Instagram & Twitter : @RaeHolliday
Rae Holliday is gradually taking the Media Industry by storm as Co-Creator of a widely successful blog, while building a strong brand for himself! 2016 has been a defining year for the rising star as he broke down barriers, and continued to make strides for young aspiring professionals. Sincerely referred to as ‘The Motivator’, the InspiRAEtion he provides through his work has resulted in a massive amount of love and support from a growing fan base. Step into Rae’s world with us as we talk all things, including his BET Honors Award, rising empire, the Entertainment business and much more!
Novia- “Rising to Fame” - What does this term mean to "Rae”?
Rae- “I guess it’s that “in between” point in your career. Like you’ve worked really, really hard,& the goal is right over the mountain top and all you have to do is climb.”
N- Do you feel like that the defines your career now?
Rae- “I think that’s hard for me to explain because, ‘Fame’ is not really my goal. It’s kind of like, if it happens, it happens. I don’t want to be famous, my goal is to be notable. I want people to hear my name and know what I do, and know that there is passion behind it. If that leads to fame, that’s cool, but I’m more concerned with affecting people’s lives, and touching people to the point where they can say, “If he can do it, I can do it too”. I think I’m at that stage where people are getting it, it’s gradual. People are catching on now, I’m just happy for that and just want to keep going .”
N- So, let's talk defining moments. You have so many of those thus far in your career, what was that moment for you this year?
Rae- “This year I won BET’s ‘Next In Class’, which was the first! You know the program is known for Honoring people who have 20 plus years in the game, and it’s just so inspirational of course. There are just so many people who are doing it on a lower level, who will get there one day. So, the fact that they recognized me to be one of those people, that in itself was amazing, because, for me it’s not always about getting the award, it’s about getting the nomination. The nomination means that there are people out there who are really watching you, and are really affected by what you are doing. To be in the category with John Boyega (Star Wars) and Shanice Williams (The Wiz: LIVE), at the time they had a humongous platform that I didn’t have, and it scared me a little bit initially. Then I said to myself, this is a digital contest, so if I don’t win, then that means I’m not really doing what I should be doing. So, winning was very overwhelming for me, because I wanted to win and you never know if that’s going to happen. I was overwhelmed by the support that came from my followers, friends and peers, that felt really dope. However, nothing felt better than actually being there, in DC, in the theater, during the LIVE telecast with people that I consider to be the top of Black Excellence receiving their awards and me being right there with them, receiving mine too. That was a career high for me and something that I never expected, walking in this industry as a Blogger. It opened up my eyes and made me say, “Rae, I know you think big, but maybe it’s time for you to think a little bit bigger!” – LOL.
Rae- “Oprah was amazing, I mean, who doesn’t want to meet Oprah?! The thing is, it was my third time meeting her. The third time was a charm because I didn’t get a chance to converse with her the first few times. This time was a conversation, this was a picture, this was a moment, it was embracing. This year, I actually met the Trinity! I met, Gayle King and Iyanla Vanzant, so that just completed the whole circle for me! I am such a fan and so inspired by all of them, for me to even be in a realm where I could meet them was a blessing in itself.”
N- Are you starting to feel the influence you have on others?
Rae- “I’ve always felt it a little bit, but this year I feel it even more & and I guess it will continue to grow over time. We were walking down Malcolm X a week ago, my best friend and I came across this boutique. We didn’t go inside, we were just sort of window shopping, and this young lady comes outside and says, “Rae Holliday, I know you are not going to walk past my boutique and not come in!” . So, we walk inside, and it turns out that she had actually taken one of my workshops and during the workshop she told me that she had a business that she was rebranding and that’s why she was interested in taking the workshop. As a result, she said that the business flourished and that floored me because I don’t always get to hear the stories that come out of my workshops, some of them follow up and some of them don’t. I was so overwhelmed, and two nights later, I saw a TJ Maxx commercial and these twins who took my workshop as well were in it! It was like 1 o clock in the morning, I was watching Queen Sugar and their commercial comes on. I was just blown away, crying, because I remembered that workshop, I remembered having a conversation with them after the workshop about branding, and they said that their drive just improved after hearing me, and just wanted more. They took every opportunity after that, which is something that I ALWAYS preach about. So, this year more than I ever, I’ve been feeling the effects of it, but it literally only makes me want to go even harder!
N- How important is the vision board to you?
Rae- “I look at my vision board every single day, It’s at my desk to the right. I’ve been focusing on Vision Boards for the past two years and it has really worked for me. There’s something about vision that is so special to everyone. Having a vision is something that you have to constantly be reminded about because life can be so distracting, that you lose your footing and you lose your vision. When it’s something that you create, that you put right in front of you and have to see every single day, it stays in your back pocket, you’re always prepared, you always know what your goal is. It changed my life drastically because it keeps me focused. Distraction and procrastination have always been my number one enemy. My workshops have been tremendous; they keep growing and I’m excited about the next one. I haven’t been able to do one in a few months because of my schedule. Now, I’m back on it and I would really like to do at least 1 a month. It’s just as life changing for me as it is for anybody who takes the workshop because it means a lot to me to be able to give back.
N- What is the most asked Question you get from people?
Rae- “People always want to know about the times when I wasn’t so inspirational. Those down times when life isn’t so good and what it takes for me to get out of that space. I had an Aunt who passed away from Throat Cancer a few years ago. It came in very, very quickly, we learned at Stage 4, and one of the things that affected me about her death the most is that she was a really good chef. She could literally cook her ass off. Her dream was to always open up a restaurant. She talked about it so much that we would finish her sentences. That’s one of the things that never came to fruition in her lifetime. That made me sad more than anything because, you come here with nothing but GOD gives you the tools to do everything as far as building a legacy and she didn’t do that. In my mind, I said I will not leave this earth without doing as much as I can!
N- What keeps you grounded?
Rae- “I’m grounded by other people’s mistakes, if that makes sense. A lot of people want success, the fame, they want all these blessings and when they get them, they don’t necessarily treat them as they should. I’m always inspired by that, because in my mind, I’m like, how do you go so hard for something, then when you get it, you start to take advantage of it? I think it’s a wonderful position when you’re working really hard and that pay day finally comes in. However, for some people, when the pay day comes in, they just act like….I just don’t know what it is! I heard a story the other day about this rapper who had been grinding for so long and they are really hot right now, I heard something like they were turning down shows. I’m like, how do you work so hard to the point where you’re in demand now and you start turning people down? No, that’s when you’re supposed to take as much as you can! So I am inspired by that. In my mind, if I got that opportunity, I would never mess that up. It strengthens me and that’s probably why I’m so tired because I don’t know how to say ‘NO’.
N- Some people say you’re suppose to say “No” sometimes, but in this industry, that would be equivalent to saying “I’m lazy”…..
Rae- “ I agree. I believe that this industry is all about relevancy. You’re only as good as your last blog, your last interview, your last piece of work. If you’re saying no to it, that means you aren’t increasing and you’re not growing. I think that when you say no for physical purposes, I get it. When you just can’t make it or just can’t do it, I absolutely understand, because I do not believe in anybody burning themselves out. However, if you are saying no because you feel like you got it like that, or the opportunity may not be as big as you would like it to be, that’s a huge slap in the face to your work and what you stand on. It’s very hard for me to understand people who say no when that’s all they have heard all their lives and now they’re getting all these “yeses” and they have the nerve to be that one who says “No” all the time.
N- Talk about the success of Stuff Fly People Like (StuffFlyPeopleLike.com) !
Rae- “SFPL is eight and a half years old, it’ll turn nine next March! I simply cannot believe that we’ve lasted this long. They say most blogs fold in like the second or third year because they don’t realize how rigorous it is. It is literally like a full-time job! As a team we’ve had our ups and downs, as a brand we’ve had our ups and downs, but we are very happy about where we are right now! We wouldn’t have it any other way, because if it weren’t for those up and downs, we wouldn’t know how to maneuver right now. We are a part of the Interactive One/ TVONE/ Radio One family, which is a blessing in itself, it’s been two years now. We re-brand every single chance we get and we are about to do so again for the top of 2017. We are excited about it, because it’s something we can call our own, something we built from the ground up. I was in a room for Google News Labs a couple of weeks ago, where Gayle King was one of the keynote speakers and it was literally every African American elite press in New York City that you could even think of. The fact that I was there to represent a brand that I co-created made me feel so good. I didn’t work for anybody, I wasn’t anybody’s Senior Editor, I was there for my own. That made me feel like all of the pain, and all of the struggle, was worth it. One thing that SFPL has taught me –
You remember that show ‘Growing Pains’? I feel like when we were growing up, we really didn’t understand what that meant. As the brand has grown, I’ve had to suffer so much personally and professionally, mentally, spiritually. Now I get it, we wouldn’t be considered as one of the bigger blogs in New York if it were not for that Growth and Pain. So, I’m very excited, we are about to go a little bit more viral and do more video content because this is an industry where the rules change every year and you either abide by the rules or fall back.”
N- Where do you see yourself in the next year?!
Rae- “I use to be a five-year person, and a 10 year plan person. I stopped doing that because once you get to the end of that year, you’re so upset if things didn’t go the right way. That can lead to a road of depression and lead you to be stuck. A lot of times people just stop or give up in general. I think in a year though, I would love for the expansion to be real. I want all the brands to continue to flourish. I want the Rae Holliday brand to evolve, I’m doing a lot of auditions and things like that because I want to always make sure Rae Holliday is good and SFPL is good. That’s always where I am, trying to keep that balance.
N- Who's your biggest Interview goal in 2017?!
Rae- “ I absolutely love Chris Brown, I always have. I think CB is a very complex kid, and has always been a star! I would love to tap into places where I think people don’t. They plague him as this bad boy who has mental health issues and is out of control, but I think there is so much of this star that we don’t get to see. It takes a lot to handle fame, stardom and just talent! When you have talent, the people around you are the ones who never get it. It’s always the rest of the world that gets it. The people around you, view you as normal so they often think, he’s ok, he’s got it. So he’s one of my dream interviews. I also love Lebron James. He has made over half a Billion dollars in endorsements outside of NBA money. I think, what Lebron has done, Jordan couldn’t do, what Nicki has done, Kim couldn’t do. There’s something about these new artists that’s smarter, you know what I mean? It’s really all about learning from the people that inspire you and being smarter about it and doing it on a bigger scale. It’s not always about who did it first, it’s about who did it better. I obsessed with Nicki, I’m obsessed with Lebron, I’m obsessed with anybody who has come into this culture, embodied it and ran with it. Beyoncé has done what Tina Turner could never do. Always 10 steps ahead and very unapologetic about it.”
N- Rae's biggest Dos and Donts of the Entertainment Business ....GO!
Rae- “Be kind. It never hurts to be kind. I am overly nice for several different reasons. I’m just genuinely and generally a nice person. There are people in this industry who will say, “Don’t be too nice”, “Put on your game face”….don’t nobody got time for that! What is the game at the end of the day? If you come into the game playing games, then you get played. There is NOTHING wrong with being yourself. If you don’t have a kind nature and that’s not who you are, that’s fine too! People really respect people who are themselves. Also, I think people need to be sensitive to each other. People tend to put others on a pedestal, and then when that person doesn’t live up to it, they get upset. They have to understand that everybody is different. We live in a world of Reality TV and editing, where people can edit who they want you to be. Sometimes you adjust the edit and then you meet the real person, and they turn out to be the sweetest. You see Erica Mena, one of the nicest girls you will ever meet, you meet Tami Roman, she’s one of the nicest ladies you’ll ever meet! This editing makes them look like animals, but in real life they’re so amazing and they’re doing all of these amazing things that don’t get spotlighted.
My Don’ts? You really can’t get mad over a position you didn’t get if you didn’t submit an application for. You can’t compete where you don’t compare. If you don’t know what it’s like to get out and get an audition, or solicite yourself and sell your product, how could you be so mean or aggressive towards somebody who is living their lives. If you don’t understand, just stay quiet, because it’s very discouraging to someone who wants to be the absolute best. Also, this is an industry of smoking mirrors. Everybody that you came in with, won’t be the people that you necessarily end with. You can come in with 25 people that came in for power together and then in 10 years, nobody knows anybody, that’s just the way it goes. When you do get the ones who will always be by your side, you better hold them really tight. It is very rare not only in this business, but any industry. No matter what the world tells you, you can’t do it alone! It takes you getting along with and loving other people for you to be bigger than you thought you could be. So for people who come in with the mentality of doing it alone, it’s like please, just stop.
What can we say? The Motivator.
In addition to all of his success, a documentary has been made about Rae’s journey. In the film, ‘A Journey To InspiRAEtion’, produced by Quay The Star, loved ones, chronicle his story and rise to fame! There is really no limit when it comes to life, love and happiness for Rae Holliday!