I love the beginning of the year because it means I get to reevaluate my goals and aims and really think about what I want to achieve. Mine and my friends aim is to always make the following years New Years plans better than the last but in order for us to do that we know we must set the bar high for ourselves.
We live in a generation of any and everything being achievable. From Youtube sensations to new online businesses exploding over night, ed 2017 should be a successful year for anyone who has sewn seeds and working hard to attain their goals. For me personally, this year is all about building my brand and influence whilst pushing causes that I am passionate about. Yours might be to become self employed and self sufficient as an individual; my advice is to go into everything as if it was already yours- there can be no room for doubt because if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you convince others to do so?
I have put together a list of points that I constantly remind myself about and discuss constantly with my close friends. I am a firm believer of manifesting your own destiny so I discuss these topics frequently and update them all the time.
I am a very self assured person and very confident in who I am but when it comes to you and your brand, you need to be sure of what you want the world to see you as. On my list of “who is Leomie Anderson” I have model, advocate for women rights, down to Earth, loves fashion, inspirational, along with some other things. These are all things that I want people to think of when they hear my name. Next, you need to think about how you are going to convey these aspects of yourself to the world. I feel like so many people want to stand for something but do not know how to successfully convey it to an audience so it is important to research different ways you can effectively show what you are about to people. Whether it is starting a blog, creating a fresh and engaging Instagram page of yourself, or even tweeting in a certain style or about certain topics frequently, whatever you put out there is what people are going to associate with your name and brand and also mould what people believe you represent.
Now more than ever, there are millions to be made through social media. Look at blogger come entrepreneur Chiara Ferragani who went from street style sensation to Vogue magazine cover star because of her social media influence. Remember, no matter how small or big your following, what you put out there is important. If you have a hobby or passion make sure you show it all the time! If you have opinions, put them out there because they are all a reflection of you so therefore they matter.
People who gain a strong following are those who weren’t afraid to be seen or heard. Those who didn’t care whether 5 or 500 people saw their picture on Instagram or their Tweet on Twitter. In January last year when I tweeted about my Fashion Week experience with the makeup artist, I didn’t do it to get a huge response or attention, I just wanted to let people know what it was like for black models backstage. Now I am seen as an advocate for black models which I am very proud of but it wouldn’t have come if I didn’t put my story and experience out there.
Remember that you are a unique individual on your own journey and in your own lane; the more time you spend looking at other people, the less energy you are devoting to yourself. You need to rid yourself of any insecurities that can make you jealous of another persons success; seeing someone else succeed should make you want to work harder not become bitter. You don’t know what that person has done to get to where they are, even someone you assume was an overnight sensation has most likely worked in their field for years before they blew up.
“Good things come to those who wait”- I don’t believe in this. I think that understanding that everything will happen at the correct time is true but it doesn’t mean that in between these good things, I can’t be learning, preparing and building my knowledge too. If you want to work for a magazine, why not start a blog or submit to platforms like LAPP so you can have examples of your writing the day Vogue hits your email asking you to show more of your work. If you want to be a stylist, make sure your own personal look is on point and make sure your passion shows on your social media- Instagram is free, twitter is free, Tumblr is free so utilise them! Look at Fucci who’s first styling job was Paper Magazine with Bella Hadid all because of his social media presence and love for his craft. He took control of his social media, associated his name with fashion and styling and turned it into a job he loves.
It’s one thing to say you want to be a designer or stylist or musician or lawyer but do you know the ins and out of that field? Do you know who your favourite photographer is and go to exhibitions? Do you know who Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele is and how iconic she is in the fashion industry? Do you know your favourite producers come up and story? Literally immerse yourself in your field, live and breathe every aspect of it from the from to the back. Not only will you learn a lot but you can find so much inspiration from researching different aspects of your passion.
I am a big fan of saving and having a rainy day fund but I am a bigger fan of investing money into yourself and your craft. Whether it is working part time to afford studio sessions or starting your own business, there are ways to invest in yourself on every level to get to your success. Even getting a library card and renting books to become more knowledgeable is a big self investment- no one is going to believe in you more than you do. Don’t be scared to take risks either, your 20’s are probably the best time to take risks as we have less responsibility and more mobility making it easier to bounce back from any possible L we could run into.
I can put my hands up with ease and admit that there is so much that I don’t know about managing a business like LAPP. It’s a new venture that I am learning about along the way but I am not afraid to ask people more knowledgeable than me for advice. I know some people don’t like giving it and it can feel awkward to ask but honestly, what have you got to loose? Anyone who doesn’t feel threatened by you and your potential will happily give you advice or at least share their own experiences that you can take what you wish from.
Madonna, David Bowie, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna. Four very iconic examples of individuals who stayed true to themselves but were also not afraid to shake things up and test out unexplored waters. Madonna was the queen of reinvention with her image; it kept her fresh and her fan base glued to her every move, no matter how controversial. I know my examples are very extreme but you can apply their strategy to your own image and branding in many ways; relaunch your blog with a new lay out and content, write an open letter on an issue you are passionate about, travel, meet new people- all ways you can reenergise your brand and image.
When I first started modelling and doing Fashion Week I would say things like “after this fashion week I want a huge campaign” or “By next summer I want to have shot this many editorials”. All these things are possible, but I would get disheartened when they didn’t happen at the exact time I had specified in my plan. Instead of time sensitive goals I focus on taking the steps that will ensure I am ready of when the opportunity does happen e.g keep my body in shape, research how places I can get my tees or products made, start posting more of my personal style on social media. These are things that I can control, it’s just up to me to do it. I know I can achieve every goal I have set but now I don’t have the added pressure of achieving it in a time span.
The only person who can truly get in the way of achieving you aims and aspirations for this year and beyond is yourself. Even when you have no money, there are ways you can prepare yourself for your future success, you just have to look and utilise what you have around you. Being a boss means taking charge of your own life and destiny, it’s up to you when you choose to begin.
Such an inspiration.. great article! Thank you Leomie <33
Needed this today and everyday actually! So inspirational <3
Yeh I fucks with this article!!!
YAS HONEY! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I truly needed this. I’m fresh off my divorce, going back to school full time, in the midst of a career change all while raising 2 beautiful little girls. It sounds very overwhelming saying it aloud but reading your words gave me more empowerment. These are lessons I strive to teach my girls. Even though they’re young, you have to start them early. Thanks again, much love to you!