Thanks for stopping by! Here on BECOMING LOLA I share stories on becoming minimalist, as well as living a pure clean life as a style-obsessed digital nomad with a no BS approach to ethical fashion + travel. Grab a glass of wine and start here: Building A Minimalist Wardrobe.


last time I did this and made $12,000 in one weekend

As I mentioned last week, I’ll be reporting on just how the hell one becomes a FASHION CEO of their own mogul brand. Why? Because the last time I did this I made over twelve grand in one weekend with my friends over at RueLaLa. And it allows me to travel the world while you are still doing coffee runs for Miss Devil Wears Prada. So yeah. Get a notebook. I'll wait.

Honestly, all slapjack jokes aside, I think you all know me well enough by now that those hoochies who claim a clothes hanger as a career and don't ever want to share how they do it really gets my thong in a twist. Instead of going one more week never having time to answer the plethora of emails I get from aspiring fashionistas, let me whip out my transparency cam and show each and every one of you just how simple it is to become a fashion mogul. And when I say simple honeybun, I don't mean like frying an egg. I mean simple as in stop getting in your own way, making excuses, and acting as if when you turn 37 it will be the perfect time to follow your dreams, or at the least follow the wind blowing you towards a sample sale and figure the rest out after. Can I get an amen?

So besides that killer check a couple years ago, you probably want more reasons of why you should listen to me, because after all, I'm black but I'm no Oprah right. Well don't be so nosy. Okay okay I get it. So there was that one time I got tired of the superficial BS at big wig city mags and launched not one, but two magazines that went on to sell on newsstands across the world (for a hot minute, but not long enough to take down our rival Lula at the time) and then this other time I had an online luxury clothing shop that cost me pennies to start but brought in mad dough, and oh yeah, that time I was featured front page of the NY Times business section. #justsayin

Enough about me for heaven's sake, that's what Instagram selfies are for. What about you? I know my motivationally sarcastic posts like this one and this one only got you so far. Well now you have me as your new bestie so we can totally help you kick ass in 2014 and become a fashion ceo. But where to start you're wondering? To get where I am now, knee-deep in launching the biggest iPhone app since Facebook, I had to ask myself a few things that will guide you too:
  • what's most important to you- health, wealth, creativity, family, travel, free swag?
  • are you doing things right now that are supporting what's most important to you and your goals? if not be real on the WHY
  • if you could choose exactly what you would wake up and do all day tomorrow, what would it be? oh, and would you want to wake up with an alarm or whenever you damn well please?
  • if you could orchestrate your days or weeks or months with money as no object kind of like that Nsync music video (puppets, yeah!) what would you be doing the rest of this year in total bliss?

The time is now

As a serial entrepreneur, I haven't quite striked rich for many reasons. First and foremost, wealth and fame was never one of my important "IT" things. If it's yours that is fine, I won't judge. For me, it's also because I'm relatively new to freelancing so learning to juggle client work with my ambitious dreams has meant falling into the trap again of my ideas taking a backseat to what brings in the bacon more effortlessly. But now, I am done with working corporate America or working for others. Ever again. Period. Magazines rely on advertising so that's not stable. Fashion blogging relies on looks and that is not stable in a world where you couldn't even name the top women of color famous for blogging. Shopping though, shopping is as eternal as Chanel and personal style. At least in my lifetime. So when I woke in the middle of the night with a gripping idea for a shopping "Instagram" I knew nothing would stop me this time. Not even the fact that I am not a software engineer by any stretch of the imagination and creating an iPhone app from scratch would be as easy for me as a newborn baby pronouncing Balenciaga. If not knowing how to build a plane or a phone didn't stop Sir Richard Branson from launching Virgin, then I don't see anything worthy of stopping me. So let the games begin!
I’ll be posting weekly (or monthly, hey fashion CEOs are busy!) updates on my progress from now on, keypad warts and all. There’ll be no confidentiality agreements, lawsuit threats, no cloak and daggers, just 100% transparency in hopes you'll stop whining and just launch your own project already. Like now. No need to wait for the next post. 

What was that? Oh you don't have time and money? Right, got it. Well I see your excuses and raise you a no-bullshit-allowed guide on how to find time right now to do what you love. Finding the mulah is coming next! 
The modern woman is busy. Seriously busy. In a world with so many opportunities and, let's face it, so many responsibilities now that mommy and daddy cut your ass loose, it can seem almost impossible to pursue your dreams and keep a roof over your head. However, busyness is not an excuse for laziness. And God knows I've been there a few times myself. Busyness is not an island you can stand on so that you can surround yourself with fear either. Busyness just means that you find short and small ways to work in your passions, loves, and daydreams on a day to day basis. Sound overwhelming? There's an app for that! I tease, I tease. Here are ten tips for fitting virtually anything into your packed schedule:

Take some time to reflect. Sounds counterproductive, I know. But before you run headfirst into your work schedule, gym routine, and dream of being a professional Black Swan ballerina, take some time to sit back and get a relaxed, honest perspective. See my life-changing questions above from earlier. Once you do that you are armed and ready. With answers and your essentials. Beats a Colt 45 any day. Your essentials are your “loves.” Make a list. Make a moodboard. Make a cake and blow out a candle for all I care. I find that keeping it simple will keep it complete and will leave you feeling less stressed out. Think of this list as your new set of guidelines. I personally love doing inspiration collages on my walls. My boyfriend hates it, but he loves me, so it balances out ha!

Next to that list, spend some time identifying your time wasters. This list might be a little more exhaustive... Social networking is a pit, let's just be honest you little SnapChat addict, geez. I want to believe that cable television is educational but inevitably I wake up in the middle of the night, on my couch, with popcorn stuck to my hair. This is no joke. Waste of perfectly good extensions. #justsayin

Redirect your time. You now have a set of guidelines in front of you. (And also a list of how much time you... ahem, are wasting both at home and on the clock at workWhat can you refill your time with? I find it helpful to have an empty calendar on hand. That way, it is easy to fill your schedule with “essential” items.

Consolidating and the Art of “No”I could probably be nominated Queen Scatterbrain. There are plenty of tasks that I do throughout the week that I could consolidate to save time. For example- errands. Why not spend an afternoon getting everything done instead of running around like a mad woman at the end of the work day looking for something to eat? E-mail is another huge time waster. Smartphones make it easy to check your e-mail instantly but it is probably more helpful to batch process your e-mails during a scheduled period of the day. (Plus, it might help with some of your relatives that have, let's say... boundary issues?) Saying “no” is a hugely important and healthy habit to acquire. For one thing, everyone has limits. You have priorities and a limited schedule. Ask yourself- is this something I really have time for and does it fit in with my current goals? If the answer is no, it might be time to ditch the commitment. Even the one you have with Tevo.

Declutter. Just like you can clutter up your apartment with useless crap and unworn NWT outfits, you can also clutter up your life with useless tasks. If you're already busy, you are going to have to weed out your non-essentials. If its possible, cut out superfluous business meetings and opt for making decisions online or via e-mail. It might mean that you have an honest conversation with your boss or ask others to pass pertinent information along. If it works out, you have definitely saved yourself a mountain of time.

Simplify your to-do's. It is easy to be ambitious in the morning. Trust me, I love writing up a full to-do list that rivals President Obama's. However, a simple list will ensure that you keep to your essentials as well as accomplish your goals in an appropriate amount of time. Remember, you want to free up your time, not fill it up with new things. Once you are done with your morning list, pick out the most dreaded of all the tasks and knock it off right away. Otherwise, you put it off and fill your day with other less pressing matters, while the big task still hangs over your head like a rain cloud causing anxiety, and heart disease! Don't allow yourself to do anything until this task is done. The rest of the day will thank you for your diligence.

Delegate or outsource! This is by far my biggest lesson of 2013. The same website I use to freelance is the one I use to hire assistants for pennies on the dollar. Don't feel like you have to do everything yourself. If you have coworkers that can help you with a task as well, ask them! If you need to train, invest in that time. It will pay off in your newly saved time. Delegation will help you focus on core tasks and projects. If delegation is not an option, you might be able to explore outsourcing like I did. If there are small tasks, such as design or editing, that can be done by a freelancer, it will give you the opportunities to work on the things that you love and save you a bunch of time trying to learn HTML. I mean really.

Find “Sweet Spots”. I find that there are three really great times to get items from your essential list done. If you are a morning person, consider getting up early to take a run, read, play with your dog, etc. Mornings are great because you are alert (hopefully) and haven't been slammed with all your obligations. The few hours right after work are great for socializing or distressing activities. (I find exercise to be a great way to break up the day.) Evenings can seem like a good time to get odds and ends done but with your simplified to-do list your evenings should feel more casual or relaxed. If you have small children, this time can feel like a God-sent. Use it for some “me” time!

Unplug. My last tip seems simple but for girls like me who depend on technology for work and daily life, unplugging can be a real task, as in there needs to be Digital Rehab centers in each state by now. Technology can be great. It can help you streamline, outsource, and stay organized. But it can also be a MAJOR distraction. Who hasn't spent a couple hours stalking people from high school? While the initial decision to limit Internet or phone usage can feel like detaching a limb, the initial discipline will pay off in physical and mental free space.

Any other tips from my fabulously busy but driven readers? I would love to hear from you!

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