Hey, hey, beautiful Misfits!
For 2017, I promised myself that I would do something that scares me: going out. Now, I know what many of you are saying, “How does going out scare you?” Well, it does. Though I’m a person that can warm up to you once we’ve surpassed the weird/awkward small-talk stage, I am an introvert in new surroundings. Thus, doing things like going to events where I don’t know anyone really can feel overwhelming at times. But, I’ve learned that if I want to be seen, be heard, and be remembered, I have to be in the room.
The past few events I’ve attended, there’s been a few of you there that have recognized me! You’ve come up, asked me questions, and in the span of thirty seconds, I’ve attempted to give you my best replies. However, I thought today would be a good day to do a quick piece on something I continue to reiterate to people who are looking to break into this industry somehow. Pretty much, you can not cheat the process and there are no shortcuts to success.
Though I am young, it fascinates me how many people want an “overnight” success story, not realizing that “overnight” for many took a minimum of 10+ years. We’ve been conditioned by social media standards that show 19-year-olds working at Chanel, 23-year-olds buying their first yacht, and industry professionals having worked in the fashion closet for 3 months before being escalated to a fashion director. I’m here to call bullshit on all of it. Well, 99% of it.
The reality is, there is no prescription for success. Flexing for the gram doesn’t pay the bills, and yes, you have to work your tail off. I think I’m hard on those who ask me for the time and advice of what to do because I’ve seen it firsthand that success doesn’t just happen. You have to put in the time, work, sweat, blood, tears, and everything in-between to achieve your dreams– the majority of people don’t want to do that. People want to be a beauty editor and don’t want to learn how to write. People want to style celebrities but don’t want to learn about trends and cuts of clothing. People want to be an Editor-in-Chief but never explore outside of the editorial department they are in. It is good to have a dream, but a dream without hard work is nothing but wasted words.
When I started TheBlondeMisfit, I really put it on the back burner until about a year ago. Though I started the platform in 2014, I really didn’t get serious with consistency and making it worthwhile until 2016, right after I graduated college. I was working a day job, a night job, and then coming home and writing. I was a hostess and waiter at two jobs, oftentimes typing out notes of what I wanted to write in my phone in-between seating and waiting on people. I had to learn what a CMS was, what business plans are and how they look, how to hire (and fire) people, and put myself on multiple editorial calendars while juggling a million other things in my life. Even now, I work on promoting myself for career advancement in the corporate space and feeding my dream in the creative. So needless to say, this takes work.
Is my life so glamorous and amazing? To some, it may seem that way. I’m so grateful by opportunities God sends my way, and I had to learn a long time ago to stop comparing the journey to others and how they perceive life on social. However, don’t get it confused that this is something that as soon as I started, it worked. I’ve worked my TAIL off and sacrificed a bit to pursue the crazy goals and dreams of mine; but relentless ambition is the name of the game in the industry. I have friends in PR, Advertising, Marketing, and other industries where one incident or one dropped case gets you tossed out of the door in a heartbeat. Why would you not do the best work you can in an atmosphere where it’s dog-eat-dog?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes and continue to make mistakes. But I learn, I work hard, and one thing I’ve never allowed is for someone to throw dirt on my work ethic. You can not like me, but you have no other choice but to respect the craft. And YOU must honor your craft as well. If it’s something you really want to do, then you have to do it. Do it well. Do it better than others. And practice it consistently. At some moment, you’ll hit a breaking point and begin to see fruits of your labor. And at that point, you’ll have to grind more than ever.
So keep praying, keep searching for God in the work you do, keep blessing others, and keep working hard. Nothing substitutes hard work in this industry, I promise you that. But it’s always worth it in the end.