Breaking in to the entertainment world often comes down to possessing a winning combination of sheer luck and good timing. Very few people remain in the industry long enough to become household names. While only the ones who are skilled at their craft and have the right amount of hustle, are the ones that keep us talking and watching.
La La Anthony is one of those talents who cannot be ignored. You may have started following her career years ago when she was the host of MTV's TRL, or perhaps caught on to her in recent years as she added being a New York Times best-selling author to her stacked resume. Yet the title today that keeps her name buzzing is Actress. Leave it to invested fans on social media and you'd think her name is really LaKeisha – a role she played on the hit show Power for six seasons.
Photo Credit: Robert Ector
Now, let's add that up. Television personality, New York Times best-selling author, actress, producer and businesswoman. Yes, girl. Ms. Anthony is a boss with plenty of businesses under her belt, including her own collection, the La La Anthony Collection at Foot Locker.
Recently, we spoke with La La to find out why her hustle won't stop and the baton of wisdom she would like to pass on to other boss ladies.
Don’t let the money make you.
"I'll never take a job based on money. I've always made decisions about my career based on what I want to do, what I love to do - even if it wasn't paying a certain amount of money. If it was me following my passion and dreams, I was willing to do it for free. I was willing to take a pay cut of whatever it cost me, so it was always about the passion and the drive. It was never about just chasing a dollar bill. Sometimes I feel like chasing money leads you to nowhere. Make decisions based on your passion, your heart and what you want to do."
Forget fake it ‘til you make it.
"Confidence is all about inner work. It's all about self-work, believing in yourself and having high self-esteem. You no longer need to be validated by what people say about you in the outside world. I think when you get to that place, people can feel it. When a person's confident, when they walk into a room, people treat them differently. You approach them differently. So, I think it all starts with inner work to include that confidence in all aspects of your life - your career, your personal life, with family - it all starts with you. It's a job that is never done. Every day you have to work on yourself and remind yourself how great you are. We have to learn how to be our own cheerleaders and not to rely on anyone else."
Photo Credit: Robert Ector
"Confidence is all about inner work. It's all about self-work, believing in yourself and having high self-esteem. You no longer need to be validated by what people say about you in the outside world. I think when you get to that place, people can feel it."
Tune out the noise of doubters.
"There's nothing you can do that everyone's going to like or agree with. Nothing you can wear, there's nothing you can say and there's no amount of education that everyone is going to agree on. It's just impossible. It's the world that we live in, the world of social media. A place where everyone feels like they can have a comment and opinion on every single thing that you do. I just have to learn to be comfortable with me, be happy with me. As long as I'm secure in that, none of that other stuff really matters. All of the positive energy is amazing, but for every positive there's going to be a negative. You just have to learn that it all comes with the territory."
Grind ‘til you own it.
"My story for Power is that at the time of casting and auditioning, I was pretty relentless in asking for an audition and wanting to go in there and show the room that I can play this character. Why I'm the right choice for this, and I didn't let up until I was able to get into the room and get that opportunity. But you know, when you get into that room and get that opportunity, you have to seize the moment. It's one thing to get an opportunity and then drop the ball because it might not come around more than one time. I was blessed enough to be able to seize the opportunity. I don't think any of us can do it alone. There is not a single person in their career that's successful that did it on their own without help along the way or advice along the way or a helping hand along the way. You can't be afraid to ask for these things but when you do get them, you also have to be prepared for that moment that you've been asking for."
Courtesy of STARZ
"There is not a single person in their career that's successful that did it on their own without help along the way or advice along the way or a helping hand along the way. You can't be afraid to ask for these things but when you do get them, you also have to be prepared for that moment that you've been asking for."
Stay grounded in faith.
"My faith is extremely strong. I rely on my faith and God in everything that I do and in every decision that I make. Everything starts and ends there for me. So that's what keeps me going. I know that whatever is meant for me is meant to be. My plan is already destined and I'm just trying to follow it. My faith leads me to make all these decisions and to feel comfortable in whatever stage my life is in at that moment because I know everything is playing out exactly the way it's supposed to. I think there is a lot of comfort in knowing that."
For more of La La, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image by Robert Ector; images courtesy of La La Anthony