Starting The B Werd has revealed many layers of myself that I was unaware of. It’s been challenging, invigorating, and eye opening to say the least. Luckily for me, most of my friends are walking a similar path in their own lives so I have a circle of support. They’re hard workers with big dreams, entrepreneurs and side hustlers and for the most part, understand exactly what I’m aiming for. At the beginning of this year I joked with my friend Farran about making 2016 my Kanye year. I knew exactly what I meant when I said it. I meant that this year would be a self absorbed (in a healthy way), unbothered, rock with me or get out of my way kind of year. I’m a very cut and dry person, you never have to wonder what I’m thinking, so it wasn’t my personality that I had to change. Nonetheless, I knew that a new vision would require a shift in focus. For me that included letting go of what opinions people might form about what I’m doing, being up front with people about what I needed from them and saying “when” it happens, instead of “if” it happens when discussing what I plan to do.
While many people can’t stomach Kanye for his arrogance, outlandish rants and ignorant outbursts, I’m quite fond of him. Kanye loves Kanye, unconditionally. I admire his audacity. He claims his genius. He believes he can achieve anything and challenges himself to do it. He unapologetically says how he feels and trusts no one more than he does himself to know what’s best for him. Steve Stoute has a famous list of his “10 Secrets of Success” and #10 is, if you respect someones success, don’t feel ashamed to imitate their behavior. Kanye possesses traits that are so necessary when you’re building something for yourself. He’s considered unethical and is often labeled crazy, but I believe you have to be a little crazy to swim against the current and trust you can attain the unimaginable and reach the unreachable. Here are the Kanye quotes that have kept me pushin’ –
“To use someone is necessary. What’s negative is to misuse, overuse or abuse somebody. To use is necessary. If you can’t get used, then you’re useless.”
Your purpose is likely going to require you doing something that helps others in some way. Disconnect the negative connotation from being used. We use Oprah for inspiration, Beyonce for life goals and Kim K for #ootd ideas. While I’m sure it’s possible to find ways to profit off of your purpose, it won’t always make you money. You need to be so passionate about what you’re doing, that you don’t mind doing it for free, because you’re being used for the greater good. Allow yourself to be used, but measure it carefully. You don’t want to deplete your resources. On the other hand, it’s difficult to succeed on your own. Don’t feel guilty using those willing to lend a helping hand. This doesn’t mean you’re taking advantage of anyone. It’s give and take, and giving doesn’t always mean receiving in return.
“People always tell you be humble. Be humble! When’s the last time someone told you be great? Be amazing? Be awesome! Be awesome!”
There are so many stigmas that come with women who go after what they want that it makes us hesitant to speak up about what we plan to do. I talk with countless young woman who have wonderful ideas but can’t take the first step because of the reluctance that comes with what others may think of them. The most uncomfortable question for me to answer was “you’re a blogger?” from people who had known me prior. I had the hardest time saying yes because of how cliche it sounded. I knew that this platform was one of the stepping stones required for me and I needed to embrace all it came with. If you believe in yourself, it’s okay to feel yourself. Take pride in yourself and what you’re doing. I’m telling you to be amazing, to be awesome, because you have it in you.
“There’s nothing I really wanted to do in life that I wasn’t able to get good at. That’s my skill. I’m not really specifically talented at anything except for the ability to learn. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.”
No one begins as an expert. You learn as you go and will continue to learn forever. I wouldn’t say that I prepared myself for this. I didn’t think too far into how much content I would create or how I would consistently be able to do outfit posts. I didn’t know how well received my posts would be because all of the bloggers I follow are beauty and fashion based. While I on the other hand, planned to express my views. I taught myself how to code HTML, how to edit my photos, how to monetize my brand, how to get on press lists. I have a running list of things I’m still planning on figuring out. Once you start, you get better. The term practice makes perfect isn’t cliche, it’s facts. Master each level as it comes. If you want to do it, you can.
“I just have to look and say what do I have to lose? We only have everything to gain.”
This is especially essential for those of you who are afraid to jump and take a leap with what you desire. What do you have to lose? We drown ourselves in negative possibilities without considering the other end of the spectrum. Your blog may fizzle out, your art may not make you rich, you may launch your clothing line three times before it takes off. Or, all of those things may take off past what you ever anticipated. This blog has already exceeded my expectations and I’m no where near complete. Should it fail tomorrow, what have I lost? $15 for a URL and some sleep. Go after what you want, you have everything to gain.
Exercise your inner Kanye, it’s working well for me. xx