Those who have seen the new Jess LC lookbook might recognize Tieka of Selective Potential. Having met Tieka during the photo shoot and through reading her blog, I’ve come to admire her so much for her sweet, kind personality. No to mention her accomplishments in art school, her personal life, and the blog. So of course I wanted to learn more about how her intentions guide her actions. (I feel pretty lucky that I can just ask the people I admire to spill the secrets to their success through DYL interviews.)
After reading Tieka’s intentions, I really admired how honest and candid she was about her progress. I feel like she’s almost left us a road map of sorts to help us overcome some of the same obstacles she’s faced in the past.
DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Tieka of Selective Potential
Just go for it
I run a personal style blog, Selective Potential, and when I started – I had no idea where I was going with it… or how to even start, but I just went for it. I set it up the best I knew how and started networking and working hard. It was day in and day out on the blog, making it better each and every day and all of those hard working days turned into months of amazing success. I was so intimidated by such high powered fashion bloggers – I always thought to myself, “I could never afford that!” or “I could never pull that off.” It’s not about that. Running my blog – I just put myself out there – with my budget, my life restrictions and try to inspire others through what I’m able to do. I always try to put my best work into the blog – I truly think it all out – and then I just go for it! Most of the time, I get an amazing response from readers and truly feel accomplished with what I have done!
Be in control
I found that I used to “out of control”. I didn’t have a good grasp on time management, or what I should be doing with my life. I found that once I tried to make every second of my day count – the day ended and I felt amazing about how I spent my time and how the next day kept looking better and better! Last year, I lost 35 pounds following the Weight Watchers program. Prior to starting the program, I found myself stressed, busy, with no motivation to wake up in the mornings causing me to be even more rushed and busy, I’d grab food without thinking about it, I’d put off homework to sit on the couch and complain about how I didn’t have it all together. Until, I was tired of that lifestyle! And my weight was the biggest thing holding me down. As soon as I was able to control my daily diet with Weight Watchers, I felt I could do anything. Losing weight made me a better student, a happier wife, a more motivated person to clean the apartment or to be active outside. I’d think of each activity as a bonus for the diet and at the end of it all, I found myself having a blast being busy, and active because it was all things I wanted to do with my life.
Love your surroundings
I grew up with people who complained left and right about our state, our town. “It’s awful here,” “There is nothing to do,” “It’s freezing,” “I hate everyone here,” whatever their excuse, it was unnecessary. And I used to be one of them, until I embraced my surroundings. I live in Michigan – a place not too exciting to the outsider – but as soon as I immersed myself into my surroundings, I fell in love with living here. And being in love with your location and your surroundings, changes your entire outlook on life. My husband, Brett, and I now take monthly adventures around our state to explore something new. I always try to incorporate something unique about Michigan into my fashion blog, by surrounding myself by interesting sculptures or gorgeous scenery. I’ve even found that putting myself into these settings has helped inspire my fashion sense! I feel like whenever I look at an outfit I put together, I think to myself, “That is so Michigan – so perfect for my little beach town!” It’s amazing the fun you can find in where you live, instead of wishing you were always somewhere else. Love where you are.
Love who surrounds you
Surround yourself with genuine people. And most of the time, you’ll know if they are genuine or not. I used to surround myself with some of the worst people and I was never sure why. I knew they weren’t good people, but yet I still spent my time with them until after enough time passed – I still felt alone, like I didn’t actually have friends. I didn’t really get a good grasp on this until I met my husband, Brett. He was the most kind and most caring person I had ever met. Spending so much time with him makes me realize I wish I had spent more time with people like him my entire life. It would have been so much more fun and carefree and “drama”-free. He comes from an amazing family who makes my life so much more worthwhile. And granted, I don’t have many girlfriends – two very close ones – but I know they are both going to be there for me through everything. It’s not the quantity – but the quality of the relationships you have in your life.
I get countless emails from girls asking, “How did you get so many readers?” “How do you get so many comments?” “Why am I not getting comments or readers?” and my answer is always – don’t do something for others, always do it for yourself. When I started blogging, I had no idea what to expect. I blogged because I thought it looked fun, and it was a great hobby, for a keepsake – never to gain sponsors, or readers, or clicks, or whatever! In each one of my blog posts, I always think to myself – how do I want to remember this time period, what outfit do I want to wear while having fun, etc. Many of my blog posts back in November didn’t have many comments – but I put just as much hard work into those as I do now! It’s about yourself – if you’re not passionate about something, then it becomes a job and it loses its edge! So many people believe they can start something and it’s an instant success – it doesn’t work that way. I spent seven hour alone coming up with a blog name! I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent designing the layout, taking outfit shots, editing the shots, planning outfits, shopping, networking, commenting. It’s honestly a full time job – but it doesn’t feel like it because I love it so much. And this pertains to anything in life – whether it’s a blog, or a shop, or a class, or going to college – whatever. As soon as you look at it like it’s a chore, it’ll be a chore!
Every day counts
This was my motto when I started my “life change” January 1 2009, the first day I started Weight Watchers. Every single day, I made sure that every day counted. It would motivate me to wake up in the morning, attend that 8:30 AM class, make it count, to pay attention in class, to eat something healthy for that day’s lunch, and that day’s dinner, and to head to the gym afterwards – just for that night. I didn’t think about the upcoming weeks – how many countless hours I’d have to spend eating non-buttered popcorn or sweating around the track at the gym. I’d think about today. And by the end of it all – I was 35 pounds lighter, ran my very first 5K, had a straight A semester, was on the president’s list at college and the happiest I’ve ever been. After keeping up the “every day counts” mentality for over a year now – I’m graduating, with a studio excellence award, still at my weight goal, insanely passionate about blogging and still have those true genuine people in my life – and I feel like all of those “every days” made up some amazing successful months (and years!)
Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.