So let’s get serious. This is sort of like a “spin off” post for the “Investing in Yourself” post I wrote a few days ago. They are correlated and there may be some repeats (sorry not sorry). That post was intended for and directed towards you guys – this post is going to elaborate more on that, but focus on me and how I followed the tips I gave you all and the results + opportunities that are blossoming from it. I wouldn’t give out tips/advice if they didn’t work or if I didn’t use them myself.
This is going to be posted into parts because as I started writing, I realized that the post was going to be too long.
Like I said before, investing in yourself DOESN’T start at a set age. You can begin whenever you are ready. I want to give you guys a little background on when, why, and how I started to invest in myself and why building a brand or brands is so important.
What is the end goal? A lot of the times you start investing in yourself and building a brand so you can get experience and become equipped with knowledge so you’re ready for the end goal when it presents itself. For me, one of my end goals is being a boss in the public relations field. A public relations specialist or manger’s job is to shape or alter the public’s idea and perception (in a positive way) of a person, brand, or company. A famous example would be like what Olivia Pope does in Scandal. I also want to start my own business, I want to run a creative agency that specializes in branding, web design, and graphic design and have it be very successful. BOOM. The end goal really depicts what you have to start doing now. In order to do that, I must ^^^^ gain experience and become equipped with knowledge. So here comes story time – sit back, grab some food, get comfy and let’s get started!
Before July 2015 I had absolutely no idea how to use Photoshop. No idea how to use WordPress or Squarespace. I didn’t have a clue that the terms “HTML” and “CSS” (huge components of web design + development) even existed. Didn’t know what branding was. I had never made or saw myself creating logos or other graphics. Nothing. Prior to July 2015 I had my series of job/major changes (I wanted to be a 10th grade English teacher for the longest time) and it was difficult for me because I am a planner and enjoy setting up my future the best I can because we all know boo-boo happens! I was on my Instagram’s explore/discover page and ran across this really pretty and eye-catching photo. So as any curious instagramer would do, I clicked on the picture, then clicked on the name handle – @creavtivelyflawless. Instantly became obsessed and stalked the entire page (don’t judge, we all do it!) Creatively Flawless was the company’s page and after looking around I found the owner, Meagan, personal page – @meaganvoguist. Once again, instantly obsessed. I fell in love with her as person, her values, her mission, and so much more.
She then became a mentor in my head. Like I stated before, I was in the mist of a career change. I wanted a job that gave me freedom, let me be creative, communicate, give back, and help other people (women). So I found out what she was doing (branding) and just became infatuated with all that it was. (In relation to the previous post “Investing in Yourself” – this is the part where you find/follow people you admire + aspire to be like). I kept up with her, as well as following others and was more inspired than ever. After a few months of following her, she announced that she created and was going to offer this “academy” – The Creatively Flawless Academy – where she was going to teach like-minded creatives all she knows (In relation to the previous post “Investing in Yourself” – this is the part where you take courses from people you admire + aspire to be like). When I read this post I was in between wanting to cry and poop my pants because I knew this was going to be huge. The academy was only allowing 20 spots and had over 130+ people signed up, including myself. I was going against other women who had establish businesses, CEOs of known magazine companies, and other amazing candidates so I didn’t think that little ol 19 year old me (at the time, I am 20 now) even stood a chance.
I filled out the application like, “what the heck, it can’t hurt” and got in. When I received the acceptance email I balled like a baby, not even gonna lie. She told me that she loved my goals, values, and that I was 19 and making a big investment so early (this is why I stress the importance of it so much!) SHE was praising and admiring ME. Crazy how that worked out, huh? It’s so awesome to have someone you admire and respect so much have that same respect and admiration towards you. One of the several things she wrote was:
“I’m still astonished with your determination and drive! Like what teen invests extra early in their dreams?! YOU! I enjoyed you being a part of the classes. Go ahead and kill it (ton of nice emojis)”
I took 3 out of the 5 courses – Intro to Photoshop, Photoshop 2 (for aspiring branding builders), and Building a BOMB.COM website via WordPress. Both Photoshop classes each cost $299 and the website building class cost $699, so my grand total was roughly around $1,300. I had about $1,000 saved up from a month of babysitting in June and got the rest from family + friends. So a HUGE part of building a brand is undergoing a lifestyle change, mostly within your mindset. Most 19 year olds with $1,000 wouldn’t think to put the money down for that or even want to.
After taking the courses/classes I got to really get to know her and admired her even more. And I am so happy that I was able to connect with her and have her in my network. And that is the beauty of networking because you build these relationships and you never know when they can come in handy or they could put you in connections with other people they know. Because people love to 1. talk about what they do and 2. talk about who they know!
Stay tuned for part 2, 3, and possibly 4! XO.
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