Known for their stoic demeanor, the three dynamic ladies are back this week discussing the topic of vulnerability, which they agree hasn’t always been their strong suit. In this episode, Danielle, Val, and Ani share personal stories about what led them to realize that vulnerability is actually a strength, not a weakness.

For Big Money Stylist, we go over the following formula each month:

Week #1: Power

Week #2: Production

Week #3: Profit

Week #4: Protection

In This Week’s Episode…..POWER

Point #1: Plastic Barbies

  • Danielle: My husband, Garrett, is the more emotional one who likes to talk about his feelings. He would always tell me I’m like this plastic Barbie or a robot because I didn’t want to share my feelings. I didn’t see that in me, and I guess I came across as unapproachable.
  • Coach Val: When I was little, my mom would say to me, “You never cry!” I was feeling what my sister was feeling, who was a crying mess, but it just didn’t come out in tears. It just doesn’t manifest in me the same way it does with everyone, but I still feel the same way.

How are you like Danielle and Val? How are you different?

Point #2: Sharing Stories Creates Connection

  • Danielle: The first time I started sharing little pieces of my story inside of the small classes we were doing, it was like an outer body experience where I was them, listening to me. That’s what triggered the emotion. I was a student listening to my story. Then it hit me: I went through a lot! This was hard shit! It’s like an emotional high where you finally feel yourself letting go and sharing your story, and at the same time, you feel the love and energy in the room. It’s a really cool place to be in.
  • Coach Val: The first time Garrett threw me on stage and told me to share my story was the first time I wasn’t crying because I was in front of people, I was crying because I was realizing “Holy shit, you went through a lot of stuff, Val.” It was the first time I felt my true sense of purpose. That moment was also therapeutic for me because I realized other people open up so that they don’t feel alone, and in opening up, I felt less alone.

How do you feel when you share your story?

Point #3: Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

  • Ani: When I see students talk about things I would never talk about, I feel like they’re so strong for being able to share that part of their story. But when it comes to my sadness, vulnerability, and tears, I can shut it down super fucking quick. I view it as a weakness in myself, which is so fucked up. Why is it good for someone else but not good for me to do that?
  • The first time I was really vulnerable with the students was at the beginning of January when I ended my engagement. I’m in front of 125 artists and telling them this entire story, and the whole time I’m doing it I’m thinking, “You’ve lost your fucking mind. I can’t believe you’re sitting here sharing this deep, painful part of your life!” The outpouring of love and support I received for weeks afterward totally blew me away. It was in that moment I realized that the more I can be open and honest with my students on anything and everything, the more it can help them.

How would sharing your story begin healing you and others?

Point #4: It’s All or Nothing

  • Coach Ani: I went back into the network and shared more detail than I had ever shared. I was sharing nitty gritty shit, which probably made me look like shit, and like a terrible human. But it just is what it is. I’m not going to lie and make myself look better, which I think is something a lot of people do. If you’re going to tell the story, tell all of it.
  • Danielle: People can read when others aren’t being authentic; when there’s a piece of the puzzle missing from their story. An important piece to growth and accountability is being able to share your story – your whole story. Not in the sense of “That’s why I’m so awesome,” but more like “Hey, I was a douchebag and I learned a lot from it. My goal is to course correct and not continue to live in douchebag land.”

What details do you leave out of your story because you’re afraid of how you’ll look?

Point #5: Keep Your Soup in the Bowl

  • Ani: Imagine you have a porcelain bowl that has a chip in it. Take care of it when it’s just a little chip. If you don’t, it will grow into a bigger and bigger crack until eventually you literally can’t fix it. At that point, the bowl is so irreparable that you end up tossing it. The business and friendship go south, shit goes sideways, and you can’t keep your soup in the bowl anymore.
  • Danielle: I have experienced that in my marriage. I had a massive, gaping channel through my bowl, with three to four years of shitty behavior on both sides – which took us four to five years to repair. We’d repair the little chip in the bowl, say something rude to each other, and the repairs we had made would unravel. People ask, “How did you fix your marriage?” We tell them we became committed to making it work by slowly filling back in the cracks and holes until it felt like the bowl was whole.

What is your pattern when you notice a little crack in your relationships or in your business?

Quote of the Week:

“Vulnerability can be a strength but obviously, in some cases, it might need to be reeled in a little bit when you’re stuck in the story of victim mentality. I’ve been like that when I’ve said: Can’t I get a fucking break!? Then I remember, “It’s you, so stop acting like a whiny little bitch and start figuring something out to make things work. Take back the reigns and change it.”

— Danielle White

“Ryan, my husband, gave me a cactus for Valentine’s Day with the attached message: It’s a cactus, just like you – prickly and low maintenance. I thought that was the sweetest thing ever!”

–Valerie Plunk

“None of us has ever had a ‘woe is me’ moment. Anytime we’ve ever gone through and had a moment of vulnerability about our story, or about our feelings about where we’re at in life at the time, it’s always wrapped around: What’s the positive in this? What can I do to change this?”

–Anianne Rivera

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