Updated: Jan 5, 2019
Just do the actual work and create your own wave!
As my Grandma would say, “do you and imma do me.” I have never been the one to follow the crowd. I have always been the leader even if it was not popular.
“Follow and create your own wave. Point. Period.”
Right after earning my bachelors degree, I decided that I wanted to go right into getting my masters. I ended up deciding between University of California in Southern California and Columbia University in New York City and I finally decided to head to New York! I went into the Journalism graduate program knowing that I wanted to do entertainment on-air hosting and reporting once I graduated from the program. Long story short, I got some flack from some of the professors, who basically told me that hard news was the only way to go.
Now if you know me, if you tell me that one way is not possible, I am going to do all that I can to make it happen.
Now of course in this process, I also pray and ask for God to guide my steps so that I can make the right decisions for the will and plans that He has for me. But at the end of the day, I am choosing the ride my own wave and put in the work (faith without works is dead.)! Now as stubborn as this may sound, when I look back on it, creating the content that I was really passionate about ultimately became the material that impressed employers who I soon worked for at Viacom International, Noire TV, and many other networks and media companies.
During graduate school I did however cover hard news stories (around drugs, sex trafficking and many others), I also went above and beyond to create content that I was really excited to do. Which was lifestyle (beauty, fashion, and travel), tech, and pop culture. When I discovered what other people’s intentions were for me, I got right to work. I used the money in my back account to Geta ring light, back drops and used the camera and mic that I already had and built a studio in my one bedroom in the building that I was living in. Having this mindset and agenda kept me focused while continuing my graduate program.
This is when being intentional about the work that I wanted to actually wanted to do, which was to produce digital bite-size and long form engaging content.
Establish who you are…
“No really, who are you? Really?”
People always ask me, so who are you dating and My answer for the most part is, “I’m dating myself.” I am a true believer that in order to love someone else, you must first love yourself. I am an extrovert and enjoy and get a high off of being around other people, but I also know the power and quality that comes with spending time with myself. And that is exactly what I did during my time in New York. I spent a lot of time in my on bed room. In the midst of creating videos, I also challenged myself to answer questions like: what skills are you good at? What work do you want to do exactly? What motivates you?
As simple as that may sound. It is way more challenging than it sounds. One of the set back is the fear in your mind. Sometimes you just have to jump and let things happens. In part that, this is something new and with new comes growth and being a student to the game (also known as the media and entertainment industry). Trust, this continues to be a challenge for me, but I have to learn how to just get through it. Despite the fear, I continue to challenge myself to come up with a plan/ concept, pick up that camera, turn it on, start filming, edit my work (even if it’s not your best work because with time, it will get better), and publish that thing and do it over and over again!
Work with what you have
Finally, I'm not just going to have an answer, but I am going to always have a creative solution. I live by this because since I was little, no matter how little I had, I always found a way to get the job done. If I don't have a camera tripod. Not a problem, find a stack of books and I'm good to go. If I don't have a teleprompter. Scribbling the script on a white piece of construction paper would have to do. No handheld mic available? I have a working 3GS iPhone that has a voice memo feature and I'm ready whenever you are. Rather I know the answer or not. My answer to everyone is "let's get to work!"
Okay, let me stop here, because it’s time for you and me both to continue to put in that work and get to hustling for real. I’m not talking about just Instagram pictures (not a bad thing, because I do love me a well put together Instagram feed!), but what work are you actually producing to achieve those career goals that you have set for yourself. Most importantly, what are you doing everyday to achieve them? Let me know and let’s get to work together!