Happy birthday Michelle!

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be another year older. A whole 35 years old! Time flies, and while some women dread getting older, I like to reflect on my birthday with a few lessons I’ve learned in the past few years. And this year, I’d like to share them with you. Here are 34 lessons I’ve learned in 35 my years.

Invest in Yourself. Improving yourself doesn’t come cheap. Know what you’re worth and what you’re time is worth. One way to do this is by going the extra mile in your education. While it may cost money to get you the extra education or license, it will pay off in the long run.

Never Stop Learning. Speaking of investing in yourself, invest in your knowledge! No matter what your career is, you can’t just stop just because you got a diploma. You can’t get stagnant, or someone else with fresher ideas and a creative spark is going to sweep the rug right out from under you. To learn is to grow.

Work Your Ass Off. I love seeing that my work ethic inspires others. If you put in the work, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.

Be Weird. I’ve found that some of the happiest people are those who do their own thing. Don’t be afraid to be a little “weird.”

Stay Away from Drugs. I’ve lost many friends and amazing stylists to drugs – and for what? You throw your life away over a needle or a pill. Just don’t go near the stuff. My hometown has been completely ruined by drugs and it’s sickening. If enough people follow my lead on this, we can get this crap off the streets.

Drink Wine. That being said, don’t deprive yourself of a few healthier vices. (Moderation is key!) A glass of red wine and a hot bath can wash all your troubles away.

Keep a Close Circle. Surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it.

Respect. You give it and then you earn it.

Love Deeply. Find someone who treats you right, loves you for all the right reasons, and compliments your personality. Relationships are hard work, but the right one is worth it.

Don’t Badmouth Your Man. And don’t let him talk shit on you. If you want those close to you to love your significant other as much as you do, then don’t talk badly about them. Keep whatever fights you have to yourselves and work them out in the bedroom.

You Make Time for the Important Stuff. People always say they don’t have time for something, but time is what you make of it. We all have the same 24 hours in each day. The only difference is in how we spend it.

Don’t Conform. Don’t do something just because everyone else is. You wouldn’t jump off a bridge because your friend did it, would you? Then don’t do something that isn’t right for you! This includes getting married, having kids, and working the normal 9 to 5 job. Do what makes you happy.

Don’t Scrimp on Hair Products. I know this one seems obvious coming from me, but what you put in your hair really makes all the difference in keeping your style, color, and overall hair health in top condition. If you keep your hair healthy on your own, you won’t have to pay as much at the salon.

Keep Dreaming. Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of pursuing yours.

Teamwork is Key. Teamwork makes the dream work. To succeed in any business, you’ve got to be a team player.

Wake Up Happy. Don’t let whatever happened yesterday ruin your today.

Roll With the Punches. Life is going to throw some pretty tough shit at you, as I learned this year. You have to learn to take it, and roll with it.

Don’t Procrastinate. Why put off until tomorrow what you could get done today? Nothing is more satisfying than reaching your goals or checking off items on your to-do list. So why wait?

Know When to Walk Away. Do you ever keep putting your all into something that continues to suck the life out of you? We’ve all done it, and we all stick around too long. It’s important to walk away from those situations before they kill your spirit.

Eat Well. You can’t live off of junk, no matter how much you want to. Introduce healthier alternatives into your diet. You’ll look and feel much better.

Learn to Cook. Learn to cook 5 different meals before you head out on your own. If you can barely boil water, you’re not ready to take care of yourself or a household.

Keep Your Desk Clear. Don’t let work pile up, otherwise small tasks snowball into a giant clusterfuck. Plan your day in 15 minute increments and then tackle it 15 minutes at a time.

Take Care of Your Body. Make time to exercise, even if it isn’t everyday. And don’t cut out sleep. Sleep is important for keeping your body and your mind in top condition. Never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep.

Help Others. Give others the tools to succeed. You were once in their position, and a helping hand can go a long way.

Help Yourself. You have to keep your own cup full first. If you don’t do things to keep your cup full, you can’t help others.

If You Look Good, You Feel Good. You don’t get as far as I have by looking like a scrub. Everyday, you’ve got to put your best foot forward. I tell my girls everyday, “Look like the money you want to make.”

Wear Lipstick. Every woman looks and feels fierce when wearing a hot shade of lipstick.

Don’t Get in Your Own Way. I’ve seen way too many people fall in and out of jobs because they stand in their own way. When it comes to business, don’t let it get personal. Your emotions don’t belong in a boardroom, just like business doesn’t belong in the bedroom. If you can’t separate your personal feelings from your business, then you’re doomed to fail.

Boss Vs. Leader. There’s a big difference between a boss and a leader. Everyone’s had a shitty boss, and I refuse to be one of those for my team.

Be Fearless. I have a framed picture in my office that says, “The question isn’t who’s going to let me, it’s who’s going to stop me?” I think that pretty much sums up who I am, and I encourage others to do the same.

Be Passionate. It’s a beautiful thing when your passion becomes your career. Do everything you can to do what you love.

Stop Using Snapchat Filters. Seriously, you look stupid.

Worry About Yourself. Be too focused on your own lawn to notice if someone else’s grass is greener. Don’t concern yourself with others’ journey, and work on your own.

Let Go of Negativity. Drop that shit like a bad habit. Unfollow negative people on social media and delete those people’s numbers from your phone. You don’t need them dragging you down.

Try Something New. This year, I decided to expand my business into real estate. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but with my drive and perseverance I know can do anything. Do one thing everyday, every week, or every year that puts you out of your comfort zone.

By: Michelle Cobb