I just did something scary. Something crazy. Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I turned down a writing opportunity for a big brand to focus on my brand.
Ballsy. Terrifying. But not unfounded or random.
I’ve been a professional writer for 11 years. After graduating with a Masters degree, I ventured into freelance writing and I’ve made a name for myself in the digital and multimedia realm. Four years after graduating I launched Lovemionline – a love and relationship website for Latina’s and other women of color. I had a variety of male and female contributors and even spread the word on television segments. Sound familiar? That’s because that’s what LoveSujeiry.com offers.
But I didn’t know what I was doing with Lovemionline. Like the impulsive Aries that I am, I had the idea, paid my cousin Jackie in Miami to design the website (after hiring and then firing a web designer that sucked) and launched a blogazine with no plan. I was all like, “I’m going to build an online magazine and this is going to be my career! Google ads will pay me enough to live, save and retire – yay!”
Shit, I was wrong. Like really wrong. After a year of attempting to be my own boss while still teaching, I made no money. Nada. You’d think that would clue me in to GET A PLAN! Nope.
The other reason I failed: the digital business is no joke. An entrepreneur’s life is no joke. That’s why, although I yearn to do it again (I shut down Lovemionline after money was tight, my writers dropped like flies cause I wasn’t paying them, and again, I had no plan) and I am building LoveSujeiry.com to be a successful and lucrative business, I doubt myself and my choices. Instead of putting LoveSujeiry.com first, I’ve pursued a career as a writer and crafted stories for other brands because 1) it’s what paid the bills, 2) it provides me with exposure and 3) I didn’t know how to make something out of my brand, my website, my words.
Listen, I love being a writer; it’s who I am. I know I am blessed to have so many writing opportunities. But in my heart, I know what I desire – to be my own boss in every sense of the word. No more giving away my ideas, my written words, my creativity. I want to work with other brands as a brand – in tandem – not as an employee. And it’s already begun.
LoveSujeiry.com’s numbers have doubled in 3 months, ad revenue is growing, and I am writing my heart again. It’s amazing. And although it isn’t easy I know I’m on the correct path. God is literally giving me no choice. I was let go from my relationship writing job at Latina – a gig I wanted for so long until I realized I didn’t just want to write lists and sassy “chica this” and “chica that” content. Plus, freelance work pays crappy. And many of my editorial contacts have either quit, been let go or are doing their own thing now.
So the Universe is listening. God is listening. He is paving the way.
That’s why I’m not mad at Latina for cutting my pay and then dumping me just like that. When I got the ax I was terrified, yes. I had no steady gig anymore, no steady paycheck. But I was also grateful. I am still grateful. If I hadn’t been let go, I would have continued settling for less pay that I am worth. I would have continued writing for other brands for chump change and creating content that I didn’t always enjoy, or that I wasn’t always proud of. I wouldn’t have had this epiphany and in turn, I wouldn’t have turned down this new writing opportunity.
In a way I am relieved that I have lost so much. Now I have nothing to hold me back. Nothing…but me. And that may be even more terrifying.