Actress turned model, poet and author

Listening to Venus Jones’ story is kind of touching. Her career has gone from strength to strength, but powered not so much by self-belief, as by the belief others have had in her.

She is doing great, despite a really modest attitude towards her wide range of talents.

“It was maybe 2000 was when I stopped doing full-time work. That was when I was working for the Boys and Girls Club and youth programs. I was an individual service counselor and a project coordinator.”

“My bachelors was in communications and broadcasting. I had done four years of radio and DJing, and then in my senior year of college, I landed an internship with MTV, writing for them.”

“But once I graduated, I didn’t go to New York or whatever. I decided to come with my fiancé to Florida, and I ended up working at Home Shopping Network. I was a Floor Director there. But one of the models was like, you should work as a model.”

“People would say, oh, she should be a model, but I didn’t believe them, I didn’t see myself that way. But then I realized, wait a minute, I’m doing all this work and they’re making more money than me. And that job was so stressful, I ended up quitting anyway.”

In her spare time, Venus was doing some acting for free. “My first play here in Tampa was the Vagina Monologues and there was an agent in the audience. That’s how I got my first agent, and then people started showing interest in booking me as an actress in commercials and things like that.”

“So I then I knew, OK, wait a minute, I have to have a flexible job. I can’t work full-time anymore, because they wanted to send me on jobs as an actress. Acting and modelling became not a hobby, and poetry was the hobby.”

“I knew I loved poetry, and as a hobby, I would go do poetry at the coffee house. But what happened was I got into this contest. The first contest ever I was in, I won it. I didn’t even know what it was, but they gave me money! I was like, OK, well, this is nice. Then every time I would go out, they kept encouraging me to write and to perform more. So I started getting paid for poetry as well.”

“So because of my success as an actress, poet and model, there was a grant that was created around me called “Poised and Powerful.” I’m not the only woman doing it, but I go into the schools and teach young girls how to be poised and powerful.”

I laugh, as I start to notice how others have seemed so much more alert to Venus’ talents than she has been herself. She laughs too. “I’ve always been self motivated, but I never really thought I was as great as other people thought I was.”

Do ask for help, because there are people who want to help you

And she’s happy with the freedom this lifestyle is bringing her. “I don’t have a specific boss or some supervisor really telling me what to do and what time to show up to work. I chose my own hours.”

“Working for yourself, a lot of people think it’s easy but it’s not. It means you have to work a lot more hours a lot of the time because you are wearing so many hats.”

“I give thanks for my husband because he is a more leisurely person then I am. So he’ll try to remind me to go outside and enjoy the sunshine because I’m usually in the room, in my little own room, working working working. I’m constantly working. I have to remind myself to go to the beach or go take a spa day or something.”

“Is there anything else I want to share? Just … don’t be like me. Some of this is self-induced pain because I have to remind myself to ask for help. I’m not the best at that. So do ask for help because there are people who want to help you. You have to learn the better skill of delegating. Because delegating is a skill.”

Business: 

Venus Jones is an author, speaker, poet, feminist, actress and model, www.venusjones.com

Business size: 

One person

Business location: 

Tampa
United States
Florida

Duration: 

Venus has worked for herself for nine years

Image: Venus Jones

About the author

Jessica Kennedy
Sunday, 5 February, 2012 - 21:30
London
United Kingdom

Jessica is an acupuncturist, www.jessicakennedy.com, and the founder of www.smallbiztribe.com.