Laolu Onabanjo believes a life worth living is one that is done on your own terms and with a dash of style, finesse, and ambition. As a storyteller and blogger, Laolu shares her love of travel, fashion, and mindful living to young people seeking how to navigate the turbulent waters of #adulting on her lifestyle blog, Life On-a-Banjo. Whether Laolu’s making moves working in a consulting firm, modeling, interviewing people, or sharing her adventures on Life On-a-Banjo, each aspect of her professional and personal life exude the ambition that comes with pursuing your dreams with grace and style.
Breaking The Wheel
Laolu’s journey began in 2017 when she was in New York and juggling the day-to-day responsibilities of a full-time job, traveling, and working as a part-time stylist. As her travel pursuits grew she began getting inquiries from people on how she was managing her adventurous lifestyle with work. “I wasn’t able to answer everyone’s questions in a timely manner and that’s where Life On-a-Banjo came along…I needed an accessible and public place that could reflect my voice, lifestyle, and the people around me. I wanted the blog to be for everyone and for it to be a resource for people in college and young adults…and simply anyone who is just trying to figure it out.” Once she was able to determine the “Why” behind her blog, she had to tackle the most challenging aspect of branding by establishing her name.
After researching different tips and tricks on Google University for creating a “catchy domain name” she worked with a series of combinations that would incorporate her name+an adjective. “When Life On-a-Banjo came about, I was worried because it didn’t have my first name, but incorporated my last name. My last name means a lot to me because I’m a very private person and didn’t want to be disrespectful to my family. At the time I started the blog, being a blogger by trade was not a career choice for me, I was worried how I would be perceived professionally and personally, but I decided to just go for it.” She fought against the misunderstood stigmas that can come with being a “blogger,” and “influencer,” and began to embrace that she could share her professional and personal experiences to help people.
Photo Credit: @rashadxwhite
Determined to Dream Big
As a Nigerian immigrant Laolu grew up in a culture that encouraged more traditional career paths like a doctor, lawyer, or nurse. It wasn’t until she took her first trip to Hong Kong that she realized she was in control of her own path. She knew that her life wasn’t going to be dictated by the status quo, but it had to be lived on her own terms. “As young adults, we tend to make choices based on societal norms and try to find happiness through that. The typical thought is…okay I’ll get this job so I can fund myself financially or my parents will have something glamorous to talk about and be proud of my stable life. We make decisions that reflect other people’s choices and not ourselves.” This became a foundational element of her transformation as a woman, blogger, and storyteller.
During her pre-law undergrad, she experienced a series of highs and lows that cemented the thought that being a lawyer was not going to be a lifelong career after college. “We had to shadow attorney’s in Boston and I remember him advising me that if this wasn’t a career choice that I was 100% dedicated too, that he wouldn’t recommend pursuing it. He debunked all the misconceptions of being a lawyer from the glamour of TV, to the financial debt that you accrue in your pursuit to become licensed, etc.” It was after these series of #adulting blunders that she became inspired to create a blog that was “accessible to people with information that really matters,” as she navigated her own purpose.
Being On a Banjo
When you visit Life On-a-Banjo, readers can be inspired by Laolu’s candid and refreshing voice that shares her journey through the world of style, travel, life, and the myriad of delectable bites on an interview series, #girlvfood. Her blog posts reflect a vibrant and bold perspective that she is living unapologetically free, happy, and without boundaries. Laolu is not afraid to be vulnerable and share her perspective on mental health or how to overcome a challenge like spending the holidays with your family.
Each aspect of her blog and blossoming Instagram reflect the goals of helping other people by sharing an unfiltered view of her life. “The reason I have invested so much time and energy on the blog is because doing this shows another girl, an immigrant, a black person…whoever you may be that it’s possible to live your life without disappointing anyone and yourself. It will require discipline, but you can have the life you want to live despite the highs and lows of life and I will help you to navigate everything in between.”
Photo Credit: @moyo3k