Hey there! Welcome to my virtual home.

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Credit: Felicia C. Sullivan

Vitals

  • Born & raised in New York. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past five years.
  • Started career at an investment bank: A time I’d like to forget.
  • Ditched the suit to build a profitable dot.com in 1999.
  • Built a boutique digital agency from $1MM to $20MM in 4 years.
  • Launched 60+ major brands online across industries & sectors.
  • I’ve worked on the brand and agency side, and have spent the last seven years as a consultant.
  • Published two critically acclaimed books & seeking new representation for my third: My books and work have been featured in dozens of publications including, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Washington Post Book World, Entertainment Weekly, Page6, Bust, and The Observer. I have an MFA from Columbia University. …


“You have to throw out good stuff to get the best stuff.”

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Licensed from Adobe Stock // Cristina Conti

It’s rare I read an essay that puts me on pause. But it happens. Amidst the rubble of Elon Musk fanboy pieces and lessons learned from the centurion set, there are storytellers who go deep. They draw cross-cultural references and care less about clickbait titles and tidy 5-minute reads to deliver something meaningful and real.

An essay where you felt you learned beyond its borders. An essay that had you clicking all the names and going down rabbit holes of delicious, wanton knowledge. I don’t skim, I immerse. Writer, I will follow you into the dark.

Enter David Perell’s “Expression is Compression,” (via Benek Lisefski, whom everyone should be reading because he writes and shares the best stuff) which made me think about the power, impact, and weight of the words I use and how I use them. …


Garbage rises to the surface because there’s no weight or depth to any of it. 7 Habits of Successful Manatees, Elon Musk For Fanboys Volume I, Learn How To Make $10,000 a Month Writing — No Writing Experience Required. Everyone whines about the money they never make as if they’re entitled to it: the money, the readers, the virality — a term I assumed would be retired after coronavirus, but no such luck.

Do you even know what the word virus means? This is something you actually want for your writing? To spread like sickness?

I am so very alone.

Having experience, being an expert in your field — these are now the dirtiest of words. Better to learn without doing. Better to rip off Seth Godin articles. Better still, any article written by a man. Let’s dig Steve out of his grave and trot him out for the curtain call. Why not? The internet teaches you everything. Watch a few videos, read a few articles, and boom you’re a teacher. Bearded one, grey-haired one, you’re so wise. Oh, wait. …


How We Work

Learn a self-discovery tool that helps you know yourself.

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Credit: Jenna Britton

Jenna Britton is one of the brightest lights. We worked at the same company and although we’d never met during that time (she was on the west coast and I was in New York), we’d come to have our first coffee when I moved to Los Angeles in 2015. Jenna’s energy is infectious — she envelops you in warmth and kindness in a way I’ve rarely encountered. Whenever I first meet someone I like, I worry about first impressions. Was I too weird, too chatty, too severe and alienating? …


Am I the only one who doesn’t want to write or read about politics and the abattoir that is the plight of humanity? Trust me, I get it. We are royally fucked. I can barely leave my home because California is one of the few states experiencing record-number losses from the virus. White terrorists stormed our Capitol and the online unhinged are trying to explain it away, or blame someone else, or say it never happened when another event will probably occur before the inauguration. I imagine overseas terrorists have lost interest in the U.S. because we’ve become our ruin. We’re doing the dirty work for them. …


A research-backed method that actually works.

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Licensed from Adobe Stock // oneinchpunch

I used to care about what people thought of me, my work, everything. For the great portion of my life I was a chameleon whose body, opinions, and words changed based on who surrounded me. I didn’t want to take up space, kick up a fuss. Even when I disagreed with what they had to say. Even when they were mean, petty, duplicitous and cruel — I just smiled and said nothing because fuss. Even though I wanted to open my mouth and shout, BUT! BUT! BUT!

But only moth balls spilled out.

Sometimes, it takes the most ferocious of storms to clean the shores. To strip them of all the garbage and the kind of harm that cuts deep. For me, that storm was moving to Los Angeles and leaving my seemingly terrific-life-on-paper behind. Distance creates space and space creates clarity and clarity forces you to see — and once you see, you cannot unsee. …


My favorite self-help book isn’t about help, it’s a field guide for finding curiosity & wonder.

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Licensed from Adobe Stock // Jacob Lund

People really want to tell me things. You know what you should do? You know what your problem is? Here’s my take…If I were you…It’s as if their desire to dump their litter on my lap is greater than my desire to hear or read it. They rarely get it right because they’re envisioning a whole rather than realizing they have only a sliver, a small part of a life. In absence of a complete picture, they fill in the blanks. They apply color, create depth and shadow — a visual they can hold on to so they can write their prescriptions. …


How We Work

Learn how to host a paid training.

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Credit: Crosby Noricks

2020 threatened to ruin the best of us. Our best laid plans were shot. The adventures we imagined and trips we wanted to take were cancelled indefinitely. Many of us lost our jobs or reliable sources of income, and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is the ability to get crafty when it comes to making an income.

I’ve written at length about how to turn your smarts into diversified services and digital products, and my friend and peer Crosby Noricks is the epitome of that vibe. I know her back from my agency days in New York, and her consistent reinvention and pivoting awe me. …


How do you leave the only home you know?

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Licensed from Adobe Stock // Love the wind

They believed sickness couldn’t touch them. They shimmied into the pool with their swimsuits, goggles, and inflatable donuts and made a mess of it. Sporting visors and sunglasses, they slathered on sunscreen fragrant with coconut and passion fruit. Mask-less, juice boxes in tow, they pretended to be on a resort holiday in Fiji or Maldives where the water is an impossible blue and the sand is hot, clean, and bone-white. But the reality was we were in the middle of the desert and our ocean was a tiny, chlorinated pool surrounded by manufactured greenery.

A few months after the pandemic was the earthquake we expected but never say coming, I marveled at the family of ducks making a home in the water. How they squawked and clacked and splashed, and now it feels wrong to violate their reverie. Ours is an intrusive race. Given time, there are no spaces humans won’t colonize and occupy. …


Fiction

An excerpt from my second book about an affair, mental illness, an unhinged mother, grief, and a baker turned serial killer.

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Licensed from Adobe Stock // Kevin Carden

“There is a woman on a hotel bed, and her hair is on fire,” I shout into a payphone. The operator asks me whether I saw actual flames, was there actual fire? Maybe I saw a woman smoking a cigarette, because this is Nevada and that’s what people are prone to do. “No, you don’t understand, I’m talking a fire here. I’m talking about a burning, a smell.”

Come to think of it, the woman, Gillian, was smoking, or rather, swallowing a lit cigarette that burned down her throat. I know this because I put the cigarette in her mouth, struck a match and said, “All you have to do is breathe. I’ll take care of the rest.” I bound her wrists and ankles with rope, dialed up the thermostat to ninety (because why not?), and drew the curtains. …

About

Felicia C. Sullivan

Marketing Exec/Author. I build brands & tell stories. Work in Human Parts, OneZero, Forge & Marker. Hire me: t.ly/bEnd7 Branding & Freelancing eBooks t.ly/ZP5v

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