Gabriella Benedicte is a photographer, videographer, editor, content creator, DJ, fitness instructor, and a mom. She has always been a creative but after spending years working as a casting director in the film industry she decided to pursue a permanent career move better suited to her lifestyle preferences.
In episode #17 of the Future Females Show, hosted by Media Personality & Transformational Coach, Susana Kennedy, and Co-Founder & CEO of Future Females, Lauren Dallas, Gabriella talks about building multiple streams of income as a creative entrepreneur.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself.
It is a dreaded question because I do multiple things and I think that when people ask me this question it sounds a little bit like a list! The nudge and gist of is that I am a creative. I live and breathe photography and videography and creating content, specifically for social media, is my bread and butter. I am obviously also a mom, which I thrive off of and it is the biggest gift to me. Other than that I am an unemployed comedian and part-time DJ.
Can you tell us about making that bold move from going from a consistent job to what you do now?
I think the biggest turning point for me was becoming a mom. I became a mom at the age of 26 and at the time I was working as a casting director, and it was lovely, I loved my job, I was very good at it, and I earned a lot of money. But, it took me away from being able to be the present mom that I wanted to be. Having a small child at that time, I did not want to live that busy lifestyle anymore. I was always a creative, since I was a kid. I was 13 years old when I got my first handicam and I started making films from that and it was amazing! After that I got my scholarship to go study film but then I dropped out and I went to go work in the industry as a casting director because I was really passionate about performance and that was also amazing and I enjoyed it but as soon as I shifted over into motherhood I realised that there is so much more to life than spending it at work or in a studio and surely there must be other ways in which you can earn the same amount of money but still live the same life.
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When you found out you were pregnant you were single and you had three thousand rand in your bank account, and six months later you had paid all your doctor’s bills and you hd two hundred and fifty thousand rand saved! How did you do that?
Before I fell pregnant I was living very much of a young lifestyle – I would work, go out with friends, and not really think about the future. Long story short, I was in a relationship, it ended and a week later I found out that I was pregnant. He decided to not be a part of the picture, I had three thousand rand in my bank account, and I was thinking whether or not I can take on another life, and I did. I spent the next six months working my little tush off, and I think the biggest change for me was that I changed my mindset in which I was open to receive any work opportunity that came my way. The more that I started to accept the opportunities that came to me, the more they started to come. Deals started to come through which were a lot of money and I sometimes did not think that I was qualified to do it, but I did it. It genuinely was a mindset shift and I think that whether you are having a baby or not, if you decide to take that mindset shift and open yourself up to the opportunities that are literally waiting on your door, the universe provides.
Once you have completely opened yourself, did you take on things that you later regretted or do you see it as a huge strength to have all of this diversity in your life?
You would not have been the person that you are today, and you would not have learned if you had not taken on certain things at certain times that were meant to either bring you an income or teach you a lesson. So no, there is nothing that I can genuinely say that I regretted. I was incredibly busy at the time, amongst wanting to nap and eat a lot of carbs, but at the end of the day I was then able to afford myself a six-month maternity leave to look after my newborn baby.
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Talk to us about content creation.
I think that when it comes to content creation, a lot of people try to push the whole niche aspect whereas what we should be focusing on is the human aspect because realistically speaking we are all living the human experience and that does not come in a niche. You are not just a woman, you are experiencing different things about being a woman, you are not just a man, etc., etc. For me, when it comes to my content creation personally, I try to share my own life experience, and that comes in multiple facets – if something interests me, I will share it and if it does not interest me, I will not share it. People who are like-minded individuals will follow along and enjoy the journey.
When it comes to sticking to a niche, I have noticed that people are so scared to step out of that niche and they make sure that their content looks a certain way and fits into the brand’s niche, but the engagement goes down. Let’s face it, the people who are following you are human beings and they can see the difference between an advert (which they no longer watch on television for a reason) versus somebody authentically passionate about a product
What would be your biggest tip to content creators – is it to share real moments on a daily basis of who you are and what you are dealing with, never mind what your brand is?
My biggest piece of advice would be: Do not be afraid to be ugly. I mean that on a personal level, and on a physical level. People relate more to that and they are going to trust you because they will know that you are not afraid to actually show them your authentic self – not the Instagram authentic self .
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What does success look like for you at this point in your life?
Success for me is being able to live the lifestyle that I want, which includes being physical, seeing my friends, hanging out, doing the work that I absolutely love to do, and knowing that I do not have to stress about my bills at the end of the month. Just that basic freedom. I do not need excessive things – just knowing that I can be able to afford the things that I need to afford, that my kid is happy and healthy, and that I am doing things that actually feed my soul and do not make me want to not get up in the morning. That is success for me.
You have this power and this presence. When did you step into that and what helped you to step into that?
It is going to sound incredibly cheesy, but it happened the minute I became a mom. There is no feeling like it. When you become a mom, you are actually no longer living for yourself specifically, you are living for another human being, and that is when you tap into a whole different kind of energy source and it vibrates through your body.
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Watch the show episode video here: