Terri Liselle is the author of The Millennial Woman, a guide for today’s lady bosses, and we got to talk to her about her very relatable personal motivations, career risks, and accomplishments as a young professional.
For readers who may not know, what is The Millennial Woman, and what inspired you to write it?
Terri Liselle: The Millennial Woman is an updated self-help guide, focused on adopting a “Queendom Mindset,” to rule over doubting thoughts and ultimately conquer success. I’ve had plenty of fun personifying this book, such as understanding the plots of both Sir Doubt and the Duchess of Jealousy.
I’ve written a short book that not only pulls fantasy into self-help, but I’ve written this book because I was first able to achieve my own dreams. Even after obtaining a bachelors and having a stable job everyone raved about, I still felt unfulfilled, depressed, and rather bored.
So by the age of 23, I left my old job and moved to New York City to attend a top fashion design school. Later on I developed my managerial and selling abilities, and eventually found my way into consulting. Since then, I’ve traveled all over Europe, and tripled my income from working minimum wage within a year of making that decision to never settle. One thing I talk about The Millennial Woman, is that she never settles, and therefore always gets what she wants. This could be anyone. I dedicated this book to all the hearts that never gave up on their dreams and goals.
A dream never dies as long as you have the breath of life.
How does fashion and sales tie into the work you do as a motivational speaker?
TL: I express a unique passion for both fashion and sales. In fashion there are infinite possibilities to create, drape and construct a beautiful garment. That’s the essence of what I believe in.
While I worked as an assistant fashion consultant, I developed and launched new fashion brands, while establishing relationships with major department store buyers. This was what I loved the most, about representing a new idea- it was about bringing that idea to life. That’s it. This is what I speak about. Turning ideas into reality. We must harness the ability to sell an idea without exception. Everyday, we sell our image for first impressions, and sell our ideas for opportunities. We even must sell an idea to ourselves! So therefore, everything is built in confidence that we can open those doors wherever we go.
Is there something specific that sparked your interest in writing?
TL: I’ve written songs, poetry, and plays ever since I was a young teenager. My first song that I’ve ever wrote was “Why Are You Looking at Me?” It was based on a boy at school that kept looking at me whenever I walked past him in the hallways. My friends still make fun of me to this day for that old song. I also regularly write in my journal. That’s the feeling that I get when I wrote The Millennial Woman. It’s feels like a diary written from the outside to motivate and rejuvenate the spirit.
What are your hopes for your future and the future of your career?
TL: I would like to continue to grow my networking group, The Millennial Woman Network, which is a membership for personal development and building relationships. I also would like to work in television to motivate a millennial audience. I definitely see myself establishing a social entrepreneurship initiative in the future that will fund projects to develop individual growth.
Can you describe one of your proudest moments since being published?
TL: Definitely, contributing my first article for Entrepreneur.com. I am very blessed to be able to reach out to an audience that I absolutely resonate with. That was one of the best experiences so far.
What was it like speaking in front of a large audience for the first time?
TL: It’s very exciting! I know that the words that I will say will resonate with an individual who continues to hope. I know how it’s like to sit in an audience, and hear the words of someone who’ve actually been in my shoes. So if I could be that person to teach, motivate, and guide an audience to take measured action and unlock their dreams, it is absolutely worth it.
How do you prepare for speaking gigs?
TL: I’m quite systematic in my approach. I pretty much write out my own speeches completely, practice it verbatim, record it on a device, and later, test it on a small audience. I ask for a survey for that speech, and continue to develop it from there.
How did you imagine your future to be when you were a little girl? Did it turn out like you expected?
TL: When I was a little girl, I always wanted to do something serious yet exciting, such as a pediatrician. However, in high school, I remembered asking God to allow me do something great for him. I didn’t quite know what that was, yet I would say that The Millennial Woman is definitely a step in the right direction. I’ve always been entrepreneurial, so having a business that works to help and develop others feels great. I would say so far, it has turned out to be much more than expected.
What has been one of your biggest career challenges, and how did you overcome it?
TL: One of the biggest challenges I’ve had so far, was creating a project that took so much time with little success to show for. I spent about two months focused on that project, and later on realized that the project goal was beyond the time that I allotted for it. Because of this, I neglected other parts of my business to accomplish this goal. I then contacted a few advisors and realized that my biggest mistake was that I wanted quick results for something I didn’t realize that would take eight to 12 months to complete.
After realizing this, I then dissected my workload into smaller easier chunks, so that I can increase my overall productivity.
What is the biggest misconception people have about Millennial women?
TL: One of the biggest misconceptions people have about Millennial women is that we place our careers above having kids and establishing a family. Yes, although we are the largest generation so far since the boomers, our birth rates have also declined by 15% since the recession.
However, I’d like to say that not only do a majority of us have student loans to pay for, I feel that it’s more than just having the right career, it’s about finding the right mate. My mom constantly asks me how my other friends are doing, either they being single or taken. Oddly enough, the majority of us are in our late 20’s yet we still haven’t found our Prince Charming. Could we be busy? Maybe. Or maybe the gentlemen haven’t stepped up their game, as they are also working to pay off their student loans and establish their career? Possibly. However, I believe that everyone is looking for love, and whether someone wants to have a family in their early twenties or late thirties, it’s really up to them.
Anything else you would like to add?
TL: Be sure to read my book, and stay in touch with me via The Millennial Woman Network Newsletter on my website!