Hey sis! Welcome back to Boldly Courageous, a podcast created for you — the ambitious woman who is ready to step into the life she’s always dreamed of. I’m grateful you’re here!
I am so grateful you all are here, and I’m so pumped for this podcast episode because I’ve wanted to tell this story for so long, and I haven’t really shared it with very many people. This episode is all about the life and business lessons that I learned from a conversation with Jamie Foxx. Yes, the Jamie Foxx — celebrity, actor, musician, comedian, producer — the list goes on.
So I was in Los Angeles with a bunch of girlfriends, and we were at this super swanky restaurant where a lot of celebs hang out in West Hollywood. We’re at the bar getting some drinks, and Jamie Foxx walks in with a bunch of his friends. My girlfriend next to me is like, “We are totally manifesting a table next to Jamie Foxx right now”, and I’m like, “Hell yeah, we are.” He was with a bunch of people, so we didn’t want to walk over and be rude. Just eating with him in the same space was awesome enough.
Sometime later, I got up to go the restroom, and when I come out, Jamie Fozz is standing literally right there, under the little alcove between the two bathrooms. I wish you could have seen my reaction to this. It was the most embarrassing face I’ve made in my life. I was aware that he was in the restaurant, but I totally didn’t expect him to be right outside the ladies’ room door.
I was going to just keep walking, but he starts laughing hysterically. He literally says, “Come back! Where are you going? What’s your name?” And of course, I’m like shocked, but I managed to answer him, telling him that my name is Melissa, I’m from upstate New York, and I’m in LA for a business Mastermind. Meanwhile, I can hear my ego freaking out inside my head. OH MY GOD. IT’S JAMIE FOXX. WHAT AM I GOING TO SAY?
Our conversation taught me so much about truly connecting with people and truly being yourself, even if you’re in the presence of someone you really admire (and who’s really famous.) And with that, let’s dive into our conversation and cover the life lessons that Jamie Foxx taught me.
Life Lesson #1: The Greatest Gift You Can Give is Your Presence
At the beginning of our conversation, I immediately felt myself becoming overwhelmed by his celebrity status. I was so nervous I was going to say something stupid and end up embarrassing myself. I was in the space of a human whose fame and status is massive compared to mine, and I felt my self-worth diminishing as a result. I was comparing myself to what my projection of his value was as an extremely successful celebrity. My palms were sweating, and I felt my mouth going dry.
Then I was reminded by one simple fact. We all poop, right? I mean, here we are, meeting at the bathroom after all. I’m a human, Jamie Foxx is also a human, and all humans poop. I realized that the greatest gift you can give any person is your presence, so I took a deep breath, looked him in the eys, and began to ask him genuine questions.
I became less worried about how I felt in relation to him and was more concerned about actively engaging with him as another human being. We started talking about female empowerment, and I got to share that I co-founded Ladies Aligned with my business partner Sandy Vo. He even shared a story with me about his daughter and how important it is for women to feel empowered in this day and age.
I began to feel my nervousness around his celebrity status fade away, which brings me into the next life lesson.
Life Lesson #2: Don’t Put People on Pedestals
There have been times where I’ve walked into my Elite Mastermind, and felt like I didn’t belong. I’ve looked around the room and compared myself to people I believe are WAY more successful than me. Maybe you’ve also had those fangirl moments when you’ve been following this person on social media forever and finally meet them in person. Maybe like me, you’ve clammed up and can’t think of anything to say because you face to face with your role models, and they’ve changed your life.
First, I want to say that there is nothing wrong with looking up to anyone or admiring another person’s success. In fact, I think we should absolutely celebrate the achievements of others. But this doesn’t mean we should put them on pedestals.
When you put someone on a pedestal, you’re establishing an agreement with them (that they haven’t actually agreed to) about a certain way they should talk, act, and be in the world. You’re placing a tremendous amount of responsibility on that person to be who you want them to be. And what happens is not only do you diminish your own value, but you’re putting an unrealistic expectation on a person who is just as human as you are.
You’re placing ghat person on a pedestal that they never asked to be put on, and you’re mandating how they should behave and what they should think. It essentially takes away their humanness — their ability to make mistakes. We see this so much in the media when a celebrity has cellulite, or they make a mistake or have food in their teeth. But guess what! They’re human, and just because they’re boldly sharing their gifts doesn’t mean they can’t make mistakes.
All this dawned on me as I was talking with Jamie Foxx. I realized that I was doing a disservice to him (and myself) by placing him on a pedestal and not giving him the grace to make a mistake or be someone different. I realized that I was passing judgment on someone I know nothing about other than what the media tells me.
Life Lesson #3: We Are All Humans Who Want to Share Our Gifts
This was truly an eye-opening experience for me, not only in terms of how I interact with the people I admire but also how I value myself. Walking into my Elite Mastermind, I had major imposter syndrome of these amazing entrepreneurs that earned multiple 6 or 7 figures. I kept asking myself, Melissa, what could you possibly offer? Maybe you’ve thought this too.
Here’s the truth, babe: We’re all just human. We just want to be seen, we just want to be heard, and we want to be treated as equals. Once I dropped in with these amazing humans in my Mastermind and gave them my presence without my ego and judgment getting in the way, amazing things started to happen. The same thing happened in my conversation with Jamie Foxx. When you let go of your preconceived expectations and decide to really be present with someone, that’s where genuine connection happens.
My conversation with Jamie continued on, and it was such a great experience. Towards the end of our discussion, one of his friends had come up to him that he hadn’t seen in a while, and I thought that this was a good time to exit. I told him how much I appreciated him having this conversation with me, and he pulled out his cell phone and asked if we could stay connected. He said he loved what I was doing and wanted to follow me on Instagram.
It was an amazing moment because I realized then we were just two people who appreciated each other’s gifts. It taught me how to view every person as a human — not an ideal or something to compare myself to. It also taught me how to treat each client as a unique individual with their own set of gifts and personality.
If you’re struggling with the same sort of imposter syndrome as I used to have, then I want to encourage you today. Maybe you’ve just started your own business, and you’re at a conference, and you’re feeling as small as a flee. The greatest thing you can do is give someone your presence and celebrate yourself because you have gifts. Just like Jamie Foxx, or any other celebrity you look up to. We are all human, and that fact connects us all.
Why You Should Listen Right Now…
If you’re struggling with self-doubt, imposter syndrome, or putting people on pedestals, then this is the episode for you. And let’s be honest, we all do this at some point in our lives, oftentimes subconsciously. Those boss babes that you follow on social media? Yes, they’re amazing, but so are you. You, too, have the potential to be great, and you have gifts that you can tap into.
I hope this episode gives you the permission to be present and be yourself. And if you love this episode, please share it with your friends! The more people that have access to this podcast, the more people that we get to help as a collective. Share this episode on Instagram, let me know what your biggest takeaway is, and tag me, @themelissamartin, so that I can celebrate you!
I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I acknowledge each of you as an amazing woman with unique gifts, and I urge you to do the same. Now go live your boldly courageous life!