Growing up, in between watching the latest cartoon on Nickelodeon and playing tag outside, if you were like most Millennials you planned your whole adult life through a game called M.A.S.H.
As you may recall, M.A.S.H. is a classic fortune-telling game that just required a sheet of paper, a pencil, and at least one curious person who wanted to know their future. Playing M.A.S.H, you would start by writing across the top of the page (M for mansion, A for apartment, S for shack, and H for house) and then several categories below it to further detail out your future. Playing this game you naively prayed and hoped to end up in the mansion and not the shack, and to have a life full of wealth, a beautiful family, and a poppin’ career.
Transitioning from childhood into adolescence, no one would have ever imagined that their life would be full of twists, turns, and challenges – a life so alien from what your M.A.S.H. once predicted.
This is the story of Tyeal Howell.
Tyeal is currently the Digital Marketing Manager for Create & Cultivate, the leading online platform and offline conference series for entrepreneurial and creative women. Prior to joining Create & Cultivate, Tyeal dreamt of having a career in media but never imagined that it would cost her so much sacrifice.
Growing up in Springfield, Ohio as the oldest of two siblings, Tyeal grew up with humble beginnings. She went to college at the University of Akron and studied radio and television marketing and production. In college she was super involved serving as a marketing director for a black student organization, was involved in her university’s ambassador program, and had an on-campus job in the marketing and communications department with the university.
Post college, she knew she wanted to move to a big city to embark on her journey of working in media. Approximately a week after graduating from college, she landed an unpaid summer internship with Blavity in Los Angeles. Eager to start her new career, unpaid or not, she packed her bags with only $500 in her pocket and credit card debt. For Tyeal, while she didn’t have a concrete plan on how life would be post Blavity, she knew taking the risk would be worth it.
While working her unpaid internship, life wasn’t as glamorous as you would think for someone that moved to the beautiful sunny city of LA to work at a popular startup. During the internship, she slept in a bunk bed and on couches at an Airbnb, sharing the space with strangers in the home. However, the type of experience that she was getting made this uncomfortable situation worth the risk. Through Blavity, Tyeal interned in the video department and got to create and edit video content.
Shortly after her Blavity internship ended, she found another internship – although this wasn’t her preferred form of employment. At this point in her career, Tyeal was tired of being an intern, but she knew she needed to put her ego aside and be grateful for the opportunities coming her way. As Tyeal told me, “When you’re out here hustling trying to turn your dreams into a reality, you have to throw away the ego because it will not help get you where you want to be.”
Tyeal’s next internship with was with Maya of Shameless Maya. With Maya, she helped out with the operational aspects of Maya’s video set, and helped Maya organize her projects. She conducted interviews, helped run her social media platforms, and so much more. While interning with Maya was short-lived, it helped her learn more about influencer marketing and she was able to build up her network in the process.
Shortly after working with Maya, Tyeal ended up getting a gig at Create & Cultivate as a Digital and Editorial Assistant. Prior to working for Create & Cultivate, she was already familiar and in love with their brand. On a daily basis, she read their newsletter and website content, and engaged with them on social media. After 6 months of being their Digital and Editorial Assistant, Tyeal got promoted as a Marketing Coordinator. A year and month later she got promoted as their Digital Marketing Manager, leading a team of graphic designers and working on creative projects.
While in those roles, Tyeal stood out because she went above and beyond, and unapologetically spoke up about her skillset.
Tyeal didn’t let her job title or pay level dictate her level of work ethic or how much she was willing to give. She knew that if she got uncomfortable for a little bit, proved herself, and put in work, success would come her way.
If you need help hustling your way to success, Tyeal shared a few gems with Mogul Millennial that’ll for sure take you far if applied.
1) Just do it
In this age of social media, nothing is impossible. If you want to become a digital marketing manager, start by becoming your own personal digital marketing manager. As Tyeal told me, “Take a look at your personal brand, and what you’re sharing on social media. Take a look at your email signature, and your digital portfolio. Create your own brand on the internet and that will show that you know how to digitally market something.”
2) Take the risk
For Tyeal, she couldn’t have had (or it would’ve been more difficult to have) the same opportunities that she’s been blessed with had she not moved from Ohio and took the path less traveled. Tyeal took risks, experienced temporary setbacks, but that eventually brought her success.
3. Stay positive
No matter where Tyeal was at in her life, career wise or financially, she kept positivity in her space. As Tyeal told me, “I’ve always believed that if you speak life and positivity, that you will get the same energy back at you in whatever you do.”
4. Stop making excuses
It’s so easy for us to make a list of excuses on why things shouldn’t happen or why we are not qualified. Whether that’s making an excuse about our age, income, our experience – the list goes on and on. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will take you seriously.
5. Don’t “Bow Wow” yourself
Tyeal told me, “Don’t fake it, finesse it. Don’t Bow Wow your skills and life.” It doesn’t matter how many likes you get or how popular you look, if you Bow Wow it, the truth will come to light.
6. Share your journey
Document, don’t create. When you’re thinking about your journey in life, document it. Tyeal told me, “Don’t be afraid to share the journey, your challenges, and the process you’re going through. Doing so helps other people. Nothing that you’re doing is about you; it’s all for a larger purpose to inspire someone else.”
Keep up with Tyeal on Instagram @tyeal and follow her on her mogul journey!