Rachel Hollis came into the mainstream with a bang after the release of her first non-fiction book, but she’s quick to point out she was not an “overnight success” by any means. Rachel’s story resonates with me because it’s just so real. She had to work damn hard to get where she is, so there’s plenty for all of us to take away from what she learned along the way.
Tune in this week as I take a deep dive into the story of Rachel Hollis, how she came to prominence, and how her work has inspired me over this past year. Rachel’s life story is eye-opening in so many ways and this episode covers some of the things that other people in your life may not want to hear, but trust me, they need to. I assure you, you don’t want to miss this.
Want to have it all? Well, the best day to get started is TODAY. Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who want to take their life and business to a WHOLE new level of success. I’m Brooke Keeling, multiple six-figure business owner, passionate entrepreneur and your host.
Welcome to another episode of the Love Your Living podcast…
Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. I’m Brooke Keeling and I am so excited to be here with all of you today. Now, listen, today is an exciting day for me because it is the launch of our mini-series where we are featuring some incredible leaders, mentors, people that have really inspired me in personal development, in the growth arena.
And with all of your help, if you’ve followed along on social media, we’ve done some votes and we’ve asked you guys, who do you want to hear about? Who do you really look up to? Who do you want us to feature?
So we have, over the next several weeks, some really incredible people that I am going to be doing a deep dive into their life, into their success, into their business, who they needed to become, how they became what they are today. And I could not be more excited to share this with all of you.
There is nothing that excites me more than looking into what has made someone great and hearing their story. I love studying this and I’m really excited that you guys are going to come along on this journey with me. So over the next several weeks, we’re going to be featuring some big names.
Maybe you haven’t heard of some people, and that’s okay because I’m going to tell you a little bit about them and also share their story their way; telling their story and also kind of tapping into that and why I love them so much and why they’ve been so impactful in my life. So I hope that you enjoy it.
That being said, today is our very first episode of this mini-series and today, I am featuring Rachel Hollis. Now, if you don’t know Rachel Hollis, she is the author of Girl, Wash Your Face, which is a number one bestseller on the New York Times list this year.
And many of you, including myself, probably had no idea who Rachel Hollis was prior to 2018 because she really seemed like she came out of nowhere. But one of the things that I love about Rachel the most is that she’s very open and honest and real about what her story was and getting to where she is today.
She is by no means an overnight success. She has been working for decades in her business. She was previously and event planner out in LA. She now runs her own media company, which is actually a very well-known successful media company, runs her own team. She’s a mom of four children. She’s got three boys and they just adopted a little girl this year.
Her husband was very successful. He was a president at Disney who just resigned, actually, and took over the CEO position of her company. So Rachel Hollis, this is actually not her first book. This is her fourth book.
This was, however, her first non-fiction book. She’d previously wrote just fiction books and she also had a cookbook as well. So she is very clear about stating she is not an overnight success and who she has become today has taken a lot of work for her to get to where she is. And her company just reached a million dollars this year. She’s a self-made woman and very proud of that, which I love that about her.
Now, prior to Girl, Wash Your Face, she was a blogger that was specific to moms. She was a mom blogger. So she had a platform on social media. Girl, Wash Your Face just came out this year and her career and name really took off big. This was a massive success. But previous to that, she still had her following. She still had people reaching out to her. She had 40,000 followers on Instagram a year ago, she’s now at half a million. Same with Facebook. She’s up to a million followers on Facebook.
So she still had this tribe of women that were coming to her and asking for help and coming along on her journey as she was a business owner and a mom and a wife and trying to balance all of those things. She talks about this social media post that she did just a couple of years ago that went viral. And this was the first time she had experienced anything going viral within her world.
And this post, if you don’t know this story, was about her in a bikini. Her and her husband, Dave, were on a vacation in Mexico and she wanted to show off – she had just ran a marathon and she figured this is the best shape that I’m ever going to be in. She said she had some tequila so she had a little bit of that liquid courage, and she decided that she was going to take a beach selfie.
So she had her husband, Dave, take all these photos of her in this bikini and she finally decided on one, posted it to social media, and it just went viral. And she said it was just crazy to watch this. And as she was thinking about posting this, she was looking through all of the photos, as women as we all do, looking for the perfect one, how does my stomach look…
And she was going to Photoshop– she noticed in the photo that she had a lot of stretch marks on her stomach. She’d had three babies. And she was going to Photoshop it and put filters on it and all of this, and she said, you know what? I think that there’s a lot of moms out there that would appreciate this, and coming from a place of feeling proud of her body, feeling proud of the fact that she was able to carry babies, because some women can’t.
And she didn’t touch it. She didn’t touch the photo. She just put it out there and it went bananas. Now, the biggest lesson she learned from this, she said, is that showing up and being real is massive. That is what people resonate with. It’s not these pretty Instagram feeds and the fakeness of Photoshop and all of the things that you can do nowadays.
People want real. They want to be able to connect. They want to be able to resonate with what that is. And so although this was a picture of her in her bikini and she said it was kind of embarrassing that this was what went viral and it was everywhere, I was able to help woman and I had people giving selfies back and taking pictures of their stomach.
And especially in this place that many are, we have so much opinion around women’s bodies and having confidence in our own bodies. So I think that’s super powerful. Now, these are some of the reasons and some of the inspiration that she took into her book, Girl, Wash Your Face.
Girl, Wash Your Face is such an incredible book in the sense that, for me, it almost feels like she’s telling your story. You can resonate with what she’s saying on such a personal level. And so taking that, I’m going to share with the world what I’ve gone through in hopes that it will help one person, is what inspired her to write this book, Girl, Wash Your Face.
And that’s exactly what it did. It’s helped millions of women and I think it’s an incredible book. And the concept behind showing up and being real, I hear this from so many people, when you talk about what has allowed them to see the success that they’ve seen in their business or what makes them different. And it’s that they’re showing up as themselves. They’re being real and authentic, rather than putting this pretty filter on everything in life.
Now, I love the story that she tells about her inspiration for writing Girl, Wash Your Face. She was on a trip to Ethiopia, and one of the women that was on this trip with her was Jen Hatmaker. And Jen asked her what her next book was going to be about.
And if you remember, I told you she did write previous books, but they were all fictional books. And so she started talking about this book that had superheroes and all of these things and Jen Hatmaker said to her, have you ever thought about writing a non-fiction book?
And she said, oh gosh no I haven’t. What would I write about? And Jen Hatmaker said, what would you want to tell women if you could tell them anything? And she said instantly, I knew exactly what I would say to women. If I could tell them anything, I knew exactly what it was.
And this is another reason why I really love Rachel Hollis, because she’s very real. And she said, I wanted to tell them, stop reaching out to strangers on the internet and fix your own life. Because even the presence that she had within this space, she was constantly getting the, how do I save my marriage? How do I get my kids to whatever it may be? How do I solve this problem? How do I do this? How do I do that?
And she just wanted to say, I wanted to tell them to stop reaching out to strangers on the internet and fix your own life. And she said, I didn’t know how I could do that and there isn’t this space for women. There isn’t this space for women that you can love them but also challenge them,
I see this as a woman myself. And I love that Rachel Hollis says, “I’m not a cheerleader, I’m a coach.” Because in our world, I find this challenge of a man’s world and a woman’s world. And I’ve been coached by both men and women. I’ve talked about these things on podcasts previously, and a man’s world, it’s hardcore.
It’s all or nothing. It’s black and white. It’s go for your dreams. In a female’s world, and oftentimes when we’re coached by women, they’re our cheerleaders. If something goes bad, it’s okay, make yourself feel better. Many female coaches, they don’t challenge us. They’re our cheerleaders versus a coach. And a coach challenges you and sees things in you that maybe you don’t see for yourself.
And she went on to say, you know, stop wasting time on doing this and stop doing this and blah, blah, blah, and Jen Hatmaker says, “And Girl, Wash Your Face.” And that’s where this book was born, and I love that story of how it became this number one bestseller on the New York Times list and is changing millions of women’s lives.
Now, after this book was born, like I was saying, everybody thought she was this overnight success. And she’s very open and real with the fact that it was not an overnight success. And she even says, within her business, she was very fortunate and lucky to have a husband that was able to provide for their family. He had an incredible job, basically a dream job at Disney, seven-figure earner, was able to support their family.
But she said there was something there, like I wasn’t actually contributing to our family in that way. And her mindset as she built up this business and was writing her books and working on herself, she said she did not take a penny out of her business for five to seven years.
Now, this isn’t a luxury for some of us. We have to make money in order for our businesses to survive. But what I love about this concept and this notion is that she said, “I didn’t make money. I reinvested any money and all money that I made back into my business.” And I do think that this is a powerful concept to so many, because we start making money – I see this all the time – people start making money and then they spend it as fast as they possibly make it because of the things and the stuff that they feel are going to make them successful, make them feel successful, create that sense of success in their life.
And they’re not building wealth and their businesses don’t grow beyond that initial success because they’re spending all their money on things that don’t really matter. But being able to take some of that money and reinvest it in your business, reinvest it into self-development, reinvest it back into those things that are going to help you grow is powerful.
Now, one of the other things she talks about when she talks about the success of her business and her book, she got told no a lot. She’s failed a lot. S he’s had to take chances and risks. She had to start somewhere. I’ve seen her talk about some of the early days where she was just trying to gain publicity in her own business.
And she said, I used to dye my own hair and it was ridiculous and awful, the color that my hair was. And my dressing room was not a dressing room. It was the public bathroom wherever I could find somewhere to change. And she was on local news outlets and speaking for the first time with note cards and failing miserably, having awful presentations.
But it’s what has allowed her to grow and what has allowed her also – what I love about her journey that she’s gone on is that she brings it right back home into her family and she principles that she’s teaching her kids, which I feel like is so powerful for our children to see and be able to get that message directly from us and see us doing the same thing, see us out there failing and going after our dreams.
But she never stopped is the big message that she tells to everyone. She got so many nos along the ways and sometimes we think, well maybe this isn’t just for me. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I’m not smart enough. Maybe I don’t have what it takes.
Girl, Wash Your Face, she outed herself. She called her shot. She said, I want to be on the New York Times Bestseller list and she started studying and seeing what she had to do in order to make that happen. And she knew, through all of that, that within the first week, that’s likely when that’s going to happen.
And she didn’t hit it. And she said, I was embarrassed and I cried and I had to eventually take my own advice; Girl, Wash Your Face. Get back up the next day and keep going, just because she didn’t make it in that first week, she didn’t give up. She didn’t take no for an answer.
And because of that, at week 11, which doesn’t happen very often, she hit the New York Times Bestseller list. And that story in and of itself is such a powerful message. You hear of some of the greats, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Tony Robbins, so many people have been told no along the way. So many people have been told you’re not good enough, you’re not educated enough, you don’t have what it takes.
And they don’t take no for an answer. They keep going. And because they keep going, they’re able to create massive success and build the lives that they dream of. So if someone tells you you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough yet. You didn’t make it yet. You have to keep going. And that’s what she attributes a lot of her success to.
Now, to all the ladies out there in the world, and for those of you listening, this next message I think is so powerful. I’ve struggled with trying to find my own way in this space, but also be able to put it into these words that aren’t hurtful to other people that aren’t on the same path as me, because I’m so passionate about what I’m going to share with you next, which comes straight from Rachel Hollis.
“Words of advice, to women, especially moms. You’re allowed to have a dream for yourself outside of these babies. And not only that; I think that’s the point. That’s the calling, why you are here. I think that it’s possible to be an incredible and passionate mom and wife, if that’s your thing, if that’s what you want, and to pursue your version of more.”
And this is the big thing; there are plenty of women out there that their version of being a stay at home mom is it. That is their big goal. And that’s amazing and I truly do feel that as well. I do think that that’s amazing. But being that best version of a stay at home mom, because oftentimes, what I see, is people finding excuses to not go for their dreams because they’re scared and they don’t believe in themselves or they don’t work through it.
So they say, this is my role, I’m going to be at home with my kids. But if that’s not truly what you want, if you have anything in your heart that says, well what if I could go back to school or what if I could become this or what if that… You’ve got to go there. You have to listen to your heart and explore that calling within yourself.
She says, “You are allowed to chase something else even if no one else understands, especially if no one else understands. You are in real time showing these babies what it’s like to be a grownup, a woman, to be a being with your own hopes and dreams and desires. And not only that, but these babies that we have that we love that we’re raising, they’re going to grow up, and then what?”
She says that the number one thing that she gets when she meets moms with unhappiness or struggles or whatever it is, especially after this book, when she meets moms, it’s always, I lost myself, I don’t even know what my purpose is. I don’t even know what makes me happy. I don’t know how to find it.
And her question back was, who were you before? If the whole idea and purpose of your life is to show up for others, then it’s no wonder why you lose yourself in that. And as women, that’s how we’re raised and taught and our value is all wrapped up in how others perceive us, what we give to others is how we are perceived back.
And I do feel that this is a big problem in our society and we’re making some movement in it, but we talk about self-care and we talk about following your dreams and we talk about doing the things that make you happy, but as women, you never get the, “Oh my gosh, look at Susan, she takes exceptional care of herself. She’s on vacation again. She just ran a marathon. How great. She has a great self-care routine. She’s investing in herself.”
We don’t get that as women. It’s all about how you show up for others. And so we end up with this issue of self-esteem and confidence and issues. Now, I don’t know about you all, but as I share some of these concepts with you, I hope that you’re thinking, how does this apply to my life? In what areas of my life maybe has this affected me?
Because I do think that it’s such a real problem for so many women, and women that are really doing things that are not the norm for our society yet and going out there and putting yourself out there and following your dreams and disrupting the norm of how we were raised and what we were taught.
In an interview with Lewis Howes she says, “We don’t show up to do the things we love because we’ve been taught what he wants for you is more important that what you want for you.” Now, this doesn’t have to be your spouse. It could be your parents. It could be a sibling. It could be whatever.
We don’t show up to do the things we love because we’re taught that what he wants for you is more important than what you want for you. The biggest challenge for women is other people’s opinions. And that holds us back and puts these questions in our minds, like what if? What if I fail? What if people laugh at me? What if I fall? What if I make a mistake? What if they think I’m stupid?
They’re all other people’s opinions of us. You don’t hear men talking like this nearly as much. Yes, it still exists, but not nearly as much as the daily language that goes on for women. In the same interview, they start talking about male roles and female roles, which I really also love this because there’s expectations within a family setting as well or the expectations that you were brought up with in your family and what a female’s role was as well.
So for me, and also for my husband, we were both raised by stay at home moms. And, you know, that was just kind of what life looked like. And I remember being in my 20s thinking, you know, I have to have kids by this age and I’m going to stay at home with my kids and my now husband, he’ll support the family.
I had this thought for years, and that was just the expectation almost of what was expected of women as we were growing up. And I think, as young women in this era, you go to school, you get a job, and of course you support yourself, and then you get married and great, you have two incomes coming in.
And then you have children and by that point, it’s you’re going to stay at home with the kids. That’s kind of the expectation, right? And until that point, I remember being pregnant with my daughter, and I would get the question nonstop. And this is the exact same situation that Rachel describes.
You know, I had built out my real estate business. I had team members alongside of me. I had built the success in my life that I was so proud of, a success that I had never had before. And the question that I was getting nonstop when I was pregnant was, are you going to keep working? Or it was just expected that I was going to stay at home with my babies.
And I was getting this from other women, “Well, you’ll see.” And I couldn’t believe that. No one was asking my husband if he was going to stay at home and quit his job, but they were asking me that all of the time. And it’s just an expectation.
These expectations are what create so much anxiety and fear in our lives. And anxiety really is a question of who are we trying to please. Who are you trying to keep happy by not doing what we want to do and following our hearts?
And it’s so interesting because during this interview of her and Lewis Howes, he said, I totally agree with you and I’m in the same boat. We talk about this as well. Surround yourself by people that lift you up and that support your dreams.
And Lewis Howes says, you know, I surround myself by people that I want to be around. And maybe if they’re not playing at my level, that’s fine. I support them and I really encourage them to continue to grow, and that’s great and I love them for that. And then, of course, I have the people that are part of my tribe and are inspiring me to go bigger and dream bigger and hold myself at a higher level.
But the people that try to bring me down, those are the people that I no longer have in my life. You know, if you’re going to try to bring me down, if you’re going to try to squash my dreams or talk negative about some of the things that I want to do in my life, those aren’t people that I choose to be around.
And Rachel’s response was, yeah, I know and I get that, but it’s a lot easier and it’s more accepted from a male standpoint than it is for women, because women, we’re expected to please everyone and have everyone like us and keep everyone happy, not hurt anyone’s feelings.
I truly believe in your associations and I think they’re such an incredible part of your journey and growing. And for me, that’s one of my biggest passions is always learning and growing and trying to better myself, be better than I was yesterday, grow my businesses, my family life, all of that, become a better mom, become a better wife, become a better business owner.
I always want to continue to grow. And having those powerful associations and being able to set boundaries or remove some of the toxic relationships are huge, but it’s also really hard at times. So I loved that they talked about that.
And Rachel also shared a story about her marriage, actually, that is in the same realm. And for any of you that have started this journey on your own, it’s not just friends. You have people that comment like, I’m not going to see you anymore or I wish you were around more often or what’s really important in life is X. And those are their values, not yours.
And what we have to understand is, if you have people that are not supporting those dreams and they’re trying to hold you back, that’s going to create resentment that you didn’t go after what it is that you want to go after, holding you back, carrying that burden of not going after your dreams, it’s not worth it. And this can happen within a marriage as well, and it did happen within their marriage.
I’m very, very grateful that my husband has come on a lot of my self-development seminars and journey with me, however, it’s not the same case for everyone. And even within our own world, we’ve had these conversations. You have to be able to grow together.
Now, there’s an incredible story that she tells around this specific to marriage, and that is, a few short years ago, their marriage was basically in turmoil and it had been for months. Her husband had a dream job. He was extremely unhappy. He was drinking too much.
He’d come home from work, put on headphones, play videogames, not engaged with their kids, not engaged with her. She was going through all of this therapy to try to combat her anxiety and she signed up for a UPW event.
And she said, “That UPW event changed my life.” For any of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a Tony Robbins event called Unleash the Power Within. And it is an incredible event. I’ve been twice. Once by myself, which introduced me to Tony Robbins and how incredible he is. And then I went back with my husband after we did all of his other events.
And she went to this event. She said it was more powerful than any therapy I had ever done. It changed my life. And she came back and she started implementing it into her life and her husband thought that she was crazy and he was resentful and he was like, it’s a cult, you drank the Kool-Aid, all of that stuff that people say that I hear as well.
She had been married for 14 years at the time and she could see that her marriage was starting to fail. She was doing these things that she came back from the conference and it was like three months later, she was still doing it and she realized that it was creating more divide within her and her husband because she was changing and she was growing and she was trying to find her way.
And really, what was happening is her husband was scared that she was going to become better and she maybe wouldn’t need him anymore. It’s what happens with anyone. It’s insecurity. But in the end, they ended up happening to have a really real conversation. And that conversation revolved around her being very open and honest and saying, look, if I continue on this path of growth and continuing to better myself and create a better life for myself and my family, we will not be married. Two years down the road, we’re not going to be married.
And this was the truth, you guys. These are the real truths and conversations that you need to have. This is why so many people are scared of growth and scared of doing something different, because people change. And if you’re married to someone that doesn’t want to change and you are going to change and you’re going to do it no matter what, even if that’s not what they want for you, you’re not going to be together long-term.
And so for them, they had a really real conversation and her husband actually asked to go to UPW. They went to a UPW together and she said, “This is why we’re so passionate about so many of the events we do in person, because it’s emersion and it literally has changed our life and our marriage.”
Now they work together. They’re best friends. They figured it out. And this isn’t from a marriage of a couple of years, this is a 14-year marriage; no 16-year marriage. This was only two years ago.
So take that message if you’re having struggles within – maybe it’s even within your extended family or your circle of friends. Maybe it is your husband or wife or partner, significant other. When you start to grow and you start to dive into this stuff, you’re going to have a lot of people that are going to be resentful around it and that are not going to believe in your journey. But you have to do it anyway. You have to do it for you. Whatever you want in your life, you have to keep going.
Now, the next book that she has out is all about this. So I’m super excited about it but it’s feedback that’s he got from so many people saying, how do I do this and how do I get over this? And the whole concept comes from Girl, Wash Your Face. And it’s called, Girl, Stop Apologizing. And it’s all about doing it anyways.
Even though someone thinks you should do this or you should live your life this way or your family thinks you should be doing this or these should be your values or you should spend more time with this person, it doesn’t matter. You need to create your life for yourself and you need to stop apologizing. Girl, Stop Apologizing. I cannot wait for that book to come out. I’m so excited. I loved Girl, Wash Your Face. I really love Rachel Hollis’s story because it’s so real and she really does share it all.
And I say journey a lot, but it is. It’s a journey that we have to go on in order to get to where we want to go because all of those bumps and the hurdles along the way are making us stronger and helping us build that muscle and learn what we need to learn in order to grow into the person that we want to become. So it very much is a journey.
I’ll end with a few quotes from her that I think are powerful and a great way to recap this podcast. “Don’t let someone in the cheap seat, or the arena, as Berne Brown says, decide who you are and what you become. They don’t have to live with the regret of never chasing your dreams.”
And with that, I hope you guys enjoyed the first episode of our short series. If you want to know more, hear more, or get involved with Rachel Hollis, if you haven’t read her book, Girl, Wash Your Face, it’s a great read. It’s a quick read. It’s very real.
She has two podcasts out. There’s the Dais Business Podcast. She also has one on relationships, and she also has a new book coming out, Girl, Stop Apologizing, in addition to many retreats that she has on the books for 2019. So go check out Rachel Hollis if you want to know more about her.
I think she’s a great inspiration for so many women. Thank you all for tuning into this week’s Love Your Living podcast. I hope you all have a really great week and we’ll see you next time.
Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of the Love Your Living podcast. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love or simply take your already-pretty incredible life to the next level, head on over to loveyourlivingonline.com or simply check out the link in this week’s episode of show notes to instantly download my 6-Figure & Beyond Business Blueprint. You’re going to absolutely love it.