Hi Yvanna! We want to know if you've experienced any BIG changes in the past year?
At the risk of sounding cliche, this year has been a rollercoaster. This time last year I was working a 60 hour work week with a major corporation. I had been there for two years right out of college. I knew from the jump it wasn't going to be where I built my career and weeks before COVID I was planning my exit strategy. COVID came and within about two weeks, half of my department was laid off. I was scared and relieved. I honestly didn't know what to do next. The month prior, a friend and I had just started our social media management agency (Blac Market), and we were working on getting it off the ground. After a few weeks, my previous job asked me to come back and I said no. Without any other job on the horizon I was losing my mind. Leaving for good, on my accord, was terrifying. I invested my time in my passions (Podcasting, Youtube, Instagram, and Social Media Management) and hoped that it would pay off.
(Yvanna and Alisha Lashay, friend and co-host of their podcast, High Key)
What excites you most about nou beginnings?
My main goal in life is freedom. I want to do what I want when I want. I always have! Maybe it’s an air sign thing? Either way, I finally feel like I found my thing. Our business has pivoted to a place where we are getting client recommendations and working with brands that align with our passions, beauty, fashion, and digital entertainment. We reset our goals and have been exceeding our expectations ever since. I used to be kind of shy about what I did outside of work because many people in corporate America don’t quite understand why anyone would want to “struggle” to be their own boss. I found myself doubting what I went to school for, which was entrepreneurship. This past year I learned that I could do anything I want to do. Anyone can. As corny as it is, you have to believe in yourself, you have to do the work (sometimes even twice), you have to show up for yourself and make yourself uncomfortable. I am so excited about every project I work on. I get to help so many women just like myself achieve their goals and build both our businesses in the process. After spending most of my young adult life being the undecided kid that never knew what they wanted to be growing up, it’s very satisfying.
Have you faced any challenges on your journey so far? If so, how have you overcome them?
So many challenges, omg. The biggest had to be self-doubt, imposter syndrome, whatever you want to call it. I had plenty between not having a plan and discouraging people in my life. I felt like I was constantly reaching for something unattainable or that I had to wait for a golden opportunity. Eventually, I cut people out of my life that weren’t encouraging and I started to talk to myself with kindness, patience, and a slight firmness about who I am and the value of my vision.
What does success look like to you?
I have a very clear vision of what I want my life to look like. It’s airy and clear. It’s not specific to children or marital status or a number in my bank account. It’s a feeling. It’s fulfillment, freedom, peace, and security. It’s waking up excited to start my day. Being able to help others, pouring into my community, having a voice. It’s beautiful, and it’s also oddly pink in my mind? Like my grandma’s old bathroom, pink, soft, defiant, whimsical, yet real.
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? If so, what's a particular instance that clarifies this for you?
Absolutely. The older I get the more I realize everything builds character. Experiences shape you by immaculate design. Recently I was sending out emails to brands for possible collaborations, putting myself out there as far as Youtube and Instagram. Miraculously and almost suspiciously a brand replied simply stating they’re looking for a social media coordinator. This wasn’t in my email, or in my bio. It’s not something I advertise on my social media at all, so when they asked I knew it was very odd. It turned out to be one of our newest clients that put us on track to reach the goals we set out for our business. It was so random and unexpected, I kept combing my email and links trying to find where they could have found out I was a social media coordinator and I couldn’t find anything. I eventually just left it up to God.
If your 50-year-old-self traveled back in time today, what advice do you think she would give to you?
Honestly, I think my grandma has already told me time and time again this advice. “Live, just live, enjoy the moments, do what you want.” She says it with a lot of conviction, anytime I want to be the workaholic that I am and turn down a good time I think about that. She rather I dance on tables than dance around my truth or live in worry.
If you're interested in keeping up with Yvanna's journey, be sure to follow @yvannabrooke on Instagram! You can also stay up to date with her social media management agency @marketwithblac and her podcast @hkthepodcast (pictured above).
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