Success is Kei: Meet Kei’renee the Author Helping First-Generation Entrepreneurs Overcome Their Fear of Failure

Being an entrepreneur wasn’t something that Kei’Renee–media mogul, author, and serial entrepreneur—planned. It was something she evolved and grew into. While pursuing a career path in journalism, she started her own media company, TrendyMii, in 2013. She worked as an intern at KABC7 as a general and entertainment news reporter. After a year, she decided that being a full-time journalist wasn’t for her.

“I just didn’t like the concept of hard news. It was really sad to me and then entertainment news to me you know it didn’t really catch my eye either because I’m not really interested in other people’s lives like that. So, I created a platform so that I could do journalism on my own terms which was a fashion blog and that’s kind of how I started my entrepreneurial journey. I just wanted to be able to create something that I could have control over and be able to be the one to dictate the narrative. That’s how I ended up starting a career path in entrepreneurship. It started out with a blog and then it turned into me producing events to help people understand more about how to make money because I was struggling with that myself. So I created a platform called Stylers Panel. And that was like the first thing for me so that’s how I got started in this career path,” shares Kei on how it all started.

Photo Credit: Kei’Renee

Get to know more about the author of Get Familiar with Failure to Succeed: Helping First Generation Entrepreneurs Build their Foundation for Success as she shares her own journey, her inspiration, and what she wants you, her readers, to take away from her book. Take a deep dive into her interview with Meet The (818).

Has this always been your passion? What or who inspired you to pursue a career as a media mogul and an entrepreneur?

I’m such a unique individual. When I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 20, I didn’t really have a plan career choice any of that. It was my cousin who convinced me to enroll at CSUN and take the journalism program because her assistant had graduated from CSUN in the journalism department. So, I just decided hey, I’m gonna go ahead and do it because originally back in my hometown of Merced attending community college, I wanted to pursue journalism but they didn’t offer the program so instead I just got a degree in communications. But I can say that writing for me has always been the portion of school where I easily got it and being able to talk to people and have conversations with people has always been an easy thing for me and I am a genuine seeker of education. So, I do think that what I am doing now was always meant to be a part of my path I can’t necessarily say that this is my passion but I know for sure that this is my calling because no matter what I do and where I turn roads always lead back to exactly what I’m doing now whether it be any events or speaking I’m always doing this. The thing that inspired me to pursue entrepreneurship I would say is my aunt, Shanitha, she owns a hair salon in our hometown and for a long time, it was the only black hair salon in our town. I always thought that was really cool that my aunt owned something and that her name was on a building and that you know she was like that go-to place for black hair in our little small town so I always have that in the back of my mind like if my aunt can on this business maybe that’s like something that I can do when I get older instead of just getting a job. Also, I despise nine to fives they give me migraine headaches.

What are some of the challenges you faced in building your own brand? How did you overcome them?

I dealt with a lot of challenges while trying to build my brand. The first challenge that I dealt with was a lack of mental stability and not having a positive mindset to help me adjust. I remember I used to cry a lot because I would wonder, ‘how can I make money doing this?’ and I would tell myself constantly that I just didn’t know how to make money. And this went on for a couple of years– I was kind of stuck in myself and in my negative thinking, but I just leaned on my friends who were already successful, and I accept guidance from them; and I would practice positive thinking and practice you know rewording how I am speaking things to ensure that I was speaking positive things into existence and not negative ones.

Another challenge that I faced that I’m sure others have gone through is just a lack of stability in my home situation. You know, when you already don’t have the funds to take care of yourself how do you have the funds to have a roof over your head? So, I was literally producing events, attending events, networking, and creating content with zero dollars in my bank account. I was sleeping on different friends’ floors at nighttime or sleeping in my car when I still had it. And all the while putting on a smile for the world. I think faking it was taking a toll on me because I didn’t want people to know that yes I just produce this event, I broke even off of selling my booths and doing all that stuff, so as you guys are leaving my events to go I’m trying to be the last out of the space so that no one can see that when I’m leaving I’m gonna go walk the streets until one of my friends either says I can come and sleep on the floor or I’m just gonna go to the club and try to stay there until it closes and go hang out in W Hotel lobby. I think having to deal with that while trying to build a brand was a challenge, but it also is the reason why I’m still standing today.

Let’s talk about your new book, Get Familiar with Failure to Succeed. What is the biggest takeaway you want your reader/audience to have after reading your book?

From my new book, the biggest takeaway that I want readers to grasp is that it’s OK to fail. I think sometimes as people or entrepreneurs we get afraid of the unknown and to me, failure is a part of that unknown. We get so afraid that someone’s not gonna like what we put out, that someone’s not gonna like us and let me speak for myself because when I was first putting out my ideas, I was also afraid that no one would buy into it. You know sometimes no one would show up at my events and it would make me so afraid to produce the next one, but I just kept doing it anyway because for me failing was not the worst thing that could happen. I felt like not trying was the worst thing that can happen to me. I feel like regret would be the worst thing that can happen to me so that is the biggest thing that I want people to take away from this book is that give your dreams a chance, give your goals a chance to live.

What inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration for this book came from the group of people who have been following me from day one. Those who have come and taken business development workshops from me, those who have told me that the information and the wisdom that I provide them regarding entrepreneurship have helped them out. Those people were my driving force when I had nothing, and I wanted to be able to create something for them that would help them continue their journey in Entrepreneurship. I’m inspired by the people who are just like me, the first generation not having anyone to go to, not having a clue of how to get from point A to point B. Being able to help them and share everything that I went through and to even show them how to get to their first $100 to me is the reason why I wrote this book because if you can take this book and leverage the information to turn your brand into a profitable business I’ve done my job. If you can leverage the information from this book to change your mindset and to start beginning to speak positive things over your life I’ve done my job that’s why I wrote this book.

What advice can you give someone thinking about starting their own business?

The best advice that I could give to someone who’s just starting their business is to start it with mistakes and grow it into perfection later! You will learn along the way that even Fortune 500 companies lack perfection!

What plans do you have for the future? Where do you see your brand/business in a couple of years?

To be totally honest I’m planning for today and I don’t really try to think five years out. I want to think about what I am doing in 30-60-90 days you know. I know that in the future I’m gonna keep developing, I’m gonna keep creating and I know that my brand is going to keep evolving you know. I plan on continuing to put out good informational content and focusing on growing and producing more events for my podcast Knowledge is Kei. Also launching and developing a community called The Doers community which is going to be a community of first-generation entrepreneurs who can support each other network and just do a lot of great things here in Los Angeles so that’s my immediate future of what I have planned for this brand.

This Thursday, February 9th from 6pm to 10pm, you will have an opportunity to meet Ke’i Renee at her book signing event, Lit Ass Book Signing at HartBeat Studios in Canoga Park. To RSVP to this event, you can visit their website.

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