Last night, I attended the first installment of Greater Jackson Arts Council’s “Creative Empowerment.” Their first speaker: Luvvie Ajayi *screams*
To be quite honest, I had no idea what this event was about. Is this part of her book tour? Is this a club appearance? Is she going to give us one of those TED Talk-like speeches? Is she going to drive pass Duling Hall and toss her book at our heads? It really didn’t matter, she is the definition of blogger goals. Not only was I going but I went VIP (which included a itty bitty but delicious lemonade cocktail, appetizers, and an autographed copy of her book “I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual“).
Nice set, right?
I spent weeks thinking about an awesome, life-changing question I could ask her. And when I got the chance to finally meet her, I had nothing. But, I got a selfie. That’s sufficient, right?
That’s my name!
We’re basically, almost best friends now!
I sat on the front row (where people of my stature sit but mostly because I paid for a VIP ticket). Because I’m a bit neurotic, I brought a notebook to take notes. I didn’t want to miss a thing!
Luvvie and Fanta
Although I saw a card that advertised her lecture as “Get Smart About Social Media: How to Maintain a Clean Online Reputation” that’s not really what she lectured about and I’m glad. So what exactly did she talk about?
If you were there, you would know. Ultimately, the purpose of her lecture was to let her readers (aka Luv Nation) know that she is not an overnight success, more like a 14-year success. She gave us a very detailed timeline of events which started with her friends encouraging her to start a blog in undergrad. Throughout school and a career she loathe, she consistently blogged which ultimately lead to opportunities such as being on the red carpet at the Oscars, Black Women in Hollywood Brunch, moderating panels for the White House, becoming a NYTimes Best-Selling Author and then having that best-seller turned into a series! After her lecture, locals joined her for “Awesomely Hot Topics”
Panelists: Donna Ladd, Maisie Brown, Jon Salem and Pam Junior. Moderated by Joy Redmond. Fanta made the shot again.
Errr, I do like that locals were included but didn’t necessarily kind of sort but not really think it was necessary *Kanye shrug* I came to see Luvvie and thought she would’ve done a better job. After all, that’s really what’s she’s known for. Lastly, was a super good question and answer segment.
On Writing: She didn’t consider herself a writer because it wasn’t something she saw in her environment. She also told us not to spend all day editing. “Perfect is the enemy of progress.”- Luvvie
On Fear and Failure: Fear of failure can push us to greatness but if we think things aren’t working out, we should have a plan. She got what she thought was her dream job and quit on the first day. That must’ve felt glorious. However, she had her parents as a safety net which a lot of us don’t have. As a result, she emphasized “stacking paper” and “aggressively saving.”
On Mississippi and Brain Drain: Our geography doesn’t matter because social media provides a global platform. She talked about having friends all over the world, thanks to social media.
On How to Be Successful: Surround yourself with the right people. She listed 3 types of leaders: Visionary, Builders and Sustainers. If you’re a visionary, surround yourself with builders and sustainers and vice versa. She also talked about personal investments such as getting a lawyer. She stressed it so much that I thought about retaining one while she was speaking. I do have a lot of attorney friends so I guess it’s time to have that “how much would you charge for 20 minutes” conversation.
The moderator put Rita B. (Read: Condoms, Comedy & Husband’s Bruised Ego) on the spot. She wanted her to discuss how surrounding herself with the right people advanced her career. In that same conversation, Luvvie told Rita that she was already receiving the signs she needed but that she didn’t take herself seriously, that she needed to get her social media accounts verified, and that she would talk to her after the show. What now?! You’re going to talk to her after the show and give her advice?*screams*
On the Impostor Syndrome: She has suffered from the Impostor Syndrome but often analyzes her way out of it, she didn’t get where she is by accident. She told us to be grateful that we are in the room, people who are far less talented are often in the room and never question themselves and that if enough people tell you that you’re gifted, believe them.
The best advice: She’s always done what she felt like doing, lived in her truth, payed attention to only what she was doing and did what she loved. Overall, it was an awesome and affirming event. I guess I really didn’t need to ask her any questions because she answered everything I thought about asking. I know a lot of us bloggers and creatives have the same insecurities and wonder if it’s worth it. I guess we can stick it out a little longer, right?
Bravo to Greater Jackson Arts Council! It was a really good launch to the Creative Empowerment Series and I look forward to the next lecturer!
Read and share my previous post: What’s in My Box? January HuesBox