How Kylie Jenner Just Angered The Masses
 Kylie Cosmetics. Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com

Kylie Cosmetics. Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com

Another Kardashian-Jenner member has angered the masses yet again. And not with booty shots and sex tapes. This time it's the emergence of lip kits and eyeshadows. And it's taking over the way we all look at the massive amount of student loan debt that we've incurred.

 

The ‘American Dream’ is not just a pithy saying to generalize the hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs. Many of us are taught that the path to financial greatness and a spot on the Forbes list is rigid and cookie cutter. We're also taught that it almost always requires a college degree. But in the digital age, the power of creativity coupled with social media allows us to create our own lane from anywhere we please. Just ask Kylie Jenner. The 20 year old saw a crack in the door opened by her well off family and busted the entire thing down. All by appealing to the vanity and inquisitive nature of women who want to look like today's social media and television rock stars.

 

As a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie is the youngest of the bunch. Much like her older sisters, Kylie always had an affinity for beauty and glamour. But instead of doing like most young, rich, and some might even say “entitled” kids and simply relaxing and enjoying the fruits of her family's labor, Jenner decided that she wanted to take charge and create something of her own. So she went with what she knew best - makeup. Having used makeup to increase her confidence level, Jenner knew that she could leverage the popularity of her well known family to drive traffic to her business.

 

Kylie Cosmetics launched two years ago with a $29 “lip kit” that consisted of a matching set of lipstick and lip liner. Since it's launch, Kylie Cosmetics has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup, including an estimated $330 million in 2017. The company now has additional products like eyeshadow and concealer. Forbes recently valued her company at nearly $800 million.An even more shocking fact about Kylie Cosmetics - 20 year old Jenner owns 100% of it. This is not necessarily the norm amongst reality stars with their own product lines. But when you come from reality star royalty, you do things a little differently. Jenner didn’t need a team of investors to own 65% of her company. Mom Kris made sure that her baby girl was the sole owner, and could cash in her own dividends at the end of the day.

 

But this is where the Forbes article feature gets a little sticky for some. The title of “self made” being appropriated to Jenner has angered quite a few people. Now, by Forbes’ definition their annual list of women who are “self made” billionaires usually pertains to women who have earned their fortune, as opposed to women who married into money or inherited money. Although Kylie Jenner didn’t marry into money, nor inherit her fortune, she was born into money. And for this, the internet is a little ticked off at Forbes for giving her that title.

 

Now I must say that I don’t think the title self-made is quite that accurate when it comes to Jenner. But I do think the title go-getter does apply here. Most millennials today who are born into a family where EVERYONE is cashing in on some sort of extension of their 15 minutes of fame aren’t necessarily interested in doing actual “work”. Sure, they consider getting paid for their Instagram posts or showing up at Tao in Vegas to be “work”. But Jenner decided to actually go hands on with creating and running a company with tons of moving parts. Obviously her road to entrepreneurship was a little easier than most, but it’s what she did when she got to the table. Her brand continues to push out new products on a consistent basis, and Jenner is enthusiastically there for all of the new developments. I mean, after all, what 20 year old woman wouldn’t want to get paid to play with makeup all day? She’s capitalizing off of what fell into her lap, and having fun with every single stage of her business growth.

 

At 20 years old, Kylie Jenner is doing what has taken many college grads decades to achieve. This is a gift and a curse to the American public. The gift is that it shows that not all rich kids are just sitting around waiting for their trust funds to triple. The curse is that more millennials look at people like Kylie and think that the formula can be easily duplicated. Those of us who are entrepreneurs that started out without a safety net or a trust fund know how long it takes to get your products out there to the masses. We know how long it takes to prove that we even deserve a seat at the table to prove our worth. We know how difficult it is to have to balance student loans with investing in new software and managing payroll. But it’s hard to convey that message to a millennial who is only looking at the finished product. They don’t see all of the moving parts that are required to create a business.

 

Sometimes growth comes overnight. But for most, it takes years of trial and error before we can consider it smooth sailing. The beauty in taking the long way around the block is that we get to learn so much more along the way. And what’s in our heads and hearts can never be taken away from us. Not even by a Jenner.

 

What do you think of Kylie Jenner’s rise to entrepreneurial fame? Do you think she deserves the accolades she’s received across the web?

Raising The Bar
 Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes. Photo courtesy of Google Images

Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes. Photo courtesy of Google Images

Oprah Winfrey officially raised the bar Sunday evening at the Golden Globes with her acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille Award. It’s safe to say that we probably all expected something phenomenal to come out of her mouth. But I don’t think we were expecting her words to be as touching as they were. Ms. Winfrey boldly declared what seemed like a new revolution of power, calling out injustices such as the wage gap and sexual assault.

Winfrey proclaimed that instead of bashing the media for “fake news”, that she is instead relying on the media more than ever before. With years under her belt as a public figure, and the host The Oprah Winfrey Show, many may have forgotten her journalistic roots. It was her passion for telling stories and giving others a platform to share their voice that pushed Oprah to create iconic platforms like the Oprah Winfrey Show, O Magazine, and now The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The outspoken media mogul literally made people stand up and cheer as she addressed the social issues that have been swept under the rug for so long, and boldly shouted “Their Time Is Up!”. Her call for justice was met with tears, applause, awe, and even the hashtag #Oprah2020


“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have”
— Oprah Winfrey

Now, I’m not exactly sure Oprah even has a desire to run for Presidential office, but what that outpouring of support did tell us was that people are still feeling a strong need for inspiration, support, and a motivating message; even ones with large bank accounts. I watched as women in the entertainment industry stood up and cheered at the words coming from Oprah, and I was reminded that although the world throws everything at us to cause division and strife, that deep down inside we all still hurt the same way. At that moment I didn’t see a room full of stuffy rich Hollywood actors. I saw a room full of PEOPLE. Men and women who in some way or another could understand and empathize with what Oprah was saying. People nodded in agreement as she called out farm workers, tech professionals, athletes, and countless others whose names we will never hear.

Today I sit in reflection and introspection; wondering what it is that I can do to empower others. I think of my little 15 minutes spent with Oprah, and the amount of inspiration she gave me. The feeling of endless possibility is almost overwhelming. I see the power of movement, and the people who are tired of sitting down waiting for something to happen.

 Billingslea Media Owner & Operator Evelyne Billingslea meeting Oprah Winfrey December 2016

Billingslea Media Owner & Operator Evelyne Billingslea meeting Oprah Winfrey December 2016

 

What will you do? How will you help keep the movement going? Time is up. A new day is on the horizon.

To donate to the Time’s Up foundation, check out their GoFundMe page, where any amount is welcomed and appreciated.

 

3 Benefits of a Written Marketing Plan
marketing plan

Developing industry specific marketing plans can be difficult to achieve with little to no direction. Just like a business plan gets you set up for strategic growth, a marketing plan serves much of the same purpose. While some may think that you can mix and match marketing methods as you go along, it is always much more efficient to develop your plan of attack well in advance. Your marketing plan should serve as the companion piece to your business and financial plans.

Marketing plans are not a one-size fits all scenario. Your plan should be specific to your industry, as well as your time in the business. It brings you clarity, structure, and most of all - more effective marketing. Here are a couple of the benefits of having a written marketing plan for your business.

Gain Clarity

  •  A written plan helps you gain the clarity you need to expand your business with effective marketing strategies. It takes your original business plan and stretches it out in a way that shows your creativity in a structured manner. As a companion piece to your business plan, it lays out the specifics of your business plan and assigns a marketing task to each area. It also shows you where your challenges may lie within reaching your target market, and how you should address a financial plan of attack.

Track Your Methods

  • A lot of people approach marketing without a strategy. They throw a couple of things at the wall and see what sticks, then get frustrated when they don't see a return. A written marketing plan helps you keep track of what you've done. It gives you a clear view of what has worked, what hasn't, and how much time and money has been put into it. Are you delivering things to your target market that actually address their wants and needs? If not, how do you change that? What new techniques can you use to better serve them?

Establish Company Culture

  • What better way to help your employees learn about your company culture than to have it in writing? Although you may think that you've expressed the core of your company culture and brand values, it is can easily be misconstrued by an outside party. Instead of assuming that employees know how to represent your brand, why not feel comfortable in knowing that they are clear on how to represent your brand. You can even ask for feedback through meetings and forums, and incorporate that data into a working plan for your employees. 

No matter the industry, your marketing efforts should be tailored to fit your specific needs. Just because a similar business has had success with a given marketing tactic doesn't mean that your business will enjoy that same success. It takes time, introspection, and documentation to get together a proven formula for success that can grow with your company.

Don't take chances on missing the mark with your marketing. Contact us today for a consultation on developing a targeted marketing plan for your business.