Los Angeles, CA
“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
I quit. I’m done. No mas.
I’m turning my back on the world of Influence. No photos please!
I started this blog and my Instagram 3 years ago. I’m done being an Influencer. It’s a dirty word in a dirty world. I won’t engage in the deceit required. I won’t buy likes, buy followers, post about products that I don’t care about … or work with brands that don’t care about my vision and message: to celebrate and empower women at Midlife & Beyond. It’s that journey that I want to take with like-minded women around the globe, arm-in-arm on a path to “Mastering Modern Midlife.”
Is this the end of my blog and social media? Nope. It’s a rejection of selling one’s soul. It’s an honest rebirth. I have no desire to influence anyone. My goal is to be a Cat-alyst: to be a force that sparks change within a woman, enabling her to stand in her true power and be exactly who she chooses to be. Real change. Lasting change. My intention is to empower women to have personal influence over themselves and their decisions. True beauty in a woman shines through her confidence, acceptance, and self-love.
I started this whole process to heal myself through creating. It morphed into a message and a community that’s healing others as well. I will not allow the current state of Influence to sully that. Was I a bit naive starting out? Sure. Not anymore.
The world of Influence looks vastly different than it did just 3 years ago. It’s twisted and changed before my very eyes and not in the direction I hoped. “Influencer” has become a four-letter word. The dirty tricks I’ve seen, the fraud I’ve personally witnessed and experienced … blows my mind. My intention was always to take the road less traveled, to carve a path that was different, a path of meaning and purpose … one that would leave a wake of lives transformed for the better.
What I’ve seen has opened my eyes to a dark world of influence that’s become a world that’s fake and phony. A world where women compete with women based upon inflated metrics, purchased likes, and robot followers. It’s a world I want no part of. Yet many Influencers and brands seem to think nothing of it! I recall a major national retailer inviting a number of Influencers for a major company event. (As a squeaky wheel about the above despite promoting the company regularly, they declined to invite me!) A cursory check of more than half of their follower graphs looked just like this actual one from one of the “stars” who attended:
Flatline growth for nearly a year and 40K followers appear overnight! These same Influencers get 500-1000 likes on their posts in under 15 minutes with almost no comments. Every post ends up with a starting spike in minutes and a finishing total that is nearly equal to every other post. I see Big-Time million plus follower influencers that I’ve been watching for years suddenly have thousands of more likes on posts from two years ago, overnight. If you so desire, you can bootstrap yourself to relevance! Fame can be an alluring succubus.
I’m prepared for blowback from this. Bring it. I could care less. The influencer world has become absolutely saturated with deceit and fraud. I’ve had dear friends call me and ask me to speak publicly about this very issue. They’re afraid to speak up. They’ve told me that it’s to the point they either have to leave this world of social media Influence altogether or join in the duplicity and deception. I’ve seen friends take that dark path, influencers I never thought would in a million years. I’ve seen young women Influencers sell their souls for a buck or free product. It makes me sad. Much of the Influencer world is a house of sand. I don’t want to play in the sandbox anymore.
Does this mean I’m done working with brands?
Not on your life! What it means is:
- I’m done working with brands for the sake of “hawking a product.”
- I’m done working with brands that want to hire me for “one-off” posts to sell their product to my audience with no regard for the quality of content or developing a relationship.
- I’m done working with brands that see me as an Influencer rather than a Voice and a Creator with a message based business empowering women to make their own choices.
- I’m done working with brands that don’t understand the value and wisdom, and the incredible “coolness factor” of a woman at Midlife & Beyond!
- I’m done working with brands that do not understand or recognize the power and purpose of the women in the Forever Fierce Revolution!
So what in the hell does it mean? It means I’m consciously choosing to work with select brands who share a mutual and aligned purpose and passion. Those that value authentic, long term partnerships with a commonality to inspire and empower women is what matters. I have been blessed to have worked with many brands over the past few years whose intent resonates with my message …. brands who’ve become like family to me. Those are the brands I’ll continue to shout to the rooftops, the brands I’ll welcome to partner with any time. I’m grateful to these brands for believing in me and aligning with my values: Procter and Gamble and Always Discreet, ZzzQuil, Saranghae, Awe-Inspired, Strivectin, Madison Reed, Jaclyn Jones USA, Lily-Lark, Studio 10 Beauty, Amazon, Hintd, Pier Medical Aesthetics & Dr. Mest, Pacifica Hotels, Saor Perfume, Style Collective, and Rivahil Winery.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 57 years on this planet, it’s that honesty, authenticity and integrity matter. They can’t be bought. Authenticity has become a kitschy “buzz-word” rather than a life philosophy. The buck stops here.
My message is my mission and my mission is my message. I think the world can be a tough place. It was for me for a long time and I know it is for some of you. I know what it’s like to not believe in yourself and fall into despair. My intention is to help make the world a better place by enhancing a woman’s belief in herself. A Cat-alyst is who I am. Being a Cat-alyst is what I do.
What I know for sure (a wink to Oprah!) is true change can only come from within. Sure, you can have a temporary influence over someone’s buying habits, beliefs, or behaviors. That’s not what I want. I’m here to make an impact. I want my audience to know that I consciously choose the brands I work with. I want them to know that I won’t share any brand, product, or service unless it’s something I believe in wholeheartedly and/or use in my own life.
I intend to do my part to restore authenticity in the world of Influence. I’ll let you in on a secret. Four years ago all I had following me was a dog. I didn’t have a Tribe. So I created one. I had never been a leader and now I am humbled to be able to serve as one. The greatest task for any leader is to create other leaders. I see those leaders sprouting like a spring wildflower bloom in the Forever Fierce Revolution Group! I know I’m on to something!
Thanks to all of you that have supported me in my personal growth and continually provided me with wonderful and supportive feedback that has fortified my confidence to build on my message. Let’s “Master Modern Midlife” together! I know this post will cost me business and perhaps some friends. Too bad. My soul can’t be bought. Not for any price.
Like that old Sammie Davis, Jr. number …. well, “I Gotta Be Me.”