How Celeb Hairstylist Erica Strong Overcame Two Failed Marriages To Find Personal, Professional Success
Successful celebrity hairstylist Erica Strong has achieved more than she could have ever imagined. The owner of Be Strong Salon in Atlanta has been styling hair for over 22 years and has worked with some of the most talented people in the entertainment industry, including Tyler Perry and Kim Fields.
The 44-year-old Baltimore native always imagined that her future would consist of owning several salons and building a quiet life with her husband and their three daughters. However, the turmoil that she experienced along the way greatly shifted that vision. Despite the success she had in her professional life, her personal life was falling apart.
During her journey, Strong experienced two devastating divorces, both due to infidelity and financial distress. “Initially my self-esteem was wrecked, especially after the second divorce,” Strong explained. “I felt that it was something clearly wrong with me since two different people could do the same thing to me.”
Although this was a very difficult time for Strong and her daughters, she found solace in books such as The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. “One line changed my life,” Strong said. “‘The battle is won or lost in your mind first.’ This line said to me that I have the power to overcome anything and to win any battle because all that I need to win is within me.” The successful entrepreneur said that after being consumed by pain, once she started putting affirmative thoughts into her mind and over her life, she was finally able to move forward for herself and her daughters.
“The more I wrote my own affirmations, the more I began to see myself differently and the more my life changed,” Strong said.
And despite being cheated on by both of her former husbands, Strong found the ability to trust again. “I disconnected my self-worth from their actions,” she said. “I went through the process of forgiving them and defining who I am. I discovered that I was valuable, I was appreciated and I was worth loving.”
She adds, “When a person can focus on the truth of who they are and really own their personal power, they will be able to move forward in life without the scars of distrust, fear of being hurt or insecurities.”
Strong believed that there was a greater purpose for her life and that she was being used, through her journey, to bless others. She began writing affirmations on her Facebook page, which garnered positive responses and an increased audience who connected with her story.
“As I was writing them I didn’t realize that I was creating a book of affirmations,” she said. “I decided to share some of them with my first book to give the readers that same impactful experience that I felt from other authors.”
Thus, seven months ago, Strong earned the title of author with the release of her debut book Love Strong, Stand Strong, Finish Strong that details her turbulent marriages, how she overcame adversity, and offers encouraging messages at the end of each chapter. Strong said she knew that she was walking in her purpose not when doing hair, not while making entrepreneurial moves, and not when the focus was on her, but rather, when she could help others. The more she connected with others, the more enriched her life became.
“It is so extremely important for everyone to find their purpose; we were all created for something specific,” Strong said. “Our purpose will not be like any other and when they find what that is, they will find freedom, joy and fulfillment in life.”
She continues to inspire others by speaking to young girls and women about how to change the words they speak to themselves, understanding their value, and how to find inner peace.
“I also remind them that the lack of forgiveness becomes a habitual cycle of rehearsing the hurt,” she said. “Each time I speak, my goal is to leave the audience with the audacity to see greatness within themselves. I aspire to guide them to a higher level of thinking as well as help them see that life will happen, but they can overcome anything when they change their perspective.”
Strong is currently studying marriage and family therapy at Liberty University and plans to complete her second book soon.