Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post: Jennifer Brown-Thomas on Being a Strong Woman

Jennifer Brown-Thomas can do it all. The young, high-achieving, writer and director is on a fast-track to book and film-making success. Transforming her own life experiences into a thriving business that encompasses everything she’s passionate about -- film, writing, fashion and food. She is now at the tipping point of her career, as her first book and film, Blissful Lies, has recently been published and picked up for worldwide distribution. As an extension of the brand, Jennifer Brown-Thomas has also partnered with Runway Ready owner Fanitsa Limberis to form Limberis Brown Thomas (LBT), a lifestyle brand that plans to create a fragrance, clothing line, coffee shop and more in the near future.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit her at Facebook, Twitter and her website!

"Being a strong woman is very important to me. But doing it all on my own is not." --Reba McEntire

This is one of my favorite quotes—mostly, because it resonates with me on countless levels. Allowing myself to dream big has always been quite easy, but allowing others to aid in my road to success has been harder than expected. Becoming a mother was a profoundly difficult journey for me, after two miscarriages I felt distraught and brokenhearted in a way I’d never known before. In fact, it was because of that very feeling I launched myself into my career with the initial idea—‘Hey, let’s make a movie.’ The month following my decision to sign with the Blissful Lies producer, I found out I was in fact, pregnant for the third time. Looking back now, I realize if my first pregnancy had been successful, I wouldn’t be here talking to you now. But because of the struggles my husband and I faced during our painful quest to become parents, it was much harder to relinquish control or responsibility to anyone else, where my daughter was concerned. I felt as though it was solely my job to do everything on my own—because I felt that’s what defined me as a mother and as a woman. After the first year of parenting, I realized it didn’t make me a bad mom to utilize the help I had at my disposal. And slowly, I’ve accepted that some days I do need help…

Getting married, becoming a mother, graduating from TCU and then continuing on to Law School was always the golden path for my future… Not at all what my future has become. Today, I’m known as ‘mommy,’ to my almost two-year-old daughter, who is more than I could’ve ever hoped for in a child. ‘A movie, a book, the launch of your new empire LBT enterprises and no hopes of slowing down… How do you manage it all?’ This was a question asked verbatim during an interview I did a few months ago, and truthfully the answer is quite simple: I have help. Almost my entire family and extended family lives within minutes of me, so it’s amazing to have help so close. To all my mothers out there, you know how hard it is to raise a child—there are no books, no guides, no ‘how to’ cliff notes—you do the best you can with what you have and it either works, or it doesn’t and you regroup.

For me, the art of being a parent and having a career like this is a delicate juggling act. Work is very important to me, but above all else—I’m a mom first. And so far it’s been hard for reasons I never would’ve anticipated. The lack of sleep, the lack of privacy, the lack of quiet time… all of these are parenting issues I’ve dealt with well—but what I’ve had to really make sure I work on is staying three steps ahead of everyone else so I’m never missing a moment of my daughter’s life. Her first crawl, her first steps, her first giggle, her first words—never missed anything. My job makes that hard—it makes it very hard, but I’ve managed to stay ahead of the game so far. The most productive time of day for me is anywhere from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. That’s when a majority of my writing is done and for me, that’s when I feel most creative. And thankfully, that’s usually when my daughter is sleeping… usually.

Balancing it all is challenging most days, but it’s such a rewarding life I’ve been blessed enough to live. Blissful Lies made the Amazon bestsellers list; the film mirroring the novel was offered a world wide distribution deal; LBT enterprises (Limberis-Brown-Thomas) is in pre-production for its first fragrance and girls clothing line; and the release of my next book, Vindictive Grounds—recently projected to be the next ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ will release at the beginning of the year. My husband—who is traveling for work two weeks out of the month, my mother—who is my Texas manager and my father—who is more help with my daughter than I could ever thank him for, my in-laws—who are always asking to babysit, my grandparents—who have believed in every one of my goals set thus far, and who have supported and encouraged in ways I can’t even begin to process, and my cousins, aunts, uncles and dear friends who have volunteered on movie sets, hosted late night edit sessions, delivered food to a starving staff… you name it, they’ve gone above and beyond—and there involvement has been paramount in my success story.

Dreaming is the easy part. Making those dreams a reality is a little more challenging… but every day it’s getting easier to push forward and continue to make things happen.

“Being a strong woman is very important to me. But doing it all on my own is not." --Reba McEntire

Reiterating the quote I opened with: Dreaming is 
 the easy part… turning those dreams into reality is a little more challenging. But knowing I’m not facing the uphill battle alone, makes it much easier.

1 comment:

Jennifer Brown-Thomas said...

Loved having the opportunity to chat with you all! Thanks so much for your time.