Alexis Wolfer Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Alexis Wolfer
Alexis Wolfer is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business podcast.
She is a lady who when it comes to looking good, and feeling great she has it down big time.
She has her fingers on the pulse on what it takes to make ladies feel good about themselves.
Which, coming from a house full of ladies like I do, must be an almost impossible job.
Graduating from Washington University in St. Louis she earned her Master’s Degree from Columbia University, in 2009 and went straight in to the entrepreneurial route.
Yep, unless what I have researched is wrong, there was no way that our guest was going to be an employee sitting in a cubicle for nine hours, and she strode boldly into the world of freelance.
How The Dots Joined Up For Alexis
But the fascinating thing is that from March to June 2009, she started three ventures which are still going strong today, freelancing for the StyleCaster, TheLuxurySpot and of course being the CEO of TheBeautyBean.com
The latter being the place where her readers get an intimate and expansive look at beauty, health and wellness without the focus on weight loss, dieting and the number on the scale.
She currently lives in Los Angeles (although she’s still a New Yorker at heart!), and seems to have been born with more hustle muscle than the average.
So does she see that the self-esteem issues that ladies have is something that is getting worse as time goes on?
And does she see those same issues in herself or has she beaten them into submission?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show, to start joining up dots with the one and only Alexis Wolfer.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Alexis Wolfer such as:
How, when she was a small girl she battled with eating disorders, and found a great lesson that led her to believe that you are what you eat.
How when she was in college in the US she started off her studies and switched quickly, and feels you shouldn’t be afraid to pivot.
How she recalls how she worked so hard for the first two years of her business, and how it was unbelievable she was still willing to take on more.
How her Dad would have the shortest phone calls in history when she would phone up for support……”You can do anything…goodbye!”
Alexis Wolfer Books
How To Connect With Alexis Wolfer
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Alexis Wolfer Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
Today’s show is brought to you by podcast is mastery.com, the premier online community teaching you to podcast like a pro check us out now. podcasters mastery.com.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:37]
Yes, hello, bear. Well, this is David Ralph, this is Join Up Dots. And this is a very special edition because this is Episode 365. So we have been coming to you for not quite 365 days because we released two or three on the very first day but yeah, we’ve still done it. We’ve done a whole year of content and so 365 is going to be one That will go down as our most memorable show, I’m sure, and it’s going to be good because I’ve been speaking to the lady and she sounds fun. And she’s I’m a big technophobe. But I will tell you what she did with a speaker a little bit later. I don’t want to embarrass her at the moment, but it wasn’t too hard. She’s a lady who, when it comes to Looking good and feeling great, she has it down big time. She has a fingers on the pulse on what it takes to make ladies feel good about themselves, which coming from a house full of ladies like I do, must be an almost impossible job. Now graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, she earned her master’s degree from Columbia University. Oh, I’m gonna say that game from Columbia University in 2009 and went straight into the entrepreneurial route. Yet unless what I’ve researched is wrong. There was no way that our guest was going to be an employee sitting in a cubicle for nine hours, and she strode boldly into the world of freelance. But the fascinating thing is that from March to June 2009, she started three ventures which is still going strong today. freelancing for style caster, the luxury spot. And of course being the CEO of the beauty being.com, the latter being the place where her readers get an intimate and expansive look at beauty, health and wellness without the focus on weight loss, dieting and the number on the scale. Now, she currently lives in Los Angeles, although she’s still a New Yorker at heart and seems to be born with more soul muscle than the average. So does she see that the self esteem issues that ladies have is something that is getting worse as time goes on? And does she see those same issues in herself where she beaten them into submission? Well, that’s fine down as we bring on to the show, to start joining up dots with the one and only Alexis wolfer How are you, Alexis?
Alexis Wolfer [2:37]
Hey, I’m doing well. I like that hustle with the muscle. That’s that’s
David Ralph [2:42]
you all over in it. You are born with hustle muscle running through you.
Alexis Wolfer [2:46]
Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. And I definitely was not born to sit in a cubicle either. I appreciated that in your introduction, but I never enjoyed any of those jobs that I had. It just wasn’t what I was made to do.
David Ralph [2:59]
Well, hello. Wasn’t might say Columbia University, I can say it in the hell Papa some reason my mouth just went mad when I got to that word. So
Alexis Wolfer [3:08]
when you mean that accent of yours, ah,
David Ralph [3:10]
I can breeze through anything, nobody notices the mistakes. So you are somebody that is quite simply at the top of your game, you’ve got so much going on, how do you manage to balance all that way. So we’re going to delve into it and still look as glamorous as you do because you must spend a lot of time or maybe you don’t maybe you’ve sorted that part of Looking good and feeling good, but not spending a lot of time of it.
Alexis Wolfer [3:35]
I don’t actually spend a lot of time on it. And I think that that’s something that a lot of people are usually surprised to hear because the beauty being calm is an online women’s magazine and at its core, it’s about beauty. But for me beauty is about so much more than what you put on your skin and that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy, you know, top of the line cleansers are making my own face scrubs or anything like that, but I think that’d be is so much more than that. And for me, it’s more about what you put into your body than it is what you put on your body. And so making sure that you’re eating well and being healthy, makes you look better. But it also gives you the energy to be able to really tackle all of the things that you want to enjoy in your life.
David Ralph [4:15]
Now, I’m somebody that is renowned for not looking after himself, when it comes to eating, I will just grab a bag of potato chips or crisps as we call them over here and that that do for my lunch, because I find the healthy way just takes too much effort. I’m looking at it the wrong way.
Alexis Wolfer [4:34]
I think so I think that if I go to the grocery store one day a week, and I buy a tonne of fresh produce, and free range eggs, and I’ll buy a lot of frozen vegetables too because they stay good for a long time and they’re so quick and easy to prepare. It can I can make a really healthy delicious meal in under 10 minutes. And I think that the energy that you get from eating healthfully is well worth A little bit of effort that you need to put into creating that meal but for me if I were to eat chips for lunch, I’d be exhausted by 3pm
David Ralph [5:09]
Yeah, but a nice all night with a bit of a toe dip on them. You can’t beat them can you
Alexis Wolfer [5:16]
serve it like that’s something that’s maybe a treat it’s something that you would have in moderation. I’m all about having whatever you want. But for me if I eat healthfully, I feel better and unable to perform at my top and that’s really important to me. So have you always felt that
David Ralph [5:35]
way? Have you always been somebody that he’s interested in eating healthfully? Or, like old Oh, used to run a hot dog in your mouth on the streets of New York and stuff?
Alexis Wolfer [5:46]
No. So I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a little kid. But I had really severe eating disorder in university and again after university kind of when I was starting, the beauty being and the beauty beam was really designed Not only because I wanted to have an impact on how other women felt about themselves in their bodies, but because I wanted to have that impact on myself, and I wanted to feel better about myself. And so it took me a long time to end lots of therapy for an eating disorder to really not see food is the enemy. So I was kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum where I wasn’t really eating, and I was counting every calorie and I was obsessed with it all and it was driving me bananas. And it was so unhealthy, I wasn’t looking my best, I wasn’t feeling my best I wasn’t performing at my best. And it really took me understanding that you know, you really are what you eat, and you don’t want to be sugar free jello, and so really kind of taking control over that and finding quick, healthy and easy recipes, a lot of which I share on the beauty being and on Instagram as well and showing people that you can eat well look well and it doesn’t have to be really expensive and it doesn’t have to take a Lot of time.
David Ralph [7:01]
Now, over in the United Kingdom, we have a lot of what we call Weight Watchers. I don’t know if you have this over America, and the the ladies go there and they seem to go there for 20 years, and they look exactly the same and I counting red things and green things and all that content. And it just seems like a pain. It just seemed like a bore. And they don’t even look like they’re enjoying it anyway. Is that different in America? Because that there seemed to be more of a focus on glamour from certainly from what I can see in America, the dental people do those kind of classes, or is it more about what you’re presenting to us?
Alexis Wolfer [7:38]
know, I think a lot of people are doing exactly what you’re talking about. They’re constantly on diets, they’re always looking for the next fad diet or the secret pill that’s going to all of a sudden make them skinny because skinny is the most important thing in the world. And I think everybody’s kind of missing the point and I think it becomes this obsession. I think it becomes this obsession with a number on a scale where you’re waiting ends up becoming your worth. And I just don’t believe that I haven’t weighed myself in years. And I think I look and feel better than I have ever, but it’s just about changing your mindset. So I think what I’m doing is probably as novel here in the States as it is in the UK because so many people here are obsessing over you know, counting every fat gramme and calorie and carbohydrates, etc. And it’s not working, we have a increasing obesity epidemic. So clearly what we’re promoting to people to do in order to take control of their weight isn’t working. So I think we need to start thinking about it in a totally different way.
David Ralph [8:40]
Because I was speaking to a lady the other day who is in Where is she I think she’s in Colorado for memory. And she operates on a kind of lose weight by having fun, get out there and write stuff and don’t go to swimming classes, but you know, run through the forest and enjoy yourself and take your dog for a longer walk. Nobody would, those kind of stuff. And when she was saying that, and I honestly, I’ve never been in the gym in my life, you know, I’m just one of these naturally skinny guys that kind of always looks like he’s on a diet. But when she was saying that, I thought that’s gotta be the right way of doing it, isn’t it having fun being out in the open air enjoying yourself?
Alexis Wolfer [9:18]
Yeah, totally agree with that and finding what you like to do and doing it and reevaluating that choice often. So you know, there are times when I’m really into being outdoors and going on long walks with my dogs. And there are other times that I want to go to a yoga class and I’ll do that a lot. And there are times when I want to do something a little bit more intense. And so I’ll go to a cardio interval training class or spin class or whatever it might be, but just finding the things that you enjoy and doing them and I think that when you’re happy and you’re happy in your life, you’re happy with your job, you’re happy with your friends and your intimate relationships. I think you naturally make healthier choices. So for most people, you find yourself elbow deep and a pint of ice cream when you’re sad or you know you feel lonely, but if you make sure that the rest of your life is really fulfilling you don’t turn to food to make you feel full.
David Ralph [10:12]
My best friends, I’m Frank and Benny’s or ever like code, what was ice cream people call? Ben and Jerry’s and Jerry’s. Yeah, you can’t beat those little tubs can Yeah.
Alexis Wolfer [10:23]
Yeah. And like, great if you really enjoy it, and you sit down, and you savour that and that’s a treat for you, like awesome. I’m not at all saying that people shouldn’t eat the things that they enjoy and love. But you shouldn’t be turning to ice cream because you’re not happy. You should be turning to ice cream because you really enjoy it and it tastes good.
David Ralph [10:42]
So let’s start taking you back in time, which is what we love to do on Join Up Dots. So when you Yeah, you were the little girl. And you were the little version of Alexis. Well, you did. Did you have this on your sort of radar? Did you think that you were going to be following what your parents did? What was the sort of playing that you had set.
Alexis Wolfer [11:01]
So I’m the youngest of four, I have three older brothers who are all in finance. My dad’s in finance, I kind of thought that when you were an adult and successful that you worked in finance, and I went to college thinking that that’s what I was going to do that I would study economics and I would work on wall street or do something along those lines. And it was my first semester in school where I stumbled into an introduction to women’s studies class, and I loved it, it completely changed the way that I looked at everything. And I remember calling home and telling my parents that I was going to major in women in gender studies, and they were like, okay, like grades like, what are you gonna do with that? And I was like, I’m not sure but awesome, really good
David Ralph [11:45]
question, though, isn’t it that you know, what are you gonna? How you gonna build a career around that?
Alexis Wolfer [11:50]
But I think most people graduating from university today don’t end up doing something that is directly an offshoot of what they studied in school. So I would really encourage people in university to focus on the things that you find really interesting. I think University is a place to learn how to think. I think it’s a place where you learn how to interact with others, where you learn what your wants, and not wants are, what your likes and dislikes are. And I think that that’s really where the value is, I would worry less about finding something to major in because you want that to be your career. I’ve never once cared what somebody majored in when I’m hiring. I think that’s such a silly thing to focus on. But I loved these classes. And so I was really fortunate to have parents that were like, all right, like, whatever you want to do, like, sure. And so I did that. And when I graduated at that point, I was like, you know, maybe I’ll go to law school, like maybe I could do something with I was really passionate about domestic violence at the time, and I was like, maybe I can do something as a lawyer working with women who are survivors of domestic violence. And so I started applying for the For law schools, and I remember calling, I was taking a test prep course for the L SATs. And I remember calling them like three quarters of the way through the classes. I was like, do you think I could switch to the GRS, which in the States is the test that you take for a Master’s programme? And they were like, you’re doing really well on the outsets? Like, what do you mean, I was like, Yeah, I don’t want to do that anymore. And so I switched the series, and I applied to graduate schools. And I had gotten into Columbia. But I, because I had switched my month to the other test. I wasn’t able to start until the following semester. So I went and I worked in Tanzania and East Africa at a women’s empowerment group. And, you know, really, at the time thought that I would still do something really heavily involved in the women’s rights world. And it wasn’t until I was in graduate school at Columbia, and I was working part time at a woman’s magazine called lucky magazine. That’s part of Conde Nast and I loved it. I loved the beauty and fashion world. I loved what I was doing in school. And it wasn’t until I was in that situation that I had a professor in school say to me, like, you know, you’ll love this beauty and fashion stuff like, isn’t there a way for you to combine your interests. And it kind of took that for me to realise that the ultimate human right is the right to love yourself. And it is extraordinarily difficult to ask others to love and respect your body when you’re not loving and respecting your own body. And that kind of became the basis of what ended up being my thesis that I wrote on women’s magazines and their influence on eating disorders and body image. And that’s where the beauty being started. It was a direct spin off of my master’s thesis where, you know, I got to this conclusion that we don’t need to make women feel crappy about themselves in order to sell them things. We don’t need a population of women that are constantly starving themselves, over exercising, criticising themselves in the mirror. feeling miserable, finding their self worth on a scale from their boyfriends or their husbands or their parents or whatever it was, but that if women were finding their self worth, internally and feeling a beautiful inside and out and treating their bodies with love and respect, that they would be happier and healthier and better, more active members of society. And I wanted that for myself. And I wanted that for others. Well, what I found fascinating
David Ralph [15:27]
when you were saying that, or there were so many questions going through my mind, but this is one but the listeners really need to sort of pick up on your switcher on you. If you’re doing something and you decide it’s not quite right. You don’t follow along on that path, you will jump off and you will go off and do something else.
Alexis Wolfer [15:45]
And so I think that this, I think that it’s really important to know when something’s not working, and to quit and quit early. I think that we often say that quitting as such, we often position that as a negative and it can be If you’re constantly quitting because you’re scared, whether you’re scared of failing or scared of succeeding, but if you’re quitting because like, you genuinely don’t like it anymore, like, do that and do it now, because you’re only wasting time by sticking with it.
David Ralph [16:14]
Because you don’t sound like somebody who’s scared of anything. I can’t imagine that anything fazes you so so what scares you? When you’re laying in bed and you think, Oh my God, I’ve got to do this today, what will get you going? So
Alexis Wolfer [16:25]
I would say like the first couple of years in particular, and this still definitely creeps up on me but far, far less often. Now. I was terrified that I had made the wrong choice. And I was scared of the insecurity, particularly financial insecurity. And I saw how successful my brothers were. I saw how successful my friends who had gone that really traditional path were and I was like, crap, like, I’m not making as much money as they are. Am I ever going to be able to do this? You know, what if I’m not able to, you know, one day support a family, little or support myself or you know, Whatever it is like, what am I going to do? And I had started the beauty been saying to myself, I had money saved aside and I was like, I’m going to give this a year and like, we’ll see what happens. And that that first two years, I’d say that fear really creeped up a lot on me. And I would have multiple times where I would call my dad in the middle of the night and be like, what am I doing? I’m blowing through my savings. Like, this isn’t gonna work. And he’d be like, Alexis, you can do anything, and he would hang up the phone on me.
David Ralph [17:28]
He’s a good dad, isn’t he? I know that sounds harsh. But that’s what you need, isn’t it?
Alexis Wolfer [17:33]
Yeah, it was exactly what I needed. And what I think makes my dad especially excellent is that he would have had a different response. had any of my other siblings called him because we are each so different. But that was exactly what I needed to hear. And I that fear still creeps up sometimes. But at this point, you know, it’s been six years, and I look at my friends who have followed that path. And sure some of them are still making more money than I am. But they hate their lives. They hate their jobs. They live their entire life. lives for their two weeks of vacation. And I’m here talking to you in the middle of the day in sunny Los Angeles from my house, and
David Ralph [18:09]
living the dream.
Alexis Wolfer [18:12]
I’m living my dream, I think everybody’s dream is different. And when I talk to my friends who are in those jobs that you know, they’re miserable for them, the security of that job is far more important and gives them far more peace of mind than it would for me. So I think it’s just a matter of figuring out what’s right for you as an individual. I don’t think entrepreneurship is for everyone. I think it takes having a stomach that can handle it. And for a lot of people having that security and that certainty is more important. But for me, being happy is more important. And I would be miserable sitting in a job like that.
David Ralph [18:50]
Well, so many people are in jobs like that, and they’re sitting there and they’re listening to you and they’re going over to the beauty being now and they’re looking around and they’re thinking wow, I’d like to To do this, I can’t do this kind of thing. Now, how different is the beauty bing.com website now from when it first started to give the listeners a journey of your progression.
Alexis Wolfer [19:13]
It’s, it’s, it’s had three iterations, this is the third. About two years ago, we did a relaunch that brought forward this design we got rid of we used to cover fashion which we no longer cover, and we became much more bold in our messaging and where we stand on issues. Prior to that the site was you know, similar and design a little bit more girly, a little bit more colourful, if you will, not as sleek and professional looking. And prior to that was when we were in beta and that was like Terrible.
Unknown Speaker [19:49]
Unknown Speaker [19:51]
It was a one at a time. Where
Alexis Wolfer [19:53]
Yeah, you have to start somewhere and you know, it’s never going to be perfect. And this is something this is actually something that I still struggle with but this idea of wanting it to be perfect before it launches, and it’s never going to be perfect. They’re always going to be things that you can change and tweak and improve on. But that doesn’t mean it’s not ready.
I think that’s a really important lesson for people. Yeah,
David Ralph [20:15]
is that the thing that holds so many people back but they are surrounded by bees websites, but I’ve come to the fore. And I love the way they look. But of course, I don’t see them when they just crappy and you can actually go there’s some website that you can track back. And you can see the different versions of websites. So
Unknown Speaker [20:33]
it’s, gosh, that’s terrifying.
David Ralph [20:35]
And so you can go and look back and it’s on like on a timeline. He does like a screenshot and then three years later, there’s another one. Yeah, and I can’t no one has called somebody or tell me. But did you think that’s the kind of thing that holds people back that they think that he’s got to look professional, right, the star?
Alexis Wolfer [20:51]
Yeah, I think that’s for people, whether you’re going into an online business or anything else, the number of times that people reach out to me and want to talk about about their business. And I’m like, Well, why are you doing it? And they’re like, well, it’s not ready. And I’m like, What does that even mean? Like, just start and see what happens?
David Ralph [21:10]
And what does it mean when you say that to them? What was their answer? Generally?
Alexis Wolfer [21:15]
Usually, like, well, it doesn’t look the way it looks, or I don’t like I don’t have any clients yet. And I’m like, well, you’re not going to get any clients until you start looking for clients. And, you know, start with if you’re talking about a business where you’re doing any sort of one on one work with a client, I would suggest offering an introduction offer that’s a lot less expensive than what you’d like to be charging and ask for feedback and get help. Hope and surround yourself with people who are able to help but you’re never going to think it’s good enough. And that’s great. That means that you’ve got the heart of an entrepreneur because you always want things to be better and to work better and to look better. And that’s an awesome mentality to have, but you can’t let it hold you back.
David Ralph [21:56]
When I launched this show, I basically threw up a website Enough a wonky, I’m going to get the show on iTunes and Stitcher and all the different platforms. But I needed a place to host it on a place where people could come. So I am not bad on web developing. So I created this little website, I threw it up and I made the colours were right. And I really spent no more than a couple of hours doing it. It was bare minimum. And I must have been at about 250 shows when a chap come through to me and he went, you know, your website, and I went, yeah, you When did you did you know? Did you design it yourself? And I went well, yeah. When you when it’s dreadful. And when I looked back at it, I think, yeah, we had it outgrown itself. So I had to get it reinvented. And so I’ve only been running a show for a year and it’s gone through two changes already. And I’m convinced that it will go through multiple changes. And that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it?
Alexis Wolfer [22:54]
Absolutely. But my response to that is also you’re not selling services as a web designer. So if you were putting up this website and you were saying and come to me for web design, I think that website better look damn good. But that’s not what you’re doing. You’re creating a website in order to host podcasts on entrepreneurship, it doesn’t really matter how pretty your website is like, you can figure that out later, like, focus on what you’re doing. Don’t worry about all the other things. And I think that a lot of people get wrapped up in that, like, they want the perfect logo and the perfect business cards and the perfect fonts. And it’s like, you can change all of that stuff multiple times and nobody’s gonna care. But like really figure out what it is that you’re selling or doing and make sure that you’re good at that.
David Ralph [23:43]
I’ve heard stories where people have spent a whole afternoon deciding on what shade of pink to make their font or you know, bizarre kind of waste of time, which
Alexis Wolfer [23:52]
is like once you’ve got your business settled, and you’ve got the time and you want to play with the different shades of pink, cool. Go for it. But that shouldn’t be what you should be spending your time on when you haven’t even launched your business yet.
David Ralph [24:06]
Now I’m gonna play some words about one of our motivational speeches that I like to play every day. And I’m obviously going to talk to you about these words. But then afterwards, I want to talk about your branding and how much of your branding is you and how much you have been directed by your actual site and the concept of beauty being, but this is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [24:26]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [24:53]
Now is that is that the kind of words that you would buy into on a daily basis?
Alexis Wolfer [24:58]
That’s one of my favourite quotes of all time. I love that speech. And I would highly recommend all of your listeners to go and Google it, because you can watch it on YouTube the full length of it. Yes, I believe that wholeheartedly. I think that there are a lot of people if, if the recession of the last five years hasn’t taught us all that there isn’t job stability, even in what you think are the most stable of jobs, then I don’t know what the takeaway lesson there should have been. Because I think that’s certainly what I learned. And I think if you don’t have job security and the safe choice, like go for it, what’s the worst that happens? And I remember thinking, even when I was having these fears over, you know, maybe the BTB it’s not going to work, or maybe I won’t be successful, but I knew in my heart of hearts that even if this failed, I would be exponentially more qualified for whatever other job I went out to go get.
David Ralph [25:47]
I love that. That is a good point, isn’t it? But over time, when you’re working towards something, you’re building up experience, and that experience is never wasted is it?
Alexis Wolfer [25:58]
It’s never wasted and you learn so much starting a business because especially if you don’t have unlimited resources, the number of things that I learned or taught myself just by watching YouTube videos or reading books, or, you know, googling things at three in the morning, because our code crashed, and I didn’t know how to fix it, you learn so much.
David Ralph [26:18]
And you look back at the days of growing it and go, if I look back on it now, I could have done it so much quicker, or do you like the fact that it went at the pace that was right for its development?
Alexis Wolfer [26:31]
So sure, I think, you know, you can always look backwards and find things that you could have done differently. One thing that I would have done differently, would have been to have hired a better web design team from the get go. I kind of started the budget route and then ended up firing them and hiring a bigger agency halfway through and then kind of had to cut my losses on that first agency. And sure, like, in retrospect, was that Potentially bad choice. Yeah, maybe. But I could also make the argument that I wasn’t nearly as clear as to what I wanted, until prior to going through that first experience with the first agency. And maybe the things with the second agent agency wouldn’t have gone as well had I not already had that experience. So I think it’s all when you look back, you know, you can always see the mistakes that have been made. But it doesn’t mean that they weren’t worth making or that they weren’t required in order to create the success that you end up having.
David Ralph [27:32]
Well, that’s the point of Join Up Dots that when you look back on it, but the dark dots, the bad times, were actually a good things later on and everything gets mixed up. It’s the journey that you’re on, which is the most powerful point and you can’t get from A to B without going through a few squiggles here and there.
Unknown Speaker [27:49]
Yeah, and the squiggles are often the times when you end up learning the most.
David Ralph [27:53]
So when you look back on it at the beauty be I’m fascinated about the branding of it because I’m Looking around, and I’ll be honest, it’s not the kind of site that I would suck is ladies side. But I was very impressed.
Unknown Speaker [28:06]
Definitely a ladies. Yeah, how it
David Ralph [28:08]
was constructed. And it seemed to me like almost is a painting every image is just because it’s right, it looks very well constructed. Is that something? Is that something that was at the forefront of what you wanted to do? Did you want to make it very appealing to the eye? Or was it content driven? First of all,
Alexis Wolfer [28:31]
so I think content is king. But I think you still need images in order to get people to want to read the content. I think that’s just the society that we live in today. I wanted to create a magazine that would compete with Vogue and Marie Claire and allure and all of these top beauty magazines that women myself included, were reading on a monthly basis from their local newsstands. And I wanted it to be as visually appealing and as engaging. I just wanted it to be ultimately have a more positive message for women than those publications were having.
David Ralph [29:05]
And so how much of it is you then he can can we find Alexis spring quarter across every single web page? Whoa?
Alexis Wolfer [29:12]
Oh, yes, absolutely. So not only do I still write a lot of the content, even though we have, you know, we have a staff of about 35 writers, but I also am I made every choice about the layout of the site, I approve every article I put my touch on every article, I choose every image that goes on the beauty being I am deeply involved on a daily basis.
David Ralph [29:40]
And do you still like that or because part of being entrepreneurial I think when you start is the thought of I can choose my time, I can lay in bed to when I want and I can go for a walk in the park in the afternoon because I can choose my time and literally every single person that I have spoken to and I’ve got My hand up on base as well starts with that image and then realises that they’re actually working twice as long as they were beforehand, but they’re kind of loving, it becomes an obsession. So do you see the time when you will step away from it? Or do you think you’re always
Alexis Wolfer [30:17]
a lot? I definitely. I’m not a hunter. I’m not I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. I always dislike worrying too much about the future. I If you had told me that I would be doing what I’m doing now. Six years ago, I would have told you you were crazy. So I’m not sure. I will say that the first few years of the beauty been I worked harder than I ever thought was possible for somebody to work. And now my days are far more relaxed. I outsource a lot more. I have a great support team of people who work on different parts of the site when needed. I have a much better quality of life. And that’s how I choose it to be I think that could I be still working those in insane hours. Absolutely. But I like being able to go to yoga in the morning or go for a walk with my dog in the middle of the day or grab coffee with the girlfriends. But
David Ralph [31:09]
I’m sure everyone would look at it and go. It’s all right for read Alexis, she can do all this because I don’t really remember the hardships you went through and that’s, that’s one of the big shames all of entrepreneurship. You can’t drag around a big banner saying, I deserve this. I deserve this. I worked when he was watching Telly and he was in bed.
Alexis Wolfer [31:29]
Oh yeah. I remember for two to three years where I like hardly saw my friends. I hardly saw my family I was from I would wake up at 530 in the morning and be on my computer all day like I would go to the gym but I’d be on my phone the entire time I was on that treadmill and then I would come home and I’d be working until I until I went to bed at night. It was non stop and if I was socialising, there was a networking angle or there was a there was some business angle to it. Everything that I was doing, and even today, like I still feel that way, it’s just different. So I think that one of the things that makes the beauty being really spectacular is that I get most of my inspiration from outside of my industry. So I choose to go to very few networking or industry events in the beauty space, you’re much more likely to find me at a lecture on technology or business development or something like that. Because I think that I grow more in those spaces. But I think it’s just, it’s just different. It’s not I don’t think I work more or less now. I think it’s just I work differently. And I think I’ve learned to work smarter.
David Ralph [32:40]
No, but what you’ve done is that you are now finding the things that play to your strengths. At the beginning. You’re basically doing everything kanji, and
Unknown Speaker [32:49]
David Ralph [32:50]
You I remember the first six months of this show, it literally killed me. It really did. But I never got to the point and this is the fascinating thing and then Lead me on to the next part of discussion. No matter how hard it got and how tired I was, I never once thought about quitting. I just wanted to keep going. And I’ll just do that one more thing and that one. Come on Come in. You’ve been there all day. No, I just do this one more thing. What What is it about finding your thing when you know that is worth pushing through life back because you certainly sound but you was on the same journey as I’ve been on?
Alexis Wolfer [33:26]
Yeah, I think that if you’re having fun and you’re growing and you’re learning and you’re being challenged, like those are feelings that I always want to have. And so if I’m having those feelings, then I’m going to keep on going and I’m gonna keep on chugging through and trying my hardest and trying to make it work as much as possible.
David Ralph [33:43]
And so you never want for I’m just gonna go and get a job in. I don’t know some.
Alexis Wolfer [33:49]
Of course, I had those moments of like, what am I doing? I’m working six times as hard as anybody else. I know. I’m making so much less money than anybody. I know I’m blowing through my savings trying to get this business off the ground, like what the hell am I doing. But those times were always the times when I knew exactly who to call, which was usually my dad to get the kind of kick in the butt that I needed. And to just keep on ploughing forward because those moments were they were always brief. And they became more and more spread out and they became less all consuming.
David Ralph [34:25]
And do people now say to you, we always knew you do this kind of stuff. Are you when you weren’t salty? five nines. There was no way you were going to do that.
Alexis Wolfer [34:34]
Yeah, of course. But you always wonder whether or not that’s, you know, somebody actually having felt that way. Or if it just kind of hindsight is 2020 you never really know.
David Ralph [34:43]
Well, I’ve only connected with you tonight. And I can’t imagine you doing anything else. The fact that you’re standing here, waving some kind of either no melon or mango in front of me. It looks like you’re made to do what you’re doing.
Alexis Wolfer [34:57]
Thank you. I appreciate that. And yeah, I think my pair I would say that they like, never really saw me being a worker, so to speak, or just kind of like going through the motions. I actually remember. And I was just recently asked about this, like what my first job was. And I remember working at a fashion show room, I was maybe 15 in New York. And I remember showing up and like, I was always the, there were probably eight of us that were kind of like entry level, just there for the summer working. And I remember everybody else was just happy to kind of punch in and punch out and they were thrilled on the days that we were just kind of sitting around doing nothing. And I remember I would always be the first one to go up to our bosses. Is there something else I can do like something else I can help us and always wanted to do more. And I remember getting in the car one day when my dad picked me up, and being like, you know, I’d be happy to work here for 18 hour days, but I hate sitting around. Like if you don’t have anything for me to do let me go home, but I don’t want to just be sitting here waiting for you to tell me something to do. But if you have something for me to do, like, you can work me to my bones. And my dad in that moment was like, that’s the difference between you and a lot of other people that most people just want to kind of punch in and punch out. And that’s not your personality. And it’s not my personality. But and I don’t like doing that. I don’t like that type of a business mentality.
David Ralph [36:23]
But is that really playing to your key essence when you was a little girl? Were you the one that was always dancing and jumping around? Is it the movement in your life and the fact that being in an in a cubicle was sort of suppressor?
Alexis Wolfer [36:38]
I don’t know if it was so much the physical movement or the fit. I don’t even think it’s the physical limitations of sitting at a desk. I think it’s more the wanting to be challenged and wanting to be able to think for myself and wanting to be able to make choices and decisions and mistakes and to learn from those, but to just kind of be sitting around being told what to execute. That wasn’t for me.
David Ralph [37:04]
You got to be in charge.
Alexis Wolfer [37:07]
Yeah, it has less to do with a control thing or a leadership thing, because I would say that probably my greatest strength as a leader is not micromanaging. We don’t even have deadlines for our writers, because I hated dealing with them. Like, I didn’t like deadlines, and I didn’t like deadlines, and we got rid of them. So I’m really all about, like, you know, figuring out what you’re good at focusing on that and doing that and letting other people focus and do the things that they’re good at too.
David Ralph [37:33]
But I still being in charge making those kinds of decisions, whether you’re micromanaging or not. You’re you’re playing to your strengths and you’re directing the way that the beauty being is gonna go.
Alexis Wolfer [37:45]
Definitely, and I love overseeing it. I love that I still have my finger on the pulse of everything that happens on that website. And I feel really proud of the BTB and I think it’s come a really long way and that we’ve got a lot of really amazing women who are contributing these days and The site is making a difference.
David Ralph [38:02]
Well, I think it’s very impressive from a from a male point of view. And let’s play some more words now. And these are words that we started coming into the show not that long ago. But they they’re so powerful. And they talk about those moments in business and in life. When you’re just, you’re suffering from overwhelm, and you don’t know the next right move. This is Oprah,
Unknown Speaker [38:24]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [38:56]
So are you good at finding your next line? Move as Oprah saying,
Alexis Wolfer [39:03]
um, I’m gonna say no to that. But I’m excellent at finding the people who will help me find my next right move, which is good. So I think that my one of my greatest strengths is being able to surround myself with a really diverse group of people and knowing when to call each one of them. And so I don’t, I definitely have those moments of being unsure what the next move is or what I’m going to do next. But I always know who I should call to talk to about it or to get whether it’s that I actually need like a tangible piece of advice with regard to something very concrete or if it’s something a little bit more big picture, but I definitely agree with Oprah sentiment in there about this idea of just keep moving forward. That this idea when I hear of people who are just so paralysed by indecision, or or fear or just not knowing what to do with that they become stagnant. I think that’s the most dangerous tourist place to be. But I think that if you can just continue doing even if that means that you go, you know, two steps back in order to go one step forward, you know, so be it, but just keep on doing stuff.
David Ralph [40:12]
I what I like about what she’s saying is that you just do one thing and then have a look around and hasn’t moved me forward. Have I connected with people? No. Okay, let’s do another thing. And it’s just that one step how to look around. And it is true that in all journeys, and I say this a lot, because it is a good sort of analogy, really. But if you’re in a car or you’re going wrong, you look around and your change direction. And you’d have no qualms with doing a U turn or going left or going right. But when it’s your own life and it’s your own career, so many people think now, I’ve wasted too much time going down this road. This is the journey that I’m on and I say That’s rubbish you can just turn around you can go off in a different direction and go off a different route. That is the beauty of what I think Oprah site Just there’s no wrong term, you just keep on doing. Yeah.
Alexis Wolfer [41:03]
And I think that that’s, I think that’s an excellent point. Because I do think that people are so scared of making that U turn, because they’re like, well, I’ve put so much work into this. And I think that’s like what you were asking me earlier about, you know, quitting things and moving on to something else, or, you know, I prefer to call it pivoting. But you know, this idea of just because you’ve put a lot of work into something doesn’t make it the thing that you should continue to put a lot of work into. It’s a sunk cost, you’ve already done it. So evaluate here and now where you want to be or where you want to be going and make a choice based on your current situation. Not the stuff that you did in your past.
David Ralph [41:38]
But how do you know them because I honestly doing this, I will be doing this for the next 10 years. And even if it still hasn’t got to where I want to, I just feel it in my every ounce of my body. I think
Alexis Wolfer [41:53]
you want you but I also wouldn’t want you to be scared if you wake up in three years and you’re like, I don’t want to do this anymore. Like, that’s cool too.
David Ralph [42:02]
Well, yes, but I don’t think I’m gonna get back. Do you think you’re going again?
Alexis Wolfer [42:07]
No, but I don’t. But I don’t know, again, like I think, you know, right now I’m doing a lot of work for TV channels I do I host a lot of beauty and lifestyle segments. And I really love that, could I see myself doing more of that and less of the beauty being maybe, but I’m open to whatever the future holds for me. And I’m not attached to any sort of an outcome.
David Ralph [42:29]
But the beauty being will get you to where you want to go. And that’s the thing, Join Up Dots will get me to wherever I want to go. But you’ve got to build up that trampoline so that you can bounce on to something else, haven’t you? Yeah, exactly. And so when you go in front of the camera, and you look naturally suited for it, I can just imagine you as a TV presenting Yeah. Was it something that you just breezed into? Or was it really not in your comfort zone when you started
Alexis Wolfer [43:00]
So it’s interesting, I breezed into it, but I thought it was very much outside of my comfort zone. So I never really had any desire to go into the TV world. It was something that always scared me a little bit. I didn’t really know much about it. I hate speaking in front of a lot of people as weird as that might sound. But, you know, being in front of a camera for me was really easy. But I was never seeking it out because I didn’t know it was going to be easy. And I was working in New York, I was there for New York Fashion Week, I was doing a lot of backstage coverage of models, etc. And there was a very famous model who was cut from a runway show because she had gained a little bit of weight and it was very controversial. And all the news channels wanted experts to be able to speak to it. And I was really the only person there who have my Master’s in human rights and women’s studies. I studied for many years, women and body image and I had access to this whole world and I was there and so I kind of ended up being thrown in front of the camera to do it. A lot of stuff and it was only from being kind of pushed into that experience that I realised both that I really liked it and that I was good at it.
David Ralph [44:07]
And and when does it take you Ben does it take you further away from the essence of the beauty being or does it get you actually into a bigger being where the beam is a media company kind of thing?
Alexis Wolfer [44:21]
I think that at this point right now, it amplifies the beauty been so I think it allows me to spread a message on a far larger platform to get in front of more eyeballs to be able to show women that you can look and feel your best. And that doesn’t have to come from you know, a new tube of lipstick or spending a lot of money or obsessively counting calories, but that you can look your failure best just as you currently are. Do I think that will change the long term plan of the beauty been possibly, but I think Only time will tell.
David Ralph [44:56]
And did you move to LA because of it or could could you
Alexis Wolfer [45:00]
know I moved to LA because my lifestyle so much better here.
Unknown Speaker [45:04]
So you think,
Alexis Wolfer [45:08]
Oh, I most definitely could have done exactly what I was doing workwise in New York and I’m still I go to New York every month now for work. But I think that the quality of life in Los Angeles is far better suited to the life I like to lead. I love being outdoors. I love the sunshine. I love the weather. I love how active and healthy everybody is here. And it was just more suited to the life I wanted to lead and being an entrepreneur and having the ability to up and move. It was a perk to be able to move here.
David Ralph [45:36]
I mean, please do your branding again, doesn’t it? But you’ll free yourself in the sunshine more than sort of wrapping yourself up for six months.
Alexis Wolfer [45:45]
Yeah, exactly. And we still have a very strong presence in New York. Like I said, I’m there every month but I also have quite a few beauty editors that are based there that work for the beauty being so now we still are able to cover events or openings or whatever it might be.
David Ralph [46:00]
This is a brilliant, brilliant story that you’ve been on. But you have hustled like a mad lady. You didn’t really know what you wanted to do in college and stumbled across something. You’ve then worked for two years harder than you possibly fought even though your money was only going one way, numerous phone calls to a dad who basically said man up and get on with it. You’re where you are. And it proves, but as long as you keep on working towards something and you overcome those challenges that come up, you can really do something good.
Alexis Wolfer [46:33]
Yeah, I totally agree with that.
David Ralph [46:35]
Well, least is the last of our speeches. And this is the whole theme of the show. And these are the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005, over 10 years ago now, and he said a brilliant speech, which really emphasises what we were just talking about, but you can only see your path when you look back in Join Up Dots. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [46:54]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very Very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [47:29]
byington those words, Alexis?
Alexis Wolfer [47:31]
Oh, absolutely. I love that speech. Also, I’ve watched that commencement address more times than I care to admit on YouTube. I think it’s so true. And I think that’s kind of what I’ve been saying is this idea of, you know, find what makes you happy and figure out a way to make money doing that and continue to reevaluate what makes you happy. And don’t be scared of pivoting or changing directions because it does all make sense in retrospect.
David Ralph [47:58]
And what’s your big Don’t think when you look back and I asked this question every day but what what was the moment when you think Yeah, but that’s when it started coming together.
Alexis Wolfer [48:09]
I think for me it was being in graduate school and being really passionate about human rights and women’s studies and simultaneously really loving working in the beauty and fashion world and really experiencing both of those things at the exact same time, I think allowed me to see the connections between the two
David Ralph [48:29]
and it was simply a stumble It was a stumble but it was a stumble has led you on to here.
Alexis Wolfer [48:35]
Yeah, I think everything is always a stumble, isn’t it? It’s always a you know where your passion is or what you’re excited about, or, you know, people who stumble into hobbies or anything. I think for me, it’s always been about following my gut and asking myself if this feels good, or do I want to be doing this and, you know, I really try to live my life doing the things that I want to do and not in a selfish way, but in a way You know, following my passions in my heart and trying to create the best world for myself and others,
David Ralph [49:07]
but why shouldn’t it be a selfish way anyway? You only on these planet ones, why can’t we all have the life that we want and enjoy ourselves? And, and
Alexis Wolfer [49:17]
so you should but I do think that when you hear somebody say that they only do what they want it kind of sounds like this, you know, well, I’m not going to go to my cousin’s birthday party because I don’t want to. And that’s not what I mean. Like, I think that there are things that are obligations and that even if you don’t like your cousin, you should still go to his or her birthday party, because it’s the right thing to do. Like, but I don’t, I think you should be a nice contributing member of society. I just think that you can also follow your heart and your desires and your gut or whatever you want to call it in order to leave your happiest life.
David Ralph [49:58]
I know this isn’t a healthy metaphor. I now think you can have your cake and eat it. I really do.
Alexis Wolfer [50:05]
I totally agree. And like, I’m not against you eating your cake, but like, sit down and enjoy that piece of cake. It shouldn’t be that you’re turning to that piece of cake because you hate your life or you just broke up with your significant other or you don’t like your job or whatever. All those other reasons why people indulge like indulge because it makes you happy. Not because you’re trying to feel fulfilled and you don’t feel that way in your life.
David Ralph [50:30]
See, sit down and eat your cake, you’re taking charge, you said you didn’t want to take charge. jewelle
Unknown Speaker [50:39]
gonna tell you to sit down and eat your cake.
David Ralph [50:42]
That’s what I’m going to do. This is the end of the show now and this is the bit we’ve been leading up to that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back and speak to the young Alexis, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune and when it breaks You up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:09]
We go with the best of the show.
Alexis Wolfer [51:27]
So I would go back and talk to my probably 12 and a half year old self, I switched schools when at the end of sixth grade, and I remember going to this new school and I didn’t really know anybody and worrying so much. And I feel like that was kind of the beginning of my being insecure about a lot of things. So I was worried about how I looked or if I fit in, or if I had the right clothes or, you know, all of the things that a young girl feels when she’s switching to a new school. And I think that for me, if I could go back and tell Young Alexis something it would be Don’t worry so much. And it’s all going to be great. Because I think I spent a lot of time worrying about my grades which don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have gotten into the schools that I got into if it hadn’t been for good grades. But I was always worried about what was I going to do and who was I going to be? And what was I going to what passion was I going to follow? And what would my career be? And I think I spent so much time worrying about that instead of just doing it. And it really took until I was in college and stumbled into that first entered a women’s studies class that I really started trusting my gut and knowing that I didn’t need to worry so much about how I looked or what I was doing or where I was going to go or what the five year plan was, but that I could just be in that moment. And you know, like you all say that I could look back and all the dots would make sense.
David Ralph [52:53]
Alexis, how can our audience connect with you?
Alexis Wolfer [52:57]
So obviously on the beauty been calm and If you just had there, you can get links to all of my social media platforms. But I’m at Alexis wolfer on everything, so you can find me there. And then we also have at the beauty being on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter as well.
David Ralph [53:14]
We’ll have all the links on the show notes. Alexis, thank you so much for spending time with us today and joining those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Alexis wolfer. Thank you so much.
Alexis Wolfer [53:31]
Thank you, this has been great.
David Ralph [53:35]
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Join Up Dots brought to you exclusively by podcast is mastery.com. The only resource that shows you how to create a show, build an income and still have time for the life that you love. Check out podcast is mastery.com. Now
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become so he’s put together Amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.