Stacii Jae Johnson’s awesome tips to push your creative limits
Stacii Jae Johnson, author, actress, BET Network and Centric TV personality and author of Date, Girl 143 Reasons Why I Believe Women Should Date Multiple Men was once a serial monogamist. Five years ago, after a series of life experiences, she decided to re-evaluate her life choices as it pertains to love. She traded in dating one guy at a time to dating multiple guys at a time. Single women give their most precious gift — monogamy — to men who have not yet shown themselves deserving. Her new book, Date, Girl’ will not only make you laugh but it will shake up everything you thought you knew about dating, teaching you how to date three to get to the one.
Here, she shares insight on her journey, what keeps her inspired and how to push your creative limits.
When did you know you could be a creative and a business executive? Describe three highlights of your journey.
After writing the book I knew I had to learn how to get the book from page to print. I also knew that marketing my book would primarily be through social media, blogs etc. They would create a buzz and generate the most reward for me. I then created Waterhouse Publishing because the publishers interested in signing me wanted a big chunk of my profit for doing things I knew I could successfully do from a marketing/ promotions standpoint. Publishers also wanted to charge me as a wholesaler to buy my own book to sell retail. I wasn’t willing to do that. By becoming my own publisher, I avoided that scenario. Plus, I knew my book sales would mostly be generated through my expo, conferences, public speaking, book clubs and personal appearances, not from sitting on a shelf somewhere in a bookstore. executive in me had to make those decisions.
What inspires you?
The belief that God put in me the power to create the life I want inspires me. There was a point in my life where the ground was the closest thing to me. I was broken spiritually. Disappointed and hurt by so many people who I really thought cared for me. Then I got so bad to where I was broke financially too. I had done all the right things in life. I graduated from one of the top HBCUs, Spelman College. Drama major. I had some success in my college field of study in Hollywood starring in films with notable stars produced by major studios. Politics became one of the top political bundlers, but none of that could help me come out of this place. I had fallen to the lowest point ever. I could see nothing but darkness. That was scary for me because everything I had created was about light and vision. For the first time in my life, I had no vision. Now I look back and I thought I lost everything. But what I know is I gained so much more. After touring various events, engaging with various women who have also been broken, I realize the beauty in the bottom. As women, we have all been through the fire. Now when I see a fire ahead of me, I stand strong in it and I dare it to burn me. That’s what we all do as women. That’s what I see as I tour that is truly the strength in all of us.
What motivates you to come up with big ideas?
I am the person who creates from my personal needs. When I created Black Girls Radio, it was the first African American girl talk radio show in Atlanta created by a black woman for black women. There were people who told me that I should create All Girls Radio. I would get tweeted all the time how I should not segregate myself or my vision. That did not steer me from what my “big idea” — Black Girls Radio — given birth out of my personal need. I don’t create anything unless it starts with me. I am a consumer. I make up part of one of the largest consumer spending markets – black women. When I create for me, I am creating for us. Black women. The same thing with my new book, “Date Girl: 143 Reasons Why I Believe Women Should Date Multiple Men”. This book was given birth out of my personal journey as a black woman. Doesn’t mean that my book or anything that I create can not cross over and be enjoyed by other races of people. Absolutely they can. The inspiration though is through my journey and I am a proud Black woman.
Name three people in your industry that you consider great.
Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks. Both of these women I consider great for their work ethic, commitment to excellence. Oprah Winfrey for her unyielding drive and ability to dream and create the life she wants to live and her heart in paying it forward to others. Tyra Banks for staying “sister girl” while becoming a BOSS transitioning into different areas from modeling to talk show host, to executive producer [and] creating “ANTM” to beauty ambassador for various brands to now creating her own cosmetic and beauty line.
How do you communicate your creative vision with people who hire you?
Everything is spirit and energy. I am a visual person. I have to see it first from my mind’s eye. That is the only way I will be able to communicate my vision is to first see it myself. One of my favorite things to do is dance. So when hiring someone to be on team Stacii Jae, I communicate my vision by painting a visual picture for them through a dance of 8 counts.
How do you push your creative limits?
When I wrote my book Date, Girl, I initially sat down to write something totally different. As I was writing, I found the things I was writing leaned strongly toward my relationship with my mom. She wanted more than anything to show my sister and I that love works. That then led to me looking at my love life which then led to dating. So I pushed my limits by not giving me any limits. I was limitless. Without knowing what I was going to write about, I just wrote. I committed to just writing. Where I ended up was discovering this very real desire to expanding my mind in the dating space and opening myself up to possibilities that I had not considered before. Now I have pushed myself creatively even further with going back to my mom’s original quest — does love work and if so, where is it working?
What are your two favorite films and what do you like about them?
First — Lady Sings The Blues — the passion in this film for me is on ten trillion from every angle, even though destructive in a lot of ways, it fuels me.
Second — Waiting to Exhale — Black women on a life’s journey trying to figure it all out.
Three favorite songs from your three favorite musicians?
Right now, I’ve got in rotation Fantasia’s song “When I Met You” off The Definition Of.
Kanye West: “Feedback” off The Life of Pablo. Andra Day: “Rise Up” off her album Cheers to the Fall.
Name two books that you would recommend to others. Why those books?
The Game of Life and How To Play It [by] Florence Shovel Shinn. I have read many self-development books yet this book simplified it all. There are specific universal laws that when acknowledged and applied correctly will bring you everything you want in your life by divine right. We have been led to believe that life is much more difficult than it really is. Success in all areas of your Life is not hard to attain at all– that is of course, if you know the game and how to play it!
Date, Girl: 143 Reasons Why I Believe Women Should Date Multiple Men by Stacii Jae Johnson. The divorce ratio in the country is 60 percent. In my opinion, it’s as high as it is because we are not picking the right guys to date. It all starts with the men we spend our time with and commit to from the beginning. We pick better who to date at the beginning, then I believe we marry better.
If you could collaborate with two creatives in any field, who would it be and why?
Mark Zuckerberg has Facebook which is a platform that has [the] reach to a lot of my audience which uses it as a source of information.
Oprah is a creative and business genius.