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Entrepreneur Serena Kerrigan Reveals Three Ways You Can Build Confidence… And Your Empire

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Milestone birthdays invite you to take stock of who you are, where you’ve been and how to best align your current actions to make your future vision a reality. While it makes sense that each new decade can bring a deepening of passions or a shift along a continuum, those in the business of social media must also contend with evolving beyond the interests that first brought them clicks. 

Entrepreneur Serena Kerrigan finds herself at this very crossroads. As she leaves the single life and her 20s behind—two of the elements that helped her gain close to 1 million followers across social platforms—Kerrigan’s savvy branding and belief in herself are helping her step into what’s next to accomplish even greater success.

Whether you’re turning the page to a new decade or embarking on a new endeavor, Kerrigan’s example provides a roadmap on how to embrace the future and maximize new possibilities. On the cusp of turning 30, she reflects on her journey thus far, and details why she hopes her followers join her for her second act. Serena Kerrigan also outlines how to build and maintain confidence throughout all your life choices.

Serena Kerrigan is monetizing confidence

With both parents in the media industry, Kerrigan was bitten by the content-making bug early. After producing an award-winning short film in high school, she studied visual media and English at Duke University. Following graduation, she interned and then went on to work at Refinery29, where she created some 60 assets a month for Facebook Live, Snapchat and YouTube. 

While she appreciated the opportunity, Kerrigan eventually realized the company wasn’t capitalizing on business and talent so much as relying on money from advertisers and investors.

“I wanted to monetize confidence, but I needed a product to help me do that,” Kerrigan says. 

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She left Refinery29 a month before the pandemic began to build her empire, and those first few weeks quarantining helped clarify what direction her career should take. She launched an Instagram Live dating show, spun off corresponding dating card games that have garnered more than $1 million in sales and went on a nationwide live tour.

While her following may have initially ballooned thanks to her dating hot takes, Kerrigan explains that her brand is really about confidence, whether that’s with work, friendship or dating.

“My Roman Empire is helping women live fearlessly as themselves,” Kerrigan says. “I created an entire company and products that are about treating yourself as a prize, and that type of thinking extends to every aspect of your life.”

What’s next… and why the pivot?

As she turns 30 this month, Kerrigan has started to shift her interests using the resources and skills from the social media space she currently occupies.

Last fall, Kerrigan launched SFKTV, where she streams her own exclusive, longform content. She sees the platform as helping to provide a launchpad that will eventually enable her to write her own movie.

“I want to leave a legacy that transcends social media,” she says. “Social media videos have a shelf life, and I didn’t grow up wanting to be an influencer. I want to be the next Sofia Coppola.”

While she’s been practicing the art of storytelling for years, for her next career phase, Kerrigan has a television writer as a mentor and her parents as a sounding board. Another inspiration? Beyoncé.

“She puts in the work,” Kerrigan says. “She shows that it’s not just about talent or money, but who sits down and does it. It’s not about following a format or having to attend this certain school. It’s what you’re in control of—are you going to hustle the hardest?”

Empowering women to control their own timeline

While many of her followers still grapple with dating and relationship woes, as they age out of their 20s, staying on top of their fertility is becoming more top of mind. Kerrigan, who is seriously dating someone, is also preparing for the future by freezing her eggs for the second time. Through Instagram stories and webinars with her fertility clinic, she hopes to help demystify the process.

“I want to empower women to have ownership of their timeline,” she says.

Personally and professionally, Kerrigan feels ready to delve into this next territory.

“I believe if you go and take a calculated risk and a chance on yourself, you will thrive. I’ve convinced a lot of women to do the same.”

Serena Kerrigan’s top three tips for how to build your own empire

  1. Dream big and follow your skill set. “Ask yourself what comes easy to you, and work from there. I didn’t like editing videos, so I decided to just go live on Instagram. Don’t create unnecessary hurdles for yourself.”
  2. You write the plot of your life. Vision board, and don’t be so self-critical. “If you were your fairy godmother—what would your life look like? Then create a life that looks like that. You are the writer, producer, director and star of your own life.”
  3. Talk to yourself in a mirror. “We say things to ourselves and are critical in a way we wouldn’t be with others. Treat yourself like you’re your own best friend.”

Photo by Brendan Wixted.

Jill McDonnell

Jill McDonnell is a Chicago-based content writer and communications professional. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. She is currently at work on a psychological thriller novel.



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