8 Things I've Learned in My First Year as The Blockchain Barbie
Can you believe it?! I’m a whole year old! One year ago, I undertook a brand new, wildly pink and sparkly adventure. I, Dana, became The Blockchain Barbie… and it’s become nothing like I thought it would be.
When I got the idea for The Blockchain Barbie, there really wasn’t much rhyme or reason. I was just some blonde girl with a unique pink style that loved technology… and I still am. Essentially, I’d been doing a lot of research and writing on blockchain. My articles were being published in a bunch of different places, but nowhere that was my own. So, when people would ask to see my work, I would have to send them 15 different links and finally I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if these were all in one place? Soooooo..
The Blockchain Barbie was born!
What started as a basic portfolio for my work has now turned into a full blown lifestyle brand. From writing opinion pieces on why Barbie is a good role model, to interviewing some of the top blockchain tech leaders, to becoming a guest writer for the biggest blockchain/bitcoin publication, attending conferences, traveling the world, landing my first sponsorships, and being interviewed by Cheddar/MTV Networks, I’ve done more in this past year than I ever expected.
Now, looking back, I’ve realized some things that I didn’t know before. Here’s what:
Be Self Motivated or Get Out
I’ve always considered myself a pretty motivated person. I was thaaaat girl. You know, the one who has to be in 500 clubs, play a sport, perform in a few musicals, work part/full time, get good grades…the whole thing, but I’ve learned that even all of that was no match for the self-motivation you need to actually run a business and a brand. The fact of the matter is, I am The Blockchain Barbie. If I don’t put in the work, who is going to pick up the slack? NO ONE. Notice any of the dry spells in my postings? Yeah, that was probably a time I wasn’t truly motivated and as a result, no productivity came out of it. If I’m not going to make it happen, it’s simply not going to happen.
Planning and Organizing are my New Best Friends
Being self-motivated is one thing, but being self-motivated without proper planning and organizing is basically just a driven hot mess. I used to always think content calendars were stupid (who wants to plan out an Instagram post for over a month from now?!), but not staying up to date meant that things wouldn’t happen on time. You have no idea how many blog posts I’ve started and didn’t finish… take my word for it -- stay organized and plan, plan, plan!
Keep it on Brand
BRANDING IS EVERYTHING! I cannot stress this enough. I saw this example on LinkedIn one time (s/o to whoever thought of this), but think about how much a paper clip costs. Probably no more than 2 cents. Now, go to Tiffany’s website and please note that they are selling a single sterling silver paper clip for $165 and a single 18K gold paper clip for $1,500. WHAT!!!!! And why are people willing to spend that much on a paper clip? Because it’s a Tiffany & Co. paperclip. And that, my friends, is what we call successful branding. Thank goodness I actually love pink this much ;)
Not Every Idea is Going to be a Hit
Ever take a really dope picture and you use all the right filters on it and think of a bomb caption, only to see it tank? Posting a less than satisfactory insta is a sad, but realistic, blow to the ego. Thankfully, we all move on and next week, when you do throw up that perfect gram, you realize it didn’t really matter at all. Well, I’ve learned that it’s important to take that mindset with you no matter what you’re doing in life. Whether I totally tank an interview, trip down the stairs at the mall, post a less than successful article, or walk around the entire day with food in my teeth, I always remind myself that it’s something I can bounce back and learn from.
Haterz are my Motivaterz
Oh my haters, this one might be my favorite. As I’m sure you can imagine, being The Blockchain Barbie has come with a lot of positive feedback, but also a lot of negative. I suppose it’s not normal to see a girl dressed in head-to-toe pink every single day? Personally, I don’t see the problem, and forget you if you do. It’s the people who are making Barbie jokes behind my back, sending mean messages, and telling their friends that they hope I fail that are the ones that are actually helping me succeed. At the end of the day, you’re just bringing more attention to me and my overall mission of educating people on blockchain while breaking stereotypes, so thank you!!!! Couldn’t do it without you. That being said, don’t fight fire with fire. I believe that class should always be the top of a person’s list. Whether in fashion, life, friendships, or business, use that negative energy and turn it into something positive!
Networking is ACTUALLY that Important
For a lot of us that are up-and-coming or young professionals, we have the idea of networking pounded into our brains. The truth? It is actually all that. I’m always stunned that some random person I met on a plane years ago, could actually become the subject of my next article. Opportunities and important people are everywhere -- just look for them! Next thing you know, you’ll be building your own little network of people who actually want to help you succeed. However, always remember, “to whom much is given, much is asked.” If you’re going to be asking for favors, be sure you’re ready to return them.
Don’t be Shy
For me, being shy has never really been an issue… in fact, I’m probably a bit too outgoing for some people’s taste. Thankfully, it’s been a major benefit! Like anything in life, if you want something, you have to ask for it. I’ve known the people I wanted to interview and work with, but I didn’t actually know them. Thank goodness for LinkedIn and email! From early on, I learned that I would need to be the one to take initiative and I’d never be able to meet my goals if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone. I mean, I never pictured myself as cartoon superhero, but I sure did pose for one on a magazine cover!
Stay True to Yourself… Always
Oh no, not another cliche! Cliche as it may be, this one is by far the most important. You are who you are for a reason, and NO ONE should change that -- try as they might. Over the last year, I’ve been torn down more times than I’ve been brought up. Whether it’s fake Instagram accounts criticizing my looks, mean comments and DMs attacking my values, or vicious rumors circulating group chats, I’ve felt them all. At times, it can feel like if so many people want me to be a certain way, maybe it would be easier to conform. In reality though, it’s being different and unique that has brought me success. If I wore black everyday and didn’t constantly reference Legally Blonde, I wouldn’t make a very good Blockchain Barbie, now would I? Being this whirlwind of pink ambition who wears far too many Juicy tracksuits, blasts an outrageous amount of Hannah Montana, and is constantly talking about blockchain has made me who I am. And who that is, is someone who is so genuinely happy and content. Why would I change that? If there is one thing I’ll be remembered by it’s that no one could change me, except me. Not then, not now, not ever. I’m not like most other women in technology. And that, oh now THAT, is just my superpower.