A Talk With Kara-Simone Craig: On Why Self-Love is Key to Finding Purpose and Success
A Talk With Kara-Simone Craig: On Why Self-Love is Key to Finding Purpose and Success
By Derika Crowley
You know how sometimes you get caught up scrolling through Instagram and then come across a random girl’s page, who’s page you can’t help but look at because she’s so fabulous? Well, Kara-Simone Craig is one of those women and that’s exactly how I stumbled across her.
Kara’s timeline is all about “bossing up” as a woman and entrepreneur. A driven woman of God, Kara’s all about pursuing purpose and career (can she be more perfect to feature on TSB lol).
Kara-Simone Craig is a 25 years old, hailing from Los Angeles, CA. She’s a cum laude fine arts graduate from America’s most historic H.B.C.U., Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and has a background in the fine arts, activism, and business administration.
Throughout her undergraduate career, Kara served as a Cheyney Player, a thespian society chairperson, a 3X crowned pageant queen, a student government senator, and a university brand ambassador.
“I never knew exactly what I wanted to do growing up, but since I was 6 years old I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be. All my life I’ve had dreams of being a kind woman with presence, intelligence, boldness, confidence, class, sass, independence, a woman that advocates for other women, but most of all a woman who leaves people and places better than I found them.” - Kara - Simone Craig
Like many recent graduates, shortly after graduating from college Kara found herself transitioning from being on a high of excitement from accomplishing all her goals, to being in what felt like a hole. The hole was called “adulting” (or as her mother calls it “doing what you’ve got to do until you can do what you want to do”)
Again, like many of us, after college she landed a “good job” with “great benefits,” but was still unsatisfied.
“I felt like there was more to life than just going to a job everyday just to enjoy small luxuries and pay my bills. I was raised in the church and come from a very religious family, so I prayed to God. I prayed to the Lord for an opportunity in which I could be challenged, reclaim my time, have an uncapped income, and most importantly an opportunity in which I could grow.”
The Lord answered her prayers when she was invited to a business presentation meeting in Beverly Hills, CA at a financial firm in association with World Financial Group. Granted, the ideal business partner for this sort of business is someone who’s 30+ years old, who’s is married with children, they own a home, and they already had a career or owned a business. At the time, Kara was only 23 years old, 6 months fresh out of university, living with her parents, had no money, little support, and was unqualified as ever when it came to the requirements for a potential business partner. But, it was the opportunity she prayed for - and more importantly, she was hungry for it.
She ended up getting the role and within her first year in that company and with very little support from family or friends, she placed #7 in the company’s top 10 group of millennial leaders at a local level.
“I’ve always been a girl who takes pride in her accomplishments. I look challenges in the eye and wink. I’m exactly who I wanted to be at six years old and some. In the last year I’ve set some new goals. I’ve been a millennial leader within WFG for 2 years now and my new goals are to be a financially independent CEO of my own firm by 30, retired by 35, and I want to focus more on my artistic endeavors (acting, singing, and dancing). My life goals are to star in a Broadway musical, have a family, travel as many places as possible, found and fund a fine arts center for talented and underserved inner city youth. I want to create an environment that encourages young talented kids to strengthen their God given talents, teach them how to brand and market themselves, so that when they’re adults they can be in position to monetize their gifts.”
Since this month is all about self-love, Kara made the perfect candidate to talk about the importance of loving yourself to achieve success, love and overall content.
TSB: What does being a “Boss Babe” mean to you?
KC: A Boss Babe to me is any woman who fights for her dreams. She sets goals and crushes the hell out of them. She not taking anyone’s crap or excuses and she takes care of business. Boss babes are not rude, they just don’t play when it comes to their business or their goals. She’s competent and kind, but she’s competitive and has a burning desire to win in life. Most of all she competes but never compares, and never has to tear anyone else down to make herself seem better. A Boss Babe is truly a woman’s woman.
We know you’re in a serious relationship now, so we’d love to know how important was it to accomplish your goals before getting engaged or married?
It’s always been so important to me to have my own as a woman, and I believe it’s one of the reasons my partner loves me and has committed to me. He saw early on I’m a hard worker and I hold my own. Having my own money, education, views, and vision has been the key for me because I never wanted to look back over my life and feel like someone just threw me into their plan without any consideration for what I wanted. I just believed that whoever God had for me would understand that and not try to change me. I prayed my partner would compliment me and that his vision for his life would align with the huge one I had for mine, and that we could combine our vision to create a legacy.
The bible says “two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” I met my partner within World Financial Group who is a leader in his own right and had I not pushed myself on my own that very first year and maximized myself out with very few believing in me, we never would’ve met, we wouldn’t be together, we wouldn’t be building the legacy we currently are. My life would be so different had I not the courage to look a challenge in the eye and wink.
How do you make time for yourself and why is self-care important to a “Boss Babe”?
I learned a while ago that if I don’t take care of me and love me the way I need to be loved and care for myself the way I like to be cared for, no one else will. I have certain non-negotiables in place when it comes to self-care. I won’t go longer than 3 weeks without getting my nails done or taking the time to do my own nails. I won’t go longer than a month without visiting my hair stylist. I won’t go longer than three months without going on a baecation with my man. I take myself out and dine alone sometimes. I treat myself to cute new finds ever so often. Reasons being, it’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else needs, and if you go too long without self-caring you’ll be depleted. Without self care you’ll find yourself with nothing left for yourself let alone to give anyone else. I have no problem saying no to things that don’t align with my higher self and my self-care helps me stay in touch with her.
As an entrepreneur, I’m sure you are ALWAYS thinking about your brand how to make it better. How do you disconnect and recharge?
I’ve always been me, so my brand is just me being me. I put things out there that resonate with who I am as an individual. There’s no disconnecting or recharging for me, I’m always on go. Maybe that’s my problem lol. My partner is really good at helping me iron out my kinks though. He balances my spirit. I’m always on 1,000 and ready to execute all my ideas at once and he’s like babe calm down, let’s strategize this. I love him. If anything, sometimes when I don’t feel quite like myself I’ll take breaks to recharge, no phone, no apps, cutting my work day in half, and binging on my books, and journaling my thoughts and ideas.
How has God played a role in how you see yourself?
A fact most people don’t know about me was I was born as raised in church and I have a extremely religious background. My grandfather was a Baptist Pastor, my father is a Baptist Pastor, my uncle is a Baptist Pastor & President in California’s Baptist Ministers Conference. I grew up as a golden child singing in their churches. All my life God has been there for me, making ways out of what appeared to be no way. As I’ve grown and had my fair share of experiences in my adult life I’ve learned God is not confined to a building, He’s everywhere. He has had His hand on me all my life. Even when I left Him, He never left me. I believe that without God I am nothing, but with Him I am everything. He has placed me here for a special purpose and I am here only by is grace.
How do you manage your time with all of your projects and why is time management important for self-care?
I read a quote by John C. Maxwell when I first started business that stated success is found in your daily routine. I have a daily routine and a calendar. I stick to my routine and scheduling religiously. Not sticking to my daily routine has the potential to make me unsuccessful and that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. Not sticking to my schedule is a detriment to my self-care because I’m not allowing myself enough time to execute everything I need to properly. It’s just better if I stick to the schedule. ☺
I saw for your New Year’s post that 2018 taught you how to build the table. What did you mean by that and how does it tie into being a boss?
The last two years I’ve been an independent contracting agent with World Financial Group. I’ve been helping average working class families become adequately insured at an affordable rate, helping new parents create trust funds for their children, and helping people with dreams by extending them a platform upon which they can build a business within a business. However, I’ve just been an agent within someone else’s firm. I’ve been working out of a millennial leadership’s firm in Los Angeles County for the last couple of years. This year my partner and I are partnering together and gearing up to open our own firm. At 23 years old I started a business not qualified to be a business partner and by 26 I’ll be a C.O.O. of my firm with my significant other serving as the C.E.O.
Do you think it’s possible to find love without loving yourself completely first?
Absolutely not. Until you learn to love yourself people will love you the way they show love but it may not be how you deserve to be loved. The only way for another human being to love you the way you deserve to be loved is for you to show them how. God loved me enough to keep me in his grace but it was my job to remember who I was and that I was made in his image. Then I started to walk and talk like it, after a while I believed it, and it attracted others who believed it too.
What keeps you motivated and what would you say to women still learning how to love themselves? Especially, those working on building a brand.
Living my dreams & leaving a legacy for my future children keeps me motivated. I don’t have any children now. They’re nowhere near being here but I work my butt off for them so when they are here, aside from God, their father and I are their heros. I want my legacy to be so rich in Black Excellence. The generational curses on my family will stop with me. I want to show my future son what kind of woman to marry and my future daughter what she should aspire to be.
To the women still learning to love yourself, you are beautiful, you are worthy as you are, you are deserving of unending happiness and immense self-fulfillment. Everything you want is already yours, you just have to identify exactly what you want, create a plan to execute, and go get it.
If you’re building a brand keep it authentic, it’s easier that way. Don’t try to be anything and anyone you’re not. You have a unique path and a unique point of view that only you can share with the world. Start somewhere, remain true to your roots while working toward your higher self, you’ll be fine. I completely believe in you <3
Feel free follow on IG at @misskarasimone or on her arts page at @IamKaraSimone