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
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How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Savannah James Credits Her Mom For Helping Her Deal With Fame By Instilling Self-Confidence In Her As A Child
Savannah James has won the hearts of many over the years because she showcases the power of self-confidence and staying true to oneself through various fashion and beauty posts, regardless of the current trends and the opinions of others.
The 36-year-old, who has been with Lakers forward LeBron James for over two decades, shared she was able to form her own identity with the help of social media by unapologetically being herself because of a past experience and the lessons her mother, Jennifer Brinson, instilled in her long before LeBron became a basketball star.
During a recent interview with Vogue, Savannah revealed that one of the reasons why her mother was adamant about her having self-confidence and self-assurance was because Brinson didn't want her to conform to societal pressures as she entered the spotlight alongside LeBron.
Savannah On The Self-Confidence Her Mother Instilled in Her
In the discussion, the mother of three recounted a time when she experienced a hair disaster before her prom due to not explicitly informing her hairdresser about the particular style she wanted.
Savannah disclosed that after viewing the finished product, which consisted of a "partial updo with long bangs," she left the salon with tears streaming down her face. Although she made the best of the situation after composing herself and even posed with LeBron for the infamous prom photo, Savannah explained that was the last she remained silent about what she wanted.
As LeBron got drafted into the NBA in 2003, and the spotlight increased for the pair, Savannah stated that when it came to her looks, she took into account the past horrible experience and the advice her mom gave her about being herself to become the woman she is today.
"My mom always instilled a certain level of confidence and self-assurance in me, so I didn't go into LeBron being in the NBA and having all these spotlights around thinking that I needed to change anything about myself," she said, "I was just going with what I knew, what I was comfortable with, and what I felt looked good on me."
Savannah also mentioned to the publication that she feels it's "pretty dope" that she receives positive remarks about her life, beauty, and fashion choices.
"I'm honestly just being myself. I don't put on air or try to pretend to be something that I'm not because I can't do that very well. So for people to receive me for being who I am, that's pretty dope," the star added.
Savannah On The Talks She Has With Her Daughter Zhuri When It Comes to Hair and Beauty
Later, Savannah opened up about why sharing the experiences she learned about self-love and self-confidence with her 8-year-old daughter, Zhuri James, was necessary.
In the interview, Savannah revealed that once becoming aware that she was welcoming a girl in October 2014, she asked God for Zhuri to have a lot of hair so that she could do it "all day."
"Once I found out I was having a little girl, I was like, 'Please Lord, can she have a lot of hair? Because I just want to do her hair all day.' I never thought it would get to where it is now. You get what you pray for," she said.
Savannah also mentioned that her wish of wanting Zhuri to have long hair wasn't solely based on her physical appearance but rather on the bond they would build overall as they do beauty routines together, something she did with her mom growing up.
"It's important for me [to do her hair] because it's something that I did with my mom. It was a true bonding time that we had, and a time for her to instill confidence in me, tell me that my hair is beautiful, and embrace my curls. I do the same with Zhuri, and we can have an open dialogue about not just hair but other things too," Savannah explained as she shared details about the conversations that occur between her and Zhuri.
Whatever tactic Savannah uses when it comes to being in the spotlight, it appears to be working because she is trending so often on social media for just giving fans an honest view into her life, which is commendable.
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Feature image by Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images