Celebrating 5 Years Freelance: Tips from My Mentors


I'm writing this post with gratitude as I look out the window onto the Emmys red carpet from a suite at the Ritz Carlton in LA and reflect on the past five years.  It's been five years to the week that I decided to quit my job and go full time freelance.  Not knowing exactly where that would take me, I created a vision board filled with dreams and ambitious goals.  That year, I did my first national TV segment live from the Emmys red carpet for E!. Today, I came full circle and am back on the Emmys red carpet with E!, but this time as a spokesperson for Dove coined E!'s beauty insider. What happened in between I credit to drive, networking, mentors, strategic partnerships, tunnel vision and gratitude.  


People ask, Did you always love beauty?  The answer... of course, but I never imagined writing beauty.  My goal was to write for a magazine, much like Kate Hudson in "How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days." When a beauty editorial internship opened up at Cosmopolitan, I went for it and the rest was history.  After working at Cosmo as their beauty assistant, I learned the ins and outs of beauty editorial, and beauty PR was calling my name, which is where I began writing BeautySweetSpot.com.  It was only a hobby.  For deets on the rest, check out this article on Forbes.


On a shoot last week

Since being on my own for five years, my goals have shifted from writing to TV hosting and spokesperson work, but of course, I still have a passion for writing.  I had no idea my freelance career could and would take me this way, but as a journalist, it's an incredible feeling to be able to story tell and report on camera, too.

I've found that one of the most important elements to building a successful career is to have mentors.  Here are some of my most important mentors in the past five years and some of their advice.

I've been lucky enough to have mentors all of my life.  Career wise though, I met my first mentor at Cosmopolitan.  Today, she's the Beauty and Style Director of People, but then, Andrea Lavinthal, was my everything.  She not only believed in me enough to give me a chance, but also took the time to show me the ropes. I still look up to her.  Tip: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

I met another mentor, Karen Robinovitz, when I first stared my blog while working in PR.  Currently the CEO of my management company, she pushed me off the edge, encouraging me to quit my job and now, hand in hand with my manager (another mentor), Reesa Lake, guide me to make sure my brand is continuously growing.  Tip: If you're not completely impressed by it, don't post it.

My father has always been a mentor in my life, but I owe him all of the credit for making me a business woman.  Tip: When it comes to business, at the end of the day, most people don't care about you – so make sure you do.  This, we tend to learn the hard way.

Gabby Bernstein is the most recent person to come into my life who I consider a mentor.  A world renowned life coach, I met her over breakfast and the rest was history.  Tip: In order to live life in a state of joy, you must forgive and be grateful. I couldn't agree more and living this way has as she would say, 'made miracles happen.'

You'll learn that mentors come in and out of your life for different reasons.  They teach you, encourage you, enable you, believe in you and have your back. Without my mentors, I'm not sure what these past five years would have looked like.  Don't be afraid to reach out to someone you look up to for advice.  They could end up being your next mentor.  And pay it forward.

So, five years from now?  Well, it's time to make another vision board.