Strength of Nature’s Global Marketing Director, Charlene Dance, is having the best month ever. She was featured in the iconic Ebony Magazine, (read the article here) and she celebrated Women’s History Month with the “Women in Power” dinner at the rustic Studio No. 7 in Atlanta. Women from various industries who are leaders in their respective communities, enjoyed intimate conversations and an interactive “A Women in Power Is…” photo area.
Of course we couldn’t let Women’s History Month end without talking to the woman of the hour not only about how to tap into your inner woman in power, but how she manages to find balance, be persistent in self-love and maintain confidence throughout her ventures. After all, we all know that being a woman in power requires you to oversee a lot of people, situations and make swift decisions. Read on to find out how she does it all, while maintaining her sanity.
Talking Texture: With all the titles you hold: mother, wife, global marketing director and etc, how do you manage to find ‘me-time’? (What does ‘me-time’ consist of?)
Charlene Dance (Dance): It is important to prioritize the things that matter to you. There is no such thing as balance, it is a myth. Something will always fall down the line, but you have to be okay with what that is. My “me-time” is cooking my favorite meal, something I want to eat and not considering anything anyone else wants, with a great glass of champagne and my favorite movie, with my favorite cashmere throw.
Talking Texture: Dealing with so many high-level executives, is your confidence level always high? How do you handle remaining confident through intimidating situations?
Dance: I am never intimidated. There is nothing wrong with not knowing something. The key is being okay with someone shining brighter than you and being confident enough to figure out how to catch a few of their sparkles, so you can shine brighter to. Being the smartest person is the room is never a good thing. There is no growth in a situation if you are the smartest one.
Talking Texture: With confidence comes self-love. How was the journey of learning to love yourself before the titles and now?
Dance: I don’t think you ever stop doing this. I really like myself, and I am constantly discovering something about myself I love and need to work on. I work hard not to think about titles because you can easily get lost in a definition of something you do. I focus on how I bring who I am to what is expected of me to do, and move forward that way. This way I don’t lose me and I keep learning to love myself more and more each day.
Talking Texture: Many women have been embracing their natural hair, whether it’s doing the big chop or leaving the flat-irons alone for a while. What do you say to those women who are still not confident in their appearance with natural hair?
Dance: This is a tough question, because I truly believe hair is simply an extension of yourself. I think you should embrace the hair God gave you, but if you are ashamed of your hair or have to define yourself only via your hair, that is a much bigger problem. I think of the big chop, in particular, as a right of passage for women who are learning to fall in love with their total self. Hopefully, they’re working on who they are 360, not just with their hair. I love that women are doing this, but I am 100% more focused on women digging deep to be confident and happy because hair is surface.
Talking Texture: What is one piece of advice you’d give to women struggling with understanding and accepting themselves?
Dance: To ask herself a very basic question, ‘What does she think happiness is for her?’ and start there. It can’t be what she sees others obtaining or what someone tells her she should be. It has to be when you take a knee or mediate, what do you see and feel that make you feel at peace and happy when you think about your life.
Talking Texture: According to Forbes, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. What do you think has contributed to this?
Dance: Education. So along with becoming the fasting-group growing of entrepreneurs, we are also, according to the census the top group sorting out for education. I also think because we are over index in social media that we’re sharing and we’re seeing in real time all the accomplishments from other women and it’s very inspiring. And you think, if I can see it then, maybe I can.
Talking Texture: What are your top 3 values that you possess that make you dominate the field that you’re in?
Dance: I think being connected. Because I think as a marketer, as you grow professionally you can actually get away from the group that you want to serve, so I try to stay very grounded. I think being grounded is important, I think being vulnerable and I think being a good listener are the three things that help me be successful.
Talking Texture: What do you say to women who say that they can’t have it all?
Dance: They’re right! I always give the bad news with this one. There’s no such thing as this balancing, you know, how to have it all. Everything you do in life is a priority. If you think about growing up, you know, your parents would tell you to wake up and the first thing you do – there’s always a first thing, whether it’s wash face or brush teeth. There’s a process to everything that we do to get to where we want to be. So, you having the things that you want in your life is a process too. I tell women, honestly, if you’re trying to make major VP or you’re getting ready to do the biggest deal or try to be an entrepreneur – that takes a lot of focus and if it’s God’s will you’ll meet someone but, if we’re playing the game of statistics, chances are that your career might be there and the man may come next. Because no man wants to feel secondary. So, I always tell people, really it’s not about balancing or having it all, it’s about being okay with what your priorities are and making sure you’re real honest to yourself that that’s the priority and sacrifice you’re willing to make.
Slay on, Charlene. SLAY. ON.
For more information on Strength of Nature visit, www.strengthofnature.com
Photos Courtesy of: Mike Smith / Shots By Mike Smith