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Personal Advisory Committee

Having a team of people who can speak to who you are as a person is so important. In a time where we question folks’ intentions, loyalty, and very sense of self, we should be grateful when we have people near us who keep us grounded.

I call my closest friends my personal advisory committee. Having worked in the corporate and non-profit sectors for years, I’ve learned the importance of a governance board. While the set is not exhaustive, having a set of people who can give you what you need, these individuals all serve very necessary roles that keep the organization running well, and I like to think of myself as a corporation.

And in celebration of the feminine energy in my life, these spirits are embodied by five very important women to me.

As your own corporation, these are essential roles to your success:

1. The “Bitch, you better think about this” Friend

In life, we need those who will help us make the hard decisions, the ones who love you enough to tell you when you’re wrong and to remind you when you need a little insight. We all need this friend. Sometimes you might cuss them out (and they might cuss you out back), but you love each other and see the value in having friends who can hold you down. For me, this is Bianca (@bianca_siplin_ceo). She, on the regular, keeps me on my P's, Q's, and everything else.

2. The “Yas, bitch, yas!” Friend

We also need those who will give us encouragement, and some friends are there to lend their support and enthusiasm. It’s not to say that these friends don’t offer more, but their gusto is everything to you! Whether on the dance floor or after a new haircut, this friend reminds you that you are somebody! And nothing like a good reminder! This is truly Corrinne (@ohmythirties). Along with insight and a banging podcast, this chica also always gives me a pick-me-up and a good laugh! Eow!

3. The “Bitch, you better reel it in” Friend

Ain’t nothing like having a friend that can let you know when you’ve gone too far left. We get excited, we start feeling ourselves, we get to bucking, and we all need a friend to give us that look—and we know what that look is. “Who gon’ check me, boo?” This friend—that’s who. Soul Sib Glo (@feverish_child) is always that force, truly the water to my fire.

4. The “Bitch, you can have it all” Friend

This friend is the one you can daydream with. He or she lets you get lost in your thoughts about all the things that are possible. When you think about what you wanna do next in life, your career, your relationships, this friend reminds you that you can have it. We all need this friend in our lives and Shana (@shaedenise_) is my dream queen!

5. The “Bitch, I don’t want nothing” Friend

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes you just need a moment, and this friend gives you space to do just that. If it’s over wine, a Netflix binge, or just on your phones in silence, having that friend who you can just be yourself—no lashes, no money, no problem. Telisha (@mystylemysassy) always gives just that!

Of course, there are many others in my life that keep me afloat, but I literally talk to these women every week and celebrate the role they each play. For some of us, one person may be holding multiple roles or even toggling between roles. Or we might even see where we may could use some new energy or new faces. Either way, remember no man (or woman) is an island. Who is your committee? And not just followers or associates, but those who add consistent value to your life? Assess consistently; your wellness is worth it! Meeting adjourned!

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