The third instalment of our behind the content series comes from Lesya Li. As a self-confessed insomniac, she has used all that extra time to put her passion to good use and is the proud creator and founder of Having Time, digital magazine of storytelling. Let’s see what goes on behind the scenes… read more from our shortlisted here.
Lesya is a curious storyteller, chronic insomniac, avid book reader, psychology nerd, and the founder of havingtime.com – a digital magazine and a worldwide movement rooted in impactful storytelling and mindfulness. Havingtime loves people and stories because everyone is a story, ready to be told. This is a site about collective wisdom coming from different people of all ages and backgrounds and from all over the world.
If you could share with us who you are and what’s your mission, what would you say?
Hi, I’m Lesya– a curious storyteller, chronic insomniac, avid book reader, psychology nerd, and the founder of havingtime.com– a digital magazine and a worldwide movement rooted in impactful storytelling and mindfulness. HavingTime creates a safe space for people to share their stories. When we are going through hardship, it can be hard to feel like we’re not alone. Havingtime’s purpose is to share personal stories to counter this feeling of isolation and create a wonderful community of sharing and connectedness.
Would you consider yourself more of a blogger or an Instagrammer?
Neither. First and foremost, I am a storyteller. I love connecting to people through stories regardless of the digital means/platforms that I am using.
How do you choose the content that goes into your accounts? What is the process behind each post you produce?
It’s simple. It’s all rooted in empathy. What does the audience want to learn about? What are people’s fears and confusions about certain subjects that I can shine more light on? Those are the questions I ask myself before writing and sharing anything online.
What has been a career highlight so far?
There are many-many highlights to my working days every day, for what I am deeply grateful.
I mean, what’s not to like: I get to do what I love, I travel around the world, I work with the leading experts in their respective fields, mindfulness and yoga teachers, ever-inspiring storytellers and each of those wonderful people raise my standards, challenge and make me a better person; one of the greatest privileges and pleasures for me is to be able to to work with truly inspiring people.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was first starting I didn’t know who I was writing for and ended up chasing my own tail trying to cater to everyone. That was a mistake. Then, as the years went by, I started to realize that I needed to narrow my focus and only talk and write about what I am truly passionate about.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the content you are creating helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
When it comes to health in wellness, it is important to add real value through everything that you are putting out in the world, rather than contributing to noise and confusion that is surrounding this industry already.
What is the biggest misconception about social media? What was the practice that has helped you with your strategy?
The biggest misconception is that YOU HAVE TO BE PRESENT absolutely everywhere. NO. You don’t. You need to pick a platform or two that serves best to communicate with your audience.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have had many wonderful people in my life that lifted me higher, but most important mentors in my life are books. I read 88+ books a year. It is handy because whenever someone comes up to me with a tough challenge to solve or they ask for advice in 90% of cases I am able to share an insight or send that person in the right direction (towards a bookstore or a library).
I cannot overstate the power of reading GOOD books.
Here are just a few of my to go to books that I tend to revisit and highly recommend to have on your bookshelves: A man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl; The obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday; Essentialism by Greg McKewn; The Fish That Ate the Whale by Rich Cohen; The Master Key System Charles Haanel.
What do you think is the most important thing about working on collaborations with other influencers and brands?
The deep respect of each other’s time & the willingness and ability to provide real value to the world is of paramount importance.
Who is your ideal collaboration with?
I would love to work with Tim Ferriss, Naval Ravikant, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marie Forleo, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman (learn how to pitch yourself here)
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start in the industry now?
“Don’t do things better, do better things” –– Pete Traino.