You work hard, you sacrifice for everything you do, and in one second, someone can tarnish your name - someone can bad-mouth you, and someone can say things. People let all of the good things gets washed away because someone spoke ill of them.
I'd worked in music for years and built all these relationships, so I bought a camera, built a website, and decided to go for it.
Coming from a Haitian-American home, I thought it was necessary to give back to the country in which my parents were raised. That is why I believe in Project PlayWorld's efforts to to provide secure playing spaces for the children of Haiti with the Live Civil Playground.
I take yoga classes, do a mile run, and of course take part in some kind of water sport.
I wasn't the biggest hip-hop fan, because I had to listen to whatever my parents listened to, so growing up, it was a lot of Dolly Parton, Elvis, and Whitney Houston. When they finally put a TV in my room and I got to listen to MTV Jams I was like: 'Here I am!'
The blueprint, for me, was having an understanding of self because this business will try to make you somebody other than yourself or make you change with the times. A lot of times, people will want you to do everything for free, work for free, to be down to do this after you paid your dues.
What are you doing to magnify and grow your business? What are you doing for yourself? You have to self-motivate. I had to learn a million things on Google until I was able to meet people who I could partner with for help.
Unfortunately, Haiti does not have many safe environments for children to play and express themselves.
Everything is a learning lesson, good and bad, so I am happy with the way things are, and I learned from everything negative. I am in a great space now, so I wouldn't change a thing!
For me, for a very long time, I was in denial because when you say you're sad or you're overwhelmed, we consider it whining or complaining. People say, 'Count your blessings,' and it's like, 'Yeah, I am, but I'm still sad. Something is wrong with me.' I had to acknowledge it.
Me myself, I wanna wear sweats with my Jordans one day or a dress with my Jeffrey Campbell.
At first, social media was just about networking. But now that I have to network, I make sure that every platform makes money for me. You can do something on Facebook.
I didn't have a resume when Lil Wayne hired me. I didn't have a resume when Beats by Dre flew me across the country to be their 12th employee. I still don't have a resume!
At the end of the day, I'm still an African-American woman in a male-dominated industry, so sometimes you have to deal with people not taking your ideas seriously. But I look at it as, I'd rather have adversities in something that I love than doing something that I hate or where I am not interested.
I tell people to use me as example of what they can do if they don't give up. I like people to see me as a 'girl next door' who conquered and went after what she wanted.
People will find any reason not to give you credit for your success because, in their mind, your success is their failure.
I love my religion, I love everything about it, but at the same time, I love my career, and I want to do it with the same love and compassion.
It's a feeling I can't describe, to see my work in action. The best is when an artist is appreciative.
It's all about how you use your social platform. Right now, I'm just using mine to empower people, get my entertainment and my news. Other people use their platform for different things.
I come from a great home and fully supportive family that helped to nurture my dreams. A lot of people don't have those same things in their household.
I am big on not pushing anything that I wouldn't do or use. I understand my brand, vision, and the story I want to tell. I am not into taking short-cuts like tummy teas or waist trainers. I want my brand to be a lifestyle and very premium but, at the same time, relatable.
I get this thing where people are like, 'Man, you got to tell me what to do' - like I have a cheat code to being successful. It's hard work; it's trial and error. I failed, but I never let failure get to my head or to my heart.
When I had dial-up, my mom got me a phone so I wouldn't tie up the phone. She used to really pick up the phone, push some buttons, and hang it up so the connection could mess up. Now, it's a joke with her, like, 'Look, the Internet's 24/7. I have WiFi now.'
As an Elizabeth native, I believe it is my duty to give back to my community. Our youth is our future, and it truly takes a village to raise a child.
In high school, I created a fan group for J.D. Williams, who played Bodie on 'The Wire.' I had the chance to meet him, and he took me to have lunch at IHOP. At that point in my life, I noticed this Internet thing was giving me the chance to check off goals off of my bucket list.
Don't let the insecurities of others dull your sparkle. Shine like the star you are born to be.
One of my most memorable moments serving the community was after I built the Live Civil Playground in Haiti, and I visited an orphanage and gave away shoes to all the kids. I also sat with them and helped them design their shoes. The smiles on their faces were priceless.
All I cared about was 'TRL.' I was studying communications at school, and one day before class, I heard about the 'Search For An Apprentice' program.
Be You, Live Civil was a tour that I started, and it's just always something that I've been to myself. 'Be you, live civil' is like 'live my life.' That was my short version of saying to live my life.
Society sets us up to be everything but ourselves, but I want to take a moment and say to people, love yourself. Find your purpose. You are unique, and that makes you great. I pursued my dreams. You can do it, too.
This is random, but I thought I was going to have the biggest Backstreet Boys fansite. I'm not even gonna lie: I thought I was gonna marry one of the Backstreet Boys, and I was gonna be his Yoko Ono.
The assistants, the managers, the PR, the person whose coordinating, the person in production - those are the people I loved communicating with and building network relationships with.
Being in this business and surviving day-to-day can be a constant struggle. It's about learning how to be your own super hero, put on your own cape, and be a well-rounded individual.
I believe that God has blessed me in immeasurable ways so that I can, in return, bless and help others.
I make sure I eat before I go anywhere just in case they don't have a vegan-friendly option.
I always knew I wanted to do something in entertainment. Since I could not sing, had no rhythm, and did not want to be a baby mama, I thought I would explore the Video DJ route.
No one is going to break me. No one is going to stop me. No one is going to remove a vision that I see for myself and the love that's in my heart.
It's unfortunate that cyberbullying is something that happens to 13-year-old kids in junior high and adults in the workplace. It's something that we have to deal with as Americans.
I took business and economics courses. More than anything, I learned the proper steps and the things that need to be outlined. You have to keep your books: how much money you made, how much money you're spending, what you profited, and what you're gonna need for expenses.
For blogs today, it's really about content creation and partnering with a brand. You can get the news in so many forms and so many places. A tweet now is enough to tell you about a story. People don't have to click to go to your site.
Growing up was very interesting for me. If you were Haitian, people just automatically assumed that English was a second language. So they had a special class for my brother and I, but we spoke proper English.
People go to their jobs and hate it every day, but they have great ideas. Put that same time and effort into something you love - it really starts with being honest with yourself.
Giving back has definitely kept me grounded. Stepping outside of yourself to serve a group or community of people who are in need in some facet has a way of doing that. I don't ever want to grow to a place where giving back becomes a foreign concept.
I'm just me. I'm that cool girl who - as I like to say, I have that Carson Daly effect, where, if you watched 'TRL,' he was able to do interviews with NSYNC, blend right in, and then he would do interviews with Cash Money and blend in there, and you just naturally liked him.
Now, metaphorically, I sit at any table that I want. I can sit with the jocks, I can sit with the gang members, I can sit with the politicians, I can sit with the CEOs. My brand can fit anywhere.
Nobody is going to love and honor your dreams like yourself. It's really not looking for someone to be your superhero but for us to save ourselves and to really understand that. I've been at the lowest of lowest of my life, and it took that for me to realize that I want to do better and to be better.
Nicki Minaj is one of those rare artists who get the social aspect of their career. She interacts with her fans. She replies to them. She gets them information first.
I've made social mistakes. We've all made our mistakes and tried things we kind of wish we didn't, but we plan around it. Things happen in situations that are unique and different, and no one is perfect.