The thing I hear the most these days is “you are so lucky.” I think that’s party true, there is 10% luck involved with almost anything. Being in the right place at the right time is always good too.
Tonight, I got my 500th friend a job interview. This is something I do almost every single day of the week. Connect friends with opportunities, the right people, agents, managers, jobs, clothes, great haircuts, excellent botox, a killer gluten free pizza. I’m all about sharing is caring. Sometimes it annoys me that after I make the connection, things don’t pan out. Then I wonder, am I just more lucky than other people? That it always seems to “work out” for me, the great guy, the cool house, the major job. But, then I sit back and I think, no, it’s not luck.
I was reading #girlboss tonight, and Sophia says “ The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol.” I think she’s kinda right, I mean somedays I have epic breakdowns and I get 6 feet deep in Maria or Guliana’s instagram and wonder if I will “ever been cool” but then I usually get right back to work. I don’t focus on being better than anyone else, or following their leads, I follow those women and watch what they are doing, so I can figure out how to do it better. Competition lights a spark in me that is ruthless, it’s has nothing to do with luck.
You know, before I got to wear Met Gala gowns and hang out with celebrities and have a parking spot with my name on it. I had quit dancing, and I was making $250 a month making my blogs, right here on buzznet, and judging dance competitions on the weekend for very minimal pay and very long hours. I didn’t really have a “job” and my only job at the time was this blog. So, I worked at it. I knew if I could get more eyeballs to read my blog, I could get more advertising and I figured that advertising would mean I would make more money than $250 a month. So, everyday for one year I posted two blogs a day, an AM session and a PM session. I based those blogs on what was trending that day, season or the year and I self taught myself SEO and how to tag blogs so that they would rate very high on google. I would take blogs where I wanted to say 10 sentences, and I would make each point on a new document in a cool font, and then screen grab them as JPEGS and then upload them all, and organize them all, and then write copy and post them. I would then social them all to my accounts, and then for the next 5 hours until my next blog posted I would go around the internet and place my blog link about say “what to do when you get dumped” onto every single Facebook page that had any comment about getting dumped. (bloggers call this seeding, it’s literally the most brain numbing thing ever.) Then I would wait and wait and wait and hope that a few people clicked on my link and that more than 10,000 people looked at my blog. At first, no one did. And then over time, as the months passed, all my hard work started paying off. I had 400,000 blog views, a few crazy months later I had 750,000 blog views, then….I reached it 1 MILLION blog views. My boss sent me flowers to congratulate me. Now, this didn’t mean that I was really any richer, more famous, or any more successful. But, it showed me that if I work 12 hours on something 5 days a week, you can become good at it. That you can make your own luck. People laughed at me, people made fun of me, I would never be a “cool” blogger. I didn’t care. By the time, my blog was getting 2.5 million eyeballs each month, I was feeling pretty good.
I was at a lunch party, and I met a lady who also wanted to start a blog. I told her we could meet for lunch and I would help her get set up. We did. She was a nice lady. I was just being nice. I didn’t know what she did. I just knew, I knew about blogs. I also knew that I was feeling pretty useless in life and helping someone with the one thing I was kinda good at was going to make me feel useful.
2 weeks later that same lady called me because the TV network she worked for was looking for people to work in their online space, and she thought I would be great. They saw how successful my blog was and they wanted something like that. THERE WAS A REASON I HAD BLOGGED A YEAR OF MY LIFE AWAY!
1 month later, I was a digital employee at a giant company. I remember coming home to my boyfriend (now husband) and saying “what if they give me like a REAL salary? Won’t that be incredible. We will be rich!” Oh, I was so naive. I can’t tell you what they paid me, but each month I was to interview 12 musicians (3 videos a week) I filmed them, produced them, booked them, edited them, and uploaded them to their site, I think I made all in about $40 a video. Hourly, maybe $0.50 an hour. It was a lot of work. I had to hide my flip cam inside tampon boxes, I had to call in every favor under the sun…somehow each month I got better stars to interview with me. Many times, I would cry all the way to work and all the way back. It was a very difficult thing to do, I had never really done anything like it and I felt very alone. I wanted to quit everyday. I hustled like this for a year.
Then, a light. On a random tuesday, someone from the TV show associated with our site called me and asked me to go downtown to interview someone for the TV SHOW. I freaked out. I hired someone to do my hair and makeup because I didn’t know that I was allowed to have mine done by the show. I went downtown, I interviewed. I never actually got paid. I told everyone to tune in. My big moment happened and…..GUYS….I didn’t even speak. You JUST saw my hand. I was heartbroken. I wanted to quit all over again.
Then, another light. TV show called me again. This time, I heard my voice on TV. For maybe 5 seconds. It was everything.
Months later, the TV show was auditioning people and I got to audition. I was so nervous. I think my audition was terrible. In my head however, I was totally getting this TV job. I had already decided all the things I was going to do when I was a TV star. I am such a huge dreamer, and I had let my head get way ahead of my talent. But….of course the universe kept me down. I didn’t get my dream job. I cried in the bathroom. But, I did get a shot at “we will use you whenever we can.” This was enough. For the next year of my life, I ate, slept, and hustled my way onto tv. I called every publicist in LA daily. I begged people to interview with me. I walked in the executive producers office each week with 15 ideas. Some weeks he said yes to one or two, then I got to shoot and was on the show… some weeks he said no to all, and I would cry all the way home and think about giving up and moving to costa rica.
I started to notice that I wasn’t as polished on camera as the other hosts. That people were not taking me seriously. So, I spent all my small amounts of money on taking private coaching sessions with an expert. I wanted to be perfect. Each week we worked and worked and worked. Every six months or so, they would bring in 30 women to audition for new spots on the show. I would always audition. Finally, I made the cut.
I signed on to work full-time for the TV show. They pay me much more than $0.50 an hour, I have a glam team, an office, a wardrobe team, and I get to work with the coolest and most talented people in the world.
Today, I went to work and stood in my producers office and pitched her 5 ideas. She said yes to 1.
My point is, there is no luck. You make your luck. You have to break down doors, and force your way into the world you want to be in, you have to work hard when no one is looking, you have to build your own brand and own dream, there is no silver platter where someone asks you to come on down for your life. YOU CREATE your life. You get a tiny inch of opportunity and you turn that into your gold mine. You have 24 hours in your day, and you have to choose if you want to watch another episode of whatever it is you watch, or if you want to see your friends, or if you want to have a life, or if you want to MAKE a life. If you look at anyone who is killing the game right now, from Tyler Oakley on youtube to Sophia from Nasty Gal, the story is the same. Their hustle game is strong and no one handed them an empire. They created it where nothing existed. No one came to them and saw them doing nothing and said, yes, we want to help you create something, they all had something awesome going on that people wanted to jump on the bandwagon with. One of the thing that drives me crazy about the next generation, I’m making myself seem really old here, is this insane sense of entitlement. Just because you wake up in the morning and are a nice person doesn’t mean that you DESERVE anything. You have to work for it.
Life will never be what you want it to be if you just wait for something to happen. Go make it happen, be so damn good at what you do that people will HAVE to sit up and listen. Create such brilliant ideas, and then exhaust yourself until the world see’s them. Don’t be lazy. Don’t spend al day looking at whatever “it” girl you are obsessed with and wish you were her. Go be your own “it.”
MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK.