We had the good fortune of connecting with Sierra Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sierra, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was taking my walk with Christ seriously. I know this sounds nebulous, but my life was so shrouded in darkness. Working in the entertainment industry can wear you down if you let it, and I was definitely a casualty of that. I was working all the time, typically under the very watchful eye of a superior and sometimes other employees. It’s an intense pressure because you want to show that you’re competent to not only do the job you were hired for but that you also have the potential to reach higher, to have more responsibilities. I mean everyone in my age group has been told by the previous generation that the ticket to a better life is to work your way up the ladder. It’s just that no one tells you how prickly that ladder can be and with every rung climbed you are willingly causing yourself so much pain. I wasn’t taking care of myself. My career became all-encompassing. It put a huge strain on my already strained long-distance relationship. I was missing out on important life events of my friends and family because I was afraid of missing work, which ultimately had an indirect effect on maintaining and building upon those relationships. That also indirectly had an effect on the kinds of friendships I established due to the nature of the business. I didn’t have any hobbies because who the heck has time to indulge in something just for fun!? There’s this intense pressure to always be working on something, always reaching toward a goal, so to do something just for fun felt like a waste of valuable time I could be using to accomplish my career goals. Literally, my entire life centered around work and I was so miserable. I stopped going to church and reading my bible. Partially because I didn’t feel like it and because I was so dang tired, but also because I didn’t realize how important it was for me to be connected to God. I wanted to excel in my career so badly that I lost myself in the ravenous chase. The pandemic forced me to stop kidding myself. It forced me to sit with my emotions because I didn’t have the business of work anymore. The hustle and bustle quieted down to a simmer and all I had left was me. That’s when I realized that I’m not happy and I haven’t been for a really long time. I was so hungry to excel in my career because I needed the validation. I needed a certain group of friends. I needed a certain type of man. I needed a certain type of LIFE. All I was doing was constantly trying to fill a void only God can fill, chasing after a feeling that would never satisfy. After hitting the lowest point of my life, I finally came to the end of myself and I turned to Jesus in my brokenness. I kid you not, my life started turning around. Through Christ, I found surfing and instantly fell in love. The dark cloud that was hovering over me started to clear up. I put the drugs down. I put the alcohol down. I started taking better care of my body and getting enough rest. Not only is my body a temple but I want to be able to catch waves and you have to keep your body in shape. I quit eating junk and started paying more attention to what I was putting in my body. I learned balance in a whole new way and it permeates throughout all other aspects of my life. I’m now getting paid to read manuscripts all day, which is a blessing. I have a better handle on work-life balance, so I’m able to make time for shredding waves and above all I’ve restored my relationship with my creator. Life is good and I’m blessed.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m Brit Bennett’s chief of staff. The world of publishing appeals to me daily, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for me in this area. Honestly, I believe I have unknowingly prepared for this job since I started working. I’ve always loved to read and writing was one of my first passions.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in the city are near beaches. I love surfing at El Porto. There’s a really good restaurant called FishBar, right across the street from my favorite surf shop El Porto Surf. I also really like going to Topanga State Beach. My all-time favorite spot is San Onofre State Beach. The waves are always perfect and there’s a lot of nature so after a fun surf session, you can ride your bike or go on a hike. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate this shoutout to my big sister, Synita. You were right there with me through it all and if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have answered God’s call. You constantly show me what hard work and dedication looks like. I’m so blessed I get to call you sister. I love you!

Website: https://www.sierraraequel.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sierraraequel/

Image Credits:
Pacific Surf School

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.