Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Miller.
Laura, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always been creative, I played the piano, I sang in the choir, I was a cheerleader, but at some point, I got lost in the wife/mother/employee part of life and stopped creating. I had worked myself up the corporate later, surpassing my expectations and it felt like I was literally failing at everything, and failing everyone. In 2015, I was 30 weeks pregnant with my daughter and was terminated from my job. In the midst of that devastation, I had more words in my head than I could muster! They were just oozing out of my brain. I applied to be a freelance writer for Six Brown Chicks as a long shot and made the cut. After that, little by little, I started to doubt myself and my ability less, I freelanced at places that only my childlike self would dare to dream. It continues to make me a better wife and mother.
In 2015, I also started a collaborative space called the SistaGurl Blog, named after the ideal friendship, which was my mother’s and her best friend. I read an article from the Tribune about a girl Edina Martin who had been gunned down in Chicago by a girl who liked the same boy as her. It made me so sad, and I thought about it, “girls need friends, good ones that can help validate their self-esteem, and show them that whatever the situation is, it can get better”. So, I thought about myself and my friends, and how we could be those types of friends for our readers. There are women and girls that just need someone to talk to, or need to hear the hard truth from someone who they know isn’t judging them. I carry that sort of empowering process in all my writing. (Ebony, Jet, Six Brown Chicks, Rolling Out, as well as the SistaGurl Blog.)
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
First thing, I am a mother of two and a wife. I started this career in my early 30’s and was still told by trusted friends and family that I was TOO OLD to change my career path. It is hard to juggle 2 careers and a family because there will always feel like there isn’t enough time.
However, my best piece of advice is to think about how important your dream is in tandem with your family. Would they want to live with a scorned person with regrets? Absolutely not, they would be more pleased with a complete person who is internally happy with themselves.
I think it’s very important to understand that there will be times when you have deadlines to make at your 9-5, kids activities to go to, and a bi-line due in 12 hrs, that you just don’t think you have the energy to do it all. I am here to tell you, that it can be done if you will it. You will be tired, but you will also be satisfied with the end result!
Additionally, regardless of how busy I am, I never forget to express my gratitude to my family for their sacrifice and really be grateful for the process that I am in. 10 years ago, I was a customer service rep watching extra, thinking, I can do that job, now, I DO THAT JOB! It’s a blessing beyond comparison.
Please tell us about The SistaGurl Blog.
I am a freelance writer and content creator for multiple publications, as well as creator of my own EMPOWERMENT Blog for Women of Color.
I think I’m known most for my celebrity interviews with Six Brown Chicks, my lifestyle articles at Ebony, JetMag, and Rolling Out.
As far as the SistaGurl Blog, I am most proud of the SistaGurlMystique series, which was a live interview series that I did on Facebook to rebrand the image of the female role model. I featured women in a multitude of careers to show audiences that women of color are more than IG Models and Reality stars, we are Brand Managers, Dentists, Program Managers, Therapists, Lawyers, and Artists.
My interview style even wins on national publications is unique because I focus on each person’s purpose and how their work intertwines within it. I also utilize relatable issues that everyone has experienced, such as heartbreak, failure, and missteps within the coming of age.
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
It is my belief that we must sow good fruits! It has been said several times to me, that the key to entrepreneurship is establishing good relationships. So, that can be something as simple as not shoving a business card to a person without an introduction. It can also be serious as utilizing your time to help someone in need. We never know when we will need someone, or when someone will need us, so it’s very important to be useful when you can.
As far as networking, I say go to the events that are within your market as well as outside of them. Even for an outgoing person, it took me years to really feel comfortable with chatting with a group of strangers, just move through the awkwardness because what’s at the end is richly rewarding.
Mentorship is important. Often times, we don’t feel like we’re in a position to teach or share our experiences with others. Regardless of where we are in our lives, the things we already know can help someone else. Also, mentorship helps the mentor as well as the mentee.
- Website: www.thesistagurl.com
- Phone: 312-937-6663
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Lauramillerpens
- Facebook: Laura Miller
- Twitter: 80sbaby_83
@glophotograhy (Gordon Olive Jr.)