“You are an individual. You are you because you are you,” The Root alum Danielle Young told Auntie Unfiltered. You should never want to try to recreate or emulate what someone has done.”
It’s OK to be inspired by others and to see through them the possibilities of what you can do, but ultimately, “Your individuality is what is going to set you apart and elevate you into whatever space you are supposed to be in,” she added.
Faced with being fired from Essence magazine and unemployed at the start of the pandemic in 2020, Young could have easily given in to feelings of defeat, but instead, she took that opportunity to pivot and begin building on her own dreams instead of someone else.
Of course, that didn’t happen overnight. She had to put a lot of planning and work into making her dream of building her own platform a reality. When she sat down with Auntie Unfiltered a few months ago, she told me what her biggest pieces of advice were for people who, like her, were considering moving in their own direction rather than depending on an employer.
The work must happen, she said, and you can’t just rely on “Oh I’m cute” either.
“How bad do you want it, and are you moving that way,” she asked.
No matter what your industry is, she said those two questions will “slap you in the face” and make you reassess your entire game plan.
Since losing her job last year, Young has successfully built her own media empire where stars and celebrities are scrambling to get an audience with her and not the other way around. Her Instagram videos are very popular, and she even received not one but two Ivy Park boxes from Beyoncé herself.
You too can be like Danielle. You just have to have the confidence, the will and the drive.
Watch the video to see what other pearls of advice she dropped.
As always, I want to hear from you. If you have questions, comments, concerns; if you need advice, or if you have a topic you think I should discuss, please hit me up at AuntieSubmissions@TheRoot.com.