I launched In-spire LS is 2010, right off the back of a great brainstorming session with my mum and we knew exactly what we wanted the brand to represent. It was going to be a site that empowered and motivated as many people as we possibly could to ‘Dare to Dream’. Which was exactly what we were doing. We thought of a name, created a fantastic logo and over a short period of time amassed a massive readership and a team of 22 + writers worldwide. See that was the exciting and fun part. But then there’s the organisation of such an enterprise.
I never did like business plans just because they felt too rigid. Instead for what seemed like forever, I allowed myself to just go with the natural flow. And for a time, that worked. Things were going great. We were interviewing massive talents like Usain Bolt and eating in the best restaurants. Getting into fantastic events and living our ‘best life’. Though, things are never what it seems and I think social media allows you to perpetuate and create whatever reality you want to show people. You can sugar coat the rest.
On the outside, things were great. I had some amazing creatives on my team, writing and sharing fabulous content and the visits were growing. Yet, things just never felt great. They felt good, real good at times, but never great. I guess the main factor behind this was too many outside events took place which steered us off course. I had to take on many peoples’ problems, while trying to take care of my own and still grow my brand and my brand too often took second place.
I spent too much time working on additional projects like radio. The station (which I will not name) had no intention of paying me in the short or long time future, even thought I put a lot of time and effort into my show. I was contributing to other sites that I wasn’t passionate about and instead of facing my own demons, I was too busy helping others rid their lives of their own.
I had a clear vision to begin with, but the people pleaser in me didn’t want to turn down the ideas of those who contributed. If they wanted a poetry section, they got it. If they wanted football, they got it, if they wanted gaming and gadgets, yes they got that too and you guessed it. My brand and my identity got lost in the mix.
I wanted to help people, but besides giving people a platform and sending out a flood load of tweets each day, who was I helping. I was so good at inspiring people in my day job and impacting the lives of those in my immediate circles, but with my brand, was I helping and empowering people the way I wanted? No, not really and by 2015 I was ready to draw a line and say bye bye. No spa break, no premier invites and no access to hotels could blind me to the notion that I had lost my way and my brand wasn’t too far behind.
But what happens when you feel you need to prove everyone wrong, you keep pushing forward and you keep balancing and spinning those plates and you keep being a yes person and you keep feeling guilty for not making this everyone’s full time job, even though it’s not yours either. You allow yourself to be eaten up with guilt and insecurities and by default you allow yourself to fall prey to people who only want to use you and what you have to further develop their own agenda.
I had some amazing people on board who supported and contributed to the highest levels and were always there throughout the project. On the other hand, I had too many people in my camp who wanted it to succeed because they wanted to benefit from it. It’s really as simple as that.
What I love most about myself is that I’m real and I’m honest about my mistakes. I wanted to build something that would empower and develop others and when it wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. I should have drawn a line, diversified and started a new but I didn’t want to be defeated.
When the final straw came a few weeks ago, I set a test for those involved in the project. I stopped updating, I stopped uploading and I stopped doing everything. I waited to see who would notice, and the results of that were startling. It was the deciding factor to help both myself and my mother know that we had dedicated 8 years of our life, gotten into debt and financial uncertainty and along the way had more than our fair share of animosity and haters’s. And for what? free spas and gigs. Was I helping all of the people I had dreamed of helping? Had I written that book, hosted that event and campaigned for that cause? The answer was No. Was I happy with my content and output, was I inspired by those around me, did I feel supported? the answer is sadly no to that too and with the threat of court action for another issue, I knew that I didn’t have it in me to fight and push for a brand that I no longer felt committed to.
That’s the great thing about starting your own ventures however, there will be highs and there will be lows and there will be all those amazing parts in the middle that both helped and shaped you. I also feel, in time I will be in the position to create another magazine that remains true to itself and one that I also remain true to.
So what does the future hold? well, for now I’m working on it but like all creatives it’s only a matter of time before I start working on my next venture. This time however, I’m going to hold my vision close to my heart and be dedicated to my vision and I’ll never allow those who’re not passionate about it to become part of its fruition.
A massive shout out is in order for every person, contributor and reader who made In-spire LS one of the best things to take place in my life. It’s not over, it’s just over for now and when the time is right, I’ll reveal what new venture has captured my imagination. x
About this look…
The bargain huntress was out again in full force. I promised myself that I would never wear red as I didn’t think it suited me. Then all of a sudden while browsing on 10Store I came across this cute little number and once I imagined myself wearing it, the decision was made from there. The general consensus on this outfit is a positive one. Instagram is a great place to show off a look and to really grasp whether a look is a hit or miss. I love this outfit on my complexion and because it is a co-ordinate piece set, I can mix and match the top and bottoms in a number of ways.
This entire outfit is £25 (including the £5 bag from Primark) and you can’t tell (If I do say so myself) it looks much more expensive and is perfect for a meeting to a meet up with friends, depending on how you dress it. Seeing as I will be hanging out on this blog a lot longer, I’m going to start putting more looks together as well as launching a shopping section ‘wishlist’ for key pieces I think you should be buying now. (all at a reasonable cost of course!.