Today we’d like to introduce you to Teyonna Ridgeway.
Teyonna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up, writing was the only thing that I was confident in. Over the years, it has been one of the few constants in my life next to change — I helped my high school classmates with their writing projects, I wrote for a teen newspaper for two years, and I edited scholarship essays for prospective college students. To this day, I express myself better through words but I’ve honed in on my voice and message.
I began to take my writing more seriously after college when I got the opportunity to be a co-author in a book series called 20 Beautiful Women. I was published in Volume 2 and it was an experience that changed my life because I learned the power of sharing my story and being true to myself. It was challenging to be transparent about the financial struggles I faced, but I openly told my truth in hopes of inspiring others.
Fast-forward to a few years later, I created a platform to showcase who I am and what I believe in. My little corner of the Internet is at TeyonnaLanez.com, and it’s centered around personal branding, women empowerment, and authentic living. It includes articles that I’ve written for HuffPost and xoNecole, my service offerings and random things about me like my skydiving video and bucket list. My site documents my journey as a motivated millennial who helps people recognize their beauty and unleash their brilliance by embracing all that life has for me.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I know that nothing worth having comes easy, but that hasn’t prevented bumps along my journey. I have many interests and goals in life and one of my biggest challenges has been to understand what I should focus on. I have a habit of obsessing over a project at the beginning stage when it’s fun to brainstorm creative ideas. But then, I feel paralyzed when it’s time to put in the work, so I just stop the project altogether. I’ve struggled with discovering my purpose in life and identifying projects that align with why I was created versus what I just think is interesting. Prayer has been a key to overcoming this but also focusing on what I love to do most. I found that to be writing, which guided me to start my freelance business.
Another issue I’ve faced is putting too much pressure on myself and setting unrealistic expectations. I know my potential and have gotten frustrated with not being where I think I should be. In those moments I have to remind myself that I’m right where I need to be. Everything that I’m experiencing in this season will help me reach my dreams, but I need to lighten up and not be so hard on myself.
I would encourage young women to do the same and enjoy their unique journey. In every life stage, there are lessons that we need to learn to prepare us for the next level and if we’re so focused on getting there, we’ll miss the beauty of the now.
I hope ladies also learn to embrace the highs and lows of their journey. It feels good to celebrate our achievements, but we also have to acknowledge the darkness that helped bring out our light. From the waves of self-doubt to the nights we spent crying ourselves to sleep, and everything in between, it all serves a purpose. When you have a perspective that all things are working together for your good, it gives you peace and helps you enjoy the ride.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Teyonna La’Nez – what should we know?
I am a freelance copywriter and social media strategist who helps brands clearly communicate their message. My clients are usually small business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance with their website copy, social media posts, marketing materials, and other content.
Everyone has a unique voice, and I get to know my clients before working with them so I can discover their tone of voice. Personality theory is a helpful strategy in my business, and I encourage my clients to take a free personality test before we begin working together so I can learn more about them. By getting to know them on a deeper level and studying their brand closely, I can seamlessly communicate on their behalf.
My ability to share the human experience is something that I’m most proud of and what sets me apart from other copywriters. In my own writing, I openly share the highs and lows of life so I can own my narrative and connect with others. In a world where most people’s social media is a highlight reel of life’s best moments, I write content to remind my followers that we’re all human. Despite our differences, we have similar values — we all want to be appreciated, respected, and understood. I take the same authentic approach when writing for my clients to help them establish genuine connections with current and potential customers that ultimately helps drive their business goals.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
There’s a lot stacked against working women. In addition to the challenges that we often fight, such as unequal pay and unwarranted attention, some of the biggest barriers we face are from ourselves. As female leaders and creatives, we put too much pressure on ourselves and try to do everything when we don’t have to. By juggling so much to serve other people and failing to delegate, we often neglect the brilliant beauty that we see in the mirror every day.
I love that there’s been a spotlight shined on self-care over the last few years because it’s so important no matter what industry you work in. Burnout has taught me that if I don’t intentionally fill up my cup, I will have nothing to give to the world. I encourage other ladies to overcome this barrier by consistently taking care of themselves and doing what makes them happy. That includes the obvious like eating healthy and exercising, but for me, it’s having dance parties by myself, practicing yoga, praying, journaling, napping, and aromatherapy. No matter what self-care looks like for you, it helps us all be the best version of ourselves and shine our light in the world.
- Website: https://www.teyonnalanez.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teyonnalanez/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teyonnalanez/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/teyonnalanez
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teyonnaridgeway/
(personal photo with ATL skyline): Melissa J. Photographé
(black and white): Rocky Hills Media
(skydive): Skydive Georgia
(god is dope shirt): Melissa J. Photographé
(colorful backdrop): Melissa J. Photographé
(open laptop): Rocky Hills Media
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