The Adventures of a Rising Mogul
The joke stopped being funny because it stopped being true.
It started as a joke. As a nineteen-year-old with no money or social cachet, and who wasn’t born into either, titling my microblog “The Adventures of a Wannabe Mogul” was a self-aware wink at the absurdity. A mogul is someone of great ‘influence, power, or wealth.’ The word ‘wannabe’ is pejorative: an “overeager amateur” who “wishes to be or do something, but lacks the qualifications or talent.”
When I directed and published the first issue of my magazine, I was an amateur. I wasn’t qualified.
A decade later, I am a far-departure from the green bean I was at nineteen: I’m a philanthropist who runs an international arts grant. I’m building an ethical media foundation. I’ve published multiple issues of a print magazine whose editorials I directed from cover-to-cover, concept-to-print. My dinner party series has platformed women chefs, challenged community silos, and facilitated cultural conversations. I’ve hosted a James Beard award-winning chef. My events have a 100% sellout rate, and an 85% attendance rate. I’ve given a university keynote. I’ve branded and rebranded multiple companies, and formally mentored individuals. I could go on and on.
Once, after ranting to my best friend about something silly, I joked, “Thank you for coming to my TED talk.” She responded, “Girl, haven’t you actually given a TEDx talk?” The joke didn’t land the same, coming from someone who had.
A decade later, the words “amateur” and “unqualified” no longer apply.
I stopped self-identifying as a “wannabe” because it kinda started looking like I was “about to be.” The joke stopped being funny, because it stopped being true. That’s how we arrive at the “Adventures of a Rising Mogul.”
I might not be there yet, but I think it’s safe to say: I’m way past ‘wannabe.’
If you take nothing else from following me, let it be this: even in jest, watch what you say about yourself. You are [subconsciously] always listening.