Karen Civil — digital Renaissance woman — is Nipsey Hussle‘s manager and business partner at Marathon Agency. Civil is not only beautiful, but her self-titled brand is a force to reckon with, drawing in excess of 1.2 million monthly visitors. She has built a media empire that starts with Karen Civil, and expands to Live Civil and Civil TV, all under Always Civil Enterprises, which is a full-service branding and marketing powerhouse specializing in the imaging of brands and creating a foundation for endless success and visibility. Civil opened up in a recent interview. To find out more about her, read below. –joi pearson @joiapearson
How did you determine your career path?
I didn’t necessarily know because growing up the Internet was not as important as it is now. I knew I loved music and that I wanted to be in some form of entertainment but the only option then was to be a MTV VeeJay. Once the Internet took over I knew that I wanted to play a part online and discuss my love for music with different people all over the world. It was not something that I knew off the bat but over the years I realized it.
Identify roles models in your industry.
Kirdis Postelle, senior vice president, marketing, Capitol Records and Angela Yee, radio personality on The Breakfast Club.
What advice would you give to those wanting to go into your field?
Nothing is ever quick. You have to grow an audience, keep them engaged, give them a reason to keep coming back so it will never be an overnight success. Have patience!
Which authors or books inspire you?
Currently, I am reading: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban — really inspiring; Secrets of Powerful Women: Leading Change for a New Generation by Andrea Wong; How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil, and Marc Eckō‘s Unlabel Me — a great book.
Describe your personal brand.
Karencivil.com is a premiere entertainment site that divulges details on the lives of top urban celebrities. So you get your Civil TV, new music, interviews, behind-the-scenes coverage and up-to-date information. I’ve always wanted to brand my name.
To see where you are now and where you started, what would you change?
No, I feel like everything happens for a reason; every sacrifice, every good thing, every bad thing, every smile and every tear has brought me to the place that I am now. Everything is a learning lesson, good and bad, so I am happy with the way things are and I learned from everything negative. I am in a great space now, so I wouldn’t change a thing!
What do you love most about what you do?
I always wanted to bridge the gap between fan and celebrity, to be able to give that fan an exclusive look, an exclusive listen, a behind-the-scenes look at what their favorite celebrity is doing, so that was my reason for starting the site. [I was] Giving artists that I thought were great, a platform so that people like J.Cole, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Nipsey Hussle — there are a lot of people that I made sure to cover first and to show their growth and basically document their growth on my site.
How do you balance personal time, work & family?
You are always going to find a balance because I make sure that my inner circle comes first. My inner circle consists of my family and my close knit friends, they will always come before work so there is always that time. And there [are] times when I have to sacrifice a lot. I might get an email from somebody and I just can’t answer everybody back; there might be other times where I might have to miss a personal event for something else but I definitely try to organize as much as possible. I try to be there as much as possible for my family but honestly I just try to make it work because I have no choice.