Hillary Weiss is the kind of person you discover on the internet and are so glad you did. She has one of the strongest internet presences and voices I’ve ever encountered, and her badass attitude is nothing short of inspiring. Here she discusses why she loves being a copywriter, how to pitch clients (and win!) and the honest money lessons she’s learnt from being self-employed. Enjoy! It’s one of my favourite interviews yet.
You’re a renowned copywriter and content extraordinaire. Why do you love what you do? Has anything surprised you about your chosen career path?
I love what I do for so many reasons.
Firstly, because writing has always been the only thing I’ve ever been good at.
Seriously: I’m awful at math, I’m not naturally very organized or very neat, growing up I tended to, uh, resist authority, etc. So being a writer – and a self employed one at that – has been the perfect path for me in a lot of ways.
Secondly, I adore my job because it gives me endless opportunities, every day, to transform lives and business, just by giving a voice to ideas.
So many brilliant human beings bite their tongues when it comes time to share what’s in their hearts, or even talk about the stuff they’re experts in. They don’t know if it’s the right moment. They don’t know if they’ll say it the right way. They aren’t sure how people will react, or worse, not react. They wrap themselves up so tightly in a web of fear and doubt, their songs go unsung, and uncelebrated. Being able to step in, and be the one to say “Yes, this idea is worth sharing, and I can help you share it,” is a true privilege.
I don’t always know what I’m doing either.
I don’t always know how people will react, or whether an idea is as good as I hope it is.
The only difference is that I have the experience-tempered audacity to shut my eyes and pull the trigger anyway.
We all have them.
Mine begins with writing, safe behind a screen, and ends abruptly at public speaking and networking in a room full of successful strangers.
You see, I know my limitations. I know them and I try every day to expand them.
Today, I went to 10 Downing Street (!!!). I was invited by an amazing networking group called DevelopHer and, to be honest, I was scared. As I handed my invitation to the policemen at the end of the street, I realised the intensity of what was happening. “Deep breaths,” I told myself, as I attempted to walk down Downing Street like it was any old road on any old day.
There’s no denying it. Following a creative path has its ups and downs.
But does comparing yourself to others, creatively speaking, have its advantages?
Yes and no.
This year has been painful for me in many ways, particularly for my mental health.
The reality is that having a full-time job to support myself while working on my online magazine, Juliet Oscar Yankee, is exhausting. I’ve been putting in the work and making sacrifices for so long, and yet I haven’t seen many results.
I’ve been working, working, working on my creative project and nothing has come of it.
Am I even allowed to complain about it?
It’s not often people candidly talk about their struggles without a success story at the end of it, but here I am.
Let’s talk about frustration, jealousy and creative breakdowns.
Kristin Harris is Celebrity Editor and Head of Talent Relations NY at Buzzfeed, where she’s interviewed the likes of Ryan Gosling, Robert De Niro and Kate Winslet and generated over 6 million page views per month (!!!). We met while interning at Vogue and she’s been impressing me ever since with her tenacity, drive and lust for life. Here we discuss career mistakes, why happiness is a concept, how she learnt to stand up for herself and much, much more.
When we’re younger and in school, we have a strong sense of community. Our activities are often centred around volunteering, and giving back is second nature.
But then life gets busy. We grow up. Work takes priority. Things get harder. We comment on global events amongst ourselves, but carry on as usual. We’ll share our condolences on Twitter and jump on the latest hashtag, but, when all is said and done, we stay home. Sure, we all donate the odd amount and sign the odd petition, but how often do you really make the effort to positively impact the world around you?
If I’m being honest, I certainly don’t enough.
And I’ve all too often thought “well, what difference can I make? I’m just one person.” Wrong.
It’s too easy to think you can’t do anything. It’s too easy to dismiss the system as “rigged”. It’s too easy to feel helpless and dismiss yourself.
And yes, we don’t have control over who the president is or Brexit or any of 2016’s atrocities. They have been decided. But we do have control over what we do next.
You are not helpless. Not even close. You, right where you are, with what you have, have the capability and power to make a positive difference in your own way. In the face of hatred, we must love harder. In the face of adversity, there is no time for complacency.
Here are five (actionable) ways you can get started. Because you and me? We have work to do.
Kayla Hollatz is a writer and social media strategist. But that’s not all… she’s an expert brand builder, coach, founder of the #CreateLounge Twitter chat and podcast, and a generally amazing human. Here we discuss what it’s really like to work for yourself, the people that keep her inspired and her top tips for building your own creative community, virtually or otherwise.
When I was a student, I spent a lot of my Saturday nights alone. A move to a new city and a deceased relationship left me completely lost.
It was isolating. At a time filled with insecurities and uncertainty, to be alone on a Saturday when it felt like everyone else was with friends and having THE BEST TIME EVER!!!1, there I was with a box set and a 10pm bedtime just because I had little choice.