Arian Simone went from living out of her car to launching a successful PR firm. Here’s how.
After graduating with a business degree from Florida A&M in 2003, Arian Simone hit some tough times. She was laid off at her first post-graduation job after only 30 days. Jobless and out of money, she lost her apartment and resorted to living out of her car for seven months, during which she applied to over 153 jobs to no avail. She got by on welfare and foodstamps, selling her clothes for gas and food money.
One day, though, she got a call that would change everything: It was a job offer for some PR and marketing work. Beyond grateful for the opportunity, Arian decided that she was going to throw everything she had behind this job, and over the next few years, that hard work paid off; she killed it so hard that she eventually started a firm of her own, and went on to land clients such as Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures. She’s done publicity and promo for films like Ride Along, Limitless, Hancock, Takers, and 007: Quantum of Solace, to name a few, and she’s counts Lil Wayne and Ne-Yo among her musician clients.
Earlier this year, Arian spoke at the first-ever Girlboss Rally and lit the room up with her infectious, inspirational advice on pursuing your goals fearlessly. We caught up with Arian more recently as she gets ready to relaunch Fearless Magazine, which will be released at the Fearless Reloaded conference in November.
“So often, people think success happens overnight, and they mistake the promise for the process,” she says. Here are the key steps she utilized in taking herself from living out of her car to being a successful entrepreneur.
1. Visualize, visualize, visualize
“Life as we know is about 10% of what happens and 90% of how you respond to it. So to shift your situation, you first have to shift your mindset. One of the tactics I use to elevate my current space is visualization. When I was living out of my car, I would ride around Beverly Hills and admire all the beautiful homes, and I told myself if they could do it, I could too. Keeping a beautiful aesthetic around you is always important. It doesn’t have to be a house or anything material–it can be something as simple as positive words. Just something that represents where you are trying to go from where you are currently at. Vision boards are a great way to display these visuals. Try and spend at least five minutes a day visualizing what things would look like if you achieved what you’re looking to achieve.”
2. Run, don’t walk
“I was willing to walk through the doors that opened quickly and readily. When I was living out of my car, someone called and sought me out to do PR and marketing work. I didn’t just walk through the door–I ran through the door. I knew it was a way out of my current situation and I wasn’t going to miss it! The reality of the situation is that if someone had called and asked me to paint their walls, I would now have a successful painting business. Think in terms of leverage: Have you maximized all that is in front of you? Sometimes a thing is the thing that leads to the thing, but it’s up to you to make the best of the opportunities that fall in your lap.”
3. Keep an attitude of gratitude
“An attitude of gratitude makes every day a great day. When I got my first apartment after living out of my car, I didn’t even realize I was in a low-income neighborhood. I was in a studio loft where I shared the bed with one of my girlfriends who’d just moved to LA; our college friend Cliff stayed on the futon. I was so grateful to finally have a place to live that it never occurred to me that my place wasn’t poppin’. And my upbringing was middle class, so I knew what much better conditions were like. But I was so grateful for my place that it never really phased me; it might as well have been a palace.”
4. Celebrate the wins
“A life of celebration = a life of fun. I celebrated–and still celebrate–every single win, big or small. Whether it was a new client on board or a call back from the press we wanted. You name it, I celebrated it! Be sure to figure out ways to celebrate your success. Whether you treat yourself to the spa, drink a glass of wine and make a toast, or jump on the bed, just make sure you do it!”
5. Raise your energy when they show up. And then bill ‘em.
“People are attracted to good energy, so as you are possessing an attitude of gratitude and celebrating your wins, your energy will become very attractive. Everyone will want a little bit of what you have inside of you, and when they show up wanting your magic, don’t be scared to charge. This is your moment you have been waiting for, go for it!”