Like many of us at age 20, I had no idea yet what I was doing with my life or career. I was working retail jobs and as an office manager for an acupuncturist, where I occasionally helped with digital marketing and events.
After dropping out of both high school and community college due to health and personal challenges, I realized I needed to figure out an unconventional path to build the career I wanted. So in 2012, I decided to launch my first business — an online magazine with original content by and for women.
Over the course of three years I brought together a team of 60+ writers and editors across the world. We published 2,000+ long-form content pieces. I built our social media channels organically to 10K+ on FB (this was mostly pre-Instagram) and thousands of followers on Twitter and Tumblr. We also made an impact in the broader media landscape, with our articles quoted and linked to in places like The Atlantic, TIME, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Refinery29 (with whom we built a partnership), and more.
My goal was to monetize the site through advertising and affiliate revenue, which never transpired in a meaningful way. The online publishing space was already trending downward at the time, and I was too focused on working on out content and social media (in addition to a full-time job) to give monetization the focus it required.
I ultimately shut down the site in 2015 but am grateful for the experiences and relationships that propelled me to where I am today.