DREAMS ARE WATERED BY THOUGHTS AND FED BY ENERGY. Interview with Brandie Gilliam, Creator of Thoughtfully Magazine
Q: Was there an “aha!” moment when you realized that you wanted to launch Thoughtfully? Can you describe that moment to us?
Prompted by some circumstances prior to this moment, I was in-flight on my way back from California to Florida, and it just came to me like a flood of water, the idea for the magazine and the name “Thoughtfully.” The ideas began to flow and pour out of me. I had been frustrated by what I saw at the newsstands and with some of my own experiences, but suddenly I became attuned to it in a greater way and wanted to do something about it. It dawned on me that I could. This all happened in 2014, and it’s been incredible to see where Thoughtfully is today as an indie publication. I absolutely love what I get to do and hope to be doing it for a long time. I’m a big believer that if we remain diligent in the small things, the big things will work themselves out in our lives.
Q: When birthing your dream, did you have a mantra that kept you going?
Faith and trust. “Dreams are the seeds planted that get watered by the thoughts and fed by the energy of making them a reality.” I wrote this statement almost a decade ago when I was living in New York City. As entrepreneurs, we are inherently visionaries. We see things before they actually come into being. In order to birth these dreams in life, you have to have faith, because only you know what you have on the inside of you. It’s important to believe and trust that it will come to pass. I’m reminded of these words: “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith fuels the passions that set my soul on fire and trust gives me the confidence to know that I have everything I need within to win.
Q: You made the leap from corporate to entrepreneurship. What was the biggest adjustment you had to make?
I had been very fortunate in my corporate career to have entrepreneurial roles; I was used to wearing a lot of hats, executing projects from start to finish, and managing an annual budget and resources. The biggest adjustments I’ve had to make as an entrepreneur are 1) not having a large budget to back up my efforts— this drives me crazy sometimes because I want to be doing so much more with Thoughtfully, 2) not having the buffer that organizational departments provide—as an entrepreneur, you are every department and feel every impact to your business, and 3) resetting my expectations—I have to remind myself that it’s just me in the trenches every day of Thoughtfully and that additional resources will come with growth. I’ve become much more adept at enjoying the overall process and journey, and savoring the success.
Q: What experience has shaped you most? How does this impact your business or life?
It’s been a combination of experiences (both good and bad) that have shaped who I am today as well as my perspective. When I look back over my life and reflect on my earliest memories to where I am now, I see that they have all impacted me personally, which in turn impacts my business and my approach to business. All of our experiences leave an imprint in our lives, some are just deeper than others. I have resolved to be a student of life’s experiences, always taking notes and remaining hungry to learn the lessons, even the hard ones. The quicker we’re able to bounce back from whatever life throws our way, the more frequent our successes become in every area of our lives. If we can do this thoughtfully, then we’re really tapping into our highest selves.
Connect with Brandie on Instagram: @thoughtfullymag.