This is the first in an article series called TTF Investigates. We will be reaching out to creative content creators and artisans to really get an idea of what motivates them, inspires them and hopefully get some of their secrets to success.
People often ask me “What is TTF about?” Is it supposed to be a food blog? Not exactly. Are you trying to be a DIY blogger? Not at all. What makes you an authority to dole out life advice? Speaking with confidence doesn’t make me an “authority.” The truth is The Tri Factor is meant to be all of those things. A culmination of all my interests, passions and knowledge.
I used to always say that I have a great deal of useless knowledge about things no one would care about (weeknight dinners, making hats, life tips), but then I realized wait, I’m not no one. If I care about something, why wouldn’t other people? I’ve had more than my taste of failure in life, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen if no one reads the site? The only real way to fail is to not even try, to do nothing.
When I was shaping the idea and my original plans for my site I got a lot of advice (from people who had zero experience writing/blogging).
You need to create a singular vision and just stick to it.
If it’s going to be about food, make it about food.
Don’t try to do too much at once.
Don’t be like J.Lo.
I knew that I had a great catalogue of really good recipes, so I at least had that in the bag. So I thought maybe I’ll just do a food blog and once I build an audience I could possibly consider writing about other topics that intrigue me. Thankfully before I pulled the trigger on creating a food blog I had another realization: Don’t be like J.Lo? I LOVE Jennifer Lopez. Besides being an ICONIC entertainer, what I love about her the most is the fact that she never let anyone put her into a specific category. Why be just an actor when you can also be a singer? Why only have a fragrance when you can create a lifestyle empire? Why only produce projects for yourself when you can be an inspiration to the entire Latin community? Most importantly, why would you let those who think they know everything tell you what you can and cannot do?
The only person who knows what you can and can’t do is you. Is success guaranteed to follow having a go-getter attitude? Of course not. Let’s be realistic, I’m not planning on taking over the food world with a couple of cupcake recipes. But why should a low likelihood of success stop me from putting my recipes, ideas and how-to’s out there for people to enjoy? That’s the entire point of creating TTF. I never set out to make a ton of money. I wanted to really create a positive community where people can exchange ideas. A place where people can learn the same things that I’m learning at the same time because why not?
The scariest part about starting a project like this is having to put yourself out there. Clearly not everyone is going to be a fan. There are always going to be haters. But remember, it’s super easy to be a critic when you’re hiding behind a computer screen and not putting content out in the public space. I know it’s easier said than done but why do we give so much authority to every negative opinion that’s out there? Unless it’s thousands of your peers in the industry telling you that you suck (highly doubtful) than you need to take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt.
So many people told me it was a bad idea to expand my brand into so many different subjects or that it was a bad idea to give tips on things that I’m not an expert in. But that’s what I can’t stand. People want to put you into a box when you have talent. It’s human nature to want to cultivate talent but it’s hard to accept when you’re multi-talented. I take cooking extremely seriously. I religiously watch cooking shows, I’ve read so many cookbooks, I’ve taken cooking classes for years, and I’ve even been a professional pastry chef. But how does being knowledgable about food mean I can’t write about DIYs or give beauty tips?
I have so many ideas and things I want to share with other people that I think readers would really enjoy. People kept telling me to “stick to what I know,” but how can anyone who is not me dictate what that is? Jennifer Lopez said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s not about seeking that validation for me. It’s about expressing myself and being able to do the things that I love to do.” I love that statement. The only person who can truly give you validation is you.
All content is not created equal. Some attempts at life have not been met with an equal amount of success, (my musical comedy career hasn’t taken off). But that’s not going to stop me from constantly creating content that I want to read (and hopefully you guys do too). So this is a message for all the people trying to tell me to stay in my lane: If your name is not in the domain then you need to zip it because TTF is a community about possibility, taking chances and optimism. Better yet, to quote Cookie Lyon “The streets weren’t made for everybody. That’s why they made sidewalks.”