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Mikki Taylor spent over 30 years at Essence, first in the mag’s fashion and sewing department in the early 80s and most recently as its cover and style director. You’d think leaving such a prestigious job for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship would come with some trepidation, but Taylor says stepping down to an editor-at-large position just felt right.

“I think for about 60 seconds I had the fear that ‘what if Mikki Taylor doesn’t make it with Mikki Taylor Enterprises?’” the style and beauty expert explained in our Media Beat interview. “Well, what if this doesn’t work? Then, I’ll do something else, because I’m always going to find myself in the place of empowering women. And I know too much to stop now.”

Watch the full video for more of Taylor’s tips on climbing a magazine masthead.

Part 1: Mikki Taylor on Her 30 Years at Essence
Part 2: Essence‘s Mikki Taylor Takes on Casual Fridays