Your Favorite Influencers Spill the Tea on Living Your Best Life…Now

What do you do when you talk to five of your favorite influencers with a combined Instagram following of over 1.4 million in the same weekend? You listen…and that’s exactly what I did.

The Inaugural Prevailing Woman Conference was held September 8-9 in Durham, NC. The conference brought thought leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists from around the country together for a weekend of empowerment, entertainment and the opportunity to recharge. I sat down with five of the conference’s keynote speakers, Kela Walker (7 x Emmy nominated TV Host & Producer), Tamara Hush Lee (Owner of HUSH Boutique and Celebrity Stylist), Dayna Bolden (Lifestyle, Beauty & Travel Influencer), Tasha Smith (Actress) and Charli Penn (Sr. Digital Lifestyle Editor at Essence and Podcast Host) to find out the keys to their personal and professional success.

In the microwave society that we live in, everybody wants things fast.  We want the cheat code. We want to find out the easiest, fastest way to achieving our goals to create Instagrammable images captioned with Drake quotes. Social media has been described as a highlight reel, showcasing the best pieces of our lives and conveniently neglecting to show the sacrifices, work and effort that it takes to get there.

Each of these influential women attribute three major keys to living your best life. There are no tricks or gimmicks, in fact, it’s quite simple: authenticity, intentionality and transparency. Here’s what they shared:


 Boutique Owner, Celebrity Stylist

IG: @boutiquehush , 62.8K followers

It’s not by chance that Tamara has fearlessly made bold, power moves throughout her career.   “Confidence is knowing that you are going to win. Fear is an energy. Success is an energy. Remember, everything that you do is intentional. Winning is intentional.”


Lifestyle, Beauty & Travel Influencer

IG: @daynabolden,  60.7K followers

Although she’s a very successful entrepreneur, Dayna doesn’t believe that entrepreneurship is necessarily for everyone. She says,  “I want you to live your truth and your passion. Not everyone desires to work for themselves…not everyone has to be their own boss. Do what you are passionate about and what inspires you. Do what it is that makes you happy.”


Senior Digital Lifestyle Editor at Essence, Podcast Host

IG: @charlipenn, 13.4k followers

Admitting difficult truths, even to yourself, isn’t always easy. “We don’t have balance because we let our jobs take over our lives… because we don’t establish hard lines. We are afraid to say my job sucks. We are afraid to say this isn’t working for me”.  



IG: @tasha4realsmith, 1.2M followers

 For Tasha, saying no is an essential part of self-care. “I will put a line in the sand in a minute. If there’s something that I don’t feel aligns with me, I won’t do it. You can’t feel good about yourself if you go against your truth.”


 7x Emmy nominated TV Host & Producer

IG: @kelawalker, 72.6K followers

As you develop personal and professional relationships, Kela advises “…relationships shouldn’t be predicated on what I can do for you or even what you can do for me. Keep dialogue and engagement going. What I do is not who I am. Who I am is much more important that what I do.”

Success isn’t defined by an Instagram feed full of images captured at the perfect angle or having a verified account. Always remain true to who you are, make decisions on purpose and be open to a degree of vulnerability.

Drake said it best “…you know it’s real when you are who you think you are…”