Good Looking Out! Karen Civil Is Creating A New Lane For Entrepreneurs With Complex Hustle

Culture & Entertainment

"I didn't have a resume, and I need people to understand that. I didn't have a resume when Lil Wayne hired me. I didn't have a resume when Beats by Dre flew me across the country to be their 12th employee. I still don't have a resume!" Karen Civil is the badass millennial mogul that plans to change the economic landscape for people of color for good. The 31-year-old New Jersey native has pioneered a 10+ year multi-faceted career in entrepreneurship, and thanks to her latest collaboration with Complex, will give other young go-getters the opportunity to do the same thing.

Civil recently announced the release of her new show, Good Looking Out, that will give young business owners the opportunity to receive industry advice from market professionals. The guest panel will feature technology, fashion, music, food, and lifestyle experts, including but not limited to Gary Vee, Duckie Confetti, Kahlana Barfield Brown, and Kevin Liles.

Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Under Armour

Often called the Oprah Winfrey of the hip-hop industry, Civil built her illustrious career through blood, sweat, and a hell of a lot of hard work.

I think that we can all remember a time when we spent hours trying to perfect HTML codes so that our Myspace page would be tweaked and customized to perfection, but at 13, Karen Civil was on another level. The branding and marketing strategist got her start in middle school, when she created a fansite for her favorite group at the time, Backstreet Boys, that won her a meet and greet that would fuel her ambitions for years to come.

"When I was in eighth grade, I created a Backstreet Boys fan site. I came in third place in a fan site contest and got to meet them. In high school, I created a fan group for J.D. Williams who played Bodie on The Wire. I had the chance to meet him and he took me to have lunch at iHop. At that point in my life, I noticed this Internet thing was giving me the chance to check off goals off of my bucket list."

Her brief encounter with the stars taught her that the internet was the gateway to her dreams.

In 2002, the Haitian-American girl boss scored an internship with DJ Funkmaster Flex on Hot 97 where she realized that she was ready to develop her own digital footprint. In 2008, she created her website, KarenCivil.com and shifted her focus to digital strategy and started working with Diplomat Records.

"Once I started working for DipSet, I realized you could monetize off of this platform if you understand how to engage your audience."

Civil told Essence:

"I always knew I wanted to do something in entertainment. Since I could not sing, had no rhythm, and did not want to be a baby mama, I thought I would explore the Video DJ route." While working for Diplomat Records, I helped several artists with their online branding and social media. Once I left the label, I worked directly with artists and noticed many artists were overlooked and underrated if they weren't in XXL or The Source. In 2008, I started KarenCivil.com interviewing artists like Nicki Minaj and Drake before they were huge."

Later, Civil collaborated with Lil Wayne to create weezythanxyou, a platform that revolutionized social media by allowing the rapper to communicate with his audience via fan letters while he was in prison. The project commanded the attention of major industry professionals including Dr. Dre, and shortly after, she was commissioned to the be the 12th employee and digital marketing manager at Beats By Dre.

Since her industry debut, the influence/philanthropist has garnered a number of impressive partnerships, including affiliations with The Hillary Clinton campaign, Tiffany & Co, Louis Vuitton, and Google. Thanks to her long list of accolades, and ability to network, Civil says that she has what she calls the Carson Daly effect:

"I'm just me. I'm that cool girl who, as I like to say, I have that Carson Daly effect, where if you watched TRL, he was able to do interviews with NSYNC, blend right in, and then he would do interviews with Cash Money and blend in there and you just naturally liked him."

Civil is a reminder that a badass mogul mindset and a good understanding of social media can make every dream that you have a reality.

"Now, metaphorically I sit at any table that I want. I can sit with the jocks, I can sit with the gang members, I can sit with the politicians, I can sit with the CEOs. My brand can fit anywhere."

Check out the first episode of Good Looking Out here.

Featured image by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Under Armour

You know what? Sometimes, you've got to push a few coins aside and determine in your mind that you're going to invest into your sex life (if you had a sex jar, this would be easier to do, by the way. You can read more about what that is all about here). If you're someone who is totally down to do that, but you don't have a clue where to begin, boy have you come to the right place! Between the joy of being a writer who sometimes gets samples sent to me, the constant research that I do for the couples I work with and having folks shout-out certain items semi-often, I've compiled a list of 12 sex-related items that may seem random AF (a pun is kind of intended there) and, at the same time, can make sex so much better between you and your partner. Where's your pad at? You're definitely gonna wanna take note.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about someone who once told me that they had an annual week-long summer rendezvous that lasted for over 15 years with someone else. Yep — this individual would meet up with another person who lived in a different state, solely to have sex for a week straight, and then return to their city as if nothing ever happened. According to them, the only reason why this ritual romp eventually came to an end is because the other person decided to get serious about someone else; however, it wasn't until it ended that the person who told me the story realized how attached they actually had become to their sex partner (a cautionary tale). After I completed my lil' tale, my friend simply said, "Oh, I do that s — t every cuffing season. There are some people who I only talk to around this time of year, we f — k around and then that's that until the season comes around again."

Keep reading... Show less

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks about love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

When it comes to sexuality, there have always been societal limitations centered on what is "acceptable." However, with more honest conversations about how fluid sexuality and sexual expression can be, now there are so many more opportunities for self-exploration and taking back ownership of our identities again. One couple that is living their truth and being sexual beings unapologetically while living and loving their lives are Jasmine Johnson and King Noire.

Keep reading... Show less

I'm so excited because one of my favorite unscripted shows is back. OWN's Ready to Love is a dating series that follows professionals over 30, looking for long-lasting relationships. Hosted by Nephew Tommy, it follows singles who desire true connections and are grouped together to find them.

Keep reading... Show less

Social media influencer and actress Tabitha Brown has garnered viral fame through her inspirational and vegan videos on Instagram, thanks to her cheerful personality and infectious smile. Now, she is entering a new phase in her life as an author. The 42-year-old released Feeding the Soul on Sept. 28 and recently shared an emotional video of herself after finding out her book was number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Jill Scott Talks Balance, 'Highway To Heaven' & Not Burning Herself Out To Produce

In this exclusive, the actress dishes on executive producing the reboot, and balancing business and motherhood.

Latest Posts