Out of 10,000 online messages, the only one you can be is you.

I know I haven’t been blogging for a minute and that’s for (what I felt like was) a good reason.

It’s because I kind of got tired of writing.

Well, sort of.

I got tired of trying to write.

Okay, well that wasn’t it either.

I got tired of trying to shout in the crowd of 10,000.

Okay, hold up, lol. (In my Kevin Hart Voice) let me explain.

In this marketing world that I operate in day to day, we live and thrive off data and analytics. Open rates, click through rates, views, engagement rates…the whole nine. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “Hey Vannesia, when’s the best time to post?!” or “Hey V, how can I grow my followers?” I could legit pay off my student loans. It’s all really vanity metrics, especially if your brand is inauthentic, but that’s another story.

I recently read an article that says we are hit with 4,000-10,000 messages per day.


Whether we scroll on social, drive by billboards, or intentionally go down that YouTube Black Hole (you know the one that has you up at 1am on some days trying to learn how to season your chicken just right for that crock pot recipe…oh, that’s just just me?), we have increased our advertising consumption by at least 1,000% since 1970.

That’s cray, right? Can you imagine having 10,000 conversations in one day? Even the extrovert in me would run and hide.

When I wrote my first guest blog in late 2014, it was because I really had a passion for connecting with others and sharing experiences….and partly because I didn’t have time to learn WordPress (tbh!). I would sit in my bed with my laptop on Sundays or Saturdays and just write. Then, I would go search my favorite brands whose audience I felt could benefit from my message and pitch them my article. I did this 16 times in a row and every article stuck except one (I’ll get to the Huffington Post someday). I would text my friends when the posts went live and would DIVE in the comment section of the blog posts to connect with others who shared their experiences with my topic. It was a great conversation to have with people all around the world.

And then we grew and before I knew it, I had a website, social media channels, “content days,” an email list, and everything else I would advise all my clients to have.

As exciting as it was, I found that something changed in the conversations for me. I’m not sure when the tipping point came, but one day when I was writing to you, I noticed my writing was sounding a bit canned. It was kind of like when my piano teacher, who was teaching me how to play Gospel music by ear, could tell that I had been reading sheet music. The vibe was just different.

I said to myself, “My people already get hit with 10,000 messages, I don’t want to be part of that noise.” So I stopped for a bit.

But, the absence of creating wasn’t the answer for two reasons:

  1. I still had stuff to say.
  2. I missed our interaction!

Not writing to you felt like I had invited you into my house and just kind of left you in my living room.

I learned that the removal of chaos doesn’t automatically mean the presence of peace, just like turning the music down in your car doesn’t mean the hum of your engine is silenced. Not writing to you doesn’t mean that you don’t receive 10,000 more messages. These two are not mutually exclusive.

It’s not my job to worry about the 10,000. It’s my job to be me. It’s your job to be you. It’s our job to simply be 1.

I recently was invited to a live podcasting event by Marcia Masulla, communications and creative strategist and owner of ROAR (check her out, she’s a fabulous soul and hosts Nashville Fashion Week among many other things!). The event featured major marketers and 5x bestselling authors, Scott and Alison Stratten from unmarketing.com. I’ll be honest, I had never heard of them initially, but a simple google search let me know I wanted to be in the room. They seemed so authentic and my kind of people.

I’m grateful that my initial reaction was correct. The event was superb and I emailed myself notes the entire time.

I approached Scott and Allison at the end of the night, shared my 10,000 situation, and posed this question: “I know the answer, because I’m in marketing, but this is personal for me. Do you really think relevant and good content can cut through everyone else?

This sparked a conversation between Scott and I that ended with him saying, “I do, but it’s not about that. Don’t worry about everyone else. Just be you, that’s your gift.”

So, that’s what I’ll continue to do. Whether it’s creating or consuming, leading or following, serving or receiving…we each have a special place in this world that not even 10,000 people can take away. And if we get side tracked along this journey or even need to take a break, it’s our job to look for the reminders to push us in the right direction.

I’ll sum this up with one of my favorite quotes and the simplest reminders from the great Philosopher, Dr. Seuss: Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Always Speak Life,

Vannesia Darby

PS. I’m working on few things that I’m dropping here for our next conversation starter:

  • I uploaded a couple videos on Youtube recently, mostly about marketing things + believing in yourself.
  • A year ago, I started working on a project with two friends of mine. It’s a lot of work but a worthwhile process. I can’t give too much detail, but it may or may not involve Beyonce’s choreographers, Janelle Monáe’s creative director, a cast member from Black Panther, and a whole bunch of other people…
  • I’m currently reading “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks (I get the “What are you reading?” question when I’m doing presentations, so I threw that in there)

Hi, I'm Vannesia. I quit my job in 2016 because I knew I was purposed for more than tweeting. Now, I get to encourage creatives and entrepreneurs while helping them use what they have to level up in their life and business. Be careful, signing up to receive my messages may cause you to start believing in yourself. Only click the button if you're about that life.

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  1. Trevor Guinn Reply

    Great article Vannesia!

    1. Vannesia Darby Reply

      Thanks for reading, Trevor!

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