I am super excited to kickoff this interview series highlighting girl bosses all over the world. Women entrepreneurs are popping up daily and it’s amazing so many people are stepping out and making their dreams a reality. With this interview, I wanted to feature someone who saw a need for change and turned it into a business. Being a boss is always about making things happen your way and with your vision and our #girlboss featured today,Emmelie De La Cruz is doing just that.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an Afro-Latina raised in the South Bronx, living in Atlanta. In short, I’m what Cardi B would be like if she went to college. I am on a mission to help other millennial women hack this thing called: adulting. While some of my friends would say that I’m a go-getter, I also adore Keeping up with the Kardashians, Bar Rescue, and Love and Hip Hop. Who doesn’t have a few hours to spare watching trash TV, right?
2) What is your occupation?
I am a digital marketing manager for a startup and also make a few extra coins through my book Make Yourself Marketable and lifestyle blog.
3) Describe your personal style?
I’m usually the girl that’s overdressed, but go back and forth between homeless chic and Beyonce. My personal style is all about combining classic silhouettes with a hint of drama.
4) Give us a run down on the history behind your business/blog and how it came about?
After working in the career center and graduating with 3 job offers, I started sharing job searching and personal branding advice on my blog. While my peers were working non-paid internships at the tail end of the recession, I had a full-time job with amazing benefits. Instead of texting everyone the same advice over and over again, I used my online platform to share the knowledge. Soon after, opportunities started to find me via my online channels and I started to charge for branding and design services.
After 5 years doing that, I decided that I just wanted to focus on creating content and doing consultations, not service packages. I let got of The Branding Muse brand and created the brand that you see today at emmeliedelacruz.com.
5) What are your long term and short-term goals for your brand?
Long-term, I want to become the Kaplan of personal branding, I used to teach a three-week personal branding class that I want to expand and teach worldwide. Short-term, I want to launch an ecosystem of products, services, and signature events like the Creativity Kickbackto help newbie bloggers and side-hustlers get their ideas out of their head and into fruition.
6) What are the top three things you wish you would have known when you first started your entrepreneur journey?
- You don’t need to separate your business and personal brand to thrive.
- Working smart is much more important than working hard.
- Exchanging time for money, with services for example, isn’t the only way to build an online business.
7) What and who influences you when creating content for your site?
My readers – and frankly that’s who needs to influence everybody. If you aren’t creating content for your readers, what are you doing it for? That’s why so many bloggers fail, because they treat their sites like an online diary, instead of adding value to their audience.
In terms of execution however, I do admire personal brands like Mattieologie, Olori Swank and Brit + Co.
8) Being a #girlboss is hard work and it is not for the faint at heart, what is your one piece of advice to all aspiring girl bosses?
Be unapologetic about who you are. People yearn for a human, authentic connection, and at the end of the day, your authenticity will get you farther than polished perfection ever could.
9) What are your go to business resources or apps?
I can go on forever and have written multiple blog posts about it, but here are my all-time favorites.
Fiverr: for when you can’t afford a team or freelancers
WordSwag + Canva: To make awesome images
Coschedule: to save you hours on social media promotion and scheduling
10) You’re a busy bee, how do you keep sane and balance both your personal life plus entrepreneurial life?
Don’t let the pressure of purpose hold you hostage.
Self-care, a day off, a date with bae, a missed deadline – do what you need to do to keep your sanity and your edges. The internet always talks about consistency and glamorizes being busy. Don’t fall for it.
11) I’m sure being an entrepreneur is not a typical 9 to 5 job. Give us a quick run down on how your days usually go.
I have dabbled in full-time entrepreneurship multiple times throughout my career, but have found that I’m most successful when I work full-time and my business is a side hustle. In order to be able to do both, I had to come up with a routine and a system that works for me. I try to work only when I’m inspired and in the right mental place. An exhausted mind will never be as productive as a creative one.
I usually work about 2 hours each night and a full-day on the weekends.
12) What has been your most favorite experience to date as a business owner/blogger? What has been your least?
My favorite experience has been being a Pantene spokesperson for Proctor & Gamble’s Living Fabulosa program. It was the first time I walked a carpet and was in Getty Images and let me tell you, I know I would be so good at being a celebrity. My favorite accomplishment was being named one of the Top Career Websites by Forbes just one year after launching my blog.
Least favorite experience: dealing with clients. No shade to the amazing people I worked with over the years, but the time and energy it takes to deliver someone’s vision takes a lot out of you. That’s why I created my book. I wanted to find a way to still be able to help people and walk them through the process of building a brand, but not have to dedicate weeks of time.
13) What do you have planned for the future of the Emmelie De La Cruz brand?
There are a ton of things coming down the pipeline, but my hope is that my future continues to allow me to give millennial women the tools they need to build a brand and a life they don’t need to escape from.
Any Closing Remarks you would like to share?
:: insert shameless plug unrecognizable gang signs here:: Shout out to the South Bronx, my family and friends for making me fearless. Follow me on Instagram, Periscope and Twitter @EmmelieDeLaCruz.
But on a serious note, remember that the longer it takes you to start, the longer it will take you to succeed. Leave the excuses at the door and start to profit on purpose.
Thank you Emmelie for sharing your story and advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Do you know someone killing the entrepreneur movement and giving the name #girlboss a new meaning? Send me an email on who they are and why they should be featured. firstname.lastname@example.org