I was chatting with a group of fellow late 20s from my church and the question “are you excited about turning 30?” came up. It was a mixed crowd, but my answer was absolutely yes. I turn 30 this year and I’m hyped about a new chapter, it sort of feels like a graduation. I have grown so much in the past year alone, and I can only imagine what is on the horizon. I am more emotionally and spiritually mature than I have ever been. I am also more of an executor and I personally rather be here than still dealing with early 20s drama like fuqbois and how to split the bill at mediocre restaurants.
Now maybe there are late 20ers that do not feel that way. I get it, you thought you were going to make it on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and now your days are numbered. But so what! And in honor of such lists, I thought I would put my own list together. I'm going to put you on to my favorite 30 somethings that are killing the game and will inspire you to get your life, however old or young you are.
I give you “P’s list of Poppin 30 somethings!” (in no particular order).
1. Issa Rae
I am OBSESSED with Issa. I may or may not social media stalk her and watch her old interviews online in my spare time. I am just so inspired as a writer by the way she kicked down the door of transitioning from Youtube content to television. Issa Rae is 32 years old with her own Golden Globe nominated series, Insecure, on HBO. She also is just a regular chick! Not as far as talent, there is nothing regular about her writing. But just an authentic, genuine person who is making it because of her skills and work ethic.
2. Myleik Teele
Founder and CEO of Curlbox, but a lot of us fell in love with her via her podcast My Taught You. I also follow Myleik all over social media and really appreciate her personality. She gives so much of herself and is truly invested in helping others. I especially love her Snapchat, she allows us to see her day to day and no wonder she is such a success. Myleik works HARD. She's up before the sun and her days can consist of the working out at the gym, stopping by her warehouse, going to her two offices, meetings, recording podcasts, and sometimes hopping on a plan for a speaking engagement. I had the opportunity to hear Myleik's advice in person last year at xoNecole's Your Next Chapter event where she was a panelist. "How you do one thing is how you do everything", those words spoken by Myleik have stuck with me and shape my actions daily. I am very focused on building my reputation and doing everything with excellence. Myleik explained that for example if you are not on time as a personal assistant, no one is going to trust you to be on time when you have your own business. Now pick up that GEM!
3. Yvonne Orji
I was hooked on Insecure! Then I watched her Breakfast Club Interview and became hooked on Yvonne Orji who plays Molly. I learned she is so much more than an actress. Yvonne is a comedian, a writer, she has a Master's degree in Public Health, and is extremely proud of her faith. A Facebook message asking for help to someone she didn't know that well, (but she can ask because she has favor) resulted in Yvonne getting her start as an intern in a writer's room. She also spoke openly about her relationship with God and abstaining until marriage. I found Yvonne refreshing, inspiring., confident and funny. She is a Nigerian-American who overcame being bullied as a child, her parents disapproval in career choices and is now shining on HBO and was recently nominated for a NAACP Image Award. I am pretty sure the awards will keep coming for this talented beauty!
I discovered Jouelzy on Youtube! Her channel started out about natural hair and has grown into a space for politics, social justice, culture, mental health, entertainment and the Smart Brown Girl Movement she started. Jouelzy is author of the book Send It On and also writes for The Root. Jouelzy's writing and content creating allows her to be self employed, which is a goal of mine. I am encouraged by watching Jouelzy tackle problematic topics. She is not afraid to speak her mind, stand up for her beliefs and inspires her viewers to stay informed and woke.
5. Shameless Mya
This is Maya in her office for her company House of Shameless. #GOALS. If you check out her Youtube channel, you can watch her journey from being a new Youtuber to now CEO of her own Production Company. At 30 years old she was newly divorced, with desires of chasing her dream to be an actor and photographer. She thought "what would happen if I shamelessly promoted myself for 365 days". She did this via her channel and her whole life changed. From working with Prince to brand deals, Maya became a Youtube star, and she gives all the credit to God. As you can tell, I love women who are open about their faith. I also admire Maya's content, her videos are colorful, full of fun graphics and so well produced and edited.
6. Courtney Kemp
Courtney Kemp is the Writer, Creator and Executive Producer of the Starz hit show, Power. To be a 30 something black woman with your own show is ground breaking! Courtney started out writing for Magazines, and went on to write for television shows like The Bernie Mac Show and The Good Wife. She put in work in this industry for 10 years and then earned her very own show. I had the pleasure of working for Power during Season 1 in the production office. My time at Power to date was the most impactful job in my career. Courtney gave me advice, encouraged my writing and just lead by example. I hope to one day influence someone the way she influenced me.
These are just a few of MANY 30 somethings that are doing it! I hope to make this list next year, haha! Who inspires you? Share your favorite 30, 40, or even 20 somethings killing the game, because age is really just a number!