I wanted to focus on creating a solid foundation, creating my blueprint, and understanding who I was. You can get distracted easily, and people take you off course with just a compliment. I wanted the focus to be on Karen Civil the businessperson, not what I wore, not what I looked like.
Nobody is going to love and honor your dreams like yourself. It's really not looking for someone to be your superhero but for us to save ourselves and to really understand that. I've been at the lowest of lowest of my life, and it took that for me to realize that I want to do better and to be better.
People see your life on social media, and they say, 'Oh my gosh, it's perfect,' and I'm like, 'No, every day, it's not even just a struggle: it's something new, and it's a new challenge to make sure that I'm mentally stable and healthy and that I'm okay.' It was just great to finally get it out and talk about it.
I did the 'right' thing and got a corporate job on Wall Street. That did not last long. I felt like I was throwing all my years of hard work and relationship-building down the toilet. I eventually quit, went and bought a camera, and built a website. That was the birth of KarenCivil.com.
When I started my career, I never looked at myself as one to be inspirational, but as I continued to grow, I've met so many different people who ask, 'How do you do it? You make it look easy.' But it's not easy. I have certain tricks and tips I use every day that have been working for me.
I admired and wanted to be a lot like Angie Martinez. As I got older, I realized that I had a soft monotone voice and that being a DJ may not be the career for me. However, I was so in love and infatuated with hip-hop that I still wanted to be a part and give back the community, so I decided to carve my own path and make my own lane.
The blueprint, for me, was having an understanding of self because this business will try to make you somebody other than yourself or make you change with the times. A lot of times, people will want you to do everything for free, work for free, to be down to do this after you paid your dues.