Wow, I can’t believe it is that time again! So this is my second annual October personal blog where I allow mentees in the GroupMe to ask me personal questions and I answer in a blog format. October is my birthday month so I use this as a blog for everyone to get to know better. I was very impressed with the questions I received this year so I will dive right on in.
1. Victoria: How did you pick your graduate school program?
I originally wanted to be an on-air TV personality like a VJ and I always wanted to give back when I made it. But when I witnessed the change of entertainment TV and how everything moved to reality shows I was sitting in church during Bible study when it hit me. It popped in my head “I don’t have to be famous in order to start a nonprofit”. So I researched Nonprofit Leadership graduate school programs immediately. I could have continued on with Communications but I wanted to tap into all of my passions. I would suggest to think long-term and to think about how to further your career or craft. Graduate school is definitely an investment of money and time so you want to be sure it is a program that is engaging, passionate, and to further your career. If you are looking to become a professor keep that in mind because graduate school hours are the only that count towards a subject you want to teach.
2.LaShana: What has been your biggest self-reflection that was once a barrier but you overcame it?
I have had a few but one that sticks out the most is when I was younger I actually cared if people liked me but now I am unapologetically me. I have always been me but now I don’t feel any way about how people may perceive me. Now people actually reach out saying they love my personality. For years even all the way up a few years after undergrad I was judged by lots of people for my personality. People didn’t understand me. I dated guys that didn’t understand or like that I was a social butterfly. Now I have people in my life that love and accept all of me. It was a self-reflection in the sense the world will adjust to me. I no longer care if people like me, how the will perceive me, or what they say about me. I live life the way I want and what makes me happy! That is peace.
3. Jamille: How was your internship experience working with BET?
OMG, I loved my experience with BET in Los Angeles! It was an amazing experience. I worked with awesome staff and my intern class was so much fun! We had opportunities to work on media clippings, talent bios, and behind the scenes for Baldwin Hills. I was also picked that year to be the assistant to Communications Director for the 2007 BET Awards. I was on the red carpet talking to the likes of Alicia Keys and more. It was hard work as well though. BET will work you for sure! I remember doing the photo tip sheet for all the media outlets on the red carpet all by myself that year and they kept adding talent in the wee hours. We also stayed up the night before putting together the media kits until like 3 or 4 am then had to be back for a full day at 8 am. I was able to experience so much in that summer. I wouldn’t trade that amazing experience for anything! Some days I wish I took the opportunity to be the PR Assistant there in LA right after undergrad but it was part-time and a big step at that time in my life but those memories will last forever!
4. What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
You don’t have everything figured out? And it is okay! Yes, you had to alter your career plans and dreams due to a changing world but it will evolve and you are going to be just fine! Life won’t always go as planned so just live in the moment and enjoy the journey! Life is going to go faster the older you get so enjoy your youth while you have it. Don’t worry about the high expectations OTHERS have of you, it’s your life! Don’t be embarrassed by where you are compared to where people think you should be.
5. Aliyaah: What would you do differently in life, if anything at all? Sometimes I feel like I’m too hard on myself with things never really realizing like oh I’m only 22, I have time but then other times looking back I’m just going wow I could have done this and this then I would probably be in a better situation.
I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Everything made me who I am. I feel like I am a late bloomer far as career, love, entrepreneurship, and nonprofit but I needed the experiences to be who I am today. I have thoroughly had fun along the way. I have had a lot of experiences from travel, opportunities, events, etc. So because I live my life at every level I wouldn’t change a thing, I am having fun! You can set obtainable goals and still enjoy life. You can’t compare your life to others because we are all running our own race at our own speed.
6. Briyanna: How have you become adaptable and resilient through different life stages as a woman?
Whew that is a good one! Honestly, I have to credit my faith in God. I have always had a personality where I don’t stay sad for long I will get over the next day or in a few hours. But now it’s also because I always think wow Lauren you are blessed you have this, this, and this going it could always be worse. There are people experiencing more than you. Life goes on. Well until life ends so it can’t be that serious because you’re alive. I also focus on fun and what makes me happy! I am still adapting to life’s changes even currently but I keep hoping that it will get better one day so let me enjoy today.
7. Kimberly: What has helped you to be successful in the many businesses you have?
I only have one business but it has a few components and a nonprofit organization (I wouldn’t call it a business because I don’t monetize from it at all). Both have exceeded all of my initial expectations. Honestly, it is God! I just started it but He gifted me the ideas and I just put it out there and people have constantly been coming to me far as clients and mentees. I haven’t had to try at all. I have more clients than what I originally wanted and way more mentees than I could’ve ever expected. I am so grateful! I can also credit my passion and purpose. When you follow your purpose success will follow.
8. Keyshell: As a businesswoman what are the most effective ways and strategies of getting your brand noticed? What is the proper etiquette in introducing your brand at networking events?
I honestly wanted my brands to reflect my personality so I picked my favorite colors for each (different) and I made it chic. I just put my brands out there on my personal social media and it just grew from there. Far as networking events I introduce my brands in regular conversations with people. If there is a mutual benefit from either brand then I will proceed with exchanging contact information. Most of the time at networking events people ask what do you do or something similar so that is the perfect opportunity to introduce your brand.
9. Danielle: How do you find balance with work and life? What do you do for self-care?
I have decent time-management skills. I write a things-to-do list and keep a calendar on my phone with alerts. We each have 24 hours in a day so it is up to us to decide what we will do with it. Some days I am lazy most days I am productive to mark off my task for the day. I do a lot of self-care it can be simple but whatever makes you happy and pours back into you is self-care. I personally get my nails done regularly, facials, waxes, massages, bubble baths, treating myself to dinner alone, shopping, vacations, relaxing, and sleeping. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I enjoy the finer and simple things in life.
10. Cleopatra: How do you walk into a room and find the confidence to network with other professionals? I’ve been working on it and it’s challenging.
I will talk to a tree! I have always been very loquacious even as a young child I was the student put out the class or moved around for talking so I have never had that problem. I think I have a special gift of gab. I can find something in common with most everyone. I would suggest just start small and work your way up. Not everyone has the same personality. You may do better with networking online like LinkedIn. You have to do what is comfortable for you but also do some things that push you out of your comfort zone but don’t try to force yourself to be someone you are not.
Thank you ladies for these amazing questions! I hope you gained further insight after reading the answers. You ladies add so much joy to my life I am happy to share my journey along that way in hopes to help you all.