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You could say my entrepreneurial story started this year after its decades-long prequel finally came to a close.

Here’s the backstory, in Cliff’s Notes fashion:

  • My early life experiences helped me develop a fervent passion to support women by helping them heal their deepest wounds and solve their most persistent problems.
  •  In third grade it became apparent that I seemed to have a knack for stringing a few words together and making them sound pretty.

In retrospect, it was then that I clearly had the foundation of my current-day business.

Then I spent the next 20+ years trying to figure out how to turn those two into a career.

In 2012, under the guidance of Mastin Kipp of TheDailyLove.com, I made some sense of it all and put my purpose to paper.

Once it was written down, verbalized, inked, memorialized and memorized, there was no turning back. And although I tried to avoid focusing solely on this purpose (due to fears, self-doubts… the usual) and instead continued to take tangentially related jobs, I began to cautiously dip my toe into the purpose-fulfilling pool of possibilities.

Those possibilities included starting a dating & relationship blog in August of 2012, which would become the precursor to The Self-Love Formula, the site and business I have now. Looking back, getting that first site up was a fairly substantial life step for me. Trust me, I went through all the requisite pangs of self-doubt (“Will anyone read this?”, “Who am I to have a voice, let alone share it?”, “What if no one likes my writing?”). I stalled for about six months before actually going live with the site, but once I did, those worries started to fade and it became easier to publish with each post.

At the end of last year, after feeling stuck in my blogging practice for months and sensing that something was missing, I had a brainstorming sesh with a friend of mine and decided to expand and rebrand. Thus, The Self-Love Formula (SLF) debuted in February of this year. What was missing prior to the SLF was coverage of other lifestyle topics that I loved to discuss and thought were significant to my overall mission, which is to provide fun, relevant, invigorating, thought-provoking positive content for young women that cultivates a stronger sense of self-worth, self-respect, and self-love in all areas of life.

I was developing this while still holding down one of those tangentially related 9-5’s I mentioned, a magazine editor role. So, there I was, this summer, one foot in my purpose and one foot out, miserable about the fact that I wasn’t all-in on my purpose. I knew I couldn’t half-ass my way to the success I wanted with the SLF.

By now, it was three years after wholeheartedly acknowledging how I was going to be of service to this world, and I couldn’t ignore that anymore.

In fact, my body made sure I didn’t.

The stress of not being aligned with who and what I was meant to be doing had weighed so heavily on me that my hair had started to fall out. Sometimes, things need to get painfully obvious before we start to take our desires seriously and make the necessary changes.

So I set a date, stuck to it and quit my job, and the rest, as they say…

I had worked for myself before, as a freelance copywriter, but leaving the corporate scene this time was different. This time, it felt final; as if from here on out, I would always be my own boss. And that was a calming, liberating feeling.

There was something about this move that felt so right, so clear, so true. I wasn’t 100% sure where my first source of revenue was going to come from, and it didn’t matter. I had trust. Trust in my decision, trust in my self.

Plus, I finally felt as if I’d developed a sufficient amount of preparation (although you’re never fully prepared to go out on your own) and a clear vision.

Prior to founding The Self-Love Formula, and with a B.A. in Communication from Stanford University, I had a career in media covering lifestyle topics for publications such as Allure magazine, The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen.com, and Ocean Drive magazine.

I went into editorial because I wanted to change the messages women received from mainstream media by creating a shift from within the industry. Throughout my 9+ years as a lifestyle writer and editor (covering beauty, fashion, weddings and more), I witnessed the photoshopping firsthand, the sexual objectification, the constant reminder that women endure a seemingly endless struggle to be viewed as socially accepted or attractive, and the lack of transparency surrounding the relationship between editorial and advertising.

This experience added fuel to my already burning flame, and gave me an insider’s edge. Not to mention the hard skills I’ve honed (conceptualizing and organizing a story idea, interviewing, researching, writing, editing, creating a voice that resonates, schmoozing, etc.) and a strong network—all gifts that play well into what I’ve created now.

With my company, SLF Media (pronounced “Self Media”), my ultimate goal is to lead a massive self-love social movement that’s engaged and modernized. This includes creating a 360-degree media platform that is THE destination for young women for all of their digital content, from news to life advice to satire. Think Elite Daily meets Inside Amy Schumer.

This would also include the discussion brands have with their female demographic. I aim to help co-create branded messages for companies who are championing this shift in empowerment awareness to deliver real and relevant representations of women’s issues, shifting social norms, and the modern-day female experience.

And I trust that I will.

 


 

 

Julia Ford-Carther is an EQ expert, dating coach and founder of The Self-Love Formula, a digital media platform that delivers modern lifestyle content for Millennial women via entertaining and empowering channels. As an EQ expert and dating coach, Julia has helped women increase their emotional intelligence, vocalize how they truly want to feel in an ideal relationship, identify self-sabotaging dating patterns, and break down baffling boy behavior. Prior to founding The Self-Love Formula, and with a B.A. in Communication from Stanford University, Julia had developed a robust career in media covering lifestyle topics for publications such as Allure magazine, The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen.com, and Ocean Drive magazine. She has served on various dating and media panels; and has been featured in EBONY and Aventura magazines, CBS Miami, Racked Miami, That Working Girl, and others.

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