’m very good at reading my body and sensing when I feel off balance so I like to say that I know my limit and I play within it – straight up. I mentally prepare myself for my busy seasons and recognize that work will be getting more of me. Just acknowledging that ahead of time makes me feel less guilty if I’m not practicing enough self-care or if my schedule has more events than days off. I truly believe that practicing the art of forgiving myself when I’m not my best has helped maintain a healthy work-life balance.
I don’t have an official mentor but I do turn to God, my mother and my husband for guidance before anyone else. Last year I interviewed Fotini Iconomopoulos on my podcast (Slay The Mic Podcast) and she blew my mind! We spoke about her being a public speaker and a master negotiator. I always felt uncomfortable with the idea of negotiating, especially as a woman of colour, and Fotini basically told me to cut it out. Later she invited me to her two day symposium and again…blew my mind. I discovered I had a very bad habit of putting the word ‘just’ before asking questions in emails. “I was JUST wondering when you’re going to take care of your invoice” and I was JUST wondering if you got my email I sent you a week ago”. When I stopped using the word ‘just’ I swear to goodness, I felt like I just evolved into a super confident business woman. I knew what I wanted and was not going to beat around the bush to get it. It’s a lesson I have gone on to share with clients and my students.
I have significant moments of doubt at least once a month. It shouldn’t be a surprise to be honest, because who doesn’t worry about things? There’s this misconception that people who appear extroverted, confident, and appear successful online are doing well financially and emotionally when that’s definitely not always the case. I have no shame in saying that sometimes I wake up in the morning and question if I’m doing enough to build my business. I don’t think I would be a real entrepreneur if I didn’t have those dark days.
If you’re reading this and wrestling with the idea of cutting your hair, let me ask you this: who’s hair is it? Who’s scalp is that hair on? Who’s gonna rock it? And will it grow back? Once you answer those questions, you are officially ready to make the big chop. JUST DO IT!
More About Jam
Jahmeelah Gamble – best known as Jam is a 31 year old cat mom from Toronto. By day she is a proud educator. She’s been teaching for almost 9 years but has been supporting people with disabilities and their families for about 17 years. The minute the school bell rings, her entrepreneur hat comes on. Jam’s voice and persona is her product, service, and brand. Without it, she couldn’t be the Slayer of The Mic!