What is your occupation and academic background and how did you come to work in this field?
CEO of Lifestyle & Entertainment Sites KarenCivil.com & LiveCivil.com as well as CEO/Owner of Digital Marketing Company, Always Civil Enterprise.
Digital media wasn’t around when I was just starting out but I always knew I was a big fan of the Internet. I actually created a Backstreet Boys fan site and I was able to connect thousands of fans instantly so I had to figure out how to turn this hobby into a profession. I eventually landed an internship at Hot97 where I was able to gain knowledge and figure out my next steps from there.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
The biggest challenge is working in a male dominated industry. Walking into a room and everyone is shaking hands and not addressing you, or people trying to make you feel like your opinions or thoughts have no weight. Feeling like you have to work harder and stay longer just to prove yourself.
Identify one or two of your proudest achievements?
One of my proudest achievements is that it’s just humbling for me to wake up and know that I’m living the life I chose for myself. It’s not often that people have that choice. There are people who are just existing and I choose to LIVE a life I saw for myself.
I built a career for myself that’s helping the next generation of leaders/thinkers come into their own and that’s incredible within itself. Creating some sort of blueprint that people now feel like they can follow.
Working on the rebuild of a local school and the 1st Live Civil playground, both in Haiti. The playground is a 1,500 capacity interactive and secure play space for the children. Every child deserves the opportunity to experience a great learning environment and we want to ensure that we are creating a safe haven that will stimulate their curiosity and foster creativity.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
There are so many incredible women who are doing incomparable things and I’m so happy that we have so many incredible women in the forefront. Zim Ugochukwu, CEO & Founder of Travel Noire is one that stands out but we have everybody from Jasmine Twitty, the youngest appointed judge in South Carolina to Simone Biles, Janice Bryant Howroyd, Oprah, Michelle Obama to Misty Copeland and even Principal Nadia Lopez.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I see the Live Civil brand continuing to grow and expand. I want to have created a few Live Civil playgrounds and to see the release of two or three books.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have impact?
Never put a time limit or constraint on your success.
Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I definitely have people I can call. I don’t get too stuck on the mentor name but great people from Joie Manda to Funkmaster Flex were very instrumental throughout my career and have always just been a call away.