Staying True to Yo' Self
It was around approximately 1am on a Tuesday night.
I woke up abruptly to a frenzy of phone calls and emails, buzzing from my iPhone, from my supervisor at my corporate PR job. It had just then hit me that I was being summoned into work at the ungodly hour of 3am.
The morning from hell had descended upon me. I sped across town on the 10-W and torpedoed down Melrose Ave to tackle a crisis management situation for a well-known client. As the sun finally rose that morning, it suddenly dawned on me that there must be more to life than unfairly paid servitude at a job that worked you to great extremes. This, along with numerous hours of mindless data entry, couriering packages and supporting events that run through the night, fatigued newly-mint college grad in me.
Okay, maybe I am just exaggerating just a little, but it was tough, exhausting and, often times, uninspiring work. But I learned a lot from my time in the trenches then and still attribute some of it to where I am today.
Fast forward to present day and four more full-time positions later, I am doing what I love on my time and dime. I am what some might call an influencer meets freelancer in an increasingly multi-hyphenate industry. The fact that I get to do it all and tackle projects that my heart desires is the most luxurious part of pursuing my passions.
What people don’t normally get to see — beyond the Instagrams, the fabulous travel posts, and exclusive events — are the countless hours one spends building/producing the content, building your network and finding new ways to engage with your audience. A typical day for me could easily go from 10 to 14 hrs easily. Oh and working through the weekends without skipping a beat? You bet. There are many occasions when I’ve had to cancel on friends and loved ones, because I booked a last minute project that requires my attention right away. They aren’t always the most pleasant of circumstances, so I rely on their understanding and the bigger picture of realizing my dreams/ambitions to stay motivated. While these scenarios are limited to my own experiences, I can say for certain that running your own business requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice and an even more tremendous need for balance.
How do I make sure I cater to my core while expanding to a progressively younger audience? Should I compromise or sell out so I can keep myself financially afloat? Who can I trust with my next collaboration in terms of creative content? What’s the next move, the next step from here? These questions, amongst many, bombard my mind almost constantly. The matter of fact is when one decides to be an entrepreneur, you can never fully disconnect. It becomes essentially a part of you, perhaps the majority of your identity at any given time. This constant ebb and flow is how I stay true to myself, because decisions, at this level and at this point, become much more instant. Instinctual. You don’t have time to second-guess. And if you do, it’s probably not the right thing to do for you and the business.
This all leads to my first feature profile on NBC4, where I speak - probably way too candidly - about how to be a financially-sustainable content producer and digital storyteller. I know many of you have curious about this part of my journey, so please click through and take a peek.
Any feedback you have would mean the world to me. Because at the end of the day, this all started as a conversation, a thought. Here’s to many more conversations in the near future, between you and me.