This fall Her Agenda hosted a conversation in partnership with Alley on the topic of mastering a multidimensional career with writer, digital strategist, speaker and now New York Times best-selling author, Luvvie Ajayi. Over the years, she’s built a loyal following and created a career that lives at the intersection of comedy, activism and technology.
In a world where we have so many opportunities, and most of us have side hustle upon side hustle, it can be hard to figure out how to bring all of our dimensions together in a way that makes sense. Luvvie spoke with our founder, Rhonesha Byng, about how she did it, how she monetized it, and how she built a team to help her sustain it all while staying true to her voice and her self.
Luvvie first began her journey in 2006 writing through her blog, Awesomely Luvvie, now a community of half a million. “I’ve built this community because my tone in writing is, I’m writing to you not writing at you,” while explaining how she has built her audience. “People relate to how I approach topics.”
The cycle of overwhelmness is a popular topic for Luvvie, who in addition being a NYT best seller, manages both Awesomely Luvvie and Awesomely Techie, is the co-Founder and Executive Director of The Red Pump Project, in addition to a constant stream of speaking engagements. Luvvie shares how she pulls herself back out of the cycle, “I use a lot of apps for my craziness like Wonderlist. It’s a to-do list app that syncs across all your devices. I have to get myself out of it by remembering it’s just one thing at a time.”
“[You have to understand] there will never be a point where you don’t have 85,000 things to do – [and be] okay with that state,” Luvvie shared. “Be more gentle with yourself and understand that you are not superwoman and people can’t expect you to be. Prioritize your work and be transparent with people too. It’s important to be human in your business and let people know that [you can't] do 55,000 things today in one hour.”
Here are the 5 biggest keys Luvvie shared with us:
- Learn how to let go of control: “That’s been the biggest lesson about this whole book tour and release. This [tour] has been an exercise in trusting the people around you to hold you up and I think that’s really important.”
- Build a team: “It’s hard, especially for all the type A control freaks out there. If you are doing work that’s really good, you might be doing it in a silo – nobody knows, so this book forced me to get a publicist.”
- Plan, plan, plan: “The leap of faith sounds real sexy. If you have that dream, I do encourage you to go follow it. If you have this dream, plan. If you have to, be really cheap for a year before you quit your job [so you] have a nest egg. You can’t quit your job when you have $300 dollars saved like ‘I’m gonna make it work and move to New York with $4.’ Plan for it and then when you leap you won’t go crashing to the ground.”
- Pay attention to your gifts: “It’s important – don’t take them for granted. The blog has opened all of the doors for me.’
- Get a media kit: “You want something on paper that can speak to your work. Create something physical that represents your business whether that be a media kit, e-book, or visual resume.”
Watch the video above to listen to the full conversation. Check out the photos below: