Many times in life, we have the perfect plan, the checked boxes, and the perception of our perfectly created world. Then, we get real with ourselves. The truth of who we truly are appears and then things start to radically change.
For GG Renee, founder of All the Many Layers, she realized a shift in 2009. “I worked in the financial services industry and held a few positions related to research and communications. After working for 12 years, I realized I didn’t feel passionate about the work. I found a way to work in what I felt passionate about, in my role. I started to think of the value I added, I created at team environment, and focused on the people on my team,” she reminisces.
Although her image at work looked like a perfect scenario, her reality was completely different. “On the inside everything was so topsy turvy, there were many internal changes that I was going through. During this transition I decided to go natural.”
This was around 2009 when GG was also introduced to blogs. “Someone told me to go to the natural hair blogs, I wasn’t familiar at the time, and I though this is very cool. I didn’t realize there was a whole world, that was an ideal creative outlet. This was happening at the same time I was going to therapy. My therapist, shared with me that writing keeps coming up, it was something I did as a kid, and she suggested that I started writing.”
When GG began writing it was initially supposed to be about hair. “I had a lot of emotion. When I began writing, I started to write about hair for a little bit. Then I started writing about what I was feeling inside. I was encouraged to continue due to the positive response I got, I was so excited.”
As she started to write from a place of authenticity, she created GG Renee for a pen name. Her work was very transparent and vulnerable, “I never showed that side to many people,” she explains. GG enjoyed her outlet and continued. Through the process she landed a writing opportunity for Carol’s Daughter. “The realization hit. I was like wow, I am getting paid to do this. This was a turning point for me.” GG continued writing and by 2013 she quit her job.
The decision was a leap of faith. She decided to take a chance on herself and give it a shot. “I didn’t have an entrepreneurial spirit and in the past and I didn’t understand the people who did it.”What she discovered was a passion for entrepreneurship in a new way. “This was about answering to a calling and living a creative lifestyle. This means really believing you can create a lifestyle that you want and one that works for you,” she explains. This was the first step to knowing that she was on the right path. “The only thing keeping me from creating the lifestyle I want is believing that I can’t have it. When I focused on changing my mindset and acting on what I want and believe, that is when my life changed.”
GG started All the Many Layers in 2012. She went from writing about hair to writing about womanhood, transformational, and inspirational topics. “I felt caged in, and I wanted to write about struggles, joy, and the journey of figuring that out.” As she wrote herself free, many began to take notice and follow. GG has built a steady and loyal following, and she encourages writers to lead with courage. “Have the courage to create your own lane and stay in it, you will swerve many times. Release the comparison game and learn to self-correct,” she advises.
GG wanted to create a blog and space where women could find support. Goal accomplished. This speaks to “All the many layers of being a woman, not hair, clothes, or makeup. This is all the layers and all the things we are not molded to think on for public consumption. I want to be that place and friend you can talk to so you feel uplifted, I try to create content around that.”
With a successful writing business and with her chosen niche, being ahead of her time, there are many things in store for GG. In the future she would like to host more in person workshops, get more involved in her local writing community, and be completely present for her children. “I realized there were certain aspects of my business I was dreading. I don’t want to get caught up in doing work just for the check and being busy where there are so many things that inspire me that I do want to do.” She realized that she would like to focus on writing more books, she has three under her belt, and conducting in person writing workshops. This includes taking advantage of her writing community. “I need to get from behind my computer and appreciate my local writing community.” As she continues to embrace the beauty of writing and creativity she encourages others to do the same. “Creativity and self-discovery go hand in hand. Creative activities lead you to discover yourself in a way that you can’t predict. Once you open that door you don’t know what is going to come out.”
To learn more visit All the Many Layers
Photo: TraciElaine Photography.