We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Lentini and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Ever since I was a young girl, I was always creating scenarios & planning out businesses, plans, & systems (probably as early as late elementary school) where I was an owner or a manager or a superstar, you name it. In high school, I learned about YouTubers, bloggers, & “influencers” even though that term was just starting while I was in high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up or anything like that, but I did know I wanted to share things & help people. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to share, but I knew that my passion was to serve others through my own experiences & help others by using my gifts & knowledge. From high school to my sophomore year of college, I started a Youtube channel & posted a few videos, I started a few blogs, & I did several other things until my junior of college where I started to consistently post on Youtube. I never imagined I could actually succeed or “turn it into something” so I was just posting to post & living in denial & telling everyone “oh, it’s so fun & I love doing it.” While I did love doing it & it was fun, I knew I was actually wanting to take it seriously, so once I graduated college, a year early, something in my head clicked – I realized I could actually do it & this could actually be something. I obviously wish that moment occurred sooner, but it blows my mind how a thought so small could have such a big impact. Since then, granted it has only been a few months, I actually believed in myself & showed up as the woman I want to be. As a result, I have worked with brands for Instagram & Youtube & haven’t once pitched myself. I only say that because I know the potential is so great because I haven’t even gotten to the hardest part. It’s crazy how the thing I have always envisioned, subconsciously my whole life, is actually coming to fruition now. I say all of this because the thought process has been years of living my life, following the expected footsteps, & trusting myself to make decisions that are scary & definitely not normal or traditional. The biggest thing I have done for myself is believing I can actually do this. and also, the people who are doing what I want to do are regular people, too. They aren’t superheroes. I know it is so cliche, but figure out what it really means to trust yourself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I can go between artist/creative & business because there are two sides to what I do. There is a creative side to this as well as a business side to this. That’s one thing people who don’t know much about this industry don’t understand. There are a lot of misconceptions that we just press record & are done or go around taking pictures all day. While we do that, we also have to ensure our content is going to match our feeds, translate well to our audience, promote ourselves to brands, edit videos that take hours on hours to edit & require bursts of creativity, research trending topics & keywords, optimizing our descriptions & SEO, communicating & negotiating with brands, filming content, & so much more. Because my business is my personal brand, it’s easy to find something that sets me apart from others. I share things that relate to me – currently, it’s being a recent college graduate, moving back home, living in Houston, creating a social media management business, & navigating friendships post-grad. My brand changes as I change. That is also how I got to where I am today, through my own experiences. I talk a lot about my life, but obviously, if I was living a different life, my brand would be different. Getting to this place isn’t always easy. I’ve learned a lot of lessons – trusting yourself, what it actually means to “be yourself”, taking leaps, you are doing better than you think are you, you are smarter than you think you are, you are actually capable of doing big things, & don’t be afraid of what scares you. Overall, I want the world to know this: create the life you want to live. That is 100% what I am doing. While it is scary, it is rewarding & I know it will be worth it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My biggest tip would be to get out there! I lived in the Houston area for my entire life & just recently started exploring it. My favorite things to do: go to the beach in Galveston, visit NASA, go to Discovery Green, explore the museums. Some nightlife places to check out: Handlebar on Washington, Wonderbar & Electric Feel Good in Midtown. I like anywhere I can see the skyline so check out Eleanor Tinsley Park. Houston has so much to offer – go out & explore! (telling myself that, also!)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
KENDALL! Kendall is my boyfriend & my best friend. Have you ever heard the Taylor Swift song, “I’m Only Me When I’m With You?” Also, let’s shoutout Taylor Swift while we are here because she definitely inspires me to be a powerful woman. But back to Kendall, he pulls out the most “me” out of anyone I have ever known. He also encourages me, & when I am doubtful, he pushes me back to the right state of mind. He knows my hopes & dreams & holds me accountable for working toward reaching them. At the end of my final year in college, I wanted to quit Youtube, but he told me to keep going & see what happens, and guess what? I gained the most subscribers in a month I ever had & I started working with brands very shortly after. I could have quit then & I wouldn’t be where I am right now, again, in such a short amount of time. I am beyond grateful for the growth I have experienced with Kendall in my life. My encouragement to whoever is reading this that you too will find someone who inspires you & pushes you to be the best you.
Linkedin: Emily Lentini
Youtube: Emily’s Element