Calling Her Own Shots
To some, the move to freelance feels natural. Not to Jordan Ligons Robinson.
“I am a capital-P Planner,” she says. “I’m not a ‘let’s see how things go’ person. I like things planned and scheduled. So leaving my regular job to go month to month, I didn’t know what was coming next.”
Two years after making the switch, Jordan now operates as a freelance sports journalist, on-air host and podcaster. “I do a little bit of everything in the media space.”
When asked about the challenges of being a freelancer and a broadcaster, Jordan shares,
“That’s the thing, people don’t know that you own—that you are—your own business. I also did not know that when I jumped into this,” she laughs. “So when I think of myself as a business owner now, as well as on-air talent, a writer, all of those things, the challenge is putting on different hats at different times.”
While Jordan is a pro at telling other people’s stories, she sees owning her own business as writing her own. “I make sure I’m making boss moves—writing the checks, making sure things are clearing. I make sure I’m able to manage it all and stay true to myself.”
Making the Pivot
With a journalism degree from Point Loma Nazarene University, Jordan landed an internship with San Diego Magazine before accepting her first full-time role as an Editor with an Orange County magazine.
After working her way up to senior, Jordan decided to pivot and pursue sports journalism.
Jordan then accepted a lower-seniority role elsewhere—a boss move in disguise—to allow herself time to practice. Athletes know better than anyone: Practice makes pro.
While working another nine-to-five role at an app startup in social media and community events, practice started paying off when Jordan’s grand plan began to unfold: Jordan was getting offers to write about WNBA players and basketball—her dream.
“I asked myself, ‘How can I make this a full-time thing?’ And I bet on myself. I trusted the process, I trusted my knowledge and my passion, and I had the encouragement and support of my close family and friends.”
Jordan wanted the challenge of running her own business and doing what she loves—telling stories about people in sports.
Making Her Mark
So far, Jordan has covered Allyson Felix, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry. To name a few.
Grace Larsen is another VIP Jordan has covered. Grace actively plays for the San Diego Women’s Basketball Association—at age 91.
“The thing about sports is that it teaches you so many things about life, like perseverance, for example. You can show someone’s competitive side, their passions, their loves, their trials, their tribulations. All of those things come out on the basketball court. So being able to tell these stories and also the Xs and Os of basketball is what I love most.”
Jordan knows basketball firsthand. A four-year letterer in college, she has played and loved the game herself since she was five years old. “I knew the WNBA wasn’t in my plans because I’m, well, ‘height-challenged’. But I can empathize and relate to the athletes.”
Although the easier thing might have been to work for a network or company, Jordan’s confidence to remain independent is grounded in both her skills and arena of interest. Sports don’t stop. Players are always living, always practicing, always writing their stories. All Jordan has to do is tap into the action.
“I’m telling people’s stories—women athletes’ and womens’ sports stories that are not being told. And there will always be more podcasts, more WNBA shows, more seasons, more college basketball, and more sports. I’m going to be employed. I know that.”
In every discipline, be it writing or making your mark on the court, a beginner’s mindset can make the difference between playing for a season—and playing for life.
“What’s next? I truly feel like I’m just getting started. It’s the best feeling—to know you’re on the cusp of your dreams really coming true.”
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