FIRST THOUGHT: A Challenge to Overcome
I like to think we’re all fairly decent people with a healthy amount of empathy. If a little old lady is struggling to pick up her hanky, we do it for her. While we often exude the most goodwill toward things we can see, don’t forget that many people’s needs are often invisible, like ADHD or anxiety. One of the best things you can do to support someone with an invisible illness or the like is to learn more about it and validate their feelings. Ask how they’re doing. If you’re still flailing, be direct and ask them straight up what they need from you right now. Sweeten the deal with a cinnamon roll or flowers in hand.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Up to One-third
One group of people that often takes on the challenge that comes with disabilities is caregivers. As many as one-third of parents with children that have learning disabilities feel unprepared. In a world where moms are encouraged to one-up each other on social media, caregiving mamas can feel downtrodden when they start the comparison cycle. When parents are taking care of a child with an invisible challenge, they’re often met with, “But he looks fine!” or “I’m sure she’ll grow out of it.” Then, there’s the lack of affordable resources or general misunderstanding when a caregiving parent asks for help.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Gloria Mayfield Banks, Success Strategist, Motivational Speaker & Sales Trainer
One invisible learning disorder is dyslexia, characterized by difficulty processing language, specifically when reading. Today’s Woman to Watch, Gloria Mayfield Banks, struggled with the incurable disability. However, like so many others, dyslexia didn't deter Gloria from pursuing a bright future; after attending Howard University as an undergraduate, Gloria needed to take a four-hour-long written exam, a trying test due to her dyslexia. She summoned her courage and found her voice in order to modify the testing arrangements, and soon enough, she found herself at Harvard graduate school.
Gloria is a motivational speaker and strategist, and Forbes named her one of their “five women of color who need to be on your radar.” She makes an impression by being vulnerable, both on stage and off. She’s ranked the number one Elite National Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics and is the only African American to have earned this position.
One of the reasons Mary Kay appealed to Gloria wasn’t the makeup at all; in fact, she didn’t even wear much makeup. To her, Mary Kay felt like a way out and up, as she was coming out of a decade-long marriage fraught with domestic violence. The idea of a new beginning gave Gloria hope.
It’s been nearly 30 years since Gloria started her Mary Kay biz. Initially, her goal was simply to make a couple of extra hundred bucks a month to pay for her children’s daycare, but she’s also learned plenty of lessons that have skyrocketed her to the top. One of the biggest? Help others. Gloria believes you can only grow when you give back, and one of the benefits of being a mentor for other people is you discover more about what makes people tick.
In Gloria’s book, Quantum Leaps, she shares steps that will help a woman find the bravery within her to step out on her own. It isn’t just what you attain once you’ve met your goals, but the confidence and audacity you gain along the way. One simple step Gloria offers starts with how you think: Instead of “wanting” to do something, like start a side hustle, change careers or make a little extra cash, you’ve got to think about it in terms of “got to.” You’ve got to start that side hustle, change careers and make extra money.
Follow Gloria on Twitter and Instagram @gloriabanks.
In a sales career, succeeding is about more than just having a good pitch; you’ve got to be prepared! Check out our seven tips on how to achieve elite status in your career by clicking here or, if you’re listening via podcast, head over to OnTheDotWoman.com!
QUITE THE QUOTE
We love to finish our stories of inspiration with a bit by today’s Woman to Watch herself. So to close, here’s something from Gloria Mayfield Banks to remember throughout your day:
"It's not where you start, it's where you finish!"