The first magazine that I ever held in my hands was W. I remember being in awe of its perfection. I barely knew the context of what I was reading, all I knew is that I loved what I saw, and I someday wanted to write for a major magazine. My love for journalism or writing, in general, began at a relatively young age. I remember spending my summer vacations at my great grandfather’s house. I’d wake up really early, set up my desk on his wooden end-table in the living room and pretend to be a journalist. I had tablets galore, pens and construction paper. My great-grandfather, Edgar had gifted me an old unused telephone to complete my workstation. Every day, my imagination ran wild as I wrote for a different publication until one day. my imagination led me to start running my own make-believe magazine.
Fast forward to today, some dreams never die. Several months ago, I launched The Core Magazine. It was during a period for me when I felt creatively stunted and wanted to challenge myself. “What have you always wanted to do that you haven’t done yet?” I had asked myself. I started rummaging through old scrapbooks, 30 mins later those old ideas, scribbled in my chicken scratch handwriting had emerged. Years prior, the idea of launching a magazine had come to mind, but I was afraid to start. “Like Flava magazine but chicer” is what my notes read. I had always hoped for my life to play out like Khadijah James’s on Living Single. So, the idea was there, the vision was there, but what was next?
In the beginning. It took a lot of research in the beginning. I had a lot to learn about all that it took to start a magazine. More than a financial investment, it was a huge mental, emotional and physical invest. I had to really consider if I wanted to spend every moment that it would take to bring this idea to life. It wasn’t easy, but I knew that if I was passionate about curating the content, it would be easy for me. It was never my intent to build anything more than a website for The Core Magazine. As time progressed I saw the importance of creating social media platforms for the brand. If I was going to do it, I had to do it right and go all in. For a long time, I had a period of introspection before fully moving forward with the magazine. Here are a few questions I asked myself and you should consider asking yourself before venturing off into your next big creative venture.
Do I know all that I need to know before moving forward?
The excitement kicks in. You’re ready to branch out and do this. You’ve done the basic work, but have you honestly truly taken the time to research and learn all that you need to know before moving forward? It is imperative to not let the idea of pursuing your dream convince you that you don’t need to gain knowledge about what it is that you’re pursuing. Extensive research is going to get you to know where you need to be. Know what you’re going into before you dive in head first.
Am I ready to invest?
The biggest and most important question. Our ideas are fueled by the things that we love. Our visions and plans are grand, but when it comes time to execute, it takes a lot of financial, emotional and mental investment. I’ve over committed myself to a lot of things. That over commitment ended up being the result of failed ventures. I wasn’t ready to invest. I wasn’t ready to commit and that showed when the project ended up being shelved. Contemplate on how much of an investment it will require you to make before you move forward. By doing so, you save yourself a lot of wasted time and energy that could potentially go toward something you’re ready to invest in.
What is my plan?
You’ve done your research. You’re ready to invest. Now it is time to think about the logistics. What’s your overall plan? Don’t just envision where you see your new venture going 5-10 years down the line. Consider all the short-term plans. What are your plans when you need additional hands-on experience to help get your venture launched? Who are you planning to call when you run into technical issues building your website and you can’t solve the problem yourself? Who’s your point of content for business related questions when Google is giving you the runaround? Have a plan. Actually, have 3 of them. You never know the cards that will be dealt to you. It is better to be prepared to deal with the unthinkable than unprepared and left out in the cold. I hope that this post inspires you to put your best foot forward on that next big creative venture.
Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed
Photo via: The Coveteur