It's funny how life works sometimes. One day as I was sitting in my cubicle at work, an email popped up on my phone's screen. The subject read: Myleik Says Thanks! Myleik Teele, for those of you who do not know, is the creator of CurlBox, a monthly subscription box for women with natural hair. I was thinking that maybe it was an email saying thank you for subscribing to her email list, or for making a purchase. So I opened it, and read it quietly to myself. It was a thank you message for the love I had expressed in a post for the MyTaughtYou podcast and journals. I kept reading...The email said that Myleik was sending me all three of her podcast companion worksheets! This was right on time, because I was actually going to purchase them. Wait, there's more...The message continued stating if I was interested, that I could reach out to schedule an interview with Myleik to discuss her MyTaughtYou brand. Just, wow!
Here is why I say that it's funny how life works sometimes. When I first wrote that post, I wasn't going to share it. I kept saying to myself, "Girl, nobody cares about your favorite podcasts!" I posted it anyway. Fast forward to a little over a year later, and I am presented with the opportunity to interview one of those podcasters. Someone who is creative, experienced, well-read, successful, and very inspirational to myself and many others. I replied to the email, and of course set up the interview.
The MyTaughtYou Podcast Companion Worksheets
Before the interview, I made sure to dive into the podcast companion worksheets. There are three companion worksheets: Maintaining Momentum, Landing Your Dream Job, and A Business Approach to Dating. If you're an avid listener of the MyTaughtYou podcast, then you know that Myleik shares several points on each topic, and gives actionable and relatable advice to her listeners. These worksheets are an extension of the podcasts.
Myleik doesn't beat around the bush on her podcast, and the worksheets don't hold any punches either. For example, the dating worksheet is packed with questions like, "Are you insecure, untrustworthy, overly aggressive, or passive in your relationships?" and "Without describing ANY physical features, what are some of the attributes that you'd like in a partner?" It also has a checklist of red flags, gut checks, and self-care tips. Same with the Maintaining Momentum worksheet to guide you while you work on your goals. It will help you with making a vision board, and it requires you to make lists with action items to move you closer to those goals. The Landing Your Dream Job worksheet will help you do just that with cover letter and resume' tips, and advice for before and after an interview. The great thing about these worksheets is that you can print them out and do them over again, track your progress in a particular area, and hold yourself accountable.
Let’s Talk About…
ATBA: CurlBox is the premiere beauty box for the fly girl's hair care needs. Since its inaugural box, there have been other variations including CurlBox Natural, CurlBox Kids, CurlBox Body, and CurlBox Man. There's something in the CurlBox brand for everyone. What else can subscribers expect from CurlBox?
MT: I consider myself the ultimate consumer and customer…It’s like I love, love body products, I really enjoy doing that. The natural boxes stem from people's request for just more natural ingredients, which I totally understand... So I came out with [CurlBox] Gold, which is on sale today (at the time of the interview), as a way to make room for more of the luxury, high-end products.
If you're like "what's gonna come next", I don't know for sure. We are in process of making some pretty significant changes internally, and I hope that's gonna turn into something for maybe 2017. I'm testing to see if we can do something like by January 2017, we can be even doper for people.
ATBA: So CurlBox Gold, it goes on sale today. I looked it up, and it is $50.00! So people are definitely going to get their bang for their buck with these luxury high-end products. So I'm really excited to see what's in this box!
The Mane Choice's New 'Ancient Egyptian' Line was the brand inside the first CurlBox Gold (sold out)
MT: Yes, I think people are going to be super thrilled about it, because the products haven't been released yet. We love the brand. We wouldn't do things that we didn't think were amazing...I still like a lot of grocery store and drug store brands, but this is an alternative.
MyTaughtYou Podcast + Companion Sheets | Dating
ATBA: The first companion worksheet that I started with was the “A Business Approach to Dating & Relationships", and it definitely had me stuck!... It really goes there, and I had to be honest with myself on paper. Is that something that you would say was a goal when creating the podcast companion worksheets?
MT: Absolutely! I think that is kinda the entire motivation behind the entire “MyTaughtYou” brand. It's like if you want to have things in life, or if you want the life of your dreams, you have to be honest. You have to be honest about what you want. You have to be honest about who's around you, and it's just like, tell the truth! A lot of times I hear young women say, "Oh, I don't wanna scare him off", I'm like you can't scare the right man off. It's like if I just sit in your car, and I trust you, and we're just driving and driving, and driving…and I never ever say "Um, so exactly where are we going?", I'm a fool! So then when we end up in a highway robbery, or we end up somewhere, I was the fool that never asked where we were going.
ATBA: Right, I definitely agree with that. It's better to know now, than to just sit around and wait, and you're going nowhere fast, basically.
MT: Yeah! One time I was "dating" this guy who I found out maybe six, seven months into dating that he had like four kids. I remember just saying "I never even knew that he had any kids". I remember my mom had asked me “Did you ever ask him?", and I was like "No", because I would assume that someone would talk about it. But it's like never assume! Never assume!
ATBA: Yeah, so you definitely have be honest with yourself and ask those you're dealing with to be honest with you.
In the A Business Approach to Dating & Relationships podcast [episode], you said, "I had to get clear about my goals about what I wanted, and I had to stop being afraid to say that early on. There are so many articles that will tell you…'you're gonna scare a guy away if you say this or if you say that', and it's just like SCARE HIM AWAY…because the right person for you, you can't scare away." You mentioned telling the guy upfront that you want to be married and have children. Are there any other subjects that you recommend speaking about early on like finances or underlying health issues?
MT: Yes! Absolutely! Like I said, you wanna be honest about what it is that you want. You want to be with someone who has healthy financial habits. I don't know that you have to always be like, "Well, what's your credit score?" - I think you should ask if you're gonna be getting married. You know, just to kinda find out if you're going to be taking on someone else's burden. It's not like “Oh, these are determining factors”. These are just like, you're entering into a partnership and you should know about where your partner stands, and maybe you can help them get some things together.
Same thing for health. While I'm not little miss always at the gym, health is really important to me… I think there are a lot of things you can talk about. One thing that I like to talk about is ambition. How ambitious are you? What are your goals? What are your dreams? Where do you see yourself? How important is your work to you? Yeah, I just think you need to find out, and if somebody's not rocking in a way that you're into, don’t try to make something be what it's not. It's a total waste of your time.
There's somebody out there that wants the things that you want. There's somebody out there, they’re ready to settle down. There's somebody out there who's also ready to settle down, but so many women wanna try to stay with somebody for six years who's not ready to settle down, and then they're all upset when, after they break up, he gets with somebody and marries her and has a baby in three weeks. If they're not telling you, then it's not you, and it's a hard pill to swallow but accept it and go find a person that's gonna be crazy about you. And if you think that there's not somebody out there, you're wrong. There is.
ATBA: That's definitely something that myself and a lot of other young women, even older women, need to hear because life is too short to settle…It's hard. Dating is hard, but obviously there's work with anything. And that's why I really like that you took a business approach to dating, and that you shared it with us.
MT: Absolutely, I agree.
ATBA: You said multiple times on your podcast that you would love to interview Robert Greene, the author of the 48 Laws of Power. Could you name one other person that you would like to interview? I know you only want to interview people that you've met, but you gave Robert Greene that exception. Is there anyone else that you haven't met that you'd give a pass to, and what's one question that you'd ask both of them?
MT: I would love to interview Jay-Z because I know he doesn't give a lot of interviews, and he'd probably be like, "Who is this girl, and why?” *giggles* But I do think there are a lot of parallels between Robert Greene and say, like a Jay-Z… As far as Robert Greene, I only know him as an author but I would want to get to know him as a younger person and kinda see what his mindset was. Was he always this way? What was the challenge or the trauma that caused him to think this way? Has he always been an avid reader? There's just a ton of things that I would wanna know.
I would want to ask Jay-Z a lot of business and relationship questions because I feel like he, more than anything, has (unlike a lot of other rappers) made some smart investments. And it's just like, how does he go about watching for trends? Is there a particular place…a particular person that he listens to? And how does he feel now that he's been so far out of the hood and out of poverty? Does he have this fear of selling out or not being able to connect?
Successes | Failures | Purpose
ATBA: What would you consider your biggest success so far?
MT: I think my biggest success would be the fact that I haven't had a formal job in about eight years. To be able to make a living taking care of myself for this long is huge to me.
ATBA: What would you say would be your biggest failure? Something that didn't go the way that you wanted it to.
MT: I don't know because I don’t look at things as failures per se, I look at them as learning opportunities. So I've had a lot of learning opportunities, but I don’t ever think that I've just done anything that has ended the world for me like, "You failed. It’s over".
ATBA: How long would you say it took you to understand or find your life purpose or calling?
MT: I would say I'm still figuring it out. I've always known the stuff that I've been attracted to since I was a young girl, and then I think as a young adult just having the guts to pursue it. So as a young person, I've always been into like hair, makeup, photography, PR, magazines, social…all that stuff, I've been into that. You know as a young person when you're in honor's classes and all your friends went off to be doctors and lawyers and pharmacists, and so on. It takes a lot of courage to say, "I don’t know what I wanna do", because that's pretty much what I would say because I didn’t see anything. It took a lot of courage to say I don’t know, and then even more courage to pursue the things you think you’re into.
So I've had a lot of jobs. I've worked at the MAC counter, Clinique, Lancôme…I've made smoothies, I've worked with Girl Scouts. So many things I did, and just trying those things until I figured it out. I think that people might look at my life and say 'she's purposed', but I probably always was. Even when I was in the jobs that didn't necessarily fit, I was figuring out what I liked in life, and most times you find out by what you don't like. You know?
MT: So today, I think today it's more like, I do still feel purposed. I do feel like when I share all of the information that I share that that’s just answering the call saying these are things that you know, share it with people who don’t know them.
ATBA: That's pretty understandable. I just started reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and the subtitle is ‘What on Earth Am I Here For?’ I still don't know. It’s like, I would like to have more of an idea what I want to do. But I understand that it may not come as fast as I want it to.
MT: No, and you have to try things. You know? You have to go after the things that excite you or interest you. You can't be like 'I don't know', and then sit and wait for them to fall in your lap. If you're like, 'I really like makeup', then you go take some classes. I did makeup and then I was like, 'You know, I don’t think I really wanna do this'. But I had to find that out, you know? People are like 'I don’t know my purpose, I don’t know what I wanna do', and I'm like well what are you doing about that? "Like, well nothing." Well don't expect to know then!
ATBA: Right! That's a good point.
ATBA: So your businesses demand interaction with consumers, brands, influencers, etc. and I'm sure it can be draining at times. So I want to know, what does self-care look like for you?
MT: Self-care for me is stopping when I'm tired. Sometimes I will be going, and going, and going, and going, and then I'll make some mistakes. Then I keep making them and then I go you know what, let me just take the rest of the day off and regroup. I love going to the spa, I'll take a vacation. I'll go away... I will get up and go. I’m not afraid to stop when it's like I need a break.
MyTaughtYou Retreat + Journal / Books
ATBA: You share a lot of exclusives on your personal SnapChat. I saw that you shared something about a CurlBox retreat. Even though it's still in the developmental stages, is there anything that you could share about it?
MT: It’s a MyTaughtYou retreat. So it's a retreat for the personal brand, and I don't have anything to share, yet. Before I decided to do it, I just put it out there to see if people would be interested... So I need to see the space first, before I get all into it. But I think it's gonna be good.
ATBA: I definitely think it'll be fun. I don’t know exactly what you’re planning to do, if you were to go ahead with it. But just seeing it definitely sparked my interest.
I also saw that there's a new MTY journal in the works. The Learn More to Earn More journal helped us be organized and to get things done, and the This is My Year journal helped us to set and achieve our goals. And I see that the new journal is about hustling. What can we expect from this new journal?
MT: That journal is me introducing you to more of my methods of making better connections. It is about mindset training. Like how to train the mindset of navigating the world; how to do things. My other two journals are like ‘you need to do this, you need to do that’. This journal is like ‘these are some things you are likely doing wrong’. This is kind of helping you go take some inventory. It's a little more intense, and aggressive which I love.
ATBA: What is one book that every woman should read, a least once?
MT: I would say Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
ATBA: I knew you were gonna say that, because I heard your podcast with Toni Martin. I almost picked it up. I picked up Luvvie's book, actually. I heard your podcast with Luvvie and I definitely can’t wait to read it. So I'm excited just based off of your podcast and the reading you did on Instagram when her book was released.
MT: Yea, it's funny! She's funny!
ATBA: Yea it sounds hilarious and relatable. That’s what I keep hearing from a lot of people.
Myleik’s ‘Get It Girl’ Playlist
ATBA: So the last question I have…I feel like everyone has a 'Get It Girl' playlist. A list of songs that get them in the mood to be creative, or be inspired, or that motivate you. What would you say the top five songs are on your playlist?
ATBA: Oh, that's my alarm in the morning!
MT: I like that one. I have this playlist that I like, it’s called “On Fleek”. And I like “No Limit” by Young Thug and Usher which I know is silly, but I like it. Jay-Z can do no wrong in my eyes. I like, I think it’s “Do It Again” with him and Beanie Siegel. Oh and I like Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri, “Money Ain’t a Thang”.