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How this 12-year-old became a motivational speaker

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Made By Girls
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Work/Life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. As part of our Made By Girls issue, we asked motivational speaker Vanessa Sam to talk us through her average day.

Vanessa, 12, lives in London with her mum, Veronika, and cat, Joey.

My alarm goes off…

At 6.30am; sometimes it takes me a while to open my eyes. I then sort my hair out and change into my school uniform, which I love because it makes me feel smart. I check social media for comments from my followers, who I call my ‘inspirators’ as I think it’s important to be consistent. Most days, I eat breakfast at school before class. I love porridge with fresh fruit or waffles and pancakes.

I’m responsible for… 

Supporting and inspiring young people and adults to believe in themselves, grow in confidence and feel worthy through my YouTube videos, books and speeches. I speak at different seminars across the country. I’ve recently started writing blogs, too.

I got the job… 

By wanting to inspire people. I first realised I wanted to be a motivational speaker when I attended an event called ParentTalk in April 2016. One of the speakers invited me on stage and I shared some affirmations I use like “be fearless” and “believe in yourself”. 

After that I realised that helping others was what I was meant to do and I began attending other events with my mum where I met the speakers Warren Inspire, Ryan and Eric Ho. They became my mentors and helped me find my voice. My journey has been tough as it takes up a lot of time. But what isn’t hard, right? If you want to achieve something, you have to work at it.

Vanessa has written books to inspire children and adults to build confidence 

My typical day…

Starts on the school bus with some friends. I have a day of lessons – my favourites are English and art. After school, I film and edit upcoming videos and write my blogs. I have to be really organised to fit everything in with school work and speaking engagements.

I’m less busy at weekends, which gives me time to prepare for the motivational events I’ll be speaking at. I coach people on self-love and confidence so make sure I do a lot of research. I usually do about three events a month, which are booked by an agency. Some of my friends admire what I do and some just don’t understand why I do it.

My most memorable moment… 

Was when I held an auction for one of my paintings and raised over £1,500 for the HGivingcharity. I visited Kenya with them last year and met most of the children living at the HGiving Centre of Excellence orphanage.

Events, school and vlogs make for a busy schedule 

The worst part of my job… 

Is having to wake up early for an event. I can get tired if I haven’t slept much the night before.

The best part of my job… 

Is being a role model for young people. I was determined to become an influencer because when I started out, there weren’t any young people I could relate to – I wanted to become that person.

After work…

I’ll do my homework and eat dinner. My mum and I schedule any meetings and interviews for after school or at the weekend. These can sometimes be Skype interviews for my YouTube channel. Often, they are other kidpreneurs, or speakers – I love Les Brown and Prince Ea. Then I’ll pack my bag for school and I’ll be asleep by 9pm.

Images: Ryhana, 15

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