Making It 101: Jackie Gibbons

When I launched this blog, I knew I wanted it to be more than a fashion blog. I wanted to create inspiring content in hopes of motivating my readers to be the best version of themselves.  This is where the idea for Making It 101 came from. Essentially, I'll sit down with a woman who is successfully navigating her industry, in hopes that she can help girls like me navigate my own.

For this first segment, I sat down with Jackie Gibbons, of the husband & wife, southern soul duo, The Gibbonses. Together we talked comparison, setting your own terms, and the art of the hustle.

Almost It Girl: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Jackie Gibbons: I’m 29, I’ve been married for almost three years, I met my husband six years ago working on a cruise ship. We met working on a cruise ship, in the same band. Before that, I was a musical theater major (at Boston Conservatory), and I did that my whole life. I realized halfway through that it wasn’t for me, but I was in too deep, and I was just like I’ll just go ahead finish, get the degree, and I’ll figure it out afterward. I finished college, then moved to New York to do the whole Broadway thing even though I wasn’t really that into it anymore. Then I found a job working on carnival cruise lines as a singer, which kind of lead me down this path of being a singer instead of a musical theater person.

Almost It Girl: How'd you break into the music scene?

Jackie Gibbons: We moved to Seattle after we worked on cruise ships for a few years… So we moved to Seattle, and we were really struggling to find work as a cover band, which is what we were really trying to do when we moved there. And that’s what really lead us to become a duo, really just out of frustration of not having anyone else to help us be in this band. And the duo, that just kind of fell into play to make sense for us, and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.

Almost It Girl: How do you balance being a creative entrepreneur, a wife, and a musician all at the same time? 

Jackie Gibbons: I’ve been working on it for years, but I think I only finally figured it out in the last month. It’s new. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can confidently say I’m an entrepreneur. It took me a long time though, I had a job that I worked remotely when we moved to Texas. I had that job for years, and it gave me that structure I needed. Get up work on the computer for a few hours, then shift gears and go play a show. I quit my job almost a year ago, on July 1st.

Almost It Girl: What was the transition from part-time entrepreneur to a full-time musician like? 

Jackie Gibbons: So I quit, and we immediately went on our first house concert tour. When I got home I was coming off of the high of the tour, and the loss of it being over to everyday life, and I had no job. I had to work on self-motivating and figuring out what I do now that the biggest project I’d do all year was over. I cried a lot, I was a baby and laid in bed until noon. I honestly didn’t get into a real groove until the last six months.

Almost It Girl: What is your advice for making a full life work?

Jackie Gibbons: (On relationships) I’d say if really passionate about something, then marry someone who is equally as passionate about whatever that thing is. You don’t have to be in the same field, you just have to be equally as passionate about what you want to do as I am. So definitely marry the right person. The wrong person will drag you down, or slow you down, or just not be able to celebrate with you when you’re on a high.

 I think structure and regime we’re the two most important things for me when I transitioned from a day job to a full-time musician. Also,  be really communicative. Nowadays, there’s nothing worse than that. Text me back if I text you, email me back if I email you. We are all on our phones all the time, so there’s no excuse. In terms of being a professional entrepreneur, you need to be reliable, and communicable. And above all, always be really, really nice. Even if you don’t want to, always take the high road.

Almost It Girl: How do you get your foot in the door when you're pursuing a creative industry?

Jackie Gibbons:  I would say persistence; I can give you advice on that but I wasn’t the poster child for any of these things. You have to be persistent, and you have to hustle. Also, don’t put too much faith in other people in terms of when they promise you things. 99% of the time it’s going to fall through. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Rely on yourself to get the things done that have to be done, because nobody else is going to care more about your business than you do.

Almost It Girl: I think we all have to learn how to hustle, wouldn't you agree?

Jackie Gibbons: Absolutely, there’s no way around it. It’s a painful process, it sounds so fun in theory. Then it turns out that’s not the fun part at all. That’s like the earth-shattering, humbling part. You have to just push through.

Almost It Girl: And finally how'd you learn to navigate failure gracefully?

Jackie Gibbons: That took me years of going through that phase where you belittle yourself. But you have to pick yourself up when you’re ready.  It’s just a matter of putting in the time, the energy, and settling in because it’s gonna be a ride. You just have to get over that uncomfortable feeling of the highs and lows. Like the higher the highs, the lower the lows will feel. So allow yourself space and time to mentally prepare for the lows. That way they don't pull you down any longer than necessary and you can always keep moving forward.

Hope you enjoyed reading this interview, as much as I enjoyed talking with Jackie. For more information about The Gibbonses, click here 

You should also check out their house concert tour and listen to their music

Until next time,

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