Hope Alcocer was pretty much a writer from the time she figured out how to put pen to paper. What began as journaling at the wise age of five turned into a career at the continued instance of a professor. So Hope, who wasn’t one for the typical 9-to-5, began her literary career doing freelance work.
While Hope was successful, even branching out into marketing and PR, she found herself examining her life and her impact on the world around a year after graduating. “I was living within myself … focusing on the wrong things.” It was a low point that led Hope to scribble the idea for KHLOE magazine, written for women by women, on the back of a napkin. The entirely reader-contributed magazine was a global success, which is how we at I Want Her Job first met Hope. But then, more reflection (via her original IWHJ interview!) brought Hope to a new point, where she wanted to build something else entirely—a fictional chick lit book based on her real life.
The book, Where Hope Lies, was inspired by the popular Tumblr account Hope ran from 2010 to 2012 called Diary of an Army Girlfriend. (The Tumblog had to shutter when her now-ex-fiancee went on a secret mission.) Fast forward a few years, and there came a point where Hope was feeling broken—battling with PTSD—and feeling like her power was taken away. It was at this point that Hope fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to New York City for a fresh start.
Read on to find out how Hope, “Took the bricks from the rubble my broken engagement left behind [and] built my own damn castle.”
I no longer make any apologies for trying to be the best version of myself.
What have you been up to since we last heard from you?
It’s been such a whirlwind! At the end of 2013, I ended up putting KHLOE to rest as there wasn’t enough power to back it up for the long haul and decided to focus on my other career goals. I continued to maintain a larger client base, and then in 2014 I took on a client of mine full-time, which entailed moving to the city of my dreams, New York City. I had visited NYC when I was 16 years old, and vowed I would return one day as a successful business woman. That finally happened during December 2014, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. That client/company was purchased by Sony, so I had some amazing opportunities unfold in the music industry. In the last year I’ve switched gears—now working in marketing at a remote tech startup, Xamin, which allows me to jet all over, while still keeping a full-time job. I plan to also continue as an independent contractor within the entertainment and fashion industries. It keeps it exciting to be able to work in both of sectors as it brings plenty of challenges—and I never get bored! Just as I did years ago when I had my first interview, I still love what I do.
We heard you’ve reflected a lot on the question we asked in your first IWHJ interview: Where do you see yourself in five years? How accurate was your “five years from now” description?
Ha! I laughed at the “happily married with kids” part. How things change! I thought that was in the cards, but it wasn’t in the timing like I planned, when I planned it to happen. But you know what? That’s okay. I took the bricks from the rubble my broken engagement left behind, built my own damn castle, and I’m doing just fine. Although, hey, we last spoke in 2013, it’s 2017 now, so technically I have another year before I can say I was wrong on that, right?! Everything else is playing out quite beautifully. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s been worth it. Being a self-starter and entrepreneur is exhausting and has many risks, but the benefits and success far outweigh the trials and tribulations.
How did your book come together?
When my now-ex fiancée and I split in 2013, I went on our honeymoon by myself and finished the book. It’s gone through many stages of editing and rewriting since then, but somehow I think that’s been a form of therapy—helping to heal my years of heartbreak. The book is a work of fiction, intertwined with parts of my life over the last five years. It’ s a piece of my heart and soul, so I truly hope readers enjoy it.
Being that you’re very open with your work/relationship balance, tell us, how are you navigating the two these days?
It always starts out the same … I start dating a guy and he tells me, “Oh, I love that you’re so independent. I love you’re so focused on your career. I fully support it.” But rarely does said guy actually get it, and most importantly, respect it. The last couple of boyfriends I’ve had have told me I’m intimidating before we broke up. I used to take it personally—especially when I would try to balance my love life and career—but then I realized it’s just that person’s insecurity. One should not feel guilty about succeeding or continually seeking to better their lives and themselves. I used to think something was wrong with me, but after talking to plenty of women in my same position, I realized it’s just about finding the right partner who can meet me half way and respect that my career is my passion. I haven’t found that person yet, but that’s okay. I no longer make any apologies for trying to be the best version of myself.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
I’d say motivation, self-discipline and the ability to take harsh criticism or work with some really cutthroat people. Also persistence, creativity, leadership and a Type-A, go-getter attitude. It’s the only way to get ahead in this world!
What is the toughest part of being a freelancer?
I think the toughest thing is that being your own boss can get tiring sometimes. I don’t recommend this job to someone who isn’t willing to push themselves and stay motivated. As a freelancer, you find the work (most of the time—sometimes it comes to you through referrals and such), you schedule, you oversee everything, you invoice and then you make sure they pay the invoice. My mind never stops. I’m always thinking of a new way to expand my career and find new ways to succeed. I’m continually trying to find that delicate balance between working too hard and enjoying life and I’ll get there one day.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I work on an array of projects in numerous aspects of the industry. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. My favorite part of this job is that every day there’s a new project, a new challenge, a new client and a new goal I need to reach. If I want to learn a new skill or expand my horizons, I have the ability to learn the skill, own it and make it my own. The world is your oyster in this business. I love it so much. It’s such a great feeling to wake up and say, “YES. It’s Monday. YES. Another workday.” I truly love what I do.
What are some of the rules you live by?
I love quotes; those are my rules to live by. Every morning, I find an inspirational quote and make it my mantra for work that day.
My favorite would have to be: “Without struggle, there is no progress.” (I even got that tattooed on my arm!) I’ve faced a lot of adversity the last several years and this quote keeps me going every single day.
My second favorite would be: “The two simple rules for success: 1. Never reveal everything you know. 2. … ” I love this quote because, while I love to share, collaborate and network with others, there’s still a need to have boundaries and make sure you won’t get burned in the process.
How can our readers connect with you?
You can find me @HopeAlcocer on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Please, add me, follow me and message me. And you also can read my weekly blog at hopealcocer.me There is nothing more I love than helping women reach their goals in the creative and digital media sectors. Let’s connect!
EXCLUSIVE FOR I WANT HER JOB READERS: Hope is offering 10% off Where Hope Lies just for you! Visit wherehopelies.com and enter promo code IWHJ10.
I’d Love To Grab Coffee With: My favorite author, Emily Giffin. I look up to her so much. She’s an amazing author who also balances life as a mom, wife and superstar. #lifegoals #relationshipgoals #whydoeseveryonehashtaggoals?
You’ll Find These Three Things On My Desk: Kate Spade Post-It notes, photos of my favorite people, and colorful pens and office supplies. There’s something about a bright office space that inspires me.
My Go-To Office Outfit Is: Express Editor Pants and a button-down shirt. I have them in one too many colors … and I love to mix and match!
I Can’t Live Without: Music.
My Favorite Way To Unwind Is: By going to the gym. I love working out with punk rock blasting in my ears.
I Feel My Best When: I’ve just gotten a blowout from Drybar.