“Throughout history, the unicorn was hailed as a legendary creature with a multitude of abilities,” says Ashten Fizer of GoDaddy, “I wouldn’t say that I’m legendary but I would like to think I’m well on my way.”

The web designer is also a writer, speaker and DJ, balancing a wide range of creative careers that require her to problem solve, express herself and master many skills. So yes, we’d say she’s well on her way to becoming legendary.

“I have a tendency to succeed at things I focus on because I put in the work to make it happen,” she says, “I’ve learned that working hard and paying attention to the details tends to make positive things happen for me.”

She describes her career success as being a combination of her always being prepared and also a bit of fate, being in the right place at the right time.

“In 6th grade, I decided that I was going to go to Howard University because I wanted to be like Diddy, so I made it happen,” she says.

She loved music and was determined to keep it a prominent part of her life. She saw DJing as this amazing musical outlet that allowed someone to change the entire vibe of a room, so she taught herself how to be a DJ. Then, after college, she found herself living in Chicago and knew she wanted a career change, so she took her talents to GoDaddy. While there, she knew she wanted to be more than just a face in the crowd, she wanted to make an impact.

“I worked hard and became a Web Developer, Speaker at conferences and Vice President of GoDaddy’s Black in Tech Employee Resource Group,” she says, “I happen to have this habit of realizing what I want and just going for it without giving it a second thought. Sometimes, you just have to go for what you want. So far, it has worked out in my favor.”

Her passion for multiple things was realized after she realized that she didn’t have to keep her worlds separate.

“It’s no secret that I’m a Blerd (Black Nerd),” she says, “I’ve always had a love for comic books, pop culture and gaming. Being a DJ, for a long time, I thought I had to keep those worlds separate. I always thought that my Dungeons & Dragons friends may not mesh so well with my DJ crew. My first loves have always been DJing, ever since I stepped into the Radio studio on the Howard University campus, and what has now become known as Nerd culture.”

For Fizer, it’s an interesting dynamic fitting into both an introverted and extroverted lifestyle, but just like everything else, there’s a niche for that. She’s a member of The NPCC (Nerdy People of Color Collective), a group of entertainers who specialize in nerd culture featuring the likes of WWE’s Xavier Woods and world-renowned Nerdcore rapper Mega Ran, helped her realize that she can live in and appreciate both worlds because she’s not the only one. More proof that representation is a major key.

Other keys? Ashten says these are the first steps to take for anyone looking to “hydrate their hustle”:

  1. Realize that your hustle isn’t just a hustle. It’s your passion. Once you do this, suddenly nothing is impossible.

  2. Understand that there are no limitations to what you’re capable of. If you think it, you can be it. All you have to do is get up and do it. No, seriously, just go do it! Don’t stand in your own way!

  3. Surround yourself with people that constantly inspire you to fulfill your dreams. No woman is an island. Everybody needs somebody.

  4. If ever you run into an obstacle, reevaluate, power through, rinse and repeat 1-4.

Each day, Ashten prepares a mental “Utility Belt” to handle any situation. It includes a daily refill of optimism for when life gets draining and a backup plan handy in case her original path to her goal gets blocked. Patience, tolerance and understanding are also must-haves  in order to initiate collaborations or even have the patience to ask for help when it’s needed. She also never leaves home without the tenacity that fuels her drive to accomplish her dreams. And she says she always keeps love in her back pocket because if we don’t show others love every day, there’s a chance that you might not receive any in return.

“Although our ‘Utility Belts’ might differ in contents,” she says, “You always want to carry the things that will keep a smile on your face.”

And knowing what is important to you as an individual is so important, both in keeping yourself happy and successful, and in recognizing the many personalities and individuals who can reach their own kind of success.

“Unicorns can come in all forms, but all unicorns share a common trait — the ability to live out their dreams,” she says, “A unicorn’s first and greatest challenge is convincing the world that they exist. I’m continually proving my existence by overcoming anything that stands in my way. In life, I’ve come to realize that impossibility is an illusion. I have had the opportunity to DJ with some of my favorite DJs and artists and interview my favorite comic book illustrators and writers. Anything is possible as long as you’re able to fight and put in work for your dreams. Being able to overcome your own fears, doubts and frustrations to achieve your ultimate goal is what defines a unicorn.”

Her positivity and belief in herself is something that helps her keep going, but not everyone is happy to see someone so, well, happy.

“I’ve been called everything from contagiously optimistic to uneasily pleasant,” Fizer says. But she doesn’t let the haters get her down, and says she’s blessed to be surrounded by a strong network of people. She feels like, in the words of Chance the Rapper, “It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap.”

She doesn’t have room for negativity once she realized and embraced all the wonderful things in her life — and that’s something so many of us can and should learn from.

And before she realized and embraced her unicorn status, Ashten was inspired by the amazing people out here doing big things.

“Jason Mayden of Super Heroic showed me that a kid from the southside of Chicago could grow up to be one of the best designers in the world,” she says, “Second, Ashley the Fiscal Femme, who I had the chance to talk to while working at GoDaddy, once told me that in life, quitting is not an option. Also, Raheem ‘Mega Ran’ Jarbo  inspires me to always do what I love and don’t look back.”

But even beyond other professionals who she’s seen in action, she found inspiration at home.

“It was my mother that always taught me to remain tenacious in all actions and to never second guess my plan,” Fizer says.

Looking for your source of inspiration? Want to be surrounded by hundreds of other unicorns looking to make the most of their talents? Come hang out with us at Afrotech.

“Afrotech gave me the same feeling that I felt walking up to my freshman dorm at Howard University for the first time,” Ashten says, “There is no better feeling to experience being in a room full of like-minded, passionate individuals that look like you. The energy that these accomplished speakers (that were once in your shoes) bring to the event is indescribable. I have never in my life felt so at home in my career than at Afrotech. Yes, the networking is great, but you can’t put a price on the renewed sense of motivation, self-worth and determination that you leave there with.”

This post is brought to you in collaboration with GoDaddy.