We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ty, how do you define success?
How do I define success? This is a great question because I’ve been thinking about this a lot as of late. As I look at how social media is constantly highlighting everyone’s wins, it’s hard not to measure my own version of success against everyone elses. So for me, the way I’ve begun to define my success is by giving myself grace and determining what’s important to me. When I think back to the pre-social media digital age, I realize comparative success measures were limited. For me, those I compared my version of success to were my friends and family who’d had some sort of academic success or achieved some corporate goal. But now as an entrepreneur, the success measures are much broader. Now I’m wondering, how can I get 100,000 followers like such and such? Or how can I be more popular amongst the crowd? How can I elevate my social validation that I’m a “successful” entrepreneur?
So to take the pressure off myself, I’ve learned to re-define success And set measures that have nothing to do with impressing others. I’ve learned to break my success up into small incremental personal wins. Success for me is more about being realistic with what I believe I can accomplish. Success is accomplishing the goals that I’ve written down on paper that actually matter to my personal quality of life. Success for me is also measured in monthly increments versus longer term. I can feel successful simply because I met my revenue goals in my business so that I can feed my son and pay my household bills.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Oh my, where do I begin? I have been a creative since I was a little girl. I would draw a lot, although I wasn’t very good at it, and write stories all the time. My first notable recognition for my talent as a writer was in the 3rd grade when I received a writer’s award in a local periodical for senior citizens. From there on I’ve had all types of creative endeavors from doing hair to being a nail technician – which as of 2021 I’ve begun to actively pursue again.
Eventually, I would go on to build a business in the self-publishing and graphic design industry. When I began to write my first book I never thought I’d become an entrepreneur in this lane. I simply wrote because I enjoyed telling a good story and my imagination has always been wild and vivid. And even now, my creativity is drawing me into hobbies of photography and filmmaking. After self-publishing my first book and creating my own publishing company, primarily for myself, my natural business personality afforded me the attraction of people to request me to help them bring their creative goals into fruition.
When I started out, I really had no idea what I was doing. However, I have always been a resourceful person and I loved to read. I practically took myself to business school via the Internet and the local library. I did eventually go on to online college and obtained an Associates in Business and an Associates in Graphic Design. I stopped at those two degrees because I found that I learned more from real life and observing others than I did in college. One of my major challenges is controlling my creative impulses. There is always something ticking in my mind. And then there’s the business aspect of it. As a creative, it’s important that I stay focused on the business. In my first couple of years of business I didn’t really make any money because it was hard for me, emotionally, to charge for my art and helping other people. I wanted to give all I had away because I really enjoyed doing what I did. But realistically that doesn’t pay the bills and I had to learn to quiet the passion when it came down to talking business.
Also I’m a natural leader, so through the years of working with people my coaching muscle developed. I recognized that I had a second-sense for encouraging and uplifting my clients through hard creative challenges. Something that I’ve recently started implementing with my clients is for them to develop their audacity muscle. When I look at those that I consider successful, rather a celebrity or common-folk, I pick up that they all have audacity in common. But I don’t see audacity as a negative, as some would use it, but a super power that gives you the fearlessness and boldness to go after everything God says you can have. When I’m working with authors, entrepreneurs, and leaders, for them, self-doubt and imposter syndrome likes to rear its ugly head from time to time. So to combat that I challenge them to turn on the fuel of audacity and let them know they have every right to be as successful as they believe they’re supposed to be. While we may joke about the audacity of a Kanye West, or unfortunately the former president who shall remain nameless, what you can’t deny is their ability to conquer the goals that they set out – no matter how outrageous some of their goals are. And for me it’s all about goal achievement. So then I ask myself, what can I learn from them that can produce a positive outcome for me in my goals and career?
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a very hard question for me because I’m very introverted when it comes down to personal entertainment. I’m usually spontaneous in the things that I do. So if I could dream of something we would probably start off the week by getting on one of the trains in Chicago, primarily so we can people-watch, and then go downtown. While downtown I would have my camera and we would just walk around and take pictures of any and everything fascinating. Another day we would hit up a few museums – starting early in the morning. We’d go to the DuSable Museum of African American History, then to the Art Institute of Chicago, then the Museum of Contemporary Art, and ending at the Starbucks Reserve – Chicago.
Other days we’d go to concerts. One day will be filled with praise and worship with the following acts: Sean C. Johnson, Mary Mary, Jekayln Carr, Brittney Wright, LeAndria Johnson, and Tye Tribbett (no particular order). Then the next day’s concert would be filled with ratchet and soul music: Fantasia, Summer Walker, Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Ari Lennox, and Solange (no particular order). Too many fabulous restaurants to choose from, so it will be whatever is nearby when we get hungry. We’d always find some type of coffee shop to sit down and reminisce.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Realistically, I wouldn’t know courage had it not been for my son. It’s because of my son that I finally made the leap at entrepreneurship. He really gave me the courage to pursue my passions. I didn’t want to preach to him that he could be anything he wanted to be without ever realistically ever trying myself to be anything I wanted to be. I needed him to see me try that and I know I will be successful. My son is my ultimate why. And I have to give God credit because he is the one who made me as I am.
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