Building anything in life does require both human and financial resources, and trying to steer a person’s mindset to view the lay of the land at your level can be very frustrating. Internally and externally, one must, at times, exercise flexibility. What do I mean by this? Picture me stating to someone that my publication is a print-on-demand distribution, and I would like for them to purchase a copy. Them boldly telling me no, coupled with harsh explicit, was like crumbling brinks at a construction site. You see, traditionally, with major publications, they would receive a complimentary copy. Most individuals feel I should exercise the same practices as mainstream; overlooking my budget is not parallel.
We had the pleasure to interview Tilsa Wright. Tilsa is the Editor-In-Chief of We Talkin Magazine. Her interest and passion for writing and magazines were sparked in 2009 by a Mr. James Lisbon who had a small newspaper called “The Queens Light.” Tilsa’s accomplishments to date include securing interviews with people she was apprehensive to approach. If Wright’s influences are anything to go by, then her success comes as no surprise. She listed the likes of Sean Combs and Oprah Winfrey as some of her influences. Not only does she find inspiration from these titans of the entertainment industry, but also everyday people who are in need of exposure and building with them from the ground up.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’m not able to pinpoint an actual story per se. However, It has always been my passion to create a platform on my terms that will highlight individuals who need exposure.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Where do I begin! Oh, let me see. Nervously reaching out to Danny Simmons on Facebook and pitching the magazine’s cover feature back in 2011. He was very approachable and allowed the team to do the photoshoot at his home in Brooklyn. A few weeks later, as a thank you, Danny invited us to The Rush fundraising brunch in mid-town. What was surprising for me was to see his niece Angela petite stature in comparison to how television made her appear. Her skin is so radiant, and her taste in fashion is on point.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Comically none. In all honesty, I have made mistakes that have cost me financially. Celebrities’ names are involved, so I’m not privileged to disclose.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on We Talkin Magazine’s second annual Brooklyn Black Women in Business edition. Putting the content together is like a puzzle on the one hand, while some women are excited to be involved. The fog for us is finding women who are willing to integrate their social media network with others outside of their established business colleagues. I have discovered that many vow women empowerment. You know vocal cords, but their actions say something different.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started,” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
5. Oh, heaven’s this question is like I’m being crossed examined during a court proceeding.
4. Sticking to my process and not feeling intimidated.
5. Learning to let go when a project fails.
I will share a little bit about expectations. Building anything in life does require both human and financial resources, and trying to steer a person’s mindset to view the lay of the land at your level can be very frustrating. Internally and externally, one must, at times, exercise flexibility. What do I mean by this? Picture me stating to someone that my publication is a print-on-demand distribution, and I would like for them to purchase a copy. Them boldly telling me no, coupled with harsh explicit, was like crumbling brinks at a construction site. You see, traditionally, with major publications, they would receive a complimentary copy. Most individuals feel I should exercise the same practices as mainstream; overlooking my budget is not parallel.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take your time whenever you hit a wall. It’s alright to reverse, stop, regroup, gas up and then push forward. Easier said than done, especially when you are one degree from your goal. However, do note that a burnt-out mind sees nothing. Enjoy life too. COVID-19 sure is teaching us memorable lessons.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Now this question is a home run. #2getherwerise is a co-pilot concept among myself, a few colleagues, and polished with the help of Nickie Robinson. This campaign speaks a clear value of collaborating resources among small businesses with one common goal: marketing and branding.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Too many individuals to choose from and tearful stories I rather not share. I will, however, share this. I honestly take notes of each person’s role and acknowledge them along my journey. Being ungrateful is a characteristic I stray from being.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Speed doesn’t build a strong nest.” I’m a work in progress when it comes to acting impulsively, and I often focus on the pros and neglect the cons that can deflate a balloon.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.
As we so rightfully call Jay-Z, also known as Mr. Sean Carter, is Hip-hop’s best chess player, and it would be so kind if he could share an ounce of gems with me. That would be the best birthday gift ever! Which, by the way, is November 3rd?
Your readers can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @yourqueensinc and on Facebook at Your Queens.
My personal Instagram is @tilsacwright, and business @wetalkinmagazine
Thank you for these great insights. This was very inspiring!