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Myleik Teele’s MyTaughtYou (MTY) Inaugural Retreat

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

I’ve been following Myleik Teele for about 2 years now. She is the CEO of CurlBox, a subscription company that introduces its users to hair care brands monthly. I actually learned about Myleik through her podcast first. It was something about her honesty in communicating with women that spoke to me. In a world of fluff answers and superficial responses to questions, Myleik is the girlfriend you wish you had that tells you what you need to hear not because she wants to hurt you but because she wants to see you grow and I found her at a time where I needed honesty and transparency in my life and not in a bad way either!

Fast forward to well over a year ago, Myleik announced that she was hosting a retreat at her favorite travel location- Nizuc Resort and Spa in Tulum, Mexico (Cancun). Of all of the places in the world, I wondered what made this “her place”. My interest was piqued. Plus, I knew that if it was a retreat that she was hosting that it would be done with excellence. Myleik has shown that success is possible with hard work and that there are no short cuts!

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

Once the website went up, I immediately checked it out and made a point to claim this as one of my 2018 trips. Little did I know once the registration launched that there was an application process associated with attending this retreat. In short, you couldn’t just pay your money and show up! Ok?

I completed the application with a sense of urgency because I was more concerned about the retreat selling out. While I was honest and candid with my responses, I didn’t realize my application would be a determining factor on whether or not I would be able to attend. Once my application was completed I expected to pay my deposit, but the website let me know that the application would be reviewed and if accepted I would have an opportunity to pay. I immediately panicked because now I wondered if my answers were “good enough”! In hindsight, I appreciate that it was done this way because it didn’t give me time to get too colorful or long-winded with my responses. Some time later I found out that 2 of my friends received their invitation to attend and the self-doubt set in as I checked and checked my email hoping for the same invitation. It finally came!!!! I’m in there!!!!

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

For the sake of time- yours and mine…I will answer some questions that I received after attending the retreat.

How would you describe the retreat?

Honestly, I still haven’t figured out the exact word to use to describe this retreat, but I will say that registration opens tomorrow and I plan on paying my deposit for 2019. I don’t know what life holds for me for the remainder of this year, but God willing, I will be back in Mexico for next year’s retreat.  It was simply what I needed! So, my word for this retreat is “necessary”!  It’s necessary to understand my strengths as a woman, as a black woman, and as a business owner.  I hope to have other titles one day such as mom and wife but for now, I know that being present, living limitless and understanding that I deserve a seat at the table in my job and within my industry made the biggest impact for me and that was “necessary” for me to walk away understanding.

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

What were some of your takeaways?

It’s ok to work hard an play harder!  I loved seeing influential business women that I follow cut loose and have fun.  It was also eye opening to see and hear about their desire to move to next levels in their business and the uncertainty that comes with that. It was inspiring to hear how many of these businesses, including Myleik’s, came to be.  Ultimately, there was an unmet need and they solved it!!!

How was the resort?

BOMB!!! The service was impeccable!  Everyone working there made it their duty to treat us with the best customer service and to ensure all guests were enjoying themselves.  Honestly, if I were looking online for hotels in Cancun, I would probably pass this one up thinking that I should find something more reasonable with a lower price tag, but why???  I work hard and it’s okay to experience life and to splurge sometimes as long as my responsibilities are taken care of.  This retreat taught me that!

Lessons Learned from Karleen Roy:

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

“It’s going to come….I don’t know when”- Karleen Roy

Don’t ever think you’re running out of time.  I grew up in NC and one of the things that always happens when I go home is people asking “When”..with anything it seems like people place a schedule on life.  When are you getting married? When are you having kids? When are you coming back home?  I don’t mind the last when, but if I lived by someone else’s schedule, I am so behind with things, but I learned that I don’t have to know when if I trust and expect the things I desire to come my way, they will come.

Another thing I took away was that there is enough room for everybody.  I meet so many photographers that are afraid to share what they know for fear that someone is going to take work from them, but the longer I shoot weddings and couples I learn that there is room. I can pour into other people without having to worry if I am going to deplete my resources. However, with that, I can’t simply pour as I have to also have a source that can pour into me!

Lessons Learned from Zim Ugochukwu of Travel Noire:

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

“Feel the Fear and Fly” – Zim Ugochukwu

While it’s awesome to do things that you fear, make sure you protect what’s important.  My relationships are important to me and I have not always done the best with nurturing them, so I will be more intentional about doing so from this point forward. I am more than my business.

Lessons Learned from Kahlana Barfield-Brown:

“Get off the burnout train and make time for you”- Kahlana Barfield

“Offer your uniqueness to the world”- Kahlana Barfield

While it’s important to do everything first class and offer your unique selves to the world, don’t forget to focus on yourself in order to prevent burnout.  Find the balance in life and learn to create boundaries. Yes to this!!!!

Lessons Learned from Luvvie Ajayi:

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

“This works does not need to exist without joy.”- Luvvie Ajayi

To wake up everyday and do what we do without joy is pointless.  Find the fun in the thing that you love and stop worrying about what others think.

“Be open to what people want for you.”- Luvvie Ajayi

Sometimes people can see more in us than we can see in ourselves.  Be open to that.  Luvvie mentioned that it took her 9 years before she called herself a writer. Although she had been writing a blog that entire time she never gave herself the title. With photography, I can understand how hard titles can be because with titles also comes responsibility. I knew that calling myself a professional photographer meant that I needed to take care of all of the things a professional would need to take care of like my business taxes, my EIN, registering my business in Virginia, insurance and so on. I also hesitate and feel so uncomfortable saying that I have won an award for my photography. Actually saying that I have won an award is so much easier than saying “award-winning”. One reason is it sounds so pretentious to me, but I put myself and my work out there and received an award for it, so what’s the problem?  I get in my own way sometimes, but “Limitless Living” means recognizing that and taking the steps to get out of my way!

 Lessons Learned from Myleik Teele:

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

“No means Not Yet”- Myleik Teele

Gosh, this hit home.  There are things in my life and career that have felt like rejection but with every “no” there was a better “yes” around the corner, I just needed to be patient.

Myleik also reminded us not to beat ourselves up over something we haven’t tried. I have things in business that I desire to do but prior to trying anything, I tend to think of all the reasons why it won’t work.  I am essentially beating myself up and not giving myself a chance to try and that mindset is so limiting.

People first!  My final thoughts are that people that have come into my life are here for a reason and I can’t get so wrapped up in the business that I miss the connections.  My cheerleaders, my family, my friends, and people I have yet to meet all play a role in who I am and remembering this always will allow me to grow and go farther than burying myself behind my computer.  Limitless Living was the mantra of the retreat and the 2 words that I will carry with me all of 2018!

All Photos taken by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography

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