Right now, I’m 53 and I’m starting my career over. It’s not the first time I’ve begun again and I don’t expect it will be the last time in my life I’ll start my career over yet again, given the speed of information and technology coupled with social change.
Here’s a timelapse picture of my professional life. I won a scholarship to Parson’s School of Design, parlayed that into a successful career as a supermodel and then parlayed that into film work and television journalism then freelance writing and regular columns in publications.
Then I became a wife and mother and took off my entrepreneurial hat and left the paid workforce to run the world’s most important cottage industry - taking care of the people you love. I became a teacher, cook, maid, caregiver, nurse, house manager, chauffeur and a one woman ATM. I did it all with great pride because of the trillions of tasks you do as a wife and mother, many of which are underwhelming and thankless. Some of those tasks are so monumental they define you as a person, big or small, thankless or triumphant, everything you do as a head of your family matters.
Now, try going back into the job market and putting all that good work on a resume?
Guess what? On a job resume it doesn’t matter how good of a domestic engineer you are.
There was a time that I saw leaving the workforce to become a mother as a setback, rather than as a 24/7 training ground for finding creative solutions to problems that are fluid and difficult and have to be solved in real time in the real world under unpredictable and changing conditions. When I went back into the job market in my late 40’s there was little to nothing for me. Doors that were once held wide open for me were now, literally, shut in my face. The skills and experience I’d worked so hard to accumulate over a lifetime seemed destined only to be shared as mere memories, or as an instruction manual for my family and friends to draw from. Yet no longer useable for me to grow as a professional outside of my home.
One day, a few years back, my four kids came home from school and I asked, “Where’s your homework?” “We did it” they said. “Where is it?” I asked. I didn’t see any books or papers or even pencils for that matter. I said, “let me see it ya’ll.” My eight year old held up her i-phone and said “It’s here momma. I did it on my phone on the bus home from school Ma.”
That was a lightbulb moment. If my kids are being taught to work like this - that means I should be working like this too. I realized I had the key to the new economy in the palm of my hand except I wasn’t using it! So you know what I did? I took stock. What analogue assets and skills from the 20th century did I have that I could transfer to a 21st century digital platform?
I listed my passions: fashion, food, fitness and family. Then I set out to find a way to share those passions in order to make a positive change in people’s lives.
That’s how the idea for my blog WebbOnTheFly.com was born. There aren’t a lot of fashion bloggers over 50. There aren’t a lot of women over 50 pictured in fashion, period. Women in my age bracket make 95% of the buying decisions in our homes! We want to be seen and heard and talked about! I’m fierce. I’m 50. I set out to do my blog. I was scared because what did I know about the digital marketing and web development? Even though I was scared, I decided to go ahead and do it and do it afraid.
If you’re not a digital native like me and you’re thinking about moving into the digital age here are the five things you can do to get you started in on an online business.
1. Write down three things you’re passionate about.
2. What would you enjoy learning more about?
3. Does it excite you to lead the way and draw other people into conversations on this topic?
4. When you research and talk about this topic does it grow the business you’re trying to build?
5. Would your opinion and influence on the subject you’re studying become a potential profit center?
It’s almost a year now since I went live with my first post on WebbOnTheFly.com. I’m proud to say, that I am a successful “micro influencer” on my blog. I’ve got 6,000 loyal users who are affluent and educated and who, like me, are looking to exchange information and stay informed about the latest in fashion and health. I think for any small business to have 6,000 customers is an achievement.
It’s all about growing. Today it’s the digital gig economy. Tomorrow who knows where technology and next economy will take us, but I know I’m going to keep learning and growing and googling myself because I want to be part of and hopefully at the leading edge of that new economy whatever it is. What I’ve learned to be the most important thing is, “If you’re afraid to take the next step -take it anyway because a step away from fear is a step in the right direction.”
Known for being one of the first African–American supermodels to
break barriers in the beauty and fashion industries, Veronica Webb
became a lifestyle expert through her journey as an evolving model,
beauty & fitness enthusiast, mother and wife.
Throughout the years, she has appeared on covers of top international
fashion magazines, has worked with designers such as
Azzedine Alaïa, Versace, Chanel, Kanye West, Isaac Mizrahi and more.
Today, in her early 50’s, Webb continues as a trending figure by sharing
her story through her lifestyle blog (WebbonTheFly.com), talks/lectures
and collaborations with major brands and campaigns including her most
recent one with Google at their Essence Festival event. Today,
Veronica is a Google Entrepreneur Ambassador and is working with
Google to influence females in business, and looking to explore the
In addition, she recently donated some of her iconic outfits to the FIT
Museum for their Black Designers Exhibition, which helped curate.
Veronica has also become a partner and stakeholder of Blingby,
an innovative entertainment and technology digital platform that allows
users to simultaneously watch videos and buy, book or rent what they
Veronica believes that good health is the basis not only of great
beauty, but also of a great lifestyle. She served as member of the
Eucerin Skin First Counsel and co-authored Eucerin’s white paper on
Webb has also run three New York City Marathons.
With great pride this accomplished career woman will tell you her
greatest role to date is as a wife and as a mother to her children. Veronica is represented by
Facebook: SuperModel Veronica Webb