I just announced that my assistant/ BFF Alexis and I will be heading to Nashville to stream the summit live since we don’t need to be near UC Berkeley since it’s virtual, which means you can spend the day with us in Nashville if you’re close! Follow the Be Fearless Summit Instagram page and DM us to spend the day with us (lunch included) but masks required!
We just launched the ambassador program below, where you can get money for referring your friends to spend the day with us. You don’t need to be in college either: this program is for everyone who is looking to bring in a bit of side money this month. You know how much I love a side hustle!
These pictures were taken by Jim Paussa Photography in Aspen, at the Limelight Hotel that hooked us up with a room for the week! In this particular case, the hotel I pitched gave us a media rate (50% off) and not a comp, which was totally amazing because the regular cost of the room was upwards of $550.
A friend of mine in the industry called me yesterday and we spoke for close to 1 hour about landing brand deals and getting paid partnerships. A lot of you know that I run this brand full-time and have for years, even though I don’t have millions of followers, I’ve got a pretty specific brand and a lot of avenues for me to bring in revenue. I’m also established in the field and don’t have to stress as much as I used to about how I’d bring in money and figure out how to keep growing my brand.
I remember the beginning days of starting this website, and moving into the podcast/ radio world, and how hard it was! Every moment I was stressing about pitching brands, replying to people who’d email me, etc. The best piece of advice I have is to think outside of the box.
Something I do is go to grocery stores like Whole Foods or online retailers like Thrive and find their brand lists, along with companies like Birchbox. Every website has a list of brands you can find new companies from! Use the plugin Snov.io ($50) a month and find a contact on the website, or type in the name of the brand on LinkedIn and get a direct contact to someone in PR or marketing. Since you’re likely reaching out relating to those two areas, you shouldn’t be contacting someone in sales. This takes time but is worth it in the end.
Smaller companies especially like to work with “micro” influencers because they can get more bang for their buck: so don’t hesitate to reach out to companies you align with if you’re just starting out. What do you EVER have to lose?
Always have a press kit or a one sheet (basically a resume, but smaller) handy with your prices so that you can’t avoid the back and forth about the cost. My friend asked me on the phone about how you can organically bring up cost in the conversation, and it’s pretty easy.
Instead of spending 5 days going back and forth with a company that you’re pitching about why you love their tea, etc., send your initial pitch, attach your rates in the email, and ask if they have any budget to work with events/ bloggers/ media. When I’m at a restaurant or getting a makeup/hair service for free, I’m never paid, but it’s up to you and the type of brand you have to decide whether you should be paid in addition to getting something for free.
I always like to say: you can keep the elephant in the room which is always money, or you can easily take it out by being direct, knowing your brand, and knowing what you want.
The 2020 virtual Be Fearless Summit lineup and schedule was just announced, and I’m so excited for you to join these fabulous speakers and myself for a day of conversation. For the full lineup and schedule, head here.
P.S. Don’t forget to RSVP ASAP so you have to chance to enter to win a $500 grant from Care Bears!
It’s back to school season! Though the world is still quite unnerving, I know a ton of you are heading back to school this fall. There’s a ton of old back to school content on Life Unfiltered you can find by searching “back to school” in the search bar.
Going back to school was always something that gave me a ton of anxiety. When you have a relaxing summer and then have to jump back into normal life, it’s a culture shock! Since COVID-19 has prevented many of you from going back to school this fall, whether that means having to transfer to school online or even think about taking a year off, I wanted to take you through my experience with a gap year. I’ve always been a fan of people taking gap years, pandemic or not.
One of my old assistants (hi Elizabeth!) who worked with me when I launched my nonprofit M.I.N.T. in Boston texted me yesterday and told me she’s decided to take a gap year instead of going back to college this fall. When I asked her why, she said it’s because her school is making her choose online classes or no classes and she wasn’t the proper candidate for online classes.
I can relate: I hated ALL classes (lol) when I was in middle school and high school, but a gap year was an option I kept in the back of my mind before transferring to online school. I think the perfect age to take a gap year is between 17 and 18 or 18 and 20: college will always be around. Online school felt practical for me because I was busy working on my brand when I was younger: but I kept myself on a really strict schedule. If you’re not an organized and hungry for success type of person, you might not be the person to take a gap year. You’ll have a lot of time on your hands you won’t want to waste!
I eventually ended up switching from public high school to online school (as noted in the podcast below) where I finished high school in a super short period of time. I think of my transfer to online school as basically a gap year: I gave myself some time to focus on building my career instead of jumping right into getting a “real” job (which I didn’t end up doing anyway because I went full-time with my company at a young age) and it’s a decision I’m proud of.
What’s phenomenal about a gap year is that you get a full year to truly find yourself. How many of you are in college or just about to enter college and still wondering WTF you’re going to do when you’re older? It’s not uncommon to be years through your college degree and feel unsettled with what you’ll become in the future.
I say take a gap year (especially if you’re like Elizabeth and don’t want to do any form of online school) and find yourself.
Read more books, start a blog, get a virtual internship and LIVE AT HOME!
A gap year doesn’t mean a “free” year to do nothing: it means you’ll have to be more specific about how to plan your time and really find new activities to do. I’m a firm believer in spending more time finding out who you are and what you like which brings s stronger sense of self-awareness.
Test a gap year out: there’s nothing permanent in your life, remember that.
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, over 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate combusted in the Port of Beirut, causing irreparable damage to the entire city. The blast killed over 150 people, injured more than 5,000, and rendered 300,000 people homeless.
Happy Monday! I’ve compiled a list of resources for you to join me in helping the city of Beirut in Lebanon because of what happened last week. If you don’t know what happened, read the below from the Beirut Fund:
The explosion happened in the midst of a worsening economic crisis that has devalued the Lebanese lira and financially strangled the everyday citizen. Prior to August 4th’s event, 75% of Lebanon’s population was living at or below the poverty line. Making matters worse, the blast wiped out 85% of the country’s grain reserves and destroyed the entirety of the port of Beirut, the country’s main economic lifeline.
The blast devastated Beirut in a matter of seconds. Densely populated and economically vital neighborhoods close to the port were destroyed. Buildings were damaged up to 6 miles away and windows were shattered up to 15 miles away. The shock wave from the explosion was felt 150 miles away in Cyprus and registered as a 3.3 magnitude earthquake.
Here are places you can currently donate to:
The Beirut Fund is matching donations over $1,000. A group of young Lebanese have pledged to match donations.
Are introverts better entrepreneurs? It depends who you ask. I’ve been an extrovert for most of my life, especially once I got out of my shell and really grew into being in love with being on camera around turning 16. I spent the weekend at a lake house with one of my good friends and had the chance to start reading Limitless by Jim Kwik.
The book is about teaching us how to enable our brains to learn better which is something I struggle with. I grew up always being told I wasn’t intelligent enough to be successful because I couldn’t succeed to the 10th degree during my time in middle and high school (besides English class). As a young child to a young adult, being told you will not be successful for whatever reason can eventually stick with you until you’re older, which is what happened from my childhood to now.
When I have to calculate business expenses or read a book that is difficult for me to read, I usually give up. I’m hoping Limitless teaches me how to strengthen parts of my brain that are weaker than others so that I can absorb information that I have struggled with understanding in the past. There is no reason I am “bad” at math or you are “bad” at science- we’re just not opening our brains up to be able to absorb information on topics we aren’t equally good at learning.
I bring up the book Limitless because reading it has opened my eyes to the fact that we all truly do choose the way we perceive the world. Certain events can happen, people will come in and out of your life, and though most of us blame those people or events on things that follow, it’s kind of the opposite.
I actually struggle more with having one on one conversations with people I don’t know more than I do standing in front of 100s of people on a stage presenting a talk. If I can find a way to stop enabling myself when I think “I’m bad at math, I’m walking away from this math problem” or “this conversation makes me uncomfortable because of that one conversation I had with a teacher in middle school where she told me to speak slower” for example, I’ll be able to overcome myself with that self-inflicted disappointment when I can’t perform. There is no right or wrong way to be an entrepreneur. There are extroverted founders and introverted ones. As Jim says in Limitless, the only limits in the world are the ones you put on yourself. Change your viewpoint and therefore you will change your responses from failures to learning curves you can overcome to understand.
I’m so honored to announce I’ll be hosting an interview with the Joe Biden National Women’s Director Carissa Smith tomorrow on Instagram Live. I’m a proud Democrat and encourage you to tune in to this live to get some of your questions answered surrounding the 2020 election.
We’ll cover topics like college and debt, future jobs for those of you who have graduated and future grads to come, justice reform & more. I only have less than 1/2 an hour with Carissa, so I’ll be doing speed questions to make sure I get as much answered in one hour as possible.
This is such a crucial election, and there’s so many questions both young and older people have right now about the state of the world. You don’t have to be a Democrat to join in on this conversation to stay educated about how to make the right decision during the election. I’m not forcing anyone of you to become Democrat or vote for Joe, but I’d like to see all of you play a role in the election by casting your vote in any form.
READ! READ! READ! If you can pursue one hobby during quarantine, I hope it’s reading. I know many of you read on a daily basis because you’re always reaching out to tell me about new books you love, which is what is stemming me to read more. I got a list of books last week for founders to read and I’ve been crossing off each book one by one.
Last week I ordered WOLFPACK by U.S. Soccer Olympic Gold Medalist Abby Wambach, and I read the book cover to cover at breakfast this morning. I read super fast but the book was also a super easy read. I was familiar with Abby before reading but not super familiar. At the end of the book I saw that she lists her actual memoir to buy which is probably what I should’ve read first, but I’m glad to have finished this book when I did. If you’re looking for an easy and relatable #GirlPower book, Wolfpack is for you. Abby is a badass who has completely paved the path for many young adults to take charge and believe in their ability to change the world.
For under $15, read this book when you need some additional words of inspiration. I’d make my daughter or son read this book one day if I became a parent!
If you want to find out more about how I pitch brands and what I say, watch below.
I want to make it clear that just because I got flights back in 2015 doesn’t mean that you can have 100 followers on Instagram and get a free flight – it doesn’t work like that. I doubt any airline gives free flights anymore. You’re obviously only getting .1% of the story on my video. BUT if you do want to do this for a living, stop focusing on getting free stuff and become an EXPERT in your field. Get a degree in what you want to “educate” about, start teaching courses about business or social media, and pave your own path!
Last week I went viral on Tik Tok. I’ve been working on producing a new show with my friend Alix and our producer Elyse. One of the episodes we’ve decided to launch with is “I faked my own assistant” which is based on my experience! I’ll give you some background before I get into the video.
Back in I think 2014 or 2015, I had maybe 700 followers on my blog (at the time, it was A Life in the Fashion Lane) and Instagram wasn’t even around. I wasn’t making much money, but I was hustling.
My email was email@example.com. That goes to show you how young I was because no one in business should have an email that long!
One day I googled an airline and came across the communications email. I wrote a pitch and got an email back. A few months later, I found myself on a completely comped flight (alone) heading to London to write about the airline for my blog.
I have the kind of drive that I don’t think you can buy. I’ve always been like this, no one in my family is an entrepreneur- I just live and breath business. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. I moved out at 17 to live on a floor in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve done a lot of dumb stuff but I’ve always let rejection fuel me.
I’ve always been someone “against” the concept of going viral. I guess against is the wrong word, but I just don’t care about going viral. I love what I do, I speak at colleges across the country and to young and hungry girls who need to feel inspired every day, and I’d be happy doing this for the rest of my life. Of course I want more and bigger success, but I don’t think you can only get that going viral.
I hope I have proven that slow and steady growth wins the race in business and the field of social media.
I decided to test the waters last week. I knew the video would do well (one day when I got a free flight years ago I made a fake email of the woman who was and no longer is the head of PR to guarantee me entrance into the lounge in London, it wasn’t ethical but it got me in). I didn’t expect it to blow up. Lately I’ve been turning my cell phone off for hours or days at a time to get offline, and it wasn’t until one of my childhood friends texted me I really hope my comment on your video makes me famous that I was like huh? I don’t have notifications on my phone besides texts and emails. I open up Tik Tok to see the video had garnered close to 100K views and 100s of comments in less than 24 hours.
I was shocked, not because I didn’t expect the concept of the video to go viral but because you’d be SHOCKED at how much more professional you look when someone is emailing on behalf of you.
Think about it: would Kim Kardashian or Reese Witherspoon email Target at firstname.lastname@example.org to land a clothing deal with them? Their manager or publicist would. I wasn’t continuing to use her email per say, but was seeing if a fake assistant to email on behalf of myself would get me results! At the time I really used that email, I didn’t have a manager or a publicist. I couldn’t afford one, but I continued to get results without having to follow up 300 times by saying that I was on my team. I’ve suggested this to tons of young aspiring founders who reach out to me, because it worked and it set me apart.
I eventually stopped looking at the comments over the past few days because I’ve received disgusting Instagram DMs, comments on Tik Tok and tweets saying serious shit that I don’t need to hear. I got 100s of followers over night. I hope the people who looked at the video and laughed instead of slammed me for impersonating someone (again, I was a child) decide to pave their own path and think outside of the box too – not about getting into a lounge, but about becoming their own brand. I don’t encourage what I did in the WAY that I did it, but I 10000% encourage trying to pitch on behalf of yourself. You have to get started somewhere.
This experience taught me that Tik Tok is an incredible platform that truly does enable you to get in front of 100s of new eyes. The video continues to get 1000s of new views everyday, which I’m assuming is because it’s keeping my video on the “for you” page, but I think I like the slow and steady growth wins the race most for my career.
Tik Tok is here today, but what will be here tomorrow?
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