There are some people from Chicago that dream of making things happen, and others that make it happen. Using social media to create a brand, lifestyle, and movement speaks volumes on a colossal scale that one tweet could have never predicted.
Some people call Luvvie Ajayi the "Olivia Pope" of social media while flaunting her signature red pumps all over the world. What's so interesting is how her powerful humorous social voice is able to span into the categories of impacting issues that matter. Every success story always has key points you can apply to your life, and Chicago is fortunate to help produce a glowing star known as Luvvie Ajayi.
When breaking down the core essence of entrepreneurship and creativity, there seems to be a common denominator that relates to a higher philosophy of why they do what they do.
"I do what I do because it comes natural to me, and I want to make people laugh while inspiring them. I want my presence to mean something. So I think everything I do falls on those things," Ajayi said. This also relates to how Ajayi came up with her name.
"Luvvie was a nickname and then it took on a life of its own. My first name in Yoruba means 'God's Love,' and my family calls me Luv. Luvvie kind of evolved from that."
Sometimes success doesn't come over night but when it does, things gets interesting quickly. Ajayi has definitely made a strong presence through co-founding The Red Pump Project, a non-profit raising awareness about the impacts of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, teaching at Social Media Week, and attending The American Academy Awards.
A huge milestone in her career was winning the Women's Media Center Social Media Award in 2012.
"It was a peer voted award, and I was against 21 other women who included Issa Rae, and Janet Mock. So for me to win that award it was like whoaaa," Ajayi says with excitement. "Like that's some real competition. Those are some real dope women. My community kind of rose up, and represented for me. Getting nominated with those women was great, and to win ... I was not even expecting it. I'm not even saying that in a it's an honor to be nominated way, but I was literally not expecting to win. To win it was phenomenal, and I got to speak in front of a room that included Barbara Walters, Anne Hathaway, and Gloria Steinem," Ajayi says.
With an award of that stature under her belt you think the road would be easier. That's not always the case. A lot of entrepreneurs and creatives have to deal with obstacles, and dynamic scenarios that some traditional jobs do not have to deal with that often. For Ajayi, it's proving her worth.
"It's in people not necessarily wanting to pay me for my worth, and me making sure I'm standing my ground. Basically how I'm dealing with it is understanding I can stand firm, and know that you know I deserve to be paid and it should be little negotiation with that."
"I think it's a problem that most creatives, photographers, writers, designers deal with. Having to constantly prove themselves. Yes, I am charging you this much because I am worth it. A lot of the time people don't have something tangible to hold on to, they [employer] don't respect the amount of work that goes into what you do."
This is a huge problem circulating around the entrepreneurial and creative communities when it involves hourly pay, or producing quantifiable outcomes. Whenever there's a problem some may call the Ghostbusters. On the more humorous tip, Ajayi would pick Olivia Pope (ABC's Scandal) over Annalise Keating (ABC's How To Get Away With Murder) when any problem needs to be solved.
"I would have to go with Olivia, because she somehow gets out of everything. She makes a way out of crazy situations. I would definitely consult Olivia, and plus I enjoy her wardrobe. She [Annalise Keating] is new. She's done some dope stuff, but I can depend on Olivia," Ajayi says with enthusiasm.
As we put a close into the Luvvie Ajayi manifesto on a stage in front of billions of people she would give an amazing speech on making an external impact.
"Living a life outside of your own. Meaning where you make an impact outside of your immediate circle, outside of your family, outside of your friends. That's what I would say because I feel like if more people honestly thought about the world and everyone as a giant community, we would be better off. Because we would be working toward things that are greater than us."
Follow Luvvie on Twitter @Luvvie
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and commenters and do not reflect the views of Choose Chicago.