by Jenna Kutcher
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Myisha T. Hill wears a lot of titles — single mom, a speaker, an activist for Mental Health, an author… That list continues on, and yet she’s found a way to all things well, and even thrive in each area. You might quickly think, wow, she’s got balance figured out, but that’s not what she teaches. Myisha is a life synergist, and through her work she debunks the myth of work/life balance, leading her students to find SYNERGY instead.
If burn out, overwhelm, and confusion seems to narrate your life or business, this interview with Myisha will explore why you might be feeling that way, and how you can navigate out of it. Here she is, Myisha T. Hill.
Myisha remembers being an advocate and champion for girls as young as 5th grade. When the boys tried to bully the girls, Myisha stood up. That drive to serve and champion women continued into her adult life.
When her daughter was born, Myisha told me that she had a breakdown. “I lost my will to live. I attempted suicide. I had a plan, and I was hospitalized. My daughter was 12 days old,” she shared. It was during her recovery that she saw a bible and knew that she was here for a reason.
“I didn’t have the strategies or the tools to talk about feeling anxious or feeling depressed. I swept a lot of my issues under the rug. I never talked about issues and matters around sexual violence and emotion abuse,” Myisha explained. “I used that experience to drive me. It’s been peeling back the onion layers of my life to get to that core root of who I really am, based on my life experiences.”
“And that is how I got into this concept of life synergy, and using pain to power to uncover the one thing that makes us feel like we have to perform in our life,” Myisha told me.
That painful time in her life, dealing with suicidal ideology and mental illness, that got her where she is today.
I asked Myisha about the Life Synergist title, because it’s not immediately evident on the surface what that title means, or what the work entails.
“I do that on purpose!” Myisha laughed and continued, “When it comes to life synergy, it was this idea that our life, and our business, they’re intersectional,” she explained. “If we look at life like living by our to-do lists, we’ll never get anything done in our life. We won’t live into our experiences.”
Myisha views synergy as getting rid of the to-do list and seeing the intersections of all of our life, and bringing in aspects of our personal and professional lives together to give us a greater result.
“As a life synergist, I begin the work with my clients and myself doing three things — I love the number three — and doing three things well,” Myisha explained. “What’s the one thing I can do for myself? What’s the one thing I can do for my life? And what’s the one thing I can do for my career? And keeping that as the synergy method to move forward.”
As one thing gets crossed off Myisha’s list, she won’t add anything new to that list until the other two things are completed, too.
“I believe that work-life balance is a myth. We’re buying into the models of productivity, and our value being tied into how much we produce in the world for the sake of looking good to others, or influencer status, or for authority,” Myisha began.
Unlearn Productivity-Based Self Worth
Myisha’s point, that we buy into the idea that our value is based on our productivity, is so prevalent in the online entrepreneur space, especially among self-identified achievers like myself. So I asked her how we begin to dismantle and unlearn that way of thinking.
“Capitalism thrives when we manage ourselves according to our to-do lists… It’s all in support of capitalism” she continued, “As someone who teaches on white supremacy, I know that capitalism is a tenet of white supremacy. For me, realizing that this to-do list is in support of capitalism, which is upholding white supremacy, I have to disconnect from that.”
Myisha explained further, “Some of us thrive on those lists because those lists are how we can control our own containers and our own environment, so there’s a deeper invitation of ‘why do I need to control with a never ending to-do list? Why am I putting my power into a list?”
Women in entrepreneurship face burnout, especially in the solopreneur phase of business. Myisha works with her clients to navigate through and out of this burnout season of their professional lives. One way Myisha tackled her own season of burnout was through hiring a team.
“My first hire I made was a therapist. Trust me, business owners, you want to have a therapist or a life coach on your team,” Myisha advised. The second and third hires were a social media strategist and a graphic designer.
Oftentimes we hold onto certain things in our business because we can’t trust other people to do them in the way we’d like, but when we finally relinquish those tasks and learn to trust a team, our burnout risk fades.
Finding Your Synergy
Let’s go back to the three things Myisha mentioned earlier. How do you discover your three things that you can do well in order to find synergy in your life?
Myisha explained that it starts with gratitude and what you want to manifest in your life. And then it’s all about doing a big “brain dump”. Get all of the things you do or need to do in your business and get them on paper. Sit with that collection of items for 24 hours, and sort through what can be done by you, what could be outsourced, what you could do later, and so on.
These items go into an Eisenhower Matrix (not sure what that is? Myisha teaches it to her clients) and from there, you narrow in on three things you can do for yourself, for your business, and a self-care goal for the day. This helps you prioritize your day around what’s most important to find that life synergy.
Check Your Privilege
While Myisha is still working with clients and leading them through finding life synergy, most of her time is dedicated to two things — Brown Sisters Speak and Check Your Privilege.
As part of Brown Sisters Speak, Myisha develops relationships with therapy practices and helps marginalized women access therapy services on scholarship. With Check Your Privilege, Myisha walks with white folx as a guide to dismantling their relationship with power, privilege and oppression.
“It has been absolutely life giving to be seen as a guide — and I use the term guide and not the term educator because I don’t subscribe to the labels of expert and expert culture because everyone is the expert of their own life,” Myisha explained.
With so many demands on Myisha, and the importance of Check Your Privilege, I asked her how she’s feeling as the guide to so many right now.
“It’s a gift and a curse,” she began. “The curse of black martyrdom is what’s pushing me to have the spaces and the conversations and meet the people because of the death of Black lives. That’s the curse. But the gift is because their life mattered, I can use my voice for social change. And I can use my voice to break this, to stop this from happening, to stop Black death in America and globally. It’s the gift and the curse.”
Niche Down Your Journey
Myisha is a guide for people beginning or continuing their anti-racism journey. One thing she tells people is to niche down their journey. Try a 90-day goal.
“For 90 days they follow one educator, they read one book, and they support one non-profit organization. We’ve broken that down to a 1-hour a day, 5-days a week way in which to execute,” Myisha explained.
“When you’re new to this work,” she continued, “You get so inundated with information that you start going into doing… But if you’re doing so much, when are you finding time to rest? And when are you finding time to change?”
Myisha explained that this work is not just going out and doing, “We’re asking you to change your behavior.”
I asked Myisha about a term that I was unaware of until just a few weeks ago — Monolith. As it relates to this space, Myisha said, “While my approach might be mothering and nurturing — which is not the intention, it’s just who I am — someone else may be more direct. Another educator might be more empathic. It does not invalidate our work, it just means that the way one Woman of Color leads, will not be the way that another Woman or Man of Color leads.”
Learn More from Myisha
Myisha shares even more about her work, how she navigates conversations with her children and holds space for their feelings, and what she means when she says, “Keep on living into your work.”
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Photo by Candace Smith