Having the ability to stay true to yourself is something that is hard to do especially with all the transitions in our late teens and early 20s. After graduation, we want to compare ourselves to our peers’ accomplishments, instead of acknowledging our own. I still find myself looking on social media comparing myself to others, but I try to remember that my talents and goals are unique and that I too will reach my goals.
Jess Manuszak, creator of the website The Brazen Bible is a great example of someone who is true to herself. Jess and I had the chance to talk about why being honest with yourself is key in your personal life and building a brand.
The interview is below. Be prepared to laugh, because you will. Also I would love to hear how you are being honest with yourself. Feel free to write in the comments below.
Life is Wack. Don’t Go at it Alone.
When you first started The Brazen Bible, how did you approach building an audience?
Okay, we’re going to be totally honest with each other, right? When I first started The Brazen Bible, I didn’t even think about building an audience. I had the mentality that if I built it, they would come. Mind you, I had no idea who “they” were. (I’ve now come to realize they’re the doers. The thinkers. The goofballs, and the adventurers. Also, an alarming number of people who find fart jokes funny.) The audience growth was a wonderful bi-product of delivering the content that was/is most important to me.
What was your “aha moment” that made you realize you wanted to start The Brazen Bible?
About two years ago, when I realized that the things I was feeling, the things I was going through, and the things I wanted out of life were things that other people wanted, too. I hoped, more than anything, that by sharing my life online, someone somewhere could find the comfort and strength and inspiration that comes with knowing that you are never, ever alone.
Having the freedom to create your own schedule, how do you keep yourself on track and organized?
I keep a set schedule, day in and day out (mostly). I know when my cycling class at the gym is. I know when my body tends to wake up in the morning. I know when I need breaks. I know when to eat lunch. Too much flexibility would mean inordinate amounts of time marathoning Hoarders on Netflix, and I’ll be damned if that’s what people remember me for. It’s about building a structure that works for you and sticking to it. Make your own rules, but follow those rules. (And hopefully one of the rules is confetti cannons and/or giant chicken suits are required.)
What was the most rewarding aspect of starting your own company and working for yourself?
Do you know how much money I’ve saved from not having to put on make-up every day? HAHA! I’m kidding. Sort of. The most rewarding part is all about building my life around my personal preferences. Working during the hours when I know I’m most creative, (which happens to generally be from about 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.), take an afternoon nap if the day calls for it, and still go to happy hour with the people who make me laugh the most. Corporations always throw around that they “work hard and play hard”, which usually means lots of overtime and the occasional mandatory team-building event. For me, it means pouring my heart into my work, having integrity, and then eating Cocoa Puffs in the bath. (Bliss, you guys. It’s pure bliss.)
What advice do you have for young women who are trying to make their mark on the world? How can they stay true to themselves?
Practice. Fail. Cry in the shower. Practice more. Fail again. Cry in the Nutella aisle at Target. Practice. Practice. PRACTICE. See where this is going? Think about erosion–if one drop of water hits a rock one time, it’ll run off, leaving the world exactly as it was. But if a single drop of water falls every single day onto that same place on the rock for YEARS? A piece of the universe will be altered forever. Repetition and devotion are what take you from being good to unforgettable.
In terms of staying true to yourself, just remember that the only person who can judge you is you. I know it sounds woo-woo, but it’s true. Try your best to mute all those whispering critics in your ear, and just DO YOU.
Want more great inspiration? Stay in-the-know with great tips from our Chicsters and LYD Stars on our Facebook and Twitter. Who are your favorite inspiring young women? Share with us in the comments below.