Stepping out of your comfort zone to make room for opportunities is like second nature to Nefertiti "Neffy" Anderson. Whether it's in the workplace or through her own business, Neffy shows that when your faith outweighs your fear, good things will come.
Neffy is a marketing pro and entrepreneur who currently works for Mediabistro, a company that offers resources for professionals in the media industry. When she leaves work, her hustle doesn't stop. She is also a branding consultant and the founder of the web series The Path Less Traveled, where she motivates individuals through her interviews with millennial entrepreneurs.
When we're in our comfort zone, we're living in a state of contentment. When we take a leap out of this zone, we're taking a risk, but we open ourselves up to new beginnings and better opportunities. Achieving success wasn't always easy for Neffy. She endured many hiccups along the way but she still pushed through. By intentionally going out of her comfort zone and taking the path less traveled, Neffy has been able to accomplish so much at just under the tender age of 25.
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Here are the five things that I learned from Neffy from her experience in stepping out on faith and stepping out of your comfort zone.
When you have faith and work hard, it doesn't go unnoticed
Neffy interned at BET one year prior to graduating college. When her internship came to a close she was offered a position at BET but declined it because of timing purposes. Once she graduated college, the job at BET that she was once offered was no longer available. At that time she decided to pitch an idea to her college career center to be the face of their online brand as their social media correspondent. With her new job at her college interviewing students and other university clients, she became the cameraman, the host, the editor —literally the everything. On top of that, she managed all of their social media accounts. Doing all of this provided her with exposure and eventually attracted BET's attention to her once again. After three months of seeing her hard-work and dedication, BET reached out for her to join their team.
"Hard work doesn't go unnoticed — someone is always watching."'
Sometimes doors close so you can build new ones
While at BET, she worked on the show The Game and created all of their social media plans for the Black Girls Rock awards, the BET Awards, and managed all of BET's social media. She also handled all of 106 & Park's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram efforts and later became their backstage correspondent.
Just when she thought everything in life was good — I mean hey, she was working for freaking BET — she was laid off because of budget cuts. Instead of staying in her comfort zone by applying for a different job at BET or finding another typical job, she used money that she saved and took the opportunity to travel.
"I went to London and Paris, and when I came back, I realized how much I neglected my love of travel," she says, "I also realized I didn’t want to just hop back in another situation, another job, without doing the things that make me feel happy, make me feel fulfilled."
After obtaining internal peace and a peace of mind from traveling, she began working in marketing at Mediabistro. At the time of her hire, Mediabistro was looking for a new way to revamp themselves. They ended up hiring Neffy because she had valuable experience in all areas that they desired.
Life isn't as glamorous as it seems when you live out your dreams
Between her 9-to-5, her personal business as a branding consultant and The Path Less Traveled, Neffy is definitely busy. In her web series, she's the host, the producer, creator and the talent booker. When she's not at her 9-to-5, she's networking at work events, working on the back-end of her web series and conducting interviews.
"I know most of the time, people think the entrepreneur life is CUTE, but it is not cute all the time," she says, "Sometimes when I’m coming to work in the city, I have my backpack on that has my camera and light equipment. I also have my bag, I have my lunch bag and so much more. It’s like I have the whole house, and the couch and the dog with me! But I push through because when you love something, you will do anything to make it happen. So that’s what I do, I just make it work.
Never worry about what others say or think about you'
In her web series, Neffy strives to motivate others to live life fearlessly, whether that is in or outside of the workplace. For millennials, we deal with so much stress as the newbies and as the youngest people in the office. Neffy believes in not letting any preconceived notions about millennials stop her hustle, confidence or work ethic.
"When I was at BET, and even now, I try not to internalize any of the misconceptions that people have about millennials," she says, "I try to combat those misconceptions with how I am as a person. I am a hard worker. When I'm at work I show up and I speak up. I’m not afraid to let what they think about me or what they think about our generation affect who I really am. I also kind of use the whole being younger thing to my advantage."
Play the game of life and change the game
In life, it will become easy to live according to the status quo and stay in our comfort zones. By choosing to not live in fear and pursue our dreams, we are missing out on opportunities and on inspiring others to do the same. In and out of the workplace, remember to make the most out of every opportunity, create your own, and never lose sight of yourself. As Neffy told me, "Never get so caught up with the demands of the world that you forget to do things that you want for yourself."
Neffy Anderson is definitely a millennial that is making big moves! I can't wait to see what's in store for her future.