We often hear the proverbial phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’; one woman who has done this so well is Nathalie Nicole Smith. She is the epitome of turning your pain into purpose.
A beauty and wellness maven, best-selling author and Founder of Women Who Boss; a 501(c)(3) organization that helps women believe big, brand themselves and build solid relationships. BAUCE babe is the word that sums Smith up. She reflects on her journey to self-made success: “I am a woman who decided to go after her dreams. At a very young age, I realized the importance of having money and keeping God first. I opened my first business at 22 years old, directly after college–Plush Beauty Box Beauty Lounge. After learning the ins and outs of business, I realize the importance of needing money, systems and support to keep business flowing.”
Smith is very vocal about her journey and hopes that by sharing some of her struggles, others can find the confidence to own their story and leverage it to build an impactful brand. She says: “Surviving depression only happened by the grace of God, self-awareness and therapy. I created a daily routine which helped me look forward to the next day, and I started to see a lot of changes in my emotional behavior. Spending time with God, working out, self-care, taking supplements, eating clean, surrounding myself with positive people, and intentionally working on my goals, helped me overcome depression.”
Just like Smith, so many BAUCEs may be looking inwards and thinking, “I have a story worth telling;” ‘I’ve been through life and back and I’m still standing;” or “I want to share this particular challenge of mine to help other women going through the same thing.” Smith shares what her aha moment was like: “After doing self-work, I realized I wasn’t the only person going through LIFE.
“After sharing my story on social media, so many people reached out asking for help. I openly shared my daily routine and started to see a lot of feedback. I used social media as my new accountability partner and healing happened from being consistent and working on myself,” she recounts.
It’s one thing to find your voice and recognise you have a powerful story worth telling but some women find themselves trapped in shame, fear of judgment, and fear of being vulnerable and this hinders them from launching their personal brands. Smith acknowledges this and offers advice to women trapped in this cycle: “I would say to first forgive yourself and allow God to order your steps. Then, take responsibility for the actions that you played in the process; Next, start living your life for yourself. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Living in shame, guilt and doubt will only leave you stuck. We have no time for that.”
As someone who takes her own advice, this BAUCE went on to write a best-selling book ‘Becoming a Brand.’ She shares what this means to her: “Building a brand is deeper than just posting online, It’s truly about who you are at the core. My mission is to show more women globally how to embrace who they are so they can build an impactful brand that has substance.”
It’s safe to say the digital space is becoming increasingly noisy and saturated. With everyone being given the opportunity to have a voice and #shareyourstory, you may wonder what it takes to build an impactful, relevant and sustainable brand in today’s digital economy.
“Be authentic, find a product and service that aligns with your core values, and keep growing and learning so you can be your very best,” Smith affirms.
Lastly, Smith is eager to share with BAUCE what she wants black women in particular to take from her story: “I want black women to know they are worthy of their dreams and don’t settle. The more you focus on your well-being, the more you can show up as the best version of yourself,” she asserts.