Journalist Kim Osorio is much more than a byline on an article. As the two-time Editor-in-Chief for The Source Magazine, a published author, public speaker and an active mother of three, Osorio has had more than her fair share of drama in the past decade.
Osorio started as an Associate Editor with The Source in 2000, and was promoted to Editor-in-Chief in 2003. Facing a tumultuous work environment, she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her employers in 2005, and triumphed with a multi-million dollar judgement in her favor.
In her time away from the magazine madness, Osorio held positions at BET and Russell Simmons’ GlobalGrind.com, but was recruited back to The Source by its new owners in 2012 to revive the flailing brand.
In a recent interview with HipHopWired.com, Kim Osorio explained her widely publicized lawsuit against The Source as her “fighting for the brand”. True to her perspective, she returned to the company with refreshed vision and passion.
UrbLife.com spoke with the Bronx, New York native about her journey, and how she balances such a crazy career with family life. In this exclusive interview, Kim also shares her 7 key tips for maintaining a positive attitude through everything, and offers advice to anyone who might want to follow in her career footsteps. Read on…
How do you keep your head up in all stages of life? What are some good tips you can share?
1. Maintain a daily schedule. That has helped my life. When I got my iPhone, I started to use the little calendar they have one there and literally it has done wonders for me. I can’t manage my day unless I look at the schedule.
When I say put everything in a schedule, I mean I put everything in there. If I don’t put it in there, it will fall through the cracks, and I can’t do it any other way. I need a constant reminder of what’s next. I look at it in the morning so I can see what my day is going to be like. When I do that, it helps me get them done.
2. Return all phone calls and emails. I was not there a few years ago, and it started to jeopardize the relationships that I had. It helps to put those calls in a schedule as well.
When you don’t give the people that you are working with that respect, I think it looks really bad on you. I feel like we all have to work together, you help people and they help you. That’s how you maintain your position no matter what company you’re at.
3. Maintain work/life balance. You’re really more productive, in my opinion, if you are living life and not just working all of the time.
4. Wake up early. I don’t get to sleep in much these days because I have a little boy, but when he wakes up before me it throws my day off. When I wake up before him and get everything ready, I feel better about going about my day because I’m not rushing.
I don’t like to sleep late, on a work day I feel like I lost a lot of time if I’m sleeping in. You need your rest, but I think you need to be able to pull yourself out of bed.
5. Brush things off of your shoulder. When you get bad energy from people, it’s just a sign that they are unhappy. I try not to give off that energy. Sometimes people may rub me the wrong way and my response is not always the best response, because I let it affect me.
Don’t take a lot of stuff personally. If someone treats you poorly, it’s the kill them with kindness sort of thing. There’s like a handful of people that leave a bad taste in my mouth, but other than that I don’t have any ill will towards anyone.
6. Manage everyone’s expectations of you. In other words don’t take on something that you can’t handle. I have to have a sort of work style. I can’t be interrupted doing certain things. I find that to be a major problem with people. If I can’t do it, then I can’t do it.
It’s become a lot easier to tell people that I can’t deliver on something. You have to manage the expectations, don’t tell someone you can get something done if you know that you can’t do it.
7. Make time for yourself. I love the activities and to do things, like “me” time. I like the movies or going to the gym. You should be scheduling that stuff in, sort of like the enjoyment of life into your schedule. You need that time away.
What was the moment you knew you had to figure out how to balance some things out?
KO: I think it happens over a period of time. As more of life’s responsibilities were put on me, I realize that non-organization was not only affecting me, but affecting my family. That’s something that I can’t pinpoint a specific time. It happened over the last four or five years.
I have an 11-year-old daughter, a daughter born four years ago, and a son born two years ago; and when they came that kind of shook up everything that I was doing. There was no more time for myself so I had to schedule it in, and I had to manage everything I was doing and manage them as well.
What are some things that you want to pass down to younger people about balancing and accepting responsibility in a bigger form?
KO: I’m not even all the way there yet. It’s a hard thing to juggle, and I think that it’s interesting when people say “How are you going to do all of that with three kids?” I’m like, “You have no idea of the amount that I already do.”
If anything, having them does a lot for my career. It forces me to manage what I have to do. There really is very little free time so it’s scheduled in. I have a lot going on so I have to make sure that all time is accounted for. There’s also a lot of work that gets done. Sometimes I’m in jail… I’m at home and I can’t go anywhere. Going out is something else – that’s a scheduling thing.
Time is money. When people ask me to go out, I’m like, “How is it benefitting me, am I getting a check? Am I networking?” I look at everything like that, there is no more waste of time. It’s all pointing towards something that is a bigger goal there.
Where do you see yourself as a business person and as a mother going in the next few years?
KO: Honestly, I never want to lose sight of my creativity. I think that I’m a really creative person and I love to write and I love art, all types of art. So I really don’t want to limit myself. That’s not to say that I can’t handle business because I have done the business thing, I think I’m pretty good at that as well. All of those basic skills that you pick up at jobs can be applied to anything that you do.
For me, it’s about not losing the creative aspect of what I do, and always having that as a foundation from what I’m doing. I want to continue to write for as long as I can, because I love that part of what I do.
What is some good advice that you’d give someone who wants to be like you?
KO: I would say that your work speaks for yourself. No matter what you do, no matter how you handle things, no matter where you work, it’s always about the output. When you leave that place, what do you have for yourself to speak for you. That’s what it’s really about. I try to be conscious of that in everything that I do.
Follow Kim Osorio on Twitter @KimOsorio1 and CLICK HERE to find her tell-all book Straight from The Source on Amazon.com