I feel like at this point we’re online friends. And as my friends you guys know I LOVE A HUSTLER. In fact, lots of posts on The Skinny Confidential are geared towards hustlers ( remember this TBT post? ). I have massive respect for people who do their thing & do it well.
Anyway, I decided to share 5 hustlers who are killing the game right now. All of which happen to be my online friends too. Each of these sweet souls I met online ( OK, OK- besides Becca- I met her at my hair salon like 8 years ago, pre-Bachelor ). But the rest of my friends showcase here, I met through the Internet!
To give you a quick backstory:
First up is India & DRock from Team Gary Vee. Remember when I was on his show a year ago? I met both India & DRock while recording the show & liked both of them instantly. They each have AMAZING energy- I love good energy. But who doesn’t? Each of us kept in touch. Fast forward to now: India actually made THE LUCKIEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE sign ( like handmade it! ) for the day after my wedding. Michael woke up to India’s handmade song…go scroll my Insta if you want a refresh. If you’re looking for a cheeky sign, India is your girl- just DM her on Insta: @heartbread.
Now DRock & I have kept in touch via Snap message & he’s constantly inspiring me through his Instagram. He’s one of the few influencers that focused on building a community as opposed to a following. I look to his account for inspo A LOT: @DAVIDROCK.
Next up is Becca Tilley of The Bachelor. She’s also a blogger now ( we designed her blog at blog-doo!! ). Becca is a cool-ass chick. I met her at a hair salon a long time ago & always thought she was SO PRETTY. But she also has a pretty spirit. What you see is what you get with her, you know? And she has GORGEOUS HAIR!! Be sure to check out Becca’s blog where she featured The Skinny Confidential.
Jennifer Jaden is a HUSTLER, man. I admire what she’s built with Societygal. It’s a community of women who collaborate. No competition- just support. Highly recommend you guys check her out. She was featured on TSC Newsletter too- if you’re subscribed you know I love to do HUSTLER editions.
& last but certainly not least is Cara Alwill. Cara & I met through Twitter. I liked her immediately. You will too. She’s an author x 3 ( see below ), motivational speaker, & blogger!!! Also Cara interviewed me on her rad podcast, Style Your Mind. I like her podcast A LOT for women entrepreneurs. Basically she’s inspiring, inclusive, & welcoming.
Oh & make sure you’re subscribed to TSC Newsletter because she is sharing her tips for how to be THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.
Let’s get to it then?
INDIA K. & DROCK OF TEAM GARY VEE
India K.: My name is India K. I am an interdisciplinary artist working in mostly photo and text based installations. My work has been exhibited worldwide. Somehow, I also find time to be a producer at VaynerMedia in New York, an agency run by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Prior to being a producer, I had the privilege of working closely with Gary on his personal brand team, creating and curating his content across all platforms.
David Rock: My name is David Rock and I’m mostly known as DRock. Growing up I always wanted to be a filmmaker and now I’m a story hunter & filmmaker working with Gary Vee. Essentially I’m a Vlogger following Gary’s day-to-day operations as he runs Vaynermedia, the fastest growing digital agency in the world. I’m also madly, deeply in love with New York City and have a love affair with burgers & sneakers.
Gary is the hustler of hustlers, how did you go about applying ( I’m sure this is a whole story ) :
IK: My story is actually fairly traditional when compared to DRock! I was living in New York and working at American Apparel as a sales associate. I knew long term I wanted to do something different, but I wasn’t sure what. My best friend was working at Vayner and encouraged me to apply. I didn’t think I had the necessary skill set for a digital marketing agency. I actually didn’t even know who Gary was (this is a sore topic for him ha). I applied anyway. Within a week, I was hired for their entry level position, Community Manager. That was 2012. Four years later, I’ve had many different roles, made some of my best friends, and I’ve been able to meet Gary and have him become a mentor to me.
DR: Ever since I was a child, my parents instilled hard work into me. They said I could do whatever I wanted as long as I worked hard. As early as I could remember I was doing chores around the house and by age 12 I was working with my dad on construction sites. By 14, I had three summer jobs and kept this up until I graduated. All of those jobs taught me how much I didn’t want to do something every day I didn’t like to do. I promised myself that the day I started to do what I loved I would work my very hardest.
When I first moved to NYC I took any and every odd end job until I eventually landed at Best Buy in Soho. From that moment on I promised myself no more “standard jobs”. I quit and worked for free on the set of a few TV shows and an independent feature. Those were amazing experiences but I didn’t want to be the guy holding wires. I missed filming and editing. I stopped taking those gigs and decided to start my freelancing career.
I made nothing, I ate nothing and I posted hundreds of ads on Craigslist in “talent/gigs”. That’s where I made most of my living until I started to get reoccurring clients. Again, I worked every minute. I learned how to market myself and also began to “up-my-pricing”. I did this for a few years and eventually heard of Gary. Once I figured out what he was about I offered up my services – more than once. The kicker is that initially I was trying to get Gary on a podcast a buddy and I had started called “The Launching Creative Podcast”. I was going to …give give give and then ask but at some point Gary offered me a job. Do I think I’m working harder? No. Do I have more time to work on my craft ( because I’m not looking for more gigs, or worried about where my paycheck is coming in? ) yes.
Day in the life at Vayner?
IK: What to say? Every day is a little different and that’s why I love it there so much. Typically, my day to day involves crafting narratives from the footage our amazing videographers capture. Every video has a story and I kind of step back, take a look at the larger picture, and help shape that. I’m also talking to clients, writing, curating content, introducing people to what we do at Vayner, and of course, drinking a lot of coffee. And lunch. Got to make time for lunch.
DR: There is no standard day – it ebbs and flows. Most of the time I follow Gary in and out of meetings wherever he is. Generally though, the team meets and we discuss the current days content and the next few days of content. Then we brainstorm more ideas for the week.
What’s different about the Vayner workspace?
IK: We just moved into a beautiful new building on the west side of Manhattan called Hudson Yards. As someone who has been at Vayner for four years, I’ve seen three different offices now. They get nicer and nicer. But they’ve always had the same principles: open, inviting, and community focused. I like that I’m always able to look up and look around and see people. Nothing worse than being stuck in a box.
DK: I work more directly with Gary on his personal brand & not so much at “Vayner”. The interactions I have when at the workspace though are amazing. The culture really sets it apart.
Favorite part of working at Vayner?
IK: The people. Hands down.
DR: The people. Everyone has such positive energy and truly knows how to work together as a team. They are family.
Best advice to give aspiring entrepreneurs?
IK: Remind yourself, often, that you’re your own worst critic. You’re going to be really hard on yourself. You’re going to expect big things. You’re never going to feel like you’re doing enough. But just remember: doing anything is something. As an artist, I can sometimes feel like I am never satisfied. But we are really tough on ourselves. The exercise I use is to ask myself “What would you say to a friend in your position if they were doing exactly what you’re doing?”
The other thing I am a big supporter of is self care. There are nights when I beat myself up over going to the gym or doing a face mask instead of working on a new piece. But you can’t make your best work if you yourself aren’t your best. It can feel overwhelmingly necessary to constantly be working. But taking the time to check in with yourself, to do something for your health, mental or physical, is so important.
Oh and don’t put the word “entrepreneur” in your Twitter bio unless you like, you know…actually have a business I guess? Even Gary doesn’t have it in his bio, you guys.
DR: Ask yourself if you are a number 1 or if you’re just being prideful. Then ask yourself if you are better as a 2, 3, or 4, and learn, learn, learn. Then maybe one day you’ll be a number 1. Also, be good to people and don’t try to get anything in the first 1-5 years of your relationships, life is long.
Best advice from Gary you’ve ever received?
IK: No one is going to do it but you. It sounds simple, but at the end of the day, your outcome only depends on you. Execute. Do it yourself. Don’t read about doing it, actually do it. You can talk and plan and sit all you want but nothing beats actual action.
DR: Patience. Patience not only for the things you want to happen but patience with everything. Once you get a grasp that life is long your behavior changes- from how you treat everyone around you to every scenario you are in. You see, at some point I realized my mom was 60. I realized how much she still wants to do & what motivates her. That’s when you begin to understand just how much time you actually have.
What’s next for you?
IK: Become an incredible producer. Get even better at pitching new clients. Grow my confidence. Make more art. Take more photos. Some day, long term: be an artist full time and own my own exhibit and shop space that focuses on art by female identifying artists. The future is female :).
DR: What’s next? Hard work, be good to others, & patience :).
BECCA TILLEY OF BECCA TILLEY BLOG & THE BACHELOR
Hello everyone – I am Becca Tilley. Some of you may recognize me from visiting your local fast food restaurant, but I would assume the majority of you probably know me from The Bachelor ( seasons 19 & 20 ).
Ok tell us all about Bachelor Nation.
The term “Bachelor Nation” makes me LOL every time I read it/hear it. I love The Bachelor- not only the people who were on the show with me but also all of the people who get SO invested in it every season. It’s basically a giant family who dates everyone….not weird, right?
Why blogging? Tell us all about your blog, the good, the bad, the truth, the nitty gritty.
I am going to tell the truth. I was very hesitant in jumping into the blogger world. There was this fear and insecurity in the reality that I only have this following on social media and different platforms simply because I was randomly selected to be on a huge TV show. But then I realized, if anything, it made me respect these amazing women who started from nothing and have built these amazing careers just by working their butts off and doing what they love. I have a lot of people helping me with this blog- it has been a team effort (heavy emphasis on team). The girls helping me have been patient angels and it has really challenged me, trying to figure out what my style is and stretch myself.
Advice for new bloggers?
ASK QUESTIONS!!! Every single person who has started a blog had to ask questions.
What’s a day in the life of Becca?
Every single day is different for me. I honestly love it. I have had jobs where I woke up and did the same thing every week, so this past year has been fun getting to go and do and be in charge of my time.
Favorite healthy snack?
OH MAN. I don’t have many of these, but I do LOVE pineapple!!! ( going to the fridge right now. )
Best kept skinny tip?
I have a lot of people ask me how I stay fit when I eat so bad. The answer is mainly genetics, however- I do like to be active. I like basketball and tennis & also just the classic walking. Just get up and move- endorphins help everything!
Workout routine? Favorite workouts? Basically how’d you get in such insane shape for the show?
I tried to be active on a daily basis for the show. I promise, when you know you are going to be on national TV in your swimsuit, it gives you a new motivation. For the first season, I hiked a lot. The second season, I only had two weeks to get ready, so I focused on ab work and things I could do at home.
Two staples in your wardrobe you can’t live without.
People would be surprised to know about you…
Just based on the show, I think people were surprised to find out I have a sense of humor. I came across very timid and shy on the show, so I think people who follow me on social media are thrown off that I have a personality.
One piece of advice that you practice everyday.
Lately, I have been trying to focus on the people who matter to me. It can get lonely in Los Angeles, but I seriously have the best people in my life.
I hope they always know how much I appreciate them!
JENNIFER JADEN OF SOCIETY GAL
Jennifer Jaden: Hi TSC readers — I am Jennifer Jaden. I am the founder of Society Gal a community of over 40,000 female creatives and I am also a personal branding coach to female entrepreneurs who are wanting to create sophisticated and powerful strategies in their business and want to show up in a big way.
Basically I help people take their business online and make them look good!
What makes you a hustler?
JJ: I’m a hustler baby, I just want you to know… Does Jay Z come to mind to anyone else when they hear the word “hustler”? No… Just me? Haha okay, well to be honest, I have been a hustler since day 1 — I had to be. I had to be resourceful and know how to make things happen NO MATTER WHAT. That’s just how I roll. My first job ever was selling Spice Girls post cards at recess. What can I say? I was a natural born entrepreneur! I made like $40 each recess — well until the principal called me into the office & shut it down.
I always have to be working on things and moving forward, I guess Lauryn and I have that in common, she is relentless. Real talk, I feel so passionate about what I do, I mean I am helping women live out their dreams by giving them tools to build incredible businesses and share their amazing stories. So I will proudly call myself a hustler.
Have you had bumps? If so, what and how did you deal with them?
JJ: Lots of bumps, I think I mentioned in a past interview that I suffered from a chronic illness that left me bedridden at times. And although I have come a long way it still affects my life. I am a different person than I used to be but I think that is just part of growing. I know I will get back to 100% soon and everyday I feel better and better. I just have to say be grateful for what you have now. Don’t ever take for granted your health, love your body — it really is a miracle.
I think we all go through challenges and each of ours is unique. I think it’s healthy to really feel it and experience it but don’t let it ever consume you. I am a big believer in “this too shall pass” and it really is true. Hold on tight, build a solid support team and give yourself room to feel it. You never know it may be preparing you for a future of helping others with similar issues.
How have you maintained a popular brand on the Internet?
JJ: The key to really captivating your audience is knowing it. You have to understand who you are talking to and why. Understand what they like, what they don’t like. Where they hangout, where they want to hangout. Knowing them inside and out is key. That is what has kept me successful + ‘popular.’
I always get the question “How do I know what to post on social media and when?” My answer to this is: If you want to ensure you’re optimizing your engagement with your brand you need to get really clear on who your ideal target audience is and think about how their day goes.
Are they a busy mom who is up bright and early, taking their kid to school? Or are they more like a party animal who doesn’t roll out of bed until noon? It’s really absolutely necessary to understand what your target audience is doing so you can schedule your posts/content according to their routine. Think, “How can you show up in their day and relate to them? How can I show up and really help them?” Once you have mastered this you will have a brand that is solid gold, baby.
Tips for other hustlers?
JJ: Don’t give up so easily. I truly don’t believe in failing. I think you “pivot” ( thanks for that Amber-Lee Schneider ) when things aren’t going as planned and re-strategize. Everything is a learning experience so look at it like that. Don’t take yourself so serious and have fun with whatever it is you are doing.
Number one branding tip?
JJ: Stay consistent, I truly believe that is the key to success. Show up even when you have 5 followers and the only comment you get is from your grandma who just learned how to use social media. I have seen so many of my besties become super successful in this online world by making sure they show up everyday, even when the going gets tough–– because let’s face it, it will.
That’s just life.
Also remember to stay true to who you are and your morals. Just because “jane doe” over here is posting naked photos with #sponsored tea DOESN’T mean you have to and that it’s the only way to be successful. Stay true to you and do what feels right for you and your own brand.
Where can everyone find you?
JJ: So you can find me on Instagram at @jenniferjaden. Make sure to let me know you read this article and what you liked! I am all about DM’s and commenting back!
CARA ALWILL OF THE CHAMPAGNE DIET
What inspired The Champagne Diet?
Cara Alwill: The Champagne Diet was literally inspired by a glass of champagne. It was 2008, and I was on a mission to find happiness. I thought, at the time, the only way to achieve that was through a diet. I imagined if I lost weight, all my problems would go away. In my quest to find a diet that would allow for alcohol ( I mean, duh! ), one of my coworkers at MTV ( where I worked at the time ) suggested champagne. I was SOLD. She explained that champs only had about 90 calories per glass, and “all the models drank it.”
Champagne did quickly become my go-to drink for a healthy lifestyle, but it also quickly became a metaphor for living effervescently, celebrating every day, and making beauty, happiness, and glamour a top priority in my life. I noticed when I held a glass of champagne in my hand, I felt different. When I heard the bartender pop open a new bottle, it elevated the energy in the room. I fell in love with champagne and everything it represented.
I started living what I call a “champagne life.” I made a vow to only allow the best into my world: the best relationships, the best clothes, the best foods, the best work, etc. I completely transformed my mindset and I knew I wanted to write a book about my experiences to inspire other women to do the same. I started a blog and began sharing my personal stories. Vulnerability became my passion and I loved connecting with my readers simply by being real. That blog eventually did turn into a book – six of them to be exact! I also became a certified master life coach so I could help women in a professional sense through my own experiences. I now have a blog, my books, and my podcast, Style Your Mind, where my mission is to help women design their thoughts, empower themselves, and build beautiful lives.
How do you hustle?
CA: I simply follow my intuition and do only the things I am madly in love with. I cut out all the bullshit from my business that doesn’t feel right. I have literally created my dream job so it doesn’t even feel like “work” to me anymore. Hustling is a privilege.
What is your go-to beauty tip?
CA: WATER! I drink half my body weight in ounces every single day. I add lemon most of the time. And also a good sweat. SoulCycle a few times a week gives me an insane glow that I could never find in a bottle.
What is your morning routine?
CA: I wake up without an alarm ( I find them to be really aggressive ). I immediately do my gratitude ritual, thinking of 5 things I’m thankful for before even touching my phone. I put on mood music ( the “French Cafe” station on Pandora is the best ), light candles, & make my coffee. I always wear pretty pajamas or a robe because I believe that a little glamour never hurt anybody. I have to feel good when I begin the day. I also love diffusing eucalyptus oil. It helps stimulate the brain and boosts your mood.
Tell us about launching your podcast?
CA: I never had a plan to do a podcast. I loved live radio. But after having my own radio show, I realized I was cutting out so many women around the world who couldn’t listen due to internet restrictions or time zone issues. A good friend suggested doing a podcast and I have never looked back. I love how intimate it feels. As a writer, I’m so used to putting everything into pretty words on paper. But the podcast is real and it’s raw and it’s on the spot. I don’t go in and edit it. It’s one take. And getting to have inspiring conversations with women ( & men ) I love on the show is such a treat. It has quickly become a top-rated show in the self-help category on iTunes and passed over a quarter of a million unique downloads in like 5 months. Mind. BLOWN!
I truly love it & can’t imagine not having that connection with my listeners.