Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in content creation but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Zane Landin, Founder and CEO of PositiveVibes Magazine, located in Chino, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the founder and CEO of PositiveVibes Magazine. Our mission is about sharing inspiring, powerful, community-based storytelling evoking transformational, positive change. We want to normalize the conversation around mental health and disability. Sharing more honest, authentic stories about mental health will slowly change how it is perceived culturally, thus breaking the stigma that makes it hard for so many people to find the support they need.
Tell us about yourself
I am a recent graduate from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Public Relations. I started PositiveVibes Magazine in May of 2020 from a class project. COVID-19 opened up a world where people were experiencing a mass decline in their mental health. Historically, the mainstream media has not portrayed the mental health community positively at all. The mainstream media had the opportunity to be bold by going against what they've done before and reporting mental health stories truthfully. This inspired me to create a digital magazine dedicated to telling raw, unfiltered stories on mental health.
We started with an Instagram account and grew our audience by writing about personal mental health topics like seeing a therapist and creative writing. We expanded to include featuring voices across the world. We have featured 80 stories of leaders and advocates who make a positive change in their communities. We are focused on growing our audience by telling more authentic stories. Ultimately, we want to inspire people with the core message that they are not alone and their experiences are validated.
One day, I would love to see a news channel dedicated completely to positive stories. People believe humans gravitate towards the realm of negativity, but I think people would be surprised to discover how much people resonate with the universe of positivity.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Recently, I was invited to the White House for the first-ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum, which came from MTV. 30 young advocates were chosen for this opportunity. The forum was held back on May 16-18. Through the program, I became a more vigorous advocate and met Dr. Biden, Dr. Murthy, Selena Gomez, and President Biden. It was an experience I will truly never forget.
I don't think I would have been selected if I didn't start PositiveVibes Magazine. These interviews I do for the magazine give me hope for the future because they show me the world isn't as dim as it is regularly described. There are millions of people doing extraordinary things for their communities. The magazine has completely changed my life, and I don't know where I would be without this brand. I have learned storytelling is key if we want to drive universal change for mental health. It is essential to take risks and have authentic intentions.
Change isn't only about making a massive, global difference. It is about the singular moments that can ripple in the hearts of our local communities. If one person dares to share their story, more will follow, and we will see cultural change. Suppose we can focus on authentic storytelling, validating people's experiences, and showing empathy. In that case, the world will continue moving in a more promising direction. We need to have courage and be kind.
A couple of months ago, I was invited to spend a few days in Washington, D.C., for the forum. My time in D.C. was indescribable, from exploring historic architecture, standing six feet away from the President of the United States of America, and just being in a building where some of the most inspirational leaders have shaped the destiny of our country.
The forum was the catalyst for me to realize I am more than what I gave myself credit for. I think it is okay to accept support and love to find confidence in yourself. We always hear we need to find the strength within ourselves or love ourselves before we can love anyone. I don't believe in this because it is possible to reach a level of self-love and confidence because of someone who believes in you. I think everyone is a victim of unsettling thoughts that doubt them and their potential.
It is hard to break away from them, but I've found solace in surrounding myself with the people who bring out the best in me, challenge me, and push me to do things I would tell myself otherwise. Sometimes we need an extra push, and nothing is wrong with that. I've learned to embrace uncertainty and actually chase feelings of it. It may not sound like it makes sense, but I expect to be surprised by the world and myself.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is coming to terms with uncertainty and unpredictability. Things are constantly changing, and entrepreneurs need to be diligent to survive. The journey is not linear, and it can be frustrating when you don't see the success you want. It is a journey; patience is key to building a business or brand.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Finding what you are passionate about is essential, so you are always in the space you want to be in. I knew I was passionate about mental health advocacy, so I am always doing the work I want to be in with my business.
- Don't limit yourself because what is stopping you? I think we have a vision of what we can accomplish, and sometimes it is not even close to what we are truly capable of. If you have an idea, do not hesitate to start it. Take that leap in yourself. It doesn't mean you need to go from 0 to 100. Researching the industry you are interested in, finding a mentor who has been in your shoes or even joining an entrepreneur group on Facebook and LinkedIn is a good starting point. It is about taking those baby steps because starting a business is a process.
- Take care of your mental health. Many entrepreneurs experience a decline in their mental health because they have to manage many life responsibilities. An entrepreneur has to juggle several roles, which can be very stressful. Entrepreneurs need to be proactive in addressing their mental health to thrive and see success. This includes taking work breaks, spending time with family and friends, or even seeing a psychologist.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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