To Achieve Greatness and Success You Can’t Be A Skirt


Training in mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing I am mainly around men, most who are half my age. Sometimes, I wonder why I put myself through the Hell I do – bruises, blood, sometimes broken bones. Many people, who mean well, tell me to “find a nice guy and settle down,” “you’re too old to be doing this,” “trying knitting or gardening.” “You can’t keep this up forever.” “What’s the purpose of doing all this training?” These people I not only want to pimp slap, I also want to prove them wrong – and I do. My body take commands from my mind. I endure the rigorous training because I do what is necessary to keep my mind and body healthy, especially as I age. This routine includes yoga, stretching, eating healthy, getting at least seven hours of peaceful sleep, vitamins and supplements, and meditation.

      (Jillian doing flying scissors)

On the days that I let in one moment of negativity or doubt my training suffers. I slow down, my punches and kicks are weak, and I have no energy. When this happens my trainers scream at me – “Don’t be a skirt.” This line pisses me off and just like that I have a rejuvenated spirit to train harder.

I apply that line – “Don’t Be A Skirt” to not only my training sessions, but to business. Now some people, mainly women, might have a problem with that line, thinking it’s insulting to women, and in a sense it is. Yes, women are mainly the ones who wear skirts, and are seen as the weaker sex, but the line goes far beyond gender. In business I have said that line “Don’t Be A Skirt” to myself on numerous occasions, which to me means whatever you do don’t be less than what you are capable of when things get tough.

Most men do think women are the weaker sex and in many ways we are. But in other ways we are stronger than men. The fact that we bear children after we’ve carried twenty extra pounds around for nine months and continue to work, sometimes up until a day before the baby is born, shows women’s mental and physical strength. Still, women have to prove their ability and strength, and smarts, and skills daily. Is that right? We all know it’s not.

Businesswomen Must Be Tough and Resourceful

Kim Nelson, owner of Daisy Cakes, was on Shark Tank and secured a deal with Barbara Corcoran, one of the business sharks. When one of the employees was screwing up so bad it affected sales and business, Corcoran told Nelson the employee had to be fired. Nelson cried because the person she had to terminate was not only an employee, but a friend. This was Corcoran’s advice.

(Barbara Corcoran)

“It’s OK to cry,” Corcoran told Nelson. “You’ve got five minutes. Step outside, get your cry, get it over with, and get back inside and get your ass back to work.”

Here’s adding to this five minute cry thing – don’t do it in public. Never, ever. Cry behind closed doors, away from earshot of employees or anybody else. Especially for women, it will seem like a sign of weakness and you will be called “a skirt.”

Business and Hollywood

              (Lamont Fountain, DP, Producer and Editor and Jillian Bullock, Director, Screenwriter, Producer on set of A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives)

As a filmmaker, making movies is definitely a man’s world. Heads of studios, the ones who shell out money and greenlight a project, are together in the good ‘ol boys club. Well, unless you’re Oprah. She does whatever she wants to do. I actually heard one producer say women don’t get money for big budget movies because they’re too emotional. They don’t handle pressure well. I’m sure many other white, male, high powered producers feel the same, which is why you don’t see many big budget movies with a female director at the helm. This is slowly changing as women shed the “skirt” reference and kick ass as producers and directors.


(Director Ava DuVernay)   

      (Director Patty Jenkins)   

Just this year Ava DuVernay (Selma, Queen Sugar) was chosen to direct Disney’s “A Wrinkle In Time,” with a 100 million dollar budget. This kind of budget is unheard of for a woman, especially a woman of color. Currently, Patty Jenkins is the queen of Hollywood as the director of “Wonderwoman,” a big budget movie that is breaking all kinds of box office records domestically and overseas.  It was never the fact that women couldn’t make these types of movies, but they weren’t given the opportunity.

Kicking down the door in Hollywood or any other business means taking the “skirt” off and showing people what you’re made of and the talent and skills you possess. For women it also means dealing with men with confidence and high self-esteem. No apologizing for your ability to be an outright bad ass – tough, self-assured, empowered, and handling your business.

Men Can Be Skirts, Too

Don’t think some men aren’t called “skirts” too, because they are. Anytime something bad happens in business or in their personal life and they huff and puff, throw things, have bouts of anger, punch a wall, curse and scream at the top of their lungs, that’s their way of handling pressure. They may handle it differently than women, but they’re still acting like a “skirt.” They need to get their five minute cry on and get over it.

Success In Business and In Life

No one, male or female, wants to be called “a skirt.” Shit is going to happened in your life, especially as you strive to obtain success and greatness. Things will go wrong. People, even those you love, will disappoint you, upset you, anger you, doubt you, blindside you, and/or manipulate you. Unexpected things will throw you through a loop; you’ll lose a job, a loved one will die, you’ll slip on the ice and break an arm, someone stole your car, the dry cleaner put a hole in your favorite jacket, your wife/husband will ask for a divorce, and on and on. Life happens. It’s how your deal with the obstacles, challenges, hardships, and setbacks that will determine not only your character, but your ability to take all life throws at you and despite that you don’t let anything stop your progress.

On the other hand, if you’re a skirt, you’ll curse the gods or God and complain about how unfair life is. Nobody promised you that life would be all roses, sunshine and puppy dogs. Nobody guaranteed you love and happiness or anything else. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get through life unscathed. Yes, you will be hurt, upset, disappointed, angry, and a whole lot of other emotions. But to accomplish your dreams and goals that means only one thing, like Corcoran told Nelson, five minutes, that’s all you get to cry, whine, moan, bitch, or throw temper tantrums. After that suck it up, dry those tears, and get on with pushing forward toward success and greatness.

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